Psalms 38

1 Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

2 He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the gentle,

for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they shall be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.

14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.

15 Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house.

16 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letteror one tiny pen strokeshall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.

19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

21 “You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, ‘You shall not murder;’and ‘Whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’

22 But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a causewill be in danger of the judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’will be in danger of the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

23 “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you,

24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

26 Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that it was said,‘You shall not commit adultery;’

28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.

30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,’

32 but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’

34 but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;

35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black.

37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’

39 But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40 If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.

41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

42 Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighborand hate your enemy.’

44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,

45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?

47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectorsdo the same?

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.


2 Esdras 1

1 THE second book of the prophet Esdras, Saraias, the son of Azaraias, the son of Helkias, the son of Salemas, the son of Sadoc, the son of Ahitob,

2 the son of Achias, the son of Phinees, the son of Heli, the son of Amarias, the son of Aziei, the son of Marimoth, the son of Arna, the son of Ozias, the son of Borith, the son of Abissei, the son of Phinees, the son of Eleazar,

3 the son of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi; which was captive in the land of the Medes, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of the Persians.

4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

5 Go your way, and show my people their sinful deeds, and their children their wickedness which they have done against me; that they may tell their children’s children:

6 because the sins of their fathers are increased in them: for they have forgotten me, and have done sacrifice to strange gods.

7 Did I not bring them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage? but they have provoked me to wrath, and have despised my counsels.

8 Shake you then the hair of your head, and cast all evils upon them, for they have not been obedient to my law, but it is a rebellious people.

9 How long shall I forbear them, to whom I have done so much good?

10 I have overthrown many kings for their sakes; I have struck down Pharoah with his servants and all his host.

11 I have destroyed all the nations before them, and in the east I have scattered the people of two provinces, even of Tyre and Sidon, and have slain all their adversaries.

12 Speak therefore to them, saying,

13 Thus says the Lord, of a truth I brought you through the sea, and where there was no path I made for you highways; I gave you Moses for a leader, and Aaron for a priest.

14 I gave you light in a pillar of fire, and great wonders have I done among you; yet have you⌃ forgotten me, says the Lord.

15 Thus says the Lord Almighty, The quails were for a token to you; I gave you a camp for your safeguard, nevertheless you⌃ murmured there:

16 and you⌃ triumphed not in my name for the destruction of your enemies, but ever to this day do you⌃ yet murmur.

17 Where are the benefits that I have done for you? when you⌃ were hungry and thirsty in the wilderness, did you⌃ not cry to me,

18 saying, Why have you brought us into this wilderness to kill us? it had been better for us to have served the Egyptians, than to die in this wilderness.

19 I had pity upon your mournings, and gave you manna for food; you⌃ did eat angels’ bread.

20 Wnen you⌃ were thirsty, did I not cleave the rock, and waters flowed out to your fill? for the heat I covered you with the leaves of the trees.

21 I divided among you fruitful lands; I cast out the Canaanites, the Pherezites, and the Philistines, before you: what shall I yet do more for you? says the Lord.

22 Thus says the Lord Almighty, When you⌃ were in the wilderness, at the bitter river, being thirsty, and blaspheming my name,

23 I gave you not fire for your blasphemies, but cast a tree in the water, and made the river sweet.

24 What shall I do to you, O Jacob? you, Judah, would not obey me: I will turn me to other nations, and to them will I give my name, that they may keep my statutes.

25 Seeing you⌃ have forsaken me, I also will forsake you; when you⌃ ask me to be merciful to you, I will have no mercy upon you.

26 Whenever you⌃ shall call upon me, I will not hear you: for you⌃ have defiled your hands with blood, and your feet are swift to commit manslaughter.

27 You⌃ have not as it were forsaken me, but your own selves, says the Lord.

28 Thus says the Lord Almighty, Have I not prayed you as a father his sons, as a mother her daughters, and a nurse her young babes,

29 that you⌃ would be my people, and I should be your God; that you⌃ would be my children, and I should be your father?

30 I gathered you together, as a hengathersher chickens 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 your solemn feast days, your new moons, and your circumcisions of the flesh, have I rejected.

32 I sent to you my servants the prophets, whom you⌃ have taken and slain, and torn their bodies in pieces, whose blood I will requireof your hands,says the Lord.

33 Thus says the Lord Almighty, Your house is desolate, I will cast you out as the wind does stubble.

34 And your children shall not be fruitful; for they have neglected my commandmentto you, and done that which is evil before me.

35 Your houses will I give to a people that shall come; which not having heard of me yet believe me; they to whom I have showed no signs shall do that which I have commanded.

36 They have seen no prophets, yet they shall call their former estate to remembrance.

37 I take to witness the grace of the people that shall come, whose little ones rejoice with gladness: and though they see me not with bodily eyes, yet in spirit they shall believe the thing that I say.

38 And now, O father, behold with glory; and see the people that come from the east:

39 to whom I will give for leaders, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Oseas, Amos, and Micheas, Joel, Abdias, and Jonas,

40 Nahum, and Abacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zachary, and Malachy, which is called also the angel of the Lord.

2 Esdras 2

1 Thus says the Lord, I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them my commandments by my servants the prophets; whom they would not hear, but set my counsels at nothing.

2 The mother that bare them says to them, go your way, O my children; for I am a widow and forsaken.

3 I brought you up with gladness, and with sorrow and heaviness have I lost you: for you⌃ have sinned before the Lord God, and done that which is evil before me.

4 But what shall I now do to you? for I am a widow and forsaken: go your way, O my children, and ask mercy of the Lord.

5 As for me, O father, I call upon you for a witness over the mother ofthesechildren, because they would not keep my covenant,

6 that you bring them to confusion, and their mother to a spoil, that there may be no offspring of them.

7 Let them be scattered abroad among the heathen, let their names be blotted out of the earth: for they have despised mycovenant.

8 Woe to you, Assur, you that hide the unrighteous with you! O you wicked nation, remember what I did to Sodom and Gomorrah;

9 whose land lies in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes: even so also will I do to them that have not hearkened to me, says the Lord Almighty.

10 Thus says the Lord to Esdras, Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I would have given to Israel.

11 Their glory also will I take to me, and give these the everlasting tabernacles, which I had prepared for them.

12 They shall have the tree of life for an ointment of sweet savor; they shall neither labor, nor be weary.

13 Ask, and you⌃ shall receive: pray for few days to you, that they may be shortened: the kingdom is already prepared for you: watch.

14 Take heaven and earth to witness, take them to witness; for I have given up the evil, and created the good: for I live, says the Lord.

15 Mother, embrace your children; I will bring them out with gladness like a dove; establish their feet; for I have chosen you, says the Lord.

16 And those that be dead will I raise up again from their places, and bring them out from their tombs: for Ihave known my name in them.

17 Fear not, you mother of the children: for I have chosen you, says the Lord.

18 For your help will I send my servants Esaias and Jeremy, after whose counsel I have sanctified and prepared for you twelve trees laden with various fruits,

19 and as many fountains flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grow roses and lilies, whereby I will fill your children with joy.

20 Do right to the widow, judge the fatherless, give to the poor, defend the orphan, clothe the naked,

21 heal the broken and the weak, laugh not a lame man to scorn, defend the maimed, and let the blind man come to the sight of my glory.

22 Keep the old and young within your walls.

23 Wherever you find the dead, set a sign upon them and commit them to the grave, and I will give you the first place in my resurrection.

24 Abide still, O my people, and take your rest, for your quietness shall come.

25 Nourish your children, O you good nurse, and establish their feet.

26 As for the servants whom I have given you, there shall not one of them perish; for I will require them from among your number.

27 Be not careful overmuch: for when the day of tribulation and anguish comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall be merry and have abundance.

28 The nations shall envy you, but they shall be able to do nothing against you, says the Lord.

29 My hands shall cover you, so that your children see nothell.

30 Be joyful, O you mother, with your children; for I will deliver you, says the Lord.

31 Remember your children that sleep, for I shall bring them out of the secret places of the earth, and show mercy to them: for I am merciful, says the Lord Almighty.

32 Embrace your children until I come, and proclaim mercy to them: for my wells run over, and my grace shall not fail.

33 I Esdras received a charge from the Lord upon the mount Horeb, that I should go to Israel; but when I came to them, they would none of me, and rejected the commandment of the Lord.

34 And therefore I say to you, O you⌃ nations, that hear and understand, look for your shepherd, he shall give you everlasting rest; for he is near at hand, that shall come in the end of the world.

35 Be ready to the rewards of the kingdom, for the everlasting light shall shine upon you for evermore.

36 Flee the shadow of this world, receive the joyfulness of your glory: I call to witness my savior openly.

37 O receive that which is given you of the Lord, and be joyful, giving thanks to him that has called you to heavenly kingdoms.

38 Arise up and stand, and behold the number of those that be sealed in the feast of the Lord;

39 they that withdrew them from the shadow of the world have received glorious garments of the Lord.

40 Look upon your number, O Sion, and make up the reckoning of those of your that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord.

41 The number of your children, whom you long for, is fulfilled: beseech the power of the Lord, that your people, which have been called from the beginning, may be hallowed.

42 I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great multitude, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs.

43 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; whereat I marveled greatly.

44 So I asked the angel, and said, What are these, my Lord?

45 He answered and said to me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms.

46 Then said I to the angel, What young man is he that sets crowns upon them, and gives them palms in their hands?

47 So he answered and said to me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord.

48 Then the angel said to me, Go your way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord God you have seen.

2 Esdras 3

1 In the thirties year after the ruin of the city, I Salathiel (the same is Esdras) was in Babylon, and lay troubled upon my bed, and my thoughts came up over my heart:

2 for I saw the desolation of Sion, and the wealth of them that lived at Babylon.

3 And my spirit was sore moved, so that I began to speak words full of fear to the Most High, and said,

4 O Lord that bear rule, did you not not speak at the beginning, when you did fashion the earth, and that yourself alone, and command thedust.

5 and itgave you Adam, a body without a soul? yet it was the workmanship of your hands, and you did breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before you.

6 And you led him into paradise, which your right hand did plant, before ever the earth came forward.

7 And to him you gave your one commandment: which he transgressed, and immediately you appointed death for him and in his generations; and there were born of him nations and tribes, peoples and kindred, out of number.

8 And every nation walked after their own will, and did ungodly things before you, and despisedyour commandments,and you did not forbid them.

9 Nevertheless again in process of time you brought the flood upon those that lived in the world, and destroyed them.

10 And it came to pass that the same hap befell them; like as death was to Adam, so was the flood to these.

11 Nevertheless one of them you left, Noah with his household,evenall the righteous menthat cameof him.

12 And it came to pass, that when they that lived upon the earth began to multiply, they multiplied also children, and peoples, and many nations, and began again to be more ungodly than the first.

13 And it came to pass, when they did wickedly before you, you did choose you one from among them, whose name was Abraham;

14 and him you loved, and to him only you showed the end of the times secretly by night:

15 and made an everlasting covenant with him, promising him that you would never forsake his seed.

16 And to him you gave Isaac, and to Isaac you gave Jacob and Esau. And you did set apart Jacob for yourself, but did put by Esau: and Jacob became a great multitude.

17 And it came to pass, that when you led his seed out of Egypt, you brought them up to the mount Sinai.

18 You bowed the heavens also, and didshake the earth, and movedst the whole world, and made the depths to tremble, and troubled thecourse of thatage.

19 And your glory went through four gates, of fire, and of earthquake, and of wind, and of cold; that you might give the law to the seed of Jacob, and the commandment to the generation of Israel.

20 And yet took you not away from themtheirwicked heart, that your law might bring forth fruit in them.

21 For the first Adam bearing awicked heart transgressed, and was overcome;and not he only,but all they also that are born of him.

22 Thus disease was made permanent; and the law was in the heart of the people along with thewickedness of the root; so the good departed away, and that which waswicked abode still.

23 So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then did you raise you up a servant, called David,

24 whom you commanded to build a city to your name, and to offer oblations to you therein of your own.

25 When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city did evil,

26 in all things doing even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also bare awicked heart:

27 and so you gave your city over into the hands of your enemies.

28 And I said then in mine heart, are their deeds any better that inhabit Babylon? and has she therefore dominion over Sion?

29 For it came to pass when I came hither, that I saw also impieties without number, and my soul saw many evil-doers in this thirties year, so that my heart failed me.

30 For I have seen how you suffer them sinning, and have spared the ungodly doers, and have destroyed your people, and have preserved your enemies; and you have not signified

31 to anyhow your way may be comprehended. Are the deeds of Babylon better than those of Sion?

32 Or is there any other nation that knows you beside Israel? or what tribes have so believed your covenants as thesetribes ofJacob?

33 And yet their reward appears not, and their labor has no fruit: for I have gone hither and there through the nations, and I see that they aboundin wealth,and think not upon your commandments.

34 Weigh you therefore our iniquities now in the balance, and theirs also that dwell in the world; and so shall it be found which way the scale inclines.

35 Or when was it that they which dwell upon the earth have not sinned in your sight? or what nation has so kept your commandments?

36 You shall find that menwho may be reckonedby name have kept your precepts; but nations you shall not find.

2 Esdras 4

1 And the angel that was sent to me, whose name was Uriel, gave me an answer,

2 and said to me, your heart has utterly failed you inregardingthis world, and think you to comprehend the way of the Most High?

3 Then said I, Yes my Lord.

And he answered me, and said, I am sent to show you three ways, and to set forth three similitudes before you:

4 whereof if you can declare me one, I also will show you the way that you desire to see, and I will teach you wherefore the heart iswicked.

5 And I said, say on, my Lord.

Then said he to me, Go to, weigh me a weight of fire, or measure me ameasure of wind, or call me again the day that is past.

6 Then answered I and said, who of the sonsof menis able to do this, that you should ask me of such things?

7 And he said to me, If I had asked you, saying, How many dwellings are there in the heart of the sea? or how many springs are there at the fountain head of the deep? or how manyways are above the firmament? or which are the outgoingsof hell? or which are the paths of paradise?

8 perhaps you would say to me, I never went down into the deep, nor as yet into hell, neither did I ever climb up into heaven.

9 Nevertheless now have I asked you but only of the fire and wind, and of the day, things wherethrough you have passed, andwithout which you can not be, and yet have you given me no answer of them.

10 He said moreover to me, Your own things, that are grown up with you, can you not know;

11 how then can your vessel comprehend the way of the Most High? and how can he that is already worn out with the corrupted world understandincorruption?

12 And when I heard these things I fell upon my face, and said to him, It were better that we were not here at all, than that we should come here and live in the midst of ungodliness, and suffer, and not know wherefore.

13 He answered me, and said,The woods of the trees of the field went forth, and took counsel together,

14 and said, Come, let us go and make war against the sea, that it may depart away before us, and that we may make us more woods.

15 The waves of the sea also in like manner took counsel together, and said, Come, let us go up and subdue the wood of the plain, that there also we may make us another country.

16 The counsel of the wood was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it:

17 likewise also the counsel of the waves of the sea, for the sand stood up and stopped them.

18 If you were judge now between these two, whom would you justify, or whom condemn?

19 I answered and said, it is a foolish counsel that they both have taken, for the ground is given to the wood, and the place of the seais givento bear his waves.

20 Then answered he me, and said, You have given a right judgement, and why judge you not in your own case?

21 For like as the ground is given to the wood, and the sea to his waves, even so they that dwell upon the earth may understand nothing but that which is upon the earth: and heonly that dwellsabove the heavensmay understandthe things that are above the height of the heavens.

22 Then answered I and said, I beseech you, O Lord,wherefore is the power of understanding given to me?

23 For it was not in my mind to be curious of the ways above, but of such things as pass by us daily; because Israel is given up as a reproach to the heathen,andthe people whom you have loved is given over to ungodly nations, and the law of our forefathers is made of none effect, and the written covenants are nowhereregarded,

24 and we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and our life is as avapor, neither are we worthy to obtain mercy.

25 What will he then do for his name whereby we are called? Of these things have I asked.

26 Then he answered me, and said, if you bealiveyou shall see, and if you livelong, you shall marvel; for the world hastens fast to pass away.

27 For it is not able to bear the things that are promised to the righteous in the timesto come:for this world is full of sadness and infirmities.

28 For the evilwhereof you asked me is sown, but the gathering thereof is not yet come.

29 If therefore that which is sown be not reaped, and if the place where the evil is sown pass not away, there can’t come the field where the good is sown.

30 For a grain of evil seed was sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning, and how much wickedness has it brought forth to this time! and how much shall it yet bring forth until thetime of threshing come!

31 Ponder now by yourself, how great fruit of wickedness a grain of evil seed has brought forth.

32 When the ears which are without number shall be sown, how great a floor shall they fill!

33 Then I answered and said,How long? and when shall these things come to pass? wherefore are our years few and evil?

34 And he answered me, and said, You do not hasten more than the Most High: for your haste isfor your own self, but he that is abovehastenson behalf of many.

35 Did not the souls of the righteous ask question of these things in their chambers, saying, How longare we here? when comes the fruit of thethreshing time of our reward?

36 And to them Jeremiel the archangel gave answer, and said, Even when the number is fulfilled of them that are like to you. For he has weighed the world in the balance;

37 and by measure has he measured the times, and by number has he counted the seasons; and he shall notmove nor stir them, until the said measure be fulfilled.

38 Then answered I and said, O Lord that bear rule, yet even we all are full of impiety:

39 and for our sakes perhaps it is that thethreshing time of the righteous is kept back, because of the sins of them that dwell upon the earth.

40 So he answered me, and said, Go your way to a woman with child, and ask of her when she has fulfilled her nine months, if her womb may keep the birth any longer within her.

41 Then said I, no, Lord, that can it not.

And he said to me, in the grave the chambers of souls are like the womb:

42 for like as a woman that travails makes haste to escape the anguish of the travail: even so do these places haste to deliver those things that are committed to them from the beginning.

43 Then shall it be showed you concerning those things which you desire to see.

44 Then answered I and said, if I have found favor in your sight, and if it be possible, and if I be meet therefore,

45 show me this also, whether there be more to come than is past, or whether the more part is gone over us.

46 For what is gone I know, but what is for to come I know not.

47 And he said to me, Stand up upon the right side, and I shall expound the similitude to you.

48 so I stood, and saw, and, behold, a hot burning oven passed by before me: and it happened, that when the flame was gone by I looked, and, behold, the smoke remained still.

49 After this there passed by before me a watery cloud, and sent down much rain with a storm; and when the stormy rain was past, the drops remained therein still.

50 Then said he to me, Consider with yourself; as the rain is more than the drops, and the fire is greater than the smoke, so the quantity which is past did more exceed; but the drops and the smoke remained still.

51 Then I prayed, and said, May I live, think you, until that time? or who shall be in those days?

52 He answered me, and said, As for the tokens whereof you asked me, I may tell you of them in part: but as touching your life, I am not sent to show you; for I do not know it.

2 Esdras 5

1 Nevertheless as concerning the tokens, behold, the days shall come, that they which dwell upon earth shall be takenwith great amazement, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land shall be barren of faith.

2 But iniquity shall be increased above that which now you see, or that you have heard long ago.

3 And the land, that you see now to have rule, shall be waste anduntrodden, and men shall see it desolate.

4 But if the Most High grant you to live, you shall see that which is after the thirdkingdomto be troubled; and the sun shall suddenly shine forth in the night, and the moon in the day:

5 and blood shall drop out of wood, and the stone shall give his voice, and the peoples shall be troubled; andtheirgoings shall be changed:

6 and he shall rule, whom they that dwell upon the earth look not for, and the fowls shall take their flight away together:

7 and the Sodomite sea shall cast out fish, and make a noise in the night, which many have not known: but all shall hear the voice thereof.

8 There shall be chaos also in many places, and the fire shall be often sent out, and the wild beasts shall change their places, and women shall bring forth monsters:

9 and salt waters shall be found in the sweet, and all friends shall destroy one another; then shall wit hide itself, and understanding withdraw itself into its chamber;

10 and it shall be sought of many, and shall not be found: and unrighteousness and incontinency shall be multiplied upon earth.

11 One land also shall ask another, and say, Is righteousness, is a man that does righteousness, gone through you? And it shall say, No.

12 And it shall come to pass at that time that men shall hope, but shall not obtain: they shall labor, but their ways shall not prosper.

13 To show you such tokens I have leave; and if you will pray again, and weep as now, and fast seven days, you shall hear yet greater things than these.

14 Then I awaked, and an extreme trembling went through my body, and my mind was troubled, so that it fainted.

15 So the angel that was come to talk with me held me, comforted me, and set me up upon my feet.

16 And in the second night it came to pass, thatPhaltiel the captain of the people came to me, saying, Where have you been? and why is your countenance sad?

17 or know you not that Israel is committed to you in the land of their captivity?

18 Up then, and eat some bread, and forsake us not, as the shepherdthat leavesin the hands of cruel wolves.

19 Then said I to him, Go your ways from me, and come not near me for seven days, and then shall you come to me. And he heard what I said, and went from me.

20 And so I fasted seven days, mourning and weeping, like as Uriel the angel commanded me.

21 And after seven days, so it was, that the thoughts of my heart were very grievous to me again,

22 and my soul recovered the spirit of understanding, and I began to speak words before the Most High again,

23 and said, O Lord that bear rule, of all the woods of the earth, and of all the trees thereof, you have chosen you one vine:

24 and of all the lands of the world you have chosen you onecountry: and of all the flowers of the world you have chosen you one lily:

25 and of all the depths of the sea you have filled you one river: and of all builded cities you have hallowed Sion to yourself:

26 and of all the fowls that are created you have named you one dove: and of all the cattle that are made you have provided you one sheep:

27 and among all the multitudes of peoples you have gotten you one people: and to this people, whom you loved, you gave a law that is approved of all.

28 And now, O Lord, why have you given this one people over to many, andhave dishonored the one root above others, and have scattered your only one among many?

29 And they which did gainsay your promises have trodden them down that believed your covenants.

30 If you do so much hate your people, they should be punished with your own hands.

31 Now when I had spoken these words, the angel that came to me the night before was sent to me,

32 and said to me, Hear me, and I will instruct you; hearken to me, and I shall tell you more.

33 And I said, Speak on, my Lord. Then said he to me, You are sore troubled in mind for Israel’s sake: love you that people better than he that made them?

34 And I said, No, Lord: but of very grief have I spoken: for my reins torment me every hour, while I labor to comprehend the way of the Most High, and to seek out part of his judgement.

35 And he said to me, You can not. And I said, Wherefore, Lord, or whereunto was I born? or why was not my mother’s womb then my grave, that I might not have seen the travail of Jacob, and the wearisome toil of the stock of Israel?

36 And he said to me, Number me them that are not yet come, gather me together the drops that are scattered abroad, make me the flowers green again that are withered,

37 open me the chambers that are closed, and bring me forth the winds that in them are shut up, or show me the image of a voice: and then I will declare to you the travail that you asked to see.

38 And I said, O Lord that bear rule, who may know these things, but he that has not his dwelling with men?

39 As for me, I am unwise: how may I then speak of these things whereof you asked me?

40 Then said he to me, Like as you can do none of these things that I have spoken of, even so can you not find out my judgement, or the end of the love that I have promised to my people.

41 And I said, But, behold, O Lord, you have made the promise to them that be in the end: and what shall they do that have been before us, or wethat be now,or they that shall come after us?

42 And he said to me, I will liken my judgement to a ring: like as there is no slackness of them that be last, even so there is no swiftness of them that be first.

43 So I answered and said, Couldest you not make themto beat once that have been made, and that be now, and that are for to come; that you might show your judgment the sooner?

44 Then answered he me, and said, The creature may not haste above the creator; neither may the world hold them at once that shall be created therein.

45 And I said, How have you said to your servant, thatyou will surely make alive at once the creature that you have created?If therefore they shall be alive at once, and the creature shall sustain them: even so it might now also support them to be present at once.

46 And he said to me, Ask the womb of a woman, and say to her, If you bring forth ten children, whydo you itat several times? pray her therefore to bring forth ten children at once.

47 And I said, she can’t: but must do it by distance of time.

48 Then said he to me, Even so have I given the womb of the earth to those that be sown therein in their several times.

49 For like as a young child may not bring forth, neither she that is grown oldbring forthany more, even so have I disposed the world which I created.

50 And I asked, and said, Seeing you have now showed me the way, I will speak before you: Is our mother, of whom you have told me, still young? or does she now draw near to age?

51 He answered me, and said, Ask a woman that bears children, and she shall tell you.

52 Say to her, wherefore are not they whom you have now brought forth like those that were before, but less of stature?

53 And she also shall answer you, They that be born in the strength of youth are of one fashion, and they that are born in the time of age, when the womb fails, are otherwise.

54 Consider therefore you also, how that you⌃ are less of stature than those that were before you.

55 And so are they that come after you less than you⌃, asbornof the creature which now begins to be old, and is past the strength of youth.

56 Then said I, Lord, I beseech you, if I have found favor in your sight, show your servant by whom you visit your creature.

2 Esdras 6

1 And he said to me, In the beginning, when the earth was made, before the outgoings of the world were fixed, or ever the gatherings of the winds blew,

2 before the voices of the thunder sounded and before the flashes of the lightning shone, or ever the foundations of paradise were laid,

3 before the fair flowers were seen, or ever the powers of the earthquake were established, before the innumerable hosts of angels were gathered together,

4 or ever the heights of the air were lifted up, before the measures of the firmament were named, or ever the footstool of Sionwas established,

5 and ere the present years were sought out, and or ever the imaginations of them that now sin were estranged, before they were sealed that have gathered faith for a treasure:

6 then did I consider these things, and they all were made through me alone, and through none other: as by me also they shall be ended, and by none other.

7 Then answered I and said, what shall be the parting asunder of the times? or when shall be the end of the first, and the beginning of it that follows?

8 And he said to me, FromAbraham toAbraham, inasmuch as Jacob and Esau were born of him, for Jacob’s hand held the heel of Esau from the beginning.

9 For Esau is the end of this world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that follows.

10 The beginning of a man is his hand, and the end of a man is his heel; between the heel and the hand seek you nothing else, Esdras.

11 I answered then and said, O Lord that bear rule, If I have found favor in your sight,

12 I beseech you, show your servant the end of your tokens, whereof you showed me part the last night.

13 So he answered and said to me, Stand up upon your feet, and you shall hear a mighty sounding voice;

14 and if the place whereon you stand be greatly moved,

15 when it speaks be you not afraid: for the word is of the end, and the foundations of the earth shall understand,

16 that the speech is of them: they shall tremble and be moved: for they know that their end must be changed.

17 And it happened, that when I had heard it I stood up upon my feet, and hearkened, and, behold, there was a voice that spoke, and the sound of it was like the sound of many waters.

18 And it said, Behold, the days come, and it shall be that when I draw near to visit them that dwell upon the earth,

19 and when I shall make inquisition of them that have done hurt unjustly with their unrighteousness, and when the affliction of Sion shall be fulfilled,

20 and when the seal shall be set upon the world that is to pass away, then will I show these tokens: the books shall be opened before the firmament, and all shall see together:

21 and the children of a year old shall speak with their voices, the women with child shall bring forth untimely children at three or four months, and they shall live, and dance.

22 And suddenly shall the sown places appear unsown, the full storehouses shall suddenly be found empty:

23 and the trumpet shall give a sound, which when every man hears, they shall be suddenly afraid.

24 At that time shall friends make war one against another like enemies, and the earth shall stand in fear with those that dwell therein, the springs of the fountains shall stand still, so that for three hours they shall not run.

25 And it shall be that whoever remains after all these things that I have told you of, he shall be saved, and shall see my salvation, and the end of my world.

26 And they shall see the men that have been taken up, who have not tasted death from their birth: and the heart of the inhabitants shall be changed, and turned into another meaning.

27 For evil shall be blotted out, and deceit shall be quenched;

28 and faith shall flourish, and corruption shall be overcome, and the truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be declared.

29 And when he talked with me, behold, by little and little the place whereon I stoodrocked to and fro.

30 And he said to me, These things came I to show youthis night.

31 If therefore you will pray yet again, and fast seven days more, I shall yettell you greater things than these.

32 For your voice has surely been heard before the Most High: for the Mighty has seen your righteous dealing, he has seen aforetime also your chastity, which you have had ever since your youth.

33 And therefore has he sent me to show you all these things, and to say to you, Be of good comfort, and fear not.

34 And be not hasty inregard ofthe former times, to think vain things, that you may not hasten in the latter times.

35 And it came to pass after this, that I wept again, and fasted seven days in like manner, that I might fulfil the three weeks which he told me.

36 And in the eighth night was my heart vexed within me again, and I began to speak before the Most High.

37 For my spirit was greatly set on fire, and my soul was in distress.

38 And I said, O Lord, of a truth you spoke at the beginning of the creation, upon the first day, and said thus; Let heaven and earth be made; and your word perfected the work.

39 And then was the spirit hovering, and darkness and silence were on every side; the sound of man’s voice was not yet.

40 Then command you a ray of light to be brought forth of your treasures, that then your works might appear.

41 Upon the second day again you made the spirit of the firmament and commanded it to part asunder, and to make a division between the waters, that the one part might go up, and the other remain beneath.

42 Upon the third day you did command that the waters should be gathered together in the seventh part of the earth: six parts did you dry up, and keep them, to the intent that of these some being both planted and tilled might serve before you.

43 For as soom as your word went forth the work was done.

44 For immediately there came forth great and innumerable fruit, and manifold pleasures for the taste, and flowers of inimitable color, and odors of most exquisite smell: and this was done the third day.

45 Upon the fourth day you commanded that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in their order:

46 and gave them a charge to do service to man, that was to be made.

47 Upon the fifth day you said to the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, that it should bring forth living creatures, fowls and fishes: and so it came to pass,

48 that the dumb water and without life brought forth living things as it was bidden, that the peoples might therefore praise your wondrous works.

49 Then did you preserve two living creatures, the one you calledst Behemoth, and the other you calledst Leviathan:

50 and you did separate the one from the other: for the seventh part, namely, where the water was gathered together, might not hold them both.

51 To Behemoth you gave one part, which was dried up on the third day, that he should dwell in the same, wherein are a thousand hills:

52 but to Leviathan you gave the seventh part, namely, the moist; and you have kept them to be devoured of whom you will, and when.

53 But upon the sixth day you gave commandment to the earth, that it should bring forth before you cattle, beasts, and creeping things:

54 and over these Adam, whom you ordain lord over all the works that you have made: of him come we all, the people whom you have chosen.

55 All this have I spoken before you, O Lord, because you have said that for our sakes you madethis world.

56 As for the other nations, which also come of Adam, you have said that they are nothing, and are like to spittle: and you have likened the abundance of them to a drop that falls from a vessel.

57 And now, O Lord, behold these nations, which are reputed as nothing, be lords over us, and devour us.

58 But we your people, whom you have called your firstborn, your only begotten, and your fervent lover, are given into their hands.

59 If the world now be made for our sakes, why do we not possess for an inheritance our world? How long shall this endure?

2 Esdras 7

1 And when I had made an end of speaking these words, there was sent to me the angel which had been sent to me the nights before:

2 and he said to me, Up, Esdras, and hear the words that I am come to tell you.

3 And I said, Speak on, my Lord. Then he said to me, There is a sea set in a wide place, that it might bebroad and vast.

4 But the entrance thereof shall be set in a narrow place so as to be like a river;

5 whoso then should desire to go into the sea to look upon it, or to rule it, if he went not through the narrow, how could he come into the broad?

6 Another thing also: There is a city builded and set in a plain country, and full of all good things;

7 but the entrance thereof is narrow, and is set in a dangerous place to fall, having a fire on the right hand, and on the left a deep water:

8 and there is one only path between them both, even between the fire and the water,so smallthat there could but one man go there at once.

9 If this city now be given to a man for an inheritance, if the heir pass not the danger before him, how shall he receive his inheritance?

10 And I said, It is so, Lord. Then said he to me, Even so also is Israel’s portion.

11 Because for their sakes I made the world: and when Adam transgressed my statutes, then was decreed that now is done.

12 Then were the entrances of this world made narrow, and sorrowful and toilsome: they are but few and evil, full of perils, and charged with great toils.

13 For the entrances of the greater world are wide and sure, and bring forth fruit of immortality.

14 If then they that live enter not these strait and vain things, they can never receive those that are laid up for them.

15 Now therefore why you disquiet yourself, seeing you are but a corruptible man? and why are you moved, whereas you are but mortal?

16 and why have you not considered in your mind that which is to come, rather than that which is present?

17 Then answered I and said, O Lord that bear rule, behold, you have ordained in your law, that the righteous should inherit these things, but that the ungodly should perish.

18 The righteous therefore shall suffer strait things, and hope for wide: but they that have done wickedlyhave suffered the strait things, and yet shall not see the wide.

19 And he said to me,You are not a judge above God, neither have you understanding above the Most High.

20 Yes, rather let many that now be perish, than that the law of God which is set before them be despised.

21 For God straitly commanded such as came, even as they came, what they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment.

22 Nevertheless they were not obedient to him; but spoke against him, and imagined for themselves vain things;

23 and framed cunning devices of wickedness; and said moreover of the Most High, that he is not; and knew not his ways:

24 but they despised his law, and denied his covenants; they have not been faithful to his statutes, and have not performed his works.

25 Therefore, Esdras, for the empty are empty things, and for the full are the full things.

26 For behold, the time shall come, and it shall be, when these tokens, of which I told you before, shall come to pass, that the bride shall appear, even the city coming forth, and she shall be seen, that now is withdrawn from the earth.

27 And whoever is delivered from the foresaid evils, the same shall see my wonders.

28 For my son Jesus shall be revealed with those that be with him, and shall rejoice them that remain four hundred years.

29 After these years shall my son Christ die of them that, and all that have the breath oflife.

30 And the world shall be turned into the old silence seven days, like as in the first beginning: so that no man shall remain.

31 And after seven days the world, that yet awakens not, shall be raised up, and that shall die that is corruptible.

32 And the earth shall restore those that are asleep in her, and so shall the dust those that dwell therein in silence, and thesecret places shall deliver those souls that were committed to them.

33 And the Most High shall be revealed upon the seat of judgement,and compassion shall pass away, and longsuffering shall be withdrawn:

34 but judgement only shall remain, truth shall stand, and faith shall wax strong:

35 and the work shall follow, and the reward shall be showed, and good deeds shall awake, and wicked deeds shall not sleep.

36 And thepit of torment shall appear, and over against it shall be the place of rest: and the furnace ofshall be showed, and over against it the paradise of delight.

37 And then shall the Most High say to the nations that are raised from the dead, See you⌃ and understand whom you⌃ have denied, or whom you⌃ have not served, or whose commandments you⌃ have despised.

38 Look on this side and on that: here is delight and rest, and there fire and torments. Thusshall he speak to them in the day of judgement:

39 This is a day that has neither sun, nor moon, nor stars,

40 neither cloud, nor thunder, nor lightning, neither wind, nor water, nor air, neither darkness, nor evening, nor morning,

41 neither summer, nor spring, nor heat, norwinter, neither frost, nor cold, nor hail, nor rain, nor dew,

42 neither noon, nor night, nor dawn, neither shining, nor brightness, nor light, save only the splendor of the glory of the Most High, whereby all shall see the things that are set before them:

43 for it shall endure as it were a week of years.

44 This is my judgement and the ordinance thereof; but to you only have I showed these things.

45 And I answered, I said even then, O Lord, and I say now: blessed are they that be now alive and keep thestatutesordained of you.

46 But as touching them for whom my prayer was made,what shall I say?for who is there of them that be alive that has not sinned, and who of the sonsof menthat has not transgressed your covenant?

47 And now I see, that the world to come shall bring delight to few, but torments to many.

48 For an evil heart has grown up in us, which has led us astray from thesestatutes,and has brought us into corruption and into the ways of death, has showed us the paths of perdition and removed us far from life; and that, not a few only, but well near all that have been created.

49 And he answered me, and said, Hearken to me, and I will instruct you; and I will admonish you yet again:

50 for this cause the Most High has not made one world, but two.

51 For whereas you have said that the just are not many, but few, and the ungodly abound, hearthe answerthereto.

52 If you has choice stones exceeding few,will you set for you over against them according to their numberthings oflead and clay?

53 And I said, Lord, how shall this be?

54 And he said to me, Not only this, but ask the earth, and she shall tell you; entreat her, and she shall declare to you.

55 For you shall say to her, You bring forth gold and silver and brass, and iron also and lead and clay:

56 but silver is more abundant than gold, and brass than silver, and iron than brass, lead than iron, and clay than lead.

57 Judge you therefore which things are precious and to be desired, whatso is abundant or what is rare.

58 And I said, O Lord that bear rule, that which is plentiful is of less worth, for that which is more rare is more precious.

59 And he answered me, and said,Weigh within yourself the things that you have thought, for he that has what is hard to get rejoices over him that has what is plentiful.

60 So also is thejudgement which I have promised: for I will rejoice over the few that shall be saved, inasmuch as these are they that have made my glory now to prevail, and of whom my name is now named.

61 And I will not grieve over the multitude of them that perish; for these are they that are now like to vapor, and are become as flame and smoke; they are set on fire and burn hotly, and are quenched.

62 And I answered and said, O you earth, wherefore have you brought forth, if the mind is made out of dust, like as all other created things?

63 For it were better that the dust itself had been unborn, so that the mind might not have been made therefrom.

64 But now the mind grows with us, and by reason of this we are tormented, because we perish and know it.

65 Let the race of men lament and the beasts of the field be glad; let all that are born lament, but let the four-footed beasts and the cattle rejoice.

66 For it is far better with them than with us; for they look not for judgement, neither do they know of torments or of salvation promised to them after death.

67 For what does it profit us, that we shall be preserved alive, but yet be afflicted with torment?

68 For all that are born aredefiled with iniquities, and are full of sins and laden with offences:

69 and if after death we were not to come into judgement, perhaps it had been better for us.

70 And he answered me, and said, When the Most High made the world, and Adam and all them that came of him, he first prepared the Judgement and the things that pertain to the judgement.

71 And now understand from your own words, for you have said that the mind grows with us.

72 They therefore that dwell upon the earth shall be tormented for this reason, that having understanding they have wrought iniquity, and receiving commandments have not kept them, and having obtained a law they dealt unfaithfully with that which they received.

73 What then will they have to say in the judgement, or how will they answer in the last times?

74 For how great a time has the Most High been longsuffering with them that inhabit the world, and not for their sakes, but because of the times which he has foreordained!

75 And I answered and said, if I have found grace in your sight, O Lord, show this also to your servant, whether after death, even now when every one of us gives up his soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come, in which you shall renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented forthwith.

76 And he answered me, and said, I will show you this also; but join not yourself with them that are scorners, nor count yourself with them that are tormented.

77 For you have a treasure ofgoodworks laid up with the Most High, but it shall not be showed you until the last times.

78 For concerning death the teaching is: When the determinate sentence has gone forth from the Most High that a man should die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, it adores the glory of the Most High first of all.

79 And if it be one of those that have been scorners and have not kept the way of the Most High, and that have despised his law, and that hate them that fearGod,

80 these spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall wander and be in torments forthwith, ever grieving and sad, in seven ways.

81 The first way, because they have despised the law of the Most High.

82 The second way, because they can’t now make a good returning that they may live.

83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for them that have believed 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 the dwelling places of the others guarded by angels, with great quietness.

86 The sixth way, they shall seehow forthwith some of them shall pass into torment.

87 The seventh way, which ismore grievous than all the aforesaid ways, because they shall pine away in confusion and be consumed withshame, and shall be withered up by fears, seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they have sinned while living, and before whom they shall 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 the corruptible vessel.

89 In the timethat they lived therein they painfully served the Most High, and were in jeopardy every hour, that they might keep the law of the lawgiver perfectly.

90 Wherefore this is the teaching concerning them:

91 First of all they shall see with great joy the glory of him who takes them up, for they shall have rest in seven orders.

92 The first order, because they have striven with great labor to overcome the evil thought which was fashoned together 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 that fashioned them bears concerning them, that while they lived they kept the law which was given them in trust.

95 The fourth order, they understand the rest which, being gathered in their chambers, they now enjoy with great quietness, guarded by angels, and the glory that awaits them in the last days.

96 The fifth order, they rejoice,seeinghow they have now escaped from that which is corruptible, and how they shall inherit that which is to come, while they see moreover the straitness and thepainfulness from which they have been delivered, and the large room which they shall receive with joy and immortality.

97 The sixth order, when it is showed to them how their face shall shine as the sun, and how they shall be made like to the light of the stars, being henceforth incorruptible.

98 The seventh order, which is greater than all the aforesaid orders, because they shall rejoice with confidence, and because they shall be bold without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold the face of him whom in their lifetine they served, and from whom they shall receivetheirreward in glory.

99 This is the order of the souls of the just, as from henceforthis announcer to them,andaforesaid are the ways of torture which they that would not give heed shall suffer from henceforth.

100 And I answered and said, shall time therefore be given to the souls after they are separated from the bodies, that they may see that whereof you have spoken to me?

101 And he said, Their freedom shall be for seven days, that for seven days they may see the things whereof you have been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered together in their habitations.

102 And I answered and said, if I have found favor in your sight, show further to me your servant whether in the day of judgment the just will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them,

103 whether fathers for children, or children for parents, or brethren for brethren, or kinsfolk for their next of kin, orfriends for them that are most dear.

104 And he answered me, and said, Since you have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also: The day of judgement isa day of decision, and displays to all the seal of truth; even as now a father sends not his son, or a son his father, or a master his slave, or afriend him that is most dear, that in his stead he maybe sick, or sleep, or eat, or be healed:

105 so never shall anyone pray for anotherin that day, neither shall one lay a burden on another, for then shall all bear every one his own righteousness or unrighteousness.

106 And I answered and said, How do we now find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for the fathers that sinned in the wilderness:

107 and Joshua after him for Israel in the days ofAchar:

108 and Samuelin the days of Saul; and David for the plague: and Solomon for them thatshould worshipin the sanctuary:

109 and Elijah for those that received rain; and for the dead, that he might live:

110 and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib: and many for many?

111 If therefore now, when corruption is grown up, and unrighteousness increased, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, wherefore shall it not be so then also?

112 He answered me, and said, This present world is not the end; the full glory remainsnot therein: therefore have they who were able prayed for the weak.

113 But the day of judgement shall be the end of this time,and the beginning of the immortality for to come, wherein corruption is passed away,

114 intemperance is at an end, infidelity is cut off, but righteousness is grown, and truth is sprung up.

115 Then shall no man be able to have mercy on him that is cast in judgement, nor to thrust down him that has gotten the victory.

116 I answered then and said, this is my first and last saying, that it had been better that the earth had not givenyouAdam: or else, when it had givenhim,to have restrained him from sinning.

117 For what profit is it for all that are in this present time to live in heaviness, and after death to look for punishment?

118 O you Adam, what have you done? For though it was you that sinned, the evil is not fallen on you alone, but upon all of us that come of you.

119 For what profit is it to us, if there be promised us an immortal time, whereas we have done the works that bring death?

120 And that there is promised us an everlasting hope, whereas ourselves most miserably are become vain?

121 And that there are reserved habitations of health and safety, whereas we have lived wickedly?

122 And that the glory of the Most High shall defend them which have led a pure life, whereas we have walked in the most wicked ways of all?

123 And that there shall be showed a paradise, whose fruit endures without decay, wherein is abundance and healing, but we shall not enter into it,

124 for we have walked in unpleasant places?

125 And that the faces of them which have used abstinence shall shine above the stars, whereas our faces shall be blacker than darkness?

126 For while we lived and committed iniquity, we considered not what we should have to suffer after death.

127 Then he answered and said, This is thecondition of the battle, which man that is born upon the earth shall fight;

128 that, if he be overcome, he shall suffer as you have said: but if he get the victory, he shall receive the thing that I say.

129 For this is the way whereof Moses spoke to the people while he lived, saying, Choose you life, that you may live.

130 Nevertheless they believed not him, nor yet the prophets after him, no, nor me which have spoken to them;

131 so that there shall not be such heaviness in their destruction, as there shall be joy over them that are persuaded to salvation.

132 I answered then and said, I know, Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, in that he has mercy upon them which are not yet come into the world;

133 and compassionate, in that he has compassion upon those that turn to his law;

134 and longsuffering, for that he long suffers those that have sinned, as his creatures;

135 and bountiful, for that he is ready to give rather than to exact;

136 and of great mercy, for that he multiplies more and more mercies to them that are present, and that are past, and also to them which are to come;

137 (for if he multiplied nothis mercies,the world would not continue with them that dwell therein;)

138 and one that forgives, for if he did not forgive of his goodness, that they which have committed iniquities might be eased of them, the ten thousandth part of men would not remain living;

139 and a judge,forif he did not pardon them that were created by his word, and blot out the multitude ofoffences,

140 there would perhaps be very few left in an innumerable multitude.

2 Esdras 8

1 And he answered me, and said, The Most High has made this world for many, but the world to come for few.

2 I will tell you now a similitude, Esdras; As when you asks the earth, it shall say to you, that it gives very much mould whereof earthen vessels are made, and little dust that gold comes of: even so is the course of the present world.

3 There be many created, but few shall be saved.

4 And I answered and said, Swallow down understanding then, O my soul, and letmy heartdevour wisdom.

5 For youare come here without your will, and depart when you would not: for there is given you no longer space than only to live a short time.

6 O Lord, that are over us, suffer your servant, that we may pray before you, and give us seed to our heart, and culture to our understanding, that there may come fruit of it, whereby every one shall live that is corrupt, who bears thelikeness of a man.

7 For you are alone, and we all one workmanship of your hands, like as you have said.

8 Forasmuch as you quicken the body that is fashioned now in the womb, and give it members, your creature is preserved in fire and water, and nine months does your workmanship endure your creature which is created in her.

9 But that which keeps and that which is kept shall both be keptby your keeping: and when the womb gives up again that which has grown in it,

10 you have commanded that out of the parts of the body, that is to say, out of the breasts, be given milk, which is the fruit of the breasts,

11 that the thing which is fashioned may be nourished for a time, and afterwards you shall order it in your mercy.

12 Yes, you have brought it up in your righteousness, and nurtured it in your law, and corrected it with your judgement.

13 And you shall mortify it as your creature, and quicken it as your work.

14 If therefore you shalllightly and suddenly destroy him which with so great labor was fashioned by your commandment, to what purpose was he made?

15 Now therefore I will speak; touching man in general, you know best; but touching your peoplewill I speak,for whose sake I am sorry;

16 and for your inheritance, for whose cause I mourn; and for Israel, for whom I am heavy; and for the seed of Jacob, for whose sake I am troubled;

17 therefore will I begin to pray before you for myself and for them: for I see the falls of us that dwell in the land;

18 but I have heard the swiftness of the judgment which is to come.

19 Therefore hear my voice, and understand my saying, and I will speak before you.

The beginning of the words of Esdras, before he was taken up. And he said,

20 O Lord, you thatabidest for ever, whose eyes are exalted, and whose chambers are in the air;

21 whose throne is inestimable; whose glory may not be comprehended; before whom the hosts of angels stand with trembling,

22 at whose bidding they are changed to wind and fire; whose word is sure, and sayings constant; whose ordinance is strong, and commandment fearful;

23 whose look dries up the depths, and whose indignation makes the mountains to melt away, and whose truth bears witness:

24 hear, O Lord, the prayer of your servant, and give ear to the petition of your handiwork;

25 attend to my words, for so long as I live I will speak, and so long as I have understanding I will answer.

26 O look not upon the sins of your people; but on them that have served you in truth,

27 Regard not the doings of them that deal wickedly, but of them that have kept your covenants in affliction.

28 Think not upon those that have walked feignedly before you; but remember them which have willingly known your fear.

29 Let it not be your will to destroy them which have lived like cattle; but look upon them that haveclearly taught your law.

30 Take you no indignation at them which are deemed worse than beasts; but love them that have always put their trust in your glory.

31 For we and our fathers havepassed our lives inways that bring death: but you because of us sinnersare called merciful.

32 For if you have a desire to have mercy upon us, then shall you be called merciful, to us, namely, that have no works of righteousness.

33 For the just, which have manygoodworks laid up with you, shall for their own deeds receive reward.

34 For what is man, that you should take displeasure at him? or what is a corruptible race, that you should be so bitter toward it?

35 For in truth there is no man among them that be born, but he has dealt wickedly; and among themthat have lived there is none which have not done amiss.

36 For in this, O Lord, your righteousness and your goodness shall be declared, if you be merciful to them which have no store of good works.

37 Then answered he me, and said, Some things have you spoken aright, and according to your words so shall it come to pass.

38 For indeed I will not think on the fashioning of them which have sinned, or their death, their judgement, or their destruction;

39 but I will rejoice over the framing of the righteous, their pilgrimage also, and the salvation, and the reward, that they shall have.

40 Like therefore as I have spoken, so shall it be.

41 For as the husbandman sows much seed upon the ground, and plants many trees, and yet not all that is sown shallcome up in due season, neither shall all that is planted take root: even so they that are sown in the world shall not all be saved.

42 I answered then and said, if I have found favor, let me speak before you.

43 Forasmuch as the husbandman’s seed, if it come not up, seeing that it has not received your rain in due season, or if it be corrupted through too much rain,so perishes;

44 likewise man, which is formed with your hands, and is called your own image, because he is made liketo you,for whose sake you have formed all things, even him have you made like to the husbandman’s seed.

45 Be not angry with us, but spare your people, and have mercy upon your inheritance; for you have mercy upon your own creation.

46 Then answered he me, and said, Things present are for them that now be, and things to come for such as shall be hereafter.

47 For you come far short that you should be able to love my creature more than I. But you have brought yourself full near to the unrighteous.Let thisneverbe.

48 Yet in this shall you be admirable to the Most High;

49 in that you have humbled yourself, as it becomes you, and have not judged yourselfworthy to beamong the righteous, so as to be much glorified.

50 For many grievous miseries shall befall them that in the last times dwell in the world, because they have walked in great pride.

51 But understand you for yourself, and of such as be like you seek out the glory.

52 For to you is paradise opened, the tree of life planted, the time to come is prepared, plenteousness is made ready, a city is builded, and rest isallowed, goodness is perfected, wisdom being perfect beforehand.

53 The rootof evilis sealed up from you, weakness is done away from you, and[death] is hidden; hell and corruption are fled into forgetfulness:

54 sorrows are passed away, and in the end is showed the treasure of immortality.

55 Therefore ask you no more questions concerning the multitude of them that perish.

56 For when they had received liberty, they despised the Most High, thought scorn of his law, and forsook his ways.

57 Moreover they have trodden down his righteous,

58 and said in their heart, that there is no God; yes, and that knowing they must die.

59 For as the things aforesaid shall receive you, so thirst and pain which are preparedshall receivethem: for the Most High willed not that men should come to nothing:

60 but they which be created have themselves defiled the name of him that made them, and were unthankful to him which prepared life for them.

61 And therefore is my judgement now at hand,

62 which I have not showed to all men, but to you, and a few like you.

Then answered I and said,

63 Behold, O Lord, now have you showed me the multitude of the wonders, which you will do in the last times: but at what time, you have not showed me.

2 Esdras 9

1 And he answered me, and said, Measure you diligently within yourself: and when you see that a certain part of the signs are past, which have been told you beforehand,

2 then shall you understand, that it is the very time, wherein the Most High will visit the world which was made by him.

3 And when there shall be seen in the world earthquakes, disquietude of peoples, devices of nations, wavering of leaders, disquietude of princes,

4 then shall you understand, that the Most High spoke of these things from the days that were aforetime from the beginning.

5 For like as of all that is made in the world, the beginningis 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 effects and signs.

7 And everyone that shall be saved, and shall be able to escape by his wotks, or by faith, whereby he has believed,

8 shall be preserved from the said perils, and shall see my salvation in my land, and within my borders, which I have sanctified for me from the beginning.

9 Then shall they be amazed, which now have abused my ways: and they that have cast them away despitefully shall dwell in torments.

10 For as many as in their life have received benefits, and yet have not known me;

11 and as many as have scorned my law, while they had yet liberty, and, when as yet place of repentance was open to them, understood not, but despisedit;

12 the same must knowitafter death by torment.

13 And therefore be you no longer curious how the ungodly shall be punished; but inquire how the righteous shall be saved,they whose the worldis,and for whom the worldwas created.

14 And I answered and said,

15 I have said before, and now do speak, and will speak it also hereafter, that there be more of them which perish, than of the which will be saved:

16 like as a wave is greater than a drop.

17 And he answered me, saying, Like as the field is, so also the seed; and as the flowers be, such are the colors also; and such as the work is, such also is thejudgementthereon;and as is the husbandman, so is his threshing floor also. For there was a time in the world,

18 even then when I was preparing for them that now live, before the world was made for them to dwell in; and then no man spoke against me,

19 forthere was not any: but now they which are created in this world that is prepared, bothwith a table that fails not, and a law which is unsearchable, are corrupted in their manners.

20 So I considered my world, and, behold, it was destroyed, and my earth, and, behold, it was in peril, because of the devices that were come into it.

21 And I saw, and spared them, but not greatly, and saved me a grape out of a cluster, and a plant out ofa great forest.

22 Let the multitude perish then, which was born in vain; and let my grape be saved, and my plant; for with great labor have I made them perfect.

23 Nevertheless if you will cease yet seven days more, (howbeit you shall not fast in them,

24 but shall go into a field of flowers, where no house is builded, and eat only of the flowers of the field; and you shall taste no flesh, and shall drink no wine, butshall eatflowers only;)

25 and pray to the Most High continually, then will I come and talk with you.

26 So I went my way, like as he commanded me, into the field which is calledArdat; and there I sat among the flowers, and did eat of the herbs of the field, and the meat of the same satisfied me.

27 And it came to pass after seven days that I lay upon the grass, and my heart was vexed again, like as before:

28 and my mouth was opened, and I began to speak before the Lord Most High, and said,

29 O Lord, you did show yourself among us, to our fathers in the wilderness, when they went forth out of Egypt, and when they came into the wilderness, where no man treadeth and that bears no fruit;

30 and you did say, Hear me, you Israel; and mark my words, O seed of Jacob.

31 For, behold, I sow my law in you, and it shall bring forth fruit in you, and you⌃ shall be glorified in it for ever.

32 But our fathers, which received the law, kept it not, and observed not the statutes: and the fruit of the law did not perish, neither could it, for it was your;

33 yet they that received it perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.

34 And, behold, it is a custom, that when the ground has received seed, or the sea a ship, or any vessel meat or drink, and when it comes to pass that that which is sown, or that which is launched,

35 or the things which have been received, should come to an end, these come to an end, but the receptacles remain: yet with us it has not happened so.

36 For we that have received the law shall perish by sin, and our heart also which received it.

37 Notwithstanding the law perishes not, but remains in its honor.

38 And when I spoke these things in my heart, I looked about me with mine eyes, and upon the right side I saw a woman, and, behold, she mourned and wept with a loud voice, and was much grieved in mind, and her clothes were tore, and she had ashes upon her head.

39 Then let I my thoughts go wherein I was occupied, and turned me to her,

40 and said to her, Why do you weep? and why are you grieved in your mind?

41 And she said to me, Let me alone, my Lord, that I may bewail myself, and add to my sorrow, for I am sore vexed in my mind, and brought very low.

42 And I said to her, What aileth you? Tell me.

43 She said to me, I your servant was barren, and had no child, though I had a husband thirty years.

44 And every hour and every day these thirty years did I make my prayer to the Most High day and night.

45 And it came to pass after thirty years that God heard me your handmaid, and looked upon my low estate, and considered my trouble, and gave me a son: and I rejoiced in him greatly, I and my husband, and all myneighbors: and we gave great honor to the Mighty.

46 And I nourished him with great travail.

47 So when he grew up, and I came to take him a wife, I made him a feast day.