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2 Esdras 2Revised Standard Version (RSV)

God’s Judgment on Israel

“Thus says the Lord: I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them commandments through my servants the prophets; but they would not listen to them, and made my counsels void. The mother who bore them says to them, ‘Go, my children, because I am a widow and forsaken. I brought you up with gladness; but with mourning and sorrow I have lost you, because you have sinned before the Lord God and have done what is evil in my sight. But now what can I do for you? For I am a widow and forsaken. Go, my children, and ask for mercy from the Lord.’ I call upon you, father, as a witness in addition to the mother of the children, because they would not keep my covenant, that you may bring confusion upon them and bring their mother to ruin, so that they may have no offspring. Let them be scattered among the nations, let their names be blotted out from the earth, because they have despised my covenant.

“Woe to you, Assyria, who conceal the unrighteous in your midst! O wicked nation, remember what I did to Sodom and Gomor′rah, whose land lies in lumps of pitch and heaps of ashes. So will I do to those who have not listened to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

10 Thus says the Lord to Ezra: “Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I was going to give to Israel. 11 Moreover, I will take back to myself their glory, and will give to these others the everlasting habitations, which I had prepared for Israel.[a] 12 The tree of life shall give them fragrant perfume, and they shall neither toil nor become weary. 13 Ask and you will receive; pray that your days may be few, that they may be shortened. The kingdom is already prepared for you; watch! 14 Call, O call heaven and earth to witness, for I left out evil and created good, because I live, says the Lord.

Exhortation to Good Works

15 “Mother, embrace your sons; bring them up with gladness, as does the dove; establish their feet, because I have chosen you, says the Lord. 16 And I will raise up the dead from their places, and will bring them out from their tombs, because I recognize my name in them. 17 Do not fear, mother of the sons, for I have chosen you, says the Lord. 18 I will send you help, my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to their counsel I have consecrated and prepared for you twelve trees loaded with various fruits, 19 and the same number of springs flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains on which roses and lilies grow; by these I will fill your children with joy. 20 Guard the rights of the widow, secure justice for the fatherless, give to the needy, defend the orphan, clothe the naked, 21 care for the injured and the weak, do not ridicule a lame man, protect the maimed, and let the blind man have a vision of my splendor. 22 Protect the old and the young within your walls; 23 When you find any who are dead, commit them to the grave and mark it,[b] and I will give you the first place in my resurrection. 24 Pause and be quiet, my people, because your rest will come. 25 Good nurse, nourish your sons, and strengthen their feet. 26 Not one of the servants whom I have given you will perish, for I will require them from among your number. 27 Do not be anxious, for when the day of tribulation and anguish comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall rejoice and have abundance. 28 The nations shall envy you but they shall not be able to do anything against you, says the Lord. 29 My hands will cover you, that your sons may not see Gehenna. 30 Rejoice, O mother, with your sons, because I will deliver you, says the Lord. 31 Remember your sons that sleep, because I will bring them out of the hiding places of the earth, and will show mercy to them; for I am merciful, says the Lord Almighty. 32 Embrace your children until I come, and proclaim mercy to them; because my springs run over, and my grace will not fail.”

Ezra on Mount Horeb

33 I, Ezra, received a command from the Lord on Mount Horeb to go to Israel. When I came to them they rejected me and refused the Lord’s commandment. 34 Therefore I say to you, O nations that hear and understand, “Await your shepherd; he will give you everlasting rest, because he who will come at the end of the age is close at hand. 35 Be ready for the rewards of the kingdom, because the eternal light will shine upon you for evermore. 36 Flee from the shadow of this age, receive the joy of your glory; I publicly call on my Savior to witness.[c] 37 Receive what the Lord has entrusted to you and be joyful, giving thanks to him who has called you to heavenly kingdoms. 38 Rise and stand, and see at the feast of the Lord the number of those who have been sealed. 39 Those who have departed from the shadow of this age have received glorious garments from the Lord. 40 Take again your full number, O Zion, and conclude the list of your people who are clothed in white, who have fulfilled the law of the Lord. 41 The number of your children, whom you desired, is full; beseech the Lord’s power that your people, who have been called from the beginning, may be made holy.”

Ezra Sees the Son of God

42 I, Ezra, saw on Mount Zion a great multitude, which I could not number, and they all were praising the Lord with songs. 43 In their midst was a young man of great stature, taller than any of the others, and on the head of each of them he placed a crown, but he was more exalted than they. And I was held spellbound. 44 Then I asked an angel, “Who are these, my lord?” 45 He answered and said to me, “These are they who have put off mortal clothing and have put on the immortal, and they have confessed the name of God; now they are being crowned, and receive palms.” 46 Then I said to the angel, “Who is that young man who places crowns on them and puts palms in their hands?” 47 He answered and said to me, “He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world.” So I began to praise those who had stood valiantly for the name of the Lord. 48 Then the angel said to me, “Go, tell my people how great and many are the wonders of the Lord God which you have seen.”


  1. 2 Esdras 2:11 Lat those
  2. 2 Esdras 2:23 Or seal it; or mark them and commit them to the grave
  3. 2 Esdras 2:36 Other authorities read I testify that my Savior has been commissioned by the Lord
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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