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Vengeance on the Wicked


Speak in the ears of my people the words of the prophecy that I will put in your mouth, says the Lord, 2and cause them to be written on paper; for they are trustworthy and true. 3Do not fear the plots against you, and do not be troubled by the unbelief of those who oppose you. 4For all unbelievers shall die in their unbelief.

5 Beware, says the Lord, I am bringing evils upon the world, the sword and famine, death and destruction, 6because iniquity has spread throughout every land, and their harmful doings have reached their limit. 7Therefore, says the Lord, 8I will be silent no longer concerning their ungodly acts that they impiously commit, neither will I tolerate their wicked practices. Innocent and righteous blood cries out to me, and the souls of the righteous cry out continually. 9I will surely avenge them, says the Lord, and will receive to myself all the innocent blood from among them. 10See, my people are being led like a flock to the slaughter; I will not allow them to live any longer in the land of Egypt, 11but I will bring them out with a mighty hand and with an uplifted arm, and will strike Egypt with plagues, as before, and will destroy all its land.

12 Let Egypt mourn, and its foundations, because of the plague of chastisement and castigation that the Lord will bring upon it. 13Let the farmers that till the ground mourn, because their seed shall fail to grow and their trees shall be ruined by blight and hail and by a terrible tempest. 14Alas for the world and for those who live in it! 15For the sword and misery draw near them, and nation shall rise up to fight against nation, with swords in their hands. 16For there shall be unrest among people; growing strong against one another, they shall in their might have no respect for their king or the chief of their leaders. 17For a person will desire to go into a city, and shall not be able to do so. 18Because of their pride the cities shall be in confusion, the houses shall be destroyed, and people shall be afraid. 19People shall have no pity for their neighbors, but shall make an assault upon their houses with the sword, and plunder their goods, because of hunger for bread and because of great tribulation.

20 See how I am calling together all the kings of the earth to turn to me, says God, from the rising sun and from the south, from the east and from Lebanon; to turn and repay what they have given them. 21Just as they have done to my elect until this day, so I will do, and will repay into their bosom. Thus says the Lord God: 22My right hand will not spare the sinners, and my sword will not cease from those who shed innocent blood on earth. 23And a fire went forth from his wrath, and consumed the foundations of the earth and the sinners, like burnt straw. 24Alas for those who sin and do not observe my commandments, says the Lord; 25I will not spare them. Depart, you faithless children! Do not pollute my sanctuary. 26For God knows all who sin against him; therefore he will hand them over to death and slaughter. 27Already calamities have come upon the whole earth, and you shall remain in them; God will not deliver you, because you have sinned against him.

A Terrifying Vision of Warfare

28 What a terrifying sight, appearing from the east! 29The nations of the dragons of Arabia shall come out with many chariots, and from the day that they set out, their hissing shall spread over the earth, so that all who hear them will fear and tremble. 30Also the Carmonians, raging in wrath, shall go forth like wild boars from the forest, and with great power they shall come and engage them in battle, and with their tusks they shall devastate a portion of the land of the Assyrians with their teeth. 31And then the dragons, remembering their origin, shall become still stronger; and if they combine in great power and turn to pursue them, 32then these shall be disorganized and silenced by their power, and shall turn and flee. 33And from the land of the Assyrians an enemy in ambush shall attack them and destroy one of them, and fear and trembling shall come upon their army, and indecision upon their kings.

Judgment on Babylon

34 See the clouds from the east, and from the north to the south! Their appearance is exceedingly threatening, full of wrath and storm. 35They shall clash against one another and shall pour out a heavy tempest on the earth, and their own tempest; and there shall be blood from the sword as high as a horse’s belly 36and a man’s thigh and a camel’s hock. 37And there shall be fear and great trembling on the earth; those who see that wrath shall be horror-stricken, and they shall be seized with trembling. 38After that, heavy storm clouds shall be stirred up from the south, and from the north, and another part from the west. 39But the winds from the east shall prevail over the cloud that was raised in wrath, and shall dispel it; and the tempest that was to cause destruction by the east wind shall be driven violently toward the south and west. 40Great and mighty clouds, full of wrath and tempest, shall rise and destroy all the earth and its inhabitants, and shall pour out upon every high and lofty place a terrible tempest, 41fire and hail and flying swords and floods of water, so that all the fields and all the streams shall be filled with the abundance of those waters. 42They shall destroy cities and walls, mountains and hills, trees of the forests, and grass of the meadows, and their grain. 43They shall go on steadily to Babylon and blot it out. 44They shall come to it and surround it; they shall pour out on it the tempest and all its fury; then the dust and smoke shall reach the sky, and all who are around it shall mourn for it. 45And those who survive shall serve those who have destroyed it.

Judgment on Asia

46 And you, Asia, who share in the splendor of Babylon and the glory of her person— 47woe to you, miserable wretch! For you have made yourself like her; you have decked out your daughters for prostitution to please and glory in your lovers, who have always lusted after you. 48You have imitated that hateful one in all her deeds and devices. Therefore God says, 49I will send evils upon you: widowhood, poverty, famine, sword, and pestilence, bringing ruin to your houses, bringing destruction and death. 50And the glory of your strength shall wither like a flower when the heat shall rise that is sent upon you. 51You shall be weakened like a wretched woman who is beaten and wounded, so that you cannot receive your mighty lovers. 52Would I have dealt with you so violently, says the Lord, 53if you had not killed my chosen people continually, exulting and clapping your hands and talking about their death when you were drunk?

54 Beautify your face! 55The reward of a prostitute is in your lap; therefore you shall receive your recompense. 56As you will do to my chosen people, says the Lord, so God will do to you, and will hand you over to adversities. 57Your children shall die of hunger, and you shall fall by the sword; your cities shall be wiped out, and all your people who are in the open country shall fall by the sword. 58Those who are in the mountains and highlands shall perish of hunger, and they shall eat their own flesh in hunger for bread and drink their own blood in thirst for water. 59Unhappy above all others, you shall come and suffer fresh miseries. 60As they pass by they shall crush the hateful city, and shall destroy a part of your land and abolish a portion of your glory, when they return from devastated Babylon. 61You shall be broken down by them like stubble, and they shall be like fire to you. 62They shall devour you and your cities, your land and your mountains; they shall burn with fire all your forests and your fruitful trees. 63They shall carry your children away captive, plunder your wealth, and mar the glory of your countenance.

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The commentary does not cover 2 Esdras 15.