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The Fourth Book of Esdras

“help” from the Hebrew (excluded from most "bibles of men")

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Chapter 5

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      Nevertheless, as concerning the tokens, mark this: Behold, the days shall come, that they which dwell upon the earth, shall be taken in a great number, and the way of the truth shall be hid, and the land shall be barren from faith: but iniquity will have the upper hand, like as thou have seen now, and as thou hast heard long ago. And the land that thou seest now to have rule, shall thou shortly see waste. But if God grant thee to live, thou shalt see after the third trumpet, that the sun shall suddenly shine again in the night, and the moon three times in the day, and blood shall drop out of wood, and the stone shall give his voice, and the people shall be unquiet: and even shall rule, whom they hope not that dwell upon the earth, and the fowls shall flight, and the *Sodomitish sea shall cast out his fish, and make a noise in the night, which many shall not know, but they shall all hear the voice thereof.
      There shall be a confusion also in many places, and the fire shall be often sent again, and the wild beasts shall go their way, and menstruous women shall bear monsters, and salt waters will be found in the sweat: one friend shall fight against another: then shall all wit and understanding be hid and put into their secret places, and shall be sought of many, and yet not be found: then shall unrighteousness and voluptuousness have the upper hand upon the earth. One land shall also ask another, and say: Is righteousness gone through thee? And it shall say: No, at the same time shall men hope, but nothing obtain: they shall labor but their wages shall not prosper.
      To show thee such tokens I have leave, and if thou wilt pray again, and weep as now, and fast seven days, thou shalt hear yet greater things. Then I awaked, and a fearfulness went through all my body, and my mind was feeble and careful, so that I almost sounded withal. So the angel that was come to talk with me, held me, comforted me, and set me up upon my feet.
      And in the second night it happened, that Salathielthe Captain of the people came unto me, saying: Where hast thou been? and why is thy countenance so heavy? Knowest thou not, that Israel is committed unto thee, in the land of their captivity? Up then, and eat and forsake us not, as the shepherd that leaveth his flock in the hands of the wicked wolves. Then said I unto him: Go thy way from me, and come not near me: and he heard it, and as I said, so went he his way from me. And so I fasted seven days, mourning and weeping, like as Uriel the angel commanded me. And after seven days it happened, that the thoughts of my heart were very grievous unto me again, and my soul received the spirit of understanding, and I began to talk with the most highest again, and said: O' Lord, Lord, of every wood of the earth and all the trees thereof, thou hast chosen the one only vineyard: and of all the lands of the whole world thou hast chosen the one pit: and of all the flowers of the ground thou hast chosen the one lily: and of all the depths of the sea thou hast filled the one river: and of all the builded cities thou hast hallowed Sion unto thy self: and of all the fowls that are created, thou hast named the one dove: and of all the cattle that are made thou hast provided the one sheep: and among all the multitudes of flocks thou hast gotten the one people, and unto this people whom thou lovest, thou gavest the law, that is proved of all.
      And now, O' Lord, why hast thou given this one people over unto many? And upon the one root thou hast prepared other, and why hast thou scattered thy one only people among many? which tread them down, yee which have ever withstand thy promises, and never believed thy commandments? And though thou werest enemy unto thy people, yet shouldest thou punish them with thine own hands. Now when I had spoke these words, the angel that came to me the night before, was sent unto me, and said unto me : Hear me, and harken unto the things that I say, and I shall tell thee more. And I said: Speak on my Lord. Then said he unto me: Thou art sore vexed and troubled for Israels sake. Lovest thou the people better than him that made thee? And I said: No Lord, but of very grief and compassion have I spoken. For my reigns pain me every hour, because I would have experience of the way of the most highest, and to seek out part of his judgement. And he said unto me: that thou mayest not. And I said: wherefore Lord? Where unto was I born then? Or why was not my mothers childbed then my grave? So I had not seen the misery and trouble of Jacob, and the travail of my people of Israel.
      And he said unto me: Number me the things that are not yet come : gather me together the drops, that are scattered abroad: make me the flowers green again, that are withered: open me the thing that is closed: and bring me forth the winds, that are shut up: Show me the image of a voice, and then I shall declare the thing, that thou laborest to know. And I said: O' Lord, Lord, who may know these things, but he that hath not his dwelling with men? As for me I am unwise: how may I then speak of these things whereof thou asketh me? Then said he unto me: like as thou can do none of these things that I have spoken of, even so canest thou not find out my judgement, or in the end the love that I have promised unto my people. And I said: Behold O' Lord, yet art thou near unto them that have no end: and what shall they do that have been before me, or we that be now, or they that should come after us ? And he said unto me: I will liken my judgement unto a ring. Like as there is no slackness of the last, even so there is no swiftness of the first. So I answered and said: couldest thou not make those ( that have been made, and that be now, and that are for to come ) in one, that thou might show thy judgement the sooner? Then answered he me, and said: The creature may not hasten above the maker, nether may the world hold them at once, that shall be created.
      And I said: Now hast thou said unto thy servant, that thou living maker hast made the creature living at once, and the creature bear it? even so might it now also bear them that be present, at once. And he said unto me: Ask the childbed of a woman, and say unto her: If thou bringest forth children, why doest thou not together, but one after another? Pray her therefore, to bring forth ten children at once. And I said: she can not, but must do it one after the other.
      Then said he unto me: Even so have I given a childbed unto the earth, for those that be sown upon it by process of time. For like as a young child may not bring forth the things that belong to the aged, even so have I ordered the world which I have made.
      And I asked and said: Seeing thou hast now given me the way, I will speak before thee: for our mother whom thou hast told me, is yet young, and now she draweth near unto age. He answered, me and said: Ask a woman that beareth children, and she shall tell thee. Say unto her: wherefore are not they ( whom thou hast now brought forth) like those that were before thee, but less of stature? And she shall answer thee: They that were born in the youth of strength, are of one fashion : and they that are born in the time of age ( when the childbed faileth) are otherwise. Consider now thyself, how that yee are less of stature, then those that were before you, and so are they that come after you, less then you, as the creatures that now begin to be old, and have passed over the strength of youth. Then said I: Lord I beseech thee, if I have found favor in thy sight, show thy servant, by whom doest thou visit thy creature?


*Sodomitish sea (*note current events RN) shall cast out his fish

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