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The epilogue and the context and purpose of 4 Ezra

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Chapter Summary

The seventh episode of 4 Ezra differs in so many respects from both the dialogues and the apocalyptic visions that it is generally referred to as the epilogue. Both the dialogues and the visions can be viewed as preparation for the most important revelation that Ezra receives: the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Scriptures and seventy additional books that contain "the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom and the river of knowledge". This chapter discusses the significance of the twenty-four and seventy books. The testamentary character of the epilogue attempts to bridge the gap between Ezra's time and the author's present. The instructions of the Most High to Ezra concerning the end of his earthly existence and in different way Ezra's instructions to the people provide paradigms for life in the last days.

Keywords: 4 Ezra; apocalyptic vision; Hebrew Scripture

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