what is sometimes called 5 Ezra (chapters 1-2), 4 Ezra (chapters 3-14), and 6 Ezra (chapters 15-16) The book a of the prophet Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,
son of Ahijah, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraimoth, son of Arna, son of Uzzi, son of Borith, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar,
son of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, who was a captive in the country of the Medes in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians. b4
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
"Go, declare to my people their evil deeds, and to their children the iniquities that they have committed against me, so that they may tell c their children's children
that the sins of their parents have increased in them, for they have forgotten me and have offered sacrifices to strange gods.
Was it not I who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage? But they have angered me and despised my counsels.
Now you, pull out the hair of your head and hurl d all evils upon them, for they have not obeyed my law—they are a rebellious people.
How long shall I endure them, on whom I have bestowed such great benefits?
For their sake I have overthrown many kings; I struck down Pharaoh with his servants and all his army.
I destroyed all nations before them, and scattered in the east the peoples of two provinces, e Tyre and Sidon; I killed all their enemies.
"But speak to them and say, Thus says the Lord:
Surely it was I who brought you through the sea, and made safe highways for you where there was no road; I gave you Moses as leader and Aaron as priest;
I provided light for you from a pillar of fire, and did great wonders among you. Yet you have forgotten me, says the Lord.
"Thus says the Lord Almighty: f The quails were a sign to you; I gave you camps for your protection, and in them you complained.
You have not exulted in my name at the destruction of your enemies, but to this day you still complain. g17
Where are the benefits that I bestowed on you? When you were hungry and thirsty in the wilderness, did you not cry out to me,
saying, "Why have you led us into this wilderness to kill us? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in this wilderness.'
I pitied your groanings and gave you manna for food; you ate the bread of angels.
When you were thirsty, did I not split the rock so that waters flowed in abundance? Because of the heat I clothed you with the leaves of trees. h21
I divided fertile lands among you; I drove out the Canaanites, the Perizzites, and the Philistines i before you. What more can I do for you? says the Lord.
Thus says the Lord Almighty: j When you were in the wilderness, at the bitter stream, thirsty and blaspheming my name,
I did not send fire on you for your blasphemies, but threw a tree into the water and made the stream sweet.
"What shall I do to you, O Jacob? You, Judah, would not obey me. I will turn to other nations and will give them my name, so that they may keep my statutes.
Because you have forsaken me, I also will forsake you. When you beg mercy of me, I will show you no mercy.
When you call to me, I will not listen to you; for you have defiled your hands with blood, and your feet are swift to commit murder.
It is not as though you had forsaken me; you have forsaken yourselves, says the Lord.
"Thus says the Lord Almighty: Have I not entreated you as a father entreats his sons or a mother her daughters or a nurse her children,
so that you should be my people and I should be your God, and that you should be my children and I should be your father?
I gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But now, what shall I do to you? I will cast you out from my presence.
When you offer oblations to me, I will turn my face from you; for I have rejected your k festal days, and new moons, and circumcisions of the flesh. l32
I sent you my servants the prophets, but you have taken and killed them and torn their bodies m in pieces; I will require their blood of you, says the Lord. n33
"Thus says the Lord Almighty: Your house is desolate; I will drive you out as the wind drives straw;
and your sons will have no children, because with you o they have neglected my commandment and have done what is evil in my sight.
I will give your houses to a people that will come, who without having heard me will believe. Those to whom I have shown no signs will do what I have commanded.
They have seen no prophets, yet will recall their former state. p37
I call to witness the gratitude of the people that is to come, whose children rejoice with gladness; q though they do not see me with bodily eyes, yet with the spirit they will believe the things I have said.
"And now, father, r look with pride and see the people coming from the east;
to them I will give as leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Hosea and Amos and Micah and Joel and Obadiah and Jonah
and Nahum and Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, who is also called the messenger of the Lord. s
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard w/ Apocrypha)