It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, September 7, 2015

End of the World, a reflection on 2 Esdras 4:22-32

Not satisfied with the parable, Ezra responds to Uriel, "I wasn't asking about what's going on in heaven. I'm asking about things that happen here on earth. I want to know why Israel, the people you loved, was given over to the godless Gentiles in disgrace. Why aren't we worthy to obtain mercy? What will God do about this?

Uriel responded that the end was near but that not every righteous person would would get everything promised because of all the sadness and infirmities of this time.

He explained, "Evil has been sown, but has not been harvested. Until it has been, there's no field for the good. A grain of evil seed was sown in Adam's heart, and that seed has produced a lot of ungodliness and will continue to until the time of threshing comes."

Peter Hayman, in The Oxford Bible Commentary, The Apocrypha explains:

Salvation is seen as a catastrophic intervention of God to wipe out this present world and to replace it with an entirely new heaven and earth.

We may tend to treat this vision as predicting the end of the earth--See the Left Behind novels for example. Or, we may interpret it as forecasting what is going to happen when finally Rome is overturned.

No comments: