2 Esdras 13 (Good News Translation w/ Apocrypha)

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1 The seven days passed, and the following night I had a dream. 2 In 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, a and he was flying b on the clouds. When he turned his face, everything he looked at began to tremble, 1 4 and 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. 6 Then I watched the man carve out a high mountain and fly up on it. 2 7 I tried to see the place or the region from which the mountain was carved, but I couldn't. 8 Then 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. 10 The 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 11 and swept down on the crowd that was coming to attack him, and burned 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. 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. 3 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 marvelous things. You have considered me worthy and have heard my prayers. 15 Now please show me the meaning of this dream also. 16 I 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. 17 They will be in great sorrow 18 because they will not enjoy any of the pleasures reserved for the last days. 19 But 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. 22 You 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. 27 You 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 29 the time is near when God Most High will begin to free the people on earth. 30 At 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. 4 32 When 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, 34 and 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. 35 He 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. 5 37 Then my son will condemn the assembled nations for their godlessness. That is what the storm meant. 38 He 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 c 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 Euphrates River. 6 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. 43 When they had to make the difficult passage across the Euphrates, 44 God 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, 46 and they have lived there ever since. Now in these last days they are coming back home, 47 and 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. 48 But they will also have with them all of your own people who are left and who are found within the borders of my holy land. 49 When the time comes for my son to destroy the crowd that has gathered from every nation, he will protect his people who are left 50 and 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. 53 That is the meaning of your dream. You alone have been given this information, 54 because you have given up your own interests to devote yourself to mine and to the study of my Law. 55 You have dedicated your life to wisdom, and understanding has been like a mother to you. 56 That 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." 57 I went for a walk in the field, worshiping and praising God Most High for the miracles he performs in his own good time. 58 For he controls the ages and what happens in them. I remained there for three days.
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