1 And he answered me, saying, “The Most High has made this world for many, but the world to come for few.

2 “I shall tell you a parable, Ezra; just as when you ask the earth, it shall say to you, that it gives much clay from which earthen vessels are made, but little dust from which gold comes; even so is the course of this present world.

3 “There are many created, but few shall be saved.”

4 So I answered and said, “O my being, swallow down understanding, and devour wisdom.

5 “For you have come here against your desire, and against it you depart; for you no longer have but a short time to live.

6 “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, if You would allow Your servant, that we may pray before You, and You give us a seed to our heart, and tend to our understanding, that fruit may come from it; for how shall each man live who is corrupt, who bears the likeness of man?

7 “For You are alone, and we are all one workmanship of Your hands, as You have said.

8 “For when the body is formed in the mother’s womb, and You give it members, Your creation is preserved in fire and water, and nine months Your workmanship endures Your creation which is created in her.

9 “But that which keeps and is kept shall both be preserved; and when the time comes, the womb delivers up that which grew in it.

10 “For You have commanded from the members of the body, that is, out of the breasts, milk to be given, which is the fruit of the breasts,

11 so that what has been formed may be nourished for a time, till You lead it to Your kindness.

12 “You brought it up with Your righteousness, and instructed it in Your Law, and instructed it with Your Right-Ruling.

13 “And You shall put it to death as Your creation, and revive it as Your work.

14 “If therefore You destroy that which was formed with such great labour, it is easy to be appointed by Your command, that that which was made might be preserved.

15 “Now therefore, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, I shall speak; regarding mankind in general whom You know best; and regarding Your people, for whose sake I am grieved;

16 and for Your inheritance, for whose cause I mourn; and for Yisra’ĕl, for whom I am burdened; and for Ya’aqoḇ, for whose sake I am troubled.

17 “Therefore I shall begin to pray before You for myself and for them; for I see the fall of we who dwell in the land,

18 and I have heard the swiftness of the judgment to come.

19 “Therefore hear my voice, and understand my words, and I shall speak before You.” This is the beginning of the words of Ezra, before he was taken up: and I said,

20 “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, You who dwells forever, who sees from above that which is in the shamayim and in the air;

21 whose throne is beyond measure; whose esteem cannot be contained; before whom the hosts of messengers stand with trembling;

22 whose deeds are accompanied by wind and fire; whose Word is true, and whose words are forever; whose Command is strong, and Law reverent;

23 whose look dries up the depths, and whose wrath makes the mountains melt away; which the truth witnesses.

24 “O hear the prayer of Your servant, and listen to the petition of Your creation.

25 “For while I live I shall speak, and so long as I have understanding I shall answer.

26 “O do not look upon the sins of Your people; but on those who serve You in truth.

27 “Do not heed the wicked devices of the gentiles, but the desire of those who guard Your Witnesses in afflictions.

28 “Do not think upon those who have walked falsely before You; but remember those who have known Your reverence according to Your desire.

29 “Let it not be Your desire to destroy those who have lived like beasts; but to look upon those who have clearly taught Your Law.

30 “Do not be wroth with those who are deemed worse than beasts; but love those who always put their trust in Your righteousness and esteem.

31 “For we and our fathers languish of such sicknesses; but because of we sinners You shall be called kind.

32 “For if You have a desire to show favour upon us, You shall be called kind, namely by us, who have no works of righteousness.

33 “For the righteous, who have many good works laid up with You, shall receive reward for their own deeds.

34 “For what is mankind, that You should take displeasure in him; or what is a corruptible generation, that You should be so bitter toward it?

35 “For in truth there is no man among them who is born, except he who has done wickedly; and among the trustworthy there is none who has not done wrong.

36 “For in this, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, Your righteousness and Your goodness shall be declared, if You are kind to those who do not have the trust of good works.”

37 Then He answered me, and said, “Some matters you have spoken rightly, and according to your words it shall be.

38 “For indeed I shall not think upon the works of those who have sinned before death, before judgment, before destruction;

39 but I shall rejoice over the works of the righteous, and I shall also remember their sojournings, and the deliverance, and the reward, that they shall have.

40 “As I have spoken now, so it shall come to pass.

41 “For as the farmer sows much seed on the ground, and plants many trees, and yet that which is well sown in its season does not come up, neither does all that is planted take root; even so it is as those who are sown in the world; they shall not all be saved.”

42 I answered then and said, “If I have found favour, let me speak.

43 “As the farmer’s seed perishes, if it does not come up, and does not receive Your rain in due season; or if there is too much rain, and ruins it;

44 even so, mankind also perishes, who is formed with Your hands, and is called Your own likeness, because he is made like You, for whose sake You have made all, and likened him to the farmer’s seed.

45 “Do not be wroth with us but spare Your people, and show favour upon Your own inheritance; for You are kind to Your creation.”

46 Then He answered me, and said, “That which is present is for the present, and that which is to come for what is to come.

47 “For you come far short that you should be able to love My creation more than I; but I have often drawn near to you, and unto it, but never to the unrighteous.

48 “In this also you are praiseworthy before the Most High;

49 in that you have humbled yourself, as is proper, and have not judged yourself worthy to be much esteemed among the righteous.

50 “For many great hardships shall come upon those who dwell in the world in the latter days, because they have walked in great pride.

51 “But understand for yourself, and seek out the esteem of those who are like you.

52 “For to you paradise is opened, the tree of life is planted, the time to come is prepared, abundance is made ready, a city is built, and rest is given, even perfect goodness and wisdom.

53 “The root of evil is sealed up from you, sickness and the moth is hidden from you, and corruption has fled into She’ol to be forgotten;

54 sorrows have passed, and in the end the treasure of immortality is shown.

55 “And therefore ask no more questions concerning the multitude of those who perish;

56 for when they had received freedom, they despised the Most High, scorned His Law, and forsook His Ways.

57 “And they have trodden down His righteous ones,

58 and said in their heart, ‘There is no Elohim,’ and even knowing that they shall die.

59 “For as that which is spoken of shall receive you, so thirst and anguish are prepared for them; for it was not His desire that men should come to naught;

60 but those who are created have defiled the Name of He who made them, and were thankless to He who prepared life for them.

61 “And therefore My judgment is now at hand.

62 “I have not shown these matters to all men, but to you, and a few like you.” Then I answered and said,

63 “See, O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, now You have shown me the multitude of the wonders, which You shall begin to do in the last times; but You have not shown me at what time.”