Translation:Mishnah/Seder Nezikin/Tractate Avot/Chapter 5
Ten miracles were performed for our ancestors in Egypt,
And ten [miracles were performed] at the [Reed] Sea.
(Ten plagues did the Holy One, blessed be He, bring upon the Egyptians in Egypt,
And ten [plagues did God bring] at the [Reed] Sea.)
[With] ten trials did our ancestors test the Holy One, Blessed be He, in the Wilderness,
As it is said (in Numbers 14:22):
“Yet have they tested Me these ten times,
And have not hearkened to My voice.”
Ten things were created on the eve of the [first] Sabbath at twilight,
And these are they:
 The mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach in Numbers 16:32 ],
 The mouth of the well [that accompanied the Israelites in the Wilderness in Numbers 21:17],
 The mouth of the donkey [that spoke to Balaam in Numbers 22:28–30 ],
 The rainbow [that served as a covenant after the Flood in Genesis 9:13 ],
 The manna [that God provided the Israelites in the Wilderness in Exodus 16:4–21 ],
 The rod [of Moses],
 The Shamir [worm that helped build the Temple without metal tools],
 The letters,
 The writing, and
 The tablets [of the Ten Commandments].
And some say:
Also the destructive spirits,
And the burial place of Moses, our teacher,
And the ram of Abraham, our father.
And some say:
Also the [first human-made] tongs, made with [Divine] tongs.
Seven kinds of punishment come to the world for seven categories of sin:
[When] some of [the people] give tithes, and others do not give tithes,
A famine from drought comes,
And some go hungry, and others have plenty.
[When] they all decide not to give tithes,
A famine from tumult and drought comes.
[And when they decide, in addition,] not to set apart the dough [offering],
A famine of annihilation comes.
Pestilence comes to the world
For [sins] the death penalties [for which are] set forth in the Torah
That are not in the hands of a [human] court [to carry out];
And for [violation of the laws governing] the produce of the Sabbatical year.
[The] sword comes to the world
For the delay of justice,
And for the perversion of justice,
And because of those who interpret the Torah counter to the accepted law.
There are four temperaments among men:
- Easy to provoke and easy to appease--his loss is canceled by his gain.
- Hard to provoke and hard to appease--his gain is canceled by his loss.
- Hard to provoke and easy to appease--he is pious.
- Easy to provoke and hard to appease--he is evil.
He [Yehudah ben Teima] used to say:
Five years [is the age] for [the study of] Scripture,
Ten [is the age] for [the study of] Mishnah,
Thirteen [is the age] for [observing] commandments,
Fifteen [is the age] for [the study of] Talmud,
Eighteen [is the age] for the [wedding] canopy,
Twenty [is the age] for pursuing [a livelihood],
Thirty [is the age] for [full] strength,
Forty [is the age] for understanding,
Fifty [is the age] for [giving] counsel,
Sixty [is the age] for mature age,
Seventy [is the age] for a hoary head,
Eighty [is a sign of superadded] strength,
Ninety [is the age] for [a] bending [stature],
A hundred, is [the age at which one is] as if dead, passed away, and ceased from the world.