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The Second Book of Esdras

From: The Apocrypha and American Translation by Edgar J. Goodspeed

First and second Esdras are contained in a group of books called Apocrypha (hidden or secret) and were once in the canonical Bible between the old and new testaments. In the Septuagint, where Ezra and Nehemiah are called First and Second Esdras, this book is referred to as Fourth Esdras. Frequently, it is given the more descriptive title of the Ezra Apocalypse because much like the Book of Revelation it is a series of apocalypses. The scene is set in Babylon in the year 556 B.C.

Chapter 1

1:1 “The second book of Ezra, the Prophet, the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub”
1:2 “The son of Achiah, the son of Phineas, the son of Heli, the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, the son of Arna, the son of Uzzi, the son of Borith, the son of Abishua, the son of Phineas, the son of Eleazar,”
1:3 “The son of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, who was a captive in the country of the Medes in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.”
1:4 “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,”
1:5 “Go and declare to my people their crimes and to their sons their iniquities which they have committed against me, so that they may tell them to their children’s children.”
1:6 “For the sins of their parents have increased in them, for they have forgotten me and have offered sacrifice to strange gods.”
1:7 “Was it not I who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage? But they have angered me, and scorned my counsels.”
1:8 “Shake out the hair of your head and hurl all evils upon them, because they have not obeyed my law, but they are a rebellious people.”
1:9 “How long shall I bear with them, when I have conferred such benefits upon them?”
1:10 “I have overthrown many kings for them; I struck down Pharaoh with his servants, and all his army.”
1:11 “I destroyed all nations before them, and I scattered the people of two provinces in the east, Tyre and Sidon, and I slew all their enemies.”
1:12 “But you must speak to them and say, “Thus says the Lord:”
1:13 “Surely it was I who brought you across the sea and produced broad highways for you where there was no road; I gave you Moses for a leader and Aaron for a priest;”
1:14 “I gave you light from a pillar of fire, and did great wonders among you; but you forgot me, says the Lord.”
1:15 “Thus says the Lord Almighty: The quail were a sign, to you; I gave you camps to protect you, yet you grumbled in them;”
1:16 “And you have not triumphed for my sake over the destruction of your enemies, but even now you still grumble.”
1:17 “Where are the kindnesses I have shown you? When, you were hungry and thirsty in the desert did you not cry out to me,”
1:18 “Saying, “Why have you brought us into this wilderness to kill us? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in this desert.”
1:19 “I pitied your, groaning and gave you manna for food; you ate the bread of angels.”
1:20 “When you were thirsty, did I not split open the rock, and waters flowed out in abundance? On account of the heat I covered you with the leaves of trees.”
1:21 “I divided, fertile lands among you; the Canaanites, the Perizzites, and the Philistines I drove out before you. What more can I do for you? says the Lord.”
1:22 “Thus says the Lord Almighty: When you were in the desert, at the bitter river, thirsty and blaspheming my name,”
1:23 “I did not give you fire for your blasphemy, but I put wood into the water and made the river sweet.”
1:24 “What shall I do to you, Jacob? You would not obey me, Judah. I will turn to other nations, and give them my name, so that they may observe my precepts.”
1:25 “Since you have forsaken me, I will forsake you. When you seek mercy from me, I will not have pity on you.”
1:26 “When you call upon me, I will not hear you; for you have stained your hands with blood, and your feet are quick to commit murder.”
1:27 “It is not as though you had forsaken me, but yourselves, says the Lord.”
1:28 “Thus says the Lord Almighty: Have I not begged you as a father begs his sons, or a mother her daughters, or a nurse her little ones,”
1:29 “To be my people, and that I should be your God, and you should be my sons and I should be your father?”
1:30 “I gathered you as a hen gathers her brood under her wings. But now what shall I do to you? I will cast you out from before my face.”
1:31 “When you make offerings to me, I will turn my face away from you, for I have repudiated your feast days, and new moons, and circumcisions of the flesh.”
1:32 “I sent my servants the prophets to you, and you took them and killed them, and tore their bodies in pieces; and their blood I will require of you, says the Lord.”
1:33 “Thus says the Lord Almighty: Your house is desolate; I will drive you forth as the wind drives stubble;”
1:34 “And your children shall have no children, because they with you have neglected my command, and have done what is evil in my sight.”
1:35 “I will give your houses to a people that is to come, who without having heard me believe. Those to whom I have showed no signs will do what I have commanded.”
1:36 “They have not seen the prophets yet they will call to mind their uprightness.”
1:37 “I call to witness the gratitude of the people that is to come, whose little ones rejoice with gladness, though they do not see me with physical eyes, but in spirit they will believe the things I have said.”
1:38 “And now, Father, look upon me with glory, and see the people coming from the east,”
1:39 “To whom I will give to lead them Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and Hosea and Amos and Micah, and Joel and Obadiah and Jonah,”
1:40 “Nahum and Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who is also called the Messenger of the Lord.”

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