The Second Book of Esdras is primarily an apocalypse (or series of visions and revelations) that was written by an unknown Jewish author in Hebrew or Aramaic. This was translated into Greek, and an introduction and appendix of Christian origin were added. The original and the Greek translation have disappeared, and the text is now preserved primarily in Latin. The main part of the work reports seven revelations that were given to Shealtiel (identified with Ezra) and answers questions about the problem of evil, suffering, persecution, the end of the world, judgment, and the new world.
Outline of Contents
The first vision (3.1—5.19)
The second vision (5.20—6.34)
The third vision (6.35—9.25)
The fourth vision (9.26—10.59)
The fifth vision (11.1—12.50)
The sixth vision (12.51—13.56)
The seventh vision (13.57—14.48)
Additional prophecies (15.1—16.78)
This book is not related to 1 Esdras and was most likely composed by several authors during several different periods. It is a series of visions and revelations which aims to reveal the future in ways that will help believers endure the suffering and persecution they must face.