131The seven days passed, and the following night I had a dream. 2In my dream I saw a wind coming up out of the sea and stirring up great waves. 3
As I watched, the wind brought with it out of the sea what looked like a man,13.3 Some ancient translations the wind… man; Latin does not have these words. and he was flying13.3 Some ancient translations flying; Latin a growing strong. on the clouds. When he turned his face, everything he looked at began to tremble, 4and when he spoke, everyone who heard his voice melted like wax in a fire.
5I looked again and saw a crowd too large to count. They were people gathered together from all parts of the world to fight against the man who had come up out of the sea. 6
Then I watched the man carve out a high mountain and fly up onto it. 7I tried to see the place or the region from which the mountain was carved, but I couldn't. 8Then I saw that all the people who had come together to make war against him were terrified, but they still prepared to fight him. 9When the man saw the great crowd advancing to attack him, he did not take up any weapons. 10The only thing I saw was what looked like a stream of fire coming out of his mouth. He sent a flaming wind from his lips and a storm of sparks from his tongue. The stream of fire, the flaming wind, and the great storm combined 11and swept down on the crowd that was coming to attack him, and burnt them all up. In a single moment, that crowd too large to count vanished, and there was nothing left but powdery ashes and the smell of smoke. I was shocked when I saw what had happened.
12Then I saw the man come down from the mountain and call another large crowd to come to him — this was a peace-loving crowd. 13
All sorts of people came: some were happy, some were sad, some had their hands and feet tied, and some brought others as a gift to the Lord.
I was so frightened that I woke up. I prayed to God Most High and said, 14“Lord, you have been showing me all these marvellous things. You have considered me worthy and have heard my prayers. 15Now please show me the meaning of this dream also. 16I have been thinking how terrible it will be for the people who will be living in those days, but how much worse for those who do not survive. 17They will be in great sorrow 18because they will not enjoy any of the pleasures reserved for the last days. 19But how terrible also for those who do survive; they will have to face great dangers and many troubles, as these dreams have shown. 20Nevertheless, it is better to pass through these dangers and reach the end than to disappear like a cloud from this world and never see what takes place in the last days.”
He answered, 21“I will explain to you the meaning of the vision and answer the questions you have asked. 22You have raised questions about those who will survive until the end. The answer is that 23the one who brings the dangers in those days will also protect from danger the people who have stored up good works and faithfulness with God the Almighty One. 24You may be certain that those who survive are far more fortunate than those who die.
25“This is the meaning of the vision. The man you saw coming up out of the sea 26represents the one whom God Most High has kept ready for many ages. He will free the world he created and establish the new order for those who survive. 27You saw the wind, fire, and storm going out of the man's mouth, 28and you saw that without the use of a spear or any other weapon he destroyed the great crowd that was advancing to attack him. This means that 29the time is near when God Most High will begin to free the people on earth. 30At that time everyone will be close to panic. 31
They will begin to make war against one another, city against city, region against region, nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 32When that happens, the signs I told you about earlier will take place, and then I will reveal my son, whom you saw as a man coming up out of the sea. 33When they hear his voice, all the nations will leave their own territory, forget their wars with one another, 34and come together in one great crowd too large to count, as you saw in your dream. The nations will unite with the single purpose of making war on my son. 35He will take his stand on the top of Mount Zion, 36
and the new Jerusalem will be seen by everyone. It will be completed and fully built, just as in your dream you saw the mountain carved out, but not by human hands. 37Then my son will condemn the assembled nations for their godlessness. That is what the storm meant. 38He will confront them with the wicked plans they have made and also with the torments they must endure. That is what the flames meant. Then he will easily destroy them by means of13.38 One ancient translation by means of; Latin a and. the Law. That is what the fire meant.
39“You saw him gather another great crowd of peace-loving people. 40
These are the ten tribes of Israel who were taken away into captivity in the time of King Hoshea. King Shalmaneser of Assyria captured them and deported them to a foreign land east of the River Euphrates. 41But the ten tribes decided not to stay in that land among the many Gentiles, so they moved farther east to a country where no human beings had ever lived before. 42There they hoped to keep their laws, which they had failed to keep in their own country. 43When they had to make the difficult passage across the Euphrates, 44God Most High performed miracles for them and blocked the channels of the river until they had crossed over. 45Their long journey through that region, which is named Arzareth, took a year and a half, 46and they have lived there ever since. Now in these last days they are coming back home, 47and once again God Most High will block the channels of the river, so that they may cross over. That is the meaning of the great crowd of peace-loving people you saw. 48But they will also have with them all your own people who are left and who are found within the borders of my holy land. 49When the time comes for my son to destroy the crowd that has gathered from every nation, he will protect his people who are left 50and perform many great miracles for them.”
51Then I said, “Lord and Master, please tell me why the man came up out of the sea.”
52He answered, “No one can explore the bottom of the sea to find out what is there. In the same way, no human being can see my son or those who come with him until the day that has been fixed. 53That is the meaning of your dream. You alone have been given this information, 54because you have given up your own interests to devote yourself to mine and to the study of my Law. 55You have dedicated your life to wisdom, and understanding has been like a mother to you. 56That is why God Most High has rewarded you by showing you these things. After three days, I will come back and tell you about other profound wonders.”
57I went for a walk in the field, worshipping and praising God Most High for the miracles he performs in his own good time. 58For he controls the ages and what happens in them. I remained there for three days.
141On the third day, while I was sitting under an oak tree, 2
suddenly a voice came out of a bush near me and called, “Ezra! Ezra!”
I stood up and answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
3The voice continued, “I revealed myself from a bush and spoke to Moses when my people were slaves in Egypt. 4I sent him to lead them out of Egypt, and I brought them to Mount Sinai. I kept Moses with me there on the mountain for a long time, 5while I told him the secrets about the ages and the end of time. I told him 6what to make public and what to keep secret. 7Now I command you 8to memorize the signs, visions, and interpretations that I have given you. 9You will be taken out of this world into the heavenly world where you and others like you will live with my son until the end of time. 10The world is no longer young; it is rapidly approaching old age. 11The whole history of the world is divided into twelve periods, and the tenth period has already arrived 12and it is half over; only two and a half parts remain. 13So set your house in order, warn your people, comfort those who are humble, and teach those who are wise.14.13 Some ancient translations teach… wise; Latin does not have these words. Then say goodbye to this mortal life. 14Put earthly cares away from you, throw down your human burdens, and lay aside your weak human nature. 15Put all your anxieties aside, and get ready to leave this world quickly. 16You have seen many evil things already, but far worse things are about to happen. 17As the world grows older and weaker, the evils that will come upon its people will multiply. 18Truth will depart and falsehood will draw ever nearer. The eagle you saw in your vision is just about to arrive.”
19I replied, “Let me speak14.19 Some ancient translations Let me speak; Latin does not have these words. in your presence, Lord. 20I am ready to depart, as you have commanded, and I will warn the present generation; but who will warn the people who have not yet been born? This world is a dark place, and its people have no light. 21Your Law has been destroyed by fire, so no one can know what you have done in the past or what you are planning to do in the future. 22Please send your Holy Spirit to me, so that I can write down everything that has been done in this world from the beginning, everything that was written in your Law. Then in these last days, people will be able to find the right way and obtain life if they want to.”
23He answered, “Go and call the people together and tell them not to look for you for forty days. 24Prepare a large number of writing tablets, and take with you these five men who can write fast: Seraiah, Dabriah, Shelemiah, Ethan, and Asiel. 25Then come here, and I will light the lamp of understanding in your heart, and it will not go out until you have finished what you are supposed to write. 26When you have finished your work, you will make some of it public, and you will give the rest to some wise people, who will keep it secret. Tomorrow at this time you will begin to write.”
27I did as I was commanded and called all the people together. I said, 28“Listen to what I have to say, people of Israel. 29At first our ancestors lived as foreigners in Egypt, but then they were set free 30and received from God the life-giving Law. But they did not keep it, and when your turn came, you did not keep it either. 31God gave you the holy land as your own possession, but you were as sinful as your ancestors, and did not follow the ways that God Most High had commanded. 32God is a just judge, so after a while he took away what he had given you. 33Now you are in exile here, but you are closer to Jerusalem than some of your fellow-Jews.14.33 but… fellow-Jews; Latin unclear. 34But if you will discipline your thoughts and be willing to learn, you will be kept safe in this life and will be granted mercy after death, 35for Judgement Day comes after death. We will be brought back to life, and the righteous people will be made known, while what the godless people have done will be exposed. 36But now for forty days, no one is to come near me or try to find me.”
37As I had been commanded, I took the five men, and we went to the field and stayed there. 38On the next day I suddenly heard a voice saying, “Ezra, open your mouth and drink what I am giving you.” 39So I opened my mouth, and I was handed a cup full of a fiery-coloured liquid, 40which I took and drank. When I had drunk it, my mind overflowed with understanding, and wisdom increased within me as my memory became perfect. 41I began to speak and went on talking without stopping. 42God Most High also gave wisdom to the five men with me, and they took turns at writing down what I said. They used an alphabet14.42 Some ancient translations an alphabet; Latin unclear. that they had not known before, and worked for forty days, writing in the daytime and eating at night. 43I spoke all day long, and I was not silent even at night. 44During the forty days, 9414.44 Some ancient translations 94; Latin unclear. books were written.
45At the end of the forty days, God Most High said to me, “You are now to make public the first 2414.45 Some ancient translations 24; Latin does not have this word. books14.45 24 books: The Hebrew Bible contains 24 books, corresponding to the 39 books of the Christian Old Testament. that you wrote, so that everyone, whether they are worthy or not, may read them. 46But the last seventy books that you wrote are to be held back and to be given only to those who are wise among your people, 47because these books contain a flood of understanding, a fountain of wisdom, and a river of knowledge.” 48Then I did as I was told.
151The Lord says, “Proclaim to my people the prophetic messages that I will give you, 2and then have them written down, because they are true and will be fulfilled. 3Do not be afraid of those who plot against you or be disturbed by their unbelief. 4Every unbeliever will die because of his unbelief.”
5The Lord says, “I am going to bring terrible disasters on the whole world — war and famine, death and destruction — 6because wickedness has spread everywhere, and evil has reached its limit.”
7“Therefore,” the Lord says, 8“I will no longer remain silent about the wickedness of these godless people; I will no longer tolerate it. They have murdered innocent people, and the blood they have spilt cries out to me for revenge; the souls of the righteous are constantly pleading for vengeance. 9Let there be no doubt,” says the Lord, “I will hear the plea of all the innocent people who have been murdered and I will take vengeance for what has been done to them.
10“My people are being led to the slaughter like a flock of sheep. They will no longer have to live in Egypt; 11I will use all my strength and power to bring them out of that land. I will bring disasters on the Egyptians, as I did earlier, and I will destroy their country. 12The whole land will be in mourning; it will be shaken to its foundations when I, the Lord, strike it and pound on it. 13The farmers will mourn because their seed will fail to sprout, and their trees will be destroyed by blight, hail, and terrible storms.
14“The world and the people in it are doomed. 15The war that will bring their destruction is very near. Nations will arm themselves and fight against other nations. 16There will be great political turmoil, with one group trying to overpower another and gain control, while ignoring the legitimate government. 17There will no longer be free access to the cities, 18because the struggle for power will bring destruction, terror, and total confusion wherever people live. 19Driven by famine and terrible suffering, men will assault their neighbours and mercilessly plunder their possessions.”
20God says, “I am calling together all the kings of the earth to come from north, south, east, and west to turn back and restore what they have taken. 21I will pay them back with the same harsh treatment they have always given to my chosen people.” The Lord says, 22“I will use my power, and there will be no mercy for sinners; I will put to death all who have murdered innocent people. 23My anger has become so fierce that fire has blazed out to burn up the foundations of the earth and to burn up sinners like straw. 24Sinners who do not keep my commands are doomed,” says the Lord. 25“I will have no mercy on them! Out of my sight, you rebels! Do not defile my holy Temple.”
26God is aware of all those who sin against him, and he will hand them over to death and destruction. 27Terrible disasters have already come upon the world, and there is no escape. You have sinned against God, and he will not rescue you.
28Then in the east you will suddenly see a fearsome sight. 29Arab armies with many chariots will advance like dragons. As soon as they start out, the sound of their hissing will spread across the world and bring fear and trembling to everyone who hears it. 30The Carmonians will come out of the forest in a fierce rage like wild boars advancing in full strength to attack the dragons. With their tusks they will tear up a large part of Assyria, 31but the dragons will unite their forces, regain their former strength, and win the victory. They will turn and pursue the wild boars, 32who will be thrown into panic, beaten into silence, and forced to turn and run. 33The wild boars will be ambushed in Assyria, and one of them will be killed. This will bring fear and panic to their army and indecision to their kings.
34Then suddenly clouds — terrible, angry storm clouds — will cover the sky from one end to the other. 35They will collide head-on and release their violence upon the earth. The blood of war will be as deep as a horse's belly 36or a human thigh or a camel's knee. 37Everywhere on earth people will tremble in fear at the horrible sight. 38Then great storm clouds will move in from the north and the south, and others from the west. 39But the winds from the east will prevail and push back those angry storm clouds that were about to bring destruction.15.39 Verse 39 in Latin is unclear. 40-41Huge, powerful, angry storm clouds will arise and ruin the whole world and its people. A terrible storm of fire, hail, and flashing swords will come sweeping down on those who have power and authority.15.40–41 those who have power and authority; or every hill and mountain. Every river will overflow into the fields, and the floods 42will demolish cities, walls, mountains, hills, forests, and crops. 43-44This destruction will press on until it reaches Babylon and engulfs it in a raging storm of ruin. The dust and the smoke will form a great cloud reaching to the sky, and all the neighbouring cities will mourn for Babylon. 45Anyone who survives will become a slave to those who destroyed the city.
You, Asia, are to be pitied. You are doomed! You have enjoyed the splendour and glory of Babylon. You have imitated her and dressed up your daughters to look like prostitutes to please and gratify your lovers, who have always lusted for you. 48Because you have imitated that vile prostitute in everything she has done or planned, God has this to say: 49“I will send disasters upon you. I will make you a widow and send poverty, famine, war, and epidemics to destroy your homes and bring ruin and death. 50The power of which you boast will wither like a flower when the burning heat is sent upon you. 51You will be a wretched, weak woman so bruised, beaten, and wounded that you will no longer attract your wealthy lovers. 52I would not punish you so severely,” says the Lord, 53“if you had not murdered my chosen people. But you took great delight in striking them, and when you were drunk, you boasted about killing them.
54“Paint your face! 55You will be paid for your work as a prostitute; you will get what you have earned. 56I will pay you back,” says the Lord, “for what you have done to my chosen people. I will bring disaster on you. 57You will be put to death, and your children will starve. Your cities will be torn down, and the people out in the country will be killed. 58Those in the mountains will starve; their hunger and thirst will drive them to eat their own flesh and drink their own blood. 59You will be more miserable than anyone has ever been, but there will be still more punishment to come. 60The army that destroyed Babylon will march back through your country and devastate your peaceful city; they will destroy your beautiful country and leave most of it in ruins. 61Your country will be destroyed like straw in a fire. 62They will burn up all your forests and orchards. All over your land, your cities and mountains will be covered with ruins. 63Your splendour will vanish; your children will be carried off as prisoners; your possessions will be plundered.”