1And now, my brothers, I tell you that when the enemy had surrounded the city, the angels of the Most High were sent, and it was they who threw down the fortifications of the strong wall and destroyed the firm iron corners, which could not be dislodged. 2But they hid all the vessels 1 Text ‘But they hid the vessels of the vessels’. of the sanctuary, so that they should not be polluted by the enemy. 2 Charles emended ‘lest the enemy should get possession of them’. 3And when they had done this, they surrendered to the enemy the wall that had been thrown down, the plundered house, the burnt temple, and the people who were overcome because they had been surrendered, so that the enemy could not boast and say, By our prowess in battle have we been able to lay waste even the house of the Most High. 4Your brothers, too, were put in chains and taken away to Babylon and made to live there. 5But we have been left here; and there are very few of us. This is the wretched situation I am writing to you about. 6,7For I know full well what a consolation it was for you when Zion was inhabited: the knowledge that it prospered was a major consolation for the suffering you endured in being exiled from it.