Second Esdras Chapters (English Bible : World English Bible – British Edition – WEBBE)
1 And it so came to pass, that when my son was entered into his wedding chamber, he fell down, and died.
2 Then we all overthrew the lights, and all my neighbours rose up to comfort me: and I remained quiet to the second day at night.
3 And it came to pass, when they had all left off to comfort me, to the end I might be quiet, then rose I up by night, and fled, and came here into this field, as you see.
4 And I do now purpose not to return into the city, but here to stay, and neither to eat nor drink, but continually to mourn and to fast until I die.
5 Then left I the meditations wherein I was, and answered her in anger, and said,
6 You foolish woman above all other, see you not our mourning, and what has happened to us?
7 how that Sion the mother of us all is full of sorrow, and much humbled.
8 It is right now to mourn very sore, seeing we all mourn, and to be sorrowful, seeing we are all in sorrow, but you sorrowest for one son.
9 For ask the earth, and she shall tell you, that it is she which ought to mourn for so many that grow upon her.
10 For out of her all had their beginnings, and others shall come; and, behold, they walk almost all into destruction, and the multitude of them is utterly rooted out.
11 Who then should make more mourning, she, that has lost so great a multitude, or you, which are grieved but for one?
12 but if you say to me, My lamentation is not like the earth’s, for I have lost the fruit of my womb, which I brought forth with pains, and bare with sorrows:
13 but it is with the earth after the manner of the earth; the multitude present in it is gone, as it came:
14 then say I to you, Just as you have brought forth with sorrow; even so the earth also has given her fruit, namely, man, ever since the beginning to him that made her.
15 Now therefore keep your sorrow to yourself, and bear with a good courage the adversities which have befallen you.
16 For if you shall acknowledge the decree of God to be just, you shall both receive your son in time, and shall be praised amongst women.
17 Go your way then into the city to your husband.
18 And she said to me, “I won’t do that. I will not go into the city, but I will die here.”
19 So I proceeded to speak further to her, and said,
20 Do not so, but suffer yourself to be prevailed on by reason of the adversities of Sion; and be comforted by reason of the sorrow of Jerusalem.
21 For you see that our sanctuary is laid waste, our altar broken down, our temple destroyed;
22 our lute is brought low, our song is put to silence, our rejoicing is at an end; the light of our candlestick is put out, the ark of our covenant is plundered, our holy things are defiled, and the name that is called upon us is profaned; our freemen are despitefully treated, our priests are burnt, our Levites are gone into captivity, our virgins are defiled, and our wives ravished; our righteous men carried away, our little ones betrayed, our young men are brought into bondage, and our strong men are become weak;
23 and, what is more than all, the seal of Sion—for she has now lost the seal of her honour, and is delivered into the hands of those who hate us.
24 You therefore shake off your great heaviness, and put away from you the multitude of sorrows, that the Mighty may be merciful to you again, and the Most High may give you rest, even ease from your travails.
25 And it came to pass, while I was talking with her, behold, her face upon a sudden shined exceedingly, and her countenance glistered like lightning, so that I was sore afraid of her, and mused what this might be;
26 and, behold, suddenly she made a great cry very fearful; so that the earth shook at the noise.
27 And I looked, and, behold, the woman appeared to me no more, but there was a city built, and a place showed itself from large foundations: then was I afraid, and cried with a loud voice, and said,
28 Where is Uriel the angel, who came to me at the first? for he has caused me to fall into this great trance, and my end is turned into corruption, and my prayer to rebuke.
29 And as I was speaking these words, behold, the angel who had come to me at the first came to me, and he looked upon me:
30 and, behold, I lay as one that had been dead, and my understanding was taken from me; and he took me by the right hand, and comforted me, and set me upon my feet, and said to me,
31 What ails you? and why are you so disquieted? and why is your understanding troubled, and the thoughts of your heart?
32 And I said, Because you have forsaken me: yet I did according to your words, and went into the field, and, behold, I have seen, and yet see, that which I am not able to express.
33 And he said to me, Stand up like a man, and I will advise you.
34 Then said I, Speak on, my Lord; only forsake me not, lest I die frustrate of my hope.
35 For I have seen that I knew not, and hear that I do not know.
36 Or is my sense deceived, or my soul in a dream?
37 Now therefore I beseech you to show your servant concerning this trance.
38 And he answered me, and said, Hear me, and I shall inform you, and tell you concerning the things whereof you are afraid: For the Most High has revealed many secret things to you.
39 He has seen that your way is right: for that you sorrowest continually for your people, and make great lamentation for Sion.
40 This therefore is the meaning of the vision.
41 The woman which appeared to you a little while ago, whom you saw mourning, and began to comfort her:
42 but now see you the likeness of the woman no more, but there appeared to you a city in building:
43 and whereas she told you of the death of her son, this is the solution:
44 This woman, whom you saw, is Sion, whom you now see as a city built;
45 and whereas she said to you, that she has been thirty years barren, it is, because there were three thousand years in the world wherein there was no offering as yet offered in her.
46 And it came to pass after three thousand years that Solomon built the city, and offered offerings: then it was that the barren bare a son.
47 And whereas she told you that she nourished him with travail: that was the dwelling in Jerusalem.
48 And whereas she said to you, My son coming into his marriage chamber died, and that misfortune befell her: this was the destruction that came to Jerusalem.
49 And, behold, you saw her likeness, how she mourned for her son, and you began to comfort her for what has befallen her; these were the things to be opened to you.
50 For now the Most High, seeing that you are grieved unfeignedly, and suffer from your whole heart for her, has showed you the brightness of her glory, and the attractiveness of her beauty:
51 and therefore I bade you remain in the field where no house was built:
52 for I knew that the Most High would show this to you.
53 Therefore I commanded you to come into the field, where no foundation of any building was.
54 For in the place wherein the city of the Most High was to be showed, the work of no man’s building could stand.
55 Therefore fear you not, nor let your heart be affrighted, but go your way in, and see the beauty and greatness of the building, as much as your eyes be able to see:
56 and then shall you hear as much as your ears may comprehend.
57 For you are blessed above many, and with the Most High are called by name, like as but few.
58 But tomorrow at night you shall remain here;
59 and so shall the Most High show you those visions in dreams, of what the Most High will do to those who dwell upon earth in the last days. So I slept that night and another, like as he commanded me.