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The Fate of the Ungodly

17 Then I answered and said, “O sovereign Lord, behold, thou hast ordained in thy law that the righteous shall inherit these things, but that the ungodly shall perish. 18 The righteous therefore can endure difficult circumstances while hoping for easier ones; but those who have done wickedly have suffered the difficult circumstances and will not see the easier ones.”

19 And he said to me, “You are not a better judge than God, or wiser than the Most High! 20 Let many perish who are now living, rather than that the law of God which is set before them be disregarded! 21 For God strictly commanded those who came into the world, when they came, what they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment. 22 Nevertheless they were not obedient, and spoke against him;

they devised for themselves vain thoughts,
23     and proposed to themselves wicked frauds;
they even declared that the Most High does not exist,
    and they ignored his ways!
24 They scorned his law,
    and denied his covenants;
they have been unfaithful to his statutes,
    and have not performed his works.

The Temporary Messianic Kingdom

25 “Therefore, Ezra, empty things are for the empty, and full things are for the full.

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Lamentation of Ezra, with Response

62 I replied and said, “O earth, what have you brought forth, if the mind is made out of the dust like the other created things! 63 For it would have been better if the dust itself had not been born, so that the mind might not have been made from it. 64 But now the mind grows with us, and therefore we are tormented, because we perish and know it. 65 Let the human race lament, but let the beasts of the field be glad; let all who have been born lament, but let the four-footed beasts and the flocks rejoice! 66 For it is much better with them than with us; for they do not look for a judgment, nor do they know of any torment or salvation promised to them after death. 67 For what does it profit us that we shall be preserved alive but cruelly tormented? 68 For all who have been born are involved in iniquities, and are full of sins and burdened with transgressions. 69 And if we were not to come into judgment after death, perhaps it would have been better for us.”

70 He answered me and said, “When the Most High made the world and Adam and all who have come from him, he first prepared the judgment and the things that pertain to the judgment. 71 And now understand from your own words, for you have said that the mind grows with us. 72 For this reason, therefore, those who dwell on earth shall be tormented, because though they had understanding they committed iniquity, and though they received the commandments they did not keep them, and though they obtained the law they dealt unfaithfully with what they received. 73 What, then, will they have to say in the judgment, or how will they answer in the last times? 74 For how long the time is that the Most High has been patient with those who inhabit the world, and not for their sake, but because of the times which he has foreordained!”

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