1Sedrach said to him, Three years are a long time, my Lord: suppose death overtakes him before he has completed his three years of penitence. 2Have mercy, Lord, upon thine image, and have compassion, for three years are a long time. 3God said to him, If a man lives a hundred years and then remembers his death and makes his confession 1 Or ‘confesses me’ (cp. Matt. x. 32 ǁ Luke xii. 8 ). before men and I find him, after a time I will forgive all his sins. 4Sedrach said again, Lord, yet again I implore thy compassion 〈for〉 thy creature's sake. 5The time is long: suppose death overtakes him and snatches him away at once. 6The Saviour said to him, I will put one question to you, Sedrach, my beloved: then shall you put yours to me. 2 Something seems to be missing from the text here, since God asks no question, nor does Sedrach reply with another question or repeat his previous one. If the sinner repents for forty days, I will remember none of the sins that he committed.