Chapter 6 (II. Esdras)
And he said unto me, In the beginning, when the earth was made, before the borders of the world stood, or ever the winds blew, 2 Before it thundered and lightened, or ever the foundations of paradise were laid, 3 Before the fair flowers were seen, or ever the moveable powers were established, before the innumerable multitude of angels were gathered together, 4 Or ever the heights of the air were lifted up, before the measures of the firmament were named, or ever the chimneys in Sion were hot, 5 And ere the present years were sought out, and or ever the inventions of them that now sin were turned, before they were sealed that have gathered faith for a treasure:
6 Then did I consider these things, and they all were made through me alone, and through none other: by me also they shall be ended, and by none other. 7 Then answered I and said, What shall be the parting asunder of the times? or when shall be the end of the first, and the beginning of it that followeth? 8 And he said unto me, From Abraham unto Isaac, when Jacob and Esau were born of him, Jacob's hand held first the heel of Esau. 9 For Esau is the end of the world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that followeth. 10 The hand of man is betwixt the heel and the hand: other question, Esdras, ask thou not.
11 I answered then and said, O Lord that bearest rule, if I have found favour in thy sight, 12 I beseech thee, shew thy servant the end of thy tokens, whereof thou shewedst me part the last night. 13 So he answered and said unto me, Stand up upon thy feet, and hear a mighty sounding voice. 14 And it shall be as it were a great motion; but the place where thou standest shall not be moved. 15 And therefore when it speaketh be not afraid: for the word is of the end, and the foundation of the earth is understood.
16 And why? because the speech of these things trembleth and is moved: for it knoweth that the end of these things must be changed. 17 And it happened, that when I had heard it I stood up upon my feet, and hearkened, and, behold, there was a voice that spake, and the sound of it was like the sound of many waters. 18 And it said, Behold, the days come, that I will begin to draw nigh, and to visit them that dwell upon the earth, 19 And will begin to make inquisition of them, what they be that have hurt unjustly with their unrighteousness, and when the affliction of Sion shall be fulfilled; 20 And when the world, that shall begin to vanish away, shall be finished, then will I shew these tokens: the books shall be opened before the firmament, and they shall see all together:
21 And the children of a year old shall speak with their voices, the women with child shall bring forth untimely children of three or four months old, and they shall live, and be raised up. 22 And suddenly shall the sown places appear unsown, the full storehouses shall suddenly be found empty: 23 And the trumpet shall give a sound, which when every man heareth, they shall be suddenly afraid. 24 At that time shall friends fight one against another like enemies, and the earth shall stand in fear with those that dwell therein, the springs of the fountains shall stand still, and in three hours they shall not run. 25 Whosoever remaineth from all these that I have told thee shall escape, and see my salvation, and the end of your world.
26 And the men that are received shall see it, who have not tasted death from their birth: and the heart of the inhabitants shall be changed, and turned into another meaning. 27 For evil shall be put out, and deceit shall be quenched. 28 As for faith, it shall flourish, corruption shall be overcome, and the truth, which hath been so long without fruit, shall be declared. 29 And when he talked with me, behold, I looked by little and little upon him before whom I stood. 30 And these words said he unto me; I am come to shew thee the time of the night to come.
31 If thou wilt pray yet more, and fast seven days again, I shall tell thee greater things by day than I have heard. 32 For thy voice is heard before the most High: for the Mighty hath seen thy righteous dealing, he hath seen also thy chastity, which thou hast had ever since thy youth. 33 And therefore hath he sent me to shew thee all these things, and to say unto thee, Be of good comfort and fear not 34 And hasten not with the times that are past, to think vain things, that thou mayest not hasten from the latter times. 35 And it came to pass after this, that I wept again, and fasted seven days in like manner, that I might fulfil the three weeks which he told me.
36 And in the eighth night was my heart vexed within me again, and I began to speak before the most High. 37 For my spirit was greatly set on fire, and my soul was in distress. 38 And I said, O Lord, thou spakest from the beginning of the creation, even the first day, and saidst thus; Let heaven and earth be made; and thy word was a perfect work. 39 And then was the spirit, and darkness and silence were on every side; the sound of man's voice was not yet formed. 40 Then commandedst thou a fair light to come forth of thy treasures, that thy work might appear.
41 Upon the second day thou madest the spirit of the firmament, and commandedst it to part asunder, and to make a division betwixt the waters, that the one part might go up, and the other remain beneath. 42 Upon the third day thou didst command that the waters should be gathered in the seventh part of the earth: six parts hast thou dried up, and kept them, to the intent that of these some being planted of God and tilled might serve thee. 43 For as soon as thy word went forth the work was made. 44 For immediately there was great and innumerable fruit, and many and divers pleasures for the taste, and flowers of unchangeable colour, and odours of wonderful smell: and this was done the third day. 45 Upon the fourth day thou commandedst that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in order:
46 And gavest them a charge to do service unto man, that was to be made. 47 Upon the fifth day thou saidst unto the seventh part, where the waters were gathered that it should bring forth living creatures, fowls and fishes: and so it came to pass. 48 For the dumb water and without life brought forth living things at the commandment of God, that all people might praise thy wondrous works. 49 Then didst thou ordain two living creatures, the one thou calledst Enoch, and the other Leviathan; 50 And didst separate the one from the other: for the seventh part, namely, where the water was gathered together, might not hold them both.
51 Unto Enoch thou gavest one part, which was dried up the third day, that he should dwell in the same part, wherein are a thousand hills: 52 But unto Leviathan thou gavest the seventh part, namely, the moist; and hast kept him to be devoured of whom thou wilt, and when. 53 Upon the sixth day thou gavest commandment unto the earth, that before thee it should bring forth beasts, cattle, and creeping things: 54 And after these, Adam also, whom thou madest lord of all thy creatures: of him come we all, and the people also whom thou hast chosen. 55 All this have I spoken before thee, O Lord, because thou madest the world for our sakes
56 As for the other people, which also come of Adam, thou hast said that they are nothing, but be like unto spittle: and hast likened the abundance of them unto a drop that falleth from a vessel. 57 And now, O Lord, behold, these heathen, which have ever been reputed as nothing, have begun to be lords over us, and to devour us. 58 But we thy people, whom thou hast called thy firstborn, thy only begotten, and thy fervent lover, are given into their hands. 59 If the world now be made for our sakes, why do we not possess an inheritance with the world? how long shall this endure?