2 Esdras 7

1 And when I had made an end of speaking these words, there was sent unto me the angel which had been sent unto me the nights afore:

2 and he said unto me, Up, Esdras, and hear the words that I am come to tell thee.

3 And I said, Speak on, my Lord. Then he said unto me, There is a sea set in a wide place, that it might be broad and vast.

4 But the entrance thereof shall be set in a narrow place so as to be like a river;

5 whoso then should desire to go into the sea to look upon it, or to rule it, if he went not through the narrow, how could he come into the broad?

6 Another thing also: There is a city builded and set in a plain country, and full of all good things;

7 but the entrance thereof is narrow, and is set in a dangerous place to fall, having a fire on the right hand, and on the left a deep water:

8 and there is one only path between them both, even between the fire and the water, so small that there could but one man go there at once.

9 If this city now be given unto a man for an inheritance, if the heir pass not the danger before him, how shall he receive his inheritance?

10 And I said, It is so, Lord. Then said he unto me, Even so also is Israel’s portion.

11 Because for their sakes I made the world: and when Adam transgressed my statutes, then was decreed that now is done.

12 Then were the entrances of this world made narrow, and sorrowful and toilsome: they are but few and evil, full of perils, and charged with great toils.

13 For the entrances of the greater world are wide and sure, and bring forth fruit of immortality.

14 If then they that live enter not these strait and vain things, they can never receive those that are laid up for them.

15 Now therefore why disquietest thou thyself, seeing thou art but a corruptible man? and why art thou moved, whereas thou art but mortal?

16 and why hast thou not considered in thy mind that which is to come, rather than that which is present?

17 Then answered I and said, O Lord that bearest rule, lo, thou hast ordained in thy law, that the righteous should inherit these things, but that the ungodly should perish.

18 The righteous therefore shall suffer strait things, and hope for wide: but they that have done wickedly have suffered the strait things, and yet shall not see the wide.

19 And he said unto me, Thou art not a judge above God, neither hast thou understanding above the Most High.

20 Yea, rather let many that now be perish, than that the law of God which is set before them be despised.

21 For God straitly commanded such as came, even as they came, what they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment.

22 Nevertheless they were not obedient unto him; but spake against him, and imagined for themselves vain things;

23 and framed cunning devices of wickedness; and said moreover of the Most High, that he is not; and knew not his ways:

24 but they despised his law, and denied his covenants; they have not been faithful to his statutes, and have not performed his works.

25 Therefore, Esdras, for the empty are empty things, and for the full are the full things.

26 For behold, the time shall come, and it shall be, when these tokens, of which I told thee before, shall come to pass, that the bride shall appear, even the city coming forth, and she shall be seen, that now is withdrawn from the earth.

27 And whosoever is delivered from the foresaid evils, the same shall see my wonders.

28 For my son Jesus shall be revealed with those that be with him, and shall rejoice them that remain four hundred years.

29 After these years shall my son Christ dieof them that, and all that have the breath of life.

30 And the world shall be turned into the old silence seven days, like as in the first beginning: so that no man shall remain.

31 And after seven days the world, that yet awaketh not, shall be raised up, and that shall die that is corruptible.

32 And the earth shall restore those that are asleep in her, and so shall the dust those that dwell therein in silence, and the secret places shall deliver those souls that were committed unto them.

33 And the Most High shall be revealed upon the seat of judgement, and compassion shall pass away, and longsuffering shall be withdrawn:

34 but judgement only shall remain, truth shall stand, and faith shall wax strong:

35 and the work shall follow, and the reward shall be shewed, and good deeds shall awake, and wicked deeds shall not sleep.

36 And the pit of torment shall appear, and over against it shall be the place of rest: and the furnace of hell shall be shewed, and over against it the paradise of delight.

37 And then shall the Most High say to the nations that are raised from the dead, See ye and understand whom ye have denied, or whom ye have not served, or whose commandments ye have despised.

38 Look on this side and on that: here is delight and rest, and there fire and torments. Thus shall he speak unto them in the day of judgement:

39 This is a day that hath neither sun, nor moon, nor stars,

40 neither cloud, nor thunder, nor lightning, neither wind, nor water, nor air, neither darkness, nor evening, nor morning,

41 neither summer, nor spring, nor heat, nor winter, neither frost, nor cold, nor hail, nor rain, nor dew,

42 neither noon, nor night, nor dawn, neither shining, nor brightness, nor light, save only the splendour of the glory of the Most High, whereby all shall see the things that are set before them:

43 for it shall endure as it were a week of years.

44 This is my judgement and the ordinance thereof; but to thee only have I shewed these things.

45 And I answered, I said even then, O Lord, and I say now: blessed are they that be now alive and keep the statutes ordained of thee.

46 But as touching them for whom my prayer was made, what shall I say? for who is there of them that be alive that hath not sinned, and who of the sons of men that hath not transgressed thy covenant?

47 And now I see, that the world to come shall bring delight to few, but torments unto many.

48 For an evil heart hath grown up in us, which hath led us astray from these statutes, and hath brought us into corruption and into the ways of death, hath shewed us the paths of perdition and removed us far from life; and that, not a few only, but well nigh all that have been created.

49 And he answered me, and said, Hearken unto me, and I will instruct thee; and I will admonish thee yet again:

50 for this cause the Most High hath not made one world, but two.

51 For whereas thou hast said that the just are not many, but few, and the ungodly abound, hear the answer thereunto.

52 If thou hath choice stones exceeding few, wilt thou set for thee over against them according to their number things of lead and clay?

53 And I said, Lord, how shall this be?

54 And he said unto me, Not only this, but ask the earth, and she shall tell thee; intreat her, and she shall declare unto thee.

55 For thou shalt say unto her, Thou bringest forth gold and silver and brass, and iron also and lead and clay:

56 but silver is more abundant than gold, and brass than silver, and iron than brass, lead than iron, and clay than lead.

57 Judge thou therefore which things are precious and to be desired, whatso is abundant or what is rare.

58 And I said, O Lord that bearest rule, that which is plentiful is of less worth, for that which is more rare is more precious.

59 And he answered me, and said, Weigh within thyself the things that thou hast thought, for he that hath what is hard to get rejoiceth over him that hath what is plentiful.

60 So also is the judgement which I have promised: for I will rejoice over the few that shall be saved, inasmuch as these are they that have made my glory now to prevail, and of whom my name is now named.

61 And I will not grieve over the multitude of them that perish; for these are they that are now like unto vapour, and are become as flame and smoke; they are set on fire and burn hotly, and are quenched.

62 And I answered and said, O thou earth, wherefore hast thou brought forth, if the mind is made out of dust, like as all other created things?

63 For it were better that the dust itself had been unborn, so that the mind might not have been made therefrom.

64 But now the mind groweth with us, and by reason of this we are tormented, because we perish and know it.

65 Let the race of men lament and the beasts of the field be glad; let all that are born lament, but let the fourfooted beasts and the cattle rejoice.

66 For it is far better with them than with us; for they look not for judgement, neither do they know of torments or of salvation promised unto them after death.

67 For what doth it profit us, that we shall be preserved alive, but yet be afflicted with torment?

68 For all that are born are defiled with iniquities, and are full of sins and laden with offences:

69 and if after death we were not to come into judgement, peradventure it had been better for us.

70 And he answered me, and said, When the Most High made the world, and Adam and all them that came of him, he first prepared the Judgement and the things that pertain unto the judgement.

71 And now understand from thine own words, for thou hast said that the mind groweth with us.

72 They therefore that dwell upon the earth shall be tormented for this reason, that having understanding they have wrought iniquity, and receiving commandments have not kept them, and having obtained a law they dealt unfaithfully with that which they received.

73 What then will they have to say in the judgement, or how will they answer in the last times?

74 For how great a time hath the Most High been longsuffering with them that inhabit the world, and not for their sakes, but because of the times which he hath foreordained!

75 And I answered and said, if I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, shew this also unto thy servant, whether after death, even now when every one of us giveth up his soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come, in which thou shalt renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented forthwith.

76 And he answered me, and said, I will shew thee this also; but join not thyself with them that are scorners, nor number thyself with them that are tormented.

77 For thou hast a treasure of good works laid up with the Most High, but it shall not be shewed thee until the last times.

78 For concerning death the teaching is: When the determinate sentence hath gone forth from the Most High that a man should die, as the spirit leaveth the body to return again to him who gave it, it adoreth the glory of the Most High first of all.

79 And if it be one of those that have been scorners and have not kept the way of the Most High, and that have despised his law, and that hate them that fear God,

80 these spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall wander and be in torments forthwith, ever grieving and sad, in seven ways.

81 The first way, because they have despised the law of the Most High.

82 The second way, because they cannot now make a good returning that they may live.

83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for them that have believed the covenants of the Most High.

84 The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days.

85 The fifth way, they shall see the dwelling places of the others guarded by angels, with great quietness.

86 The sixth way, they shall see how forthwith some of them shall pass into torment.

87 The seventh way, which is more grievous than all the aforesaid ways, because they shall pine away in confusion and be consumed with shame, and shall be withered up by fears, seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they have sinned whilst living, and before whom they shall be judged in the last times.

88 Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most High, when they shall be separated from the corruptible vessel.

89 In the time that they dwelt therein they painfully served the Most High, and were in jeopardy every hour, that they might keep the law of the lawgiver perfectly.

90 Wherefore this is the teaching concerning them:

91 First of all they shall see with great joy the glory of him who taketh them up, for they shall have rest in seven orders.

92 The first order, because they have striven with great labour to overcome the evil thought which was fashoned together with them, that it might not lead them astray from life into death.

93 The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly wander, and the punishment that awaiteth them.

94 The third order, they see the witness which he that fashioned them beareth concerning them, that while they lived they kept the law which was given them in trust.

95 The fourth order, they understand the rest which, being gathered in their chambers, they now enjoy with great quietness, guarded by angels, and the glory that awaiteth them in the last days.

96 The fifth order, they rejoice, seeing how they have now escaped from that which is corruptible, and how they shall inherit that which is to come, while they see moreover the straitness and the painfulness from which they have been delivered, and the large room which they shall receive with joy and immortality.

97 The sixth order, when it is shewed unto them how their face shall shine as the sun, and how they shall be made like unto the light of the stars, being henceforth incorruptible.

98 The seventh order, which is greater than all the aforesaid orders, because they shall rejoice with confidence, and because they shall be bold without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold the face of him whom in their lifetine they served, and from whom they shall receive their reward in glory.

99 This is the order of the souls of the just, as from henceforth is announcer unto them, and aforesaid are the ways of torture which they that would not give heed shall suffer from henceforth.

100 And I answered and said, shall time therefore be given unto the souls after they are separated from the bodies, that they may see that whereof thou hast spoken unto me?

101 And he said, Their freedom shall be for seven days, that for seven days they may see the things whereof thou hast been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered together in their habitations.

102 And I answered and said, if I have found favour in thy sight, shew further unto me thy servant whether in the day of judgment the just will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to intreat the Most High for them,

103 whether fathers for children, or children for parents, or brethren for brethren, or kinsfolk for their next of kin, or friends for them that are most dear.

104 And he answered me, and said, Since thou hast found favor in my sight, I will shew thee this also: The day of judgement is a day of decision, and displayeth unto all the seal of truth; even as now a father sendeth not his son, or a son his father, or a master his slave, or a friend him that is most dear, that in his stead he may be sick, or sleep, or eat, or be healed:

105 so never shall anyone pray for another in that day, neither shall one lay a burden on another, for then shall all bear every one his own righteousness or unrighteousness.

106 And I answered and said, How do we now find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for the fathers that sinned in the wilderness:

107 and Joshua after him for Israel in the days of Achar:

108 and Samuel in the days of Saul; and David for the plague: and Solomon for them that should worship in the sanctuary:

109 and Elijah for those that received rain; and for the dead, that he might live:

110 and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib: and many for many?

111 If therefore now, when corruption is grown up, and unrighteousness increased, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, wherefore shall it not be so then also?

112 He answered me, and said, This present world is not the end; the full glory abideth not therein: therefore have they who were able prayed for the weak.

113 But the day of judgement shall be the end of this time, and the beginning of the immortality for to come, wherein corruption is passed away,

114 intemperance is at an end, infidelity is cut off, but righteousness is grown, and truth is sprung up.

115 Then shall no man be able to have mercy on him that is cast in judgement, nor to thrust down him that hath gotten the victory.

116 I answered then and said, this is my first and last saying, that it had been better that the earth had not given thee Adam: or else, when it had given him, to have restrained him from sinning.

117 For what profit is it for all that are in this present time to live in heaviness, and after death to look for punishment?

118 O thou Adam, what hast thou done? For though it was thou that sinned, the evil is not fallen on thee alone, but upon all of us that come of thee.

119 For what profit is it unto us, if there be promised us an immortal time, whereas we have done the works that bring death?

120 And that there is promised us an everlasting hope, whereas ourselves most miserably are become vain?

121 And that there are reserved habitations of health and safety, whereas we have lived wickedly?

122 And that the glory of the Most High shall defend them which have led a pure life, whereas we have walked in the most wicked ways of all?

123 And that there shall be shewed a paradise, whose fruit endureth without decay, wherein is abundance and healing, but we shall not enter into it,

124 for we have walked in unpleasant places?

125 And that the faces of them which have used abstinence shall shine above the stars, whereas our faces shall be blacker than darkness?

126 For while we lived and committed iniquity, we considered not what we should have to suffer after death.

127 Then he answered and said, This is the condition of the battle, which man that is born upon the earth shall fight;

128 that, if he be overcome, he shall suffer as thou hast said: but if he get the victory, he shall receive the thing that I say.

129 For this is the way whereof Moses spake unto the people while he lived, saying, Choose thee life, that thou mayest live.

130 Nevertheless they believed not him, nor yet the prophets after him, no, nor me which have spoken unto them;

131 so that there shall not be such heaviness in their destruction, as there shall be joy over them that are persuaded to salvation.

132 I answered then and said, I know, Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, in that he hath mercy upon them which are not yet come into the world;

133 and compassionate, in that he hath compassion upon those that turn to his law;

134 and longsuffering, for that he long suffereth those that have sinned, as his creatures;

135 and bountiful, for that he is ready to give rather than to exact;

136 and of great mercy, for that he multiplieth more and more mercies to them that are present, and that are past, and also to them which are to come;

137 (for if he multiplied not his mercies, the world would not continue with them that dwell therein;)

138 and one that forgiveth, for if he did not forgive of his goodness, that they which have committed iniquities might be eased of them, the ten thousandth part of men would not remain living;

139 and a judge, for if he did not pardon them that were created by his word, and blot out the multitude of offences,

140 there would peradventure be very few left in an innumerable multitude.

Domínio Público. Esta tradução bíblica de domínio público é trazida a você por cortesia de eBible.org.