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The Fourth Book of Esdras

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

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Chapter 14

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)

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      Upon the third day I sat under an oak tree, then came there a voice unto me out of the bush, and said: Esdras, Esdras? And I said: here am I Lord, and stood up on my feet. Then spake he unto me: In the bush did I appear unto Moses, and talked with him, when my people served in Egypt, and I sent him, and led my people out of Egypt, and brought him upon mount Sion, where I held him by me a long season, and told him my wondrous works, and showed him the secrets of the times and the end, and commanded him, saying: These words shalt thou declare, and not hide them. And now I say unto thee, that thou lay up in thy heart the dreams that thou hast seen, and the interpretations which I have showed thee: for thou shalt be received of all, thou shalt be turned and remain in my counsel, and with such as be like thee, until the times be ended. For the world hath lost his youth, and the time is divided into twelve parts, and ten parts of it are gone already, and half of the tenth part: yet remaineth there that, which is after the half of the tenth part.
      Therefore prepare and order thy house, and reform thy people: comfort such of them as be in trouble: and tell now of the destruction: let go from thee all mortal thoughts: cast away the burthens of man: put off the weak nature: lay up in some places the thoughts that are most heavy unto thee, and hast thee to flight from these times: for such evil and wickedness as thou hast now seen happen, shall they do yet much worse. For the weaker that the world and the times is, the more shall sin and wickedness increase, in them that dwell upon the earth: For the truth is fled far away, and the leasing is hard at hand. For now hasteth the vision to come, that thou hast seen.
      Then answered I and said: Behold Lord, I will go as thou hast commanded me, and reform the people which are present. But they that shall be born afterward, who will exhort or rebuke them? Thus the world is set in darkness, and they that dwell therein, are without light: for thy law is kindled, because no man knoweth the things that are done of thee, or that shall be done. If I have found grace before thee, send the holy ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world since the beginning, which was written in thy law, that men may find the path, and that they which will live in the latter days, may live.
      And he answered me, saying: Go thy way, gather thy people together, and say unto them, that they seek thee not for forty days, but look thou gather the many box trees, and take with thee Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Echanus and Asiall, these five, which are ready to write swiftly, and come hither, and I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart which shall not be put out, till the things be performed which thou shalt begin to write. Then shalt thou declare some things openly unto the perfect, and some things thou shalt show secretly to the wise. Tomorrow this hour thou shalt begin to write.
      Then went I forth (as he commanded me) and gathered all the people together, and said: Hear these words O' Israel: Our fathers from the beginning were strangers in Egypt, from whence they were delivered, and received the law of life, which they kept not, which thee have also transgressed after them. Then was this land and the land of Sion parted among you by lot to possess. But your fathers and yee yourselves also have done unrighteousness, and have not kept the ways which the Highest commanded you. And for so much as he is a righteous judge, he took from you in time the thing that he had given you. And now are yee here and your brethren among you. Therefore if so be that yee will subdue your own understanding, and reform your heart, ye shall be kept alive, and after death ye shall obtain mercy. For after death shall the judgement come, when we shall live again: and then shall the names of the righteous be manifest, and the names of the ungodly with their works shall be declared. Let no man therefore come now unto me, nor ask any question at me these forty days.
      So I took the five men (as he commanded me) and we went into the field, and remained there. The next days a voice called me saying: Esdras, open thy mouth, and behold, he reached me a full cup, which was full a water, but the color of it was like fire. And I took it and drank. And when I had drunk it , my heart had understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast: for my spirit was kept in remembrance, and my mouth was opened and shut no more. The Highest gave understanding to the five men, that they wrote the high things of the night, which they understood not. But in the night they ate bread: as for me, I spake in the day, and held not my tongue by night. In forty days, they wrote two hundred and four books.
      And it happened when the forty days were fulfilled, that the Highest spake, saying: The first that thou hast written, speak openly, that the worthy and the unworthy may read it. But keep the seventy last that thou mayest show it only to such as be wise among thy people. For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge. And I did so.


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