Ezra (Esdras) recounts his call by God to tell the people what they had been doing wrong and to tell their children so that they can tell their children: "Remind them that I got them out of Egypt and then they ignored my commands. How long will I be able to put up with this? I have shown you mercy over and over, made your path through the wilderness safe, provided food and drink for your journey, then provided adequate real estate for you when you got home. What am I going to do with you? I can give up on you and, turn to other people. Even though they haven't received any of the mercies I have showered on you, they will do what I command."
According to Peter Hayman in The Oxford Bible Commentary, 2 Esdras was written not long after the Jewish War against the Romans in 66-73 CE during which the temple was destroyed. He pondered how God could have allowed this to happen. This book goes through despair and doubt into certainty. Hayman adds that this book did not have a major impact on the mainstream of Jewish culture but did influence some of the peripheral groups that evolved into the Christian church.