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2 Esdras

Chapter 6

  1. 1. And he said vnto me, in the beginning when the earth was made, before the borders of the world stood, or euer the windes blew,
  2. 2. Before it thundred and lightned, or euer the foundations of Paradise were laide,
  3. 3. Before the faire flowers were seene, or euer the moueable powers were established, before the innumerable multitude of Angels were gathered together,
  4. 4. Or euer the heights of the aire were lifted vp, before the measures of the firmament were named, or euer the chimnies in Sion were hot,
  5. 5. And ere the present yeeres were sought out, and or euer the inuentions of them that now sinne were turned, before they were sealed that haue gathered faith for a treasure:
  6. 6. Then did I consider these things, and they all were made through mee alone, and through none other: by mee also they shall be ended, & by none other.
  7. 7. Then answered I and said, What shall bee the parting asunder of the times? or when shall be the ende of the first, and the beginning of it that followeth?
  8. 8. And he said vnto me, From Abraham vnto Isaac, when Iacob and Esau were borne of him, Iacobs hand held first the heele of Esau.
  9. 9. For Esau is the end of the world, and Iacob is the beginning of it that followeth.
  10. 10. The hand of man is betwixt the heele and the hand: other question, Esdras, aske thou not.
  11. 11. ¶ I answered then and said, O Lord that bearest rule, if I haue found fauour in thy sight,
  12. 12. I beseech thee, shew thy seruant the end of thy tokens, whereof thou shewedst me part the last night.
  13. 13. So he answered and said vnto me, Stand vp vpon thy feete, and heare a mightie sounding voyce.
  14. 14. And it shall be as it were a great motion, but the place where thou standest, shall not be moued.
  15. 15. And therefore when it speaketh be not afraid: for the word is of the end, and the foundation of the earth is vnderstood.
  16. 16. And why? because the speech of these things trembleth and is mooued: for it knoweth that the ende of these things must be changed.
  17. 17. And it happened that when I had heard it, I stood vp vpon my feet, and hearkened, & behold, there was a voice that spake, and the sound of it was like the sound of many waters.
  18. 18. And it said, Behold, the dayes come, that I will begin to draw nigh, and to visit them that dwell vpon the earth,
  19. 19. And will begin to make inquisition of them, what they be that haue hurt vniustly with their vnrighteousnesse, and when the affliction of Sion shalbe fulfilled.
  20. 20. And when the world that shal begin to vanish away shall bee finished: then will I shew these tokens, the books shalbe opened before the firmament, and they shall see all together.
  21. 21. And the children of a yeere olde shall speake with their voyces, the women with childe shall bring foorth vntimely children, of three or foure moneths old: and they shall liue, and bee raised vp.
  22. 22. And suddenly shal the sowen places appeare vnsowen, the full storehouses shall suddenly be found empty.
  23. 23. And the trumpet shall giue a sound, which when euery man heareth they shalbe suddenly afraid.
  24. 24. At that time shall friendes fight one against another like enemies, and the earth shall stand in feare with those that dwell therein, the springs of the fountaines shall stand still, and in three houres they shall not runne.
  25. 25. Whosoeuer remaineth from all these that I haue told thee, shall escape, and see my saluation, and the ende of your world.
  26. 26. And the men that are receiued, shall see it, who haue not tasted death from their birth: and the heart of the inhabitants shalbe changed, and turned into another meaning.
  27. 27. For euil shalbe put out, and deceit shalbe quenched.
  28. 28. As for faith, it shall flourish, corruption shalbe ouercome, & the trueth which hath bene so long without fruit, shalbe declared.
  29. 29. And when hee talked with mee, behold, I looked by little and little vpon him before whom I stood.
  30. 30. And these words said he vnto me, I am come to shew thee the time of the night to come.
  31. 31. If thou wilt pray yet more, & fast seuen daies againe, I shal tel thee greater things by day, then I haue heard.
  32. 32. For thy voice is heard before the most High: for the mighty hath seene thy righteous dealing, he hath seene also thy chastitie, which thou hast had euer since thy youth.
  33. 33. And therefore hath he sent mee to shew thee al these things, and to say vnto thee, Be of good comfort, & feare not.
  34. 34. And hasten not with the times that are past, to thinke vaine things, that thou mayest not hasten from the latter times.
  35. 35. And it came to passe after this, that I wept againe, and fasted seuen dayes in like maner, that I might fulfill the three weekes which he told me.
  36. 36. And in the eight night was my heart vexed within mee againe, and I began to speake before the most High.
  37. 37. For my spirit was greatly set on fire, and my soule was in distresse.
  38. 38. And I said, O Lord, thou spakest from the beginning of the creation, euen the first day, & saidest thus, Let heauen and earth bee made: and thy word was a perfect worke.
  39. 39. And then was the spirit, and darkenesse, and silence were on euery side; the sound of mans voice was not yet formed.
  40. 40. Then commandedst thou a faire light to come foorth of thy treasures, that thy worke might appeare.
  41. 41. Upon the second day thou madest the spirit of the firmament, and commandedst it to part asunder, and to make a diuision betwixt the waters, that the one part might goe vp, and the other remaine beneath.
  42. 42. Upon the thirde day thou didst commaund that the waters should bee gathered in the seuenth part of the earth: sixe parts hast thou dried vp and kept them, to the intent that of these some being planted of God and tilled, might serue thee.
  43. 43. For as soone as thy word went foorth, the worke was made.
  44. 44. For immediatly there was great and innumerable fruit, and many and diuers pleasures for the taste, & flowers of vnchangeable colour, and odours of wonderfull smell: and this was done the third day.
  45. 45. Upon the fourth day thou commandedst that the Sunne should shine, and the Moone giue her light, and the starres should be in order,
  46. 46. And gauest them a charge to do seruice vnto man, that was to be made.
  47. 47. Upon the fift day, thou saydst vnto the seuenth part, where the waters were gathered, that it should bring foorth liuing creatures, foules and fishes: and so it came to passe.
  48. 48. For the dumbe water, and without life, brought foorth liuing things at the commandement of God, that al people might praise thy wondrous works.
  49. 49. Then didst thou ordeine two liuing creatures, the one thou calledst Enoch, and the other Leuiathan,
  50. 50. And didst separate the one from the other: for the seuenth part (namely where the water was gathered together) might not hold them both.
  51. 51. Unto Enoch thou gauest one part which was dried vp the third day, that he should dwel in the same part, wherein are a thousand hilles.
  52. 52. But vnto Leuiathan thou gauest the seuenth part, namely the moist, and hast kept him to be deuoured of whom thou wilt, and when.
  53. 53. Upon the sixt day thou gauest commaundement vnto the earth, that before thee it should bring foorth beasts, cattell, and creeping things:
  54. 54. And after these, Adam also whom thou madest lord of all thy creatures, of him come wee all, and the people also whom thou hast chosen.
  55. 55. All this haue I spoken before thee, O Lord, because thou madest the world for our sakes.
  56. 56. As for the other people which also come of Adam, thou hast said that they are nothing, but be like vnto spittle, and hast likened the abundance of them vnto a drop that falleth from a vessell.
  57. 57. And now, O Lord, behold, these heathen, which haue euer been reputed as nothing, haue begun to be lordes ouer vs, and to deuoure vs:
  58. 58. But wee thy people (whom thou hast called thy first borne, thy onely begotten, and thy feruent louer) are giuen into their hands.
  59. 59. If the world now be made for our sakes, why doe we not possesse an inheritance with the world? how long shall this endure?

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