2 Esdras 15 Common English Bible (CEB)
A Christian addition
15 [a] Look here, speak in my people’s ears the words of the prophecy that I place in your mouth, says the Lord. 2 See to it that they are written down on paper, because they are reliable and true. 3 Don’t be afraid of conspiracies against you, and don’t be confused by what unbelievers say, 4 because every unbeliever will die in his unbelief.
5 Look, I am bringing disasters over the whole earth—the sword, hunger, death, and destruction, says the Lord, 6 because wickedness has covered the whole earth, and their deeds are complete. 7 Therefore, says the Lord, 8 I will no longer be silent about their wicked deeds, which they do in their godlessness, nor will I tolerate any longer the things they do wickedly. Look, innocent and righteous blood calls out to me, and the souls of the just cry out constantly. 9 I will surely avenge them, says the Lord, and I will receive all their innocent blood to myself.
10 Look, my people are led like sheep to slaughter. I will no longer permit them to live in the land of Egypt, 11 but I will bring them out with a great display of my power,[b] and I will strike Egypt with plagues as before, and I will destroy all its land.
12 Let Egypt howl from its very foundations because of the plague of beating and punishment inflicted by the Lord. 13 Let the farmers who work the ground howl, because they won’t have enough seed, and their trees will be devastated by blight, hail, and terrible storms. 14 How terrible it will be for the world and those who live in it! 15 The sword and distress draw near, and nation will rise against nation to fight with spears in their hands.
16 Human beings won’t be able to trust each other. As they grow strong against each other, they will pay no respect to their king or to the powerful chief of their great men. 17 Someone will want to go into the city and won’t be able. 18 Cities will be thrown into confusion because of their pride. Houses will be destroyed;[c] people will be afraid. 19 People will have no mercy on their neighbors. They will cause their neighbors trouble by breaking into their houses with swords, to pillage their property, because they are hungry for bread and in great distress.
20 Look, says the Lord, I am calling together all the kings of the earth, those from the north and from the south, from the east and from Lebanon. I am stirring them up to make them return and restore whatever my people[d] gave them. 21 As they have done to my chosen ones even to this very day, so I will do to them: they will suffer full payback.[e] This is what the Lord God says: 22 My strong hand won’t spare sinners, nor will my sword stop fighting against those who spill innocent blood on earth. 23 God’s anger has gone forth like fire to devour the earth’s foundations and sinners like kindled straw. 24 How terrible it will be for those who sin and don’t keep my laws, says the Lord. 25 I won’t spare them. Go away, faithless children! Don’t defile my sanctuary!
26 God knows all who sin against him. Therefore, he will hand them over to death and slaughter. 27 Even now disasters have swept over the world, and you will have to endure them. God won’t deliver you because you sinned against him.
28 Look! A terrible sight is appearing from the east! 29 The nations of the serpents of Arabia will go out with many chariots. From the day they begin their journey, their hissing will echo over the earth so that all who hear them fear and tremble. 30 The Carmonians will go forth from the forest[f] in furious rage. They will come with great force and engage them in battle, and they will destroy part of the Assyrians’ land with their teeth. 31 After this, the serpents will remember their origin and become strong. They will turn, united in great strength, to pursue them. 32 Their enemies[g] will be confused and silent because of their power, and they will turn around and run away. 33 From the Assyrians’ land an enemy will attack them in an ambush and will kill one of them. Their army will fall into fear and terror and their kings into indecision.
34 Look! Angry storm clouds from the east and from the north to the south—their appearance is very terrible. 35 They will collide with each other and unleash a mighty tempest on the earth, their own tempest. Blood will flow as high as the belly of a horse, 36 a man’s thigh, and a camel’s hock because of their swords. Great fear and terror will be on earth. 37 Those who see that wrath will be horrified and seized by fear.
38 After this, the mighty clouds will be moved from the south and the north, and another portion from the west. 39 But the winds from the east will prevail and will stop them, together with the cloud it had stirred up in wrath. The tempest that was to cause destruction will be driven violently from the east to the west. 40 Great, angry storm clouds will be raised up so that they may destroy the whole earth and its inhabitants, and they will unleash over every high and lofty place a terrible tempest— 41 fire and hail, flying swords, and much water—so that all the fields and all the streams will be filled with the great quantity of those waters. 42 They will destroy cities, walls, mountains and hills, trees in the forests, grass in the meadows, and their grain. 43 They will proceed steadily to Babylon to destroy it. 44 They will come to it, surround it, and pour out their tempest and all their wrath over it. Dust and smoke will go up to heaven, and all around will mourn it. 45 Those who survive will serve those who destroyed it.
46 You, Asia—you who share in Babylon’s splendor and the glory of the mask it wears— 47 how terrible it will be for you, wretched one, because you have become like Babylon. You dressed up your daughters for sexual immorality, to please and take pride in your lovers, who have always lusted for you. 48 You have imitated that repulsive one in all her works and devices. Therefore, God says, 49 I will send disasters upon you—widowhood, poverty, hunger, sword, and disease—to desolate your houses, to bring you to devastation and death. 50 Your glorious strength will dry up like a flower when the heat that is sent against you rises. 51 Plagues will leave you weak and impoverished, wounded by whips, so that you can’t receive your powerful lovers. 52 Would I have been so jealous of you, says the Lord, 53 if you hadn’t constantly killed my chosen ones, rejoicing, clapping your hands, and talking about their deaths when you were drunk? 54 Make yourself beautiful! 55 The fee due a prostitute is in your lap. Because of this, you will get what’s coming to you. 56 As you will do to my chosen ones, says the Lord, so God will do to you and will give you over to disasters. 57 Your children will die of hunger, and you will fall by the sword. Your cities will be laid waste, and all your people will fall by the sword in the open field. 58 Those who are in the mountains will perish by hunger. They will be so hungry for bread and so thirsty for water that they will eat their own flesh and drink their own blood. 59 Already made miserable by the earlier disasters, you will come to suffer even more troubles. 60 As they return from Babylon, passersby will strike the repulsive city and will destroy her. They will destroy another portion of your glory and your land as they return from Babylon. 61 You will be mown down by them like hay, and they will come upon you like fire. 62 They will devour you and your cities, your land, and your mountains. They will burn all your forests and fruit-bearing trees with fire. 63 They will take your children captive, plunder your wealth, and put an end to your beautiful face.