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The Fourth Book of Esdras

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

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Chapter 9

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      He answered me then and said: Measure thou the time diligently in it self, when thou seest that one part of the tokens come to pass, which I have told thee before: so shalt thou understand, that it is the very same time, wherein the Highest will begin to visit the world, which he made. And when there shall be seen earthquake and uproar of the people in the world, then shalt thou well understand, that the most Highest spoke of these things, from the days that were before thee, even from the beginning.
      For like as all that is made in the world, hath a beginning and end, and the end is manifest: Even so the times also of the Highest have plain beginnings in wonders and signs, and the end in working and in tokens. And every one that shall be saved, and shall be able to escape by his works and by faith, wherein ye have believed, shall be preserved from the said perils, and shall see my favor in my land and within my borders, for I have hallowed me from the world. Then shall they be in carefulness, which now have abused my ways: and they that have cast them out despitefully, shall dwell in pains.
      For such as in their life have received benefits and have not known me, and they that have abhorred my law, while they had yet freedom, and when they had yet open room of amendment and consideration, and understood not, but despised it: that same must know it after death is pain. And therefore be thou no more careful, how the ungodly shall be punished, and how the righteous shall be saved, and whose the world is, and for whom the world, and when it is. Then answered I and said: I have talked before and now I speak, and will speak also here after, that there be many more of them which perish, then shall be saved, like as the flood is greater then the drops.
      And he answered me, saying: as the field is, so is also the seed: as the flowers be, so are the colors also: such as the workman is, such is also the work: and as the husband man is himself, so is his husbandry also, for it was the time of the world. And when I prepared for them that are now, or ever the world was made, wherein they should dwell, then was there no man that withstood me. Now when every one was , and the maker also in the world which is now prepared, and the month that ceased not, and the law which is unsearchable, their manners were corrupt. So I considered the world, and behold there was peril, because of the thoughts that were come into it. And I saw, and spared them greatly, and have kept me a wineberry of the grapes, and a plant from among many generations. Let the multitude perish then, which are grown up in vain, and let my grape and wineberry be kept: even my plant: for with great labor I have made it up.
      Nevertheless if thou wilt take upon thee yet seven days more ( but thou shall not fast in them ) go thy way then into the field of flowers, where no house is builded, and eat only of the flowers of the field, taste not flesh, drink no wine, but eat flowers only. Pray unto the Highest continually, so will I come, and talk with thee.
      So I went my way and came in to the field which is called *Ardath ( like as he commanded me ) and there I sat among the flowers, and ate of the herbs of the field, and the meat of the same satisfied me. After seven days I sat upon the grass, and my heart was vexed within me like afore: and I opened my mouth, and began to talk before the Highest, and said: O' Lord, thou that showest thy self to us, thou hast declared and opened thy self unto our fathers in the wilderness, in a place where no man dwelleth, in a barren place, when they came out of Egypt, and thou speakest saying: Hear me O Israel, and mark my words thou seed of Jacob. Behold, I saw my law in you, and it shall bring fruit in you, and yee shall be honored in it forever. For our fathers which received the law, kept it not, and observed not thy ordinances and statutes, and the fruit of thy law was not declared: for it might not, for why? it was thine. For they that received it, perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.
      It is a custom when the ground receiveth seed, or the sea a ship, or a vessel meat and drink, that when it perisheth or is broken wherein a thing is sown, or where any thing is put: the things also perish and are broken, which are sown or put therein. But unto us it hath not happened so: for we that have received the law, perish in sin, and sure heart which also received the law: not withstanding the law perisheth not, but remaineth in his labor.
      And when I considered these things in my heart after this manner, I looked about me with mine eyes, and upon the right side I saw a woman, which mourned sore, made great lamentation, and wept with loud voice: her clothes were rent in pieces, and she had ashes on her head.
      Then let I my thoughts go, that I was in, and turned me unto her, and said: wherefore weepiest thou? why art thou so sorry and discomforted? And she said unto me: Sir, let me bewail myself and take yet more sorrow: for I am sore vexed in my mind, and brought very low. And I said unto her: what aileth thee? Or who hath done anything to thee? tell me. She said: I have been unfruitful and barren, and have had a husband thirty years. And these thirty years I do nothing else day and night and all hours, but make my prayer to the Highest. After thirty years God heard me thy handmaiden, looked upon my misery, considered my trouble, and gave me a son, and I was glad of him, so was my husband also and all my neighbors, and we gave great honor unto the Mighty. And I nourished him with great travail. So when he grew up, and came to the time, that he should have a wife, I made a feast.

* Ard = "I shall subdue" & ah= ah!, alas!,

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