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4Ezra and 2Baruch in Social and Historical Perspective

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Chapter Summary

In spite of their differences, the two books 4Ezra and 2Baruch, seem to have a very similar central concern or question: why is Jerusalem and the Jewish people in such a low state? The question was already put in 4Ezra 3:2 and 2Baruch 3, and most of each book seems to be trying to give an answer. Nevertheless, the question was a real one at the end of the first century. Judea may have recovered to some extent from the devastating 66-70 war with Rome, but the temple was still in a state of ruin. This chapter determines the historical context of the books of 4Ezra and 2Baruch and also what sort of social group or social setting produced the books. Although a relationship between the two books is recognized from the beginning, no assumption is made that they necessarily have precisely the same historical or social context.

Keywords: 2Baruch; 4Ezra; historical or social context; Jerusalem; Jewish people



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