2 Esdras

chapter 11

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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.'"

Chapter 12

2 Esdras, chapter 12

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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.

Chapter 13

2 Esdras, chapter 13

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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.

Chapter 14

2 Esdras, chapter 14

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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.

Chapter 15

2 Esdras, chapter 15

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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."

Chapter 16

2 Esdras, chapter 16

Compare with King James Version: 2Esd.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.