1 And the messenger that was sent to me, whose name was Uri’ĕl, answered me

2 and said, “Your heart has gone too far regarding this world, and do you think to understand the way of the Most High?”

3 Then I said, “Yes, my master.” And he answered me, and said, “I have been sent to show you three ways, and to put forth three situations before you;

4 of which if you declare to me one, I shall also show you the way that you desire to see, and I shall show you from where the wicked heart comes.”

5 And I said, “Speak on, my master.” Then he said to me, “Go your way, weigh the weight of fire, or measure the blast of the wind, or recall the day that is past.”

6 Then I answered and said, “What man is able to do this, that you should ask such matters of me?”

7 And he said to me, “If I should ask you how many dwellings are in the midst of the sea, or how many springs are in the source of the deep, or how many fountains are above the expanse, or which are the exits of She’ol, or the entrances of paradise?

8 “However you might say to me, ‘I never went down into the deep, neither as yet into She’ol, nor did I ever climb up into the shamayim.’

9 “Nevertheless I have only asked you of the fire and wind, and of the day through which you have passed, and of that from which you cannot be separated, and yet, you give me no answer of them.”

10 He said further to me, “That which is your own, and what you have grown up with, you cannot know.

11 “How then should your mind be able to know the way of the Most High, and the world being now outwardly corrupted, to understand the corruption that is clearly in my sight?”

12 Then I said to him, “It would be better that we were not at all, than that we should still live in wickedness, and to suffer, and not to know why.”

13 He answered me, and said, “I went into a forest into a plain, and the trees took counsel

14 and said, ‘Come, let us go and fight against the sea that it may depart before us, and that we may make more forests.’

15 The floods of the sea also similarly took counsel, and said, ‘Come, let us go up and subdue the forests of the plain, that there also we may make ourselves more territory.”

16 The plan of the forest was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it.

17 The plan of the floods of the sea came likewise to naught, for the sand stood up and stopped them.

18 If you were judge now between these two, whom would you begin to declare right, or whom would you condemn?

19 I answered and said, “Truly it is a foolish thought that they have both devised, for the ground is given to the forest, and the sea also has its place to hold its floods.”

20 Then he answered me, and said, “You have given a right judgment, but why do you not judge yourself also?

21 “For as the ground is given to the forest, and the sea to its floods; even so those who dwell on the earth may understand naught but that which is on the earth; and He who dwells above the shamayim may only understand that which is above the height of the shamayim.”

22 Then I answered and said, “Please, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, let me have understanding.

23 “For it was not my thought to be curious of the ways above, but of such that pass by us daily, namely, why Yisra’ĕl is given up as a reproach to the gentiles, and for what cause the people whom You have loved are given over to wicked nations, and why the Law of our forefathers is brought to naught, and the written Covenants nullified?

24 “And we pass away out of the world as grasshoppers, and our life is astonishment and fear, and we are not worthy to obtain kindness.

25 “What shall He then do for His Name by which we are called? Of these matters I have asked.”

26 Then he answered me, and said, “The more you search, the more you shall marvel; for the world hastens to pass away,

27 and cannot understand that which is promised to the righteous in time to come; for this world is full of unrighteousness and sickness.

28 “But concerning that of which you ask me, I shall tell you; for the evil is sown, but its destruction has not yet come.

29 “If therefore that which is sown is not removed, and if the place where the evil is sown is not turned over, then it cannot become sown with good.

30 “For the grain of evil seed has been sown in the heart of Aḏam from the beginning, and how much wickedness has it produced to this time? And how much shall it yet bring forth until the time of threshing comes?

31 “Consider now for yourself, what great fruits of wickedness the grain of evil seed has brought forth.

32 “And when the heads are cut down, which are without number, how great a floor they shall fill!”

33 Then I answered and said, “How, and when shall these come to pass? Why are our years few and evil?”

34 And he answered me, saying, “Do not hasten more than the Most High; for it is worthless for your haste to be more than His, for you have over-exceeded.

35 “Did not the beings of the righteous also ask question of these in their rooms, saying, ‘How long shall I have expectancy in this way? When does the reward of our harvest come?’

36 “And to these Uri’ĕl the chief messenger answered them, and said, When the number of seeds has been filled in you; for He has weighed the world in the balance.

37 ‘By measure He has measured the times; and by number He has numbered the times; and He does not move nor stir them, until the said measure is filled.’ ”

38 Then I answered and said, “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 who reigns, we are all full of unrighteousness,

39 and possibly it is for our sake that the floors of the righteous are not filled, because of the sins of those who dwell on the earth!”

40 So he answered me, and said, “Go your way to a woman with child, and ask her when she has completed her nine months, if her womb may keep the birth any longer within her.”

41 Then I said, “No master, she cannot.” And he said to me, “The rooms of beings in the grave are like the womb of a woman;

42 for as a woman in childbirth hastens to escape the necessity of the childbirth; even so do these places hasten to deliver those who are entrusted to them.

43 “From the beginning, look, what you desire to see, it shall be shown you.”

44 Then I answered and said, “If I have found favour in Your sight, and if it is possible, and if I am able,

45 show me then whether there is more to come than is past, or more past than is to come.

46 “What is past I know, but what is to come I do not know.”

47 And he said to me, “Stand on the right, and I shall explain the parable to you.”

48 So I stood and looked, and see, a hot burning torch passed before me; and it came to be that when the flame had passed I looked, and see, the smoke still remained.

49 After this there passed before me a watery cloud, and sent down much rain with a storm; and when the stormy rain had passed, the drops still remained.

50 Then he said to me, “Consider for yourself; as the rain is more than the drops, and as the fire is greater than the smoke; so the quantity which is past is greater, but the drops and the smoke remained.”

51 Then I prayed, and said, “Do you think I shall live until that time? Or what shall come to be in those days?”

52 He answered me, and said, “As for the signs of which you ask me, I may tell you of them in part; but regarding your life, I am not sent to show you; for I do not know it.