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Arabick Copy.

Days, as of a People that


5. For the Beginning of this World hath already appeared, and the End of it shall also appear.


6. And it fhall be known that these are the Times which the Moft High hath determined, the Beginning, which had not appeared, fhould appear with Powers, and Wonders, and the End fhall be with Deeds, and Works, and Signs.

7. And whofoever fhall be faved, and efcape, and then fly from [by] good Works, and the true Faith that is in


8. He fhall be left behind in these Troubles which I have mentioned before, defervedly, because he saw my Salvation for


Vulgar Latin Copy.

for I have fanctified them for me from the Beginning.

Arabick Copy.

upon the Earth, and upon the Mountain of my Holiness, which I have fanctified from the Creation of the World.

Now the principal Events here foretold by the Prophet Efdras, 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 fhould greatly fail among Men at this Time. 4 Ef.

V. I.

45. That the Earth should be very barren of Faith, and that Infidelity fhould greatly prevail in the World. Ibid. Luke xviii. 8. Conftit. vi. 18.

46. That, in Confequence of fuch Infidelity as is natural to fuppofe, Wickedness fhould be vastly encreas'd, beyond the Measure of former Ages; that the Conduct of Life fhould be very rough, and uneasy, and without Guides to direct them better. 4 Efd. v. 2.

47. That Kings and Princes fhould be the Authors of great Disturbances to Mankind. Ibid.

48. That the Country of Perfia in particular, under whofe Government the Prophet Efdras lived, fhould at the Time here fpecified, be fuddenly wafted 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 fhould be then in the Sun, and the Moon; as to the Particulars whereof the two Copies, differ. The Vulgar Latin fays, The Sun fball fuddenly fhine again in the Night, and the Moon thrice in the Day. The Arabick fays, The Earth fhall be troubled; and the Sun fhall appear on a fudden in the Night, and the Moon in one Day. Ibid.

50. Nay they differ alfo in the exact Determination of the Time for thefe 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 Defignation of the Times of fuch three Signs. These Differences cannot but leave these Matters doubtful: Since we have neither any parallel Texts, nor other Copies, than those two to confult upon this Occafion. Ibid.


51. That another ftrange Signal of thefe Times fhall be, what is hence cited by Barnabas, in his Catholick Epistle, §. 12. that Blood should drop out of the Wood. Where alfo the Citation adds, what is here omitted in both our Copies; and fo I do not make it a diftinct Number, When the Wood ball bend down, and rife up again. Yet does fo ancient and authentick a Citation highly deserve our Confideration in this Place. See Authentick Records, Pag. 62, 63. Ibid.

52. Another ftrange Signal here is, that the Stone or Rock, or, as the Arabick Copy has it, more ftrangely, that the Light fhould give its Voice. v. 5.

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53. Another Signal here is that the People fhall be troubled; probably at fuch furprizing Appearances. Which is no ways incredible; fince it perfectly agrees with our Saviours own Parallel Prediction, belonging, I fuppofe, to the fame Times, Upon the Earth fhall be Diftrefs 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 fpecified is this, that a Perfon or a People, for the Copies differ, fhall rule, whom the Inhabitants of the Earth looked not for: Perhaps the Jews, or their Meffiah, or Subordinate Prince is thereby meant; who, after their Restoration, or however, after their Conversion to Chriftianity, fhall certainly put down the wicked Rulers of the World, and fet up righteous Governors in their Stead. Ezek. xliv. 3.

55. Another Signal of thefe Times, but only in the Arabick, is this, that, the Air fhall be changed.

v. 5.

56. Another Signal of thefe Times is this, That the Fowls fhall remove from their old Places, and take their flight away together, to fome other Place or Places. v. 6.

57. Another ftrange Signal is this, that The Sea of Sodom, or Lake Afphaltites fhall produce living Fish; and what, is ftill ftranger, that these Fish which are naturally mute, fhall lift up their Noife or Voice in the Night; without being able to make Men fenfible whence that Voice or Noife 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 moveth, whither foever the River [of Life] fball come, shall live ; and there fhall be a very great Multitude of Fish; because thofe Waters fhall come thither; for they fhall be healed; and every Thing fball live whither the River cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the Fishers fhall stand upon it, from Engedi, unto En-eglaim; they shall be a Place to Spread forth Nets; their Fifh fhall be according to their Kinds, as the Fifh of the great Sea, exceeding many.

58. Another Signal of these Times is this, That there fhall be Confufion, or, as he Arabick has it, A Sluggishness, and Astonishment in many Places, which feems 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, fhall be Jent upon the Earth, and furround its Inhabitants. Ibid.

60. Another Signal of thefe Times is this, That the wild Beafts fhall change their Places, as the Vulgar Latin has it; or, as the Arabick explains it, The wild Beafts of the Princes fhall remove from their Places. Which Defignation of Tyrannical Emperors, Kings, and Princes, under the Names of wild Beafts is known to be the Language both of the Old and New Teftament, and is exactly fuited to their Barbarity and Oppreffions of Mankind. Dan.

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