1 Almighty Lord, God of Israel, a soul in anguish, a troubled heart now cries to you:
2 Listen and have pity, Lord, for we have sinned before you.
3 You sit enthroned for ever, while we are perishing for ever.
4 Almighty Lord, God of Israel, hear the prayer of the dead of Israel, of the children of those who have sinned against you and have not listened to the voice of the Lord their God; hence the disasters which dog us.
5 Do not call to mind the misdeeds of our ancestors, but remember instead your power and your name.
6 You are indeed the Lord our God and we will praise you, Lord,
7 since you have put respect for you in our hearts to encourage us to call on your name. We long to praise you in our exile, for we have rid our hearts of the wickedness of our ancestors who sinned against you.
8 Look, today we are still in exile where you have scattered us as something contemptible, accursed, condemned, for all the misdeeds of our ancestors who had abandoned the Lord our God.
9 Listen, Israel, to commands that bring life; hear, and learn what knowledge means.
10 Why, Israel, why are you in the country of your enemies, growing older and older in an alien land,
11 defiling yourselves with the dead, reckoned with those who go to Sheol?
12 It is because you have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
13 Had you walked in the way of God, you would be living in peace for ever.
14 Learn where knowledge is, where strength, where understanding, and so learn where length of days is, where life, where the light of the eyes and where peace.
15 But who has found out where she lives, who has entered her treasure house?
16 Where now are the leaders of the nations and those who ruled even the beasts of earth,
17 those who sported with the birds of heaven, those who accumulated silver and gold on which all people rely, and whose possessions had no end,
18 those who worked so carefully in silver -but of whose works no trace is to be found?
19 They have vanished, gone down to Sheol. Others have risen to their places,
20 more recent generations have seen the day and peopled the earth in their turn, but the way of knowledge they have not found;
21 they have not recognised the paths she treads. Nor have their children had any grasp of her, remaining far from her way.
22 Nothing has been heard of her in Canaan, nothing has been seen of her in Teman;
23 the children of Hagar in search of worldly wisdom, the merchants of Midian and Teman, the tale-spinners and the philosophers have none of them found the way to wisdom or remembered the paths she treads.
24 How great, Israel, is the house of God, how wide his domain,
25 immeasurably wide, infinitely lofty!
26 In it were born the giants, famous from the beginning, immensely tall, expert in war;
27 God's choice did not fall on these, he did not show them the way of knowledge;
28 they perished for lack of wisdom, perished by their own folly.
29 Who has ever climbed the sky and seized her to bring her down from the clouds?
30 Who has ever crossed the ocean and found her to bring her back in exchange for the finest gold?
31 No one can learn the way to her, no one can understand the path she treads.
32 But the One who knows all discovers her, he has grasped her with his own intellect, he has set the earth firm for evermore and filled it with four-footed beasts,
33 he sends the light -- and it goes, he recalls it -- and trembling it obeys;
34 the stars shine joyfully at their posts;
35 when he calls them, they answer, 'Here we are'; they shine to delight their Creator.
36 It is he who is our God, no other can compare with him.
37 He has uncovered the whole way of knowledge and shown it to his servant Jacob, to Israel his well-beloved;
38 only then did she appear on earth and live among human beings.