Ephraim, Apapphrat 1107
1. Wrath came to rebuke, the greedy who in the midst of peace, bargained, defrauded and plundered. In calamity the greedy have waxed rich: lo! what was theirs they have scattered, what was not theirs they have gathered). R., Give peace, O Son, to our land!
2. Twenty years my troubles, have been like branches, O my Saviour! which are kept back throughout winter, but when it is time to shoot forth, my troubles shoot forth: with our fruit our heart ripens.
3. Nisan is the time of buds: in it the ill tidings budded. When our delights crowded on us, then crowded on us our ills. At the time of winnowing of wheat, came the winnowing of cities,
4. For the three brethren in Babylon fled not from the fire that men kindled, because they were steadfast: from lust they fled, because they were perfect.
5. The fire of them that have triumphed, is able to turn the black kids into white: the fire of vain men is able to make the lambs into spotted leopards.
6. How great will be my cries, to be cried at any alarm! How great my indignation to ripen at every ill tidings! How great my harvests, to perish every mouth!
7. For the crimes of my sons He has chastened me, in their struggling for my deliverance. The people who deliver me, bring chastisement upon me. Restrain ye your sins, and lo! my chastisements are restrained!
8. In ill tidings they are afflicted; in time of wrath they are tortured; in time of peace they are distressed; for when every man breathes freely, and all are unthankful for grace, they render thanks on behalf of every man.
9. Their sackcloth is humble for my sake; their ashes are sprinkled in my affliction; their prayer is for my victory; their fast for my deliverance: Lo! the debt is on my ascetics, the guilt with my nobles.
10. Great is in every age, the folly of the wise; the scribes and eiders envied and killed the teacher, who taught all people the Law of Moses.
11. Wisdom in this age is a possession that brings loss: he who has a little folly, very small is his guilt; but he who has a little prudence, his iniquity passes measure.
12. They build with their words, and overthrow in their deeds; for the teachers were many and foolish, but the mouth of the judge is both of these things, the judge and the accuser.
[Hymn VIII. is wanting, as also the earlier part of IX.]
1109 ... My afflictions are as Job’s. Thy justice delivered him; let Thy grace have mercy on me!
2. In these two things is profit; that neither should the just, be weary in supplication, nor should the rebellious, multiply transgression.
3. With the sons Thou labourest, to chastise and help them; and that the fathers should not be grieved, by the sound of the scourge, they left me in peace.
4. Look, O my Lord, on my woods without, how they have been cut down! behold, O my Lord, my breasts within, that they are too weak, for me to bear my beloved ones!
5. With swords they have cut off, my wings that are without; again the fire kindles, in my bosom within, the incense of burnt offering.
6. The sun-worshippers have killed, my sons in the plain: and they that offer to Baal, have sacrificed my bulls in the city, my sheep with my babes.
7. In my fields is lamentation; in my halls wailing; in my vineyards terror; in my streets confusion. Who can suffice for me?
8. The Evil One who dealt treacherously, and disturbed me with his words, stirred up trouble within, so that my inward part, is wholly as my outward part.
9. With what face, O my Lord, shall I call on Thee to send, a camp of holy ones, to guard my bosom, which is full of uncleanness?
10. With Thy new leaven, Thou hast chastened creation. Make Thou the old leaven, which ensnares and humbles, to be like the new leaven!
11. By the manifest striving, of Thy power let us conquer; lest error should crown, those that strive for Thee, cleaving to them with blandishment!
12. If we look into our time, it is like our deceit;1 —for in the years of truthfulness, we practised divinations,—and secretly used enchantments.
13. If I look into the time, it provokes and into light,—brings secret things, that our deceit may be shamed,—which wore the raiment of Truth.
14. Verily it is truth, that overcomes all;2 —and the sea with its bitterness, cannot trouble it,—for it is pure in its nature.
15. In wisdom Thou hast made it, O my Lord, that it has laid bare our lust.—That the foolish should come to nought, and should not be encouraged,—Truth has withheld the crown.
16. On the tottering walls, whereon Thou hast given me victory,—the unthankful repay Thee, with sacrifice and libation, which provoke Thee openly.
17. If it were at that time, sacrifices had been offered ;—there had been room even, for delusion to suppose,—that in these I was delivered.
18 Through the multitude of deliverances, Thou hast rebuked two things:—the delusion of graven images, and the teaching of magicians;—for in Thee, O my Lord, have I been delivered!
1110 1. My children have been slain; and my daughters that are without me,—their walls are overthrown, their children scattered,—and their holy places trodden down). R., Blessed is Thy chastisement!
2. The fowlers have taken, my doves out of my strongholds,—which quilted their nests, and fled to the caves;—in the net have they taken them.
3. After the manner of wax, that melts before the fire,—thus melted and dissolved, the bodies, of my sons before the heat—and the drought of my strongholds.
4. And instead of streams, of milk that used to flow,—for my sons and my little ones, milk fails the sucklings, and water the weaned children.
5. The suckling falls, from its mother and gasps,—because it cannot suck, nor can she give suck:—they breathe out their spirit and die.
6. How is it possible, that Thy grace can refrain—the welling of its stream, when it is not possible to restrain—the abundance of its flow?
7. And why has Thy grace, shut up its mercies,—and withheld its streams, from the people that cry,—for one to moisten their tongue?
8. And there was a pit, between them and their brethren;—like the rich man who cried, and there was none to answer,—to moisten his tongue.
9. And as into the midst of fire, the wretched ones were cast;—and heat in the midst of thirst, the fire was blowing,—and kindling upon them.
10. Their carcases were melted, and dissolved by the heat;—they that had thirsted gave in turn the earth to drink,—of the reek of their bodies.
11. And the fort that with thirst, had killed, its dwellers,—it drank in its turn of the flux from the corpses,—that were melted by thirst.
12. Who has seen a people—that were burning with thirst,—while there surrounded them a wall of water and they could not—moisten their tongue!
13. Surely with the judgment of Sodom, were my beloved judged,—and my children smitten, with the torment of Sodom;—though that was but for one day.
14. The torment of fire, though it be for one hour, O my Lord,—in lingering thirst, is a lingering death, and a subtle punishment.
15. After my sorrows, O my Lord, and my bitter sufferings,—this is the best comfort, wherewith Thou hast comforted me,—that Thou hast multiplied my afflictions.
16. The medicine that I hoped, it is sorrow decreed;—the binding up that I looked for, it is bitter calamity,—that it seeks to work for me.
17. And whereas I hoped to escape, from the midst of the storm;—worse for me is the storm in it, even in the harbour,—than that in the sea.
18. Whereas I thought in my folly, that I should anchor and escape—from the midst of the Gulf; my sins have cast me back—again into the midst of it.
19. Look, O my Lord, on my limbs, how the swords are thick ill me,—and have left their mark on my arms; and the scars of the spears,—are planted in my sides!
20. Tears in mine eyes, and in my ears ill rumours,—wailing in my mouth, and mourning in my heart!—Add no more, O my Lord, to me!
1111 1. Thy chastening is, as a mother of our infancy:—her rebuke is merciful, in that Thou hast restrained,—the children from folly, and they have been made wise! R., Glory be to the justice.!
2. Let us search out Thy justice; for who is sufficient—to measure its help? since by it the wanton—are oftentimes made chaste.—
3. Oftentimes Thy hand, O my Lord, has made the sick whole,—for it is the healer in secret of their diseases,—and the fount of their life.
4. Exceeding gently, the finger of Thy justice,—in love and compassion, touches the wounds—of him that is to be healed.
5. Exceeding mild and merciful, is her cutting to him that is wise:—her sharp remedy, in its mighty love,—consumes the corrupt part.
6. Exceeding welcome her wrath, to him that is discerning;—but her remedies are hated, of the fool who has delight—in the trouble of his limbs.
7. Exceeding eager is she, to bind the cut she has made;—when she has smitten she pities, that from between these two—she may breed healing.
8. Exceeding welcome her wrath, and her anger pleasant,—and sweet her bitterness, sweetening bitter things—that they may be made pleasant.
9. A cause of negligence is Thy indulgence to the careless;—a cause of profit, is Thy rod among the slothful—so that they become as traffickers.
10. The cause of our affliction, it is Thy justice;—the cause of our carelessness, it is Thy graciousness,—for our understanding has turned foolish.
11. Pharaoh hardened himself, because of Thy graciousness;—for when the plagues were stayed, his cruelties waxed strong,—and he lied to his promises.
12. Justice requited him, because he lied greatly against her,—even Grace her freeborn sister; yea she restrained him again—that he should not again provoke.
13. Rebuke, O my Lord, my guide, for it has been false as Egypt —my prayers testify, that I am not as she,—for Thy door have I not forsaken.
14. Let Thy cross, O my Lord, which stands, in my breaches that are open,—repair again the breaches that are hidden; for instead of those without,—those within have cleft me asunder!
15. A sea has broken through, and cast down, the watch tower wherein I had triumphed.—Iniquity has dared to set up, a temple wherein I am shamed: its drink-offering chokes me.
16. My prayers on my walls, my persecutors have heard:—the sun and his worshippers, are ashamed of their magicians,—for I have triumphed by Thy cross.
17). All creatures cried out, when they saw the struggle,—while Truth with falsehood, on my battered walls, fought and was crowned conqueror.
18. The force of Truth, chastised falsehood:—in its chastisement it felt Truth, and through its own sins, it earned her victory.
19. I have great alarm; for since my deliverance,—the honourable and mighty, who were devoted to my altar, have built in me high places.
20. My seven senses, O my Lord, even though they had been as fountains of tears, yet my tears were too little—to lament our ruin.
21. The streets that were in sackcloth, and ashes cried out,—disturbed by the play, akin to that which was,—in the wilderness before the calf.
22. Poison seeks and wears, the beauty of lilies;—and though their buds may conceal, and hidden disguise it,—it blossoms in their bitter flowers).
1112 1. I will call in my affliction, on the Power that subdues all;—that is able to subdue, the Captor in his wrath,—as it overcame Legion. R., Glory to His grace!
2. The Evil One has repaid me my brethren, debts that he borrowed not of me :tile good God likewise has repaid me, mercies that I lent Him not.—Come and marvel ye at these two things!
3. The good God has divided and given, my misdeeds to His grace,—my offences to His justice; His mercy has blotted out my misdeeds—His judgment has requited my offences.
4. Sin was exceeding wroth, and abode in alarm,—when she saw how grace, put restraint on freedom, that she might overcome transgressions.
5. Glow Thou, O my Lord, and send down Thy love, break out and pour forth Thy wrath!—Thy wrath to destroy, Thy love to rescue—the captives from the captor!
6. The days wherein the Evil One, decreed to cast me forth,—as with a sling into perdition, in them the good God has bound up and kept—my soul in the bundle of life.
7. The men of speech who keep not silence, from praising continually,—who have kept me in the midst of waves, and supported me that I fell not, let them give praise in my stead, O my Lord!
8. For who has at any time sufficed, in presence of tile grace,—of the mercies which surrounded him, that I should suffice to praise—the mercies that encompass me?
1. Three illustrious priests, after the manner of the two great lights,—have carried on and handed down one to another, the See and the Hand and the Flock.—To us whose mounting was great for the two, this last is wholly a consolation).
R., Glory to Thee Who didst choose them!
2. He Who created two great lights, chose for Himself these three Lights,—and set them in the three dark seasons of siege that have been.—When that pair of Lights was quenched, the other shone wholly forth.
3. These three priests were treasures, who held in their faithfulness,—the key of the Trinity; three doors they opened for us;—each one of them with his key, unlocked and opened his door.4. In the first was opened the door, for the chastisement that betel us ;—in the next was opened the door, for the King’s power that came down on us,—in the last was opened the door, for the good tidings that came up for us.
5. In the first was opened the door, for battle between two hosts;—in the next were opened doors, for the kings from either wind;—in the last was opened the door, for ambassadors from either side.
6. In the first was opened the door, for battle because of misdeeds;—in the next was opened the door,—for the kings because of strife;—in the last was opened the door, for ambassadors because of mercies.
7. Loin these three successions, as in a mystery and a figure,—wrath is likened to the sun; it began under the first;—it waxed strong under the next; it sank and was quenched under the last).
8. Three figures the Sun also, shows forth in the three quarters:—its rising is keen and bright; its meridian strong and overpowering;—and like a torch that is burnt out, its setting is mild and pleasant.
9. Small yet bright is its rising, when it comes to waken sleepers;—hot and overpowering its meridian, when it comes to ripen the fruits;—tender and pleasant its setting, when it reaches its consummation.
10. Who is this daughter born of vows, enviable above all women,—whose successions thus proceed, and her ranks are thus manifold,—and her degrees thus ascend, and her teachers thus excel.
11. Do these similitudes belong, only to the daughter of Abraham,—or to thee too, O daughter, born of vows, whose adorning is according as thy beauty?—for as thine occasion, so was thy help, and as thy help so was its minister.
12. According to the measure of her need, there came to her the supply of her need.—Her fathers were as was her birth; her teachers were as was her understanding;—her training as was her growth; her raiment as was her stature.
13. Grace weighed out to her and gave all these things as in the scales;—she laid them in her balance, that therefrom there might be profit;—she drew them into succession, that therefrom might be perfection.
14. In the days of him that was first, peace abounded and peace vanished;—in the days of him that was next, kings came down and kings went back;—but in the days of the last, hosts assailed and hosts retreated.—
15. By the first order came in, it came in with him and went out with him;—by the next the diadem that gladdened our churches, came nigh and withdrew far away;—but by the last there dawdled on us, grace that was not thankfully received.
16. Against the wrath that was first, the labour of the first contended;—against the heat that was at noon, the shade of the second stood up;—against peace that was thankless, the last multiplied warnings.
17. For the first invader of the land was the first and illustrious priest;—for the second invader of the land, was the second and merciful priest:—but the prayers of him that was last, repaired our breaches secretly.
18. Nisibis is set3 upon waters, waters secret and open:—living streams are within her; a noble river without her. The river without deceived her; the fountain within has saved her.
19. The first priest was her vinedresser; he made her branches to grow even unto heaven.—Lo! being dead and buried within her, he has become fruit in the midst other bosom:—when therefore the pruners came, the fruit that was in her midst preserved her.
20. The time of her pruning came; it entered and took from her her vinedresser,-that there should not be one to pray for her. She made haste in her subtlety;—He laid in her bosom her vinedresser, that she should be delivered through her vinedresser.
21. Be ye wise like Nisibis, O ye daughters of Nisibis,—for that she laid the body within her, and it became a wall without her.—Place ye within you the living body, that it be a wall for your lives!
I. Under the three pastors,—there were manifold shepherds;—the one mother that was in the city,—had daughters in all regions.—Since Wrath has destroyed her dwellings,—Peace shall build up her churches). R. Blessed be He who chose out those three!
2. The kindly labour of the first,—bound up the land in her affliction:—the bread and wine of the next,—healed the city when site was broken:—the sweet speech of the last,—sweetened our bitterness in affliction.
3. The first tilled the land with his labour,—he rooted out of her the briars and thorns:—the next fenced her round about,—he made a hedge for her of them that were saved:—the last opened the garner of his Lord,—and sowed in her the words of her Lord.
4. The first priest by means of a fast,—closed up the doors of men’s mouths:—the second priest for the captives,—opened the mouths of the purse:—but the last pierced through the ears,—and fastened in them the ornament of life.
5. Aaron stripped off from the ears,—the earrings and made a calf.—That lifeless calf in secret,—pierced and slaughtered the camp:—those who had fashioned his horns, —he ripped them up with his horns.
6. But our priest who was the third,—pierced through the ears of the heart:—and fastened there the earrings he had fashioned,—of the nails that were fixed in the cross, —whereon his Lord was crucified,—and gave life to His fellow-men.
7. A son unto death the fire brought forth;—Death feeds upon all bodies:—the son of Death who surpassed Death,—upon the souls of men he fed.—The calf forsook his provender,—for men’s minds were the food for him.
8. To the first Tree that which killed,—to it grace brought forth a son.—O Cross offspring of the Tree,—that didst fight against thy sire!—The Tree was the fount of death;—the Cross was the fount of life.
9. The son that was born to Death,—all mouths were opened to curse him.—He devoured bodies and souls,—and multiplied the disgrace of his father.—But the Cross caused to pass away the rebuke,—of its father that first Tree.
10. The two sons were even as were—the two mothers that bare them.—The calf which the fire brought forth,—the fire consumed in the midst of the people:—the Cross the offspring of grace,—divided good gifts to all creation.
11. O my tongue hold thy peace and be silent of the histories of the Cross that press to be told!—for my mind of a sudden has conceived,—and lo! pangs of travail smite it:—it has conceived these among the last,—and they strive to become the firstborn.
12. The babes struggled in the womb;—the elder made haste to come forth:—the younger desiring the birthright,—laid his hand upon his heel;—that which he obtained not by birth,—he obtained by the mess of pottage.
13. After the like sort these later histories,—lo! they make light of the former ones,—that themselves may come forth and take the birthright.—Let us bring forth the history of our fathers,—for lo! the histories of the Cross—are the firstborn of all creatures.
14. For if that which has no beginning—is the first of all created things,—its histories also are the firstborn,—for they are eider than all creatures.—Let the histories of Thee, O my Lord, yield place,—that we may tell of Thy ministers!
15. The first in degree of doctrine,—His eloquence was like as was his degree;—the next who was second in degree,—his interpretation mounted to the height of his degree;—the last who was third in degree,—his eloquence was great as he was).
16. The first in his simple words,—gave milk unto his infants;—the next in his plain sayings,—gave victual to his children;—the third in his perfect sayings,—gave meat to his that were of perfect age.
17. She too the daughter of instruction,—mounted from degree to degree,—along with her teachers and fathers.—A young child she was with the first; a simple maid was she with the next;—she came to perfect age in the third.
18. The first dealing with her as a child,—loved her and taught her to fear;—the next as with a damsel, rebuked her and make her glad;—the third as with one fully instructed,—was to her a solace of pleasantness.
19. Even the Most High with the daughter of Jacob,—gave blandishment and the rod to her childhood;—and in her frowardness and full age,—gave part in the sword and the Law;—and according to her discipline and instruction,—He came to her in mildness and pleasantness.
20. The first that begat the flock,—his bosom bare her infancy;—the next of glad-some countenance,—cheered with song and made glad her childhood;—the last grave of countenance,-lo! he guards her chastity in her youth.
21. The first priest who begat her,—gave milk to her infancy;—the next priest interpreted,—and gave victual to her childhood;—the third priest nourished her, and gave meat to her perfect age.
22. The wealthy father who was first,—laid up treasures for her childhood;—the next for her maturity—multiplied provision for her journey;—the third the goodly olive tree,—multiplied oil in her vessels.
23. When she comes before Him who is rich,—she will show the treasure of the first;—when she comes before the Saviour, she will show the saved ones of the next;—when she goes forth to meet the Bridegroom,—she will show the oil of her lamps.
24. Before Him who rewards the weary toilworn,—she will offer the labour of the first;—before Him who loves cheerful givers,—she will show the almsgiving of the next;—before Him who judges doctrines,—she will offer the discourse of the last.
25. And I the sinner who have striven to be—the disciple of these three,—when they shall see Him of the Third Day,—that he has closed the door of His chamber,—may these three pray Him for me, that He keep the door open a little while for me!
26. May the sinner press into and enter—rejoicing and fearing to behold!—May the three masters call in—the one disciple in their grace!—May he gather up under the table—the crumbs that are full of life!
1. If the head had not been right,—haply the members had murmured:—for when because of a perverse head—the course of the members is put astray,—they are wont to lay the blame on the head.
R. Blessed be He who chose thee the pride of our people!
2. If now on one that is all goodly,—on it we lay our hatred;—how much more if we were hateful!—Yea even God though He is kind,—bitter men complain against Him.
3. Be like the head O ye members!—Get repose in his purity—and pleasantness in his tranquillity;—in his sanctity renown,—and in his wisdom learning!
4. Get discernment in his mildness,—and chastity in his gravity,—and bounty in his poverty!—As he is fully and altogether fair,—let us be altogether fair with him!
5. See ye how meted and weighed—are his words and his actions!—Take heed how even his steps—keep the measure of peace!—With all his might he holds the bridle of all himself.
6. He was master over his youth;—he bound it in the yoke of chastity:—his members were not enticed by lust;—for they were kept under the rod:—his will he had in subjection.
7. For he was ready beforehand for his degree,—as he was ready beforehand in his conversation,—as he laid his foundations securely.—He became Head in his youth,-when they made him preacher to the people.
8. Excellent was he among preachers,—learned was he among scholars,—and understanding was he among the wise:—chaste was he among his brethren,—and grave among his familiar friends.
9. In two abodes was he—a solitary recluse from his early days;—for he was holy within his body,—and solitary within his dwelling;—openly and secretly was he chaste.
10. But although we my brethren—have put astray those measures,—and we have lost that savour,—and have become teachers to ourselves,—unto the perfection that called us.
11. Yet that measure of Truth—preserves itself in its vessel:—Truth chose it because she saw it chose her;—she has preserved in it her fragrance and savour,—from the beginning to the end.
12. The Head both chaste and grave,—that was not wrathful nor hard,—nor transgressed even as we did,—set and kept his own measures,—and cast a bridle on his thoughts.
13. He gave example in his person,—that as he kept the measure of his time,—so was it meet that we should know our time.—We have become strangers to our time,—for we have been witless in the time of discernment.
14. In the beginning the blast of the wind—in its might chastens the fruit;—then in the meantime the might of the sun:—but when its mightiness is passed,—its end gathers his sweetness.
15. But we—they that were first chastened us;—and also they that came next rebuked us;—and they that were last added sweetness to us:—then when the time of tasting us arrives,—great was our savourlessness.
16. For we came to maturity,—that we might wean the children from wantonness,—and lead them to gravity:—but our old age stood in need—that we should be rebuked as youths.
17. Accordingly he in kindness endured, nor did he make use of force,—that he might increase honour to our old age:—and even if it knew not its degree,—let him be magnified who knew its time!
18. And if one say that for the multitude,—force and the rod should govern it;-even as for the thief fear,—and for the spoiler threatening,—and for fools open shaming.
19. Yet if with the head as first,—the members had hasted to move as second,—they would have drawn that which was third,—and the whole body from the end—would have followed after them.
20. They that were second despised those that were first,—and that were third those that were second:—the degrees were set at naught one by another.—While these within despised one another,—they were trodden down likewise by those without).
1116 1. Herein is a mirror to be blamed,—if its clearness is darkened—because there are spots on its substance;—for the foulness that is on it becomes—a covering before them that look on it.
R. Blessed be He Who polished our mirror!
2. For that comeliness is not adorned in it,—and blemishes are not brought to view in it,—it is altogether a damage to comely things;—seeing that their comeliness gain not—adornments as their profit.
3. Blemishes are not rooted out by it,—likewise adornments are not multiplied by it.—A blemish that remains is as a loss;—that there is no adornment is a defect:—loss is met together with defect.
4. If our mirror be darkness,—it is altogether joy to the hateful;—because their blemishes are not reproved:—but if polished and shining,—it is our freedom that is adorned.
5. Twofold is the loss in defect,—for the hateful and for the goodly;—in that the goodly gain no crown,—and likewise the hateful get no adorning:—the mirror divides the loss.
6. Never does the mirror drive—by compulsion him that looks therein:—so likewise grace which followed—upon the righteousness of the Law,—does not possess the compulsion of the Law.
7. Righteousness was unto childhood,—its adorner of compulsion;—for when mankind was in childhood,—she adorned it by compulsion,—while she robbed it not of its freedom.
8. Righteousness used blandishment,—and the rod to deal with childhood;—when she smote it she roused it; her rod restrained frowardness, her blandishment softened the minds.
9). [If one turn from the Gospel,] wherewith we are adorned to-day, my brethren,—to another gospel he is a child:—in a time of greatness of understanding,—he is become without understanding.
10. For in the degree of full age,—he has gone down to childhood;—and he loves the law of bondmen,—which when he is confident smites him,—and when he rejoices buffets him.
11. Whatsoever ornament is compulsion,—is not true but is borrowed.—This is a great thing in God’s eyes,—that a man should be adorned by himself:—therefore took He away compulsion.
12. For even as of His prudence—in its own time He employed compulsion,—so likewise of His prudence,—He took it away at a time—when gentleness was desired in its stead.
13. For as it is befitting to Youth,—that it should be made to haste under the rod;—so is it very hateful that under the rod—Wisdom should be brought to serve,—that compulsion should be lord over her.
14. Behold therefore how likewise—God has ordered my successions—in the pastors I have had,—and in the teachers He has given me,—and in the fathers He has reckoned unto me!
15. For weighed out according to their times—were the helps of their qualities;—namely in him in whom it was needful, fear; and in whom it was profitable, heartening; and in whom it was becoming, meekness).
16. By measure He made my steps advance:—to my childhood He assigned terror; likewise to my youth, fear;—to my age of wisdom and prudence,—He assigned and gave meekness.
17. In the frowardness of the degree of childhood,—my instructor was a fear to me:—his rod restrained me from wantonness,—and from mischief the terror of him,—and from indulgence the fear of him.
18. Another father He gave to my youth:—what there was in me of childishness,—that was there in him of hardness; what there was in me of maturity,—that was in him as meekness.
19. When I rose from the degrees—of childhood and of youth,—there passed away the terror that was first,—there passed away the fear that was second;—He gave me a kind pastor.
20. Lo! for my full age his food;—and for my wisdom his interpretations;—and for my peace his meekness;—and for my repose his kindness;—and for my chastity his gravity!
21. Blessed is He who as in a balance—weighed out and gave me fathers:—for according to my times were my helps;—and according to my sicknesses my medicines;—and according to my comelinesses my adornments!
22. We then are they that have disturbed—the succession and fair order;—for in a time of mildness—lo! we crave for hardness,—that Thou should rebuke us as though we were children!
I. Suffer, O Lord, that even my lowliness, should cast into Thy treasury its farthing, even as the merchant of our flock, who made increase of his talent of Thy doctrine, and has departed and entered Thy haven. I will speak of the shepherd, under him who has become head of the flock; who was disciple of the Three, and has become our fourth master.
R., Blessed be He Who has made him our comfort!
2. In one love will I cause them to shine, and as a crown will I weave them, the splendid blossoms, and the fragrant flowers of the teacher and of his disciple, who remained after him as Elisha; for the horn of his election and he was consecrated and became head, and he was exalted and became master.
R., Blessed be He Who made him chief!
3. And they in heaven rejoiced for the flock, that by the pastor whom they fed, they feed it; the abode of the shepherds under him rejoiced, because they saw the succession of their degrees. He took and set him as a mind in the midst of the great body of the church, and his members came round him to buy of him life, doctrine, new bread.
R., Blessed be He Who made him their treasury!
4. He chose him from the multitude of shepherds, because he had given trial of his stedfastness; the time tested him in the midst of the flock, and length of days proved him as a crucible; for that he gave proof in his person, He made him a wall for many. Let thy fasting be armour to our country, thy prayer a shield to our city, let thy censer purchase reconcilement.
R., Blessed be He Who has hallowed thy sacrifices!
5. The Pastor who has been parted from his flock, fed them on spiritual pastures, and by his exalted staff, he defended them from secret wolves. Fill thou up the room of thy master, which thirsts for the sound of his melody; set up thyself as a pillar, in the city of the trembling people; support her with thy prayers.
R., Blessed be He Who has made thee our pillar!
6. He has committed the Hand to his disciple, the Throne to one that is worthy of it, the Key to one that is proved faithful, the Flock to one that has excelled. To thy hand belongs the laying-on, to thy offering propitiation, and to thy tongue consolation. May peace adorn thy Dominion; be the watchmen within and the congregations without.
R., Blessed be He Who has chosen thee for rejoicings!
7. May thy doctrine abound, in deeds more than words! In saying few words, till Thou our land with labour, that by much tillage the scanty seed may become rich, the increase of the old seed, may come among us thirtyfold, and thy new seed sixtyfold.
R., Blessed be He Who multiplies an hundredfold!
8. The wrath that was against thee ceases, because peace flows over thee altogether; the jealousy against thee is quenched, for thy love hourly flames forth: thou hast broken the string of envy, that it should smite none in secret; slander that confounds, to it thy ear turns not, for open truth is pleasing to thee.
R., Blessed be He Who adorned thy members!
9. Thou shalt give counsel in the midst of thy people, like Jethro among the Hebrews; thou shalt altogether go with him, who for thy profit counsels thee, thou shalt altogether flee from him, who otherwise counsels thee: Rehoboam shall be a sign to thee; thou shalt choose counsels of profit, thou shalt refuse counsels of envy.
R., Blessed be He Who has counselled comfort!
10. The gift that has been given thee, from on high it flew and came down: thou shall call it by a name of man, thou shall not bear it in another power, lest haply to its place there should come, Satan in his guile, supposing, that the sons of men have given it to thee, so that this freeborn gift should serve in bondage to man.
R., Blessed be He Who has handed down his gift!
11. Thy master is painted in thy person; lo! his likeness is on thee altogether; parted from us one with us is he. In thee we shall see those three, the excellent ones who are parted from us. Thou shall be unto us a wall as Jacob, and full of tenderness as Babu, and a treasury of speech as Valgesh.
R., Blessed be He Who in one has painted them!
12. I, too, the offscouring of the flock, have not withholden aught that was meet: I have painted the similitude of these two, in the colours of these two; that the sheep may see their adornment, and the flock their beauties. And I who have become a lamb endowed with speech, unto Thee, O God of Abraham, in the posture of Abram will give Thee praise.
R., Blessed be He Who has made me His harp!
Ephraim, Apapphrat 1107