Apocalypse of Esdras – 05 Chapters 11 and 12
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
1 Then saw I a dream, and, behold, there came up from the sea an eagle, which had twelve feathered wings, and three heads.
2 And I saw, and, behold, she spread her wings over all the earth, and all the winds of the air blew on her, and were gathered together.
3 And I beheld, and out of her feathers there grew other contrary feathers; and they became little feathers and small.
4 But her heads were at rest: the head in the midst was greater than the other, yet rested it with the residue.
5 Moreover I beheld, and, lo, the eagle flew with her feathers, and reigned upon earth, and over them that dwelt therein.
6 And I saw that all things under heaven were subject unto her, and no man spake against her, no, not one creature upon earth.
7 And I beheld, and, lo, the eagle rose upon her talons, and spake to her feathers, saying,
8 Watch not all at once: sleep every one in his own place, and watch by course:
9 But let the heads be preserved for the last.
10 And I beheld, and, lo, the voice went not out of her heads, but from the midst of her body.
11 And I numbered her contrary feathers, and, behold, there were eight of them.
12 And I looked, and, behold, on the right side there arose one feather, and reigned over all the earth;
13 And so it was, that when it reigned, the end of it came, and the place thereof appeared no more: so the next following stood up. and reigned, and had a great time;
14 And it happened, that when it reigned, the end of it came also, like as the first, so that it appeared no more.
15 Then came there a voice unto it, and said,
16 Hear thou that hast borne rule over the earth so long: this I say unto thee, before thou beginnest to appear no more,
17 There shall none after thee attain unto thy time, neither unto the half thereof.
18 Then arose the third, and reigned as the other before, and appeared no more also.
19 So went it with all the residue one after another, as that every one reigned, and then appeared no more.
20 Then I beheld, and, lo, in process of time the feathers that followed stood up upon the right side, that they might rule also; and some of them ruled, but within a while they appeared no more:
21 For some of them were set up, but ruled not.
22 After this I looked, and, behold, the twelve feathers appeared no more, nor the two little feathers:
23 And there was no more upon the eagle's body, but three heads that rested, and six little wings.
24 Then saw I also that two little feathers divided themselves from the six, and remained under the head that was upon the right side: for the four continued in their place.
25 And I beheld, and, lo, the feathers that were under the wing thought to set up themselves and to have the rule.
26 And I beheld, and, lo, there was one set up, but shortly it appeared no more.
27 And the second was sooner away than the first.
28 And I beheld, and, lo, the two that remained thought also in themselves to reign:
29 And when they so thought, behold, there awaked one of the heads that were at rest, namely, it that was in the midst; for that was greater than the two other heads.
30 And then I saw that the two other heads were joined with it.
31 And, behold, the head was turned with them that were with it, and did eat up the two feathers under the wing that would have reigned.
32 But this head put the whole earth in fear, and bare rule in it over all those that dwelt upon the earth with much oppression; and it had the governance of the world more than all the wings that had been.
33 And after this I beheld, and, lo, the head that was in the midst suddenly appeared no more, like as the wings.
34 But there remained the two heads, which also in like sort ruled upon the earth, and over those that dwelt therein.
35 And I beheld, and, lo, the head upon the right side devoured it that was upon the left side.
36 Then I head a voice, which said unto me, Look before thee, and consider the thing that thou seest.
37 And I beheld, and lo, as it were a roaring lion chased out of the wood: and I saw that he sent out a man's voice unto the eagle, and said,
38 Hear thou, I will talk with thee, and the Highest shall say unto thee,
39 Art not thou it that remainest of the four beasts, whom I made to reign in my world, that the end of their times might come through them?
40 And the fourth came, and overcame all the beasts that were past, and had power over the world with great fearfulness, and over the whole compass of the earth with much wicked oppression; and so long time dwelt he upon the earth with deceit.
41 For the earth hast thou not judged with truth.
42 For thou hast afflicted the meek, thou hast hurt the peaceable, thou hast loved liars, and destroyed the dwellings of them that brought forth fruit, and hast cast down the walls of such as did thee no harm.
43 Therefore is thy wrongful dealing come up unto the Highest, and thy pride unto the Mighty.
44 The Highest also hath looked upon the proud times, and, behold, they are ended, and his abominations are fulfilled.
45 And therefore appear no more, thou eagle, nor thy horrible wings, nor thy wicked feathers nor thy malicious heads, nor thy hurtful claws, nor all thy vain body:
46 That all the earth may be refreshed, and may return, being delivered from thy violence, and that she may hope for the judgment and mercy of him that made her.
1 And it came to pass, whiles the lion spake these words unto the eagle, I saw,
2 And, behold, the head that remained and the four wings appeared no more, and the two went unto it and set themselves up to reign, and their kingdom was small, and full of uproar.
3 And I saw, and, behold, they appeared no more, and the whole body of the eagle was burnt so that the earth was in great fear: then awaked I out of the trouble and trance of my mind, and from great fear, and said unto my spirit,
4 Lo, this hast thou done unto me, in that thou searchest out the ways of the Highest.
5 Lo, yet am I weary in my mind, and very weak in my spirit; and little strength is there in me, for the great fear wherewith I was afflicted this night.
6 Therefore will I now beseech the Highest, that he will comfort me unto the end.
7 And I said, Lord that bearest rule, if I have found grace before thy sight, and if I am justified with thee before many others, and if my prayer indeed be come up before thy face;
8 Comfort me then, and shew me thy servant the interpretation and plain difference of this fearful vision, that thou mayest perfectly comfort my soul.
9 For thou hast judged me worthy to shew me the last times.
10 And he said unto me, This is the interpretation of the vision:
11 The eagle, whom thou sawest come up from the sea, is the kingdom which was seen in the vision of thy brother Daniel.
12 But it was not expounded unto him, therefore now I declare it unto thee.
13 Behold, the days will come, that there shall rise up a kingdom upon earth, and it shall be feared above all the kingdoms that were before it.
14 In the same shall twelve kings reign, one after another:
15 Whereof the second shall begin to reign, and shall have more time than any of the twelve.
16 And this do the twelve wings signify, which thou sawest.
17 As for the voice which thou heardest speak, and that thou sawest not to go out from the heads but from the midst of the body thereof, this is the interpretation:
18 That after the time of that kingdom there shall arise great strivings, and it shall stand in peril of failing: nevertheless it shall not then fall, but shall be restored again to his beginning.
19 And whereas thou sawest the eight small under feathers sticking to her wings, this is the interpretation:
20 That in him there shall arise eight kings, whose times shall be but small, and their years swift.
21 And two of them shall perish, the middle time approaching: four shall be kept until their end begin to approach: but two shall be kept unto the end.
22 And whereas thou sawest three heads resting, this is the interpretation:
23 In his last days shall the most High raise up three kingdoms, and renew many things therein, and they shall have the dominion of the earth,
24 And of those that dwell therein, with much oppression, above all those that were before them: therefore are they called the heads of the eagle.
25 For these are they that shall accomplish his wickedness, and that shall finish his last end.
26 And whereas thou sawest that the great head appeared no more, it signifieth that one of them shall die upon his bed, and yet with pain.
27 For the two that remain shall be slain with the sword.
28 For the sword of the one shall devour the other: but at the last shall he fall through the sword himself.
29 And whereas thou sawest two feathers under the wings passing over the head that is on the right side;
30 It signifieth that these are they, whom the Highest hath kept unto their end: this is the small kingdom and full of trouble, as thou sawest.
31 And the lion, whom thou sawest rising up out of the wood, and roaring, and speaking to the eagle, and rebuking her for her unrighteousness with all the words which thou hast heard;
32 This is the anointed, which the Highest hath kept for them and for their wickedness unto the end: he shall reprove them, and shall upbraid them with their cruelty.
33 For he shall set them before him alive in judgment, and shall rebuke them, and correct them.
34 For the rest of my people shall he deliver with mercy, those that have been pressed upon my borders, and he shall make them joyful until the coming of the day of judgment, whereof I have spoken unto thee from the beginning.
35 This is the dream that thou sawest, and these are the interpretations.
36 Thou only hast been meet to know this secret of the Highest.
37 Therefore write all these things that thou hast seen in a book, and hide them:
38 And teach them to the wise of the people, whose hearts thou knowest may comprehend and keep these secrets.
39 But wait thou here thyself yet seven days more, that it may be shewed thee, whatsoever it pleaseth the Highest to declare unto thee. And with that he went his way.
40 And it came to pass, when all the people saw that the seven days were past, and I not come again into the city, they gathered them all together, from the least unto the greatest, and came unto me, and said,
41 What have we offended thee? and what evil have we done against thee, that thou forsakest us, and sittest here in this place?
42 For of all the prophets thou only art left us, as a cluster of the vintage, and as a candle in a dark place, and as a haven or ship preserved from the tempest.
43 Are not the evils which are come to us sufficient?
44 If thou shalt forsake us, how much better had it been for us, if we also had been burned in the midst of Sion?
45 For we are not better than they that died there. And they wept with a loud voice. Then answered I them, and said,
46 Be of good comfort, O Israel; and be not heavy, thou house of Jacob:
47 For the Highest hath you in remembrance, and the Mighty hath not forgotten you in temptation.
48 As for me, I have not forsaken you, neither am I departed from you: but am come into this place, to pray for the desolation of Sion, and that I might seek mercy for the low estate of your sanctuary.
49 And now go your way home every man, and after these days will I come unto you.
50 So the people went their way into the city, like as I commanded them:
51 But I remained still in the field seven days, as the angel commanded me; and did eat only in those days of the flowers of the field, and had my meat of the herbs