The Second Book of Esdras

Chapter 9

9:1 “And he answered me and said, “Measure it carefully within yourself, and it will be that when you see that a certain part of the signs which have been foretold have passed,”
9:2 “Then you will understand that is the very time when the Most High is to visit the world that was made by him.”
9:3 “When there shall appear in the world earthquakes, the tumult of peoples,”
9:4 “Plots of the heaven, wavering of leaders, and confusion of princes, then you will understand that it was of these things that the Most High spoke from the days that were of old, from the beginning.”
9:5 “For just as with everything that has happened in the world, the beginning is plain and the end manifest,”
9:6 “So also are the times of the Most High; the beginnings are signalized by wonders and mighty works, and the end by acts and signs.”
9:7 “And it will be that everyone who will be saved, and who is able to escape by reason of his deeds or his faith, by which he believed,”
9:8 “Will survive the dangers I have foretold, and will see, my salvation in my land, and within my borders which I have consecrated to myself from eternity.”
9:9 “Then those who have now neglected my ways will be amazed, and those who have rejected them with contempt will abide in torment.”
9:10 “For as many as failed to acknowledge me in their lifetime, though they received my benefits,”
9:11 “And as many as disdained my Law, while they still had freedom, and while an opportunity to repent was still open to them, did not understand but scorned it,”
9:12 “These must recognize it after death, through torment.”
9:13 “So you must no longer be curious as to how the ungodly will be punished, but ask how the righteous will be saved, to whom that age belongs and for the sake of whom it was made.”
9:14 “I answered and said,”
9:15 “I said before, and say now, and will say again, there are more that perish than that will be saved,”
9:16 “As a wave is greater than a drop of water.”
9:17 “And he answered me and said, “As is the field, so is the seed, and as are the flowers, so are the colors, and as is the work, so is it judged, and as is the farmer, so is the threshing-floor. For there was a time in the ages of eternity,”
9:18 “When I was preparing for those who now are, before the world was made for them to live in, and no one opposed me then,”
9:19 “For there was no one else; but now those who have been created in this world which is provided with an unfailing table and an inexhaustible pasture, have become corrupt in their characters.”
9:20 “So I considered my world, and, behold, it was lost; and my universe, and, behold, it was in danger, because of the devices of those who had come into it.”
9:21 “And I saw, and spared them, not very greatly, and saved myself one grape out of a cluster, and one plant out of a forest.”
9:22 “So let the multitude perish, that were born in vain, but let my grape be saved, and my plant, because with much labor I have perfected them.”
9:23 “But if you will let seven days more pass but not fast in them,”
9:24 “But go to a flowery field, where no house is built, and eat only of the flowers of the field, and taste no meat and drink no wine, but only flowers,”
9:25 “And will pray to the Most High continually, I will come and talk with you.”
9:26 “So I went as he told me, to the field called Ardat, and I sat there among the flowers, and ate the wild plants, and the food they afforded satisfied me.”
9:27 “And it came to pass after seven days that as I lay on the grass my heart was troubled as it had been before.”
9:28 “Then my mouth was opened, and I began to speak before the Most High, and said,”
9:29 “O Lord, you surely showed yourself to our forefathers in the desert when they came out of Egypt and went into the desert, which was untrodden and unproductive,”
9:30 “And you surely said, ‘Israel, hear me, and mark my words, posterity of Jacob.”
9:31 “For behold, I sow my Law in you, and it will bring forth fruit in you, and you will be glorified through it forever.’“
9:32 “But our forefathers who received the Law did not keep it, and did not observe the statutes, yet the fruit of the Law did not perish, for it could not, because it was yours;”
9:33 “But those who had received it perished, because they had not kept what had been sown in them.”
9:34 “And, behold, it is the rule that when the earth has received seed, or the sea a ship, or any dish food or drink,”
9:35 “And when it comes about that what was sown or what was launched or what was put in is destroyed, they are destroyed, but the things which contained them remain. But with us it has not been so;”
9:36 “We who received the Law will perish because we sinned, along with our heart which received it;”
9:37 “But the Law does not perish, but abides in its glory.”
9:38 “When I said this to myself, I lifted up my eyes and saw woman at my right, and behold, she was weeping and wailing aloud, and was deeply grieved at heart, and her clothes were torn, and she had ashes on her head.”
9:39 “And I dismissed the thoughts I had been thinking, and turned to her,”
9:40 “And said to her, “Why do you weep, and why are you grieved at heart?”
9:41 “And she said to me, “Let me weep over myself, my lord, and continue to mourn, for I am greatly embittered in spirit and deeply afflicted.”
9:42 “And I said to her, “What has happened to you? Tell me.”
9:43 “And she said to me, “Your servant was barren and had no child, though I had a husband for thirty years.”
9:44 “And every day and hour, those thirty years, I prayed to the Most High, night and day.”
9:45 “Then after thirty years it came about that God heard your servant, and looked on my affliction and gave heed to my distress and gave me a son. And I rejoiced greatly over him, I and my husband and all my neighbors, and we paid great honor to the Mighty One.”
9:46 “And I brought him up with great care.”
9:47 “And it came about, when he was grown up, that I proceeded to take a wife for him, and made a marriage feast.”

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