In the Latin Vulgate, this book is 4 Esdras [see the notes from 1 Esdras if you cannot get all the names of the Ezra books straight]. This book, an appendix to scripture in the Roman church, is made up of a Jewish text (chapters 3-14, known in the Slavonic Bible as 3 Esdras, and here as 4 Ezra) and two Christian writings (5 Ezra [chapters 1-2] and 6 Ezra [chapters 15-16]).
Related to the pseudepigraphal book 2 Baruch (Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch) - it is quite possibly a refutation of this work
Possible indication of adapted original: 2 Esd 3:1 "I, Salathiel, who am also called Ezra"
Shealtiel, as Zerubbabel's father, would have fit the fictional chronology.
2 Esd 7:36-105 was missing in most Latin manuscripts of the book, dependent on one 9th century manuscript. The torn out portion may have been removed because v. 105 could be read as forbidding prayers for the dead. read 2 Esdras 7:26-44, 104-126
Torah and Pseudepigrapha
- read 2 Esd 14:1-6, 19-22, 37-48
- the place of the hidden books -- and which ones are they?
- the scriptures as final answer to question of God's justice?
- read 2 Esd 11:1-17, 36-42; 12:7-16, 31-36
- based on Dan 7; cf Rev 13 (& 2 Bar 36-40)
- what are the roles of vision and interpretation in the church?
Suffering and God's Justice
- evil heart which God doesn't take away: 2 Esd 3:20-27
- successful nations no better: 2 Esd 3:28-33
- Uriel's answer like God's in Job: 2 Esd 4:1-6; 5:34-40
- human righteousness and sin
- plight of wicked: 2 Esd 7:17-25
- few and many: 2 Esd 7:52-61
- In this genre of literature, does the angel always speak for the author?
- relationship between national and individual destinies?
Rejection of Jews and acceptance of Church
Although late (mid 3rd cent AD?) Christian document, no specifically Christian teachings.
Read 2 Esd 16:18-34
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This page last modified 28 April 2002.