1 The Lord says, I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them my commandments by my servants the prophets; whom they would not hear, but set my counsels at nothing. 2 The mother that bare them says to them, go your way, O my children; for I am a widow and forsaken. 3 I brought you up with gladness, and with sorrow and heaviness have I lost you: for you° have sinned before the Lord God, and done that which is evil before me. 4 But what shall I now do to you? for I am a widow and forsaken: go your way, O my children, and ask mercy of the Lord. 5 As for me, O father, I call upon you for a witness over the mother of thesechildren, because they would not keep my covenant, 6 that you bring them to confusion, and their mother to a plunder, that there may be no offspring of them. 7 Let them be scattered abroad among the heathen, let their names be blotted out of the earth: for they have despised my* covenant. 8 Woe to you, Assur, you that hide the unrighteous with you! O you wicked nation, remember what I did to Sodom and Gomorrah; 9 whose land lies in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes: even so I will also do to those who have not listened to me, says the Lord Almighty.
10 The Lord says to Esdras, Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I would have given to Israel. 11 I will also take their glory me, and give these the everlasting tabernacles, which I had prepared for them. 12 They shall have the tree of life for an ointment of sweet savor; they shall neither labor, nor be weary. 13 † Ask, and you° shall receive: pray for few days to you, that they may be shortened: the kingdom is already prepared for you: watch. 14 Take heaven and earth to witness, take them to witness; for I have given up the evil, and created the good: for I live, says the Lord.
15 Mother, embrace your children; I will bring them out with gladness like a dove; establish their feet; for I have chosen you, says the Lord. 16 And I will raise those who are dead up again from their places, and bring them out from their tombs: for I‡ have known my name in them. 17 Don’t be afraid, you mother of the children: for I have chosen you, says the Lord. 18 For your help I will send my servants Esaias and Jeremy, after whose counsel I have sanctified and prepared for you twelve trees laden with various fruits, 19 and as many springs flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grow roses and lilies, whereby I will fill your children with joy. 20 Do right to the widow, judge the fatherless, give to the poor, defend the orphan, clothe the naked, 21 heal the broken and the weak, laugh not a lame man to scorn, defend the maimed, and let the blind man come to the sight of my glory. 22 Keep the old and young within your walls. 23 Wherever you find the dead, set a sign upon them and commit them to the grave, and I will give you the first place in my resurrection. 24 Stay still, O my people, and take your rest, for your quietness shall come. 25 Nourish your children, O you good nurse, and establish their feet.26 As for the servants whom I have given you, there shall not one of them perish; for I will require them from among your number. 27 Be not careful overmuch: for when the day of suffering and anguish comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall be merry and have abundance. 28 The nations shall envy you, but they shall be able to do nothing against you, says the Lord. 29 My hands shall cover you, so that your children see not§ hell. 30 Be joyful, O you mother, with your children; for I will deliver you, says the Lord. 31 Remember your children that sleep, for I shall bring them out of the secret places of the earth, and show mercy to them: for I am merciful, says the Lord Almighty.32 Embrace your children until I come, and proclaim mercy to them: for my wells run over, and my grace shall not fail.
33 I Esdras received a charge from the Lord upon the mount Horeb, that I should go to Israel; but when I came to them, they would none of me, and rejected the commandment of the Lord.34 And therefore I say to you, O you° nations, that hear and understand, look for your shepherd, he shall give you everlasting rest; for he is near at hand, that shall come in the end of the world.35 Be ready to the rewards of the kingdom, for the everlasting light shall shine upon you for evermore. 36 Flee the shadow of this world, receive the joyfulness of your glory: I call to witness my savior openly. 37 O receive that which is given you of the Lord, and be joyful, giving thanks to him that has called you to heavenly kingdoms. 38 Arise up and stand, and behold the number of those that be sealed in the feast of the Lord;39 those who withdrew them from the shadow of the world have received glorious garments of the Lord. 40 * Look upon your number, O Sion, and make up the reckoning of those of your that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord. 41 The number of your children, whom you long for, is fulfilled: beseech the power of the Lord, that your people, which have been called from the beginning, may be hallowed.
42 I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great multitude, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. 43 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted. I marveled greatly at this. 44 So I asked the angel, and said, What are these, my Lord? 45 He answered and said to me, These be those who have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. 46 Then said I to the angel, What young man is he that sets crowns upon them, and gives them palms in their hands? 47 So he answered and said to me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend those who stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord.48 Then the angel said to me, Go your way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord God you have seen.
*2:7 Another reading is, sacrament, or, oath
†2:13 Another reading is, Go.
‡2:16 Or, recognize
§2:29 Lat. Gehenna.
*2:40 Another reading is, Take.
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