21Thus saith the Lord, I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them my commandments by menservants the prophets; whom they would not hear, but despised my counsels.
2The mother that bare them saith unto them, Go your way, ye children; for I am a widow and forsaken.
3I brought you up with gladness; but with sorrow and heaviness have I lost you: for ye have sinned before the Lord your God, and done that thing that is evil before him.
4But what shall I now do unto you? I am a widow and forsaken: go your way, O my children, and ask mercy of the Lord.
5As for me, O father, I call upon thee for a witness over the mother of these children, which would not keep my covenant,
6That thou bring them to confusion, and their mother to a spoil, that there may be no offspring of them.
7Let them be scattered abroad among the heathen, let their names be put out of the earth: for they have despised my covenant.
8Woe be unto thee, Assur, thou that hidest the unrighteous in thee! O thou wicked people, remember what I did unto Sodom and Gomorrha;
9Whose land lieth in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes: even so also will I do unto them that hear me not, saith the Almighty Lord.
10Thus saith the Lord unto Esdras, Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I would have given unto Israel.
11Their glory also will I take unto me, and give these the everlasting tabernacles, which I had prepared for them.
12They shall have the tree of life for an ointment of sweet savour; they shall neither labour, nor be weary.
13Go, and ye shall receive: pray for few days unto you, that they may be shortened: the kingdom is already prepared for you: watch.
14Take heaven and earth to witness; for I have broken the evil in pieces, and created the good: for I live, saith the Lord.
15Mother, embrace thy children, and bring them up with gladness, make their feet as fast as a pillar: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord.
16And those that be dead will I raise up again from their places, and bring them out of the graves: for I have known my name in Israel.
17Fear not, thou mother of the children: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord.
18For thy help will I send my servants Esau and Jeremy, after whose counsel I have sanctified and prepared for thee twelve trees laden with divers fruits,
19And as many fountains flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grow roses and lilies, whereby I will fill thy children with joy.
20Do right to the widow, judge for the fatherless, give to the poor, defend the orphan, clothe the naked,
21Heal the broken and the weak, laugh not a lame man to scorn, defend the maimed, and let the blind man come into the sight of my clearness.
22Keep the old and young within thy walls.
23Wheresoever thou findest the dead, take them and bury them, and I will give thee the first place in my resurrection.
24Abide still, O my people, and take thy rest, for thy quietness still come.
25Nourish thy children, O thou good nurse; stablish their feet.
26As for the servants whom I have given thee, there shall not one of them perish; for I will require them from among thy number.
27Be not weary: for when the day of trouble and heaviness cometh, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but thou shalt be merry and have abundance.
28The heathen shall envy thee, but they shall be able to do nothing against thee, saith the Lord.
29My hands shall cover thee, so that thy children shall not see hell.
30Be joyful, O thou mother, with thy children; for I will deliver thee, saith the Lord.
31Remember thy children that sleep, for I shall bring them out of the sides of the earth, and shew mercy unto them: for I am merciful, saith the Lord Almighty.
32Embrace thy children until I come and shew mercy unto them: for my wells run over, and my grace shall not fail.
33I Esdras received a charge of the Lord upon the mount Oreb, that I should go unto Israel; but when I came unto them, they set me at nought, and despised the commandment of the Lord.
34And therefore I say unto you, O ye heathen, that hear and understand, look for your Shepherd, he shall give you everlasting rest; for he is nigh at hand, that shall come in the end of the world.
35Be ready to the reward of the kingdom, for the everlasting light shall shine upon you for evermore.
36Flee the shadow of this world, receive the joyfulness of your glory: I testify my Saviour openly.
37O receive the gift that is given you, and be glad, giving thanks unto him that hath led you to the heavenly kingdom.
38Arise up and stand, behold the number of those that be sealed in the feast of the Lord;
39Which are departed from the shadow of the world, and have received glorious garments of the Lord.
40Take thy number, O Sion, and shut up those of thine that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord.
41The number of thy children, whom thou longedst for, is fulfilled: beseech the power of the Lord, that thy people, which have been called from the beginning, may be hallowed.
42I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs.
43And 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; which I marvelled at greatly.
44So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these?
45He answered and said unto 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.
46Then said I unto the angel, What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands?
47So he answered and said unto 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.
48Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.
31In the thirtieth year after the ruin of the city I was in Babylon, and lay troubled upon my bed, and my thoughts came up over my heart:
2For I saw the desolation of Sion, and the wealth of them that dwelt at Babylon.
3And my spirit was sore moved, so that I began to speak words full of fear to the most High, and said,
4O Lord, who bearest rule, thou spakest at the beginning, when thou didst plant the earth, and that thyself alone, and commandedst the people,
5And gavest a body unto Adam without soul, which was the workmanship of thine hands, and didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before thee.
6And thou leadest him into paradise, which thy right hand had planted, before ever the earth came forward.
7And unto him thou gavest commandment to love thy way: which he transgressed, and immediately thou appointedst death in him and in his generations, of whom came nations, tribes, people, and kindreds, out of number.
8And every people walked after their own will, and did wonderful things before thee, and despised thy commandments.
9And again in process of time thou broughtest the flood upon those that dwelt in the world, and destroyedst them.
10And it came to pass in every of them, that as death was to Adam, so was the flood to these.
11Nevertheless one of them thou leftest, namely, Noah with his household, of whom came all righteous men.
12And it happened, that when they that dwelt upon the earth began to multiply, and had gotten them many children, and were a great people, they began again to be more ungodly than the first.
13Now when they lived so wickedly before thee, thou didst choose thee a man from among them, whose name was Abraham.
14Him thou lovedst, and unto him only thou shewedst thy will:
15And madest an everlasting covenant with him, promising him that thou wouldest never forsake his seed.
16And unto him thou gavest Isaac, and unto Isaac also thou gavest Jacob and Esau. As for Jacob, thou didst choose him to thee, and put by Esau: and so Jacob became a great multitude.
17And it came to pass, that when thou leadest his seed out of Egypt, thou broughtest them up to the mount Sinai.
18And bowing the heavens, thou didst set fast the earth, movedst the whole world, and madest the depths to tremble, and troubledst the men of that age.
19And thy glory went through four gates, of fire, and of earthquake, and of wind, and of cold; that thou mightest give the law unto the seed of Jacob, and diligence unto the generation of Israel.
20And yet tookest thou not away from them a wicked heart, that thy law might bring forth fruit in them.
21For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and so be all they that are born of him.
22Thus infirmity was made permanent; and the law (also) in the heart of the people with the malignity of the root; so that the good departed away, and the evil abode still.
23So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then didst thou raise thee up a servant, called David:
24Whom thou commandedst to build a city unto thy name, and to offer incense and oblations unto thee therein.
25When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city forsook thee,
26And in all things did even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also had a wicked heart:
27And so thou gavest thy city over into the hands of thine enemies.
28Are their deeds then any better that inhabit Babylon, that they should therefore have the dominion over Sion?
29For when I came thither, and had seen impieties without number, then my soul saw many evildoers in this thirtieth year, so that my heart failed me.
30For I have seen how thou sufferest them sinning, and hast spared wicked doers: and hast destroyed thy people, and hast preserved thine enemies, and hast not signified it.
31I do not remember how this way may be left: Are they then of Babylon better than they of Sion?
32Or is there any other people that knoweth thee beside Israel? or what generation hath so believed thy covenants as Jacob?
33And yet their reward appeareth not, and their labour hath no fruit: for I have gone here and there through the heathen, and I see that they flow in wealth, and think not upon thy commandments.
34Weigh thou therefore our wickedness now in the balance, and theirs also that dwell the world; and so shall thy name no where be found but in Israel.
35Or when was it that they which dwell upon the earth have not sinned in thy sight? or what people have so kept thy commandments?
36Thou shalt find that Israel by name hath kept thy precepts; but not the heathen.
41And the angel that was sent unto me, whose name was Uriel, gave me an answer,
2And said, Thy heart hath gone too far in this world, and thinkest thou to comprehend the way of the most High?
3Then said I, Yea, my lord. And he answered me, and said, I am sent to shew thee three ways, and to set forth three similitudes before thee:
4Whereof if thou canst declare me one, I will shew thee also the way that thou desirest to see, and I shall shew thee from whence the wicked heart cometh.
5And I said, Tell on, my lord. Then said he unto me, Go thy way, weigh me the weight of the fire, or measure me the blast of the wind, or call me again the day that is past.
6Then answered I and said, What man is able to do that, that thou shouldest ask such things of me?
7And he said unto me, If I should ask thee how great dwellings are in the midst of the sea, or how many springs are in the beginning of the deep, or how many springs are above the firmament, or which are the outgoings of paradise:
8Peradventure thou wouldest say unto me, I never went down into the deep, nor as yet into hell, neither did I ever climb up into heaven.
9Nevertheless now have I asked thee but only of the fire and wind, and of the day wherethrough thou hast passed, and of things from which thou canst not be separated, and yet canst thou give me no answer of them.
10He said moreover unto me, Thine own things, and such as are grown up with thee, canst thou not know;
11How should thy vessel then be able to comprehend the way of the Highest, and, the world being now outwardly corrupted to understand the corruption that is evident in my sight?
12Then said I unto him, It were better that we were not at all, than that we should live still in wickedness, and to suffer, and not to know wherefore.
13He answered me, and said, I went into a forest into a plain, and the trees took counsel,
14And 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.
15The floods of the sea also in like manner took counsel, and said, Come, let us go up and subdue the woods of the plain, that there also we may make us another country.
16The thought of the wood was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it.
17The thought of the floods of the sea came likewise to nought, for the sand stood up and stopped them.
18If thou wert judge now betwixt these two, whom wouldest thou begin to justify? or whom wouldest thou condemn?
19I answered and said, Verily it is a foolish thought that they both have devised, for the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea also hath his place to bear his floods.
20Then answered he me, and said, Thou hast given a right judgment, but why judgest thou not thyself also?
21For like as the ground is given unto the wood, and the sea to his floods: even so they that dwell upon the earth may understand nothing but that which is upon the earth: and he that dwelleth above the heavens may only understand the things that are above the height of the heavens.
22Then answered I and said, I beseech thee, O Lord, let me have understanding:
23For it was not my mind to be curious of the high things, but of such as pass by us daily, namely, wherefore Israel is given up as a reproach to the heathen, and for what cause the people whom thou hast loved is given over unto ungodly nations, and why the law of our forefathers is brought to nought, and the written covenants come to none effect,
24And we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and our life is astonishment and fear, and we are not worthy to obtain mercy.
25What will he then do unto his name whereby we are called? of these things have I asked.
26Then answered he me, and said, The more thou searchest, the more thou shalt marvel; for the world hasteth fast to pass away,
27And cannot comprehend the things that are promised to the righteous in time to come: for this world is full of unrighteousness and infirmities.
28But as concerning the things whereof thou askest me, I will tell thee; for the evil is sown, but the destruction thereof is not yet come.
29If therefore that which is sown be not turned upside down, and if the place where the evil is sown pass not away, then cannot it come that is sown with good.
30For the grain of evil seed hath been sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning, and how much ungodliness hath it brought up unto this time? and how much shall it yet bring forth until the time of threshing come?
31Ponder now by thyself, how great fruit of wickedness the grain of evil seed hath brought forth.
32And when the ears shall be cut down, which are without number, how great a floor shall they fill?
33Then I answered and said, How, and when shall these things come to pass? wherefore are our years few and evil?
34And he answered me, saying, Do not thou hasten above the most Highest: for thy haste is in vain to be above him, for thou hast much exceeded.
35Did not the souls also of the righteous ask question of these things in their chambers, saying, How long shall I hope on this fashion? when cometh the fruit of the floor of our reward?
36And unto these things Uriel the archangel gave them answer, and said, Even when the number of seeds is filled in you: for he hath weighed the world in the balance.
37By measure hath he measured the times; and by number hath he numbered the times; and he doth not move nor stir them, until the said measure be fulfilled.
38Then answered I and said, O Lord that bearest rule, even we all are full of impiety.
39And for our sakes peradventure it is that the floors of the righteous are not filled, because of the sins of them that dwell upon the earth.
40So he answered me, and said, Go thy way to a woman with child, and ask of her when she hath fulfilled her nine months, if her womb may keep the birth any longer within her.
41Then said I, No, Lord, that can she not. And he said unto me, In the grave the chambers of souls are like the womb of a woman:
42For like as a woman that travaileth maketh haste to escape the necessity of the travail: even so do these places haste to deliver those things that are committed unto them.
43From the beginning, look, what thou desirest to see, it shall be shewed thee.
44Then answered I and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, and if it be possible, and if I be meet therefore,
45Shew me then whether there be more to come than is past, or more past than is to come.
46What is past I know, but what is for to come I know not.
47And he said unto me, Stand up upon the right side, and I shall expound the similitude unto thee.
48So I stood, and saw, and, behold, an 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.
49After 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 still.
50Then said he unto me, Consider with thyself; as the rain is more than the drops, and as the fire is greater than the smoke; but the drops and the smoke remain behind: so the quantity which is past did more exceed.
51Then I prayed, and said, May I live, thinkest thou, until that time? or what shall happen in those days?
52He answered me, and said, As for the tokens whereof thou askest me, I may tell thee of them in part: but as touching thy life, I am not sent to shew thee; for I do not know it.