Second Esdras Chapters
1 And he said to me, In the beginning, when the earth was made, before the portals of the world were fixed, or ever the gatherings of the winds blew,
2 before the voices of the thunder sounded and before the flashes of the lightning shone, or ever the foundations of paradise were laid,
3 before the fair flowers were seen, or ever the powers of the earthquake were established, before the innumerable army 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 footstool of Sion was established,
5 and before the present years were sought out, and or ever the imaginations of those who now sin were estranged, 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: as 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 follows?
8 And he said to me, From Abraham to Abraham, inasmuch as Jacob and Esau were born of him, for Jacob’s hand held the heel of Esau from the beginning.
9 For Esau is the end of this world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that follows.
10 The beginning of a man is his hand, and the end of a man is his heel; between the heel and the hand seek you nothing else, Esdras.
11 I answered then and said, O Lord that bear rule, If I have found favour in your sight,
12 I beseech you, show your servant the end of your tokens, whereof you showed me part the last night.
13 So he answered and said to me, Stand up upon your feet, and you shall hear a mighty sounding voice;
14 and if the place you stand on is greatly moved,
15 when it speaks be you not afraid: for the word is of the end, and the foundations of the earth shall understand,
16 that the speech is of them: they shall tremble and be moved: for they know that their end must be changed.
17 And it happened, that when I had heard it I stood up upon my feet, and listened, and, behold, there was a voice that spoke, and the sound of it was like the sound of many waters.
18 And it said, Behold, the days come, and it shall be that when I draw near to visit those who dwell upon the earth,
19 and when I shall make inquisition of those who have done hurt unjustly with their unrighteousness, and when the affliction of Sion shall be fulfilled,
20 and when the seal shall be set upon the world that is to pass away, then I will show these tokens: the books shall be opened before the firmament, and all shall see together:
21 and the children of a year old shall speak with their voices, the women with child shall bring forth untimely children at three or four months, and they shall live, and dance.
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 hears, they shall be suddenly afraid.
24 At that time shall friends make war one against another like enemies, and the earth shall stand in fear with those that dwell therein, the springs of the springs shall stand still, so that for three hours they shall not run.
25 And it shall be that whoever remains after all these things that I have told you of, he shall be saved, and shall see my salvation, and the end of my world.
26 And they shall see the men that have been taken up, 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 blotted out, and deceit shall be quenched;
28 and faith shall flourish, and corruption shall be overcome, and the truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be declared.
29 And when he talked with me, behold, by little and little the place I stood on rocked to and fro.
30 And he said to me, These things came I to show you this night.
31 If therefore you will pray yet again, and fast seven days more, I shall yet tell you greater things than these.
32 For your voice has surely been heard before the Most High: for the Mighty has seen your righteous dealing, he has seen aforetime also your chastity, which you have had ever since your youth.
33 And therefore has he sent me to show you all these things, and to say to you, Be of good comfort, and fear not.
34 And be not hasty in regard of the former times, to think vain things, that you may not hasten in 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, of a truth you spoke at the beginning of the creation, upon the first day, and said thus; Let heaven and earth be made; and your word perfected the work.
39 And then was the spirit hovering, and darkness and silence were on every side; the sound of man’s voice was not yet.
40 Then command you a ray of light to be brought forth of your treasures, that then your works might appear.
41 Upon the second day again you made the spirit of the firmament and commanded it to part asunder, and to make a division between the waters, that the one part might go up, and the other remain beneath.
42 Upon the third day you did command that the waters should be gathered together in the seventh part of the earth: six parts did you dry up, and keep them, to the intent that of these some being both planted and tilled might serve before you.
43 For as soom as your word went forth the work was done.
44 For immediately there came forth great and innumerable fruit, and manifold pleasures for the taste, and flowers of inimitable colour, and odours of most exquisite smell: and this was done the third day.
45 Upon the fourth day you commanded that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in their order:
46 and gave them a charge to do service to man, that was to be made.
47 Upon the fifth day you said to the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, that it should bring forth living creatures, fowls and fishes: and so it came to pass,
48 that the mute water and without life brought forth living things as it was told, that the peoples might therefore praise your wondrous works.
49 Then did you preserve two living creatures, the one you calledst Behemoth, and the other you calledst Leviathan:
50 and you did separate the one from the other: for the seventh part, namely, where the water was gathered together, might not hold them both.
51 To Behemoth you gave one part, which was dried up on the third day, that he should dwell in it, wherein are a thousand hills:
52 but to Leviathan you gave the seventh part, namely, the moist; and you have kept them to be devoured of whom you will, and when.
53 But upon the sixth day you gave commandment to the earth, that it should bring forth before you cattle, beasts, and creeping things:
54 and over these Adam, whom you ordain lord over all the works that you have made: of him come we all, the people whom you have chosen.
55 All this have I spoken before you, O Lord, because you have said that for our sakes you made this world.
56 As for the other nations, which also come of Adam, you have said that they are nothing, and are like to spittle: and you have likened the abundance of them to a drop that falls from a vessel.
57 And now, O Lord, behold these nations, which are reputed as nothing, be lords over us, and devour us.
58 But we your people, whom you have called your firstborn, your only begotten, and your fervent lover, are given into their hands.
59 If the world now be made for our sakes, why do we not possess for an inheritance our world? How long shall this endure?
Third maccabees Fourth Maccabees Daniel – Greek
Visit Catholic Gallery Main Site