The end-time Prophecy of Ezra.
8 The angel replied, “God Most High made this world for many people, but the future world for only a few. 2Ezra, let me give you an illustration. If you ask the earth, it will tell you that it produces a large amount of clay for pots but only a small amount of gold dust. And that’s how it is with the present world: 3many have been created, but only a few will be saved.”
Ezra Prays for His People.
4 I said to myself, “I must search for wisdom and try to understand. 5I was brought into this world without my consent, and I will leave it against my will. God has given me only a few short years as my span of life.”6 Then I prayed, “O Lord above, permit me, your humble servant, to offer this prayer: Sow a seed within us, and let it grow until it produces new hearts and minds, so that sinful humanity may have life. 7 For you alone are God, and you created all of us, as the scripture says. 8 You give life and provide arms and legs to the body formed in the womb, where it is kept safe in the elements of fire and water. The body which you form is carried in the womb for nine months, 9and you alone provide safety for the protecting womb and the protected body. Then when the womb delivers what was created in it, 10your command produces milk from the breasts of the human body. “The infant you created is fed in this way for a while, and then you continue to provide your mercy. 12You bring a person up in your righteousness, teach him your Law, and discipline him with your wisdom.13 You are his Creator and, as you wish, you can take away his life or allow him to live.14 But if you are so ready to destroy a person that was so carefully created at your command, why was he created in the first place?
15 “Now, Lord, I must say this: You may know what is best with regard to the rest of mankind, but I mourn for your own people—16I am disturbed and grieved for your own nation Israel, the descendants of Jacob. 17So I want to pray for them and for myself, because I can see how all of us who live on this earth have failed, 18and I know that judgement will soon come upon us. 19So please hear me and listen to my prayer.”
The prayer that Ezra prayed before he was taken up into heaven begins here. He prayed, 2°”O Lord, you live for ever, and the highest heavens are yours.21 Your throne is more wonderful than anything we can imagine; your glory surpasses our understanding; the heavenly army of angels stands trembling before you. 22 They are ready to turn themselves into wind or fire at your command. Your word is everlastingly true. 23Your mighty commands accomplish fearful things. With one look, you dry up the deep oceans, and you can melt the mountains with your anger. Your truth lasts for ever.* 24O Lord, you created me, and I am your servant, so listen to my prayer. 25 As long as I have life and understanding, I cannot keep silent.
26 “Do not take account of the sins of your people; rather, consider those who have served you faithfully. 27Pay no attention to godless people and what they do, but take into account those who have kept your covenant in spite of all their sufferings. 28Do not think about those who have lived wicked lives, but remember those who have gladly confessed you as God. 29Do not destroy your people because of those who have lived like animals, but be mindful of those who have taught your Law in such a wonderful way. 30Do not be angry with those you consider worse than animals, but show your love to those who have always trusted in your glorious presence.
31 “It is true that we and our ancestors have lived our lives in ways that bring death, but it is because of us who are sinners that you are called merciful. 32You will surely be called merciful if you choose to take pity on us—we are sinners without any righteous deeds to our credit. 33 Those who are righteous will receive their reward on the basis of the many good works that they have stored up with you. 34 “What is man that you should be angry with him? What is this mortal race that you should be so bitter against it? 35 To speak the truth, no person was ever born who did not sin; there is no one living who is not guilty. 36Therefore, Lord, your righteousness and goodness will certainly be made known when you show mercy to those who have no treasure of good deeds.”
37 The Lord answered me, “Part of what you have said is correct, and things will happen as you have indicated. 38You can be sure that I will give no thought to those who have sinned, or to their creation, death, judgement or destruction. 39 Instead, I will find my joy in the creation of the righteous, their earthly journey, their salvation, and their final reward. 40Things will happen just as I have said. 41 The fanner sows many seeds and puts out many plants, but not all of them take root or come up at the right time. That’s how it is with this world. Not everyone who has been placed in this world will be saved.”
42 Then I said, “Please let me speak. 43 The fanner’s seed may not come up because you did not send rain at the right time, or it may be ruined by too much rain. 44But people are different. You formed them with your own hands; you created them to be like you; and you made everything for their benefit. How can you compare them to a farmer’s seed? 45It’s impossible, O Lord’ above! Spare the people who are your own. Have pity on them. Show your mercy to the people you have created.”
46 He answered, “The present is for those who live now, and the future for those who are to come. 47You are certainly not able to love what I have created more than I do. Never again consider yourself among the unrighteous, as you have done so often. 48Yet I am very pleased 49that you have shown proper humility and not boasted by thinking of yourself as righteous. 50The people of this world who have lived their lives in pride and arrogance will suffer many things in the last days. 51 But, Ezra, you should be thinking about the glory that is waiting for you and those like you. 52 For all of you, Paradise has been opened, the tree of life has been planted, the world to come has been made ready, all your needs have been provided, the heavenly city has been built, full rest from your labours has been offered, goodness and wisdom have been perfected. 53The source of evil has been sealed off, so that it cannot reach you; all sickness has been removed, death has been taken away, hell is gone, and corruption has disappeared. 54 All suffering has been taken away, and the treasure of immortality is at last revealed.
55 “So don’t ask any more questions about the large number of people who are lost. 56For when they had the opportunity to choose, they despised God Most High, had contempt for his Law, and refused to follow his ways. 57In addition, they ill-treated the righteous servants of God. 58They even said to themselves that there was no God, although they knew that they must die. 59 So the joys I have described are waiting for you, while thirst and torment are in store for them. But God Most High did not want anyone to perish. 60He created everyone and prepared life for everyone, but those he created dishonoured the name of their Creator and were ungrateful to the one who offered them life. 6IThat is why the day on which I will judge them is near. 62I have made this known to you and a few others like you, but not to everyone.”
The Signs of the End
9 He answered, “Consider all these things very carefully. When you see that some of the signs I have told you about have appeared, 2you will know that the time has come when God Most High will bring judgement on the world he has created. 3 There will be earthquakes, national rebellions, international intrigues, unstable leaders, and confused rulers. When you see these things happening, 4you will know that they are what God Most High has spoken about since the beginning of creation. 5The beginning and the endk of everything that happens in this world are clear. 6The same is true in the world above:’ wonders and miracles show the beginning of events, and mighty signs show when they end.
7 “Some people will escape destruction and be saved by their good works or by their faith. All of them 8will survive the dangers I have described and will enjoy the salvation provided in the land that I have set apart from eternity as my own. 9 Then those who have ignored my ways and held them in contempt will be surprised when they find themselves in continual torment. 10This will include all those who ignored me while they were alive, even though they accepted the blessings I gave them. ult will include all those who scorned my Law during the time they were free to do so and all those who refused to repent when they still had the chance. 12The torment they will have to suffer after death will force them to recognize the truth. 13 Therefore, Ezra, you should stop asking questions about how the wicked will be punished. Instead, be concerned about how and when the righteous will be saved. The world was created for them and belongs to them.” 14 I said, 15 “I must repeat what I said before. The lost far outnumber those who are saved—16it is like a wave compared with a drop of water.”
17 He answered, “The seed to be sown depends on the soil; the colour of the flower depends on the kind of flower; the quality of a product depends on the skill of the workman; and the size of the harvest depends on how hard the farmer has worked. 18 Before I created this world or the people who would live in it, no one opposed me, because no one existed. 19 When I had created the world, I supplied it with an abundance of food and a Law of profound wisdom, but the people I created lived corrupt lives. 20I looked at my world and saw that it was ruined. I saw that my earth was in danger of being destroyed by the wicked plans of the people who had come into it. 21When I saw this, I found it very difficult to spare them, but I saved a few for myself, one grape out of a bunch and one tree out of a great forest.m 22 So let them perish— all those people who were born only to be lost. But let my chosen people be kept safe—those for whom I worked so hard to bring them to perfection. 23 “And now, Ezra, you must wait seven more days, but do not fast this time. 24 Go to a field of wild flowers where no one has ever lived and eat nothing but the flowers—do not eat any meat or drink any wine. 25Pray the whole time to God Most High. Then I will come and talk with you again.”
THE FOURTH VISION
26 I obeyed the angel’s command and went to a field called Ardat. I sat there among the flowers and ate the wild plants, and that was enough food for me. 27 After seven days I was lying on the grass, and once again my thoughts began to trouble me. 28Then I began to speak and said to God Most High, 29“O Lord, you revealed yourself to our ancestors when they were travelling through the trackless, barren desert after they had left Egypt. You said to them,30‘Listen to me, people of Israel. 31I am giving you my Law. It will be like a seed sown among you that produces fruit, and it will be your crowning glory for ever.’ 32Our ancestors received the Law, but they disobeyed its commands. Yet the fruit of the Law was not destroyed—it could not be destroyed because it was yours. 33 Those who had received the Law were destroyed because they did not guard the good seed that was sown in them. 34–35The usual thing is that the container remains after its contents have been destroyed, for example, seed in the ground, a ship on the sea, or food in a bowl. But this is not the case with us sinners. 36The Law was placed in our hearts, and we are the ones who will be destroyed because we have sinned. 37The Law will not be destroyed; it will remain in all its glory.”
The Vision of the Weeping Woman
38 While I was saying these things to myself, I looked round and saw a woman on my right. She was weeping and wailing, terribly upset; her clothes were torn, and there were ashes on her head. 39I immediately put my own troubles out of my mind, turned to the woman, 40and asked, “Why are you crying? Why are you so upset?41″Please, sir,” she answered, “leave me alone and let me go on crying and
mourning; I am bitter and depressed.”42″Tell me what’s wrong,” I said.43 She answered, “Sir, I was married for thirty years, but I was never able to have a child. 44 During those thirty yearsI prayed every day and every hour, day and night, to God Most High for a child.45 After thirty years God answered my prayer; he saw my suffering, took away my distress, and gave me a son. What great joy this brought to my husband and me and to all our neighbours! We sang the praises of the Almighty. 46I brought our son up with the greatest care, 47and when he was grown, I chose a wife for him and prepared for the wedding.
10”On the wedding night when myson entered the bedroom, he dropped dead. 2So we put out all the wedding lamps, and all my neighbours came to comfort me. I remained in control of myself until the evening of the second day, 3when they all left. That night I got up and came out to this field, as you see. 41 have decided never to return to that town. I am going to stay here in constant mourning, neither eating nor drinking anything until I die.”5 When she told me this, I put aside my own thoughts and spoke sharply to her: 6“You are the most foolish woman I ever met. Don’t you see what our people are suffering? Don’t you know all that has happened to us? ‘Jerusalem, the mother of us all, is overcome with grief and shame. You ought to be mourning for her 8and sharing the grief and sorrow of all of us. But you are mourning for that one son of yours. 9Ask the earth; let her tell you that she is the one who ought to be mourning for the vast multitudes of people that she has brought to birth. 10All of us who are living came originally from her, and there are more to come. Almost all of us go straight to destruction—the vast multitude of earth’s children are lost. 11So who has more right to mourn, you for your one son, or the earth, which has lost so many? I know what you are thinking; you think that your sorrow is worse than the earth’s. You think that it is only natural for earth’s multitudes to live and then die, but you have lost your own flesh and blood which you brought to birth with such trouble and pain. But let me tell you 14that from the time God created the earth she has suffered as much in producing human beings for God as you did in childbirth. 15 So keep your tears to yourself, and be brave about what has happened to you. 16 lf you will accept God’s decision as just, you will get your son back at the right time, and you will receive the praise due to a mother.17 Go back to the city and to your husband.” 18 “No,” she answered, “I will never go back; I am going to stay here and die.” 19-20 “Don’t do that,” I continued. “Consider the misfortunes and sorrows of Jerusalem, and you won’t feel so sorry for yourself. 21You can see that our place of worship is in ruins, our altar has been torn down, our Temple has been destroyed, 22our musical instruments lie quiet, our hymns have been silenced, our joy has ended, the light of the sacred lamp has been put out, our Covenant Box has been carried off, our sacred utensils have been desecrated, the name of our God has been profaned, our leaders have been dishonoured, our priests have been burnt to death, our Levites have been taken captive, our virgins have been raped, our wives have been violated, our devout men have been carried off, our children have been abandoned, our young people have been made slaves, and our strong soldiers have been made helpless. 23 Worst of all, Jerusalem, once marked as God’s own city, has lost its glory and has been handed over to our enemies. 24So put aside all your sorrow and grief. May God Most High, the Almighty, be merciful to you and give you peace. May he give you rest from your troubles.”
25 While I was speaking to the woman, her face suddenly began to shine with a light that flashed like lightning. I was afraid to stand near her and wondered what all this meant.26 Suddenly she let out a loud and terrifying cry that shook the earth. 27When I looked up, I could no longer see the woman, but there was a city built” on huge foundations. I was afraid and shouted, 2S “Where is the angel Uriel, who came to me earlier? It is his fault that I am so confused. My prayer is useless, and I have nothing to hope for but death.”
Uriel’s Interpretation of the Vision
29 I was still speaking when the angel Uriel appeared again. He saw me 30 lying there unconscious like a corpse, so he took hold of my right hand, gave me strength, and stood me on my feet. Then he asked, 31 “What’s the matter? Why are you so disturbed and confused?”32 I answered, “You abandoned me completely! I did as you told me and came out to this field, but I cannot explain what I am seeing.”33″Stand up like a man,” he answered,”and I will explain it to you.”34″Sir,” I answered, “please explain it to me. I will die in my frustration if you leave me, 35for I cannot understand what I have seen and heard. 36Or is my mind playing tricks on me, and is this just a bad dream? 37I beg you, sir, tell me what this vision means.”38 The angel said, “Now listen closely, and I will explain the meaning of these things that you fear. God Most High has revealed many secrets to you 39 because he has seen that you have lived a righteous life and have always grieved and mourned for your people and for Jerusalem. 40This is what the vision means: A woman appeared to you a little while ago, 41and when you saw that she was mourning, you tried to console her. 42–43The woman told you about the death of her son. Then she vanished from your sight, and a whole city0 appeared. This is the meaning: 44The woman you saw is Jerusalem, which you now see as a completed city. 45When she told you that for thirty years she had had no children, it meant that for three thousand years no offerings had yet been made there. 46Then Solomon built the city, and sacrifices began to be offered there. At that time the childless woman gave birth to her son. 47When she told you that she took great care in bringing the son up, that referred to the period when Jerusalem was inhabited. 48When she told you of the death of her son on his wedding day, that meant the destruction of Jerusalem. 49 So in the vision you saw how she mourned for her son, and you tried to console her for what had happened— this is what was to be revealed to you. 50 When God Most High saw that you were grieving for the woman with all your heart and soul, he showed you all her glory and majestic beauty. 51That is why I told you to go and stay in the field where no one had ever lived, 52for I knew that God Most High was going to show you these things. 53I told you to go to the field where no foundation had ever been built, 54 because nothing built by man could stand in the place where the city of God Most High was about to be revealed.55 “So don’t be afraid. Go into the city and look at its beautiful and majestic buildings. See as much as you can. 56 After that, you will hear as much as you can.57You are more fortunate than most people, and only a few have the reputation with God Most High that you have.58Remain here until tomorrow night,59and he will show you in dreams and visions what he plans to do for those who will be living on the earth in the last days.”So I slept there that night and the next,as I had been told.
THE FIFTH VISION
The Vision of an Eagle
11 The second night I had a dream. I saw an eagle coming up out of the sea. it had twelve wings and three heads.2 As I looked, it spread out its wings over the whole world. Winds blew on it from every direction, and clouds? gathered over it. 3Then from its wings I saw rival wings begin to grow, but they were small and insignificant. 4All three heads of the eagle were asleep, even the middle one, which was larger than the others. 5 While I was watching, the eagle flew up in the air and became ruler of the whole earth and all its people. 6I saw how everything on earth was brought under the eagle’s control—no one on earth was able to oppose it. 7Then I saw the eagle stand up on its claws and say to its wings,8“Not all of you are to wake up at the same time; you must sleep where you are and wake up when your turn comes,9and the heads must wake up last.” 10Ilooked again and saw that the voice was not coming from any of the eagle’s head but from the middle of its body. 11 I counted its rival wings, and there were eight of them.12 I saw one of the wings on the right side rise up and govern the whole world.13 After its rule came to an end, it vanished so completely that it left no trace. Then the next wing rose up and governed for a long time. 14When its rule was coming to an end and it was about to vanish like the first wing, 15a voice said to it, 16 “Listen, you have ruled the world for a long time, and I want you to hear this message before you disappear: 17No one after you will rule as long as you did—not even half as long.” 18The third wing rose up and governed as the earlier ones had done; then it also vanished. 19The same thing happened to all the other wings: one after the other they rose to power and then vanished.20 I kept looking, and after a while the other small wings on the right side rose up to seize power. Some of them governed briefly and quickly disappeared, 2I while others rose up but were never able to govern. 22Then I noticed that the twelve large wings and two of the small wings had disappeared. 23 Nothing was left on the eagle’s body except the three sleeping heads and the six small wings. 24I kept watching, and suddenly two of the six small wings left the others and moved under the head on the right side, while the other four remained where they were.25Then I saw that these four small wings were plotting to rise up and seize power.26One of them rose up, but it quickly disappeared. 27The second one also rose up, but it disappeared even more quickly than the first. 28I saw that the two remaining small wings were also plotting to seize control for themselves. 29While they were making their plans, one of the sleeping heads suddenly awoke. It was the one in the middle, the one that was larger than the other two. 30Then I saw that it was joined by the other heads,31and when it turned to eat up the two little wings that were planning to seize power, the other two heads helped it.32This head gained power over the whole world, established an oppressive rule over people everywhere, and exercised more power over the world than any of the other wings had done before. 33Then, as I watched, the middle head disappeared just as suddenly as the wings had done.34 Two heads were left, and they also gained power over the earth and its people; 35but while I was still watching, the head on the right ate up the head on the left.36 Then I heard a voice which said, “Ezra, look straight ahead and think about what you see.”37 I looked and saw what appeared to be an angry lion come roaring out of the forest. I heard it speak in human language to the eagle and say, 3S “Listen, Eagle, to what I have to say to you; it is the message of God Most High: 39You are the only one left of the four animals that I appointed to govern my world and to bring the ages of this world to an end.40 You are the fourth animal and you have conquered all the animals that came before you. As long as you have been in this world, you have ruled it through terror, oppression, and deceit, 41with a total disregard for truth. 42You have viciously attacked harmless people who were living in peace; you have hated those who spoke the truth, and you have loved liars. You have destroyed the homes of those who were prosperous and have torn down the walls of those who did you no harm. 43 God Most High knows how proud and arrogant you are. The Almighty One 44 has looked back over the world he established. The end has come; the final age is over.45 So, Eagle, the time has come for you to vanish, along with your big, terrible wings, your small, wicked wings, your evil heads, your awful claws, and your whole worthless body. 46The entire world will be set free from your violence and renewed as it sets its hope on the judgement and mercy of God, who created it.” 10 While the lion was speaking in thisway to the eagle, I looked 2and saw that the last head of the eagle was gone. Then the two small wings that had moved over to that head rose up to govern, but their rule was short and full of trouble. 3 They disappeared before my eyes, and the whole body of the eagle burst into flames, and the world was terrified.
The Interpretation of the Vision
I was so disturbed and so afraid that I woke up. I said, 4“I have brought this on myself, because I have tried to study the ways of God Most High. 5I am mentally exhausted and completely worn out. The terrible fears I have experienced this night have taken my last bit of strength. 6All I can do now is pray to God Most High to give me strength until the end.” 7Then I prayed, “Master and Lord, if it is true that you consider me more righteous than many others and if you hear my prayers, then I beg you, 8give me strength. Show me, O Lord, the full meaning of this terrifying vision, and set my mind at ease. 9 After all, you did consider me worthy to be shown the end of this age.”
10 God’s angel said to me, “Here is the interpretation of the vision you saw. nThe eagle you saw coming up out of the sea represents the fourth kingdom in the vision that your brother Daniel saw. 12But he was not given the same interpretation of it that I am giving you. 13The time is coming when an empire Will be established on earth that is more terrible than any before it.14 Twelve kings will rule over it, one after the other. 15The second king will rule longer than any of the others. 16That is the meaning of the twelve wings that you saw.
17 “You heard the voice speaking from the middle of the eagle’s body, instead of from its heads. 18That means that after the rule of the second king, a great struggle for power will take place, and the empire will be in danger of breaking up. But that will not happen, and the empire will regain its earlier power.
19 “You saw the eight small wings growing out of the eagle’s big wings. That means 20that eight kings will rise up in the empire, but their rule will be brief and unimportant. 21Two of them will appear briefly near the middle of the period, four of them will not appear until near the end, and two will be left until the very end.
22 “You saw the three heads that were asleep. That means 23that in the last days of the empire, God Most High will raise up three kings; they will restore much of the empire and rule over the world 24 and its people with more harshness than any before them. The reason they are called the eagle’s heads 25is that these three kings will bring to a head and complete the godless work of the eagle. 26 You saw the largest head disappear. This means that one of the kings will die in his bed, in great agony. 27The other two will die in battle. 28One of them will kill the other; then he also will be killed in battle at the end of time.
29 “You saw the two small wings moving under the head on the right side. 30 That means that God Most High has kept them until the end, but their rule was short and full of trouble, as you saw.
31 “You saw the angry lion come roaring out of the forest, and you heard it speak to the eagle and rebuke it for the evil that it had done and for all that it had said. 32The lion represents the Messiah, whom God Most High has held back until the end. He will be a descendant of David and will come and speak5 to the rulers. He will rebuke them for their wickedness, their sinfulness, and their contempt for God’s ways. 33 While they are still living, he will bring them to judgement, condemn them for their sin, and destroy them. 34But he will have mercy on the rest of my people, those who are left in my land; he will set them free and make them happy until the end comes, the Judgement Day about which I told you at the beginning.
35 “That is the dream you had, and that is its interpretation. 36 But you are the only one that God Most High has considered worthy to reveal this secret to. 37 So write in a book everything you saw, and put it in a safe hiding place. 38Then teach these secrets to those who are wise among your people, those who will be able to understand them and keep them secret. 39 But you must stay here seven more days, so that God Most High may reveal to you whatever he wishes.” Then the angel left me.
The People Come to Ezra
40 When the seven days had passed and all the people heard that I had not yet returned to the city, all of them, rich and poor, came and asked me, 41 “What wrong have we done to you? How have we ill-treated you? Why have you abandoned us and settled down in this place? 42You are the only one of all our prophets who is left. You are like the last bunch of grapes in a vineyard, like a lantern in a dark place, like a safe harbour for a ship in a storm. 43 Haven’t we suffered enough already? 44If you abandon us, it would have been better if we had died like the others in the fire that destroyed Jerusalem. 45We are no better than those who died.” Then they all started crying loudly.I answered, 46“Be brave, Israel, put away your sorrow. 47God Most High will keep you in mind; the Almighty One has not forgotten you in all your troubles.48And I haven’t left you or abandoned you.I came here to pray for Jerusalem in her time of trouble and to ask mercy for her and for your Temple, now in disgrace.49Please return to your homes, all of you. I will come back to you in a few days.”
50So they left me and went back to the city.
THE SIXTH VISION
51 I stayed in the field for seven days, as the angel had commanded me. I ate nothing but wild flowers; I was a vegetarian in those days. 13The seven days passed, and thefollowing night I had a dream.2In my dream I saw a wind coming up out of the sea and stirring up great waves
3As I watched, the wind brought with it out of the sea what looked like a manand he was flying” on the clouds. When he turned his face, everything he looked at began to tremble, –2and when he spoke everyone who heard his voice melted like wax in a fire.
5 I 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. 6Then 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.9 When 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.
12 Then I saw the man come down from the mountain and call another large crowd to come to him—this was a peace-loving crowd. 13All 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.
The Interpretation of the Vision
I was so frightened that I woke up 1 prayed to God Most High and said, 4 “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. 161 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 18 because 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. 20 Nevertheless, 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 23 the 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.24 You 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 26 represents 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. 2rYou saw the wind, fire, and storm going out of the man’s mouth, 28 and 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. 31They 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 out of the sea. 33 When 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 of 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. 41 But 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. 42 There 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. 45 Their 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.”
51 Then I said “Lord and Master, please tell me why the man came up out of the
sea.”52 He 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.
Next time we read the final part.
In the 4th part of the visions of Ezra we will look at:
1.)The seventh Vision—-The Voice From The Bush.
2.) Ezra Reproduces the Sacred Writings.
3.)Additional Prophecies—-The Coming Disasters.
4.) A Terrifying Vision.
5.)Asia is Doomed.
6.) God’s People Must Prepare for the End.
Be Blessed Mishpocha.