|4 Esdras 12 |
1 And it came to pass, while the lion spoke these words unto the eagle, I looked,
2 And, behold, the head that remained and the four wings appeared no more, and the two went unto it and set themselves up to reign, and their kingdom was small, and full of uproar.
3 And I saw, and behold, they appeared no more, and the whole body of the eagle was burnt so that the earth was in great fear; then I awakened I out of the trouble and trance of my mind, and from great fear, and said unto my spirit,
4 "Lo, this have you done unto me, in that you search out the ways of the Highest.
5 Lo, yet am I weary in my mind, and very weak in my spirit; and little strength is there in me, for the great fear wherewith I was afflicted this night.
6 Therefore will I now beseech the Highest, that he will comfort me unto the end."
7 And I said, Lord who bears rule, "if I have found grace before your sight, and if I am justified with you before many others, and if my prayer indeed has come up before your face;
8 Comfort me then, and show me your servant the interpretation and plain difference of this fearful vision, that you may perfectly comfort my soul.
9 For you have judged me worthy to show me the last times."
10 And he said unto me, "This is the interpretation of the vision:
11 The eagle, whom you saw come up from the sea, is the kingdom which was seen in the vision of your brother Daniel.
12 But it was not expounded unto him, therefore now I declare it unto you.
13 Behold, the days will come, that there shall rise up a kingdom upon earth, and it shall be feared above all the kingdoms that were before it.
14 In the same shall twelve kings reign, one after another:
15 Whereof the second shall begin to reign, and shall have more time than any of the twelve.
16 And this do the twelve wings signify, which you saw.
17 As for the voice which you speak, and that you saw not to go out from the heads but from the midst of the body thereof, this is the interpretation:
18 That after the time of that kingdom there shall arise great strivings, and it shall stand in peril of failing; nevertheless it shall not then fall, but shall be restored again to its beginning.
19 And whereas you saw the eight small under feathers sticking to her wings, this is the interpretation:
20 That in him there shall arise eight kings, whose times shall be but small, and their years swift.
21 And two of them shall perish, the middle time approaching; four shall be kept until their end begin to approach, but two shall be kept unto the end.
22 And whereas you saw three heads resting, this is the interpretation:
23 In his last days shall the most High raise up three kingdoms, and renew many things therein, and they shall have the dominion of the earth,
24 And of those that dwell therein, with much oppression, above all those that were before them; therefore they are called the heads of the eagle.
25 For these are those who shall accomplish his wickedness, and that shall finish his last end.
26 And whereas you saw that the great head appeared no more, it signifies that one of them shall die upon his bed, and yet with pain.
27 For the two that remain shall be slain with the sword.
28 For the sword of the one shall devour the other, but at the last shall he fall through the sword himself.
29 And whereas you saw two feathers under the wings passing over the head that is on the right side;
30 It signifies that these are they, whom the Highest has kept unto their end; this is the small kingdom and full of trouble, as you saw.
31 And the lion, whom you saw rising up out of the wood, and roaring, and speaking to the eagle, and rebuking her for her unrighteousness with all the words which you have heard;
32 This is the anointed, which the Highest has kept for them and for their wickedness unto the end; he shall reprove them, and shall upbraid them with their cruelty.
33 For he shall set them before him alive in judgment, and shall rebuke them, and correct them.
34 For the rest of my people shall he deliver with mercy, those that have been pressed upon my borders, and he shall make them joyful until the coming of the day of judgment, whereof I have spoken unto you from the beginning.
35 This is the dream that you saw, and these are the interpretations.
36 You only have been designated as fit to know this secret of the Highest.
37 Therefore write all these things that you have seen in a book, and hide them;
38 And teach them to the wise of the people, whose hearts you know may comprehend and keep these secrets.
39 But wait you here yourself yet seven days more, that it may be shown you, whatsoever it pleases the Highest to declare unto you." And with that he went his way.
40 And it came to pass, that when the seven days were past and I not come again into the city, all the people gathered together, from the least unto the greatest, and came unto me, and said,
41 What have we done to offend you? And what evil have we done against you that you forsake us and sit here in this place?
42 For of all the prophets you only are left us, as a cluster of the vintage, and as a candle in a dark place, and as a haven or ship preserved from the tempest.
43 Are not the evils which have come to us sufficient?
44 If you shall forsake us, how much better had it been for us, if we also had been burned in the midst of Zion?
45 For we are not better than those who died there. And they wept with a loud voice." Then answered I them, and said,
46 "Be of good comfort, O Israel; and be not heavy, you house of Jacob.
47 For the Highest has you in remembrance, and the Mighty has not forgotten you in temptation.
48 As for me, I have not forsaken you, neither am I departed from you; but have come into this place to pray for the desolation of Zion, and that I might seek mercy for the low estate of your sanctuary.
49 And now go your way home every man, and after these days will I come unto you."
50 So the people went their way into the city, like as I commanded them;
51 But I remained still in the field seven days, as the angel commanded me; and did eat only in those days of the flowers of the field, and had my food of the herbs.
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