2 Esdras 16
1 Woe unto thee, Babylon, and Asia! woe unto thee, Egypt, and Syria!
2 Gird up yourselves with sackcloth and garments of hair, and bewail your children, and lament; for your destruction is at hand.
3 A sword is sent upon you, and who is he that may turn it back?
4 A fire is sent upon you, and who is he that may quench it?
5 Evils are sent upon you, and who is he that may drive them away?
6 May one drive away a hungry lion in the wood? or may one quench the fire in stubble, when it hath once begun to burn?
7 May one turn again the arrow that is shot of a strong archer?
8 The Lord God sendeth the evils, and who shall drive them away?
9 A fire shall go forth from his wrath, and who is he that may quench it?
10 He shall cast lightning, and who shall not fear? he shall thunder, and who shall not tremble?
11 The Lord shall threaten, and who shall not be utterly broken in pieces at his presence?
12 The earth quaketh, and the foundations thereof; the sea ariseth up with waves from the deep, and the waves of it shall be troubled, and the fishes thereof also, at the presence of the Lord, and before the glory of his power:
13 for strong is his right hand that bendeth the bow, his arrows that he shooteth are sharp, and shall not miss, when they begin to be shot into the ends of the world.
14 Behold, the evils are sent forth, and shall not return again, until they come upon the earth.
15 The fire is kindled, and shall not be put out, till it consume the foundations of the earth.
16 Like as an arrow which is shot of a mighty archer returneth not backward, even so the evils that are sent forth upon earth shall not return again.
17 Woe is me! woe is me! who will deliver me in those days?
18 The beginning of sorrows, and there shall be great mournings; the beginning of famine, and many shall perish; the beginning of wars, and the powers shall stand in fear; the beginning of evils, and all shall tremble! what shall they do in all this when the evils shall come?
19 Behold, famine and plague, tribulation and anguish! they are sent as scourges for amendment.
20 But for all these things they shall not turn them from their wickedness, nor be alway mindful of the scourges.
21 Behold, victuals shall be so good cheap upon earth, that they shall think themselves to be in good case, and even then shall evils grow upon earth, sword, famine, and great confusion.
22 For many of them that dwell upon earth shall perish of famine; and the other, that escape the famine, shall the sword destroy.
23 And the dead shall be cast out as dung, and there shall be no man to comfort them: for the earth shall be left desolate, and the cities thereof shall be cast down.
24 There shall be no husbandman left to till the earth, and to sow it.
25 The trees shall give fruit, and who shall gather them?
26 The grapes shall ripen, and who shall tread them? for in all places there shall be a great forsaking:
27 for one man shall desire to see another, or to hear his voice.
28 For of a city there shall be ten left, and two of the field, which have hidden themselves in the thick groves, and in the clefts of the rocks.
29 As in an orchard of olives upon every tree there be left three or four olives,
30 or as when a vineyard is gathered there be some clusters left by them that diligently seek through the vineyard;
31 even so in those days there shall be three or four left by them that search their houses with the sword.
32 And the earth shall be left desolate, and the fields thereof shall be for briers, and her ways and all her paths shall bring forth thorns, because no sheep shall pass therethrough.
33 The virgins shall mourn, having no bridegrooms; the women shall mourn, having no husbands; their daughters shall mourn, having no helpers.
34 In the wars shall their bridegrooms be destroyed, and their husbands shall perish of famine.
35 Hear now these things, and understand them, ye servants of the Lord.
36 Behold, the word of the Lord, receive it: disbelieve not the things whereof the Lord speaketh.
37 Behold, the evils draw nigh, and are not slack.
38 Like as a woman with child in the ninth month, when the hour of her delivery draweth near, within two or three hours doleful pains compass her womb, and when the child cometh forth from the womb, there shall be no tarrying for a moment:
39 even so shall not the evils be slack to come upon the earth, and the world shall groan, and sorrows shall take hold of it on every side.
40 O my people, hear my word: make you ready to the battle, and in those evils be even as pilgrims upon the earth.
41 He that selleth, let him be as he that fleeth away: and he that buyeth, as one that will lose:
42 he that occupieth merchandise, as he that hath no profit by it: and he that buildeth, as he that shall not dwell therein:
43 he that soweth, as if he should not reap: so also he that pruneth the vines, as he that shall not gather the grapes:
44 they that marry, as they that shall get no children; and they that marry not, as the widowed.
45 Inasmuch as they that labour labour in vain;
46 for strangers shall reap their fruits, and spoil their goods, overthrow their houses, and take their children captive, for in captivity and famine shall they beget their children:
47 and they that traffick traffick to become a spoil: the more they deck their cities, their houses, their possessions, and their own persons,
48 the more will I hate them for their sins, saith the Lord.
49 Like as a right honest and virtuous woman hateth a harlot,
50 so shall righteousness hate iniquity, when she decketh herself, and shall accuse her to her face, when he cometh that shall defend him that diligently searcheth out every sin upon earth.
51 Therefore be ye not like thereunto, nor to the works thereof.
52 For yet a little while, and iniquity shall be taken away out of the earth, and righteousness shall reign over us.
53 Let not the sinner say that he hath not sinned: for he shall burn coals of fire upon his head, which saith, I have not sinned before God and his glory.
54 Behold, the Lord knoweth all the works of men, their imaginations, their thoughts, and their hearts.
55 Who said, Let the earth be made; and it was made: Let the heaven be made; and it was made.
56 And at his word were the stars established, and he knoweth the number of the stars.
57 Who searcheth the deep, and the treasures thereof; he hath measured the sea, and what it containeth.
58 Who hath shut the sea in the midst of the waters, and with his word hath he hanged the earth upon the waters.
59 Who spreadeth out the heaven like a vault; upon the waters hath he founded it.
60 Who hath made in the desert springs of water, and pools upon the tops of the mountains, to send forth rivers from the height to water the earth.
61 Who framed man, and put a heart in the midst of the body, and gave him breath, life, and understanding,
62 yea, the spirit of God Almighty. He who made all things, and searcheth out hidden things in hidden places,
63 surely he knoweth your imagination, and what ye think in your hearts. Woe to them that sin, and would fain hide their sin!
64 Forasmuch as the Lord will exactly search out all your works, and he will put you all to shame.
65 And when your sins are brought forth before men, ye shall be ashamed, and your own iniquities shall stand as your accusers in that day.
66 What will ye do? or how will ye hide your sins before God and his angels?
67 Behold, God is the judge, fear him: leave off from your sins, and forget your iniquities, to meddle no more with them for ever: so shall God lead you forth, and deliver you from all tribulation.
68 For, behold, the burning wrath of a great multitude is kindled over you, and they shall take away certain of you, and feed you with that which is slain unto idols.
69 And they that consent unto them shall be had in derision and in reproach, and be trodden under foot of them.
70 For there shall be in divers places, and in the next cities, a great insurrection upon those that fear the Lord.
71 They shall be like mad men, sparing none, but spoiling and destroying them that still fear the Lord.
72 For they shall waste and take away their goods, and cast them out of their houses.
73 Then shall be manifest the trial of mine elect; even as the gold that is tried in the fire.
74 Hear, O ye mine elect, saith the Lord: behold, the days of tribulation are at hand, and I will deliver you from them.
75 Be ye not afraid, neither doubt; for God is your guide:
76 and ye who keep my commandments and precepts, saith the Lord God, let not your sins weigh you down, and let not your iniquities lift up themselves.
77 Woe unto them that are fast bound with their sins, and covered with their iniquities, like as a field is fast bound with bushes, and the path thereof covered with thorns, that no man may travel through!
78 It is even shut off, and given up to be consumed of fire.
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