1 O how good and gracious, Lord, is your spirit in all things!
2 Therefore, those who wander afield, you correct, and, as to those who sin, you counsel them and admonish them, so that, having abandoned malice, they may believe in you, O Lord.
3 For those ancient inhabitants of your holy land, who you abhorred,
4 because they were doing works hateful to you, through unjust medicines and sacrifices,
5 and the merciless murderers of their own sons, and the eaters of human entrails, and the devourers of blood apart from your community sacrament,
6 and the sellers performing the ceremonies of helpless souls, you willed to destroy by the hands of our parents,
7 so that they might worthily secure the sojourn of the children of God, in the land which is most beloved by you.
8 Yet, so that you were lenient even to these men, you sent wasps, forerunners of your army, so that you might destroy them little by little,
9 not because you were unable to subdue the impious under the just by war or by cruel beasts, or with a harsh word to exterminate them at once,
10 but, in judging by degrees, you were giving them a place of repentance, not unaware that their nation is wicked, and their malice is inherent, and that their thinking could never be changed.
11 For this offspring was accursed from the beginning. Neither did you, fearing anyone, give favor to their sins.
12 For who will say to you, “What have you done?” Or who will stand against your judgment? Or who will come before you as a defender of unfair men? Or who will accuse you, if the nations perish, which you have made?
13 For neither is there any other God but you, who has care of all, to whom you would show that you did not give judgment unjustly.
14 Neither will king or tyrant inquire before you about those whom you destroyed.
15 Therefore, since you are just, you order all things justly, considering it foreign to your virtue to condemn him who does not deserve to be punished.
16 For your power is the beginning of justice, and, because you are Lord of all, you make yourself to be lenient to all.
17 For you reveal power to those who do not believe you to be perfect in power, and you expose the arrogance of those who do not know you.
18 Yet, you are the master of power, since you judge with tranquility, and since you administer us with great reverence; for it is close to you to be used whenever you will.
19 But you have taught your people, through such works, that they must be just and humane, and you have made your sons to be of good hope, because in judging you provide a place for repentance from sins.
20 For even if the enemies of your servants were deserving of death, you afflicted them with great attentiveness, providing a time and a place whereby they would be able to be changed from malice;
21 with what diligence, then, have you judged your sons, whose parents you have given oaths and covenants in good faith!
22 Therefore, while you give us discipline, you give our enemies a multiplicity of scourges, so that in judging we may think on your goodness, and when we are judged, we may hope for mercy.
23 Therefore, also to these, who have lived their lived their life irrationally and unjustly, through these things that they worshiped, you gave the greatest torments.
24 And, indeed, they wandered for a long time in the way of error, valuing those things as gods, which are worthless even among animals, living in foolish irrational behavior.
25 Because of this, you have given a judgment in derision, as if from foolish children.
26 But those who have not been corrected by mockery and chiding, have experienced a judgment worthy of God.
27 For among those who were indignant at their sufferings, which came through those things that they reputed to be gods, when they saw that they would be destroyed by these same things, those who formerly refused knowledge of him, now acknowledged the true God, and, because of this, the end of their condemnation came upon them.