THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
2 ESDRAS 3
1: In the thirtieth year after the ruin of the city I was in Babylon, and lay troubled upon my bed, and my thoughts came up over my heart:
2: For I saw the desolation of Sion, and the wealth of them that dwelt at Babylon.
3: And my spirit was sore moved, so that I began to speak words full of fear to the most High, and said,
4: O Lord, who bearest rule, thou spakest at the beginning, when thou didst plant the earth, and that thyself alone, and commandedst the people,
5: And gavest a body unto Adam without soul, which was the workmanship of thine hands, and didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before thee.
6: And thou leadest him into paradise, which thy right hand had planted, before ever the earth came forward.
7: And unto him thou gavest commandment to love thy way: which he transgressed, and immediately thou appointedst death in him and in his generations, of whom came nations, tribes, people, and kindreds, out of number.
8: And every people walked after their own will, and did wonderful things before thee, and despised thy commandments.
9: And again in process of time thou broughtest the flood upon those that dwelt in the world, and destroyedst them.
10: And it came to pass in every of them, that as death was to Adam, so was the flood to these.
11: Nevertheless one of them thou leftest, namely, Noah with his household, of whom came all righteous men.
12: And it happened, that when they that dwelt upon the earth began to multiply, and had gotten them many children, and were a great people, they began again to be more ungodly than the first.
13: Now when they lived so wickedly before thee, thou didst choose thee a man from among them, whose name was Abraham.
14: Him thou lovedst, and unto him only thou shewedst thy will:
15: And madest an everlasting covenant with him, promising him that thou wouldest never forsake his seed.
16: And unto him thou gavest Isaac, and unto Isaac also thou gavest Jacob and Esau. As for Jacob, thou didst choose him to thee, and put by Esau: and so Jacob became a great multitude.
17: And it came to pass, that when thou leadest his seed out of Egypt, thou broughtest them up to the mount Sinai.
18: And bowing the heavens, thou didst set fast the earth, movedst the whole world, and madest the depths to tremble, and troubledst the men of that age.
19: And thy glory went through four gates, of fire, and of earthquake, and of wind, and of cold; that thou mightest give the law unto the seed of Jacob, and diligence unto the generation of Israel.
20: And yet tookest thou not away from them a wicked heart, that thy law might bring forth fruit in them.
21: For the first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed, and was overcome; and so be all they that are born of him.
22: Thus infirmity was made permanent; and the law (also) in the heart of the people with the malignity of the root; so that the good departed away, and the evil abode still.
23: So the times passed away, and the years were brought to an end: then didst thou raise thee up a servant, called David:
24: Whom thou commandedst to build a city unto thy name, and to offer incense and oblations unto thee therein.
25: When this was done many years, then they that inhabited the city forsook thee,
26: And in all things did even as Adam and all his generations had done: for they also had a wicked heart:
27: And so thou gavest thy city over into the hands of thine enemies.
28: Are their deeds then any better that inhabit Babylon, that they should therefore have the dominion over Sion?
29: For when I came thither, and had seen impieties without number, then my soul saw many evildoers in this thirtieth year, so that my heart failed me.
30: For I have seen how thou sufferest them sinning, and hast spared wicked doers: and hast destroyed thy people, and hast preserved thine enemies, and hast not signified it.
31: I do not remember how this way may be left: Are they then of Babylon better than they of Sion?
32: Or is there any other people that knoweth thee beside Israel? or what generation hath so believed thy covenants as Jacob?
33: And yet their reward appeareth not, and their labour hath no fruit: for I have gone here and there through the heathen, and I see that they flow in wealth, and think not upon thy commandments.
34: Weigh thou therefore our wickedness now in the balance, and their's also that dwell the world; and so shall thy name no where be found but in Israel.
35: Or when was it that they which dwell upon the earth have not sinned in thy sight? or what people have so kept thy commandments?
36: Thou shalt find that Israel by name hath kept thy precepts; but not the heathen.