2 Esdras 15 (Good News Translation w/ Apocrypha)

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1 The Lord says, "Proclaim to my people the prophetic messages that I will give you, 2 and then have them written down, because they are true and will be fulfilled. 3 Do not be afraid of those who plot against you or be disturbed by their unbelief. 4 All unbelievers will die because of their unbelief." 5 The Lord says, "I am going to bring terrible disasters on the whole world - war and famine, death and destruction, 6 because 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 spilled cries out to me for revenge; the souls of the righteous are constantly pleading for vengeance. 9 Let 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; 11 I will use all my strength and power to bring them out of that land. I will bring disasters upon the Egyptians, as I did earlier, and I will destroy their country. 12 The whole land will be in mourning; it will be shaken to its foundations when I, the Lord, strike it and pound on it. 13 The 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. 15 The war that will bring their destruction is very near. Nations will arm themselves and fight against other nations. 16 There will be great political turmoil, with one group trying to overpower another and gain control, while ignoring the legitimate government. 17 There will no longer be free access to the cities, 18 because the struggle for power will bring destruction, terror, and total confusion wherever people live. 19 Driven by famine and terrible suffering, people will assault their neighbors and mercilessly plunder their possessions." 20 God 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. 21 I 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. 23 My 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. 24 Sinners 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." 26 God is aware of all those who sin against him, and he will hand them over to death and destruction. 27 Terrible disasters have already come upon the world, and there is no escape. You have sinned against God, and he will not rescue you. 28 Then in the east you will suddenly see a fearsome sight. 29 Arab 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. 30 The 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, 31 but the dragons will unite their forces, regain their former strength, and win the victory. They will turn and pursue the wild boars, 32 who will be thrown into panic, beaten into silence, and forced to turn and run. 33 The 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. 34 Then suddenly clouds - terrible, angry storm clouds - will cover the sky from one end to the other. 35 They will collide head-on and release their violence upon the earth. The blood of war will be as deep as a horse's belly 36 or someone's thigh or a camel's knee. 37 Everywhere on earth people will tremble in fear at the horrible sight. 38 Then great storm clouds will move in from the north and the south, and others from the west. 39 But the winds from the east will prevail and push back those angry storm clouds that were about to bring destruction. a 40 Huge, 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. b Every river will overflow into the fields, and the floods 42 will demolish cities, walls, mountains, hills, forests, and crops. 43 This 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 neighboring cities will mourn for Babylon. 45 Anyone who survives will become a slave to those who destroyed the city. 46 You, Asia, are to be pitied. You are doomed! You have enjoyed the splendor 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. 1 48 Because 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. 50 The power of which you boast will wither like a flower when the burning heat is sent upon you. 51 You will be a wretched, weak woman so bruised, beaten, and wounded that you will no longer attract your wealthy lovers. 52 I 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! 55 You will be paid for your work as a prostitute; you will get what you have earned. 56 I will pay you back," says the Lord, "for what you have done to my chosen people. I will bring disaster on you. 57 You 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. 58 Those in the mountains will starve; their hunger and thirst will drive them to eat their own flesh and drink their own blood. 59 You will be more miserable than anyone has ever been, but there will be still more punishment to come. 60 The 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. 61 Your country will be destroyed like straw in a fire. 62 They will burn up all your forests and orchards. All over your land, your cities and mountains will be covered with ruins. 63 Your splendor will vanish; your children will be carried off as prisoners; your possessions will be plundered."
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