Category Archives: Apocrypha

Apocrypha: The Angel Asks Three Riddles

Neat passage. ┬áLet me know your thoughts on the text … and on the Apocrypha.

A bushel of wind

2 Esdras 4:3-11

…The angel continued, “I have been sent to ask you to solve three riddles about what happens in this world. If you can explain even one of them to me, I will answer your questions about God’s ways and teach you why the human race has an evil impulse.”

“I agree, sir,” I said.

Then he said to me, “Good! How do you weigh out a pound of fire? How do you measure a bushel of wind? How do you bring back a day that has passed?”

I answered, “Why do you ask me such questions? No human being could answer them.”

Then he said, “What if I had asked you how many dwelling places there are at the bottom of the sea? How many rivers flow into the waters beneath the earth? How many rivers are there above the dome of the sky? Where are the exits from the world of the dead? Where are the entrances to Paradise? If I had asked you these questions, you might have answered, “I have never gone down into the waters beneath the earth, and I have not yet entered the world of the dead. I have never gone up to heaven.’ But all I have asked you about is fire, wind, and the day that has just passed – things that you have experienced. Yet you have given me no answer. You can’t even understand things that you have been familiar with since you were a child.

How then can your little mind understand the ways of God Most High? Can someone already worn down by this corrupt world understand the ways of the incorruptible God?…”