Sunday, February 2, 2014

2 Esdras, Chapters 1 & 2: Forsaken Foreskins

Chapter 1

Blech. Yet another list of names. That's at least 3 since the beginning of the Apocrypha, which was only 9 chapters ago. I see why these books didn't make the cut.

After the list, Esdras informs us in the first person that god told him to show the people how evil they are, even though god was the one who brought them out of slavery in Egypt. That god was also the one who sent them into bondage is not mentioned. God also reminds us that he destroyed Pharaoh and several countries for the Israelites. He also fed them and watered them that time that he made them wander the desert for 40 years unnecessarily, which seems like the least he could do. He vows to wash his hands of them, to refuse their sacrifices and circumcisions. Then the threats start: casting out, no grandchildren, giving their houses away to newer, better people who will worship him properly.

Chapter 2

For ignoring the prophets, god will scatter his people, especially Assur, who he calls out in print as a giant faker. In addition, he will burn them, like he did to Sodom and Gomorrha. But people who believe in him, he will reward with tabernacles and ointment. They won't have to work. He will also raise the dead, because really the bible is just a giant zombie story.

Despite the fact that every prophet up until now has been ridiculed and ignored, god promises to send two new ones, Esay and Jeremy, as well as fruit trees and milk and honey fountains, plus seven mountains where he will grow roses and lilies for no reason other than to bring joy to the people. All they have to do is be nice to the unfortunate. He'll protect them when he sends the apocalypse.

Esdras received this message on a mountaintop, but when he came down and tried to spread the word that the world is going to end super soon, he was rejected. When the world ends, the faithful will be rewarded with white clothes. Also in his vision was a very tall man who distributed crowns. He asked the angel who the guy was, and the angel said he was the Son of God (v. 47). He instructs Esdras to share this vision.

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