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4 Ezra: “Because Of My Grief I Have Spoken”

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Chapter Summary

The repetitive, even paradigmatic, nature of one traumatic loss could hardly find a better illustration than the post-70 C.E. apocalypses. One major theological reality to develop since Ezekiel's time was a heightened level of messianic expectation, a trend incorporated into 4 Ezra, attested to in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and which came to fruition in the sectarian movement that became Christianity. The goal of this study is not merely to draw attention to the prevalence of the theme of mourning in these texts but to highlight the underlying means by which these narratives seem to do the work of mourning. The scholarly acknowledgment that the consolation of loss is an integral part of the structure of 4 Ezra offers some external validation to this central concept.

Keywords: 4 Ezra; 70 C .E. apocalypses; Dead Sea Scrolls; messianic expectation; theme of mourning



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