THE LETTER OF 1 CLEMENT
3 And being ﬁlled with his holy will, you used to stretch out your hands to the all-powerful God, zealous for the good, with pious conﬁdence, begging him to be gracious if you inadvertently committed any sin. 4 Day and night you struggled on be half of the entire brotherhood, that the total number of his chosen ones might be saved, with mortal fear and selfawareness.b 5 You were sincere and innocent and bore no grudges against one another. 6 Every faction and schism was loath some to you. You used to grieve over the unlawful acts of your neighbors and considered their shortcomings your own. 7 You had no regrets when doing good; you were prepared for every good deed.3 8 You were adorned with a highly vir tuous and honorable way of life, and you accomplished all things in reverential awe of him. The commandments and righteous demands of the Lord were in scribed upon the tablets of your heart.4
All glory and enlargement was given to you, and that which was written was fulﬁlled: “My loved one ate and drank and became large and grew fat and kicked out with his heels.”5 2 From this came jealousy and envy, strife and faction, persecution and disor derliness, war and captivity. 3 And so the dishonorable rose up against the honorable, the disreputable against the reputable, the senseless against the sensible, the young against the old.6, c 4 For this reason, righteousness and peace are far removed,7 since each has abandoned the reverential awe of God and become dim-sighted in faith, failing to proceed in the ordinances of his com mandments and not living according to what is appropriate in Christ. Instead,
each one walks according to the desires of his evil heart, which have aroused un righteous and impious jealousy— through which also death entered the world.8
For so it is written, “It came about that after some days, Cain brought an offering to God from the fruits of the earth; and for his part, Abel brought from the ﬁrst born of the sheep and their fat. 2 And God looked favorably upon Abel and his gifts but paid no regard to Cain and his offerings. 3 And Cain was extremely upset and became downcast. 4 And God said to Cain, ‘Why have you become so upset and downcast? If you brought the proper sacriﬁce but didnot exercise proper discernment, have you not sinned?d 5 Be calm. He will return to you and you will rule over him.’e 6 And Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go into the ﬁeld.’ And it came about that when they were in the ﬁeld, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and murdered him.”9 7 You see, brothers, jealousy and envy brought about the murder of a brother. 8 Because of jealousy our father Jacob ﬂed from the presence of Esau, his brother.10 9 Jealousy caused Joseph to be perse
b Or: conscientiously; meaning obscure cOr: the presbyters. dOr: If you brought the proper sacriﬁce but did not divide it up properly, have you not sinned? Or, If you have rightly brought an offering but have not brought the right portion, have you not sinned? Or If you have brought, as was right, an offering but have not correctly discerned which one to bring, have you not sinned? Meaning obscure, both in the Hebrew of Genesis and in this Greek translation. eOr: It will turn to you and you will rule over it; meaning obscure
Titus 3:1. 4Prov 7:3. 5Deut 32:15. 6Isa 3:5. 7Isa 59:14. 8Wis 2:24. 9Gen 4:3–8. 10Gen 27:41ff.