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Traditions Common To 4 Ezra And The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on certain formal elements and above all indicates some ideas that are characteristic of 4 Ezra which we think the texts from Qumran can clarify considerably. The splitting of the Torah into a revealed part and a hidden part reserved for the initiates that we find in 4 Ezra, depends strictly on this approach to the words of the prophets and of the concept of Ezra as the new Moses. This concept, characteristic of apocalyptic tradition, is also found in the Qumran writings. The central problem of 4 Ezra is the problem of evil in the world, a problem represented by the destruction of Zion and by the evil committed by each man. The solution that 4 Ezra gives to the problem of evil at the individual level, if one can speak of a solution, is also clearly set outside history in an eschatological perspective.

Keywords: 4 Ezra; Moses; Qumran writings; Torah



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