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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on 2 Esdras

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Chapters 1–2

comprise a separate literary composition also known as 5 Ezra.

1.1–3 : Ascription.

Ezra is given a high‐priestly genealogy similar to Ezra 7.1–5 and 1 Esd 8.1–2 , but with several differences (see 1 Sam 14.3 ).

1 :

Prophet is unusual; Ezra is usually called “priest” or “scribe” (Ezra 7.6,11; see 2 Esd 12.42n. ).

3 :

Probably Artaxerxes I (465–424 BCE).

1.4–2.9 : A prophetic indictment against Israel.

4–23 : Prophetic historical recital of God's benefits during the Exodus.

4 :

The expression, The word of the Lord came …, is typical of prophetic address.

5 :

Isa 58.1; Joel 1.3 .

7 :

Was it not I … ?, the Exodus was God's paradigmatic mighty act for Israel.

8 :

The command to Ezra to pull out his hair is a prophetic act signaling Ezra's disgust with the people.

9 :

How long shall I endure them … ?, frequent rhetorical questions like this one highlight God's exasperation.

10 :

Ex 14.28 .

11 :

Tyre and Sidon, this action is not recorded in other Exodus traditions.

13 :

Ex 14.29 .

14 :

Ex 13.21 . You have forgotten me, God indicts the people.

15 :

Ex 16.13; Ps 105.40 .

17–18 :

Num 14.3 .

19 :

The bread of angels, Ps 78.24–25; Wis 16.20 .

20 :

Num 20.11; Wis 11.4 . I clothed you with leaves, this is not mentioned in other Exodus traditions; protection from the heat is sometimes attributed to the pillar of cloud (Ex 13.21 ).

22–23 :

Ex 15.22–25 .

1.24–37 : Pronouncement of judgment against Israel.

24 :

Isa 43.22 . I will turn to other nations, the pivotal point of 5 Ezra, in which God decisively rejects the former nation (see Mt 21.43 ).

26 :

Isa 1.15; 59.7 .

29 :

Jer 24.7; Heb 8.10 .

30–33 :

Compare Mt 23.30–38 . This is the closest New Testament parallel in 5 Ezra, and it suggests Christian authorship.

31 :

Isa 1.11–15 . The rejection of circumcision also reveals the Christian identity of the author.

33 :

Jer 13.24 .

35–37 :

Emphasis is placed on the untutored goodness of the people that will come.

35 :

Zeph 3.12–13 .

37 :

With bodily eyes, Jn 20.29 .

1.38–40 : Vision of the coming people.

38 :

God addresses Ezra as father, a term of respect. The people coming from the east suggests a return from exile (see Bar 4.36–37; 5.5 ).

39–40 :

The three patriarchs and the twelve minor prophets, arranged in the order of the Septuagint.

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