Bear with me in my foolishness,
That we may find what is my sin.
I am poor, so therefore live with my brother
According to the ordinance of Leviticus 25.
I have worked the hours of a day laborer
These past ten years, but have not been recompensed for my labor.
I cry out for my labors, yet the peoples say, “He is prophesying for gain!”
I prophesy because of the labors stolen from many of the poor of my people
Who go about their tasks, but become too meek to make meat
For none will take them into their homes.
In fact, even brothers, when they see the poor are struggling
Conspire together to cast him from his home
And band together to seek his life, and to throw his soul into prison.
Yet, the people say, “The prophet preaches for gain.”
If I do, then the gain is only for you;
Do I have need of riches in great abundance?
For I want the poor to be upheld on this earth
And to eat, and drink, and be satisfied with good.
The people say,
“The prophet preached his good works
“And has given a publishing of the free will offerings.”
Have I? I have compared myself to you. Yes.
Perhaps I am a hypocrite.
I lay this to bear, that perhaps I am,
Having suffered much for the Christ
And spoken with the Apostles
And also with the Prophets.
Have I suffered like Paul?
Was I scourged? Was I cast into prison?
No, but all I love have stopped their ears from listening to my mourning
And have plotted to throw my soul into prison.
I feared continually, every day, that I would be cast onto the street, to be a vagabond,
Where I will certainly perish and die, for I am meek.
I have none to uphold me, except men who have despised my soul.
This is not the suffering of Paul, it is correct.
Rather, those I have loved and trusted have despised me;
And what I would have to liberate me from this strife
Those who despise me more and more would not liberate my sustenance from the hand of thieves.
I have been under investigation for a word;
I have been spied on for a word
And every word has been taken into account
Even my secret prayers.
They come to pass, and I say, “Who, who has done this?
“Is it not the LORD?”
And I wonder at the deep revelation that this is.
Yet, my wages are not liberated.
And war will not liberate them.
Rather, who is it that will liberate my wages from those who have robbed me?
Have I taken a loan on usury? Is this why I am being robbed?
Is there any way in which I have committed a fraud?
No more than they do who call themselves “Prudent.”
I say this, “Where is my wage? Why am I still under my brother’s roof?
“I have worked my day labor. I have given myself to work and labor,
“But now I am too wearied, and all my clothings are rags
“And I cannot but sleep, for I have no task throughout the day.
“I cannot dig, but I can offer counsel and aid to the poor.
“Where is my wage? Where is my price?
“I will use it unjustly?—is this why they try to devour my sustenance?
“Must I be with those who have despised my soul?”
The LORD said unto me,
“Do not worry, for I shall bring you the sustenance you desire
“And you will not fear the Heathen who tormented you any longer.”
I say to myself, “It will not be. Will not my soul be among the jackals,
“And my heart among the thorns forever?”
The LORD says, “Oh ye of little faith, believe, and it will be established.
“For Your word is Mine, and I shall establish it in its time, will you not see it?”
I then say to the LORD, “Yes LORD, You will establish my work, but how long?”
The LORD says, “No longer will you be called despised, for the LORD has worked
“A work, and has validated your fears for the nations to tremble.
“For you have not prophesied in vain, but have established your word
“As a judgment against the nations; ask and it shall be granted.”
I would not be fearful, but would ask this,
“Let the maid give birth, and let the Assyrian be broken in this land.
“Let the thorns grow up, but Milk and Honey be eaten by your servants the Prophets
“And Apostles, those who were not hypocrites.
“Give them the desires of their heart, which is food and sustenance,
“And satisfaction with offspring, and let us feed on milk and honey
“For our lives,—and the safety our souls with good.”
The LORD says, “One more thing you must ask.”
“Then LORD, let me have the desires of my heart
“To establish Your Word throughout all generations,
“And do not cast my soul into eternal torments,
“But give me everlasting life in your Kingdom. Amen.”