“When I raise My hand to Heaven” (Dt.32:40)—
When the Blessed Holy One created the world,
He created it only with utterances,2
and He created it only with oaths—
[each utterance equivalent to an oath].
Now who caused Him to create with oaths?
Those of little trust caused Him to create with oaths,
as it is said:
“Then He raised His hand, swearing concerning them,
to abandon their corpses in the wasteland” (Ps.106:26).
“I raised My hand,
swearing concerning the nations surrounding you” (Ezek.36:7)
“And I will say: As I live for eternity!” (Dt.32:40)—
The nature of flesh and blood is so unlike
the nature of the Blessed Holy One!
As for the nature of flesh and blood:
A governor3 who begins to administer a province —
if he can retaliate against
his predecessor immediately,
[to establish his authority,]
But if he does not,
after a time, he can no longer retaliate.
Now, the One Who Spoke the World into Being
has no such limitation.
If He doesn’t exact [immediate] retribution
from the living, He exacts it [later] from the dead;
And if He doesn’t exact retribution [from the dead] in this eon,
He exacts it in the coming eon!