4th Ezra - Apocalypse of Ezra - II Esdras III to XIV from Syriac G.H.Box 1917Page 51:
The temporary Messianic Kingdom and the
End of the World (4th Ezra VII. 26-)
26. For behold the days come, and it shall be when
the signs come which I have foretold to thee, and
the bride shall be revealed, appearing as a city,
and there shall be revealed she that is now cut off:
27. and whoever is delivered from these evils which
have been predicted, he shall see my wonders.
28. For my son the Messiah shall be revealed together with those who (are) with him,
and shall rejoice those that remain thirty years.
29. And it shall be after these years my son the Messiah shall
die, and all those in whom is human breath.
30. And the world shall return to its first silence seven
days, as it was at the beginning, so that no man is left.
31. And it shall be after seven days that world shall be awakened,
which now is not awake, and corruption shall perish.
32. And the earth shall give up those that sleep in
her, and the dust shall give up those that repose
therein, and the chambers shall give up the souls
that were put in them.
33. And the most High shall be revealed upon the
throne of judgement :
[and the end shall come,] (Cf. I Cor. XV. 24 ; other Versions omit.)
and compassion pass away,
and pity be far off,
and long-suffering be gathered ;
34. But my judgement alone shall remain,
and truth shall stand,
and faith flourish
35. And the work shall come,
and the reward be made known ;
and acts of righteousness shall awake
and acts of ungodliness shall not sleep.
(The Missing Fragment - 4th Ezra VII 36 - 105)
[36.] And the pit of torment shall appear,
but over against this the place of rest;
the furnace of Gehenna shall be revealed,
and over against it the Paradise of delights.
[37.] And then shall the Most High say to those
nations that have been raised :
Gaze and see what ye have denied,
or whom ye have not served,
or whose commandments ye have despised !
[38.] Look, therefore, over against you :
behold here rest and enjoyments,
and there fire and torment !
Thus shall he speak to them in that Day of Judgement.
[39.] For the Day of Judgement is thus :
[40.] on it there is no sun, nor moon, nor stars;
neither clouds, nor lightning, nor thunder;
neither wind, nor water, nor air;
neither darkness, nor evening, nor morning;
[41.] neither summer, nor winter, nor autumn;
neither heat, nor frost, nor cold;
neither hail, nor dew, nor rain;
[42.] neither noon, nor night, nor day;
neither light, [nor torch], nor radiance, nor
save only the splendour of the glory of the Most High
from which they are destined to see what
hath been ordained.
(Or prepared: the uncreated light of the Divine Presence
will reveal what has been prepared for the judgement; cf.
Is. Lx. 19 f. ; Rev. xxi. 23)
[43.] But there shall be an interval as it were a
week of years.
[44.] But this is (my Judgement) and its law,
and to thee only have I made them known.
The Debate continued ; Israel's Election and the
Problem of Righteousness (VII.  — IX. 22)
The Fewness of the Saved (VII. -)
[45.] And I answered and said : O Lord [my Lord],
I said even then - and say now again, that
blessed are all they who have come and have kept
the commandments which have been set forth by thee.
[46.] But concerning those about whom my petition
(was made)— who is there, then, of those who have
come, who hath not sinned? Or who is there
of (those) born who hath not transgressed thy commandment?
[47.] And now I see that for few
shall that coming world effect delight, but for many
[48.] For there is in us the evil heart
which hath caused us to err from these,
and led us into corruption,
and hath shewn us the ways of death,
and made known to us the paths of perdition,
and removed us far from life;
and this not of a few, but +perchance+ of all who
[49.] And he answered and said to me:
Hear me, [Ezra], and I will speak to thee,
and once again instruct thee.
[50.] For this cause the Most High hath made not
one world but two.
[51.] Thou, however, because thou hast said there
are not many righteous but few (while the ungodly abound)
- hear (the answer) to this:
[52.] If thou have precious stones
and few, against the number of these do thou set lead
and clay !
[53.] And I said : How, O Lord, is that possible ?
[54.] And he answered and said to me : Not only
so, but ask the earth, and she shall tell thee;
speak to her, and she shall recount to thee.
[55.] Say to her : Gold hast thou brought forth,
and silver, and copper, and iron, and lead, and clay;
[56.] But the silver is more (abundant) than gold, and
copper than silver, and iron than copper, and lead
than iron, and clay than lead.
[57.] Do thou, then, reckon up and see, what things are precious and to
be desired, the many or the few ?
[58.] And I answered and said : O Lord my Lord :
Things abundant are what are worthless, and things
few are precious.
[59.] And he answered and said to me : Do thou,
then, reckon up in thine own mind what thou hast
thought! Because everyone who hath a little that
(is) rare rejoiceth over it more than that one who
hath what is abundant.
[60.] So also is the promise of my judgement;
for I rejoice [and delight] over the few who live (are saved),
because they it is who now strengthen my glory,
and for whose sake my name is now extolled.
[61.] And I am not pained over the
multitude of those who are perishing; for these are
they who now
are made like a breath,
and as the smoke (vapor) are they counted, (Ps. cxliv. 4)
and are comparable unto the flame ;
who are burnt and extinguished. (Ap. Bar. Ixxxii. 3f)
Man's Evil Case bewailed (VII. -)
[62.] And I answered and said : Oh, what hast
thou done, O earth, [that these have been born from
thee and are going to perdition!]
If now the intelligence is from the dust like the rest of creation,
[63.] it would have been better if also the dust had
not been, in order that the intelligence might not
(have) come into being from thence.
[64.] Now, however, the intelligence groweth
with us ; and on this account we are tormented,
because while we know it we are perishing.
[65.] Let the race of men mourn,
but the beasts of the field rejoice !
let all who are born lament,
but the cattle and the flock exult !
[66.] For it is far better lor them than for us,
because they do not expect the judgement, neither
do they know torture, nor hath life after death been
promised to them.
[67.] For what do we profit that we live, but are to suffer torment?
[68.] For all who are born
are defiled with sins,
and are full of iniquities,
and upon them their offences weigh heavily !
[69.] And if after death we were not coming into
judgement, it had been much better for us !
[70.] And he answered and said to me : And when
the Most High made the world, and Adam and all
that came from him, he first prepared the judgement,
and the things which pertain to the judgement.
[71.] And now from thine (own) words understand
that thou hast said that the intelligence groweth
[72.] Therefore the inhabitants of the
earth are on this account to suffer torment, because
while they have intelligence they have committed
iniquity, and have received commandments but have
not kept them, yea the Law which was bestowed
upon them they have rejected.
[73.] And what is there for them to say in the
judgement? Or how shall they open their mouth
and speak in the last time ?
[74.] For, how long a time hath the Most High been long-suffering
with the inhabitants of the world — and not indeed for
their sakes but for the sake of the times ordained ?
The state of the Soul between Death and
Judgement (VII. -)
[75.] And I answered and said : If I have found
favour before thee, Lord [my Lord], make known
to thy servant this also, whether after death now,
when we give up, each one of us, our soul — whether
we are to be kept in rest until those times come in
which thou shalt renew thy creation, or are we to
suffer torment forthwith?
[76.] And he answered and said to me: I will
make known to thee concerning this also; but do
not thou mingle thyself with the rebellious, nor
number thyself with those that suffer torment.
[77.] For thou hast a treasure of works laid up with
the Most High, and it shall not be shewn to thee
until the last times.
[78.] But concerning death the teaching is :
When the decisive decree of judgement goeth forth
from the Most High concerning a man that he shall
die, as the spirit separateth from the body,
that it may be sent to him who gave it, (Cf. Eccles. xii. 7.)
it first of all worshippeth the glory of God.
[79.] But if it be of the deniers, or of those who
have not kept the ways of the Most High, or of those
who have hated the God-fearers
[80.] these souls enter not into the chambers (treasuries),
but henceforth are in torment, sighing and anguished, in seven ways.
 The first way : that they have resisted the
Law of the Most High.
[82.] The second way : that they are unable to repent and do good works
whereby to live.
[83.] The third way : that they see the
reward laid up for those who have believed.
[84.]The fourth way : when they know and understand
the torment that is prepared for them at the last.
[Wherein the souls of the ungodly shall be reproached ;
because while they had the time for service they did
not subject themselves to the commandments of the
Most High.] (Added by Syriac)
[85.] The fifth way: that they see the chambers of the other souls,
that are guarded by angels in great quietness.
[86.] The sixth way :
that they see the torment which is made ready for
[87.] The seventh way, which exceedeth all the
ways aforesaid :
that they pine away through (from) confusion,
and come to an end through shame,
and burn through fear,
in that they see the glory of the Most High before
whom they now sin in their life,
(they have sinned in life) and before whom
they are destined at the last to be judged.
[88.] Of those, however, who have kept the way
of the Most High, this is the way, when the day
cometh that they shall be delivered from this corruptible vessel.
[89.] For in the time when they
dwelt therein they served the Most High painfully,
and at all hours endured danger, in order perfectly
to keep his Law who had given them the Law.
[90.] Wherefore this is the word concerning them.
[91.] First they behold with great joy the glory
of the Most High, who hath guided (receives) them, and they
rest [and come] by seven ways.
[92.] The first way: because with much toil they
have striven to overcome the evil thought which
was fashioned with them, that they might not go
astray from life to death.(that it might not lead them astray.)
[93.] The second way:
that they see the whirl
whereby the souls of the ungodly are whirled and
driven about, and the torment reserved for them.
[94.] The third way: that they see the witness
which their fashioner witnesseth concerning them
because they kept the Law entrusted (to them).
[95.] The fourth way: that they [see and] understand
the rest in which they now, as soon as they
have been gathered into their chambers (treasuries),
rest in profound rest, and are guarded by angels; and the
glory which is reserved for them at the last.
[96.] The fifth way: that they rejoice that they
have fled now from what is corruptible, and that
they inherit what is future; and further they see the
straitness and much toil from which they have been
freed, and the wide room (relreshment) which they are destined
to receive, and the delights they shall gain, and be
[97.] The sixth way : when it shall be shewed to
them how their faces are destined to shine as the sun,
and how they are destined to be made like the light
of the stars, and no more corruptible.
[98.] The seventh way which exceedeth all these
that they exult with boldness,
and are confident and not ashamed,(are glad without fear)
and hasten to behold the face of him whom they
served in their life and from whom they are destined
to be glorified, and from whom they are destined to receive reward.
(they are destined to receive their reward in glory)
[99.] These are the ways of the
souls of the righteous which from henceforth are
announced; and the way of tortures aforesaid
shall the resisters receive. (they that would not give heed shall suffer henceforth)
[Such souls ascend not into chambers (treasuries),
but from henceforth are afflicted with tortures and are grieved
and lament in seven ways.]
[100.] And I answered and said : Is then [place
or] time given to the souls, after they separate
from the body, to see what thou hast told me ?
[101.] And he answered and said to me : Seven
days have they freedom that in these seven days
they may see these things aforesaid; and after this
they shall be gathered into their chambers.
No Intercession on the Day of Judgement
[102.] And I answered and said : If I have found
favour in thy sight, make known to thy servant
this also: whether in the Day of Judgement the
righteous can intercede for the ungodly, or intreat
the Most High for them.
[103.] Either fathers in behalf of their sons, or
sons in behalf of their fathers, or brothers in behalf
of their brothers, or kinsfolk in behalf of their
kinsfolk, or friends in behalf of their friends?
[104.] And he answered and said to me: Because
thou hast found favour before my sight, I will make
known to thee concerning this also.
The Day of Judgement is a decisive day, and (one) declaring
to all the seal of truth. For as now a father sendeth
not a son, or a son his father, or a master his slave,
or a friend his dearest that in his stead he mav be
ill, or sleep, or eat or be healed;
[105.] so also then
can none pray on behalf of any on that day, neither
shall one lay a burden on any, for all then bear
everyone his own righteousness or his iniquity.
(End of the missing fragment)
[106.] (36) And I answered and said : How is it, then,
my Lord, (that) we have found that formerly
Abraham prayed for the Sodomites, and also Moses
in the wilderness for the fathers, when they sinned ;
[107.] and Joshua the son of Nun after him for
Israel in the days of Achar;
[108.] and Samuel in the days of Saul, and David for the ruin of the people,
and Solomon for those in the Sanctuary; (1 Kings viii. 22 f., 30 f.)
[109.] and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for
the dead that he might live; (Cf. 1 Kings xvii. 20 f.)
 And Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib, (Cf. 2 Kings xix. 15 f.)
and many on behalf of many?
 If, therefore, now, when corruption is grown up and mischief multiplied,
the righteous have prayed for the ungodly—why,
O Lord, should it not be so then also?
[112.] And he answered and said to me : This
world has an end, and the glory of God abideth not
therein continuously; therefore have the strong
prayed for those who have no strength.
 But the Day of Judgement is the end of this world and
the beginning of the future world, which dieth not
[114.] corruption is passed away,
and impudicity is dissolved,
and infidelity is abolished,
and righteousness is grown up,
and truth hath arisen.
[115.] So shall none then be able to compassionate
him who is condemned in the Judgement, nor harm
him who is victorious [in the Judgement.]
4 EZRA VII. 36-105.
The Missing Fragment of the Fourth Book of Ezra - R L Bensly, 1875.
36. Et apparebit lacus tormenti, et contra ilium erit locus requietionis ; et clibanus
gehennae ostendetur, et contra eum iocunditatis paradisus.
Et dicet tunc Altissimus ad excitatas gentes : uidete et intellegite quern negastis, uel cui non
38 seruiuistis, uel cuius diligentias spreuistis. Uidete contra et in contra : hie iocunditas et requies,
et ibi ignis et tormenta; haec autem loqueris dicens ad eos in
die iudicii. Hie talis qui neque solem [habeat] neque lunam, neque Stellas,
40 Neque nubem, neque tonitruum, neque coruscationem, neque uentum, neque aquam,
neque aerem, neque tenebras, neque sero, neque mane, Neque aestatem, neque
uer, neque aestum, neque liiemem, neque gelu, neque frigus, neque grandinem,
neque pluuiam, neque rorem, Neque meridiem, neque noctem, neque ante
lucem, neque nitorem, neque claritatem, neque lucem, nisi solummodo splendorem
claritatis Altissimi, unde omnes incipiant uidere quae anteposita sunt.
44 Spatium enim habebit sicut ebdomada annorum. Hoc est iudicium meum et constitutio eius,
tibi autem soli ostendi haec.
Et respondi tunc et dixi : domine, et nunc dico
beati praesentes et' obseruantes quae a te constituta sunt ; Sed et [de] quibus
erat oratio mea, quis enim est de praesentibus, qui non peccauit, uel quis natus,
47 qui non praeteriuit sponsionem tuam ? Et nunc uideo, quoniam ad paucos pertinebit
48 futuram saeculi iocunditatem facere, multis autem tormenta. Increuit enim
in nos cor malum, quod nos abalienauit ab his, et deduxit nos in corruptionem, et
in itinera mortis, ostendit nobis semitas perditionis et longe fecit nos a uita ; et hoc
non paucos, sed pene omnes qui creati sunt. Et respondit ad me et dixit: audi
me et instruam te, et de sequenti corripiam te : Propter hoc non fecit Altissimus
unum saeculum, sed duo. Tu enim, quia dixisti non esse multos iustos, sed paucos,
impios uero multiplicari, audi ad haec: Lapides electos habueris paucos ualde,
ad niimerum eorum compones eos tibi, plumbum autem et fictile abundat. Et
dixi : domine, quomodo poterit ? Et dixit ad me : non hoc solummodo, sed interroga
terram, et dicet tibi, adulare ei, et narrabit tibi, Dices ei : aurum creas et
argentum et aeramentum, et ferrum quoque et plumbum et fictile ; Multiplicatur
autem argentum super aurum, et aeramentum super argentum, et ferrum super
aeramentum, plumbum super ferrum, et fictile super plumbum. Aestima et tu,
quae sint pretiosa et desiderabilia, quod multiplicatur aut quod raram nascitur.
Et dixi : dominator domine, quod abundat uilius, quod enim rarius pretiosius est.
Et respondit ad me et dixit : In te fstant pondera quae cogitasti, quoniam qui habet
quod difficile est, gaudet super eum, qui habet abundantiam ; Sic et a me repromissa
creatura, iocundabor enim super paucis et qui saluabuntur, propterea quod ipsi sunt
qui gloriam meam nunc dominatiorem fecerunt, et per quos nunc nomen meum
nominatum est; Et non contristabor super multitudinem eorum qui perierunt, ipsi
enim sunt qui uapori assimilati sunt et flammae, fumo adaequati sunt et exarserunt,
feruerunt et extincti sunt. Et respondi et dixi : tu terra, quid peperisti, si sensus
factus est de puluere, sicut et cetera creatura ! Melius enim erat ipsum puluerem
non esse natum, ut non sensus inde fieret. Nunc autem nobiscum crescit sensus,
et propter hoc torquemur, quoniam scientes perimus. Lugeat hominum genus, et
agrestes bestiae laetentur, lugeant omnes qui nati sunt, quadripedia uero et pecora
iocundentur. Multum enim melius est illis quam nobis, non enim sperant iudicium,
nee enim sciunt cruciamenta nee salutem post mortem repromissam sibi. Nobis autem
quid prodest, quoniam saluati saluabimur, si tormento tormentabimur ? Omnes enim
qui nati sunt, commixti sunt iniquitatibus, et pleni sunt peccatis, et grauati delictis
Et si non essemus post mortem in iudicio uenientes, melius fortassis nobis uenisset.
Et respondit ad me et dixit : et quando Altissimus faciens faciebat saeculum, Adam
et omnes qui cum eo uenerunt, primum praeparauit iudicium et quae sunt iudicii.
Et nunc de sermonibus tuis intellege, quoniam dixisti, quia nobiscum crescit sensus
Qui ergo commorantes sunt in terra, hinc cruciabuntur, quoniam sensum habentes
iniquitatera fecerunt, et mandata accipientes non seruauerunt ea, et legem consequuti
fraudauerunt earn quam acceperunt. Et quid habebunt dicere in iudicio, uel quomodo
respondebunt in nouissimis temporibus? Quantuna enim tempus ex quo
longanimitatem habuit Altissimus his qui inhabitant saeculum, et non propter eos,
sed propter ea quae prouidit tempera ! Et respondi et dixi : si inueni gratiam
coram te, domine, demonstra, domine, seruo tuo, si post mortem uel nunc quando
reddimus unusquisque animam suam, si conseruati conseruabimur in requie, donee
ueniant tempora ilia, in quibus incipies creaturam renouare, aut amodo cruciamur. Et
respondit ad me et dixit: ostendam tibi et hoc; tu autem noli commisceri cum eis
qui spreuerunt, neque connumeres te cum his qui cruciantur. Etenim est tibi thesaurus
operum repositus apud Altissimum, sed non tibi demonstrabitur usque in nouissimis
temporibus. Nam de morte sermo est : quando profectus fuerit terminus sententiae
ab Altissimo ut homo m.oriatur, recedeiite inspiratione de corpore ut dimittatur iterum
ad eum qui dedit adorare gloriam Altissimi primum. Et si quidem esset eorum qui
spreuerunt et non seruauerunt uiam Altissimi, et eorum qui contempserunt legem
eius, et eorum qui oderunt eos qui timent eum, Haec inspirationes in habitationes non
ingredlentur, sed uagantes erunt amodo in cruciamentis, dolentes semper et tristes.
Uia prima, quia spreuerunt legem Altissimi. Secunda uia, quoniam non possunt reuersionem
bonam facere ut uiuant. Tertia uia, uident repositam mercedem his qui
testamentis Altissimi crediderunt. Quarta uia, considerabunt sibi in nouissimis repositum
cruciamentum. Quinta uia, uidentes aliorum habitaculum ab angelis conseruari
cum silentio magno. Sexta uia, uidentes quemadmodum de eis pertransient in cruciamentum.
Septima uia est omnium quae supradictae sunt uiarum maior, quoniam
detabescent in confusione et consumentur in honoribus-f- et marcescent in
timoribus, uidentes gloriam Altissimi coram quem uiuentes peccauerunt et coram
quem incipient in novissimis temporibus iudicari. Nam eorum qui uias seruauerunt
Altissimi ordo est hie, quando incipient seruari a uaso corruptibili. In ep
tempore commoratae seruierunt cum labore Altissimo, et omni hora sustinuerunt
periculum, uti perfecte custodirent legislatoris legem. Propter quod hie de his
sermo : Imprimis uident cum exultatione multa gloriam eius qui suseipit eas,
requiescent enim per septem ordines. Ordo primus, quoniam cum labore multo
certati sunt, ut uincerent cum eis plasmatum cogitamentum malum, ut non eas
seducat a uita in mortem, Secundus ordo, quoniam uident complicationem, in qua
uagantur impiorum anitnae, et quae in eis manet punitio. Tertius ordo, uidentes
testimonium quod testificatus est eis qui plasmauit eas, quoniam uiuentes seruauerunt
quae per fidem data est lex. Quartus ordo, intellegentes requiem quam
nunc in promptuariis congregati requiescent cum silentio multo ab angelis conseruati,
fatque in nouissimis eorum manentem gloriam.-f- Quintus ordo, exultantes
quomodo corruptibile effugerint nunc, et futurum quomodo hereditatem possidebunt,
adhuc autem uidentes angustum et [labare] plenum, quoniam liberati sunt,
et spatiosum, [quod incipient] recipere fruniscentes et immortales. Sextus ordo,
quando eis ostendetur, quomodo incipiet uultus eorum fulgere sicut sol, et quomodo
incipient stellarum adsimilari lumini, amodo non corrupti. Septimus ordo, qui est
omnibus supradictis maior, quoniam exultabunt cum fiducia et quoniam confidebunt
non confusi, et gaudebunt non reuerentes, festinant enim uidere uultum
[eius], cui seruiunt uiuentes et a quo incipiunt gloriosi mercedem recipere. Hie
ordo animarum iustorum, ut amodo adnuntiatur, praedictae uiae cruciatus, quas
patientur amodo qui neglexerint. Et respondi et dixi : ergo dabitur tempus
animabus postquam separatae fuerint de corporibus, ut uideant de quo mibi
dixisti ? Et dixit : septem diebus erit libertas earum, ut uideant qui praedicti
sunt sermones, et postea congregabuntur in habitaculis suis. Et respondi et dixi
si inueni gratiam ante oculos tuos, demonstra mihi adhuc seruo tuo, si in die
iudicii iusti impios excusare poterint uel deprecari pro eis Altissimum, Si patres
pro filiis, uel filii pro parentibus, si fratres pro fratribus, si adfines pro proximis,
si fidentes pro carissimis. [Et respondit ad me et dixit: qnoniam inuenisti gratiam
ante oculos meos, et hoc demonstrabo tibi: dies iudicii dies decretorius est,
et omnibus signaculum ueritatis ostendet; quemadmodum enim nunc non mittit
pater filium, uel filius patrem, uel dominus seruum], uel fidus carissimum, ut pro
eo intellegat, aut dormiat, aut manducet, aut curetur; Sic nunquam nemo pro aliquo rogabit,
omnes enim portabunt unusquisque tunc iniustitias suas aut iustitias.
(36) Et respond! et dixi: et quomodo inuenimus modo, quoniam rogatiit primus
Abraham propter Sodomitas, et Moyses...