Why do the nations tremble? And the people imagine a vain thing? They rage as they dance in the temples, and in fear beat themselves on the high roads. They slaughter the strangers among them, and their neighbors they accuse and burn.
My doings are none of your making, and my actions cannot be thwarted. When I raise up the seas in the morning, or cast the mount into fire, I act that I act and alone. You cannot know my reasons, you do not cause my fury, no pleas of yours can gainsay them, nor penitence retire them.
Shout not at the brilliantly-colored, nor hiss at the idolators. Their ways are not yours to condemn: mine is the judgement alone. Bring no man to the fire, and no child to the whet-sharpened knife: you seal thereby your own fate, which shall be yours alone. I do not punish the nations, nor do I sentence the peoples: on the head of the criminal lonestanding shall be his own reward.
When I cast down the mighty cities, when I throw down the mountains with fire, then shall you flee to safety, and mourn for your losses and dead. Pity yourselves and each other, care for each other with kindness, and comfort each other’s grieving. Pile not new hurts upon old hurts, and accept until knowledge is full.
When I hurl the storm and the thunderbolt, my thought is for the earth, and I act as I will for the ages. Do not brag that this is your doing, nor that I will cease at your pleading. Look about you with dry eyes: the land itself has been altered. The seasons have changed in their courses, and the ice on the mounts is receding.
Yours is to build a new city, to plan it with care and with cunning. Yours is to see to your crops, and to take your flocks to new meadows.