2 Esdras

The 4th Book of Ezra is a pseudepigraphic, Christianized Apocalypse of Jewish origin, which is probably built around 100 AD. You may have been originally written in Hebrew and first translated into Greek; from a Greek original in any case it has been translated into other languages ​​(only this second translations are intact ).


His name and thus the count as the fourth book of Ezra owes the writing of their position in the Vulgate. There, the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah are called 1 and 2 Esdras. In the appendix to the Vulgate is the 3rd book of Ezra, an apocryphal writing, the excerpts from the first book and the second book of Chronicles, as well as Ezra, Nehemiah, and more short texts contain. This is followed by the discussion here 4 Ezra. It is neither identical with the Greek, nor the Syrian Ezra Apocalypse.

Text and Translation

The 4th Book of Ezra is mostly narrated in Latin, but goes back to a Greek original. Indirect evidence for a Greek original are published in 1869, a translation back into Greek, the resulting Syrian, Ethiopian, Arabic, Armenian and Georgian translations Adolf Hilgenfeld. The Greek bill will turn back to an older Hebrew or Aramaic version.

Drafting time and location

After 4 Ezra 3:1-2 Ezra the seer dated his presence on the 30th year after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem ( 587 BC) by the Babylonians.

" In the thirtieth year after the destruction of the city I stayed Salathiel ( of Ezra 's called) in Babylon, and as I was once on my bed, I was in a consternation, and my thoughts went to my heart, because I destroyed Zion, Babylon residents but saw in abundance. "

This fictitious time data refers to most researchers, according to about 30 years after the destruction of Herod's Temple (70 AD), ie about the year 100 AD as the time of writing the book. The so-called Eagle Vision, which is the fifth vision (4 Ezra 10.60 to 12.50 ), confirmed in their reconstructed original form this dating.

As Abfassungsort is through the classification of the writer in the vicinity of the scribes of Palestine Jabneh likely. Other researchers take to the Orient or Rome.

Structure and Content

Named after Ezra font is designed as a dialogue between the Archangel Uriel and the recipients of revelation Ezra, religious problems and speculation in the eschatology find their reason or their response in the. In each case after such a dialogue follows a vision that deepens the foregoing and expanded.

Of the surviving 16 chapters are the chapters 1 and 2 ( = 5 Ezra ) and 15 and 16 ( = 6 Ezra ) is later Christian additions that are found only in the Latin tradition; in the Oriental, and thus also of the Eastern Church versions lack this chapter. The Jewish Apocalypse, fourth book of Ezra ( = Chapters 3-14) is divided into seven visions:

In the first three visions of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is treated ( 587 BC). In the next three visions Ezra reveals upcoming events. In the final vision Ezra receives the job, 24 for contributions to the Holy Scriptures and 70 kept secret writings about the end of the world (meaning the books of the Tanakh are today probably ) write to. At the end of the book of Ezra is caught up to God.

Editions and translations

  • Biblia Sacra. Iuxta Vulgate Versionem, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 1931-1974.
  • Josef Schreiner, The 4th Book of Ezra, JSHRZ V / 4, Gütersloh 1981.
  • Hermann Gunkel, The Fourth Book of Ezra, in: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, in connect with professional colleagues over. and ed. by Emil Kautzsch, 2 volumes, Tübingen 1900, Vol 2, pp. 331-401.
  • Adolf Hilgenfeld, Messias Judaeorum, libris eorum Paulo Paulo ante et post partum Christ conscriptis illustratus, Lipsiae, 1869.
  • Bruno Violet, The Apocalypse of Ezra ( Ezra IV ), Leipzig 1910.
  • Bruno Violet, The Apocalypses of Ezra and Baruch in German form, Leipzig 1924.