1 And it came to pass upon the third day, I sat under an oak, and, behold, there came a voice out of a bush near me, and said, Esdras, Esdras. 2 And I said, Here am I, Lord. And I stood up upon my feet. 3 Then said he to me, In the bush I did manifestly reveal myself, and talked with Moses, when my people were in bondage in Egypt: 4 and I sent him, and*he led my people out of Egypt; and I brought him up to the mount of Sinai, where I held him by me for many days;5 and told him many wondrous things, and showed him the secrets of the times, and the end of the seasons; and commanded him, saying, 6 These words shall you publish openly, and these shall you hide. 7 And now I say to you, 8 Lay up in your heart the signs that I have showed, and the dreams that you have seen, and the interpretations which you have heard: 9 for you shall be taken away from men, and from henceforth you shall remain with my Son, and with such as be like you, until the times be ended. 10 For the world has lost its youth, and the times begin to wax old. 11 † For the world is divided into twelve parts, and ten parts of it are gone already,‡ even the half of the tenth part:12 and there remain of it two parts after the middle of the tenth part. 13 Now therefore set your house in order, and reprove your people, comfort the lowly among them,§ and instruct such of them as be wise, and now renounce the life that is corruptible, 14 and let go from the mortal thoughts, cast away from you the burdens of man, put off now your weak nature, 15 and lay aside the thoughts that are most grievous to you, and haste you to remove from these times. 16 For yet worse evils than those which you have seen happen shall be done hereafter. 17 For look, how much the world shall be weaker through age, so much the more shall evils increase upon those who dwell therein. 18 For the truth will withdraw itself further off, and falsehood will be hard at hand: for now hastens* the eagle to come, which you saw in vision.
19 Then answered I and said,† I will speak before you, O Lord. 20 Behold, I will go, as you have commanded me, and reprove the people that now be: but those who shall be born afterward, who shall admonish them? for the world is set in darkness, and those who dwell therein are without light. 21 For your law is burned, therefore no man knows the things that are done of you, or the works that shall be done. 22 But if I have found favor before you, send the Holy Spirit to me, and I shall write all that has been done in the world since the beginning, even the things that were written in your law, that men may be able to find the path, and that they which would live in the latter days may live. 23 And he answered me and said, Go your way, gather the people together, and say to them, that they seek you not for forty days. 24 But look you prepare you many tablets, and take with you Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ethanus, and Asiel, these five, which are ready to write swiftly; 25 and come here, and I shall light a lamp of understanding in your heart, which shall not be put out, till the things be ended which you shall write. 26 And when you have done, some things shall you publish openly, and some things shall you deliver in secret to the wise: tomorrow this hour shall you begin to write.
27 Then went I forth, as he commanded me, and gathered all the people together, and said, 28 Hear these words, O Israel. 29 Our fathers at the beginning were strangers in Egypt, and they were delivered from thence, 30 and received the law of life, which they kept not, which you° also have transgressed after them. 31 Then was‡ the land, even the land of Sion, given you for a possession: but you° yourselves, and your fathers, have done unrighteousness, and have not kept the ways which the Most High commanded you. 32 And forasmuch as he is a righteous judge, he took from you for a while the thing that he had given you.33 And now you° are here, and your kindred are among you. 34 Therefore if so be that you° will rule over your own understanding, and instruct your hearts, you° shall be kept alive, and after death you° shall obtain mercy.35 For after death shall the judgment come, when we shall live again: and then shall the names of the righteous be manifest, and the works of the ungodly shall be declared. 36 Let no man therefore come to me now, nor seek after me these forty days. 37 So I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we went forth into the field, and remained there. 38 And it came to pass on the next day that, behold, a voice called me, saying, Esdras, open your mouth, and drink what I give you to drink. 39 Then opened I my mouth, and, behold, there was reached to me a full cup, which was full as it were with water, but the color of it was like fire. 40 And I took it, and drank: and when I had drunk of it, my heart uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory: 41 and my mouth was opened, and shut no more. 42 The Most High gave understanding to the five men, and they wrote by course the things that were told them, in§characters which they knew not, and they sat forty days: now they wrote in the day-time, and at night they ate bread. 43 As for me, I spoke in the day, and by night I held not my tongue. 44 So in forty days were written* fourscore and fourteen books. 45 And it came to pass, when the forty days were fulfilled, that the Most High spoke to me, saying, The first that you have written publish openly, and let the worthy and unworthy read it: 46 but keep the seventy last, that you may deliver them to such as be wise among your people: 47 for in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge. 48 And I did so.