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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Second Book of Esdras

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1.1–2.48 : Israel's rejection and glory to come.

Israel's past infidelity and its dire consequences are enumerated. God's fidelity is shown in a promised restoration.

1.1–3a : Ezra's lineage.

The list varies slightly from Ezra 7.1–5 and 1 Esd. 8.1–2 .

1 :

Ezra, a priest and scribe in the OT (Ezra 7.11 ), is here termed a prophet.

1.3b–11 : Ezra called to prophesy doom.

3 :

Artaxerxes II ruled from 404 to 359 B.C.E.

5 :

Proclaim their crimes: make the people aware of their wickedness and condemn it; see Jer. 1.16 .

8 :

Tear out your hair: sign of consternation and grief; see Ezra 9.3 .

10 :

Pharaoh: see Exod. 14.28 .

11 :

Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician cities, not provinces, to the west of Media and not east; Tyre was not destroyed until the time of Alexander (332 B.C.E.), which was after the reign of Artaxerxes.

1.12–21 : God's past mercies recounted;

these are events of the Exodus.

13 :

See Exod. 14.29; 3.10; 28.1 .

14 :

See Exod. 13.21 .

15 :

See Exod. 16.13 .

18 :

See Num. 14.2–3 .

19 :

See Ps. 78.25 .

20 :

See Num. 20.11 .

1.22–32 : Israel to be rejected.

22–23 :

See Exod. 15.22–25 .

24 :

I shall turn to other nations: compare Matt. 21.43 . Reflections of NT here show that the author of this preface was a Christian.

30–32 :

Compare Matt. 23.34–37 .

1.33–40 : A new people replaces Israel.

35–37 :

A people: Gentile Christians; compare 1 Cor. 2.6–15 .

38 :

Father: in rabbinic Judaism, Ezra is equated in eminence with both the ancestors and prophets.

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