The Second Book of Esdras

Chapter 14

14:1 “And it came to pass on the third day, as I sat under an oak, behold, a voice came from a bush in front of me, and said, “Ezra, Ezra!”
14:2 “And I said, “Here I am, sir!” And I rose to my feet,”
14:3 “And he said to me, “I revealed myself visibly in the bush, and talked with Moses, when my people was in slavery in Egypt,”
14:4 “And I sent him, and led my people out of Egypt, and brought them to Mount Sinai, and kept him with me many days,”
14:5 “And told him many wonderful things, and showed him the secrets of the times, and the end of the times, and commanded him, saying,”
14:6 “These words you must publish openly, and those you must keep secret.”
14:7 “And now I tell you,”
14:8 “The signs that I have shown you, and the dreams that you have had, and the meaning of them that you have heard, lay up in your heart!”
14:9 “For you will be taken up from among men, and henceforth you will live with my Son and those who are like you, until the times are ended.”
14:10 “For the world has lost its youth, and the times are beginning to grow old.”
14:11 “For the life of the world is divided into twelve parts, and nine parts and half of the tenth part are already past,”
14:12 “And there are left two parts and half of the tenth part.”
14:13 “Now therefore put your house in order, and warn your people, comfort the humble among them, and teach those who are wise, and now renounce the life that perishes,”
14:14 “And dismiss from your mind mortal considerations, and throw off the burdens of human-existence, and lay aside your weak nature,”
14:15 “And put away your perplexities, and hasten to escape from these times.”
14:16 “For worse evils are still to come than those you have seen happen.”
14:17 “For the more the world grows weak with age, the more evils will increase upon those who live in it.”
14:18 “Truth will more and more retire, and falsehood draw near. For the eagle that you saw in your vision is already hastening to come.”
14:19 “And I answered and said,”
14:20 “Let me speak before you, sir! For behold, I will go away, as you have commanded me, and I will warn the people who are now living; but who will warn those who are still to be born? For the world lies in darkness, and those who live in it have no light;”
14:21 “For your Law is burnt, and so no one knows what has been done by you or what is going to be done.”
14:22 “But if I have found favor before you, impart to me the Holy Spirit, and I will write all that has happened in the world since the beginning, which were written in your Law, so that men can find the path, and those who wish to live in the last times may live.”
14:23 “And he answered me and said, “Go, gather the people together, and tell them not to look for you for forty days.”
14:24 “But you must prepare for yourself many writing tablets, and take with you Seraiah, Dabria, Shelemiah, Elkanah, and Asiel, who are able to write swiftly.”
14:25 “And you are to come here, and I will light the lamp of understanding in your heart, and it will not be put out until the things you are to write are finished.”
14:26 “And when you have finished, some things you shall publish and some you shall hand down secretly to the wise. At this hour tomorrow you shall begin to write.”
14:27 “And I went as he commanded me, and gathered all the people together, and said,”
14:28 “Israel, hear these words.”
14:29 “Our forefathers lived in Egypt as strangers at first, and they were delivered from there,”
14:30 “And received the Law of life, which they did not observe, which you also transgressed after them.”
14:31 “Then land was given you to possess in the country of Zion, but you and your forefathers acted unrighteously and did not observe the ways which the Most High commanded you to keep;”
14:32 “And, as he is an upright judge, he took from you what he had given you in his own time.”
14:33 “And now you are here, and your brothers are in the interior.”
14:34 “If therefore you will rule your mind and instruct your heart, you will be preserved while you live, and obtain mercy after death.”
14:35 “For after death will come the judgment, when we will live again, and then the names of the upright will appear and the deeds of the ungodly will be disclosed.”
14:36 “But let no one come near me now, or look for me for forty days.”
14:37 “Then I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we went to the field, and stayed there.”
14:38 “And it came to pass the next day that a voice called me, and said, “Ezra, open your mouth, and drink what I give you to drink.”
14:39 “And I opened my mouth, and, behold, a full cup was offered me. It was full of what looked like water, but the color of it was like fire.”
14:40 “And I took it, and drank, and when I had drunk it, my heart gushed forth understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory,”
14:41 “And my mouth opened and was no longer closed.”
14:42 “Moreover, the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and they wrote what was said, one after another, in letters that they did not know. And they stayed forty days; they wrote in the daytime, and ate their bread at night;”
14:43 “But I spoke by day and was not silent at night.”
14:44 “In forty days ninety-four books were written.”
14:45 “And it came to pass, when the forty days were over, that the Most High spoke to me and said, “Publish the twenty-four books that you wrote first, for the worthy and the unworthy to read,”
14:46 “But keep the seventy books that were written last, to hand down to the wise men among your people,”
14:47 “For in them is the source of understanding, and the spring of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge.”
14:48 “And I did so,” [in the seventh year, in the sixth week, after five thousand years of the creation, and three months and twelve days. Then Ezra was caught up, and taken to the land of those who were like him, after he had written all this. And he was called the scribe of the knowledge of the Most High forever and ever.] (oriental versions end with this bracketed conclusion, which is absent from the Latin.)

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