July 11, 2003
THE BOOK OF THE APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH THE
SON OF NERIAH
1—4. Announcement of the coming Destruction of Jerusalem to Baruch
1 1 And it came to pass in the twenty‑fifth year of Jeconiah, king of Judah, that the
word of the Lord came to Baruch, the son of Neriah, and said to him: 2 'Have you
seen all that this people are doing to Me, that the evils which these two tribes which
remained have done are greater than (those of) the ten tribes which were carried
away captive? 3 For the former tribes were forced by their kings to commit sin, but
these two of themselves have been forcing and compelling their kings to commit
sin. 4 For this reason, behold I bring evil upon this city, and upon its inhabitants, and
it shall be removed from before Me for a time, and I will scatter this people among
the Gentiles that they may do good to the Gentiles. And My people shall be
chastened, and the time shall come when they will seek for the prosperity of their
2 1 For I have said these things to you that you may bid Jeremiah, and all those that
are like you, to retire from this city.
2 For your works are to this city as a firm pillar,
And your prayers as a strong wall.'
3 1 And I said: 'O LORD, my Lord, have I come into the world for this purpose that I
might see the evils of my mother? Not (so) my Lord. 2 If I have found grace in Your
sight, first take my spirit that I may go to my fathers and not behold the destruction
of my mother. For two things vehemently constrain me: for I cannot resist you, and
my soul, moreover, cannot behold the evils of my mother. 4 But one thing I will say
in Your presence, O Lord. 5 What, therefore, will there be after these things? for if
you destroy Your city, and deliver up Your land to those that hate us, how shall the
name of Israel be again remembered? 6 Or how shall one speak of Your praises? or
to whom shall that which is in Your law be explained? Or shall the world return to its
nature of aforetime), and the age revert to primeval silence? And shall the multitude
of souls be taken away, and the nature of man not again be named? And where is all
that which you did say regarding us?'
4 1 And the Lord said unto me:
'This city shall be delivered up for a time,
And the people shall be chastened during a time,
And the world will not be given over to oblivion.
4:2‑7. The heavenly Jerusalem
2 [Dost you think that this is that city of which I said: "On the palms of My hands
have I graven you"? 3 This building now built in your midst is not that which is
revealed with Me, that which prepared beforehand here from the time when I took
counsel to make Paradise, and showed Adam before he sinned, but when he
transgressed the commandment it was removed from him, as also Paradise. 4 And
after these things I showed it to My servant Abraham by night among the portions of
the victims. 5 And again also I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed to
the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels. 6 And now, behold, it is preserved
with Me, as Paradise. 7 Go, therefore, and do as I command you.']
5. Baruch's Complaint and God's Reassurance
5 1 And I answered and said:
'So then I am destined to grieve for Zion,
For your enemies will come to this place and pollute Your sanctuary,
And lead your inheritance into captivity,
And make themselves masters of those whom you have loved,
And they will depart again to the place of their idols,
And will boast before them:
And what will you do for Your great name?'
2 And the Lord said unto me:
'My name and My glory are unto all eternity;
And My judgment shall maintain its right in its own time.
3 And you shall see with your eyes
That the enemy will not overthrow Zion,
Nor shall they burn Jerusalem,
But be the ministers of the Judge for the time.
4 But do you go and do whatsoever I have said unto you.
5 And I went and took Jeremiah, and Adu, and Seriah, and Jabish, and Gedaliah,
and all the honorable men of the people, and I led them to the valley of Kidron, and I
narrated to them all that had been said to me. 6 And they lifted up their voice, and
they all wept. 7 And we sat there and fasted until the evening.
6—8. Invasion of the Chaldeans and their Entrance into the City after the
Sacred Vessels were hidden and the City's Walls overthrown by Angels
6 1 And it came to pass on the morrow that, lo! the army of the Chaldees surrounded
the city, and at the time of the evening, I, Baruch, left the people, and I went forth
and stood by the oak. 2 And I was grieving over Zion, and lamenting over the
captivity which had come upon the people. 3 And lo! suddenly a strong spirit raised
me, and bore me aloft over the wall of Jerusalem. 4 And I beheld, and lo! four angels
standing at the four corners of the city, each of them holding a torch of fire in his
hands. 5 And another angel began to descend from heaven. and said unto them: 'Hold
your lamps, and do not light them till I tell you. 6 For I am first sent to speak a word
to the earth, and to place in it what the Lord the Most High has commanded me.' 7
And I saw him descend into the Holy of Holies, and take from there the veil, and
holy ark, and the mercy‑seat, and the two tables, and the holy raiment of the priests,
and the altar of incense, and the forty‑eight precious stones, wherewith the priest
was adorned and all the holy vessels of the tabernacle. 8 And he spoke to the earth
with a loud voice:
'Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the mighty God,
And receive what I commit to you,
And guard them until the last times,
So that, when you are ordered, you may restore them,
So that strangers may not get possession of them.
9 For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time,
Until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.'
10 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up.
7 1 And after these things I heard that angel saying unto those angels who held the
lamps: 'Destroy, therefore, and overthrow its wall to its foundations, lest the enemy
should boast and say:
" We have overthrown the wall of Zion,
And we have burnt the place of the mighty God."'
2 And they have seized the place where I had been standing before.
8 1 Now the angels did as he had commanded them, and when they had broken up the
corners of the walls, a voice was heard from the interior of the temple, after the wall
had fall saying:
2 'Enter, you enemies,
And come, you adversaries;
For he who kept the house has forsaken (it).'
3 And I, Baruch, departed. 4 And it came to pass after these things that the army
of the Chaldees entered and seized the house, and all that was around it. And they led
the people away captive and slew some of them, and bound Zedekiah the king, and
sent him to the king of Babylon.
9—12. First Fast of seven Days: Baruch to remain amid the Ruins of Jerusalem
and Jeremiah to accompany the Exiles to Babylon. Baruch's Dirge over
9 1 And I, Baruch, came, and Jeremiah, whose heart was found pure from sins, who
had not been captured in the seizure of the City. 2 And we rent our garments, we
wept, and mourned, and fasted seven days.
10 1 And it came to pass after seven days, that the word of God carne to me, and
said unto me: 2 'Tell Jeremiah to go and support the captivity of the people unto
Babylon. But do you remain here amid the desolation of Zion, and I will show to you
after these days 'what will befall at the end of days.' And I said to Jeremiah as the
Lord commanded me. And he, indeed, departed with the people, but I, Baruch,
returned and sat before the gates of the temple, and I lamented with the following
lamentation over Zion and said:
6 'Blessed is he who was not born,
Or he, who having been born, has died.
7 But as for us who live, woe unto us,
Because we see the afflictions of Zion,
And what has befallen Jerusalem.
8 I will call the Sirens from the sea,
And you Lilin, come you from the desert,
And you Shedim and dragons from the forests:
Awake and gird up your loins unto mourning,
And take up with me the dirges,
And make lamentation with me.
9 Ye husbandmen, sow not again;
And, O earth, wherefore give you your harvest fruits?
Keep within you the sweets of your sustenance.
10 And thou, vine, why further do you give your wine;
For an offering will not again be made from there in Zion,
Nor will first‑fruits again be offered.
11 And do ye, O heavens, 'withhold your dew,
And open not the treasuries of rain:
12 And do thou, O sun withhold the light of your rays.
And do thou, O moon, extinguish the multitude of your light;
For why should light rise again
Where the light of Zion is darkened?
13 And you, you bridegrooms, enter not in,
And let not the brides adorn themselves with garlands;
And, you women, pray not that you may bear.
14 For the barren shall above all rejoice,
And those who have no sons shall be glad,
And those who have sons shall have anguish.
15 For why should they bear in pain,
Only to bury in grief?
16 Or why, again, should mankind have sons?
Or why should the seed of their kind again be named,
Where this mother is desolate,
And her sons are led into captivity?
17 From this time forward speak not of beauty,
And discourse not of gracefulness.
18 Moreover, you priests) take you the keys of the sanctuary,
And cast them into the height of heaven,
And give them to the Lord and say:
"Guard Your house Thyself,
For lo! we are found false stewards."
19 And you, you virgins; who weave fine linen
And silk with gold of Ophir,
Take with haste all (these) things
And cast (them) into the fire,
That it may bear them to Him who made them,
And the flame send them to Him who created them,
Lest the enemy get possession of them.'
11 1 Moreover, I, Baruch, say this against you, Babylon:
'If you had prospered,
And Zion had dwelt in her glory,
Yet the grief to us had been great
That you should be equal to Zion.
2 But now, lo! the grief is infinite,
And the lamentation measureless,
For lo! you are prospered
And Zion desolate.
3 Who will be judge regarding these things?
Or to whom shall we complain regarding that which has befallen us?
O Lord, how have you borne (it)?
4 Our fathers went to rest without grief,
And lo! the righteous sleep in the earth in tranquility;
5 For they knew not this anguish,
Nor yet had they heard of that which had befallen us.
6 Would that you had ears, O earth,
And that you had a heart, O dust:
That you might go and announce in Sheol,
And say to the dead:
7 "Blessed are you more than we who live."'
OXYRHYNCHUS GREEK FRAGMENT,
from Grenfell and Hunt's
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. iii. 3‑7, 1903.
12 1 But I will say this as I think.
And I will speak against you, O land,
which alt prospering.
2 The noonday does not always burn.
Nor do the rays of the sun constantly
3 Do not expect Land hope] that you
will always he prosperous and
And be not greatly up lifted and
4 For assuredly in its own season shall
the (divine) wrath awake against you.
Which now in long‑suffering is held in
as it were by reins.
(2‑5) 12 1 But I will say this as 1 think,
And speak against you, the land that is
2 Not always does the noonday burn,
Nor do the rays of the sun constantly
(6‑8) 3 And do not you expect to
Nor condemn greatly.
(8‑10) 4 For assuredly in its season shall
the (divine) wrath be awakened against you,
Which is now restrained by long‑suffering
as it were by a rein.
12:5—13. Second Fast. Revelation as to the coming judgment on the Heathen.
5 And when I had said these things, I
fasted seven days.
13 1 And it came to pass after these
things, that I, Baruch, was standing upon
Mount Zion, and lo! a voice came from
the height and said unto me: 2 'Stand upon
your feet, Baruch, and hear the word of
the mighty God.'
(10‑16) 5 And having said these things I
fasted seven days.
13 1 And it came to pass after these
things that I, Baruch, was standing upon
Mount Zion, and lo a voice came forth
from the height and said unto me:
2 'Stand upon your feet, Baruch, and hear
the word of the mighty God.'
3 Because you have been astonished at what has befallen Zion, you shall therefore
be assuredly preserved to the consummation of the times, that you may be for a
testimony. 4 So that, if ever those prosperous cities say: 5 'Why hath the mighty
God brought upon us this retribution?' Say you to them, you and those like you who
shall have seen this evil: '(This is the evil) and retribution which is coming upon you
and upon your people in its (destined) time that the nations may be thoroughly
smitten. 6 And then they shall be in anguish. 7 And if they say at that time:
8 For how long? you will say to them:
"Ye who have drunk the strained wine,
Drink you also of its dregs,
The judgment of the Lofty One
Who has no respect of persons."'
9 On this account he had aforetime no mercy on His own sons,
But afflicted them as His enemies, because they sinned,
10 Then therefore were they chastened
That they might be sanctified.
OXYRHYNCHUS GREEK FRAGMENT
11 But now, you peoples and nations,
you are guilty
Because you have always trodden
down the earth,
And used the creation
12 For I have always benefited you.
And you have always been
ungrateful for the bene_ficence.
(19‑20) 11 (Ye) peoples and . . .
(Ye) have trodden down the earth
And misused the created things
(21‑22) 12 For you were always being
But you were always ungrateful.
14—19. The Righteousness of the Righteous has profited neither them nor their
City; God's Judgments are incomprehensible; the World was made for the
Righteous, yet they pass and the World remains (14). Answer—Man knows God's
Judgments and has sinned willingly. This World is a Weariness to the Righteous
but the next is theirs (15), to be won through Character whether a Man's Time
here be long or short (16—17). Final Weal or Woe—the supreme Question
OXYRHYNCHUS GREEK FRAGMENT
14 1 And I answered and said: 'Lo!
you have shown me the method of the
times, and that which shall be after
these things, and you have said unto
me, that the retribution, which has
been spoken of by you, shall come
upon the nations. 2 And now I know
that those who have sinned are many,
and they have lived in prosperity,' and
departed from the world, but the few
nations will be left in those times, to
whom those words shall he said which
you did say. 3 For what advantage is
there in this, or what (evil), worse
than what' we have seen befall us, are
we to expect to see?
(23‑25) 14 1 And I answered and said:
'Behold, you have shown me the methods of
the times, and that which shall be.
(25‑27) And you have said unto me that the
retribution which was spoken of by you shall
be endured by the nations.
(27‑32) 2 And now I know that those who
have sinned are many, and they have lived . . . ,
and departed from the world, but that few
nations will be left in those times to whom . .
. the words (which) you did say.
(32‑33) 3 And what advantage (is there) in
this or what worse than (these?)
4 But again I will speak in Your presence: 5 What have they profited who had
knowledge before you and have not walked in vanity as the rest of the nations, and
have not said to the dead: "Give us life," but always feared you, and have not left
Your ways? 6 And lo! they have been carried off, nor on their account have you had
mercy on Zion. 7 And if others did evil, it was due to Zion that on account of the
works of those who wrought good works she should be forgiven, and should not be
overwhelmed on account of the works of those who wrought unrighteousness. 8 But
who, O LORD, my Lord, will comprehend Your judgment,
Or who will search out the profoundness of Your way?
Or who will think out the weight of Your path?
9 Or who will be able to think out Your incomprehensible counsel?
Or who of those that are born has ever found
The beginning or end of Your wisdom?
10 For we have all been made like a breath. 11 For as the breath ascends
involuntarily, and again dies, so it is with the nature of men, who depart not
according to their own will, and know not what will befall them in the end. 12 For
the righteous justly hope for the end, and without fear depart from this habitation,
because they have with you a store of works preserved in treasuries. 13 On this
account also these without fear leave this world, and trusting with joy they hope to
receive the world which you have promised them. 14 But as for us—woe to us, who
also are now shamefully entreated, and at that time look forward (only) to evils. 15
But you know accurately what you have done by means of Your servants; for we are
not able to understand that which is good as you art, our Creator. 16 But again I will
speak in Your presence, O LORD, my Lord. 17 When of old there was no world
with its inhabitants, you did devise and speak with a word, and forthwith the works of
creation stood before you. 18 And you did say that you wouldst make for Your
world man as the administrator of Your works, that it might be known that he was by
no means made on account of the world, but the world on account of him. 19 And
now I see that as for the world which was made on account of us, lo! it abides; but
we, on account of whom it was made, depart.'
15 1 And the Lord answered and said unto me: 'You are rightly astonished regarding
the departure of man, but you have not judged well regarding the evils which befall
those who sin. 2 And as regards what you have said, that the righteous are carried off
and the impious are prospered, 3 And as regards what you have said: "Man knows not
Your judgment "—On this account hear, and I will speak to you, and hearken, and I
will cause you to hear My words. 5 Man would not rightly have understood My
judgment, unless he had accepted the law, and I had instructed him in understanding.
6 But now, because he transgressed wittingly, yea, just on this ground that he knows
(about it), he shall be tormented.
7 And as regards what you did say touching the righteous, that on account of them
has this world come, so also again shall that, which is to come, come on their
account. 8 For this world is to them a strife and a labor with much trouble; and that
accordingly which is to come, a crown with great glory.'
16 1 And I answered and said: '0 LORD, my Lord, lo! the years of this time are few
and evil, and who is able in his little time to acquire that which is measureless?'
17 1 And the Lord answered and said unto me: 'With the Most High account is not
taken of time nor of a few years. 2 For what did it profit Adam that he lived nine
hundred and thirty years and transgressed that which he was commanded? Therefore
the multitude of time that he lived did not profit him, but brought death and cut off
the years of those who were born from him. wherein did Moses suffer loss in that
he lived only one hundred and twenty years, and, inasmuch he was subject to Him
who formed him, brought the law to the seed of Jacob, and lighted a lamp for the
nation of Israel?'
18 1 And I answered and said: 'He that lighted has taken from the light, and there are
but few that have imitated him. But those many whom he has lighted have taken from
the darkness of Adam and have not rejoiced in the light of the lamp.'
19 And He answered and said unto me: 'Wherefore at that time he appointed for
them a covenant and said:
"Behold I have placed before you life and death,"
And he called heaven and earth to witness against them.
2 For he knew that his time was but short,
But that heaven and earth endure always.
3 But after his death they sinned and transgressed,
Though they knew that they had the law reproving (them),
And the light in which nothing could err,
Also the spheres which testify, and Me.
4 Now regarding everything that is, it is I that judge, but do not you take counsel in
your soul regarding these things, nor afflict thyself because of those which have
been. 5 For now it is the consummation of time that should be considered, whether
of business, or of prosperity, or of shame and not the beginning thereof. 6 Because
if a man be prospered in his beginnings and shamefully entreated in his old age, he
forgets all the prosperity that he had. 7 And again, if a man is shamefully entreated
in his beginnings, and at his end is prospered, he remembers not again his evil
entreatment. 8 And again hearken: though each one were prospered all that time—all
the time from the day on which death was decreed against those who
transgress—and in his end was destroyed, in vain would have been everything.'
20. Zion has been taken away to hasten the Advent of the Judgment
20 1 'Therefore, behold! the days come,
And the times shall hasten more than the former,
And the seasons shall speed on more than those that are past,
And the years shall pass more quickly than the present (years).
2 Therefore have I now taken away Zion,
That I may the more speedily visit the world in its season.
3 Now therefore hold fast in your heart everything that I command you,
And seal it in the recesses of your mind.
4 And then I will show you the judgment of My might,
And My ways which are unsearchable.
5 Go therefore and sanctify thyself seven days, and eat no bread, nor drink water,
nor speak to anyone. 6 And afterwards come to that place and I will reveal
Myself to you, and speak true things with you, and I will give you commandment
regarding the method of the times; for they are coming and tarry not.'
21:1‑11. Fast of seven Days: Baruch's Prayer: God's Answer
The Prayer of Baruch the Son of Neriah.
21 1 And I went there and sat in the valley of Kidron in a cave of the earth, and I
sanctified my soul there, and I ate no bread, yet I was not hungry, and I drank no
water, yet I thirsted not, and I was there till the seventh day, as He had commanded
me. 2 And afterwards I came to that place where He had spoken with me. 3 And it
came to pass at sunset that my soul took much thought, and I began to speak in the
presence of the Mighty One, and said: 4 'O you that have made the earth, hear me,
that have fixed the firmament by the word, and have made firm the height of the
heaven by the spirit, that have called from the beginning of the world that which did
not yet exist, and they obey you. 5 you that have commanded the air by Your nod,
and have seen those things which are to be as those things which you are doing. 6
you that rule with great thought the hosts that stand before you: also the countless
holy beings, which you did make from the beginning, of flame and fire, which stand
around Your throne you rule with indignation. 7 To you only does this belong that
you should do forthwith whatsoever you do wish. 8 Who causes the drops of rain to
rain by number upon the earth, and alone knows the consummation of the times
before they come; have respect unto my prayer. For 9 you alone are able to sustain
all who are, and those who have passed away, and those who are to be, those who sin,
and those who are to righteous [as living (and) being past finding out]. For you alone
do live immortal and past finding out, and know the number of mankind. And if in
time many have sinned, yet others not a few have been righteous.
21:12‑18. Baruch's Depreciation of this Life.
12 you know where you preserve the end of those who have sinned, or the
consummation of those who have been righteous. 2 For if there were this life only,
which belongs to all men, nothing could be more bitter than this.
14 For of what profit is strength that turns to sickness,
Or fullness of food that turns to famine,
Or beauty that turns to ugliness.
15 For the nature of man is always changeable. 16 For what we were formerly now
we no longer are and what we now are we shall not afterwards remain. 16 For if a
consummation had not been prepared for all, in vain would have been their
beginning. But regarding everything that comes from you do you inform me, and
regarding everything about which I ask you, do you enlighten me.
21:19‑25. Baruch prays to God to hasten the Judgment and fulfill His Promise
19 How long will that which is corruptible remain, and how long will the time of
mortals be prospered, and until what time will those who transgress in the world be
polluted with much wickedness? 20 Command therefore in mercy and accomplish
all that you saidst you wouldst bring, that Your might may be made known to those
who think that Your long‑suffering is weakness. 21 And show to those who know
not, that everything that has befallen us and our city until now has been according to
the long‑suffering of Your power, because on account of Your name you have called
us a beloved people. 22 Bring to an end therefore henceforth mortality. 23 And
reprove accordingly the angel of death, and let Your glory appear, and let the might
of Your beauty be known, and let Sheol be sealed so that from this time forward it
may not receive the dead, and let the treasuries of souls restore those which are
enclosed in them. 24 For there have been many years like those that are desolate
from the days of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and of all those who are like them,
who sleep in the earth, on whose account you did say that you had created the world.
25 And now quickly show Your glory, and do not defer what has been promised by
you.' 26 And (when) I had completed the words of this prayer I was greatly
22—23. God's Reply to Baruch's Prayer. He will fulfill His Promise: Time needed
for its Accomplishment: Things must be judged in the Light of their
Consummation (22). Till all Souls are born the End cannot come (23).
22 1 And it came to pass after these things that lo! the heavens were opened, and I
saw, and power was given to me, and a voice was beard from on high, and it said unto
me: 2 Baruch, Baruch, why are you troubled? 3 He who travels by a road but does
not complete it, or who departs by sea but does not arrive at the port, can he be
comforted? 4 Or he who promises to give a present to another, but does not fulfill
it, is it not robbery? 5 Or he who sows the earth, but does not reap its fruit in its
season, does he not lose everything? 6 Or he who plants a plant unless it grows till
the time suitable to it, does he who planted it expect to receive fruit from it? 7 Or a
woman who has conceived, if she bring forth untimely, does she not assuredly slay
her infant? 8 Or he who builds a house, if he does not roof it and complete it, can it
be called a house? Tell Me that first.'
23 1 And I answered and said: Not so, O LORD, my Lord.' 2 And He answered and
said unto me: 'Why therefore are you troubled about that which you know not, and
why are you ill at ease about things in which you are ignorant? 3 For as you have not
forgotten the people who now are and those who have passed away, so I remember
those who are appointed to come. 4 Because when Adam sinned and death was
decreed against those who should be born, then the multitude of those who should
be born was numbered, and for that number a place was prepared where the living
might dwell and the dead might be guarded. Before therefore the number aforesaid
is fulfilled, the creature will not live again [for My spirit is the creator of life], and
Sheol will receive the dead. 6 And again it is given to you to hear what things are to
come after these times. 7 For truly My redemption has drawn nigh, and is not far
distant as aforetime.
24. The coming Judgment
24 1 'For behold! the days come and the books shall be opened in which are written
the sins of all those who have sinned, and again also the treasuries in which the
righteousness of all those who have been righteous in creation is gathered. 2 For it
shall come to pass at that time that you shall see—and the many that are with
you—the long‑suffering of the Most High, which has been throughout all
generations, who has been long‑suffering towards all who are born, (alike) those
who sin and (those who) are righteous.' 3 And I answered and said: 'But, behold! O
Lord, no one knows the number of those things which have passed nor yet of those
things which are to come. 4 For I know indeed that which has befallen us, but what
will happen to our enemies I know not, and when you will visit Your works.'
25—26. Sign of the coming Judgment
25 1 And He answered and said unto me: 'You too shall be preserved till that time
till that sign which the Most High will work for the inhabitants of the earth in the
end of days. 2 This therefore shall be the sign. 3 When a stupor shall seize the
inhabitants of the earth, and they shall fall into many tribulations, and again when
they shall fall into great torments. And it will come to pass when they say in their
thoughts by reason of their much tribulation: "The Mighty 'One doth no longer
remember the earth"—yes, it will come to pass when they abandon hope, that the
time will then awake.'
26 1 And I answered and said: 'Will that tribulation which is to be continue a long
time, and will that necessity embrace many years?'
26‑30. The Twelve Woes that are to Come upon the Earth: The Messiah and the
temporary Messianic Kingdom
27 1 And He answered and said unto me: 'Into twelve parts is that time divided, and
each one of them is reserved for that which is appointed for it. 2 In the first part
there shall be the begin_ning of commotions. 3 And in the second part (there shall
be) slayings of the great ones. 4 And in the third part the fall of many by death. 5
And in the fourth part the sending of the sword. 6 And in the fifth part famine and the
withholding of rain. 7 And in the sixth part earthquakes and terrors. 8 [Wanting.] 9
And in the eighth part a multitude of specters and attacks of the Shedim. 10 And in
the ninth part the fall of fire. 11 And in the tenth part rapine and much oppression.
12 And in the eleventh part wickedness and unchastity. 13 And in the twelfth part
confusion from the mingling together of all those things aforesaid. 14 For these
parts of that time are reserved, and shall be mingled one with another and minister
one to another. 15 For some shall leave out some of their own, and receive (in its
stead) from others, and some complete their own and that of others, so that those
may not understand who are upon the earth in those days that this is the
consummation of the times.
28 1 Nevertheless, whoever understands shall then be wise. 2 For the measure and
reckoning of that time are two parts a week of seven weeks.' 3 And I answered and
said: 'It is good for a man to come and behold, but it is better that he should not
come lest he fall. 4 [But I will say this also: 5 Will he who is incorruptible despise
those things which are corruptible, and whatever befalls in the case of those things
which are corruptible, so that he might look only to those things which are not
corruptible?] 6 But if; O Lord, those things shall assuredly come to pass which you
have foretold to me, so do you show this also unto me if indeed I have found grace
in Your sight. 7 Is it in one place or in one of the parts of the earth that those things
are come to pass, or will the whole earth experience (them) ?'
29 1 And He answered and said unto me: 'Whatever will then befall (will befall) the
whole earth; therefore all who live will experience (them). 2 For at that time I will
protect only those who are found in those self‑same days in this land. 3 And it shall
come to pass when all is accomplished that was to come to pass in those parts, that
the Messiah shall then begin to be revealed. 4 And Behemoth shall be revealed from
his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I
created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they
shall be for food for all that are left. 5 The earth also shall yield its fruit
ten‑thousandfold and on each (?) vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each
branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster produce a thousand
grapes, and each grape produce a cor of wine. 6 And those who have hungered shall
rejoice: moreover, also, they shall behold marvels every day. 7 For winds shall go
forth from before Me to bring every morning the fragrance of aromatic fruits, and at
the close of the day clouds distilling the dew of health. 8 And it shall come to pass
at that self‑same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high,
and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the
consummation of time.
30 1 And it shall come to pass after these things, when the time of the advent of the
Messiah is fulfilled, that He shall return in glory.
30:2‑5. The Resurrection
2 Then all who have fallen asleep in hope of Him shall rise again. And it shall come
to pass at that time that the treasuries will be opened in which is preserved the
number of the souls of the righteous, and they shall come forth, and a multitude of
souls shall be seen together in one assemblage of one thought, and the first shall
rejoice and the last shall not be grieved. 3 For they know that the time has come of
which it is said, that it is the consummation of the times. 4 But the souls of the
wicked, when they behold all these things, shall then waste away the more. 5 For
they shall know that their torment has come and their perdition has arrived.'
31—33. Baruch exhorts the People to prepare themselves for worse Evils
31 1 And it came to pass after these things: that I went to the people and said unto
them: 'Assemble unto me all your elders and I will speak words unto them.' 2 And
they all assembled in the valley of the Kidron. 3 And I answered and said unto them:
Hear, O Israel, and I will speak to you,
And give ear, O seed of Jacob, and I will instruct you.
4 Forget not Zion,
But hold in remembrance the anguish of Jerusalem.
5 For lo! the days come,
When everything that is shall become the prey of corruption
And be as though it had not been.
32 1 'But as for you, if you prepare your hearts, so as to sow in them the fruits of
the law, it shall protect you in that time in which the Mighty One is to shake the
whole creation. 2 [Because after a little time the building of Zion will be shaken in
order that it may be built again. But that building will not remain, but will again after
a time be rooted out, and will remain desolate until the time. 4 And afterwards it
must be renewed in glory, and perfected for evermore.] 5 Therefore we should not
be distressed so much over the evil which has now come as over that which is still to
be. 6 For there will be a greater trial than these two tribulations when the Mighty
One will renew His creation. 7 And now do not draw near to me for a few days, nor
seek me till I come to you.' 8 And it came to pass when I had spoken to them all
these words, that I, Baruch, went my way, and when the people saw me setting out,
they lifted up their voice and lamented and said : 9 To where are you departing from
us, Baruch, and are you forsaking us as a father who forsakes his orphan children,
and departs from them?
33 1 'Are these the commands which your companion, Jeremiah the prophet,
commanded you, and said unto you: "Look to this people till I go and make ready the
rest of the brethren in Babylon against whom has gone forth the sentence that they
should be led into captivity"? And now if you also forsake us, it were good for us all
to die before you, and then that you should withdraw from us.'
34—35. Lament of Baruch
34 And I answered and said unto the people: 'Far be it from me to forsake you or to
withdraw from you, but I will only go unto the Holy of Holies to inquire of the
Mighty One concerning you and concerning Zion, if in some respect I should
receive more illumination: and after these things I will return to you.
35 1 And I, Baruch, went to the holy place, and sat down upon the ruins and wept, and
2 'O that mine eyes were springs,
And mine eyelids a fount of tears.
3 For how shall I lament for Zion,
And how shall I mourn for Jerusalem?
4 Because in that place where I am now prostrate,
Of old the high priest offered holy sacrifices,
And placed thereon an incense of fragrant odors.
5 But now our glorying has been made into dust,
And the desire of our soul into sand.'
36—37. The Vision of the Forest, the Vine, the Fountain and the Cedar
36 1 And when I had said these things I fell asleep there, and I saw a vision in the
night. 2 And lo! a forest of trees planted on the plain, and lofty and rugged rocky
mountains surrounded it, and that forest occupied much space. 3 And lo! over
against it arose a vine, and from under it there went forth a fountain peacefully. 4
Now that fountain came to the forest and was (stirred) into great waves, and those
waves submerged that forest, and suddenly they rooted out the greater part of that
forest, and overthrew all the mountains which were round about it. 5 And the height
of the forest began to be made low, and the top of the mountains was made low and
that fountain prevailed greatly, so that it left nothing of that great forest save one
cedar only. 6 Also when it had cast it down and had destroyed and rooted out the
greater part of that forest, so that nothing was left of it, nor could its place be
recognized, then that vine began to come with the fountain in peace and great
tranquility, and it came to a place which was not far from that cedar, and they
brought the cedar which had been cast down to it. 7 And I beheld and lo! that vine
opened its mouth and spoke and said to that cedar: Art you not that cedar which was
left of the forest of wickedness, and by whose means wickedness persisted, and was
wrought all those years, and goodness never. 8 And you kept conquering that which
was not yours, and to that which was your you did never show compassion, and you
did keep extending your power over those who were far from you, and those who
drew near you, you did hold fast in the toils of your wickedness, and you did uplift
thyself always as one that could not be rooted out! 9 But now your time has sped and
your hour is come. 10 Do you also therefore depart, O cedar, after the forest, which
departed before you, and become dust with it, and let your ashes be mingled
together. 11 And now recline in anguish and rest in torment till your last time come,
in which you will come again, and be tormented still more.'
37 And after these things I saw that cedar burning, and the vine growing, itself and all
around it, the plain full of unfading flowers. And I indeed awoke and arose.
38—40. Interpretation of the Vision
38 1 And I prayed and said: 'O LORD, my Lord, you do always enlighten those who
are led by understanding. 2 Your law is life, and Your wisdom is right guidance. 3
Make known to me therefore the interpretation of this vision. 4 For you know that
my soul hath always walked in Your law, and from my (earliest) days I departed not
from Your wisdom.'
39 1 And He answered and said unto me: 'Baruch, this is the interpretation of the
vision which you have seen. 2 As you have seen the great forest which lofty and
rugged mountains surrounded, this is the word. 3 Behold! the days come, and this
kingdom will be destroyed which once destroyed Zion, and it will be subjected to
that which comes after it. 4 Moreover, that also again after a time will be destroyed,
and another, a third, will arise, and that also will have dominion for its time, and will
be destroyed. 5 And after these things a fourth kingdom will arise, whose power will
be harsh and evil far beyond those which were before it, and it will rule many times
as the forests on the plain, and it will hold fast for times, and will exalt itself more
than the cedars of Lebanon. 6 And by it the truth will be hidden, and all those who
are polluted with iniquity will flee to it, as evil beasts flee and creep into the forest.
7 And it will come to pass when the time of its consummation that it should fall has
approached, then the principate of My Messiah will be revealed, which is like the
fountain and the vine, and when it is revealed it will root out the multitude of its
host. 8 And as touching that which you have seen, the lofty cedar, which was left of
that forest, and the fact, that the vine spoke those words with it which you did hear,
this is the word.
40 1 The last leader of that time will be left alive, when the multitude of his hosts
will be put to the sword, and he will be bound, and they will take him up to Mount
Zion, and My Messiah will convict him of all his impieties, and will gather and set
before him all the works of his hosts. 2 And afterwards he will put him to death, and
protect the rest of My people which shall be found in the place which I have chosen.
3 And his principate will stand for ever, until the world of corruption is at an end,
and until the times aforesaid are fulfilled. 4 This is your vision, and this is its
41—42. The Destiny of the Apostates and of the Proselytes
41 1 And I answered and said: 'For whom and for how many shall these things be? or
who will be worthy to live at that time? 2 For I will speak before you everything that
I think, and I will ask of you regarding those things which I meditate. 3 For lo! I see
many of Your people who have withdrawn from Your covenant, and cast from them
the yoke of Your law. 4 But others again I have seen who have forsaken their vanity,
and fled for refuge beneath Your wings. 5 What therefore will be to them? or how
will the last time receive them? 6 Or perhaps the time of these will assuredly be
weighed, and as the beam inclines will they be judged accordingly?'
42 1 And He answered and said unto me: 'These things also will I show unto you. 2
As for what you did say—"To whom will these things be, and how many (will they
be)? "—to those who have believed there shall be the good which was spoken of
aforetime, and to those who despise there shall be the contrary of these things. 3
And as for what you did say regarding those who have drawn near and those who have
withdrawn this in the word. 4 As for those who were before subject, and afterwards
withdrew and mingled themselves with the seed of mingled peoples, the time of
these was the former, and was accounted as something exalted. 5 And as for those
who before knew not but afterwards knew life, and mingled (only) with the seed of
the people which had separated itself, the time of these (is) the latter, and is
accounted as something exalted. 6 And time shall succeed to time and season to
season, and one shall receive from another, and then with a view to the
consummation shall everything be compared according to the measure of the times
and the hours of the seasons. 7 For corruption shall take those that belong to it, and
life those that belong to it. 8 And the dust shall be called, and there shall be said to
it: "Give back that which is not yours, and raise up all that you have kept until its
43. Baruch told of his Death and bidden to give his last Commands to the People
43 1 But, do thou, Baruch, direct your heart to that which has been said to you,
And understand those things which have been shown to you;
For there are many eternal consolations for you.
2 For you shall depart from this place,
And you shall pass from the regions which are now seen by you,
And you shall forget whatever is corruptible,
And shall not again recall those things which happen among mortals.
3 Go therefore and command your people, and come to this place, and afterwards
fast seven days, and then I will come to you and speak with you.'
44:1‑8; 45—46. Baruch tells the Elders of his impending Death, but encourages
them to expect the Consolation of Zion
44 1 And I, Baruch, went from thence, and came to my people, and I called my
first‑born son and [the Gedaliahs] my friends, and seven of the elders of the people,
and I said unto them:
Behold, I go unto my fathers
According to the way of all the earth.
3 But withdraw you not from the way of the law,
But guard and admonish the people which remain,
Lest they withdraw from the commandments of the Mighty One.
4 For you see that He whom we serve is just,
And our Creator is no respecter of persons.
5 And see you what hath befallen Zion,
And what hath happened to Jerusalem.
6 For the judgment of the Mighty One shall (thereby) be made known,
And His ways, which, though past finding out, are right.
7 For if you endure and persevere in His fear,
And do not forget His law,
The times shall change over you for good.
And you shall see the consolation of Zion.
8, 9 Because whatever is now is nothing,
But that which shall be is very great.
For everything that is corruptible shall pass away,
And everything that dies shall depart,
And all the present time shall be forgotten,
Nor shall there be any remembrance of the present time, which is defiled
10 For that which runs now runs unto vanity,
And that which prospers shall quickly fall and be humiliated.
11 For that which is to be shall be the object of desire,
And for that which comes afterwards shall we hope;
For it is a time that passes not away,
12 And the hour comes which abides for ever.
And the new world (comes) which does not turn to corruption those who
depart to its blessedness,
And has no mercy on those who depart to torment,
And leads not to perdition those who live in it.
13 For these are they who shall inherit that time which has been spoken of,
And theirs is the inheritance of the promised time.
14 These are they who have acquired for themselves treasures of wisdom,
And with them are found stores of understanding,
And from mercy have they not withdrawn,
And the truth of the law I have they preserved.
15 For to them shall be given the world to come,
But the dwelling of the rest who are many shall be in the fire.'
45 2 'Do you therefore so far as you are able instruct the people, for that labor is
ours. For if you teach them, you will quicken them.'
46 1 And my son and the elders of the people answered and said unto me:
'Has the Mighty One humiliated us to such a degree
As to take you from us quickly?
2 And truly we shall be in darkness,
And there shall be no light to the people who are left,
3 For where again shall we seek the law,
Or who will distinguish for us between death and life?'
4 And I said unto them: 'The throne of the Mighty One I cannot resist;
Nevertheless, there shall not be wanting to Israel a wise man
Nor a son of the law to the race of Jacob.
5 But only prepare you your hearts, that you may obey the law,
And be subject to those who in fear are wise and understanding;
And prepare your souls that you may not depart from them.
6 For if you do these things, Good tidings shall come unto you.
[Which I before told you of; nor shall you fall into the torment, of which I testified
to you before.' 7 But with regard to the word that I was to be taken I did not make (it)
known to them or to my son.]
47 1 And when I had gone forth and dismissed them, I went there and said unto them:
'Behold! I go to Hebron: for thither the Mighty One hath sent me.' 2 And I came to
that place where the word had been spoken unto me, and I sat there, and fasted seven
48:1‑47. PRAYER OF BARUCH
48 1 And it came to pass after the seventh day, that I prayed before the Mighty One
2 'O my Lord, you summon the advent of the times,
And they stand before you;
You cause the power of the ages to pass away,
And they do not resist you;
You arrange the method of the seasons,
And they obey you.
3 You alone know the duration of the generations,
And you reveal not Your mysteries to many.
4 You make known the multitude of the fire,
And you weigh the lightness of the wind.
5 You explore the limit of the heights,
And you scrutinize the depths of the darkness.
6 You care for the number which pass away that they may be preserved, And you
prepare an abode for those that are to be.
7 You remember the beginning which you have made,
And the destruction that is to be You forget not.
8 With nods of fear and indignation You command the flames,
And they change into spirits,
And with a word you quicken that which was not,
And with mighty power you hold that which has not yet come.
9 You instruct created things in the understanding of you,
And you make wise the spheres so as to minister in their orders.
10 Armies innumerable stand before you
And minister in their orders quietly at Your nod.
11 Hear Your servant
And give ear to my petition.
12 For in a little time are we born,
And in a little time do we return.
13 But with you hours are as a time,
And days as generations.
14 Be not therefore wroth with man; for he is nothing
15 And take not account of our works; For what are we?
For lo! by Your gift do we come into the world,
And we depart not of our own will.
16 For we said not to our parents, "Beget us,
Nor did we send to Sheol and say, "Receive us."
17 What therefore is our strength that we should bear Your wrath,
Or what are we that we should endure Your judgment?
18 Protect us in Your compassions,
And in Your mercy help us.
19 Behold the little ones that are subject unto you,
And save all that draw near unto you:
And destroy not the hope of our people,
And cut not short the times of our aid.
20 For this is the nation which you have chosen,
And these are the people, to whom you find no equal.
21 But I will speak now before you,
And I will say as my heart thinks.
22 In you do we trust, for lo! Your law is with us,
And we know that we shall not fall so long as we keep Your statutes.
23 [To all time are we blessed at all events in this that we have not mingled with
24 For we are all one celebrated people,
Who have received one law from One:
And the law which is amongst us will aid us,
And the surpassing wisdom which is in us will help us.'
25 And when I had prayed and said these things, I was greatly weakened. 26 And He
answered and said unto me:
'You have prayed simply, O Baruch,
And all your words have been heard.
27 But My judgment exacts its own
And My law exacts its rights.
28 For from your words I will answer you,
And from your prayer I will speak to you.
29 For this is as follows: he that is corrupted is not at all; he has both wrought
iniquity so far as lie could do anything, and has not remembered My goodness, nor
accepted My long‑suffering. 30 Therefore you shall surely be taken up, as I before
told you. 31 For that time shall arise which brings affliction; for it shall come and
pass by with quick vehemence, and it shall be turbulent coming in the heat of
indignation. 32 And it shall come to pass in those days that all the inhabitants of the
earth shall be moved one against another, because they know not that My judgment
has drawn nigh.
33 For there shall not be found many wise at that time,
And the intelligent shall be but a few:
Moreover, even those who know shall most of all be silent.
34 And there shall be many rumors and tidings not a few,
And the doing of phantasms shall be manifest,
And promises not a few be recounted,
Some of them (shall prove) idle,
And some of them shall be confirmed.
35 And honor shall be turned into shame,
And strength humiliated into contempt,
And probity destroyed,
And beauty shall become ugliness.
36 And many shall say to many at that time:
"Where hath the multitude of intelligence hidden itself,
And whither hath the multitude of wisdom removed itself?"
37 And whilst they are meditating these things,
Then envy shall arise in those who had not thought aught of themselves (?)
And passion shall seize him that is peaceful,
And many shall be stirred up in anger to injure many,
And they shall rouse up armies in order to shed blood,
And in the end they shall perish together with them.
38 And it shall come to pass at the self‑same time,
That a change of times shall manifestly appeal to every man,
Because in all those times they polluted themselves
And they practiced oppression,
And walked every man in his own works,
And remembered not the law of the Mighty One.
39 Therefore a fire shall consume their thoughts,
And in flame shall the meditations of their reins be tried;
For the Judge shall come and will not tarry.
40 Because each of the inhabitants of the earth knew when he was transgressing.
But My Law they knew not by reason of their pride.
41 But many shall then assuredly weep,
Yea, over the living more than over the dead.'
42 And I answered and said:
'O Adam, what have you done to all those who are born from you?
And what will be said to the first Eve who hearkened to the serpent?
43 For all this multitude are going to corruption,
Nor is there any numbering of those whom the fire devours.
44 But again I will speak in Your presence. 45 You, O LORD, my Lord, know what
is in Your creature. 46 For you did of old command the dust to produce Adam, and
you know the number of those who are born from him, and how far they have sinned
before you, who have existed and not confessed you as their Creator. 47 And as
regards all these their end shall convict them, and Your law which they have
transgressed shall requite them on Your day.'
48:48‑50. Fragment of an Address of Baruch to the People
48 ['But now let us dismiss the wicked and inquire about the righteous.
49 And I will recount their blessedness
And not be silent in celebrating their glory, which is reserved for them.
50 For assuredly as in a little time in this transitory world in which you live, you
have endured much labor,
So in that world to which there is no end, you shall receive great light.']
49—52. The Nature of the Resurrection Body: the final Destinies of the
and the Wicked
49 1 'Nevertheless, I Will again ask from you, O Mighty One, yea, I will ask made
2 "In what shape will those live who live in Your day?
Or how will the splendor of those who (are) after that time continue?
3 Will they then resume this form of the present,
And put on these entrammelling members,
Which are now involved in evils,
And in which evils are consummated,
Or will you perchance change these things which have been in the world
As also the world?"
50 1 And He answered and said unto me:
'Hear, Baruch, this word,
And write in the remembrance of your heart all that you shall learn.
2 For the earth shall then assuredly restore the dead,
[Which it now receives, in order to preserve them].
It shall make no change in their form,
But as it has received, so shall it restore them,
And as I delivered them unto it, so also shall it raise them.
3 For then it will be necessary to show the living that the dead have come to life
again, and that those who had departed have returned (again). 4 And it shall come to
pass, when they have severally recognized those whom they now know, then
judgment shall grow strong, and those things which before were spoken of shall
51 1 And it shall come to pass, when that appointed day has gone by, that then shall
the aspect of those who are condemned be afterwards changed, and the glory of
those who are justified. 2 For the aspect of those who now act wickedly shall
become worse than it is, as they shall suffer torment. 3 Also (as for) the glory of
those who have now been justified in My law, who have had understanding in their
life, and who have planted in their heart the root of wisdom, then their splendor shall
be glorified in changes, and the form of their face shall be turned into the light of
their beauty, that they may be able to acquire and receive the world which does not
die, which is then promised to them. 4 For over this above all shall those who come
then lament, that they rejected My law, and stopped their ears that they might not
hear wisdom or receive understanding. 5 When therefore they see those, over whom
they are now exalted, (but) who shall then be exalted and glorified more than they,
they shall respectively be transformed, the latter into the splendor of angels, and the
former shall yet more waste away in wonder at the visions and in the beholding of
the forms. 6 For they shall first behold and afterwards depart to be tormented.
7 But those who have been saved by their works,
And to whom the law has been now a hope,
And understanding an expectation,
And wisdom a confidence,
Shall wonders appear in their time.
8 For they shall behold the world which is now invisible to them,
And they shall behold the time which is now hidden from them:
9 And time shall no longer age them.
10 For in the heights of that world shall they dwell,
And they shall be made like unto the angels,
And be made equal to the stars,
And they shall be changed into every form they desire,
From beauty into loveliness,
And from light into the splendor of glory.
11 For there shall be spread before them the extents of Paradise, and there shall be
shown to them the beauty of the majesty of the living creatures which are beneath
the throne, and all the armies of the angels, who are now held fast by My word, lest
they should appear, and] are held fast by a command, that they may stand in their
places till their advent comes. 12 Moreover, there shall then be excellency in the
righteous surpassing that in the angels. 13 For the first shall receive the last, those
whom they were expecting, and the last those of whom they used to hear that they
had passed away.
14 For they have been delivered from this world of tribulation,
And laid down the burthen of anguish.
15 For what then have men lost their life,
And for what have those who were on the earth exchanged their soul?
16 For then they chose (not) for themselves this time,
Which, beyond the reach of anguish, could not pass away:
But they chose for themselves that time,
Whose issues are full of lamentations and evils,
And they denied the world which ages not those who come to it,
And they rejected the time of glory,
So that they shall not come to the honor of which I told you before.'
52 1 And I answered and said:
'How can we forget those for whom woe is then reserved?
2 And why therefore do we again mourn for those who die?
Or why do we weep for those who depart to Sheol?
3 Let lamentations be reserved for the beginning of that coming torment,
And let tears be laid up for the advent of the destruction of that time.
4 [But even in the face of these things will I speak.
5 And as for the righteous, what will they do now?
6 Rejoice you in the suffering which you now suffer:
For why do you look for the decline of your enemies?
7 Make ready your soul for that which is reserved for you,
And prepare your souls for the reward which is laid up for you.']
53—54. THE MESSIAH APOCALYPSE
53. The Vision of the Cloud with black and white Waters
53 1 And when I had said these things I fell asleep there, and I saw a vision, and lo! a
cloud was ascending from a very great sea, and I kept gazing upon it) and lo! it was
full of waters white and black, and there were many colors in those self‑same
waters, and as it were the likeness of great lightning was seen at its summit. 2 And I
saw the cloud passing swiftly in quick courses, and it covered all the earth. 3 And it
came to pass after these things that that cloud began to pour upon the earth the
waters that were in it. 4 And I saw that there was not one and the same like_ness in
the waters which descended from it. 5 For in the first beginning they were black and
many (Or a time, and afterwards I saw that the waters became bright, but they were
not many, and after these things again I saw black (waters), and after these things
again bright, and again black and again bright. 6 Now this was done twelve times, but
the black were always more numerous than the bright. 7 And it came to pass at the
end of the cloud, that lo! it rained black waters, and they were darker than had been
all those waters that were before, and fire was mingled with them, and where those
waters descended, they wrought devastation and destruction. 8 And after these things
I saw how that lightning which I had seen on the summit of the cloud, seized hold of
it and hurled it to the earth. 9 Now that lightning shone exceedingly, so as to
illuminate the whole earth, and it healed those regions where the last waters had
descended and wrought devastation. 10 And it took hold of the whole earth, and had
dominion over it. 11 And I saw after these things, and lo! twelve rivers were
ascending from the sea, and they began to surround that lightning and to become
subject to it. 12 And by reason of my fear I awoke.
54—55. Baruch's Prayer for an Interpretation of the Vision: Ramiel's advent for
54 1 And I besought the Mighty One, and said:
'You alone, O Lord, know of aforetime the deep things of the world,
And the things which befall in their times You bring about by Your word, And
against the works of the inhabitants of the earth you do hasten the beginnings
of the times,
And the end of the seasons you alone know.
2 (You) for whom nothing is too hard,
But who do everything easily by a nod:
3 (You) to whom the depths come as the heights,
And whose word the beginnings of the ages serve:
4 (You) who reveal to those who fear you what is prepared for them,
That thenceforth they may be comforted.
5 You show great acts to those who know not;
You break up the enclosure of those who are ignorant,
And lightest up what is dark,
And reveal what is hidden to the pure,
[Who in faith have submitted themselves to you and Your law.]
6 You have shown to Your servant this vision;
Reveal to me also its interpretation.
7 For I know that as regards those things wherein I besought you, I have received
And as regards what I besought, you did reveal to me with what voice I should
And from what members I should cause praises and hallelujahs to ascend to
8 For if my members were mouths,
And the hairs of my head voices,
Even so I could not give you the reward of praise,
Nor laud you as is befitting,
Nor could I recount Your praise,
Nor tell the glory of Your beauty.
9 For what am I amongst men,
Or why am I reckoned amongst those who are more excellent than I,
That I have heard all these marvelous things from the Most High,
And numberless promises from Him who created me?
10 Blessed be my mother among those that bear,
And praised among women be she that bare me.
11 For I will not be silent in praising the Mighty One,
And with the voice of praise I will recount His marvelous deeds.
12 For who doeth like unto Your marvelous deeds, O God,
Or who comprehend Your deep thought of life.
13 For with Your counsel you do govern all the creatures which Your right hand
And you have established every fountain of light beside you,
And the treasures of wisdom beneath Your throne have you prepared.
14 And justly do they perish who have not loved Your law,
And the torment of judgment shall await those who have not submitted
themselves to Your power.
15 For though Adam first sinned
And brought untimely death upon all,
Yet of those who were born from him
Each one of them has prepared for his own soul torment to come,
And again each one of them has chosen for himself glories to come.
16 [For assuredly he who believeth will receive reward.
17 But now, as for you, you wicked that now are, turn you to destruction, because
you shall speedily be visited, in that formerly you rejected the understanding of the
18 For His works have not taught you,
Nor has the skill of His creation which is at all times persuaded you.]
19 Adam is therefore not the cause, save only of his own soul,
But each of us has been the Adam of his own soul.
20 But do You, O Lord, expound to me regarding those things which you have
revealed to me,
And inform me regarding that which I besought you.
21 For at the consummation of the world vengeance shall be taken upon those
who have done wickedness according to their wickedness,
And you will glorify the faithful according to their faithfulness.
22 For those who are amongst your own you rule,
And those who sin you blot out from amongst your own.'
55 1 And it came to pass when I had finished speaking the words of this prayer, that I
sat there under a tree, that I might rest in the shade of the branches. 2 And I
wondered and was astonished, and pondered in my thoughts regarding the multitude
of goodness which sinners who are upon the earth have rejected, and regarding the
great torment which they have despised, though they knew that they should be
tormented because of the sin they had committed. And when I was pondering on
these things and the like, lo! the angel Ramiel who presides over true visions was
sent to me, and he said unto me:
4 'Why does your heart trouble you, Baruch,
and why does your thought disturb you?
5 For if owing to the report which you have only heard of judgment you are so
What (wilt you be) when you shall see it manifestly with your eyes?
6 And if with the expectation wherewith you do expect the day of the Mighty
One you are so overcome,
What (wilt you be) when you shall come to its advent?
7 And, if at the word of the announcement of the torment of those who have
done foolishly you are so wholly distraught,
How much more when the event will reveal marvelous things?
8 And if you have heard tidings of the good and evil things which are then
coming and are grieved,
What (wilt you be) when you shall behold what the majesty will reveal,
Which shall convict these and cause those to rejoice.'
56—74. Interpretation of the Vision. The black and bright Waters symbolize the
World's History from Adam to the Advent of the Messiah.
56 1 'Nevertheless, because you have besought the Most High to reveal to you the
interpretation of the vision which you have seen, I have been sent to tell you. 2 And
the Mighty One hath assuredly made known to you the methods of the times that
have passed, and of those that are destined to pass in His world from the beginning
of its creation even unto its consummation, of those things which (are) deceit and of
those which (are) in truth. 3 For as you did see a great cloud which ascended from
the sea, and went and covered the earth, this is the duration of the world (= a???)
which the Mighty One made when he took counsel to make the world. 4 And it came
to pass when the word had gone forth from His presence, that the duration of the
world had come into being in a small degree, and was established according to the
multitude of the intelligence of Him who sent it. 5 And as you did previously see on
the summit of the cloud black waters which descended previously on the earth, this
is the transgression wherewith Adam the first man transgressed.
6 For [since] when he transgressed
Untimely death came into being,
Grief was named
And anguish was prepared,
And pain was created,
And trouble consummated,
And disease began to be established,
And Sheol kept demanding that it should be renewed in blood,
And the begetting of children was brought about,
And the passion of parents produced,
And the greatness of humanity was humiliated,
And goodness languished.
7 What therefore can be blacker or darker than these things? 8 This is the beginning
of the black waters which you have seen. 9 And from these black (waters) again were
black derived, and the darkness of darkness was produced. 10 For he became a
danger to his own soul: even to the angels 11 For, moreover, at that time when he
was created, they enjoyed liberty. 12 And became he a danger some of them
descended, and mingled with the women. 13 And then those who did so were
tormented in chains. 14 But the rest of the multitude of the angels, of which there is
(no) number, restrained themselves. 15 And those who dwelt on the earth perished
together (with them) through the waters of the deluge. 16 These are the black first
57 1 And after these (waters) you did see bright waters: this is the fount of
Abraham, also his generations and advent of his son, and of his son's son, and of
those like them. 2 Because at that time the unwritten law was named amongst them,
And the works of the commandments were then fulfilled,
And belief in the coming judgment was then generated,
And hope of the world that was to be renewed was then built up,
And the promise of the life that should come hereafter was implanted.
3 These are the bright waters, which you have seen.
58 1 'And the black third waters which you have seen, these are the mingling of all
sins, which the nations afterwards wrought after the death of those righteous men,
and the wickedness of the land of Egypt, wherein they did wickedly in the service
wherewith they made their sons to serve. 2 Nevertheless, these also perished at last.
59 1 'And the bright fourth waters which you have seen are the advent of Moses and
Aaron and Miriam and Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb and of all those like them. 2
For at that time the lamp of the eternal law shone on all those who sat in darkness,
which announced to them that believe the promise of their reward, and to them that
deny, the torment of fire which is reserved for them. 3 But also the heavens at that
time were shaken from their place, and those who were under the throne of the
Mighty One were perturbed, when He was taking Moses unto Himself. 4 For He
showed him many admonitions together with the principles of the law and the
consummation of the times, as also to you, and likewise the pattern of Zion and its
measures, in the pattern of which the sanctuary of the present time was to be made.
5 But then also He showed to him the measures of the fire, also the depths of the
abyss, and the weight of the winds, and the number of the drops of rain: 6 And the
suppression of anger, and the multitude of long‑suffering, and the truth of judgment:
7 And the root of wisdom, and the riches of understanding, and the fount of
knowledge: 8 And the height of the air, and the greatness of Paradise, and the
consummation of the ages, and the beginning of the day of judgment: 9 And the
number of the offerings, and the earths which have not yet come: 10 And the mouth
of Gehenna, and the station of vengeance, and the place of faith, and the region of
hope: And the likeness of future torment, and the multitude of innumerable angels,
and the flaming hosts, and the splendor of the lightnings, and the voice of the
thunders, and the orders of the chiefs of the angels, and the treasuries of light, and
the changes of the times, and the investigations of the law. 12 These are the bright
fourth waters which you have seen.
60 1 And the black fifth waters which you have seen raining are the works which the
Amorites wrought, and the spells of their incantations which they wrought, and the
wickedness of their mysteries, and the mingling of their pollution. 2 But even Israel
was then polluted by sins in the days of the judges, though they saw many signs
which were from Him who made them.
61 1 And the bright sixth waters which thru did see, this is the time in which David
and Solomon were born.
2 And there was at that time the building of Zion,
And the dedication of the sanctuary,
And the shedding of much blood of the nations that sinned then,
And many offerings which were offered then in the dedication of the
3 And peace and tranquility existed at that time,
4 And wisdom was heard in the assembly:
And the riches of understanding were magnified in the congregations,
5 And the holy festivals were fulfilled in blessedness and in much joy.
6 And the judgment of the rulers was then seen to be without guile,
And the righteousness of the precepts of the Mighty One was accomplished
7 And the land [which] was then beloved by the Lord,
And because its inhabitants sinned not, it was glorified beyond all lands, And
the city Zion ruled then over all lands and regions.
8 These are the bright waters which you have seen.
62 1 And the black seventh waters which you have seen, this is the perversion
(brought about) by the counsel of Jeroboam, who took counsel to make two calves
of gold: 2 And all the iniquities which kings who were after him iniquitously
wrought. 3 And the curse of Jezebel and the worship of idols which Israel practiced
at that time. 4 And the withholding of rain, and the famines which occurred until
women eat the fruit of their wombs. 5 And the time of their captivity which came
upon the nine tribes and a half, because they were in many sins. 6 And Shalmanezzar
king of Assyria came and led them away captive. 7 But regarding the Gentiles it
were tedious to tell how they always wrought impiety and wickedness, and never
wrought righteousness. 8 These are the black seventh waters which you have seen.
63 1 'And the bright eighth waters which you have seen, this is the rectitude and
uprightness of Hezekiah king of Judah and the grace (of God) which came upon him.
2 For when Sennacherib was stirred up in order that he might perish, and his wrath
troubled him in order that he might thereby perish, for the multitude also of the
nations which were with him. 3 When, moreover, Hezekiah the king heard those
things which the king of Assyria was devising, (i.e.) to come and seize him and
destroy his people, the two and a half tribes which remained: nay, more he wished to
overthrow Zion also: then Hezekiah trusted in his works, and had hope in his
righteousness, and spoke with the Mighty One and said: 4 "Behold, for lo!
Sennacherib is prepared to destroy us, and he will be boastful and uplifted when he
has destroyed Zion."
5 And the Mighty One heard him, for Hezekiah was wise,
And He had respect unto his prayer, because he was righteous.
6 And thereupon the Mighty One commanded Ramiel His angel who speaks with
you. 7 And I went forth and destroyed their multitude, the number of whose chiefs
only was a hundred and eighty‑five thousand, and each one of them had an equal
number (at his command). 8 And at that time I burned their bodies within, but their
raiment and arms I preserved outwardly, in order that the still more wonderful deeds
of the Mighty One might appear, and that thereby His name might be spoken of
throughout the whole earth. 9 And Zion was saved and Jerusalem delivered: Israel
also was freed from tribulation. 10 And all those who were in the holy land
rejoiced, and the name of the Mighty One was glorified so that it was spoken of 11
These are the bright waters which you have seen.
64 1 'And the black ninth waters which you have seen, this is all the wickedness
which was in the days of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah. 2 For he wrought much
impiety, and he slew the righteous, and he wrested judgment, and he shed the blood
of the innocent, and wedded women he violently polluted, and he overturned the
altars, and destroyed their offerings, and drove forth their priests lest they should
minister in the sanctuary. 3 And he made an image with five faces: four of them
looked to the four winds, and the fifth on the summit of the image as ah adversary of
the zeal of the Mighty One. 4 And then wrath went forth from the presence of the
Mighty One to the intent that Zion should be rooted out, as also it befell in your
days. But also against the two tribes and a half went forth a decree that they should
also be led away captive, as you have now seen. 5 And to such a degree did the
impiety of Manasseh increase, that it removed the praise of the Most High from the
sanctuary. 7 On this account Manasseh was at that time named 'the impious," and
finally his abode was in the fire. 8 For though his prayer was heard with the Most
High, finally, when he was cast into the brazen horse and the brazen horse was
melted, it served as a sign unto him for the hour. 9 For he had not lived perfectly,
for he was not worthy—but that thenceforward he might know by whom finally he
should be tormented. 10 For he who is able to benefit is also able to torment.
65 1 'Thus, moreover, did Manasseh act impiously, and thought that in his time the
Mighty One would not inquire into these things. 2 These are the black ninth waters
which you have seen.
66 1 'And the bright tenth waters which you have seen: this is the purity of the
generations of Josiah king of Judah, who was the only one at the time who submitted
himself to the Mighty One with all his heart and with all his soul. 2 And he cleansed
the land from idols, and hallowed all the vessels which had been polluted, and
restored the offerings to the altar, and raised the horn of the holy, and exalted the
righteous, and honored all that were wise in understanding, and brought back the
priests to their ministry, and destroyed and removed the magicians and enchanters
and necromancers from the land. 3 And not only did he slay the impious that were
living, but they also took from the sepulchers the bones of the dead and burned them
with fire. 4 [And the festivals and the Sabbaths he established in their sanctity], and
their polluted ones he burnt in the fire, and the lying prophets which deceived the
people, these also he burnt in the fire, and the people who listened to them when
they were living, he cast them into the brook Kidron, and heaped stones upon them.
5 And he was zealous with zeal for the Mighty One with all his soul, and he alone
was firm in the law at that time, so that he left none that was uncircumcised, or that
wrought impiety in all the land, all the days of his life. 6 Therefore he shall receive
an eternal reward, and he shall be glorified with the Mighty One beyond many at a
later time. 7 For on his account and on account of those who are like him were the
honorable glories, of which you were told before, created and prepared. These arc
the bright waters which you have seen.
67 1 'And the black eleventh waters which you have seen: this is the calamity which
is now befalling "Zion.
2 Do you think that there is no anguish to the angels in the presence of the
That Zion was so delivered up,
And that lo! the Gentiles boast in their hearts,
And assemble before their idols and say,
"She is trodden down who oftentimes trod down,
And she has been reduced to servitude who reduced (others)"?
3 Dost you think that in these things the Most High rejoices,
Or that His name is glorified?
4 [But how will it serve towards His righteous judgment?]
5 Yet after these things shall the dispersed among the Gentiles be taken hold of
And in shame shall they dwell in every place.
6 Because so far as Zion is delivered up
And Jerusalem laid waste,
Shall idols prosper in the cities of the Gentiles,
And the vapor of the smoke of the incense of the righteousness which is by
the law is extinguished in Zion,
And in the region of Zion in every place lo! there is the smoke of impiety.
7 But the king of Babylon will arise who has now destroyed Zion,
And he will boast over the people,
And he will speak great things in his heart in the presence of the Most High.
8 But he also shall fall at last. These are the black waters.
68 1 'And the bright twelfth waters which you have seen: this is the word. For after
these things time will come when your people shall fall into distress, so that they
shall all run the risk of perishing together. 3 Nevertheless, they will be saved, and
their enemies will fall in their presence. 4 And they will have in (due) time much
joy. 5 And at that time after a little interval Zion will again be rebuilt, and its
offerings will again be restored, and the priests will return to their ministry, and also
the Gentiles will come to glorify it. 6 Nevertheless, not fully as in the beginning. 7
But it will come to pass after these things that there will be the fall of many nations.
8 These are the bright waters which you have seen.
69 1 'For the last waters which you have seen which were darker than all that were
before them, those which were after the twelfth number, which were collected
together, belong to the whole world. 2 For the Most High made division from the
beginning, because He alone knows what will befall. 3 For as to the enormities and
the impieties which should be wrought before Him, He foresaw six kinds of them. 4
And of the good works of the righteous which should be accomplished before Him,
He foresaw six kinds of them, beyond those which He should work at the
consummation of the age. 5 On his account there were not black waters with black,
nor bright with bright; for it is the consummation.
70 1 'Hear therefore the interpretation of the last black waters which are to come
[after the black]: this the word. 2 Behold! the days come, and it shall be when the
time of the age has ripened,
And the harvest of its evil and good seeds has come,
That the Mighty One will bring upon the earth and its inhabitants and upon its
Perturbation of spirit and stupor of heart.
3 And they shall hate one another,
And provoke one another to fight,
And the mean shall rule over the honorable,
And those of low degree shall be extolled above the famous.
4 And the many shall be delivered into the hands of the few,
And those who were nothing shall rule over the strong,
And the poor shall have abundance beyond the rich,
And the impious shall exalt themselves above the heroic.
5 And the wise shall be silent,
And the foolish shall speak,
Neither shall the thought of men be then confirmed,
Nor the counsel of the mighty,
Nor shall the hope of those who hope be confirmed.
6 And when those things which were predicted have come to pass,
Then shall confusion fall upon all men,
And some of them shall fall in battle,
And some of them shall perish in anguish,
7 And some of them shall be destroyed by their own. Then the Most High peoples
whom He has prepared before,
And they shall come and make war with the leaders that shall then be left.
8 And it shall come to pass that whoever gets safe out of the war shall die in the
And whoever gets safe out of the earthquake shall be burned by the fire,
And whoever gets safe out of the fire shall be destroyed by famine.
9 [And it shall come to pass that whoever of the victors and the vanquished gets safe
out of and escapes all these things aforesaid will be delivered into the hands of My
servant Messiah.] 10 For all the earth shall devour its inhabitants.
71 1 'And the holy land shall have mercy on its own, And it shall protect its
inhabitants at that time. 2 This is the vision which you have seen, and this is the
interpretation. 3 For I have come to tell you these things, because your prayer has
been heard with the Most High.
72 'Hear now also regarding the bright lightning which is to come at the
consummation after these black (waters): this is the word. 2 After the signs have
come, of which you were told before, when the nations become turbulent, and the
time of My Messiah is come, he shall both summon all the nations, and some of
them he shall spare, and some of them he shall slay. 3 These things therefore shall
come upon the nations which are to be spared by Him. 4 Every nation, which knows
not Israel and has not trodden down the seed of Jacob, shall indeed be spared. 5 And
this because some out of every nation shall be subjected to your people. 6 But all
those who have ruled over you, or have known you, shall be given up to the sword.
73 1 'And it shall come to pass, when He has brought low everything that is in the
And has sat down in peace for the age on the throne of His kingdom,
That joy shall then be revealed,
And rest shall appear.
2 And then healing shall descend in dew,
And disease shall withdraw,
And anxiety and anguish and lamentation pass from amongst men,
And gladness proceed through the whole earth.
3 And no one shall again die untimely,
Nor shall any adversity suddenly befall.
4 And judgments, and abusive talk, and contentions, and revenges,
And blood, and passions, and envy, and hatred,
And whatsoever things are like these shall go into condemnation when they
5 For it is these very things which have filled this world with evils,
And on account of these the life of man has been greatly troubled.
6 And wild beasts shall come from the forest and minister unto men
And asps and dragons shall come forth from their holes to submit themselves
to a little child.
7 And women shall no longer then have pain when they bear,
Nor shall they suffer torment when they yield the fruit of the womb.
74 1 'And it shall come to pass in those days that the reapers shall not grow weary,
Nor those that build be toil‑worn;
For the works shall of themselves speedily advance
Together with those who do them in much tranquility.
2 For that time is the consummation of that which is corruptible,
And the beginning of that which is not corruptible.
3 Therefore those things which were predicted shall belong to it:
Therefore it is far away from evils, and near to those things which die not.
4 This is the bright lightning which came after the last dark waters.'
75. Baruch's Hymn on the Unsearchableness of God's Ways and on His Mercies
through which the Faithful shall attain to a blessed Consummation
75 1 And I answered and said:
'Who can understand, O Lord, Your goodness?
For it is incomprehensible.
2 Or who can search into your compassions,
Which are infinite?
3 Or who can comprehend Your intelligence?
4 Or who is able to recount the thoughts of Your mind?
5 Or who of those who are born can hope to come to those things,
Unless he is one to whom you are merciful and gracious?
6 Because, if assuredly you did not have compassion on man,
Those who are under Your right hand,
They could not come to those things,
But those who are in the numbers named can be called.
7 But if, indeed, we who exist know wherefore we have come,
And submit ourselves to Him who brought us out of Egypt,
We shall come again and remember those things which have passed,
And shall rejoice regarding that which has been.
8 But if now we know not wherefore we have come,
And recognize not the principate of Him who brought us up out of Egypt, We
shall come again and seek after those things which have been now,
And be grieved with pain because of those things which have befallen.'
76. Baruch bidden to instruct the People for forty days and then to hold himself
ready for his Assumption on the Advent of the Messiah
76 1 And He answered and said unto me: ['Inasmuch as the revelation of this vision
has been interpreted to you as you requested], hear the word of the Most High that
you may know what is to befall you after these things. 2 For you shall surely depart
from this earth, nevertheless not unto death, but you shall be preserved unto the
consummation of the times. 3 Go up therefore to the top of that mountain, and there
shall pass before you all the regions of that land, and the figure of the inhabited
world, and the top(s) of the mountains, and the depth(s) of the valleys, and the
depths of the seas, and the number of the rivers, that you may see what you are
leaving, and whither you are going. 4 Now this shall befall after forty days. Go now
therefore during these days and instruct the people so far as you are able, that they
may learn so as not to die at the last time, but may learn in order that they may live
at the last times.'
77. Baruch's Admonition to the People and his writing of two Letters—one to the
nine and a half tribes in Assyria and the other to the two and a half in Babylon
77 1 And I, Baruch, went there and came to the people, and assembled them together
from the greatest to the least, and said unto them: 2 'Hear, you children of Israel,
behold how many you are who remain of the twelve tribes of Israel. 3 For to you and
to your fathers the Lord gave a law more excellent than to all peoples. 4 And
because your brethren transgressed the commandments of the Most High,
He brought vengeance upon you and upon them,
And He spared not the former,
And the latter also He gave into captivity:
And He left not a residue of them,
5 But behold! you are here with me.
6 If, therefore, you direct your ways aright,
Ye also shall not depart as your brethren departed,
But they shall come to you.
7 For He is merciful whom you worship,
And He is gracious in whom you hope,
And He is true, so that He shall do good and not evil.
8 Have you not seen here what has befallen Zion?
9 Or do you perchance think that the place had sinned,
And that on this account it was overthrown?
Or that the land had wrought foolishness,
And that therefore it was delivered up?
10 And know you not that on account of you who did sin,
That which sinned not was overthrown,
And, on account of those who wrought wickedly,
That which wrought not foolishness was delivered up to (its) enemies?'
11 And the whole people answered and said unto me: 'So far as we can recall the
good things which the Mighty One has done unto us, we do recall them; and those
things which we do not remember He in His mercy knows. 12 Nevertheless, do this
for us your people: write also to our brethren in Babylon an epistle of doctrine and a
scroll of hope, that you may confirm them also before you do depart from us.
13 For the shepherds of Israel have perished,
And the lamps which gave light are extinguished,
And the fountains have withheld their stream whence we used to drink.
14 And we are left in the darkness,
And amid the trees of the forest,
And the thirst of the wilderness.'
15 And I answered and said unto them
'Shepherds and lamps and fountains come from the law:
And though we depart, yet the law abides.
16 If therefore you have respect to the law,
And are intent upon wisdom,
A lamp will not be wanting,
And a shepherd will not fail,
And a fountain will not dry up.
17 Nevertheless, as you said unto me, I will write also unto your brethren in
Babylon, and I will send by means of men, and I will write in like manner to the nine
tribes and a half, and send by means of a bird.' 18 And it came to pass on the one and
twentieth day in the eighth month that I, Baruch, came and sat down under the oak
under the shadow of the branches, and no man was with me, but I was alone. 19 And I
wrote these two epistles: one I sent by an eagle to the nine and a half tribes; and the
other I sent to those that were at Babylon by means of three men. 20 And I called the
eagle and spoke these words unto it: 21 'The Most High hath made you that you
should be higher than all birds. 22 And now go and tarry not in (any) place, nor enter
a nest, nor settle upon any tree, till you have passed over the breadth of the many
waters of the river Euphrates, and have gone to the people that dwell there, and cast
down to them this epistle. 23 Remember, moreover, that, at the time of the deluge,
Noah received from a dove the fruit of the olive, when he sent it forth from the ark.
24 Yea, also the ravens ministered to Elijah, bearing him food, as they had been
commanded. 25 Solo_mon also, in the time of his kingdom, whithersoever he
wished to send or seek for anything, commanded a bird (to go thither), and it obeyed
him as he commanded it. 26 And now let it not weary you, and turn not to the right
hand nor the left, but fly and go by a direct way, that you may preserve the command
of the Mighty One, according as I said unto you.'
78—86. THE EPISTLE OF BARUCH THE SON OF NERIAH WHICH HE
WROTE TO THE NINE AND A HALF TRIBES
78 1 These are the words of that epistle which Baruch the son of Neriah sent to the
nine and a half tribes, which were across the river Euphrates, in which these things
2 Thus says Baruch the son of Neriah to the brethren carried into captivity: 'Mercy
and peace.' I bear in mind, my brethren, the love of Him who created us, who loved
us from of old, and never hated us, but above all educated us. 3 And truly I know that
behold all we the twelve tribes are bound by one bond, inasmuch as we are born
from one father. 4 Wherefore I have been the more careful to leave you the words
of this epistle before I die, that you may be comforted regarding the evils which
have come upon you, and that you may be grieved also regarding the evil that has
befallen your brethren; and again, also, that you may justify His judgment which 5
He has decreed against you that you should be carried away captive—for what you
have suffered is disproportioned to what you have done—in order that, at the last
times, you may be found worthy of your fathers. 6 Therefore, if you consider that ye
have now suffered those things for your good, that you may not finally be
condemned and tormented, then you will receive eternal hope; if above all you
destroy from your heart vain error, on account of which you departed hence. 7 For if
you so do these things, He will continually remember you, He who always promised
on our behalf to those who were more excellent than we, that He will never forget
or forsake us, but with much mercy will gather together again those who were
79 1 Now, my brethren, learn first what befell Zion: how that Nebuchadnezzar king
of Babylon came up against us. 2 For we have sinned against Him who made us, and
we have not kept the commandments which he commanded us, yet he hath not
chastened us as we deserved. 3 For what befell you we also suffer in a preeminent
degree, for it befell us also.
80 1 And now, my brethren, I make known unto you that when the enemy had
surrounded the city, the angels of the Most High were sent, and they overthrew the
fortifications of the strong wall, and they destroyed the firm iron corners, which
could not be rooted out. 2 Nevertheless, they hid all the vessels of the sanctuary,
lest the enemy should get possession of them. 3 And when they had done these
things, they delivered thereupon to the enemy the overthrown wall, and the
plundered house, and the burnt temple, and the people who were overcome because
they were delivered up, lest the enemy should boast and say: 'Thus by force have we
been able to lay waste even the house of the Most High in war.' Your brethren also
have they bound and led away to Babylon, and have caused them to dwell there. 5 But
we have been left here, being very few. 6 This is the tribulation about which I wrote
to you. 7 For assuredly I know that (the consolation of) the inhabitants of Zion
consoles you : so far as you knew that it was prospered (your consolation) was
greater than the tribulation which you endured in having to depart from it.
81 1 But regarding consolation, hear the word. 2 For I was mourning regarding Zion,
and I prayed for mercy from the Most High, and I said:
3 'How long will these things endure for us?
And will these evils come upon us always?'
4 And the Mighty One did according to the multitude of His mercies,
And the Most High according to the greatness of His compassion,
And He revealed unto me the word, that I might receive consolation,
And He showed me visions that I should not again endure anguish,
And He made known to me the mystery of the times.
And the advent of the hours he showed me.
82 1 Therefore, my brethren, I have written to you, that you may comfort yourselves
regarding the multitude of your tribulations. 2 For know you that our Maker will
assuredly avenge us on all our enemies, according to all that they have done to us,
also that the consummation which the Most High will make is very nigh, and His
mercy that is coming, and the consummation of His judgment, is by no means far
3 For lo! we see now the multitude of the prosperity of the Gentiles,
Though they act impiously,
But they shall be like a vapor:
4 And we behold the multitude of their power,
Though they do wickedly,
But they shall be made like unto a drop:
5 And we see the firmness of their might.
Though they resist the Mighty One every hour,
But they shall be accounted as spittle.
6 And we consider the glory of their greatness,
Though they do not keep the statutes of the Most High,
But as smoke shall they pass away.
7 And we meditate on the beauty of their gracefulness,
Though they have to do with pollutions,
But as grass that withers shall they fade away.
8 And we consider the strength of their cruelty,
Though they remember not the end (thereof),
But as a wave that passes shall they be broken.
9 And we remark the boastfulness of their might,
Though they deny the beneficence of God, who gave (it) to them,
But they shall pass away as a passing cloud.
83 1 [For the Most High will assuredly hasten His times,
And He will assuredly bring on His hours.
2 And He will assuredly judge those who are in His world,
And will visit in truth all things by means of all their hidden works.
3 And He will assuredly examine the secret thoughts,
And that which is laid up in the secret chambers of all the members of mail.
And will make (them) manifest in the presence of all with reproof.
4 Let none therefore of these present things ascend into your hearts, but above all
let us be expectant, because that which is promised to us shall come. 5 And let us
not now look unto the delights of the Gentiles in the present, but let us remember
what has been promised to us in the end. 6 For the ends of the times and of the
seasons and whatsoever is with them shall assuredly pass by together. 7 The
consummation, moreover, of the age shall then show the great might of its ruler,
when all things come to judgment. 8 Do you therefore prepare your hearts for that
which before you believed, lest you come to be in bondage in both worlds, so that
you be led away captive here and be tormented there. 9 For that which exists now or
which has passed away, or which is to come, in all these things, neither is the evil
fully evil, nor again the good fully good.
10 For all healthinesses of this time are turning into diseases,
11 And all might of this time is turning into weakness,
And all the force of this time is turning into impotence,
12 And every energy of youth is turning into old age and consummation.
And every beauty of gracefulness of this time is turning faded and hateful,
13 And every proud dominion of the present is turning into humiliation and
14 And every praise of the glory of this time is turning into the shame of silence,
And every vain splendor and insolence of this time is turning into voiceless
15 And every delight and joy of this time is turning to worms and corruption,
16 And every clamor of the pride of this time is turning into dust and stillness.
17 And every possession of riches of this time is being turned into Sheol alone,
18 And all the rapine of passion of this time is turning into involuntary death,
And every passion of the lusts of this time is turning into a judgment of
19 And every artifice and craftiness of this time is turning into a proof of the
20 And every sweetness of unguents of this time is turning into judgment and
21 And every love of lying is turning to contumely through truth.
22 [Since therefore all these things are done now, does anyone think that they will
not be avenged? But the consummation of all things will come to the truth.]
84 Behold! I have therefore made known unto you (these things) whilst I live: for I
have said (it) that you should learn the things that are excellent; for the Mighty One
hath commanded me to instruct you: and I will set before you some of the
commandments of His judgment before I die. 2 Remember that formerly Moses
assuredly called heaven and earth to witness against you and said: 'If you transgress
the law you shall be dispersed, but if you keep it you shall be kept.' 3 And other
things also he used to say unto you when you the twelve tribes were together in the
desert. 4 And after his death you cast them away from you: on this account there
came upon you what had been predicted. 5 And now Moses used to tell you before
they befell you, and lo! they have befallen you: for you have forsaken the law. 6 Lo!
I also say unto you after you have suffered, that if you obey those things which have
been said unto you, you will receive from the Mighty One whatever has been laid up
and reserved for you. 7 Moreover, let this epistle be for a testimony between me
and you, that you may remember the commandments of the Mighty One, and that
also there may be to me a defense in the presence of Him who sent me. 8 And
remember you the law and Zion, and the holy land and your brethren, and the
covenant of your fathers, and forget not the festivals and the Sabbaths. And deliver
this epistle and the traditions of the law to your sons after you, as also your fathers
delivered (them) to you. 10 And at all times make request perseveringly and pray
diligently with your whole heart that the Mighty One may be reconciled to you, and
that He may not reckon the multitude of your sins, but remember the rectitude of
your fathers. 11 For if He judge us not according to the multitude of His mercies,
woe unto all us who are born.
85 1 [Know, moreover, that
In former times and in the generations of old our fathers had helpers,
Righteous men and holy prophets:
2 No more, we were in our own land
[And they helped us when we sinned],
Translation from the Syriac by R. H. Charles
The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1913) 2: 481‑524
Edited and adapted by George Lyons
Wesley Center for Applied Theology
at Northwest Nazarene University
© Copyright 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology
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