The Book Of The Apocalypse Of Baruch The Son Of Neriah - 53—54 The Messiah Apocalypse
Type of Spiritual Experience
2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (used to distinguish it from the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch), is a Jewish text thought to have been written in the late 1st century AD or early 2nd century AD, after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. It is attributed to the biblical Baruch and so is associated with the Old Testament, but not regarded as scripture by Jews or by most Christian groups. It is included in some editions of the Peshitta, and is part of the Bible in the Syriac Orthodox tradition. It has 87 sections (chapters).
Chapters 53–74: describe a prophetic vision, whose meaning is explained by the angel Ramiel. A cloud which arises from the sea rains down twelve times, dark and bright waters alternately. This indicates the course of events from Adam to the Messiah. The six dark waters are the dominion of the godless—Adam, Ancient Egypt, Canaan, Jeroboam, Manasseh, and the Chaldeans. The six bright waters are Abraham, Moses, David, Hezekiah, Josiah, and the time of the Second Temple ("nevertheless, not fully as in the beginning").
After these twelve waters comes another water, still darker than the others and shot with fire, carrying annihilation in its wake. A bright flash puts an end to the fearful tempest. The dark cloud is the period between the time of the Second Temple and the advent of the Messiah; the latter event determines the dominion of the wicked, and inaugurates the era of eternal bliss.
A description of the experience
THE BOOK OF THE APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH THE SON OF NERIAH
53—54. THE MESSIAH APOCALYPSE
53. The Vision of the Cloud with black and white Waters
53 1 And when I had said these things I fell asleep there, and I saw a vision, and lo! a cloud was ascending from a very great sea, and I kept gazing upon it) and lo! it was full of waters white and black, and there were many colors in those self-same waters, and as it were the likeness of great lightning was seen at its summit.
2 And I saw the cloud passing swiftly in quick courses, and it covered all the earth.
3 And it came to pass after these things that that cloud began to pour upon the earth the waters that were in it.
4 And I saw that there was not one and the same likeness in the waters which descended from it.
5 For in the first beginning they were black and many (Or a time, and afterwards I saw that the waters became bright, but they were not many, and after these things again I saw black (waters), and after these things again bright, and again black and again bright.
6 Now this was done twelve times, but the black were always more numerous than the bright.
7 And it came to pass at the end of the cloud, that lo! it rained black waters, and they were darker than had been all those waters that were before, and fire was mingled with them, and where those waters descended, they wrought devastation and destruction.
8 And after these things I saw how that lightning which I had seen on the summit of the cloud, seized hold of it and hurled it to the earth.
9 Now that lightning shone exceedingly, so as to illuminate the whole earth, and it healed those regions where the last waters had descended and wrought devastation.
10 And it took hold of the whole earth, and had dominion over it.
11 And I saw after these things, and lo! twelve rivers were ascending from the sea, and they began to surround that lightning and to become subject to it.
12 And by reason of my fear I awoke.
55 1 And it came to pass when I had finished speaking the words of this prayer, that I sat there under a tree, that I might rest in the shade of the branches.
2 And I wondered and was astonished, and pondered in my thoughts regarding the multitude of goodness which sinners who are upon the earth have rejected, and regarding the great torment which they have despised, though they knew that they should be tormented because of the sin they had committed. And when I was pondering on these things and the like, lo! the angel Ramiel who presides over true visions was sent to me, and he said unto me:
4 'Why does your heart trouble you, Baruch, and why does your thought disturb you?
5 For if owing to the report which you have only heard of judgment you are so moved, What (wilt you be) when you shall see it manifestly with your eyes?
6 And if with the expectation wherewith you do expect the day of the Mighty One you are so overcome, What (wilt you be) when you shall come to its advent?
7 And, if at the word of the announcement of the torment of those who have done foolishly you are so wholly distraught, How much more when the event will reveal marvellous things?
8 And if you have heard tidings of the good and evil things which are then coming and are grieved, What (wilt you be) when you shall behold what the majesty will reveal, Which shall convict these and cause those to rejoice.'
56—74. Interpretation of the Vision. The black and bright Waters symbolize the World's History from Adam to the Advent of the Messiah.
56 1 'Nevertheless, because you have besought the Most High to reveal to you the interpretation of the vision which you have seen, I have been sent to tell you.
2 And the Mighty One hath assuredly made known to you the methods of the times that have passed, and of those that are destined to pass in His world from the beginning of its creation even unto its consummation, of those things which (are) deceit and of those which (are) in truth.
3 For as you did see a great cloud which ascended from the sea, and went and covered the earth, this is the duration of the world (= αιων) which the Mighty One made when he took counsel to make the world.
4 And it came to pass when the word had gone forth from His presence, that the duration of the world had come into being in a small degree, and was established according to the multitude of the intelligence of Him who sent it.
5 And as you did previously see on the summit of the cloud black waters which descended previously on the earth, this is the transgression wherewith Adam the first man transgressed.
6 For [since] when he transgressed
Untimely death came into being,
Grief was named
And anguish was prepared,
And pain was created,
And trouble consummated,
And disease began to be established,
And Sheol kept demanding that it should be renewed in blood,
And the begetting of children was brought about,
And the passion of parents produced,
And the greatness of humanity was humiliated,
And goodness languished..................................
68 1 'And the bright twelfth waters which you have seen: this is the word. For after these things time will come when your people shall fall into distress, so that they shall all run the risk of perishing together.
3 Nevertheless, they will be saved, and their enemies will fall in their presence.
4 And they will have in (due) time much joy.
5 And at that time after a little interval Zion will again be rebuilt, and its offerings will again be restored, and the priests will return to their ministry, and also the Gentiles will come to glorify it.
6 Nevertheless, not fully as in the beginning.
7 But it will come to pass after these things that there will be the fall of many nations.
8 These are the bright waters which you have seen.
69 1 'For the last waters which you have seen which were darker than all that were before them, those which were after the twelfth number, which were collected together, belong to the whole world.
2 For the Most High made division from the beginning, because He alone knows what will befall.
3 For as to the enormities and the impieties which should be wrought before Him, He foresaw six kinds of them.
4 And of the good works of the righteous which should be accomplished before Him, He foresaw six kinds of them, beyond those which He should work at the consummation of the age.
5 On his account there were not black waters with black, nor bright with bright; for it is the consummation.