The Second Book of Esdras

Chapter 11

11:1 “And it came to pass on the second night that I had a dream, and behold, there came up out of the sea an eagle, with twelve feather-covered wings and three heads.”
11:2 “And I looked, and behold he spread his wings over the whole earth, and all the winds of heaven blew upon him, and the clouds gathered about him.”
11:3 “And I looked, and out of his wings grew additional wings, and they became small, dwarfish wings.”
11:4 “But his heads were resting; the middle was greater than the other heads, but it was resting like them.”
11:5 “And I looked, and behold, the eagle flew with his wings, to reign over the earth, and over those who live on it.”
11:6 “And I saw that everything under heaven was subject, to him, and no one opposed him, nor any creature that was on the earth.”
11:7 “And I looked and, behold, the eagle rose upon his talons, and uttered his voice to his wings, saying,”
11:8 “Do not all watch at once, sleep each in his own place, and watch by turns;”
11:9 “But let the heads be reserved for the last.”
11:10 “And I looked, and behold, the voice did not come from his heads but from the midst of his body.”
11:11 “And I counted his additional wings, and behold, there were eight of them.”
11:12 “And I looked, and behold, on the right side, one wing arose and it reigned over the whole earth.”
11:13 “And it came to pass, after it had reigned, that it came to an end, and disappeared, so that even the place where it had been could not be seen. Then the second arose and reigned, and it ruled a long time.”
11:14 “And it came to pass, after it had reigned, that it also came to an end, so that it disappeared like the first.”
11:15 “And behold a voice was heard, saying to it,”
11:16 “Listen, you who have ruled the earth so long, I make this proclamation to you before you begin to disappear:”
11:17 “No one after you will rule as long as you have ruled, or even half as long!”
11:18 “Then the third wing raised itself up, and ruled like the former ones, and it also disappeared.”
11:19 “And so it fell to all the wings, one by one to be emperor, and then to disappear again.”
11:20 “And I looked, and behold, in due time, the additional wings on the right side raised themselves up, in order to be emperor, and there were some of them who succeeded but immediately disappeared,”
11:21 “And some of them raised themselves up, but did not remain emperor.”
11:22 “And afterward I looked, and behold, the twelve wings and two little wings disappeared.”
11:23 “And nothing was left on the eagle’s body except the three heads that were resting and six little wings.”
11:24 “And I looked, and behold, from the six little wings two separated, and stayed under the head that was on the right side; but four stayed in their places.”
11:25 “And I looked, and behold, these four additional wings planned to raise themselves up and be emperors.”
11:26 “And I looked, and behold, one raised itself up, and immediately disappeared;”
11:27 “And a second, and it disappeared more quickly than the first.”
11:28 “And I looked, and behold, the two that were left also planned to reign;”
11:29 “But while they were planning it, behold, the one of the resting heads that was in the middle awoke, for it was greater than the other two heads;”
11:30 “And I saw how the two heads were united with it;”
11:31 “And behold, the head turned with the ones that were with it, and it ate up the additional wings which planned to reign.”
11:32 “Moreover, this head made itself master of the whole earth, and ruled very oppressively over its inhabitants, and it had more power over the world than all the wings that had gone before.”
11:33 “And afterward I looked, and behold, the middle head suddenly disappeared, just as the wings had done.”
11:34 “But the two heads remained, and they also reigned over the earth and over its inhabitants.”
11:35 “And I looked, and behold, the head on the right side ate up the one on the left.”
11:36 “Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Look before you, and think about what you see.”
11:37 “And I looked, and behold, what seemed to be a lion rose out of the forest roaring, and I heard how he uttered a man’s voice to the eagle, and spoke saying,”
11:38 “Listen, and I will speak to you. The Most High says to you,”
11:39 “Are you not all that is left of the four animals that I made to reign in my world, so that through them the end of my times might come?”
11:40 “And you are the fourth to come, and you have conquered all the animals that are past, and you have held the world in subjection in great terror, and the whole earth with harsh oppression, and you have lived so long in the world with deceit;”
11:41 “And you have not judged the earth with truth.”
11:42 “You have persecuted the meek and hurt the peaceable, you have hated those who tell the truth, and loved liars, and you have destroyed the dwellings of the fruitful, and torn down the walls of those who did you no harm.”
11:43 “And your insolence has reached the Most High and your pride the Mighty One.”
11:44 “And the Most High has looked at his times, and behold, they are ended, and his ages are completed!”
11:45 “Therefore you will surely disappear, you eagle, and your dreadful wings, and your wicked additional wings, and your malignant heads, and your cruel talons, and your whole worthless body,”
11:46 “So that the whole earth may be freed from your violence, and be refreshed and relieved, and hope for the justice and mercy of him who made her.”

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