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 21, 2015

Vision of Painful History, a reflection on 2 Esdras 11

Second vision: a big three-headed eagle ruled world; on the eagle, rival wings rose up. One wing would rule for a while then be succeeded by another, then eventually  that wing would also disappear.

One head on the eagle gained control over all the world then it disappeared. Of the two remaining heads, one devoured the other. [Commentary in the NISB offers the explanation that the succession of  the heads represent the history of the series of Roman emperors.]

Ezra saw a vision of a roaring lion that in a human voice told him to listen to the Most High. The last of the four beasts has conquered the whole world, oppressed the meek, injured the peaceable, hated those who told the truth, destroyed homes; therefore, you the eagle will disappear so that the earth, freed from your violence, may hope for the judgment and mercy of the Creator.

[again, from the NISB: compare with Daniel 7, the sequence of Babylon, Russia, Greece, Rome.]

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