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Vulgar Latin Copy.
that were before thee, Days, as of a People that even from the Begin- were. ning.
5. For like us all that 5. For the Beginning is made in the World of this World hath alhath a Beginning, and ready appeared, and the an End, and the End End of it shall also apis manifest;
pear. 6. Even so the Times 6. And it shall be also of the Highest have known that these are the plain Beginnings,
Beginnings, in Times which the Most Wonders, and powerful High hath determined, Works; and Endings in that the Beginning, Effects, and Signs. which had not appeared,
appear with Powers, and Wonders, and the End shall be with Deeds, and Works, and
Signs. 7. And every one
7. And whosoever that shall be saved, and shall be saved, and eshall be able to escape by scape, and then fly from his Works, and by Faith [by] good Works, and whereby ye have be- the true Faith that is in lieved,
God. 8. He shall be pre
8. He shall be lefc served from the said Pe- behind in these Troubles rils, and shall see my which I have mentioned Salvation in my Land, before, defervedly, beand within
cause he saw my Salvation
M. WILLIAM WHISTON: 29 Vulgar Latin Copy.
for I have fanctified upon the Earth, and upthem for me from the on the Mountain of my Beginning.
Holiness, which I have sanctified from the Creation of the World.
Now the principal Events here foretold by the Prophet Esdras, as prior to, or accompanying the Restoration of the Jews, to go on with the former Numbers, are these
33. 44. That Truth, Wisdom, and Understanding should greatly fail among Men at this Time. 4 Ef.
That the Earth should be very barren of Faith, and that Infidelity should greatly prevail in the World. Ibid. Luke xviii. 8. Conftit. vi. 18.'
46. That, in Consequence of such Infidelity as is natural to suppose, Wickedness should be vastly encreas’d, beyond the Measure of former Ages ; that the Conduct of Life should be very rough, and uneasy, and without Guides to direct them better, 4 Efd. v. 2.
47. That Kings and Princes should be the Authors of great Disturbances to Mankind. Ibid.
48. That the Country of Perha in particular, under whose Government the Prophet Esdras lived, should at the Time here specified, be suddenly wasted by those Kings and Princes, as is naturally to be supposed, and be thereby made defolate. v. 3. 4 Efd. i. 3.
49. That very strange Signs should be then in the Sun, and the Moon; as to the Particulars whereof the two Copies, differ. The Vulgar Latin says, The Sun shall suddenly shine again in the Night, and the Moon thrice in the Day. The Arabick says, The Earth shall be troubled ; and the Sun shall appear on a sudden in the Night, and the Moon in one Day, Ibid.
50. Nay they differ also in the exact Determination of the Time for these Wonders. The Vulgar Latin puts it after a Third Trumpet, while no former Trumpets had been mentioned: And the Arabick, after Three foregoing Signs, without any nice Designation of the Times of such three Signs. These Differences cannot but leave these Matters doubtful: Since we have neither any parallel Texts, nor other Copies, than those two to consult upon this Occasion. Ibid.
51. That another strange Signal of these Times shall be, what is hence cited by Barnabas, in his Catholick Epistle, S. 12. that Blood should drop out of the Wood. Where also the Citation adds, what is here omitted in both our Copies; and so I do not make it a distinct Number, When the Wood sball bend down, and rise up again. Yet does so ancient and authentick a Citation highly deserve our Consideration in this place. See Authentick Records, Pag. 62, 63. Ibid.
52. Another strange Signal here is, that the Stone or Rock, or, as the Arabick Copy has it, more strangely, that the Light should give its Voice. v. 5.
53. Another Signal here is that the People fall be troubled; probably at such surprizing Appearances. Which is no ways incredible ; since it perfectly agrees with our Saviours own Parallel Prediction, belonging, I suppose, to the same Times, Upon the Earth shall be Distrefs of Nations, with Perplexity:
-Mens Hearts failing them for Fear, and for looking after those Things, which are coming on the Earth. Luke xxi. 25. 26.
54. Another Signal here specified is this, that a Person or a People, for the Copies differ, Mall rule, whom tbe Inhabitants of the Earth looked not for : Perhaps the Jews, or their Mefiah, or Subordinate Prince is thereby meant ; who, after their Restora. tion, or however, after their Conversion to Chrifti anity, shall certainly put down the wicked Rulers of the World, and fet up righteous Governors in their Stead. Ezek, xliv, 3.
55. Another Signal of these Times, but only in the Arabick, is chis, that, the Air shall be changed. v. 5.
56. Another Signal of these Times is this, That the Fowls fball remove from their old Places, and take their flight away together, to some other Place or Places. v. 6.
57. Another strange Signal is this, that The Sea of Sodom, or Lake Asphaltites shall produce living Fifb; and what, is still stranger, that these Fish which are naturally mute, shall lift up their Noise or Voice in the Night ; without being able to make Men sensible whence that Voice or Noise comes.
' This is very like to what is fortold in Ezekiel, to
happen after the Jews are restored, and their Temple rebuilt. Ezek. xlvii. 9, 10. It shall come to pass, that every Thing that liveth, which movetb, whitbersoever the River [of Life] fall come, shall live ; and there shall be a very great Multitude of Fish; because those Waters shall come thither ;. for they fall be healed; and every Thing fall live wbither the River cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the Fishers shall stand upon it, from Engedi, unto En-eglaim ; they shall be a Place to spread forth Nets; their Fis hall be according to their Kinds, as the Fish of the great Sea, exceeding many.
58. Another Signal of these Times is this, That there shall be confusion, or, as he Arabick has it, A Sluggishness, and Astonishment in many places, which seems to imply the like Perplexity that we have already noted under the (37) Observation already. v. 8.
59. Another Signal of these Times is this, That frequent Fires, or what resembles them, shall be fent upon tbe Earth, and surround its Inbabitants,
60. Another Signal of these Times is this, That the wild Beasts shall change their Places, as the Vulgar Latin has it ; or, as the Arabick explains it, The wild Beasts of the Princes fall remove from their Places. Which Designation of Tyrannical EmpeTors, Kings, and Princes, under the Names of wild Beasts is known to be the Language both of the Old and New Testament, and is exactly suited to their Barbarity and Oppressions of Mankind. Dan.