sifra dehezwanáyyeyh dešim`on bar qlofah
ha-séifer ha-chazoney shim`on ben qlofas
(THE BOOK OF THE VISIONS OF SIMON SON OF CLOPHAS)
1. 1A vision of Shim`on son of Qlofas, which God gave him so that he could show God’s servants what is due to take place very soon. YHVH announced these things by sending His angel to His servant Shim`on, 2who bears witness to the word of God in all the things he saw. 3How fortunate is the one who reads these words of prophecy, and those who hear them, and abide by the words written in here; 4for they shall be forewarned of the coming desolation, and will know what needs to be done – 5each man with his family, and each one with his brothers and sisters; for the day of which the prophets Yochanan and Yeshua` spoke is almost upon us.
2. 1And in my vision I heard a great voice, as loud as a long shofar, saying, ‘What you see, write on a scroll!’
2So I looked up, and I beheld something like a throne standing in heaven, and there was something sitting on the throne. 3And the One sitting there had no form or shape, but was similar in appearance to a red semi-precious stone – to jasper or carnelian. 4It had the semblance of fire round about and within it, like hot molten metal. I could not see anything but the intensity of its fiery radiance, for the One was surrounded by brilliant light. 5There was also a rainbow encircling the throne, similar in lustre to an emerald.
6All around the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and sitting on the thrones were twenty-four priestly elders. They were clothed in white robes, and on their heads they had golden headbands.
7And from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. There were seven beacons of fire in front of the throne; these are the seven archangels of God’s Presence.
8Also in front of the throne there was something like a sea of glass, as clear as crystal. In the centre, supporting the throne, were four living creatures. They were covered with eyes, both front and back. 9Each of these heralds had four wings, with one pair from each touching the other.
10The first living creature was similar to a lion, the second living creature was similar to a young bull, the third living creature had a face similar to a human being, and the fourth living creature was similar to a flying eagle. 11From inside they shone full of eyes, dancing within them like burning coals of fire.
12Now as I beheld the living creatures I saw four wheels, each beside one of the four living creatures with their different faces. 13And wherever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures went up, the wheels were lifted up as well, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 14The appearance of the wheels was something similar to green beryl, and all four had the same structure. In form, each was something similar to a wheel intersected by another wheel. 15As for their rims, they were full of eyes like burning coals, moving and dancing about and within them.
16In addition to the four living creatures, and the wheel-angels, there were other beings of blazing copper – similar in form to huge flying serpents – who also surrounded the throne in unceasing attendance on God. 17Each had six wings around them; with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their loins, and with two they flew. 18Day and night they never rested from calling out to each other, saying:
“Holier than the holiest holiness is YHVH, God of the heavenly battalions;
His glory fills all of heaven, as well as the whole of the earth!”
19Whenever these fire-angels gave glory, honour and thanks to the One who sat on the throne – who was, is and ever shall be – 20the twenty-four elders fell down before the One who sat on the throne; they worshipped the One who lives for ever and ever. They would throw their golden headbands in front of the throne and say:
21“You are worthy, our Sovereign and our God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for You created all things,
and through Your will they came into being
and were created.”
3. 1After seeing these things, I caught sight of a door standing open in heaven. I heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a long shofar, saying, ‘I will show you what is due to take place in the future.’
2So in my vision I went and stood on the shore of the Great Sea. And I saw a monster coming up out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten coronets on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
3The sea-monster I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear, and its mouth was like that of a lion. Then a giant red river-monster gave the sea-monster his power and his throne and great authority.
4One of the heads of the sea-monster seemed to have been slain and killed, but its fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the sea-monster.
5They worshipped the river-monster because he had given authority to the sea-monster, and they also worshipped the sea-monster, saying, ‘Who is like the sea-monster? Who is able to wage war against him?’
6The sea-monster was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies, and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.
7He opened his mouth to blaspheme God Most High, and to slander His name, His dwelling-place and those who dwell in heaven.
8The sea-monster was given power to make war against the holy ones and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
9All the inhabitants of the world will worship the sea-monster – all those whose names have not been written in the Scroll of Life since the time when the Universe was founded.
10He who has an ear, let him hear:
11‘If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to die by the sword, by the sword he will die.’
This is where the trials of endurance and faith lie for the holy ones.
12Then I saw another monster, coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like an ox, but he spoke like a river-monster. 13He exercised all the authority of the first monster on his behalf, and made the Land and its inhabitants worship the head of the first monster, the one whose fatal wound had been healed.
14And he performed wondrous signs, even causing fire to rain down on the Land from the sky in full sight of everyone.
15Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first monster, he deceived the inhabitants of the Land. He ordered the inhabitants of the Land to make a statue in honour of the sea-monster – of the head that was killed by a sword-stroke and lived again.
16He was given power to breathe life into the statue of the head of the sea-monster, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the statue to be killed.
17He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a stamped mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 18so that no-one could buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the head of the sea-monster or the number of its name.
19This calls for some discernment. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the head of the sea-monster, for it is the number of a man’s name. The number of its name comes to six hundred and sixty-six.
4. 1Then after all these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the Land, holding back the four winds of the earth, in order to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or the sea or against any tree.
2Then I saw another angel going up from where the Sun rises, holding the stamp of the living God. It cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given the task of bringing ruin on the Land and the sea, saying:
3’Do not harm the Land or the sea or the trees until we have put a stamped mark on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’
4Then I heard the number of those who were marked: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel and Judah.
5From the tribe of Y’hudah, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Binyamin, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Shim`on, 12,000 were marked;
6from the tribe of L’vi, 12,000 were marked;
from the half-tribes of Efrayim and Manasseh, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Re’uvein, 12,000 were marked;
7from the tribe of Dan, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Naftali, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Gad, 12,000 were marked;
8from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 were marked;
from the tribe of Yissakhar, 12,000 were marked;
and from the tribe of Zvulun, 12,000 were marked.
5. 1Then a great sign appeared in the sky: a woman enrobed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2And being pregnant she cried out in labour, straining to give birth.
3Then another sign appeared in the sky: it was the giant red river-monster with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven coronets. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. Then the river-monster stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child as soon as she gave birth.
5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who would have God’s favour – such that, if he were to ask it, God would give him all the nations to rule with an iron sceptre. 6The woman fled beyond the river with her child into the desert, to a place prepared for her by God, where she and her child would be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7Then at that time a war broke out in the sky. Mikha’eil made war against the eagle-dragon, and the eagle-dragon fought back. 8But the eagle-dragon was not strong enough; there was no longer any place for him in the sky. 9So the giant eagle-dragon was confined to the Land.
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying:
‘Now have the salvation, the power,
and the kingdom of our God come about,
For the accuser of our sister Israel,
who accuses her before our God day and night,
has been rebuked.
11She won her case against him by the word of her testimony;
she did not cling to life in the face of death.
12Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But as for you O Land, despair!
Because the eagle-dragon has been confined to you!
He is filled with great rage,
because he knows his time is short.’
13When the eagle-dragon saw that he had been confined to the Land, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert beyond the river, where she and her child would be taken care of for a season – twice for half a season – out of the eagle-dragon’s reach.
15Then the eagle-dragon spewed water from his mouth like a river, in an attempt to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.
16But the Land helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the eagle-dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
17Then the eagle-dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her children – those who keep God’s commandments.
6. 1After this I looked up and saw a huge crowd which no one could count – men and women from every tribe, now scattered among every nation and race, people and language. They stood before the throne of the living God, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
2They shouted out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Sing “Hosanna!” to our God, who is seated on the throne of heaven!’
3All the angels who were standing around the throne, surrounding twenty-four priestly elders and the four living creatures, touched their foreheads to the ground before the throne, and bowed in worship to God. 4They said,
‘Blessed be YHVH of the heavenly battalions! Amein!
All praise, glory and wisdom, all thanksgiving and honour,
and all power and might belong to our God
forever and ever! Amein!’
5Then one of the elders responded, and said to me, ‘These people dressed in white robes – do you know who they are, and where they have come from?’
6But I said to him, ‘My lord, you already know the answer.’
So he said to me, ‘These are the holy ones who are going to go through the great tribulation. Their robes have been washed and made white in the fire of the trials they will endure. 7Because of this, they will come before God’s throne; day and night they will minister to Him in His Temple, and the One who is sitting upon the throne will spread His tent over them. 8Never again will they know hunger or thirst; no more will the Sun or its heat beat down on them. 9For Sovereign YHVH, who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them – He will lead them to living springs of water. 10YHVH our God will shelter them forever, and wipe every tear from their eye.’
7. 1Then an angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. It was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the golden altar before YHVH’s throne. 2The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the holy ones, went up from the angel’s hand into God’s presence. 3Then the angel took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the altar, and hurled it upon the Land; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
4Then seven angels with seven shofars prepared to sound them.
5When the first angel sounded its shofar, there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the Land. A third of the Land was burned up, a third of its trees were burned up, and all its green grass was burned up.
6When the second angel sounded its shofar, something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 7a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
8When the third angel sounded its shofar, a great star, blazing like a beacon, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 9The name of the star is ‘Wormwood’. A third of the waters became as bitter as wormwood, and many people died from the waters because they had been made bitter.
10When the fourth angel sounded its shofar, a third of the Sun was struck, a third of the Moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and similarly the night.
11As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in mid-air call out in a loud voice: ‘Ruined! Ruined! Ruined are the inhabitants of the Land, because of the shofar blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!’
8. 1When the fifth angel sounded its shofar, I saw a star descending to the earth. The star was given the key for the doorway to the Outer Darkness. 2It was told to open the doorway, and smoke came out of it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke coming from the doorway.
3And out of the smoke came locusts upon the Land, and were given the same power as the scorpions of the earth.
4They were told not to harm the grass of the Land or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the stamped mark of God on their foreheads. 5They were given instructions not to kill them, but to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes someone.
6During those days people will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of chariots and many horses rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months; 11and they had the angel of death to lead them, whose name is Destroyer.
12The first tribulation has past; but look, there are still two more tribulations to come.
9. 1When the sixth angel sounded its shofar, I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 2It said to the sixth angel who had the shofar, ‘Release the four angels who are held back at the great river Euphrates’.
3And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day, and month and year, were released to kill a third of our people. 4The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million; I heard their number.
5The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: their breastplates were fiery red, orange like jacinth, and yellow like sulphur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulphur.
6A third of our people were killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur that came out of their mouths; 7for the powers of the horses were in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
8The rest of our people – those who were not killed by these plagues – still did not repent of the work of their hands, the idols they had made; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold and silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 9Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic potions, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
10. 1Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven. It was clothed in cloud, with a rainbow above its head; its face was like the Sun, and its legs were like fiery pillars.
2It was holding a small scroll, which lay unfurled in its hand. It planted its right foot on the sea and its left foot on the land, 3and it gave a loud shout just like the roar of a lion. When it shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.
4And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down’.
5Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised its right hand to heaven. 6And it swore by the One who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay! 7But come the day for the seventh angel’s turn – when it is about to sound its shofar – God’s mystical plan will be completed, just as He announced to His servants the prophets’.
11. 1Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, ‘Go up and measure the Temple of YHVH and the altar, and count the worshippers there. 2But exclude the outer court of the Temple; do not measure it, because it has been given over to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
3And I will commission my two witnesses. They will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Sovereign of the earth. 5And if anyone should try to harm them, fire will come out from their mouths and devour their enemies. This is how anyone who might want to harm them is sure to be killed. 6These men have the authority to shut up the sky so that no rain may fall during the time they are prophesying; and they have the authority to turn water into blood, and to strike the Land with every kind of plague as often as they wish.
7Now when they have finished their testimony, the bull-monster that came up out of the earth will wage war against them; he will overpower them and kill them. 8So their bodies will lie in the main street of the great city, which is figuratively called ‘Sodom and Egypt’.
9For three and a half days men and women from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on them, and will not permit their bodies to be placed in a tomb. 10The inhabitants of the land will rejoice over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented the inhabitants of the land.
11But after those three and a half days, the breath of life which comes from God returned to them. When they stood on their feet, an awful terror gripped those who saw them.
12Then the two prophets heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here!’ So they were taken up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.
13At that moment there was a violent earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell in ruins. Seven thousand people were killed during the earthquake; the rest were so terrified that they worshipped YHVH, God of heaven and earth.
14That was the second tribulation; but the third tribulation will follow soon after.
12. 1Then I looked up and beheld a white cloud. And sitting on the cloud was one like a human being, with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
2Then I saw the Temple in heaven, and an angel came out of the Sanctuary and called out in a loud voice to the one who was sitting on the cloud, saying, ‘Put forth your sickle and reap the good harvest, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the Land is fully ripe’.
3So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the Land, and behold, the bounty of the Land was harvested.
4Then another angel came out of the Temple in heaven; it too had a sharp sickle.
5Yet another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and cried out in a loud voice to the angel who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Put forth your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the vineyards of the Land, because their grapes are just ripe’.
6So the angel swung out its sickle all over the Land, gathering its bitter vintage, and threw it into the great winepress of God’s wrath.
7They were trampled in the winepress outside the city walls, and blood flowed out of the winepress, rising as high as a horse’s bridle for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
13. 1But then I looked, and before me was the throne of God on the backs of the four living creatures astride the wheel-angels, together with the seven archangels, the fire-angels and priestly elders – all the celestial beings of the heavenly court – standing on Mount Zion, and with them the 144,000 who had the name of YHVH written on their foreheads.
2Then I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of crashing waves – like loud peals of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3And they sang something like a new song before the throne and the heavenly court. No-one was able to learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the Land, and brought to dwell eternally before the throne of God.
4These are those who did not pollute themselves with unclean ways, for they kept themselves pure. They followed the throne wherever it went. They were harvested from the harvest of the Land, and offered as the choicest firstfruits to God. 5No falsehood was found in their mouths; they stand blameless before the throne of God.
14. 1Then the angel who had been showing me these things said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. Sovereign YHVH, the God who speaks through the prophets, sent His angel to show his servants the things that must take place very soon.
2“Look, I am coming soon!” says YHVH; how fortunate therefore will be those who heed the prophetic words in this scroll.’
3I, Shim`on, am the one who heard and beheld these things. And after I had heard and seen these things, I fell down to pay homage at the feet of the angel who had been showing me these things.
4But it said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow-servant with you, and with your brothers and sisters the prophets, and of all those who heed the words of this book. Worship God alone!’ 5Then it told me, ‘Do not hide away the prophetic words of this scroll, for the time of which they speak is near. 6For the time being, let those who do wrong continue to do wrong; let those who are unclean continue to be unclean; let those who act justly continue to act justly; and let those who are holy continue to be holy.
7‘For this is what YHVH says, “Look, I am coming soon! And with Me, My wage scale is this: I will pay each one according to the work they have done. 8I am the Alef and the Tav; I was the First and I shall be the Last – I was the Beginning and I shall be the End.”
9‘How fortunate are those who have washed their robes in the fires of tribulation, for they will have the right to the tree of life, and shall enter through the gates into the heavenly city, 10but cruel people, drug-pedlars, pimps, murderers and idolaters, and everyone who enjoys and practises deceit shall be cast into the outer darkness.’
15. 1Then the seventh angel sounded its shofar; and there came loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The worldly kingdom has become the kingdom of YHVH, who reigns forever and ever.’
2Then the twenty-four elders who sit before God on their thrones, knelt and touched their foreheads to the ground, worshipping God, 3saying, ‘We thank you O YHVH, God of the heavenly battalions, who was, is and ever shall be, because you have taken up your great power and reign; 4You have shown your righteous anger against the Gentile nations who raged against the Land. The time has come for the wicked to be judged, to give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the holy ones, and to those who revere your Name in trembling awe – the small and the great – and to destroy those who are destroying the Land!’
5Then the Sanctuary of God opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His Sanctuary. There came flashes of lightning, rumbling noises, peals of thunders, an earthquake and huge hailstones.
16. 1And the voice that I had heard from heaven, again spoke to me and said, ‘Go and take the small scroll that is lying open in the hand of the seventh angel – the one who has been standing on the sea and on the land.’
2So I went up to the angel, and said to it, ‘Give me the small scroll.’ But it said to me, ‘Take it and eat it all up; it will make your stomach ache, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’
3So I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it up, and indeed it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it made my stomach ache.
4Then it said to me, ‘It is necessary for you to prophesy further – about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.’
17. 1Then one of the seven angels – one of those who had the seven shofars – came to me. It spoke with me and said, ‘Come here, and I will show you the judgment to be passed on the great prostitute, who dwells upon the many waters – 2the one with whom the kings of the earth have had intercourse, and who made the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her prostitution’.
3Then the angel carried me away in the vision to a wilderness. There I saw this woman; she was sitting on the scarlet river-monster that was covered with blasphemous names and that had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was robed in purple and scarlet, and was encrusted with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with the abominable and sordid filth of her prostitution. 5On her forehead was written this title – a cryptic one:
‘BABYLON THE TERRIBLE, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’.
6Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the holy ones. Having seen her, I marvelled at her with great astonishment.
7But the angel said to me, ‘Why are you astonished? I am going to tell you the meaning of the woman and of the river-monster that carries her – the one with the seven heads and ten horns. 8The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth, and the river-monster is the power of its rulers. 9The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received their authority to rule, 11and the waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.’
18. 1Then the powerful angel, whose face was like the Sun, picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone. He threw it into the sea and said, ‘With violence such as this will the great city of Babylon be thrown down, her imperial power never to be found again. 2For within her city walls, the blood of prophets and holy ones was found, and of all those who were killed in the Land.
3’Therefore, the days will come when the music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will not be heard in her. No craftsman of any trade will be found in her. Nor will the sound of a single millstone be heard in her. 4No light from any lamp will shine in her, nor will the voices of bridegrooms or brides be heard in her. Her merchants were the world’s great men; because by her magic spell all the Gentile nations were led astray.’
19. 1Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, and it had YHVH’s eternal salvation to proclaim to those who dwell on earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. 2It said in a loud voice, ‘Revere YHVH in awe and give Him praise, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the sky, the land, the sea and the springs of water’.
3A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Terrible, who made all the nations drink from the fierce wine of her sexual immorality!’
4A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the river-monster or his image, and receives his stamped mark on their forehead or on their hand, 5they too will drink of the wine of God’s righteous anger, which has been poured undiluted into the cup of His righteous fury. They will be examined relentlessly in the outer darkness in the presence of the holy angel. 6Their cries of anguish will rise up, and their time of testing will seem endless to them. There will be no rest day or night for those who worshipped the river-monster and his image, or for anyone who received the stamped mark of his name’.
7This is why there must be patient endurance on the part of the holy ones who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to YHVH.
8Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die from now on honouring YHVH’s Name – truly! For they will have rest from their labours, for their good works will follow them into light.’
20. 1After this I saw a fourth angel coming down from heaven. It had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by its splendour.
2With a powerful voice it shouted,
‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Terrible!
She has become a haunt for demons
and a cage for every evil spirit,
a cage for every unclean and detestable bird.
3For all the nations have drunk the fierce wine of her prostitution.
The kings of the earth had intercourse with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich on the
abundance of her offensive luxuries’.
4Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying:
‘Come out of her, My people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
nor receive a share in any of her punishments;
5for her sins are piled up to the sky,
and God has decided to act upon her crimes.
6Pay her back as she has paid others!
Pay her back double for what she has done!
Mix her a double portion from her own cup!
7Give her back as much torment and grief
equal in measure to the vainglory and riotous living
she indulged herself in.
In her heart she boasts,
“I sit as queen;
I am not a widow,
and I will never see grief.”
8Therefore because of this,
in one day her punishments will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be utterly consumed by fire,
for mighty is YHVH our God who judges her.’
9Then the kings of the earth will weep
and beat their chests in mourning over her –
those who had intercourse with her and lived riotously with her –
when they come to see the smoke of her funeral pyre.
10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“Despair! Despair, O great city!
O Babylon, you mighty city!
In one hour your judgment has come!”
11The sea-merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her,
because no-one will buy their cargoes any more –
12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls;
of fine linen, purple cloth, silk and scarlet cloth;
of every item of fragrant wood,
and every kind of article made of ivory,
and every kind of article made of expensive timber,
bronze, iron and marble;
13cargoes of cinnamon and cardamom;
of incense resins, perfume oils and frankincense;
of wine and olive oil, fine flour and wheat;
of cattle and sheep, horses and chariots;
of human bodies and souls.
14The heyday of her voracious appetite has long gone.
All her luxuries and splendours have utterly vanished;
she will never recover them again.”
15The sea-merchants who traded in these things and gained their wealth through her will stand far off, terrified at the torment inflicted on her. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out,
‘Ruined! Ruined, that great city,
who was attired in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
encrusted with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17In one hour such great wealth has been brought to utter ruin!’
Every ship’s captain, and all who travel at sea – the sailors, and all who earn their living at sea – will stand far off. 18When they see the smoke of her funeral pyre, they will yell out,
‘Was there ever a place to compare to this great city?’
19They will throw dust from the earth on their heads, and they will cry out, weeping and mourning, saying,
“Ruined! Ruined, that great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
For in one hour she has been brought to utter ruin!”
20Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, you holy ones and messengers and prophets! God has passed sentence in your favour against her.’
21. 1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd in heaven shouting:
‘Praise be to YHVH!
Salvation, glory, honour and power belong to YHVH our God,
2for true and just are His judgments.
He has condemned the terrible prostitute
who corrupted the earth through her sexual immorality;
He has avenged the blood of His servants who died by her hand.’
3And again they shouted:
‘Praise be to YHVH!
The smoke from her funeral pyre shall rise forever and ever.’
4The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
‘Amein! Praise be to YHVH!
5Then a voice near the throne called out, saying:
‘Praise YHVH, all you His servants,
you who revere Him in awe,
both small and great!’
6Then I heard what sounded like a huge crowd, like the roar of rushing water, and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
‘Praise be to YHVH!
For our God reigns,
YHVH of the heavenly battalions!
7Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
For the wedding procession has arrived,
and His bride has made herself ready.
8Fine linen, bright and pure, have been given her to wear.
9Happy are those who have been called to the wedding feast!’
22. 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the Great Sea was no longer there. 2And I, Shim`on, saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
‘See how God’s dwelling place is with His people! He will dwell among them, and they will be His people. YHVH Himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or sorrowful screams, nor will there be any more pain, for the things of former times have passed away.’
5And the One who was sitting on the throne said, ‘See how I am recreating everything over again.’ Then He said to me, ‘Write, because these words are trustworthy and truthful.’
6Then He said to me, ‘It has been completed! I am the Alef and the Tav; I was the Beginning, and I shall be the End; whoever is thirsty, I will give them water for free from the fountain of life; 7those who overcome their trials will inherit all this; I will be their God, and they will be My children. 8But for the mean, the treacherous, and those who worship idols; for murderers and the promiscuous; for those who trust in magic arts, idolaters, and all deceivers – their legacy is to be thrown into the outer darkness, to relive their deaths a second time.’
9Then one of the seven angels who blew the seven shofars came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride – the wife of YHVH of the Heavenly Battalions’. 10And it carried me away in spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a semi-precious stone, like jasper – as clear as crystal.
12It had an enormously high wall with twelve gates, with twelve angels at the gates. The gates had names written on them – those of the twelve Israelite tribes. 13There were three gates on the east side, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundations, on which were also inscribed the names of the twelve tribes.
15The angel who was speaking with me had a measuring rod of gold, so that it could measure the city, its gates and its wall. 16For the city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. The angel measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length; it was also as wide and high as it was long.
17Then it measured the city wall, and it was 144 cubits thick – by human measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall was composed of jasper, and the city of pure gold – its sheen like polished glass.
19The foundations of the city walls were studded with every kind of semi-precious stone. The first foundation was carnelian, the second topaz, the third emerald, the fourth turquoise, 20the fifth lapis lazuli, the sixth quartz, the seventh jacinth, the eighth agate, the ninth amethyst, the tenth chrysolite, the eleventh onyx, and the twelfth jasper.
21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The main street of the city was of pure gold, with a sheen like clear glass.
22I did not see a temple in the city, because YHVH our God of the Heavenly Battalions alone was its temple. 23Therefore the city did not need the Sun or the Moon to shine on it, for the glory of YHVH illuminated it. 24The Gentile nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their luxurious splendour up into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26The treasure and wealth of the Gentile nations will be brought up into it. 27But nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is idolatrous or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Scroll of Life.
23. 1Then the angel showed me a river of living water, as clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God 2down the middle of the main street of the city. On each side of the river stood a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit; according to each month, it gives up its fruit. But the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the Gentile nations.
3No longer will there be any curse of destruction. The throne of God will be in the city, and his servants will serve him; 4they will see His glory face to face, for His name will be on their foreheads.
5There will be no more night. They will no longer need the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, for the glory of YHVH their God will be their light above them. And they will reign for ever and ever.
24. 1I testify to all those hearing the prophetic words contained in this scroll: whoever adds their words to them, so shall God add to him the tribulations that have been described in this scroll. 2And if anyone takes away from the prophetic words contained in this scroll, God shall take his name away from the Scroll of Life; He shall take away his share in the heavenly city, and in the heavenly rewards described in this scroll.
3For whosoever divides the words of this book, so shall his descendents be divided in trouble and bitter strife; 4whosoever seeks to gain power over the House of Jacob by usurping the words of this book, so shall his descendents be corrupted by the very power they seek; just as they curse the people of God, the descendents of Jacob, so shall they be cursing themselves.
5And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, so shall peace and harmony be taken away from his descendents, and they will seek the light of understanding and never find it, knowing only confusion and disquiet. 6Instead of life and the fulfilment of God’s eternal plan, their hearts will dwell on death, calamity and destruction. They will do nothing while they yearn expectantly for an end which is never coming.
7But those who pay heed to the words of this book, and flee into the wilderness, they shall be saved. And those who bless the House of Jacob, they in turn shall be blessed; their names shall have renown in the earth, and their heavenly treasure shall be great.
TABLE OF SOURCES
The majority of verses are taken from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. However, the vision of heaven in passage 2 is augmented by information from the visions of heaven in Ezekiel chapter 1, Isaiah 6 and Daniel 7. In Revelation, the writer has strangely got details of the chayyot/kheruvim (living creatures/cherubim) mixed up with the ofanim (wheel-angels) and the serafim (fire-angels); in the Book of Visions, the details have been corrected and separated out using the details from the books of the Prophets.
The Ebionite visions in the Book of Revelation are threefold:
Rev 7-14 - The siege and destruction of Jerusalem; advice urging the escape of Followers to the TransJordan
Rev 17-19 - The punishment of Rome, and her eventual fall
Rev 20-21 - The fulfilment of God's Kingdom; the new Jerusalem, the glory of God shining on earth; the reward of the righteous who died in the tribulation.
They therefore form the 3 separate visions in the Book of Visions.
The following chapters from the Book of Revelation were not included in the Book of Visions; they are overtly Christian in nature. Also, the test of negative prophecy in Jewish culture is that it comes true in the lifetime of its audience; the apocalyptic events against the whole human race never happened within the lifetime of its original audience.
© Shmu’eil ben Naftali
(International Talmidi Version,
Original Edition March 1992;
Revised translation December 2010).