2 Esdras [4th Ezra] Complete Read along Audiobook

2 Esdras [4th Ezra] Complete Read along Audiobook


This sacred ancient text of 2nd Esdras, is
part of the Septuagint or Greek Old Testament. It is categorized as Deuterocanonical, which
literally means “second” canon. Many times you will find this text listed as Apocryphal,
and on occasion it is even referred to as Pseudepigraphal.
My current western King James Bible does not contain it. Should you wish to read it for
yourself online…I will include a weblink in the “show more” section beneath this video.
And now for Chapter One 2 Esdras
4Ezra.1 [1] The second book of the prophet Ezra the
son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,
[2] son of Ahijah, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of
Meraioth, son of Arna, son of Uzzi, son of Borith, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son
of Eleazar, [3] son of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, who
was a captive in the country of the Medes in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians.
[4] The word of the Lord came to me, saying, [5] “Go and declare to my people their evil
deeds, and to their children the iniquities which they have committed against me, so that
they may tell their children’s children [6] that the sins of their parents have increased
in them, for they have forgotten me and have offered sacrifices to strange gods.
[7] Was it not I who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage?
But they have angered me and despised my counsels. [8] Pull out the hair of your head and hurl
all evils upon them, for they have not obeyed my law — they are a rebellious people.
[9] How long shall I endure them, on whom I have bestowed such great benefits?
[10] For their sake I have overthrown many kings: I struck down Pharaoh with his servants,
and all his army. [11] I have destroyed all nations before them,
and scattered in the east the people of two provinces, Tyre and Sidon; I have slain all
their enemies. [12] “But speak to them and say, Thus says
the Lord: [13] Surely it was I who brought you through
the sea, and made safe highways for you where there was no road; I gave you Moses as leader
and Aaron as priest; [14] I provided light for you from a pillar
of fire, and did great wonders among you. Yet you have forgotten me, says the Lord.
[15] “Thus says the Lord Almighty: The quails were a sign to you; I gave you camps for your
protection, and in them you complained. [16] You have not exulted in my name at the
destruction of your enemies, but to this day you still complain.
[17] Where are the benefits which I bestowed on you? When you were hungry and thirsty in
the wilderness, did you not cry out to me, [18] saying, `Why hast thou led us into this
wilderness to kill us? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than
to die in this wilderness.’ [19] I pitied your groanings and gave you
manna for food; you ate the bread of angels. [20] When you were thirsty, did I not cleave
the rock so that waters flowed in abundance? Because of the heat I covered you with the
leaves of trees. [21] I divided fertile lands among you; I
drove out the Canaanites, the Perizzites, and the Philistines before you. What more
can I do for you? says the Lord. [22] Thus says the Lord Almighty: When you
were in the wilderness, at the bitter stream, thirsty and blaspheming my name,
[23] I did not send fire upon you for your blasphemies, but threw a tree into the water
and made the stream sweet. [24] “What shall I do to you, O Jacob? You
would not obey me, O Judah. I will turn to other nations and will give them my name,
that they may keep my statutes. [25] Because you have forsaken me, I also
will forsake you. When you beg mercy of me, I will show you no mercy.
[26] When you call upon me, I will not listen to you; for you have defiled your hands with
blood, and your feet are swift to commit murder. [27] It is not as though you had forsaken
me; you have forsaken yourselves, says the Lord.
[28] “Thus says the Lord Almighty: Have I not entreated you as a father entreats his
sons or a mother her daughters or a nurse her children, [29] that you should be my people and I should
be your God, and that you should be my sons and I should be your father?
[30] I gathered you as a hen gathers her brood under her wings. But now, what shall I do
to you? I will cast you out from my presence. [31] When you offer oblations to me, I will
turn my face from you; for I have rejected your feast days, and new moons, and circumcisions
of the flesh. [32] I sent to you my servants the prophets,
but you have taken and slain them and torn their bodies in pieces; their blood I will
require of you, says the Lord. [33] “Thus says the Lord Almighty: Your house
is desolate; I will drive you out as the wind drives straw; [34] and your sons will have no children,
because with you they have neglected my commandment and have done what is evil in my sight.
[35] I will give your houses to a people that will come, who without having heard me will
believe. Those to whom I have shown no signs will do what I have commanded.
[36] They have seen no prophets, yet will recall their former state.
[37] I call to witness the gratitude of the people that is to come, whose children rejoice
with gladness; though they do not see me with bodily eyes, yet with the spirit they will
believe the things I have said. [38] “And now, father, look with pride and
see the people coming from the east; [39] to them I will give as leaders Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob and Hosea and Amos and Micah and Joel and Obadiah and Jonah
[40] and Nahum and Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, who is also called
the messenger of the Lord. 2
[1] “Thus says the Lord: I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them commandments
through my servants the prophets; but they would not listen to them, and made my counsels
void. [2] The mother who bore them says to them,
`Go, my children, because I am a widow and forsaken.
[3] I brought you up with gladness; but with mourning and sorrow I have lost you, because
you have sinned before the Lord God and have done what is evil in my sight.
[4] But now what can I do for you? For I am a widow and forsaken. Go, my children, and
ask for mercy from the Lord.’ [5] I call upon you, father, as a witness
in addition to the mother of the children, because they would not keep my covenant,
[6] that you may bring confusion upon them and bring their mother to ruin, so that they
may have no offspring. [7] Let them be scattered among the nations,
let their names be blotted out from the earth, because they have despised my covenant.
[8] “Woe to you, Assyria, who conceal the unrighteous in your midst! O wicked nation,
remember what I did to Sodom and Gomorrah, [9] whose land lies in lumps of pitch and
heaps of ashes. So will I do to those who have not listened to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
[10] Thus says the Lord to Ezra: “Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of
Jerusalem, which I was going to give to Israel. [11] Moreover, I will take back to myself
their glory, and will give to these others the everlasting habitations, which I had prepared
for Israel. [12] The tree of life shall give them fragrant
perfume, and they shall neither toil nor become weary.
[13] Ask and you will receive; pray that your days may be few, that they may be shortened.
The kingdom is already prepared for you; watch! [14] Call, O call heaven and earth to witness,
for I left out evil and created good, because I live, says the Lord.
[15] “Mother, embrace your sons; bring them up with gladness, as does the dove; establish
their feet, because I have chosen you, says the Lord. [16] And I will raise up the dead from their
places, and will bring them out from their tombs, because I recognize my name in them.
[17] Do not fear, mother of sons, for I have chosen you, says the Lord.
[18] I will send you help, my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to their counsel I
have consecrated and prepared for you twelve trees loaded with various fruits,
[19] and the same number of springs flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains
on which roses and lilies grow; by these I will fill your children with joy.
[20] Guard the rights of the widow, secure justice for the fatherless, give to the needy,
defend the orphan, clothe the naked, [21] care for the injured and the weak, do
not ridicule a lame man, protect the maimed, and let the blind man have a vision of my
splendor. [22] Protect the old and the young within
your walls; [23] When you find any who are dead, commit
them to the grave and mark it, and I will give you the first place in my resurrection.
[24] Pause and be quiet, my people, because your rest will come.
[25] Good nurse, nourish your sons, and strengthen their feet.
[26] Not one of the servants whom I have given you will perish, for I will require them from
among your number. [27] Do not be anxious, for when the day of
tribulation and anguish comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall rejoice
and have abundance. [28] The nations shall envy you but they shall
not be able to do anything against you, says the Lord.
[29] My hands will cover you, that your sons may not see Gehenna.
[30] Rejoice, O mother, with your sons, because I will deliver you, says the Lord.
[31] Remember your sons that sleep, because I will bring them out of the hiding places
of the earth, and will show mercy to them; for I am merciful, says the Lord Almighty.
[32] Embrace your children until I come, and proclaim mercy to them; because my springs
run over, and my grace will not fail.” [33] I, Ezra, received a command from the
Lord on Mount Horeb to go to Israel. When I came to them they rejected me and refused
the Lord’s commandment. [34] Therefore I say to you, O nations that
hear and understand, “Await your shepherd; he will give you everlasting rest, because
he who will come at the end of the age is close at hand.
[35] Be ready for the rewards of the kingdom, because the eternal light will shine upon
you for evermore. [36] Flee from the shadow of this age, receive
the joy of your glory; I publicly call on my Savior to witness.
[37] Receive what the Lord has entrusted to you and be joyful, giving thanks to him who
has called you to heavenly kingdoms. [38] Rise and stand, and see at the feast
of the Lord the number of those who have been sealed.
[39] Those who have departed from the shadow of this age have received glorious garments
from the Lord. [40] Take again your full number, O Zion,
and conclude the list of your people who are clothed in white, who have fulfilled the law
of the Lord. [41] The number of your children, whom you
desired, is full; beseech the Lord’s power that your people, who have been called from
the beginning, may be made holy.” [42] I, Ezra, saw on Mount Zion a great multitude,
which I could not number, and they all were praising the Lord with songs. [43] In their midst was a young man of great
stature, taller than any of the others, and on the head of each of them he placed a crown,
but he was more exalted than they. And I was held spellbound.
[44] Then I asked an angel, “Who are these, my lord?”
[45] He answered and said to me, “These are they who have put off mortal clothing and
have put on the immortal, and they have confessed the name of God; now they are being crowned,
and receive palms.” [46] Then I said to the angel, “Who is that
young man who places crowns on them and puts palms in their hands?”
[47] He answered and said to me, “He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world.”
So I began to praise those who had stood valiantly for the name of the Lord.
[48] Then the angel said to me, “Go, tell my people how great and many are the wonders
of the Lord God which you have seen.” 3
[1] In the thirtieth year after the destruction of our city, I Salathiel, who am also called
Ezra, was in Babylon. I was troubled as I lay on my bed, and my thoughts welled up in
my heart, [2] because I saw the desolation of Zion and
the wealth of those who lived in Babylon. [3] My spirit was greatly agitated, and I
began to speak anxious words to the Most High, and said,
[4] “O sovereign Lord, didst thou not speak at the beginning when thou didst form the
earth — and that without help — and didst command the dust
[5] and it gave thee Adam, a lifeless body? Yet he was the workmanship of thy hands, and
thou didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made alive in thy presence.
[6] And thou didst lead him into the garden which thy right hand had planted before the
earth appeared. [7] And thou didst lay upon him one commandment
of thine; but he transgressed it, and immediately thou didst appoint death for him and for his
descendants. From him there sprang nations and tribes, peoples and clans without number.
[8] And every nation walked after its own will and did ungodly things before thee and
scorned thee, and thou didst not hinder them. [9] But again, in its time thou didst bring
the flood upon the inhabitants of the world and destroy them.
[10] And the same fate befell them: as death came upon Adam, so the flood upon them.
[11] But thou didst leave one of them, Noah with his household, and all the righteous
who have descended from him. [12] “When those who dwelt on earth began
to multiply, they produced children and peoples and many nations, and again they began to
be more ungodly than were their ancestors. [13] And when they were committing iniquity
before thee, thou didst choose for thyself one of them, whose name was Abraham;
[14] and thou didst love him, and to him only didst thou reveal the end of the times, secretly
by night. [15] Thou didst make with him an everlasting
covenant, and promise him that thou wouldst never forsake his descendants; and thou gavest
to him Isaac, and to Isaac thou gavest Jacob and Esau.
[16] And thou didst set apart Jacob for thyself, but Esau thou didst reject; and Jacob became
a great multitude. [17] And when thou didst lead his descendants
out of Egypt, thou didst bring them to Mount Sinai.
[18] Thou didst bend down the heavens and shake the earth, and move the world, and make
the depths to tremble, and trouble the times. [19] And thy glory passed through the four
gates of fire and earthquake and wind and ice, to give the law to the descendants of
Jacob, and thy commandment to the posterity of Israel.
[20] “Yet thou didst not take away from them their evil heart, so that thy law might bring
forth fruit in them. [21] For the first Adam, burdened with an
evil heart, transgressed and was overcome, as were also all who were descended from him.
[22] Thus the disease became permanent; the law was in the people’s heart along with the
evil root, but what was good departed, and the evil remained.
[23] So the times passed and the years were completed, and thou didst raise up for thyself
a servant, named David. [24] And thou didst command him to build a
city for thy name, and in it to offer thee oblations from what is thine.
[25] This was done for many years; but the inhabitants of the city transgressed,
[26] in everything doing as Adam and all his descendants had done, for they also had the
evil heart. [27] So thou didst deliver the city into the
hands of thy enemies. [28] “Then I said in my heart, Are the deeds
of those who inhabit Babylon any better? Is that why she has gained dominion over Zion? [29] For when I came here I saw ungodly deeds
without number, and my soul has seen many sinners during these thirty years. And my
heart failed me, [30] for I have seen how thou dost endure
those who sin, and hast spared those who act wickedly, and hast destroyed thy people, and
hast preserved thy enemies, [31] and hast not shown to any one how thy
way may be comprehended. Are the deeds of Babylon better than those of Zion?
[32] Or has another nation known thee besides Israel? Or what tribes have so believed thy
covenants as these tribes of Jacob? [33] Yet their reward has not appeared and
their labor has borne no fruit. For I have traveled widely among the nations and have
seen that they abound in wealth, though they are unmindful of thy commandments.
[34] Now therefore weigh in a balance our iniquities and those of the inhabitants of
the world; and so it will be found which way the turn of the scale will incline.
[35] When have the inhabitants of the earth not sinned in thy sight? Or what nation has
kept thy commandments so well? [36] Thou mayest indeed find individual men
who have kept thy commandments, but nations thou wilt not find.” 4
[1] Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered
[2] and said to me, “Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do
you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?”
[3] Then I said, “Yes, my lord.” And he replied to me, “I have been sent to show you three
ways, and to put before you three problems. [4] If you can solve one of them for me, I
also will show you the way you desire to see, and will teach you why the heart is evil.”
[5] I said, “Speak on, my lord.” And he said to me, “Go, weigh for me the weight of fire,
or measure for me a measure of wind, or call back for me the day that is past.” [6] I answered and said, “Who of those that
have been born can do this, that you ask me concerning these things?” [7] And he said to me, “If I had asked you,
`How many dwellings are in the heart of the sea, or how many streams are at the source
of the deep, or how many streams are above the firmament, or which are the exits of hell,
or which are the entrances of paradise?’ [8] Perhaps you would have said to me, `I
never went down into the deep, nor as yet into hell, neither did I ever ascend into
heaven.’ [9] But now I have asked you only about fire
and wind and the day, things through which you have passed and without which you cannot
exist, and you have given me no answer about them!”
[10] And he said to me, “You cannot understand the things with which you have grown up;
[11] how then can your mind comprehend the way of the Most High? And how can one who
is already worn out by the corrupt world understand incorruption?” When I heard this, I fell on
my face [12] and said to him, “It would be better
for us not to be here than to come here and live in ungodliness, and to suffer and not
understand why.” [13] He answered me and said, “I went into
a forest of trees of the plain, and they made a plan [14] and said, `Come, let us go and make war
against the sea, that it may recede before us, and that we may make for ourselves more
forests.’ [15] And in like manner the waves of the sea
also made a plan and said, `Come, let us go up and subdue the forest of the plain so that
there also we may gain more territory for ourselves.’
[16] But the plan of the forest was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it;
[17] likewise also the plan of the waves of the sea, for the sand stood firm and stopped
them. [18] If now you were a judge between them,
which would you undertake to justify, and which to condemn?”
[19] I answered and said, “Each has made a foolish plan, for the land is assigned to
the forest, and to the sea is assigned a place to carry its waves.” [20] He answered me and said, “You have judged
rightly, but why have you not judged so in your own case? [21] For as the land is assigned to the forest
and the sea to its waves, so also those who dwell upon earth can understand only what
is on the earth, and he who is above the heavens can understand what is above the height of
the heavens.” [22] Then I answered and said, “I beseech
you, my lord, why have I been endowed with the power of understanding? [23] For I did not wish to inquire about the
ways above, but about those things which we daily experience: why Israel has been given
over to the Gentiles as a reproach; why the people whom you loved has been given over
to godless tribes, and the law of our fathers has been made of no effect and the written
covenants no longer exist; [24] and why we pass from the world like locusts,
and our life is like a mist, and we are not worthy to obtain mercy.
[25] But what will he do for his name, by which we are called? It is about these things
that I have asked.” [26] He answered me and said, “If you are
alive, you will see, and if you live long, you will often marvel, because the age is
hastening swiftly to its end. [27] For it will not be able to bring the
things that have been promised to the righteous in their appointed times, because this age
is full of sadness and infirmities. [28] For the evil about which you ask me has
been sown, but the harvest of it has not yet come.
[29] If therefore that which has been sown is not reaped, and if the place where the
evil has been sown does not pass away, the field where the good has been sown will not
come. [30] For a grain of evil seed was sown in
Adam’s heart from the beginning, and how much ungodliness it has produced until now, and
will produce until the time of threshing comes! [31] Consider now for yourself how much fruit
of ungodliness a grain of evil seed has produced. [32] When heads of grain without number are
sown, how great a threshing floor they will fill!”
[33] Then I answered and said, “How long and when will these things be? Why are our years
few and evil?” [34] He answered me and said, “You do not
hasten faster than the Most High, for your haste is for yourself, but the Highest hastens
on behalf of many. [35] Did not the souls of the righteous in
their chambers ask about these matters, saying, `How long are we to remain here? And when
will come the harvest of our reward? [36] And Jeremiel the archangel answered them
and said, `When the number of those like yourselves is completed; for he has weighed the age in
the balance, [37] and measured the times by measure, and
numbered the times by number; and he will not move or arouse them until that measure
is fulfilled.'” [38] Then I answered and said, “O sovereign
Lord, but all of us also are full of ungodliness. [39] And it is perhaps on account of us that
the time of threshing is delayed for the righteous — on account of the sins of those who dwell
on earth.” [40] He answered me and said, “Go and ask
a woman who is with child if, when her nine months have been completed, her womb can keep
the child within her any longer.” [41] And I said, “No, lord, it cannot.” And he said to me, “In Hades the chambers
of the souls are like the womb. [42] For just as a woman who is in travail
makes haste to escape the pangs of birth, so also do these places hasten to give back
those things that were committed to them from the beginning.
[43] Then the things that you desire to see will be disclosed to you.”
[44] I answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, and if it is possible,
and if I am worthy, [45] show me this also: whether more time
is to come than has passed, or whether for us the greater part has gone by.
[46] For I know what has gone by, but I do not know what is to come.”
[47] And he said to me, “Stand at my right side, and I will show you the interpretation
of a parable.” [48] So I stood and looked, and behold, a
flaming furnace passed by before me, and when the flame had gone by I looked, and behold,
the smoke remained. [49] And after this a cloud full of water
passed before me and poured down a heavy and violent rain, and when the rainstorm had passed,
drops remained in the cloud. [50] And he said to me, “Consider it for yourself;
for as the rain is more than the drops, and the fire is greater than the smoke, so the
quantity that passed was far greater; but drops and smoke remained.” [51] Then I prayed and said, “Do you think
that I shall live until those days? Or who will be alive in those days?” [52] He answered me and said, “Concerning
the signs about which you ask me, I can tell you in part; but I was not sent to tell you
concerning your life, for I do not know. 5
[1] “Now concerning the signs: behold, the days are coming when those who dwell on earth
shall be seized with great terror, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land
shall be barren of faith. [2] And unrighteousness shall be increased
beyond what you yourself see, and beyond what you heard of formerly.
[3] And the land which you now see ruling shall be waste and untrodden, and men shall
see it desolate. [4] But if the Most High grants that you live,
you shall see it thrown into confusion after the third period; and the sun shall suddenly
shine forth at night,and the moon during the day.
[5] Blood shall drip from wood,and the stone shall utter its voice;the peoples shall be
troubled, and the stars shall fall. [6] And one shall reign whom those who dwell
on earth do not expect, and the birds shall fly away together;
[7] and the sea of Sodom shall cast up fish; and one whom the many do not know shall make
his voice heard by night, and all shall hear his voice.
[8] There shall be chaos also in many places, and fire shall often break out, and the wild
beasts shall roam beyond their haunts, and menstruous women shall bring forth monsters.
[9] And salt waters shall be found in the sweet, and all friends shall conquer one another;
then shall reason hide itself, and wisdom shall withdraw into its chamber,
[10] and it shall be sought by many but shall not be found, and unrighteousness and unrestraint
shall increase on earth. [11] And one country shall ask its neighbor,
`Has righteousness, or any one who does right, passed through you?’ And it will answer, `No.’
[12] And at that time men shall hope but not obtain; they shall labor but their ways shall
not prosper. [13] These are the signs which I am permitted
to tell you, and if you pray again, and weep as you do now, and fast for seven days, you
shall hear yet greater things than these.” [14] Then I awoke, and my body shuddered violently,
and my soul was so troubled that it fainted. [15] But the angel who had come and talked
with me held me and strengthened me and set me on my feet.
[16] Now on the second night Phaltiel, a chief of the people, came to me and said, “Where
have you been? And why is your face sad? [17] Or do you not know that Israel has been
entrusted to you in the land of their exile? [18] Rise therefore and eat some bread, so
that you may not forsake us, like a shepherd who leaves his flock in the power of cruel
wolves.” [19] Then I said to him, “Depart from me and
do not come near me for seven days, and then you may come to me.” He heard what I said
and left me. [20] So I fasted seven days, mourning and
weeping, as Uriel the angel had commanded me.
[21] And after seven days the thoughts of my heart were very grievous to me again. [22] Then my soul recovered the spirit of
understanding, and I began once more to speak words in the presence of the Most High.
[23] And I said, “O sovereign Lord, from every forest of the earth and from all its trees
thou hast chosen one vine, [24] and from all the lands of the world thou
hast chosen for thyself one region, and from all the flowers of the world thou hast chosen
for thyself one lily, [25] and from all the depths of the sea thou
hast filled for thyself one river, and from all the cities that have been built thou hast
consecrated Zion for thyself, [26] and from all the birds that have been
created thou hast named for thyself one dove, and from all the flocks that have been made
thou hast provided for thyself one sheep, [27] and from all the multitude of peoples
thou hast gotten for thyself one people; and to this people, whom thou hast loved, thou
hast given the law which is approved by all. [28] And now, O Lord, why hast thou given
over the one to the many, and dishonored the one root beyond the others, and scattered
thine only one among the many? [29] And those who opposed thy promises have
trodden down those who believed thy covenants. [30] If thou dost really hate thy people,
they should be punished at thy own hands.” [31] When I had spoken these words, the angel
who had come to me on a previous night was sent to me, [32] and he said to me, “Listen to me, and
I will instruct you; pay attention to me, and I will tell you more.”
[33] And I said, “Speak, my lord.” And he said to me, “Are you greatly disturbed in
mind over Israel? Or do you love him more than his Maker does?” [34] And I said, “No, my lord, but because
of my grief I have spoken; for every hour I suffer agonies of heart, while I strive
to understand the way of the Most High and to search out part of his judgment.” [35] And he said to me, “You cannot.” And
I said, “Why not, my lord? Why then was I born? Or why did not my mother’s womb become
my grave, that I might not see the travail of Jacob and the exhaustion of the people
of Israel?” [36] He said to me, “Count up for me those
who have not yet come, and gather for me the scattered raindrops, and make the withered
flowers bloom again for me; [37] open for me the closed chambers, and
bring forth for me the winds shut up in them, or show me the picture of a voice; and then
I will explain to you the travail that you ask to understand.”
[38] And I said, “O sovereign Lord, who is able to know these things except he whose
dwelling is not with men? [39] As for me, I am without wisdom, and how
can I speak concerning the things which thou hast asked me?”
[40] He said to me, “Just as you cannot do one of the things that were mentioned, so
you cannot discover my judgment, or the goal of the love that I have promised my people.” [41] And I said, “Yet behold, O Lord, thou
dost have charge of those who are alive at the end, but what will those do who were before
us, or we, or those who come after us?” [42] He said to me, “I shall liken my judgment
to a circle; just as for those who are last there is no slowness, so for those who are
first there is no haste.” [43] Then I answered and said, “Couldst thou
not have created at one time those who have been and those who are and those who will
be, that thou mightest show thy judgment the sooner?” [44] He replied to me and said, “The creation
cannot make more haste than the Creator, neither can the world hold at one time those who have
been created in it.” [45] And I said, “How hast thou said to thy
servant that thou wilt certainly give life at one time to thy creation? If therefore
all creatures will live at one time and the creation will sustain them, it might even
now be able to support all of them present at one time.” [46] He said to me, “Ask a woman’s womb, and
say to it, `If you bear ten children, why one after another?’ Request it therefore to
produce ten at one time.” [47] I said, “Of course it cannot, but only
each in its own time.” [48] He said to me, “Even so have I given
the womb of the earth to those who from time to time are sown in it. [49] For as an infant does not bring forth,
and a woman who has become old does not bring forth any longer, so have I organized the
world which I created.” [50] Then I inquired and said, “Since thou
hast now given me the opportunity, let me speak before thee. Is our mother, of whom
thou hast told me, still young? Or is she now approaching old age?” [51] He replied to me, “Ask a woman who bears
children, and she will tell you. [52] Say to her, “Why are those whom you have
borne recently not like those whom you bore before, but smaller in stature?’
[53] And she herself will answer you, `Those born in the strength of youth are different
from those born during the time of old age, when the womb is failing.’
[54] Therefore you also should consider that you and your contemporaries are smaller in
stature than those who were before you, [55] and those who come after you will be
smaller than you, as born of a creation which already is aging and passing the strength
of youth.” [56] And I said, “O Lord, I beseech thee,
if I have found favor in thy sight, show thy servant through whom thou dost visit thy creation.” 6
[1] And he said to me, “At the beginning of the circle of the earth, before the portals
of the world were in place, and before the assembled winds blew,
[2] and before the rumblings of thunder sounded, and before the flashes of lightning shone,
and before the foundations of paradise were laid,
[3] and before the beautiful flowers were seen, and before the powers of movement were
established, and before the innumerable hosts of angels were gathered together,
[4] and before the heights of the air were lifted up, and before the measures of the
firmaments were named, and before the footstool of Zion was established,
[5] and before the present years were reckoned; and before the imaginations of those who now
sin were estranged, and before those who stored up treasures of faith were sealed —
[6] then I planned these things, and they were made through me and not through another,
just as the end shall come through me and not through another.”
[7] And I answered and said, “What will be the dividing of the times? Or when will be
the end of the first age and the beginning of the age that follows?” [8] He said to me, “From Abraham to Isaac,
because from him were born Jacob and Esau, for Jacob’s hand held Esau’s heel from the
beginning. [9] For Esau is the end of this age, and Jacob
is the beginning of the age that follows. [10] For the beginning of a man is his hand,
and the end of a man is his heel; between the heel and the hand seek for nothing else,
Ezra!” [11] I answered and said, “O sovereign Lord,
if I have found favor in thy sight, [12] show thy servant the end of thy signs
which thou didst show me in part on a previous night.”
[13] He answered and said to me, “Rise to your feet and you will hear a full, resounding
voice. [14] And if the place where you are standing
is greatly shaken [15] while the voice is speaking, do not be
terrified; because the word concerns the end, and the foundations of the earth will understand
[16] that the speech concerns them. They will tremble and be shaken, for they know that
their end must be changed.” [17] When I heard this, I rose to my feet
and listened, and behold, a voice was speaking, and its sound was like the sound of many waters. [18] And it said, “Behold, the days are coming,
and it shall be that when I draw near to visit the inhabitants of the earth,
[19] and when I require from the doers of iniquity the penalty of their iniquity, and
when the humiliation of Zion is complete, [20] and when the seal is placed upon the
age which is about to pass away, then I will show these signs: the books shall be opened
before the firmament, and all shall see it together.
[21] Infants a year old shall speak with their voices, and women with child shall give birth
to premature children at three and four months, and these shall live and dance.
[22] Sown places shall suddenly appear unsown, and full storehouses shall suddenly be found
to be empty; [23] and the trumpet shall sound aloud, and
when all hear it, they shall suddenly be terrified. [24] At that time friends shall make war on
friends like enemies, and the earth and those who inhabit it shall be terrified, and the
springs of the fountains shall stand still, so that for three hours they shall not flow.
[25] “And it shall be that whoever remains after all that I have foretold to you shall
himself be saved and shall see my salvation and the end of my world. [26] And they shall see the men who were taken
up, who from their birth have not tasted death; and the heart of the earth’s inhabitants shall
be changed and converted to a different spirit. [27] For evil shall be blotted out, and deceit
shall be quenched; [28] faithfulness shall flourish, and corruption
shall be overcome, and the truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be revealed.”
[29] While he spoke to me, behold, little by little the place where I was standing began
to rock to and fro. [30] And he said to me, “I have come to show
you these things this night. [31] If therefore you will pray again and
fast again for seven days, I will again declare to you greater things than these,
[32] because your voice has surely been heard before the Most High; for the Mighty One has
seen your uprightness and has also observed the purity which you have maintained from
your youth. [33] Therefore he sent me to show you all
these things, and to say to you: `Believe and do not be afraid!
[34] Do not be quick to think vain thoughts concerning the former times, lest you be hasty
concerning the last times.'” [35] Now after this I wept again and fasted
seven days as before, in order to complete the three weeks as I had been told. [36] And on the eighth night my heart was
troubled within me again, and I began to speak in the presence of the Most High.
[37] For my spirit was greatly aroused, and my soul was in distress.
[38] I said, “O Lord, thou didst speak at the beginning of creation, and didst say on
the first day, `Let heaven and earth be made,’ and thy word accomplished the work. [39] And then the Spirit was hovering, and
darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of man’s voice was not yet there.
[40] Then thou didst command that a ray of light be brought forth from thy treasuries,
so that thy works might then appear. [41] “Again, on the second day, thou didst
create the spirit of the firmament, and didst command him to divide and separate the waters,
that one part might move upward and the other part remain beneath. [42] “On the third day thou didst command
the waters to be gathered together in the seventh part of the earth; six parts thou
didst dry up and keep so that some of them might be planted and cultivated and be of
service before thee. [43] For thy word went forth, and at once
the work was done. [44] For immediately fruit came forth in endless
abundance and of varied appeal to the taste; and flowers of inimitable color; and odors
of inexpressible fragrance. These were made on the third day.
[45] “On the fourth day thou didst command the brightness of the sun, the light of the
moon, and the arrangement of the stars to come into being; [46] and thou didst command them to serve
man, who was about to be formed. [47] “On the fifth day thou didst command
the seventh part, where the water had been gathered together, to bring forth living creatures,
birds, and fishes; and so it was done. [48] The dumb and lifeless water produced
living creatures, as it was commanded, that therefore the nations might declare thy wondrous
works. [49] “Then thou didst keep in existence two
living creatures; the name of one thou didst call Behemoth and the name of the other Leviathan. [50] And thou didst separate one from the
other, for the seventh part where the water had been gathered together could not hold
them both. [51] And thou didst give Behemoth one of the
parts which had been dried up on the third day, to live in it, where there are a thousand
mountains; [52] but to Leviathan thou didst give the
seventh part, the watery part; and thou hast kept them to be eaten by whom thou wilt, and
when thou wilt. [53] “On the sixth day thou didst command
the earth to bring forth before thee cattle, beasts, and creeping things; [54] and over these thou didst place Adam,
as ruler over all the works which thou hadst made; and from him we have all come, the people
whom thou hast chosen. [55] “All this I have spoken before thee,
O Lord, because thou hast said that it was for us that thou didst create this world. [56] As for the other nations which have descended
from Adam, thou hast said that they are nothing, and that they are like spittle, and thou hast
compared their abundance to a drop from a bucket.
[57] And now, O Lord, behold, these nations, which are reputed as nothing, domineer over
us and devour us. [58] But we thy people, whom thou hast called
thy first-born, only begotten, zealous for thee, and most dear, have been given into
their hands. [59] If the world has indeed been created
for us, why do we not possess our world as an inheritance? How long will this be so?” 7
[1] When I had finished speaking these words, the angel who had been sent to me on the former
nights was sent to me again, [2] and he said to me, “Rise, Ezra, and listen
to the words that I have come to speak to you.”
[3] I said, “Speak, my lord.” And he said to me, “There is a sea set in a wide expanse
so that it is broad and vast, [4] but it has an entrance set in a narrow
place, so that it is like a river. [5] If any one, then, wishes to reach the
sea, to look at it or to navigate it, how can he come to the broad part unless he passes
through the narrow part? [6] Another example: There is a city built
and set on a plain, and it is full of all good things;
[7] but the entrance to it is narrow and set in a precipitous place, so that there is fire
on the right hand and deep water on the left; [8] and there is only one path lying between
them, that is, between the fire and the water, so that only one man can walk upon that path.
[9] If now that city is given to a man for an inheritance, how will the heir receive
his inheritance unless he passes through the danger set before him?”
[10] I said, “He cannot, lord.” And he said to me, “So also is Israel’s portion. [11] For I made the world for their sake,
and when Adam transgressed my statutes, what had been made was judged.
[12] And so the entrances of this world were made narrow and sorrowful and toilsome; they
are few and evil, full of dangers and involved in great hardships.
[13] But the entrances of the greater world are broad and safe, and really yield the fruit
of immortality. [14] Therefore unless the living pass through
the difficult and vain experiences, they can never receive those things that have been
reserved for them. [15] But now why are you disturbed, seeing
that you are to perish? And why are you moved, seeing that you are mortal?
[16] And why have you not considered in your mind what is to come, rather than what is
now present?” [17] Then I answered and said, “O sovereign
Lord, behold, thou hast ordained in thy law that the righteous shall inherit these things,
but that the ungodly shall perish. [18] The righteous therefore can endure difficult
circumstances while hoping for easier ones; but those who have done wickedly have suffered
the difficult circumstances and will not see the easier ones.”
[19] And he said to me, “You are not a better judge than God, or wiser than the Most High! [20] Let many perish who are now living, rather
than that the law of God which is set before them be disregarded!
[21] For God strictly commanded those who came into the world, when they came, what
they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment.
[22] Nevertheless they were not obedient, and spoke against him; they devised for themselves
vain thoughts, [23] and proposed to themselves wicked frauds;
they even declared that the Most High does not exist, and they ignored his ways!
[24] They scorned his law, and denied his covenants; they have been unfaithful to his
statutes, and have not performed his works. [25] “Therefore, Ezra, empty things are for
the empty, and full things are for the full. [26] For behold, the time will come, when
the signs which I have foretold to you will come to pass, that the city which now is not
seen shall appear, and the land which now is hidden shall be disclosed.
[27] And every one who has been delivered from the evils that I have foretold shall
see my wonders. [28] For my son the Messiah shall be revealed
with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years.
[29] And after these years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath.
[30] And the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as it was
at the first beginnings; so that no one shall be left.
[31] And after seven days the world, which is not yet awake, shall be roused, and that
which is corruptible shall perish. [32] And the earth shall give up those who
are asleep in it, and the dust those who dwell silently in it; and the chambers shall give
up the souls which have been committed to them.
[33] And the Most High shall be revealed upon the seat of judgment, and compassion shall
pass away, and patience shall be withdrawn; [34] but only judgment shall remain, truth
shall stand, and faithfulness shall grow strong. [35] And recompense shall follow, and the
reward shall be manifested; righteous deeds shall awake, and unrighteous deeds shall not
sleep. [36] Then the pit of torment shall appear,
and opposite it shall be the place of rest; and the furnace of hell shall be disclosed,
and opposite it the paradise of delight. [37] Then the Most High will say to the nations
that have been raised from the dead, `Look now, and understand whom you have denied,
whom you have not served, whose commandments you have despised!
[38] Look on this side and on that; here are delight and rest, and there are fire and torments!’
Thus he will speak to them on the day of judgment —
[39] a day that has no sun or moon or stars, [40] or cloud or thunder or lightning or wind
or water or air, or darkness or evening or morning,
[41] or summer or spring or heat or winter or frost or cold or hail or rain or dew,
[42] or noon or night, or dawn or shining or brightness or light, but only the splendor
of the glory of the Most High, by which all shall see what has been determined for them.
[43] For it will last for about a week of years.
[44] This is my judgment and its prescribed order; and to you alone have I shown these
things.” [45] I answered and said, “O sovereign Lord,
I said then and I say now: Blessed are those who are alive and keep thy commandments! [46] But what of those for whom I prayed?
For who among the living is there that has not sinned, or who among men that has not
transgressed thy covenant? [47] And now I see that the world to come
will bring delight to few, but torments to many.
[48] For an evil heart has grown up in us, which has alienated us from God, and has brought
us into corruption and the ways of death, and has shown us the paths of perdition and
removed us far from life — and that not just a few of us but almost all who have been created!”
[49] He answered me and said, “Listen to me, Ezra, and I will instruct you, and will admonish
you yet again. [50] For this reason the Most High has made
not one world but two. [51] For whereas you have said that the righteous
are not many but few, while the ungodly abound, hear the explanation for this.
[52] “If you have just a few precious stones, will you add to them lead and clay?” [53] I said, “Lord, how could that be?” [54] And he said to me, “Not only that, but
ask the earth and she will tell you; defer to her, and she will declare it to you. [55] Say to her, `You produce gold and silver
and brass, and also iron and lead and clay; [56] but silver is more abundant than gold,
and brass than silver, and iron than brass, and lead than iron, and clay than lead.’
[57] Judge therefore which things are precious and desirable, those that are abundant or
those that are rare?” [58] I said, “O sovereign Lord, what is plentiful
is of less worth, for what is more rare is more precious.” [59] He answered me and said, “Weigh within
yourself what you have thought, for he who has what is hard to get rejoices more than
he who has what is plentiful. [60] So also will be the judgment which I
have promised; for I will rejoice over the few who shall be saved, because it is they
who have made my glory to prevail now, and through them my name has now been honored.
[61] And I will not grieve over the multitude of those who perish; for it is they who are
now like a mist, and are similar to a flame and smoke — they are set on fire and burn
hotly, and are extinguished.” [62] I replied and said, “O earth, what have
you brought forth, if the mind is made out of the dust like the other created things! [63] For it would have been better if the
dust itself had not been born, so that the mind might not have been made from it.
[64] But now the mind grows with us, and therefore we are tormented, because we perish and know
it. [65] Let the human race lament, but let the
beasts of the field be glad; let all who have been born lament, but let the four-footed
beasts and the flocks rejoice! [66] For it is much better with them than
with us; for they do not look for a judgment, nor do they know of any torment or salvation
promised to them after death. [67] For what does it profit us that we shall
be preserved alive but cruelly tormented? [68] For all who have been born are involved
in iniquities, and are full of sins and burdened with transgressions.
[69] And if we were not to come into judgment after death, perhaps it would have been better
for us.” [70] He answered me and said, “When the Most
High made the world and Adam and all who have come from him, he first prepared the judgment
and the things that pertain to the judgment. [71] And now understand from your own words,
for you have said that the mind grows with us.
[72] For this reason, therefore, those who dwell on earth shall be tormented, because
though they had understanding they committed iniquity, and though they received the commandments
they did not keep them, and though they obtained the law they dealt unfaithfully with what
they received. [73] What, then, will they have to say in
the judgment, or how will they answer in the last times?
[74] For how long the time is that the Most High has been patient with those who inhabit
the world, and not for their sake, but because of the times which he has foreordained!”
[75] I answered and said, “If I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, show this also
to thy servant: whether after death, as soon as every one of us yields up his soul, we
shall be kept in rest until those times come when thou wilt renew the creation, or whether
we shall be tormented at once?” [76] He answered me and said, “I will show
you that also, but do not be associated with those who have shown scorn, nor number yourself
among those who are tormented. [77] For you have a treasure of works laid
up with the Most High; but it will not be shown to you until the last times.
[78] Now, concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone forth from
the Most High that a man shall die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to
him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of the Most High.
[79] And if it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept the way of the Most
High, and who have despised his law, and who have hated those who fear God —
[80] such spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately wander about in torments,
ever grieving and sad, in seven ways. [81] The first way, because they have scorned
the law of the Most High. [82] The second way, because they cannot now
make a good repentance that they may live. [83] The third way, they shall see the reward
laid up for those who have trusted the covenants of the Most High.
[84] The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last
days. [85] The fifth way, they shall see how the
habitations of the others are guarded by angels in profound quiet.
[86] The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will pass over into torments.
[87] The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, because
they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame, and shall wither
with fear at seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they sinned while they were
alive, and before whom they are to be judged in the last times.
[88] “Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most High, when they
shall be separated from their mortal body. [89] During the time that they lived in it,
they laboriously served the Most High, and withstood danger every hour, that they might
keep the law of the Lawgiver perfectly. [90] Therefore this is the teaching concerning
them: [91] First of all, they shall see with great
joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders.
[92] The first order, because they have striven with great effort to overcome the evil thought
which was formed with them, that it might not lead them astray from life into death.
[93] The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly
wander, and the punishment that awaits them. [94] The third order, they see the witness
which he who formed them bears concerning them, that while they were alive they kept
the law which was given them in trust. [95] The fourth order, they understand the
rest which they now enjoy, being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels
in profound quiet, and the glory which awaits them in the last days.
[96] The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible, and
shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the straits and toil from which they
have been delivered, and the spacious liberty which they are to receive and enjoy in immortality.
[97] The sixth order, when it is shown to them how their face is to shine like the sun,
and how they are to be made like the light of the stars, being incorruptible from then
on. [98] The seventh order, which is greater than
all that have been mentioned, because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be
confident without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold
the face of him whom they served in life and from whom they are to receive their reward
when glorified. [99] This is the order of the souls of the
righteous, as henceforth is announced; and the aforesaid are the ways of torment which
those who would not give heed shall suffer hereafter.”
[100] I answered and said, “Will time therefore be given to the souls, after they have been
separated from the bodies, to see what you have described to me?” [101] He said to me, “They shall have freedom
for seven days, so that during these seven days they may see the things of which you
have been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered in their habitations.” [102] I answered and said, “If I have found
favor in thy sight, show further to me, thy servant, whether on the day of judgment the
righteous will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them, [103] fathers for sons or sons for parents,
brothers for brothers, relatives for their kinsmen, or friends for those who are most
dear.” [104] He answered me and said, “Since you
have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive
and displays to all the seal of truth. Just as now a father does not send his son, or
a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend, to be ill
or sleep or eat or be healed in his stead, [105] so no one shall ever pray for another
on that day, neither shall any one lay a burden on another; for then every one shall bear
his own righteousness and unrighteousness.” [36(106)] I answered and said, “How then do
we find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for our fathers
who sinned in the desert, [37(107)] and Joshua after him for Israel
in the days of Achan, [38(108)] and Samuel in the days of Saul,
and David for the plague, and Solomon for those in the sanctuary,
[39(109)] and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for the one who was dead, that
he might live, [40(110)] and Hezekiah for the people in the
days of Sennacherib, and many others prayed for many?
[41(111)] If therefore the righteous have prayed for the ungodly now, when corruption
has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, why will it not be so then as well?”
[42(112)] He answered me and said, “This present world is not the end; the full glory does
not abide in it; therefore those who were strong prayed for the weak. [43(113)] But the day of judgment will be
the end of this age and the beginning of the immortal age to come, in which corruption
has passed away, [44(114)] sinful indulgence has come to an
end, unbelief has been cut off, and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared.
[45(115)] Therefore no one will then be able to have mercy on him who has been condemned
in the judgment, or to harm him who is victorious.” [46(116)] I answered and said, “This is my
first and last word, that it would have been better if the earth had not produced Adam,
or else, when it had produced him, had restrained him from sinning. [47(117)] For what good is it to all that
they live in sorrow now and expect punishment after death?
[48(118)] O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was
not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendants.
[49(119)] For what good is it to us, if an eternal age has been promised to us, but we
have done deeds that bring death? [50(120)] And what good is it that an everlasting
hope has been promised to us, but we have miserably failed?
[51(121)] Or that safe and healthful habitations have been reserved for us, but we have lived
wickedly? [52(122)] Or that the glory of the Most High
will defend those who have led a pure life, but we have walked in the most wicked ways?
[53(123)] Or that a paradise shall be revealed, whose fruit remains unspoiled and in which
are abundance and healing, but we shall not enter it,
[54(124)] because we have lived in unseemly places?
[55(125)] Or that the faces of those who practiced self-control shall shine more than the stars,
but our faces shall be blacker than darkness? [56(126)] For while we lived and committed
iniquity we did not consider what we should suffer after death.”
[57(127)] He answered and said, “This is the meaning of the contest which every man who
is born on earth shall wage, [58(128)] that if he is defeated he shall
suffer what you have said, but if he is victorious he shall receive what I have said.
[59(129)] For this is the way of which Moses, while he was alive, spoke to the people, saying,
`Choose for yourself life, that you may live!’ [60(130)] But they did not believe him, or
the prophets after him, or even myself who have spoken to them.
[61(131)] Therefore there shall not be grief at their destruction, so much as joy over
those to whom salvation is assured.” [62(132)] I answered and said, “I know, O
Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, because he has mercy on those who have not
yet come into the world; [63(133)] and gracious, because he is gracious
to those who turn in repentance to his law; [64(134)] and patient, because he shows patience
toward those who have sinned, since they are his own works;
[65(135)] and bountiful, because he would rather give than take away;
[66(136)] and abundant in compassion, because he makes his compassions abound more and more
to those now living and to those who are gone and to those yet to come,
[67(137)] for if he did not make them abound, the world with those who inhabit it would
not have life; [68(138)] and he is called giver, because
if he did not give out of his goodness so that those who have committed iniquities might
be relieved of them, not one ten-thousandth of mankind could have life;
[69(139)] and judge, because if he did not pardon those who were created by his word
and blot out the multitude of their sins, [70(140)] there would probably be left only
very few of the innumerable multitude.” 8
[1] He answered me and said, “The Most High made this world for the sake of many, but
the world to come for the sake of few. [2] But I tell you a parable, Ezra. Just as,
when you ask the earth, it will tell you that it provides very much clay from which earthenware
is made, but only a little dust from which gold comes; so is the course of the present
world. [3] Many have been created, but few shall
be saved.” [4] I answered and said, “Then drink your
fill of understanding, O my soul, and drink wisdom, O my heart!
[5] For not of your own will did you come into the world, and against your will you
depart, for you have been given only a short time to live.
[6] O Lord who are over us, grant to thy servant that we may pray before thee, and give us
seed for our heart and cultivation of our understanding so that fruit may be produced,
by which every mortal who bears the likeness of a human being may be able to live.
[7] For thou alone dost exist, and we are a work of thy hands, as thou hast declared.
[8] And because thou dost give life to the body which is now fashioned in the womb, and
dost furnish it with members, what thou hast created is preserved in fire and water, and
for nine months the womb which thou has formed endures thy creation which has been created
in it. [9] But that which keeps and that which is
kept shall both be kept by thy keeping. And when the womb gives up again what has been
created in it, [10] thou hast commanded that from the members
themselves (that is, from the breasts) milk should be supplied which is the fruit of the
breasts, [11] so that what has been fashioned may be
nourished for a time; and afterwards thou wilt guide him in thy mercy.
[12] Thou hast brought him up in thy righteousness, and instructed him in thy law, and reproved
him in thy wisdom. [13] Thou wilt take away his life, for he
is thy creation; and thou wilt make him live, for he is thy work.
[14] If then thou wilt suddenly and quickly destroy him who with so great labor was fashioned
by thy command, to what purpose was he made? [15] And now I will speak out: About all mankind
thou knowest best; but I will speak about thy people, for whom I am grieved,
[16] and about thy inheritance, for whom I lament, and about Israel, for whom I am sad,
and about the seed of Jacob, for whom I am troubled.
[17] Therefore I will pray before thee for myself and for them, for I see the failings
of us who dwell in the land, [18] and I have heard of the swiftness of
the judgment that is to come. [19] Therefore hear my voice, and understand
my words, and I will speak before thee.” The beginning of the words of Ezra’s prayer, before
he was taken up. He said: [20] “O Lord who inhabitest eternity, whose
eyes are exalted and whose upper chambers are in the air,
[21] whose throne is beyond measure and whose glory is beyond comprehension, before whom
the hosts of angels stand trembling [22] and at whose command they are changed
to wind and fire, whose word is sure and whose utterances are certain, whose ordinance is
strong and whose command is terrible, [23] whose look dries up the depths and whose
indignation makes the mountains melt away, and whose truth is established for ever —
[24] hear, O Lord, the prayer of thy servant, and give ear to the petition of thy creature;
attend to my words. [25] For as long as I live I will speak, and
as long as I have understanding I will answer. [26] O look not upon the sins of thy people,
but at those who have served thee in truth. [27] Regard not the endeavors of those who
act wickedly, but the endeavors of those who have kept thy covenants amid afflictions.
[28] Think not on those who have lived wickedly in thy sight; but remember those who have
willingly acknowledged that thou art to be feared.
[29] Let it not be thy will to destroy those who have had the ways of cattle; but regard
those who have gloriously taught thy law. [30] Be not angry with those who are deemed
worse than beasts; but love those who have always put their trust in thy glory.
[31] For we and our fathers have passed our lives in ways that bring death, but thou,
because of us sinners, are called merciful. [32] For if thou hast desired to have pity
on us, who have no works of righteousness, then thou wilt be called merciful.
[33] For the righteous, who have many works laid up with thee, shall receive their reward
in consequence of their own deeds. [34] But what is man, that thou art angry
with him; or what is a corruptible race, that thou art so bitter against it?
[35] For in truth there is no one among those who have been born who has not acted wickedly,
and among those who have existed there is no one who has not transgressed.
[36] For in this, O Lord, thy righteousness and goodness will be declared, when thou art
merciful to those who have no store of good works.”
[37] He answered me and said, “Some things you have spoken rightly, and it will come
to pass according to your words. [38] For indeed I will not concern myself
about the fashioning of those who have sinned, or about their death, their judgment, or their
destruction; [39] but I will rejoice over the creation
of the righteous, over their pilgrimage also, and their salvation, and their receiving their
reward. [40] As I have spoken, therefore, so it shall
be. [41] “For just as the farmer sows many seeds
upon the ground and plants a multitude of seedlings, and yet not all that have been
sown will come up in due season, and not all that were planted will take root; so also
those who have been sown in the world will not all be saved.”
[42] I answered and said, “If I have found favor before thee, let me speak.
[43] For if the farmer’s seed does not come up, because it has not received thy rain in
due season, or if it has been ruined by too much rain, it perishes.
[44] But man, who has been formed by thy hands and is called thy own image because he is
made like thee, and for whose sake thou hast formed all things — hast thou also made him
like the farmer’s seed? [45] No, O Lord who art over us! But spare
thy people and have mercy on thy inheritance, for thou hast mercy on thy own creation.”
[46] He answered me and said, “Things that are present are for those who live now, and
things that are future are for those who will live hereafter.
[47] For you come far short of being able to love my creation more than I love it. But
you have often compared yourself to the unrighteous. Never do so!
[48] But even in this respect you will be praiseworthy before the Most High,
[49] because you have humbled yourself, as is becoming for you, and have not deemed yourself
to be among the righteous in order to receive the greatest glory.
[50] For many miseries will affect those who inhabit the world in the last times, because
they have walked in great pride. [51] But think of your own case, and inquire
concerning the glory of those who are like yourself,
[52] because it is for you that paradise is opened, the tree of life is planted, the age
to come is prepared, plenty is provided, a city is built, rest is appointed, goodness
is established and wisdom perfected beforehand. [53] The root of evil is sealed up from you,
illness is banished from you, and death is hidden; hell has fled and corruption has been
forgotten; [54] sorrows have passed away, and in the
end the treasure of immortality is made manifest. [55] Therefore do not ask any more questions
about the multitude of those who perish. [56] For they also received freedom , but
they despised the Most High, and were contemptuous of his law, and forsook his ways.
[57] Moreover they have even trampled upon his righteous ones,
[58] and said in their hearts that there is not God — though knowing full well that they
must die. [59] For just as the things which I have predicted
await you, so the thirst and torment which are prepared await them. For the Most High
did not intend that men should be destroyed; [60] but they themselves who were created
have defiled the name of him who made them, and have been ungrateful to him who prepared
life for them. [61] Therefore my judgment is now drawing
near; [62] I have not shown this to all men, but
only to you and a few like you.” Then I answered and said,
[63] “Behold, O Lord, thou hast now shown me a multitude of the signs which thou wilt
do in the last times, but thou hast not shown me when thou wilt do them.”
9 [1] He answered me and said, “Measure carefully
in your mind, and when you see that a certain part of the predicted signs are past,
[2] then you will know that it is the very time when the Most High is about to visit
the world which he has made. [3] So when there shall appear in the world
earthquakes, tumult of peoples, intrigues of nations, wavering of leaders, confusion
of princes, [4] then you will know that it was of these
that the Most High spoke from the days that were of old, from the beginning.
[5] For just as with everything that has occurred in the world, the beginning is evident, and
the end manifest; [6] so also are the times of the Most High:
the beginnings are manifest in wonders and mighty works, and the end in requital and
in signs. [7] And it shall be that every one who will
be saved and will be able to escape on account of his works, or on account of the faith by
which he has believed, [8] will survive the dangers that have been
predicted, and will see my salvation in my land and within my borders, which I have sanctified
for myself from the beginning. [9] Then those who have now abused my ways
shall be amazed, and those who have rejected them with contempt shall dwell in torments.
[10] For as many as did not acknowledge me in their lifetime, although they received
my benefits, [11] and as many as scorned my law while they
still had freedom, and did not understand but despised it while an opportunity of repentance
was still open to them, [12] these must in torment acknowledge it
after death. [13] Therefore, do not continue to be curious
as to how the ungodly will be punished; but inquire how the righteous will be saved, those
to whom the age belongs and for whose sake the age was made.”
[14] I answered and said, [15] “I said before, and I say now, and will
say it again: there are more who perish than those who will be saved,
[16] as a wave is greater than a drop of water.” [17] He answered me and said, “As is the field,
so is the seed; and as are the flowers, so are the colors; and as is the work, so is
the product; and as is the farmer, so is the threshing floor.
[18] For there was a time in this age when I was preparing for those who now exist, before
the world was made for them to dwell in, and no one opposed me then, for no one existed;
[19] but now those who have been created in this world which is supplied both with an
unfailing table and an inexhaustible pasture, have become corrupt in their ways.
[20] So I considered my world, and behold, it was lost, and my earth, and behold, it
was in peril because of the devices of those who had come into it.
[21] And I saw and spared some with great difficulty, and saved for myself one grape
out of a cluster, and one plant out of a great forest.
[22] So let the multitude perish which has been born in vain, but let my grape and my
plant be saved, because with much labor I have perfected them.
[23] But if you will let seven days more pass — do not fast during them, however;
[24] but go into a field of flowers where no house has been built, and eat only of the
flowers of the field, and taste no meat and drink no wine, but eat only flowers,
[25] and pray to the Most High continually — then I will come and talk with you.”
[26] So I went, as he directed me, into the field which is called Ardat; and there I sat
among the flowers and ate of the plants of the field, and the nourishment they afforded
satisfied me. [27] And after seven days, as I lay on the
grass, my heart was troubled again as it was before.
[28] And my mouth was opened, and I began to speak before the Most High, and said,
[29] “O Lord, thou didst show thyself among us, to our fathers in the wilderness when
they came out from Egypt and when they came into the untrodden and unfruitful wilderness;
[30] and thou didst say, `Hear me, O Israel, and give heed to my words, O descendants of
Jacob. [31] For behold, I sow my law in you, and
it shall bring forth fruit in you and you shall be glorified through it for ever.’
[32] But though our fathers received the law, they did not keep it, and did not observe
the statutes; yet the fruit of the law did not perish — for it could not, because it
was thine. [33] Yet those who received it perished, because
they did not keep what had been sown in them. [34] And behold, it is the rule that, when
the ground has received seed, or the sea a ship, or any dish food or drink, and when
it happens that what was sown or what was launched or what was put in is destroyed,
[35] they are destroyed, but the things that held them remain; yet with us it has not been
so. [36] For we who have received the law and
sinned will perish, as well as our heart which received it;
[37] the law, however, does not perish but remains in its glory.”
[38] When I said these things in my heart, I lifted up my eyes and saw a woman on my
right, and behold, she was mourning and weeping with a loud voice, and was deeply grieved
at heart, and her clothes were rent, and there were ashes on her head.
[39] Then I dismissed the thoughts with which I had been engaged, and turned to her
[40] and said to her, “Why are you weeping, and why are you grieved at heart?”
[41] And she said to me, “Let me alone, my lord, that I may weep for myself and continue
to mourn, for I am greatly embittered in spirit and deeply afflicted.”
[42] And I said to her, “What has happened to you? Tell me.”
[43] And she said to me, “Your servant was barren and had no child, though I lived with
my husband thirty years. [44] And every hour and every day during those
thirty years I besought the Most High, night and day.
[45] And after thirty years God heard your handmaid, and looked upon my low estate, and
considered my distress, and gave me a son. And I rejoiced greatly over him, I and my
husband and all my neighbors; and we gave great glory to the Mighty One.
[46] And I brought him up with much care. [47] So when he grew up and I came to take
a wife for him, I set a day for the marriage feast.
10 [1] “But it happened that when my son entered
his wedding chamber, he fell down and died. [2] Then we all put out the lamps, and all
my neighbors attempted to console me; and I remained quiet until evening of the second
day. [3] But when they all had stopped consoling
me, that I might be quiet, I got up in the night and fled, and came to this field, as
you see. [4] And now I intend not to return to the
city, but to stay here, and I will neither eat nor drink, but without ceasing mourn and
fast until I die.” [5] Then I broke off the reflections with
which I was still engaged, and answered her in anger and said,
[6] “You most foolish of women, do you not see our mourning, and what has happened to
us? [7] For Zion, the mother of us all, is in
deep grief and great affliction. [8] It is most appropriate to mourn now, because
we are all mourning, and to be sorrowful, because we are all sorrowing; you are sorrowing
for one son, but we, the whole world, for our mother.
[9] Now ask the earth, and she will tell you that it is she who ought to mourn over so
many who have come into being upon her. [10] And from the beginning all have been
born of her, and others will come; and behold, almost all go to perdition, and a multitude
of them are destined for destruction. [11] Who then ought to mourn the more, she
who lost so great a multitude, or you who are grieving for one?
[12] But if you say to me, `My lamentation is not like the earth’s, for I have lost the
fruit of my womb, which I brought forth in pain and bore in sorrow;
[13] but it is with the earth according to the way of the earth — the multitude that
is now in it goes as it came’; [14] then I say to you, `As you brought forth
in sorrow, so the earth also has from the beginning given her fruit, that is, man, to
him who made her.’ [15] Now, therefore, keep your sorrow to yourself,
and bear bravely the troubles that have come upon you.
[16] For if you acknowledge the decree of God to be just, you will receive your son
back in due time, and will be praised among women.
[17] Therefore go into the city to your husband.” [18] She said to me, “I will not do so; I
will not go into the city, but I will die here.”
[19] So I spoke again to her, and said, [20] “Do not say that, but let yourself be
persuaded because of the troubles of Zion, and be consoled because of the sorrow of Jerusalem.
[21] For you see that our sanctuary has been laid waste, our altar thrown down, our temple
destroyed; [22] our harp has been laid low, our song
has been silenced, and our rejoicing has been ended; the light of our lampstand has been
put out, the ark of our covenant has been plundered, our holy things have been polluted,
and the name by which we are called has been profaned; our free men have suffered abuse,
our priests have been burned to death, our Levites have gone into captivity, our virgins
have been defiled, and our wives have been ravished; our righteous men have been carried
off, our little ones have been cast out, our young men have been enslaved and our strong
men made powerless. [23] And, what is more than all, the seal
of Zion — for she has now lost the seal of her glory, and has been given over into the
hands of those that hate us. [24] Therefore shake off your great sadness
and lay aside your many sorrows, so that the Mighty One may be merciful to you again, and
the Most High may give you rest, a relief from your troubles.”
[25] While I was talking to her, behold, her face suddenly shone exceedingly, and her countenance
flashed like lightning, so that I was too frightened to approach her, and my heart was
terrified. While I was wondering what this meant,
[26] behold, she suddenly uttered a loud and fearful cry, so that the earth shook at the
sound. [27] And I looked, and behold, the woman was
no longer visible to me, but there was an established city, and a place of huge foundations
showed itself. Then I was afraid, and cried with a loud voice and said,
[28] “Where is the angel Uriel, who came to me at first? For it was he who brought me
into this overpowering bewilderment; my end has become corruption, and my prayer a reproach.”
[29] As I was speaking these words, behold, the angel who had come to me at first came
to me, and he looked upon me; [30] and behold, I lay there like a corpse
and I was deprived of my understanding. Then he grasped my right hand and strengthened
me and set me on my feet, and said to me, [31] “What is the matter with you? And why
are you troubled? And why are your understanding and the thoughts of your mind troubled?”
[32] I said, “Because you have forsaken me! I did as you directed, and went out into the
field, and behold, I saw, and still see, what I am unable to explain.”
[33] He said to me, “Stand up like a man, and I will instruct you.”
[34] I said, “Speak, my lord; only do not forsake me, lest I die before my time.
[35] For I have seen what I did not know, and I have heard what I do not understand.
[36] Or is my mind deceived, and my soul dreaming? [37] Now therefore I entreat you to give your
servant an explanation of this bewildering vision.”
[38] He answered me and said, “Listen to me and I will inform you, and tell you about
the things which you fear, for the Most High has revealed many secrets to you.
[39] For he has seen your righteous conduct, that you have sorrowed continually for your
people, and mourned greatly over Zion. [40] This therefore is the meaning of the
vision. [41] The woman who appeared to you a little
while ago, whom you saw mourning and began to console —
[42] but you do not now see the form of a woman, but an established city has appeared
to you — [43] and as for her telling you about the
misfortune of her son, this is the interpretation: [44] This woman whom you saw, whom you now
behold as an established city, is Zion. [45] And as for her telling you that she was
barren for thirty years, it is because there were three thousand years in the world before
any offering was offered in it. [46] And after three thousand years Solomon
built the city, and offered offerings; then it was that the barren woman bore a son.
[47] And as for her telling you that she brought him up with much care, that was the period
of residence in Jerusalem. [48] And as for her saying to you , `When
my son entered his wedding chamber he died,’ and that misfortune had overtaken her, that
was the destruction which befell Jerusalem. [49] And behold, you saw her likeness, how
she mourned for her son, and you began to console her for what had happened.
[50] For now the Most High, seeing that you are sincerely grieved and profoundly distressed
for her, has shown you the brilliance of her glory, and the loveliness of her beauty.
[51] Therefore I told you to remain in the field where no house had been built,
[52] for I knew that the Most High would reveal these things to you.
[53] Therefore I told you to go into the field where there was no foundation of any building,
[54] for no work of man’s building could endure in a place where the city of the Most High
was to be revealed. [55] “Therefore do not be afraid, and do not
let your heart be terrified; but go in and see the splendor and vastness of the building,
as far as it is possible for your eyes to see it,
[56] and afterward you will hear as much as your ears can hear.
[57] For you are more blessed than many, and you have been called before the Most High,
as but few have been. [58] But tomorrow night you shall remain here,
[59] and the Most High will show you in those dream visions what the Most High will do to
those who dwell on earth in the last days.” So I slept that night and the following one,
as he had commanded me. 11
[1] On the second night I had a dream, and behold, there came up from the sea an eagle
that had twelve feathered wings and three heads.
[2] And I looked, and behold, he spread his wings over all the earth, and all the winds
of heaven blew upon him, and the clouds were gathered about him.
[3] And I looked, and out of his wings there grew opposing wings; but they became little,
puny wings. [4] But his heads were at rest; the middle
head was larger than the other heads, but it also was at rest with them.
[5] And I looked, and behold, the eagle flew with his wings, to reign over the earth and
over those who dwell in it. [6] And I saw how all things under heaven
were subjected to him, and no one spoke against him, not even one creature that was on the
earth. [7] And I looked, and behold, the eagle rose
upon his talons, and uttered a cry to his wings, saying,
[8] “Do not all watch at the same time; let each sleep in his own place, and watch in
his turn; [9] but let the heads be reserved for the
last.” [10] And I looked, and behold, the voice did
not come from his heads, but from the midst of his body.
[11] And I counted his opposing wings, and behold, there were eight of them.
[12] And I looked, and behold, on the right side one wing arose, and it reigned over all
the earth. [13] And while it was reigning it came to
its end and disappeared, so that its place was not seen. Then the next wing arose and
reigned, and it continued to reign a long time.
[14] And while it was reigning its end came also, so that it disappeared like the first.
[15] And behold, a voice sounded, saying to it.
[16] “Hear me, you who have ruled the earth all this time; I announce this to you before
you disappear. [17] After you no one shall rule as long as
you, or even half as long.” [18] Then the third wing raised itself up,
and held the rule like the former ones, and it also disappeared.
[19] And so it went with all the wings; they wielded power one after another and then were
never seen again. [20] And I looked, and behold, in due course
the wings that followed also rose up on the right side, in order to rule. There were some
of them that ruled, yet disappeared suddenly; [21] and others of them rose up, but did not
hold the rule. [22] And after this I looked, and behold,
the twelve wings and the two little wings disappeared;
[23] and nothing remained on the eagle’s body except the three heads that were at rest and
six little wings. [24] And I looked, and behold, two little
wings separated from the six and remained under the head that was on the right side;
but four remained in their place. [25] And I looked, and behold, these little
wings planned to set themselves up and hold the rule.
[26] And I looked, and behold, one was set up, but suddenly disappeared;
[27] a second also, and this disappeared more quickly than the first.
[28] And I looked, and behold, the two that remained were planning between themselves
to reign together; [29] and while they were planning, behold,
one of the heads that were at rest (the one which was in the middle) awoke; for it was
greater than the other two heads. [30] And I saw how it allied the two heads
with itself, [31] and behold, the head turned with those
that were with it, and it devoured the two little wings which were planning to reign.
[32] Moreover this head gained control of the whole earth, and with much oppression
dominated its inhabitants; and it had greater power over the world than all the wings that
had gone before. [33] And after this I looked, and behold,
the middle head also suddenly disappeared, just as the wings had done.
[34] But the two heads remained, which also ruled over the earth and its inhabitants.
[35] And I looked, and behold, the head on the right side devoured the one on the left.
[36] Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Look before you and consider what you see.”
[37] And I looked, and behold, a creature like a lion was aroused out of the forest,
roaring; and I heard how he uttered a man’s voice to the eagle, and spoke, saying,
[38] “Listen and I will speak to you. The Most High says to you,
[39] `Are you not the one that remains of the four beasts which I had made to reign
in my world, so that the end of my times might come through them?
[40] You, the fourth that has come, have conquered all the beasts that have gone before; and
you have held sway over the world with much terror, and over all the earth with grievous
oppression; and for so long you have dwelt on the earth with deceit.
[41] And you have judged the earth, but not with truth;
[42] for you have afflicted the meek and injured the peaceable; you have hated those who tell
the truth, and have loved liars; you have destroyed the dwellings of those who brought
forth fruit, and have laid low the walls of those who did you no harm.
[43] And so your insolence has come up before the Most High, and your pride to the Mighty
One. [44] And the Most High has looked upon his
times, and behold, they are ended, and his ages are completed!
[45] Therefore you will surely disappear, you eagle, and your terrifying wings, and
your most evil little wings, and your malicious heads, and your most evil talons, and your
whole worthless body, [46] so that the whole earth, freed from your
violence, may be refreshed and relieved, and may hope for the judgment and mercy of him
who made it.'” 12
[1] While the lion was saying these words to the eagle, I looked,
[2] and behold, the remaining head disappeared. And the two wings that had gone over to it
arose and set themselves up to reign, and their reign was brief and full of tumult.
[3] And I looked, and behold, they also disappeared, and the whole body of the eagle was burned,
and the earth was exceedingly terrified. Then I awoke in great perplexity of mind and great
fear, and I said to my spirit, [4] “Behold, you have brought this upon me,
because you search out the ways of the Most High.
[5] Behold, I am still weary in mind and very weak in my spirit, and not even a little strength
is left in me, because of the great fear with which I have been terrified this night.
[6] Therefore I will now beseech the Most High that he may strengthen me to the end.”
[7] And I said, “O sovereign Lord, if I have found favor in thy sight, and if I have been
accounted righteous before thee beyond many others, and if my prayer has indeed come up
before thy face, [8] strengthen me and show me, thy servant,
the interpretation and meaning of this terrifying vision, that thou mayest fully comfort my
soul. [9] For thou hast judged me worthy to be shown
the end of the times and the last events of the times.”
[10] He said to me, “This is the interpretation of this vision which you have seen:
[11] The eagle which you saw coming up from the sea is the fourth kingdom which appeared
in a vision to your brother Daniel. [12] But it was not explained to him as I
now explain or have explained it to you. [13] Behold, the days are coming when a kingdom
shall arise on earth, and it shall be more terrifying than all the kingdoms that have
been before it. [14] And twelve kings shall reign in it, one
after another. [15] But the second that is to reign shall
hold sway for a longer time than any other of the twelve.
[16] This is the interpretation of the twelve wings which you saw.
[17] As for your hearing a voice that spoke, coming not from the eagle’s heads but from
the midst of his body, this is the interpretation: [18] In the midst of the time of that kingdom
great struggles shall arise, and it shall be in danger of falling; nevertheless it shall
not fall then, but shall regain its former power.
[19] As for your seeing eight little wings clinging to his wings, this is the interpretation:
[20] Eight kings shall arise in it, whose times shall be short and their years swift;
[21] and two of them shall perish when the middle of its time draws near; and four shall
be kept for the time when its end approaches; but two shall be kept until the end.
[22] As for your seeing three heads at rest, this is the interpretation:
[23] In its last days the Most High will raise up three kings, and they shall renew many
things in it, and shall rule the earth [24] and its inhabitants more oppressively
than all who were before them; therefore they are called the heads of the eagle.
[25] For it is they who shall sum up his wickedness and perform his last actions.
[26] As for your seeing that the large head disappeared, one of the kings shall die in
his bed, but in agonies. [27] But as for the two who remained, the
sword shall devour them. [28] For the sword of one shall devour him
who was with him; but he also shall fall by the sword in the last days.
[29] As for your seeing two little wings passing over to the head which was on the right side,
[30] this is the interpretation: It is these whom the Most High has kept for the eagle’s
end; this was the reign which was brief and full of tumult, as you have seen.
[31] “And as for the lion whom you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking
to the eagle and reproving him for his unrighteousness, and as for all his words that you have heard,
[32] this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept until the end of days, who will arise
from the posterity of David, and will come and speak to them; he will denounce them for
their ungodliness and for their wickedness, and will cast up before them their contemptuous
dealings. [33] For first he will set them living before
his judgment seat, and when he has reproved them, then he will destroy them.
[34] But he will deliver in mercy the remnant of my people, those who have been saved throughout
my borders, and he will make them joyful until the end comes, the day of judgment, of which
I spoke to you at the beginning. [35] This is the dream that you saw, and this
is its interpretation. [36] And you alone were worthy to learn this
secret of the Most High. [37] Therefore write all these things that
you have seen in a book, and put it in a hidden place;
[38] and you shall teach them to the wise among your people, whose hearts you know are
able to comprehend and keep these secrets. [39] But wait here seven days more, so that
you may be shown whatever it pleases the Most High to show you.” Then he left me.
[40] When all the people heard that the seven days were past and I had not returned to the
city, they all gathered together, from the least to the greatest, and came to me and
spoke to me, saying, [41] “How have we offended you, and what harm
have we done you, that you have forsaken us and sit in this place?
[42] For of all the prophets you alone are left to us, like a cluster of grapes from
the vintage, and like a lamp in a dark place, and like a haven for a ship saved from a storm.
[43] Are not the evils which have befallen us sufficient?
[44] Therefore if you forsake us, how much better it would have been for us if we also
had been consumed in the burning of Zion! [45] For we are no better than those who died
there.” And they wept with a loud voice. Then I answered them and said,
[46] “Take courage, O Israel; and do not be sorrowful, O house of Jacob;
[47] for the Most High has you in remembrance, and the Mighty One has not forgotten you in
your struggle. [48] As for me, I have neither forsaken you
nor withdrawn from you; but I have come to this place to pray on account of the desolation
of Zion, and to seek mercy on account of the humiliation of our sanctuary.
[49] Now go, every one of you to his house, and after these days I will come to you.”
[50] So the people went into the city, as I told them to do.
[51] But I sat in the field seven days, as the angel had commanded me; and I ate only
of the flowers of the field, and my food was of plants during those days.
13 [1] After seven days I dreamed a dream in
the night; [2] and behold, a wind arose from the sea
and stirred up all its waves. [3] And I looked, and behold, this wind made
something like the figure of a man come up out of the heart of the sea. And I looked,
and behold, that man flew with the clouds of heaven; and wherever he turned his face
to look, everything under his gaze trembled, [4] and whenever his voice issued from his
mouth, all who heard his voice melted as wax melts when it feels the fire.
[5] After this I looked, and behold, an innumerable multitude of men were gathered together from
the four winds of heaven to make war against the man who came up out of the sea.
[6] And I looked, and behold, he carved out for himself a great mountain, and flew up
upon it.
[7] And I tried to see the region or place from which the mountain was carved,
but I could not. [8] After this I looked, and behold, all who
had gathered together against him, to wage war with him, were much afraid, yet dared
to fight. [9] And behold, when he saw the onrush of
the approaching multitude, he neither lifted his hand nor held a spear or any weapon of
war; [10] but I saw only how he sent forth from
his mouth as it were a stream of fire, and from his lips a flaming breath, and from his
tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks. [11] All these were mingled together, the
stream of fire and the flaming breath and the great storm, and fell on the onrushing
multitude which was prepared to fight, and burned them all up, so that suddenly nothing
was seen of the innumerable multitude but only the dust of ashes and the smell of smoke.
When I saw it, I was amazed. [12] After this I saw the same man come down
from the mountain and call to him another multitude which was peaceable.
[13] Then many people came to him, some of whom were joyful and some sorrowful; some
of them were bound, and some were bringing others as offerings. Then in great fear I
awoke; and I besought the Most High, and said, [14] “From the beginning thou hast shown thy
servant these wonders, and hast deemed me worthy to have my prayer heard by thee;
[15] now show me also the interpretation of this dream.
[16] For as I consider it in my mind, alas for those who will be left in those days!
And still more, alas for those who are not left!
[17] For those who are not left will be sad, [18] because they understand what is reserved
for the last days, but cannot attain it. [19] But alas for those also who are left,
and for that very reason! For they shall see great dangers and much distress, as these
dreams show. [20] Yet it is better to come into these things,
though incurring peril, than to pass from the world like a cloud, and not to see what
shall happen in the last days.” He answered me and said,
[21] “I will tell you the interpretation of the vision, and I will also explain to you
the things which you have mentioned. [22] As for what you said about those who
are left, this is the interpretation: [23] He who brings the peril at that time
will himself protect those who fall into peril, who have works and have faith in the Almighty.
[24] Understand therefore that those who are left are more blessed than those who have
died. [25] This is the interpretation of the vision:
As for your seeing a man come up from the heart of the sea,
[26] this is he whom the Most High has been keeping for many ages, who will himself deliver
his creation; and he will direct those who are left.
[27] And as for your seeing wind and fire and a storm coming out of his mouth,
[28] and as for his not holding a spear or weapon of war, yet destroying the onrushing
multitude which came to conquer him, this is the interpretation:
[29] Behold, the days are coming when the Most High will deliver those who are on the
earth. [30] And bewilderment of mind shall come over
those who dwell on the earth. [31] And they shall plan to make war against
one another, city against city, place against place, people against people, and kingdom
against kingdom. [32] And when these things come to pass and
the signs occur which I showed you before, then my Son will be revealed, whom you saw
as a man coming up from the sea. [33] And when all the nations hear his voice,
every man shall leave his own land and the warfare that they have against one another;
[34] and an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as you saw, desiring to
come and conquer him. [35] But he shall stand on the top of Mount
Zion. [36] And Zion will come and be made manifest
to all people, prepared and built, as you saw the mountain carved out without hands.
[37] And he, my Son, will reprove the assembled nations for their ungodliness (this was symbolized
by the storm), [38] and will reproach them to their face
with their evil thoughts and the torments with which they are to be tortured (which
were symbolized by the flames), and will destroy them without effort by the law (which was
symbolized by the fire). [39] And as for your seeing him gather to
himself another multitude that was peaceable, [40] these are the ten tribes which were led
away from their own land into captivity in the days of King Hoshea, whom Shalmaneser
the king of the Assyrians led captive; he took them across the river, and they were
taken into another land. [41] But they formed this plan for themselves,
that they would leave the multitude of the nations and go to a more distant region, where
mankind had never lived, [42] that there at least they might keep their
statutes which they had not kept in their own land.
[43] And they went in by the narrow passages of the Euphrates river.
[44] For at that time the Most High performed signs for them, and stopped the channels of
the river until they had passed over. [45] Through that region there was a long
way to go, a journey of a year and a half; and that country is called Arzareth.
[46] “Then they dwelt there until the last times; and now, when they are about to come
again, [47] the Most High will stop the channels
of the river again, so that they may be able to pass over. Therefore you saw the multitude
gathered together in peace. [48] But those who are left of your people,
who are found within my holy borders, shall be saved.
[49] Therefore when he destroys the multitude of the nations that are gathered together,
he will defend the people who remain. [50] And then he will show them very many
wonders.” [51] I said, “O sovereign Lord, explain this
to me: Why did I see the man coming up from the heart of the sea?”
[52] He said to me, “Just as no one can explore or know what is in the depths of the sea,
so no one on earth can see my Son or those who are with him, except in the time of his
day. [53] This is the interpretation of the dream
which you saw. And you alone have been enlightened about this,
[54] because you have forsaken your own ways and have applied yourself to mine, and have
searched out my law; [55] for you have devoted your life to wisdom,
and called understanding your mother. [56] Therefore I have shown you this, for
there is a reward laid up with the Most High. And after three more days I will tell you
other things, and explain weighty and wondrous matters to you.”
[57] Then I arose and walked in the field, giving great glory and praise to the Most
High because of his wonders, which he did from time to time,
[58] and because he governs the times and whatever things come to pass in their seasons.
And I stayed there three days. 14
[1] On the third day, while I was sitting under an oak, behold, a voice came out of
a bush opposite me and said, “Ezra, Ezra.” [2] And I said, “Here I am, Lord,” and I rose
to my feet. [3] Then he said to me, “I revealed myself
in a bush and spoke to Moses, when my people were in bondage in Egypt;
[4] and I sent him and led my people out of Egypt; and I led him up on Mount Sinai, where
I kept him with me many days; [5] and I told him many wondrous things, and
showed him the secrets of the times and declared to him the end of the times. Then I commanded
him, saying, [6] `These words you shall publish openly,
and these you shall keep secret.’ [7] And now I say to you;
[8] Lay up in your heart the signs that I have shown you, the dreams that you have seen,
and the interpretations that you have heard; [9] for you shall be taken up from among men,
and henceforth you shall live with my Son and with those who are like you, until the
times are ended. [10] For the age has lost its youth, and the
times begin to grow old. [11] For the age is divided into twelve parts,
and nine of its parts have already passed, [12] as well as half of the tenth part; so
two of its parts remain, besides half of the tenth part.
[13] Now therefore, set your house in order, and reprove your people; comfort the lowly
among them, and instruct those that are wise. And now renounce the life that is corruptible,
[14] and put away from you mortal thoughts; cast away from you the burdens of man, and
divest yourself now of your weak nature, [15] and lay to one side the thoughts that
are most grievous to you, and hasten to escape from these times.
[16] For evils worse than those which you have now seen happen shall be done hereafter.
[17] For the weaker the world becomes through old age, the more shall evils be multiplied
among its inhabitants. [18] For truth shall go farther away, and
falsehood shall come near. For the eagle which you saw in the vision is already hastening
to come.” [19] Then I answered and said, “Let me speak
in thy presence, Lord. [20] For behold, I will go, as thou hast commanded
me, and I will reprove the people who are now living; but who will warn those who will
be born hereafter? For the world lies in darkness, and its inhabitants are without light.
[21] For thy law has been burned, and so no one knows the things which have been done
or will be done by thee. [22] If then I have found favor before thee,
send the Holy Spirit into me, and I will write everything that has happened in the world
from the beginning, the things which were written in thy law, that men may be able to
find the path, and that those who wish to live in the last days may live.”
[23] He answered me and said, “Go and gather the people, and tell them not to seek you
for forty days. [24] But prepare for yourself many writing
tablets, and take with you Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ethanus, and Asiel — these five,
because they are trained to write rapidly; [25] and you shall come here, and I will light
in your heart the lamp of understanding, which shall not be put out until what you are about
to write is finished. [26] And when you have finished, some things
you shall make public, and some you shall deliver in secret to the wise; tomorrow at
this hour you shall begin to write.” [27] Then I went as he commanded me, and I
gathered all the people together, and said, [28] “Hear these words, O Israel
[29] At first our fathers dwelt as aliens in Egypt, and they were delivered from there,
[30] and received the law of life, which they did not keep, which you also have transgressed
after them. [31] Then land was given to you for a possession
in the land of Zion; but you and your fathers committed iniquity and did not keep the ways
which the Most High commanded you. [32] And because he is a righteous judge,
in due time he took from you what he had given. [33] And now you are here, and your brethren
are farther in the interior. [34] If you, then, will rule over your minds
and discipline your hearts, you shall be kept alive, and after death you shall obtain mercy.
[35] For after death the judgment will come, when we shall live again; and then the names
of the righteous will become manifest, and the deeds of the ungodly will be disclosed.
[36] But let no one come to me now, and let no one seek me for forty days.”
[37] So I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we proceeded to the field, and remained
there. [38] And on the next day, behold, a voice
called me, saying, “Ezra, open your mouth and drink what I give you to drink.”
[39] Then I opened my mouth, and behold, a full cup was offered to me; it was full of
something like water, but its color was like fire.
[40] And I took it and drank; and when I had drunk it, my heart poured forth understanding,
and wisdom increased in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory;
[41] and my mouth was opened, and was no longer closed.
[42] And the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and by turns they wrote what
was dictated, in characters which they did not know. They sat forty days, and wrote during
the daytime, and ate their bread at night. [43] As for me, I spoke in the daytime and
was not silent at night. [44] So during the forty days ninety-four
books were written. [45] And when the forty days were ended, the
Most High spoke to me, saying, “Make public the twenty-four books that you wrote first
and let the worthy and the unworthy read them; [46] but keep the seventy that were written
last, in order to give them to the wise among your people.
[47] For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the river of knowledge.”
[48] And I did so. 15
[1] The Lord says, “Behold, speak in the ears of my people the words of the prophecy which
I will put in your mouth, [2] and cause them to be written on paper;
for they are trustworthy and true. [3] Do not fear the plots against you, and
do not be troubled by the unbelief of those who oppose you.
[4] For every unbeliever shall die in his unbelief.”
[5] “Behold,” says the Lord, “I bring evils upon the world, the sword and famine and death
and destruction. [6] For iniquity has spread throughout every
land, and their harmful deeds have reached their limit.
[7] Therefore,” says the Lord, [8] “I will be silent no longer concerning
their ungodly deeds which they impiously commit, neither will I tolerate their wicked practices.
Behold, innocent and righteous blood cries out to me, and the souls of the righteous
cry out continually. [9] I will surely avenge them,” says the Lord,
“and will receive to myself all the innocent blood from among them.
[10] Behold, my people is led like a flock to the slaughter; I will not allow them to
live any longer in the land of Egypt, [11] but I will bring them out with a mighty
hand and with an uplifted arm, and will smite Egypt with plagues, as before, and will destroy
all its land.” [12] Let Egypt mourn, and its foundations,
for the plague of chastisement and punishment that the Lord will bring upon it.
[13] Let the farmers that till the ground mourn, because their seed shall fail and their
trees shall be ruined by blight and hail and by a terrible tempest.
[14] Alas for the world and for those who live in it!
[15] For the sword and misery draw near them, and nation shall rise up to fight against
nation, with swords in their hands. [16] For there shall be unrest among men;
growing strong against one another, they shall in their might have no respect for their king
or the chief of their leaders. [17] For a man will desire to go into a city,
and shall not be able. [18] For because of their pride the cities
shall be in confusion, the houses shall be destroyed, and people shall be afraid.
[19] A man shall have no pity upon his neighbors, but shall make an assault upon their houses
with the sword, and plunder their goods, because of hunger for bread and because of great tribulation.
[20] “Behold,” says God, “I call together all the kings of the earth to fear me, from
the rising sun and from the south, from the east and from Lebanon; to turn and repay what
they have given them. [21] Just as they have done to my elect until
this day, so I will do, and will repay into their bosom.” Thus says the Lord God:
[22] “My right hand will not spare the sinners, and my sword will not cease from those who
shed innocent blood on earth.” [23] And a fire will go forth from his wrath,
and will consume the foundations of the earth, and the sinners, like straw that is kindled.
[24] “Woe to those who sin and do not observe my commandments,” says the Lord;
[25] “I will not spare them. Depart, you faithless children! Do not pollute my sanctuary.”
[26] For the Lord knows all who transgress against him; therefore he will hand them over
to death and slaughter. [27] For now calamities have come upon the
whole earth, and you shall remain in them; for God will not deliver you, because you
have sinned against him. [28] Behold, a terrifying sight, appearing
from the east! [29] The nations of the dragons of Arabia
shall come out with many chariots, and from the day that they set out, their hissing shall
spread over the earth, so that all who hear them fear and tremble.
[30] Also the Carmonians, raging in wrath, shall go forth like wild boars of the forest,
and with great power they shall come, and engage them in battle, and shall devastate
a portion of the land of the Assyrians with their teeth.
[31] And then the dragons, remembering their origin, shall become still stronger; and if
they combine in great power and turn to pursue them,
[32] then these shall be disorganized and silenced by their power, and shall turn and
flee. [33] And from the land of the Assyrians an
enemy in ambush shall beset them and destroy one of them, and fear and trembling shall
come upon their army, and indecision upon their kings.
[34] Behold, clouds from the east, and from the north to the south; and their appearance
is very threatening, full of wrath and storm. [35] They shall dash against one another and
shall pour out a heavy tempest upon the earth, and their own tempest; and there shall be
blood from the sword as high as a horse’s belly
[36] and a man’s thigh and a camel’s hock. [37] And there shall be fear and great trembling
upon the earth; and those who see that wrath shall be horror-stricken, and they shall be
seized with trembling. [38] And, after that, heavy storm clouds shall
be stirred up from the south, and from the north, and another part from the west.
[39] And the winds from the east shall prevail over the cloud that was raised in wrath, and
shall dispel it; and the tempest that was to cause destruction by the east wind shall
be driven violently toward the south and west. [40] And great and mighty clouds, full of
wrath and tempest, shall rise, to destroy all the earth and its inhabitants, and shall
pour out upon every high and lofty place a terrible tempest,
[41] fire and hail and flying swords and floods of water, that all the fields and all the
streams may be filled with the abundance of those waters.
[42] And they shall destroy cities and walls, mountains and hills, trees of the forests,
and grass of the meadows, and their grain. [43] And they shall go on steadily to Babylon,
and shall destroy her. [44] They shall come to her and surround her;
they shall pour out the tempest and all its wrath upon her; then the dust and smoke shall
go up to heaven, and all who are about her shall wail over her.
[45] And those who survive shall serve those who have destroyed her.
[46] And you, Asia, who share in the glamour of Babylon and the glory of her person —
[47] woe to you, miserable wretch! For you have made yourself like her; you have decked
out your daughters in harlotry to please and glory in your lovers, who have always lusted
after you. [48] You have imitated that hateful harlot
in all her deeds and devices; therefore God says,
[49] “I will send evils upon you, widowhood, poverty, famine, sword, and pestilence, to
lay waste your houses and bring you to destruction and death.
[50] And the glory of your power shall wither like a flower, when the heat rises that is
sent upon you. [51] You shall be weakened like a wretched
woman who is beaten and wounded, so that you cannot receive your mighty lovers.
[52] Would I have dealt with you so violently,” says the Lord,
[53] “If you had not always killed my chosen people, exulting and clapping your hands and
talking about their death when you were drunk? [54] Trick out the beauty of your face!
[55] The reward of a harlot is in your bosom, therefore you shall receive your recompense.
[56] As you will do to my chosen people,” says the Lord, “so God will do to you, and
will hand you over to adversities. [57] Your children shall die of hunger, and
you shall fall by the sword, and your cities shall be wiped out, and all your people who
are in the open country shall fall by the sword.
[58] And those who are in the mountains and highlands shall perish of hunger, and they
shall eat their own flesh in hunger for bread and drink their own blood in thirst for water.
[59] Unhappy above all others, you shall come and suffer fresh afflictions.
[60] And as they pass they shall wreck the hateful city, and shall destroy a part of
your land and abolish a portion of your glory, as they return from devastated Babylon.
[61] And you shall be broken down by them like stubble, and they shall be like fire
to you. [62] And they shall devour you and your cities,
your land and your mountains; they shall burn with fire all your forests and your fruitful
trees. [63] They shall carry your children away captive,
and shall plunder your wealth, and abolish the glory of your countenance.”
16 [1] Woe to you, Babylon and Asia! Woe to you,
Egypt and Syria! [2] Gird yourselves with sackcloth and haircloth,
and wail for your children, and lament for them; for your destruction is at hand.
[3] The sword has been sent upon you, and who is there to turn it back?
[4] A fire has been sent upon you, and who is there to quench it?
[5] Calamities have been sent upon you, and who is there to drive them away?
[6] Can one drive off a hungry lion in the forest, or quench a fire in the stubble, when
once it has begun to burn? [7] Can one turn back an arrow shot by a strong
archer? [8] The Lord God sends calamities, and who
will drive them away? [9] Fire will go forth from his wrath, and
who is there to quench it? [10] He will flash lightning, and who will
not be afraid? He will thunder, and who will not be terrified?
[11] The Lord will threaten, and who will not be utterly shattered at his presence?
[12] The earth and its foundations quake, the sea is churned up from the depths, and
its waves and the fish also shall be troubled at the presence of the Lord and before the
glory of his power. [13] For his right hand that bends the bow
is strong, and his arrows that he shoots are sharp and will not miss when they begin to
be shot to the ends of the world. [14] Behold, calamities are sent forth and
shall not return until they come over the earth.
[15] The fire is kindled, and shall not be put out until it consumes the foundations
of the earth. [16] Just as an arrow shot by a mighty archer
does not return, so the calamities that are sent upon the earth shall not return.
[17] Alas for me! Alas for me! Who will deliver me in those days?
[18] The beginning of sorrows, when there shall be much lamentation; the beginning of
famine, when many shall perish; the beginning of wars, when the powers shall be terrified;
the beginning of calamities, when all shall tremble. What shall they do in these circumstances,
when the calamities come? [19] Behold, famine and plague, tribulation
and anguish are sent as scourges for the correction of men.
[20] Yet for all this they will not turn from their iniquities, nor be always mindful of
the scourges. [21] Behold, provision will be so cheap upon
earth that men will imagine that peace is assured for them, and then the calamities
shall spring up on the earth — the sword, famine, and great confusion.
[22] For many of those who live on the earth shall perish by famine; and those who survive
the famine shall die by the sword. [23] And the dead shall be cast out like dung,
and there shall be no one to console them; for the earth shall be left desolate, and
its cities shall be demolished. [24] No one shall be left to cultivate the
earth or to sow it. [25] The trees shall bear fruit, and who will
gather it? [26] The grapes shall ripen, and who will
tread them? For in all places there shall be great solitude;
[27] one man will long to see another, or even to hear his voice.
[28] For out of a city, ten shall be left; and out of the field, two who have hidden
themselves in thick groves and clefts in the rocks.
[29] As in an olive orchard three or four olives may be left on every tree,
[30] or as when a vineyard is gathered some clusters may be left by those who search carefully
through the vineyard, [31] so in those days three or four shall
be left by those who search their houses with the sword.
[32] And the earth shall be left desolate, and its fields shall be for briers, and its
roads and all its paths shall bring forth thorns, because no sheep will go along them.
[33] Virgins shall mourn because they have no bridegrooms; women shall mourn because
they have no husbands; their daughters shall mourn, because they have no helpers.
[34] Their bridegrooms shall be killed in war, and their husbands shall perish of famine.
[35] Listen now to these things, and understand them, O servants of the Lord.
[36] Behold the word of the Lord, receive it; do not disbelieve what the Lord says.
[37] Behold, the calamities draw near, and are not delayed.
[38] Just as a woman with child, in the ninth month, when the time of her delivery draws
near, has great pains about her womb for two or three hours beforehand, and when the child
comes forth from the womb, there will not be a moment’s delay,
[39] so the calamities will not delay in coming forth upon the earth, and the world will groan,
and pains will seize it on every side. [40] “Hear my words, O my people; prepare
for battle, and in the midst of the calamities be like strangers on the earth.
[41] Let him that sells be like one who will flee; let him that buys be like one who will
lose; [42] let him that does business be like one
who will not make a profit; and let him that builds a house be like one who will not live
in it; [43] let him that sows be like one who will
not reap; so also him that prunes the vines, like one who will not gather the grapes;
[44] them that marry, like those who will have no children; and them that do not marry,
like those who are widowed. [45] Because those who labor, labor in vain;
[46] for strangers shall gather their fruits, and plunder their goods, and overthrow their
houses, and take their children captive; for in captivity and famine they will beget their
children. [47] Those who conduct business, do it only
to be plundered; the more they adorn their cities, their houses and possessions, and
their persons, [48] the more angry I will be with them for
their sins,” says the Lord. [49] Just as a respectable and virtuous woman
abhors a harlot, [50] so righteousness shall abhor iniquity,
when she decks herself out, and shall accuse her to her face, when he comes who will defend
him who searches out every sin on earth. [51] Therefore do not be like her or her works.
[52] For behold, just a little while, and iniquity will be removed from the earth, and
righteousness will reign over us. [53] Let no sinner say that he has not sinned;
for God will burn coals of fire on the head of him who says, “I have not sinned before
God and his glory.” [54] Behold, the Lord knows all the works
of men, their imaginations and their thoughts and their hearts.
[55] He said, “Let the earth be made,” and it was made; “Let the heaven be made,” and
it was made. [56] At his word the stars were fixed, and
he knows the number of the stars. [57] It is he who searches the deep and its
treasures, who has measured the sea and its contents;
[58] who has enclosed the sea in the midst of the waters, and by his word has suspended
the earth over the water; [59] who has spread out the heaven like an
arch, and founded it upon the waters; [60] who has put springs of water in the desert,
and pools on the tops of the mountains, to send rivers from the heights to water the
earth; [61] who formed man, and put a heart in the
midst of his body, and gave him breath and life and understanding
[62] and the spirit of Almighty God; who made all things and searches out hidden things
in hidden places. [63] Surely he knows your imaginations and
what you think in your hearts! Woe to those who sin and want to hide their sins!
[64] Because the Lord will strictly examine all their works, and will make a public spectacle
of all of you. [65] And when your sins come out before men,
you shall be put to shame; and your own iniquities shall stand as your accusers in that day.
[66] What will you do? Or how will you hide your sins before God and his angels?
[67] Behold, God is the judge, fear him! Cease from your sins, and forget your iniquities,
never to commit them again; so God will lead you forth and deliver you from all tribulation.
[68] For behold, the burning wrath of a great multitude is kindled over you, and they shall
carry off some of you and shall feed you what was sacrificed to idols.
[69] And those who consent to eat shall be held in derision and contempt, and be trodden
under foot. [70] For in many places and in neighboring
cities there shall be a great insurrection against those who fear the Lord.
[71] They shall be like mad men, sparing no one, but plundering and destroying those who
continue to fear the Lord. [72] For they shall destroy and plunder their
goods, and drive them out of their houses. [73] Then the tested quality of my elect shall
be manifest, as gold that is tested by fire. [74] “Hear, my elect,” says the Lord. “Behold,
the days of tribulation are at hand, and I will deliver you from them.
[75] Do not fear or doubt, for God is your guide.
[76] You who keep my commandments and precepts,” says the Lord God, “do not let your sins pull
you down, or your iniquities prevail over you.”
[77] Woe to those who are choked by their sins and overwhelmed by their iniquities,
as a field is choked with underbrush and its path overwhelmed with thorns, so that no one
can pass through! [78] It is shut off and given up to be consumed
by fire.

65 Comments

  1. Holly Burke says:

    isn't this book a treasure? I have learned so much from it!

  2. Holly Burke says:

    that whole speech about a woman bearing all her children at once and the later children being inferior to the former is real eye opener IHW! also the whole part about do you think you can love my chosen more than me?/wow

  3. Holly Burke says:

    I was reading this the other day thinking where are the wise we need these books, and then I thought I don't know if I could live in a filed and eat only flowers,these guys were made of different stuff than us

  4. Holly Burke says:

    he reiterates many times especially in this book that he fornew us,I have had a sudden understanding that we are only on this Earth to be born and come to know him and be saved nothing else matters I'm working on a Song of Solomon study that seems to be saying we are being prepared as an army to fight in the final days

  5. Holly Burke says:

    the veil is lifting as you say ,I had to really realize that what I see when I look at things today is vastly different from what most of the unbelieving or apostate world sees when they look at the same thing! I sent your Esdras video to a friend of mine she is really enjoying them! I thank Yah always for your diligence and faithfullness to his word!GBY

  6. Apocryphile1970 says:

    This is a real treasure sister. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love hearing the understanding in your voice. Something of your wisdom sits with me at my side as I listen. It is like I am there with you. Keep on doing what you're doing. It will mean so much to so many. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. TheCompleteTruthBlog says:

    Wonderful reading sister was really blessed by this! Took a lot new info in God bless you for this and thank you!

  8. Carlton Roberts says:

    GOD Bless you friend!

  9. InHISWord2 says:

    It really blesses me to hear when others are blessed by these narrations. Thank you for your comment and for watching! God bless you.

  10. InHISWord2 says:

    And may GOD bless you as well! Thanks for watching and commenting.

  11. William Burgos says:

    dont believe this BS shes not reading the Authorized King James Version Apocrypha !

  12. InHISWord2 says:

    Does AKJV contain all the books of the LXX aka Septuagint? Or does the Authorized version only contain the Masoretic text? I am uncertain if the Masoretic contains this book within it's Apocrypha. God Bless You.

  13. InHISWord2 says:

    William Burgos is in error. 2nd Esdras is contained within the Authorized KJV. I now own a copy from Oxford Publishing…
    a reprint of the 17th century edition.
    It seems that some later editions did remove 2nd Esdras from the AKJV. Surely Mr. Burgos did not write his "BS statement" with malicious intent. I apologize to you the reader on his behalf.

  14. BazZar 42 says:

    Thank you so very much! I have read this book many times over the past 30 years! For me personally it changed my whole way of thinking from the first time I read it! You read it perfectly! Its so nice to relax in bed listening and thinking of what God is telling us though out , I find it all so very faith building!!! May God bless you through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit!

  15. InHISWord2 says:

    You are very welcome! This book is so chock full of wisdom that it is one of my favorites too! Thank you for all of your encouraging words and blessings. I am very pleased that this narration has blessed you. May our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ bless you and your loved ones

  16. eyes2seebeyond says:

    thank you !
    reading book 1 Ezra seems just so incomplete.
    chronicles was also written by Ezra I think.

  17. InHISWord2 says:

    You are welcome. This book was included within the original 1611 KJV. Too much info in this one to leave it in for the "common" people …I suppose.
    Thanks for watching and for your comment.

  18. InHISWord2 says:

    That story of the woman is yet another example of parabolic writing. As it is told that the woman actually represents the city. There is so much wisdom in this book. We are hanging out in those places, in a spiritual sense, even now Sis!

  19. Melka Dwardi says:

    you read as if to a child, by the end, I was one. ty

  20. Duane Freeman says:

    Yea u reading it but u ant breaking it down .to say way Or Whats significant about the home text i can read it myself i would Like more understanding on it.

  21. CHUCK1213 says:

    Thank you so much for recording this. I have been reading 2 Esdras recently and it is an astounding and illuminating book to say the least.ย  I wanted to find an audio recording of it so I can listen to it on an MP3 while on walks and doing errands.

    Thank you !!
    Chuck S

  22. NephilimFree says:

    Because they are not scripture and were never considered scripture, they were not canonized. It's unbelievable that so many "Christians" are so ignorant and preach so many lies, such as the lie thet the apocrypha are scripture and belong in the Bible. Such people have been duped by satan and now work to tear it down without even realizing they are satan's puppets.

  23. SHAMIRA SAWHADE says:

    The Sign of the Sabbath
    โ€ฆ16'So the sons of Yisrael shall observe The Shabbath, to celebrate The Shabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.' 17"It is a sign between Me and the sons of Yisrael forever;

  24. Jaygo says:

    2 Esdras and the other 13 books was Originally in the Original KJV bible, But when the Roman Catholic church got their hand on it, and saw what was contained in it It would have been Impossible for the RCC to come into full Power with the Origianl KJV exposing them and Naming things that was Impossible for any Human to know and gave secifics on things the Roman had planned long before they actually accomplished it.. So they could Not destroy our records, But they did and were able to Plagiarize, remove books and Make Fraudulent Versions such as NIV,, NKJV, and ANY Other version outside of the King James Version. Satan is deceptive beyond Human capability, Afterall, he was there in the beginning also, while God Christ and the Female Holy Spirit aka Heavenly Family UNIT working as 1. created heaven and Earth. So Satan and the other fallen Angels are very clever and deceptive But they do have Limitations on what they are Not allowed to do. Example.. Satan is Used for what he s Used for,. Judge the wicked,. But he can do this when God allow him to, But God Did Not allow him to Take away or remove his word/Bible from the Earth. Satan being deceptive and cunning so If he is forbidden to Destroy God's word, the Next best thing would be to break it up and separate it from Public's knowledge and awareness, and Create Fraudulent copies to confuse and deceive people. The Kingdom that is to come Is So beyond belief, Most of it is Indescribable to man for some of the Things. Colors, Precious Stones and metals and Inventions are far beyond man's comprehension and Understanding and even if we saw it, would have no way of describing them and it. Therefore Our Journey to it Is 1 hell of a fight and war, spiritually and physically and Most Importantly INTERNALLY. EVERY people who don't make it is 100% caused by their Own failed Internal Battles and lack of discipline and Following God's Laws and Commandments. Do you Christians who think you're somehow the Most Special of God's creation to ever live, even more so than the Apostles who Actually went through Hell with Christ, and Even Christ himself that your will be saved, Raptured or made to escape all the Every other people that every lived on the planet also Have to face. If you still believe these Lies from your Roman Created Religion of Christianity. Then you're already the Walking Dead and is Surely on a straight road to hell.

  25. The Vineyard says:

    There is a reversal error in the reading of Ch 5:29
    https://youtu.be/HJpIGj53ZLU?t=2896

  26. The Vineyard says:

    Thanks for your work on this. I like your tempo and inflexion without distracting music.

  27. sumbodyshero says:

    Stick to the King James.

  28. Darryl Smith says:

    Love the way you read them, nice and slow enough to hear every word, and Also the Gospel of Nicodemus ..Thanks for up loading them…listen to them at night..and turned other to them, they,like me never heard of them until youtube..and also the Martyrdom of Bartholomew…Thanks, such a blessing..

  29. N CA says:

    this is an amazing book, it answers so many questions, Its upsetting that it hasn't been put back into the Bible, God bless all

  30. Hollie Drake says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to feed the flock. So insightful and enjoyable being the words of our Father. My he bless you and keep you strong in faith and knowledge as we approach the end of this world and move forward to his loving arms. Thanks again.

  31. IsraeliteHebrewAGCY says:

    Baruch (blessing)

  32. donnie mcelroy says:

    either or.

  33. Roman says:

    Good work !!
    Thanks.

  34. alleycat4430 says:

    Thank you! your tone, speed and inflections are wonderful. I look forward to listening to
    other books you have recorded. Such a Blessing

  35. RAT TAT TAT TONY says:

    Where's the link?

  36. Travis-2313 says:

    Thank you for sharing

  37. paqueenb says:

    Thank you so much! โค๏ธ

  38. alleycat4430 says:

    Thank you, another enlightening listen to this wonderful Book. So enjoy your reading of this. Blessings and happy Sabbath!

  39. jose cabrera says:

    No wonder the powers that be didnt include in the bible known today

  40. Jonathan Montaque says:

    The isrealites were black sir
    Stop spreading white supremacy lies devil
    No so called negroes in any of your animations and pics?
    Lol

  41. Lorry Buehler says:

    Thank You ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ“–๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

  42. Not This Guy Again says:

    Like Enoch this foretells Christ and his redemption of mankind so CLEARLY. Tears came down my face at times, precious are those to God whom he keeps at his side with the Saints.

  43. Litte Stinker says:

    How does this line up with John 10:10

  44. Win Medina says:

    Your reading was correct till you got to IIEsdras 7:36, then you started reading from somewhere else.

  45. Win Medina says:

    I suggest you listen to another version, i recommend version by FLATWATER FLATEARTH, "The book of Ezra" ( no music copy) 2:08:49 time length!

  46. Jason Wessel says:

    Bless You! Thank You So Much!!! I LOVE YOU ON THIS DOMED, BEAUTIFUL CREATION OF THE FATHER!!

    Peace Be With You From One Sinner To Another In These Troubled Times….

  47. Vanessa Haynes says:

    This is the book to read and understand for man that walking under the sun and to repent in the flesh not wait till you put off the flesh and enter your spirit body.Repent now ask our Fathers in heaven for forgiveness now Christ Chrildren .I love you my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  48. jmelias shanelle says:

    May God bless you for your had work. You have read very well so that many can no have problem to understand your english. God be with you.

  49. Foreordained 777 says:

    Is it talking about earth and water dinosaurs on fifth day??

  50. Stephen & Chosen Dansu says:

    He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

    Proverbs 28:13 KJV

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    1 John 1:9 KJV

    JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD!

  51. Elizabeth Rupright says:

    Read Ex-Vaticana…A great Deception is upon us..It may come in te guise of space alien crap-o-la….Just listen to talk radio like Coast to Coast…George Nory…ridiculous…or the TV programs like Ancient Aliens…Baloney…!!!! with space ventures, high tech, holograms etc…anything is on the way to deceive even the very elect…Keep The Faith !!!!

  52. Teresa Hernandez says:

    Many thanks for sharing

  53. Ryan Halford says:

    Incredible

  54. Ryan Halford says:

    In a good way.xxxxx

  55. Ken Ciolek says:

    The words differ from this KIng James Bible before me…it's a 400 anniversary KJB with apocrypha.

  56. Karis Ben Israel says:

    At 2:56 In chapter 14:44 maybe your book has an error sir. Because on the KJVA The books that were written according to it were 204 not 94? Kindly can you let us know which version you're using? Thanks

  57. Jim boswell says:

    Whenever I read or listen to these books my faith grows. Yes it is scripture, its clear. Its sometimes very lonely being here. Thank you. Please do more books

  58. venera melikopoulou says:

    Whereโ€™s 3 Ezra ??? I canโ€™t find

  59. The Prodigal Son 84j says:

    This is a great book. I believe it is only considered canon by a few Orthodox Churches; however this along with 1(3) Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh were included in the Vulgate and were an appendix to the Clementine Vulgate from 1592, which was the official Vulgate of the Church until the "Nova Vulgate" was called a new official vulgate of the Church. Though traditionalists use the Clementine actually Baronius Press has a side by side Douay Rheims and Clementine Vulgate that includes the appendix. Interestingly all three are used in Liturgy. 4 Esdras 2:34-35 is where we get the common prayer for the dead, "Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them." It's not considered scripture but the Church has always considered it worthy to be read along with 1 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh. It's interesting because these three are the only ones Trent did not affirm as scripture where the rest of the deuterocanonical books they did. I think it's because it never was in any official canonical status but through the middle ages they got integrated into the Old Testament.

  60. gregor eastlander says:

    You can feel that is The Word of God in those verses after one chapter ! How they hide this ?

  61. Monique Banalesias says:

    Thank you so much! This really made me cry and made me weak! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

  62. jesusstudentbrett says:

    At 31 minutes, just like the KJV misleadingly says Hell instead of Hades, and some translations of the Apostles Creed, it should say Hades

  63. Emily Talbott says:

    Thank you!

  64. Becky Evans says:

    My 2 Esdra 3: 17-19 says, you rescued his descendants from Egypt, and brought them to Mount Sinai. There you bent the sky, shook the earth, moved the round world, made the depths shudder, and turned creation upside down. Isaiah 24:1 Beware, the Lord will empty the earth, split it open and turn it upside down, and scatter its inhabitants.

  65. Giavanna Sebastiano says:

    The bok of Enoch Jaser & Jubilee's we're all in the 1611 King James, but do two evil men they were removed.

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