NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS
for the things that can save us. We should ﬂee, entirely, all the works of lawless ness; otherwise, they may overwhelm us. And we should hate the error of the pres ent age, that we may be loved in the age to come. 2 We should not allow our souls to relax, thinking they can consort with sin ners and the wicked; otherwise we may become like them. 3 The ﬁnal stumbling block is at hand, about which it has been written, just as Enoch says, “For this reason the Master shortened the seasons and the days, that his beloved may hurry and arrive at his inheritance.” 4 For also the prophet says, “Ten king doms will rule the earth and a small king will rise up afterwards; he will humble three of the kings at one time.”8 5 So too Daniel speaks about the same thing: “I saw the fourth beast, wicked and strong, and worse than all the beasts of the sea, and I saw how ten horns rose up from him, and from them a small horn as an offshoot; and I saw how he humbled three of the great horns at one time.”9 6 And so you should understand. And yet again, I am asking you this as one who is from among you and who loves each and every one of you more than my own soul: watch yourselves now and do not become like some people by piling up your sins, saying that the covenant is both theirs and ours. 7 For it is ours. But they permanently lost it, in this way, when Moses had just received it. For the Scripture says, “Moses was on the mountain fasting for forty days and forty nights, and he re ceived the covenant from the Lord, stone tablets written with the ﬁnger of the Lord’s own hand.”10 8 But when they turned back to idols they lost it. For the Lord says this: “Moses, Moses, go down quickly, be
cause your people, whom you led from the land of Egypt, has broken the law.”11 Moses understood and cast the two tab lets from his hands. And their covenant was smashed—that the covenant of his beloved, Jesus, might be sealed in our hearts, in the hope brought by faith in him. 9 Since I want to write many things, not as a teacher, but as is ﬁtting for one who is eager to abandon none of the things we have, I hasten to write, as your lowly scapegoat.d Therefore, we should pay close attention here in the ﬁnal days. For the entire time of our faith will be of no use to us if we do not stand in resis tance, as is ﬁtting for the children of God, both against this present lawless age and against the stumbling blocks that are yet to come, 10 that the Black One not sneak in among us. We should ﬂee from all that is futile and completely hate the works of the evil path. Do not sink into yourselves and live alone, as if you were already made upright; instead, gathering together for the same purpose, seek out what is proﬁtable for the common good. 11 For the Scripture says, “Woe to those who have understanding in them selves and are knowledgeable before their own eyes.”12 We should be spiritual; we should be a perfect temple to God. As much as we can, we should concern ourselves with the reverential awe of God and struggle to guard his commandments, that we may be glad in his righteous acts.e 12 The Lord will judge the world, playing no favorites. Each will receive according to what he has done. If he is
Or: your humble servant; literally: offscouring righteous demands
Dan 7:24. 9Dan 7:7–8. Exod 32:7. 12Isa 5:21.
Exod 31:18; 34:28.