2 Baruch 85:10

Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch

8 Again, moreover, the Most High also is long-suffering towards us here, And He hath shown to us that which is to be, And hath not concealed from us what will befall in the end. 9 Before therefore judgement exact its own, And truth that which is its due, Let us prepare our soul That we may possess, and not be taken possession of, And that we may hope and not be put to shame, And that we may rest with our fathers, and not be tormented with our enemies. 10 For the youth of the world is past, And the strength of the creation already exhausted, And the advent of the times is very short, Yea, they have passed by; And the pitcher is near to the cistern, And the ship to the port, And the course of the journey to the city, And life to (its) consummation. 11 And again prepare your souls, so that when ye sail and ascend from the ship ye may have rest and not be condemned when ye depart.

4 Ezra 5:55

2 Esdras

51 He replied, ‘Ask any mother why the children she has lately borne are not like those born earlier, but smaller. And she will tell you, 52 “Those who were born in the vigor of my youth are very different from those born in my old age, when my womb is beginning to fail.” 53 Think of it then like this: if you are smaller than those born before you, 54 and those who follow you are smaller still, 55 the reason is that creation is growing old and losing the strength of youth. 56 I said to him, ‘If I have won your favor, my lord, show me through whom you will visit your creation.’

 Notes and References

"... The maternal metaphor is extended from the earth to the creation as a whole in a later series of analogies in 4 Ezra. After establishing that a woman’s womb cannot produce ten children at one time, Uriel concludes: “Even so I have made the earth a womb for those who from time to time come forth on it. For as an infant does not bring forth, and a woman who has become old does not bring forth any longer, so I have organized the world that I created” (5:48–49). Ezra then inquires if “our mother” is approaching old age (5:50). Uriel answers that just as “those born in the strength of youth are different from those born in the time of old age, when the womb is failing” (5:53), Ezra should consider that he and his contemporaries are smaller than people in the past, “and those who come after you will be smaller than you, as if born of a creation that already is aging and passing the strength of youth” (5:55). A similar formulation is found in 2 Baruch 85:10, “For the youth of the world has passed, and the strength of creation is already consumed.” In 4 Ezra, however, the decay or corruptibility of creation is likened not simply to the human life cycle, but specifically to declining female reproductive potential. Thus, when Paul imagines the creation as a woman in labor, it is not surprising that he should also describe it as “subjected to futility” (Rom 8:20) and hoping to be set free from its “slavery to corruption” (8:21, my translation) ..."

Hogan, Karina M. "The Apocalyptic Eschatology of Romans" in Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (ed.) The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought (pp. 155-174) Fortress Press, 2017

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