The Second Book of Esdras

Chapter 6

6:1 “And he said to me, “As for the beginning of the world of the earth, before the outlets of the world were fixed, and before the assembled winds blew,”
6:2 “And before the voices of the thunders sounded, and before the lightning flashes shone, and before the foundations of Paradise were laid,”
6:3 “And before the beautiful flowers were seen, and before the moving forces were established, and before the innumerable companies of angels were gathered,”
6:4 “And before the heights of the air were raised aloft, and before the dimensions of the firmaments were named, and before Zion was appointed his footstool,”
6:5 “And before the years of the present were discovered, and before the wiles of present day sinners were cut off, and those who had treasured the faith were sealed;”
6:6 “Even then I considered it, and these things were made through me, and through no other, just as their end also shall come through me, and through no other.”
6:7 “And I answered and said, “What will mark the parting of the times? Or when will the end of the first or the beginning of the second be.”
6:8 “And he said to me, “From Abraham to Isaac, for from him sprang Jacob and Esau, but Jacob’s hand held Esau’s heel from the beginning.”
6:9 “For Esau is the end of this age, and Jacob is the beginning of the one that follows.”
6:10 “For the beginning of a man is his hand, and between the heel and the hand look for nothing else, Ezra!”
6:11 “Then I answered and said, “O Sovereign Lord, if I have found favor in your sight,”
6:12 “Show your slave the end of your signs, some part of which you showed me the other night.”
6:13 “Rise to your feet, and you will hear a very loud voice.”
6:14 “And if the place where you stand is violently shaken,”
6:15 “You must not be terrified when it speaks, for what it says is about the end, and the foundations of the earth will understand that the speech concerns them;”
6:16 “They will tremble and quake, for they know that at the end they must be changed.”
6:17 “And it came to pass that, when I heard, I rose to my feet and listened, and, behold, a voice was speaking, and the sound of it was like the noise of many waters.”
6:18 “And It said, “Behold, the days are coming, and it shall be, when I begin to draw near to visit those who live on the earth,”
6:19 “And when I begin to require their wrongdoing from those who have done it, and when the humiliation shall be complete,”
6:20 “And when the age which is beginning to pass away shall be sealed, I will perform these signs: the books will be opened before the face of the firmament, and they shall all see it together;”
6:21 “And infants a year old shall talk, and women with child will bring forth untimely infants at three or four months, and they will live and dance,”
6:22 “And sown ground will suddenly appear unsown, and full storehouses will suddenly be found empty,”
6:23 “And the trumpet will sound, and when all men hear it, they will suddenly be terrified.”
6:24 “And it will come to pass at that time that friends will make war on their friends like enemies, and the earth and those who live on it will be greatly terrified, and the sources of the springs will stop, so that for three hours they will not run.”
6:25 “And it shall be that whoever shall have survived all these things that I have foretold to you shall himself be saved and shall see my salvation and the end of my world.”
6:26 “And they will see the men who were taken up, who from their birth have not tasted death, and the heart of the earth’s inhabitants will be changed and converted to a different spirit.”
6:27 “For evil will be destroyed and deceit will be abolished,”
6:28 “But faith will flourish, and corruption be conquered, and truth, which has been without fruit so long, will be disclosed.”
6:29 “And it came to pass, while he talked with me, that behold, little by little the place where I stood was moved upon itself.”
6:30 “And he said to me, “I have come to show you these things and things to come, this night.”
6:31 “If therefore you will pray again and fast again for seven days, I will again declare to you even greater things than these by day.”
6:32 “For your voice has surely been heard before the Most High, for the Mighty One has seen your uprightness, and has remarked your purity, which you have maintained from your youth.”
6:33 “And because of this he sent me to show you all these things and to say to you, ‘Believe and do not fear;”
6:34 “And do not be in haste to engage in idle speculations over the former times, so that you may not have to hasten in the last times.”
6:35 “And it came to pass after this that again I wept and fasted seven days as before, to complete the three weeks, as I had been told. “
6:36 “And it came to pass on the eighth night that my heart was again troubled within me, and I began to speak before the Most High.”
6:37 “For my spirit was greatly excited and my soul was distressed.”
6:38 “And I said, “O Lord, at the beginning of the creation you surely spoke, and said on the first day, ‘Let heaven and earth be made,’ and your word performed the work.”
6:39 “Then the spirit was hovering, and darkness and silence were all around; the sound of man’s voice you had not yet heard.”
6:40 “Then you ordered a ray of light to be brought out of your storehouses, so that your works might then appear.”
6:41 “Again, on the second day, you created the spirit of the firmament, and commanded it to divide and make a division between the waters, so that one part might go up and one part remain below.”
6:42 “On the third day you commanded the waters to be gathered together in the seventh part of the earth, but six parts you dried up and kept them so that some of them might be planted and cultivated and serve before you.”
6:43 “For your word went forth, and the work was immediately done.”
6:44 “For suddenly there came forth fruit in immeasurable abundance, and of manifold appeal to the taste, and flowers of inimitable hues, and odors of unfathomable fragrance. These were made on the third day.”
6:45 “But on the fourth day you commanded the brightness of the sun to come into being, the light of the moon, and the order of the stars,”
6:46 “And you commanded them to serve man who was still to be formed.”
6:47 “But on the fifth day you ordered the seventh part, where the water was gathered, to bring forth living things, birds and fish, and it was done,”
6:48 “The mute, lifeless water producing living creatures, as it was commanded, so that nations might tell of your wondrous works because of it.”
6:49 “Then you preserved two living creatures; one you named Behemoth. and the other you named Leviathan,”
6:50 “And you separated them so from each other, for the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, could not hold them both.”
6:51 “And you gave Behemoth one part, which had dried up on the third day, to live in, in which there are a thousand mountains;”
6:52 “But to Leviathan you gave a seventh part that is moist; and you preserved them to be devoured by whomsoever you please, and when you please.”
6:53 “But on the sixth day, you commanded the earth to create before you cattle and wild animals and reptiles,”
6:54 “And over them Adam, whom you appointed leader over all the works that you had made, and from him we are all descended whom you have chosen to be your people.”
6:55 “I have said all this before you, Lord, because you have said that it was for our sake that you made this first born world.”
6:56 “But as for the rest of the nations which are sprung from Adam, you have said that they are nothing and are like spittle, and you have compared their abundance to a drop in a bucket.”
6:57 “And now, Lord, behold, these nations that are counted as nothing rule over us and devour us.”
6:58 “But we, your people, whom you called your first born, only-begotten, chosen and beloved, are delivered into their hands.”
6:59 “If it was for our sake that the world was created, why do we not possess the world as our inheritance? How long shall this be?”

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