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A Guide to 2 Esdras History and Significance

The Book of Ezra Image

The Book of 2 Esdras is one of the most significant and mysterious books of the Apocrypha.

It is a record of a vision given to the prophet Ezra which he received while in exile in Babylon.

This book has long been a source of fascination and debate among scholars, theologians and others.

It is also an important source of information about the history of the Jewish people.

This article describes the contents of the book and a synopsis of Ezra's story.

What is 2 Esdras?

2 Esdras is a book written by someone in distress after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

Scholars think that multiple people worked on it and some think it was written by the same person who wrote the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch.

It is not clear who wrote it, but it probably dates back to around the end of the 1st century.

It is in some English versions of the Bible and most Christians include it in their apocrypha, which are books that are not part of the main Bible.

The book was written in Hebrew and translated into other languages like

  • Greek
  • Latin
  • Armenian
  • Ethiopian
  • Georgian

Christopher Columbus even quoted it when he asked for money to explore the world.

It is sometimes used in prayers and services in the Catholic Church.

Contents of 2 Esdras

2 Esdras is a 14-chapter book about God's relationship with the Jews.

Some parts of it were added later by Christians, and talked about a vision of the Son of God.

It tells a story about a Jewish man named Ezra and is called a Jewish apocalypse, which means a special story with a message.

The book is about the following:

  • Someone trying to understand why bad things happen
  • Why it's hard to be happy when bad things happen

It is about trying to understand suffering, like in the book of Job.

Some verses in the Bible were lost a long time ago, but a man named Robert Lubbock Bensly found them again and published them in 1875.

Another man named M.R. James made sure the original Bible was put back together with the lost verses in 1895.

Now we can read the Bible with all the verses.

Synopsis of 2 Esdras

One day, Ezra, a scribe in Babylon, asked God a few questions.

Prophet image

Why Israel was kept in misery? Why Israel did not possess the world?

God then sent the archangel Uriel to answer Ezra's questions.

Angel image

God's ways are too hard for humans to understand, but that the end was near and God's justice would be made manifest.

Uriel told him that.

Ezra then asked,

Prophet image

Is it possible that the righteous could help the unrighteous on Judgment Day?

But he was told Judgment Day was final.

He also had symbolic visions of

  • a woman
  • an eagle
  • the triumph of the Messiah
God image

Restore the Law.

Finally, God commanded Ezra it and he wrote 94 books.

The scene changed, Ezra had a very special dream.

He saw a crying woman who turned into a huge city.

Then an angel appeared and took Ezra on a journey to the heavenly city of Jerusalem.

Angel image

Don't be scared and look at the beauty and greatness of the building. The Most High will show Ezra visions of what will happen in the future.

The angel said that.

Finally, it concludes with a prophecy of war and a warning to sinners.

There are other books related to Ezra besides the 2 Esdras.

Please read these articles if you are curious.