Ezra + The Quakers
IN THE BOOK OF THE ARMENIAN VERSION OF IV EZRA TRANSLATED BY MICHAEL STONE, we find comparison of his version with the Books of Ezdras I and II. Ezra the prophet of Israel is in captivity in old Babylon. He is very discouraged as to the position of Israel, this House of God, in the earth. However, Ezra has noticed, since he has been here in Babylon, that the people here were doing many worse things than the Israelites had done when in their own land. And yet here was Israel, the last of Israel in captivity. It looked to him as though God’s people were finished in the earth. He could not quite believe this but he surely did not understand.
YAHWEH sent the Angel Uriel to comfort his servant Ezra, for He had work for him to do. Ezra is reminded that he does not of course, understand what makes the wind blow or the trees to grow so why would he question what was in the mind of YAHWEH for His people. Ezra acknowledges this but he is still disturbed. He has been a willing servant of YAHWEH up to now, and he does not question Him. He only wants to know why things have happened this way to Israel. The answer to Ezra is as it has always been to others: ‘Be patient until the appointed time be filled. For YAHWEH measured the time in measure and weighed the Eternities on a scale, and has counted the hours by number. He will not move nor will He be aroused until the appointed hour arrives.’ Ezra is told that when the time comes he will see and recognize the signs.
Actually what Ezra really wanted to know was, just when would all of this end and Ezra and his people be redeemed and restored. Ezra is then told that the days are coming when men will be amazed at so called ‘wonders’ when the ‘true faith’ shall hide from uprightness, when certain men shall speak perverse things with lying words and with varied fabrications. When certain ones having erred in hypocrisy thought the sanctity of worship, and when the earth will become a wilderness without rest and painless.