Sunday, February 23, 2014

2 Esdras, Chapter 10: Rape is the 12th worst crime

The continuing story of the weeping woman:

On the day of her son's wedding feast, the son went into the honeymoon suite and died. The neighbours put her to bed, where she stayed until the following evening. When everyone left, she came to the field, intending to sit there and not take food or water until she died. Unfortunately, she met Esdras instead.

Esdras, comforting shoulder that he is, rebukes the woman and tells her that the Israelites, nay the planet, have much bigger things to mourn than one dead groom, and she should be crying for those things instead. Then he tells her to shut up and become a good Jew so she can go to heaven and see her son again.

She refuses to go home and determines to stay in the field and die. Esdras starts lambasting her about all the things that have befallen the Jews. I would like to note that enslavement, priests being burnt alive, and women being raped are 10th, 11th and 12th on his list of terrible things, right behind the temple being destroyed and not being able to light candles. He tells her again to go home. All of a sudden, her face starts to sparkle and there's an earthquake. She disappears and in her place is a city. Esdras cries out for Uriel the angel, who appears, picks him up and asks him why he's so upset. Probably because he's been eating flowers for a week after not eating anything for at least 3. Esdras asks if he's dreaming or if the angel is finally going to answer all his questions. The angel promises that this time, god will finally reveal the truth to him, because of all the good, useful mourning he's been doing. 

The angel explains that the woman was Zion, and her 30 years of childlessness was the 30 years when no one made any sacrifices to god, until Solomon built a temple, which was the son. His death was the death of Jerusalem. When she got all sparkly, that was because she was impressed by Esdras' insensitivity, so she showed him the new city. Now Esdras is invited inside and tomorrow god will show him more.

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