|4 Esdras 10 |
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 neighbors rose up to comfort me; so I took my rest unto 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 I abandoned my contemplations, and spoke to her in anger, saying,
6 "You foolish woman above all other, do you not see our mourning, and what happens unto us?
7 How that Zion our mother is full of all heaviness, and much humbled, mourning very sorely?
8 And now, seeing we all mourn and are sad, for we are all in heaviness, are you grieved for one son?
9 For ask the earth, and she shall tell you, that it is she who ought to mourn for the fall of so many that grow upon her.
10 For out of her came all at the first, and out of her shall all others come, and, behold, they walk almost all into destruction, and a multitude of them is utterly rooted out.
11 Who then should make more mourning than she, who has lost so great a multitude; and not you, who is sorry only for one?
12 But if you say unto me, 'My lamentation is not like the earth's because I have lost the fruit of my womb, which I brought forth with pains and bore with sorrows;
13 But the earth not so for the multitude present in it according to the course of the earth is gone, as it came.'
14 "Then say I unto you, 'Like you have brought forth with labor; even so the earth also has given her fruit, namely, man, ever since the beginning unto him that made her.'
15 Now therefore keep your sorrow to yourself, and bear with a good courage what has befallen you.
16 For if you shall acknowledge the determination of God to be just, you shall both receive your son in time, and shall be commended among women.
17 Go your way then into the city to your husband."
18 And she said unto me, "That will I not do; I will not go into the city, but here will I die."
19 So I proceeded to speak further unto her, and said,
20 "Do not so, but be counseled by me for how many are the adversities of Zion? Be comforted in regard of the sorrow of Jerusalem.
21 For you see that our sanctuary is laid waste, our altar broken down, our temple destroyed;
22 Our psaltery is laid on the ground, 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 spoiled,1 our holy things are defiled, and the name that is called upon us is almost profaned; our children are put to shame, 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 destroyed, our young men are brought in bondage, and our strong men have become weak;
23 And, what is the greatest of all, the seal of Zion has now lost her honor for she is delivered into the hands of those who hate us.
24 And therefore shake off your great heaviness, and put away the multitude of sorrows, that the Mighty may be merciful unto you again, and the Highest shall give you rest and ease from your labor."
25 And it came to pass while I was talking with her, behold, her face suddenly shined exceedingly, and her countenance glistened, so that I was afraid of her, and pondered what it might be.
26 And, behold, suddenly she made a great cry very fearfully, so that the earth shook at the noise of the woman.
27 And I looked, and, behold, the woman appeared unto me no more, but there was a city built, and a large place shown itself from the foundations. Then was I afraid, and cried with a loud voice, and said,
28 "Where is Uriel the angel, who came unto me at the first? for he has caused me to fall into many trances, and mine end is turned into corruption, and my prayer to rebuke."
29 And as I was speaking these words behold, he came unto me, and looked upon me.
30 And, lo, 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 unto 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, and yet I did according to your words, and I went into the field, and, lo, I have seen, and yet see, that I am not able to express."
33 And he said unto me, "Stand up manfully, and I will advise you."
34 Then said I, "Speak on, my lord, in me; only forsake me not, lest I die in frustration 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 that you will show your servant of this vision."
38 He answered me then, and said, "Hear me, and I shall inform you, and tell you why you are afraid for the Highest will reveal many secret things unto you.
39 He has seen that your way is right for that you sorrow continually for your people, and make great lamentation for Zion.
40 This therefore is the meaning of the vision which you lately saw:
41 You saw a woman mourning, and you began to comfort her;
42 But now see you the likeness of the woman no more, when there appeared unto you a city built.
43 And whereas she told you of the death of her son, this is the solution:
44 This woman, whom you saw is Zion; and whereas she said unto you, even she whom you see as a city built,
45 Whereas, I say, she said unto you, that she has been thirty years barren; those are the thirty years wherein there was no offering made in her.
46 But after thirty years Solomon built the city and offered offerings; and then bare the barren a son.
47 And whereas she told you that she nourished him with labor, that was the dwelling in Jerusalem.
48 But whereas she said unto you, 'That my son coming into his marriage chamber happened to have a fall and died:' this was the destruction that came to Jerusalem.
49 And, behold, you saw her likeness, and because she mourned for her son, you began to comfort her; and of these things which have chanced, these are to be opened unto you.
50 For now the most High sees that you are sincerely grieved, and suffer from your whole heart for her, so has he shown you the brightness of her glory, and the comeliness of her beauty.
51 And therefore I told you to remain in the field where no house was built.
52 For I knew that the Highest would show this unto you.
53 Therefore I commanded you to go into the field, where no foundation of any building was.
54 For in the place wherein the Highest begins to show his city, there no man's building is able to stand.2
55 And therefore fear not, let not your heart be frightened, 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 other, and are called with the Highest; and so are but few.
58 But tomorrow at night you shall remain here;
59 And so shall the Highest show you visions of the high things, which the most High will do unto them that dwell upon the earth in the last days." So I slept that night and another, like as he commanded me.
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1 the ark of our covenant is spoiled, This occurred in the 586 BC Babylonian conquest and destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple. The ark did not appear in the reconstructed temple when the exiled Jews returned to Jerusalem.
2 For in the place wherein the Highest begins to show his city, there no man's building is able to stand. The temple of God is built in every man's heart who seeks God as his first priority in life, who denies himself, and who picks up his cross to follow (obey) the commands of Jesus that he hears, as he waits in silence with humility, listening and watching for the teachings and changing grace of God. For the temple to be completely built, that man's selfish spirit must die. For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it. Luke 9:24, Mat 10:39,16:25, Mark 8:35. Man's spirit, mind, and heart must be replaced with a new heart, mind, and spirit.
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