Second Esdras Chapters (English Bible : World English Bible – British Edition – WEBBE)
1 And he answered me, and said, Measure you diligently within yourself: and when you see that a certain part of the signs are past, which have been told you beforehand,
2 then shall you understand, that it is the very time, wherein the Most High will visit the world which was made by him.
3 And when there shall be seen in the world earthquakes, disquietude of peoples, plans of nations, wavering of leaders, disquietude of princes,
4 then shall you understand, that the Most High spoke of these things from the days that were aforetime from the beginning.
5 For like as of all that is made in the world, the beginning is evident, and the end manifest;
6 so also are the times of the Most High: the beginnings are manifest in wonders and mighty works, and the end in effects and signs.
7 And everyone that shall be saved, and shall be able to escape by his works, or by faith, whereby he has believed,
8 shall be preserved from the said perils, and shall see my salvation in my land, and within my borders, which I have sanctified for me from the beginning.
9 Then shall they be amazed, which now have abused my ways: and those who have cast them away despitefully shall dwell in torments.
10 For as many as in their life have received benefits, and yet have not known me;
11 and as many as have scorned my law, while they had yet liberty, and, when as yet place of repentance was open to them, understood not, but despised it,
12 must know it after death by torment.
13 And therefore be you no longer curious how the ungodly shall be punished; but enquire how the righteous shall be saved, they whose the world is, and for whom the world was created.
14 And I answered and said,
15 I have said before, and now do speak, and will speak it also hereafter, that there be more of them which perish, than of the which will be saved:
16 like as a wave is greater than a drop.
17 And he answered me, saying, Just as the field is, so also the seed; and as the flowers be, such are the colours also; and such as the work is, such also is the judgement on it; and as is the husbandman, so is his threshing floor also. For there was a time in the world,
18 even then when I was preparing for those who now live, before the world was made for them to dwell in; and then no man spoke against me,
19 for there was not any: but now they which are created in this world that is prepared, both with a table that fails not, and a law which is unsearchable, are corrupted in their manners.
20 So I considered my world, and, behold, it was destroyed, and my earth, and, behold, it was in peril, because of the plans that had come into it.
21 And I saw, and spared them, but not greatly, and saved me a grape out of a cluster, and a plant out of a great forest.
22 Let the multitude perish then, which was born in vain; and let my grape be saved, and my plant; for with great labour have I made them perfect.
23 Nevertheless if you will cease yet seven days more, (however you shall not fast in them,
24 but shall go into a field of flowers, where no house is built, and eat only of the flowers of the field; and you shall taste no flesh, and shall drink no wine, but shall eat flowers only;)
25 and pray to the Most High continually, then I will come and talk with you.
26 So I went my way, like as he commanded me, into the field which is called Ardat; and there I sat amongst the flowers, and did eat of the herbs of the field, and its meat satisfied me.
27 And it came to pass after seven days that I lay upon the grass, and my heart was vexed again, like as before:
28 and my mouth was opened, and I began to speak before the Lord Most High, and said,
29 O Lord, you did show yourself amongst us, to our fathers in the wilderness, when they went forth out of Egypt, and when they came into the wilderness, where no man treads and that bears no fruit;
30 and you did say, Hear me, you Israel; and mark my words, O seed of Jacob.
31 For, behold, I sow my law in you, and it shall bring forth fruit in you, and you° shall be glorified in it forever.
32 But our fathers, which received the law, kept it not, and observed not the statutes: and the fruit of the law didn’t perish, neither could it, for it was your;
33 yet those who received it perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.
34 And, behold, it is a custom, that when the ground has received seed, or the sea a ship, or any vessel meat or drink, and when it comes to pass that that which is sown, or that which is launched,
35 or the things which have been received, should come to an end, these come to an end, but the receptacles remain: yet with us it has not happened so.
36 For we that have received the law shall perish by sin, and our heart also which received it.
37 Notwithstanding the law perishes not, but remains in its honour.
38 And when I spoke these things in my heart, I looked about me with my eyes, and upon the right side I saw a woman, and, behold, she mourned and wept with a loud voice, and was much grieved in mind, and her clothes were tore, and she had ashes upon her head.
39 Then let I my thoughts go wherein I was occupied, and turned me to her,
40 and said to her, Why do you weep? and why are you grieved in your mind?
41 And she said to me, Let me alone, my Lord, that I may bewail myself, and add to my sorrow, for I am sore vexed in my mind, and brought very low.
42 And I said to her, What ails you? Tell me.
43 She said to me, I your servant was barren, and had no child, though I had a husband thirty years.
44 And every hour and every day these thirty years did I make my prayer to the Most High day and night.
45 And it came to pass after thirty years that God heard me your handmaid, and looked upon my low estate, and considered my trouble, and gave me a son: and I rejoiced in him greatly, I and my husband, and all my neighbours: and we gave great honour to the Mighty.
46 And I nourished him with great travail.
47 So when he grew up, and I came to take him a wife, I made him a feast day.