1 # Ezra 7.1–5; 1 Esd 8.1–2 This is the second book of the prophet Ezra. He was the son of Seraiah, the grandson of Azariah, and a descendant of Hilkiah, Shallum, Zadok, Ahitub, 2Ahijah, Phinehas, Eli, Amariah, Azariah, Meraioth, Arna, Uzzi, Borith, Abishua, Phinehas, Eleazar, 3and Aaron, of the tribe of Levi.
The Rejection of Israel
When I, Ezra, was a captive in Media during the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 4the Lord said to me, 5#Is 58.1“Go and remind my people and their children of the sins they have committed against me, and let them tell their grandchildren. 6My people have sinned even more than their ancestors, for they have forgotten me and offered sacrifices to foreign gods. 7I rescued them from Egypt, where they were slaves, but they have done things that made me angry and have refused to listen to my warnings.
8“Ezra, tear your hair in grief and call down on these people all the disasters they deserve. They are rebellious and refuse to obey my Law. 9How much longer can I tolerate these people for whom I have done so much? 10#Ex 14.28For their sake I overthrew many kings and crushed the king of Egypt together with his officials and all his army. 11I destroyed all the nations that opposed them, and in the east I scattered the people of the provinces of Tyre and Sidon and killed all the enemies of Israel.
12“Ezra, tell them that the Lord says: 13#Ex 14.29I brought you across the Red Sea and made safe roads for you where there were none. I made Moses your leader and gave you Aaron as your priest. 14#Ex 13.21I provided you with light from a pillar of fire and performed great miracles among you, but you have forgotten me. I, the Lord, have spoken.
15 # Ex 16.13 “The Lord Almighty says: I sent you quails as a sign of my care for you. I provided you with camps where you could be safe, but all you did there was complain. 16Even when I destroyed your enemies, you did not appreciate what I had done. You have never done anything but complain. 17#Num 14.3Have you forgotten the blessings I gave you? There in the desert when you were hungry and thirsty you cried out to me: 18‘Why have you brought us out to this desert to kill us? Being slaves to the Egyptians was better than coming here to die.’ 19I was moved by your bitter groans and gave you manna, the bread of angels. 20#Num 20.11; Wis 11.4When you were thirsty, I split the rock and all the water you needed flowed out. To protect you from the heat, I provided you with shady trees. 21I divided fertile lands among you and drove out the Canaanites, the Perizzites, and the Philistines, who opposed your advance. What more could I have done for you?
22 # Ex 15.22–25 “The Lord Almighty says: There in the desert by the river of bitter water when you were thirsty and cursed me, 23in spite of your insults I did not send fire upon you. Instead, I made the water fit to drink by throwing wood into the river. 24People of Israel, what can I do with you? People of Judah, you refuse to obey me. So I will turn to other nations and make them my people. They will keep my laws. 25Because you have abandoned me, I will abandon you. You will beg me for mercy, but I will show you none. 26When you pray to me, I will not hear you. You never hesitate to commit murder; your hands are stained with the blood of those you have killed. 27It is not me that you have betrayed; you have betrayed yourselves.
Israel Is to Be Replaced
28“The Lord Almighty says: I have pleaded with you as a father pleads with his sons, as a mother pleads with her daughters, or as a nursemaid pleads with her small children. 29I begged you to be my people so that I could be your God, to be my children so that I could be your father. 30#Mt 23.37; Lk 13.34I gathered you together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But now what can I do with you? I will banish you from my sight; 31and even when you offer sacrifices to me, I will turn away from you. Your religious festivals, your New Moon celebrations, or your circumcision ceremonies mean nothing to me. 32I sent you my servants, the prophets, but you killed them and mutilated their corpses. I will make you pay for murdering them.
33“The Lord Almighty says: Your Temple is abandoned. I will scatter you like straw blown away by the wind. 34Your children will have no descendants because they rejected my commandments and did what I hated, just as you did. 35#Rom 10.14–20I will give your home to a people that is about to appear. They will believe me, even though they have not yet heard of me. They will do what I command, even though I never performed any miracles for them. 36They have not seen the prophets, but they will live by their ancient teachings. 37I give my solemn promise that I will bless those people, and their little children will laugh and shout for joy. Those people have never seen me, but deep within them they will believe my words.
38“Now, Father Ezra, look with pride at the people you see coming from the east. 39Look at the leaders I have given them: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, 40Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (who is also called the Lord's messenger).