After seven days of fast, Ezra returns to the Lord in prayer (5:21-30)  He reminds the Lord that out of all of the forest he has chosen a special vine which he planted in Zion, from all the cities of the world he has chosen Jerusalem.  Why then has the Lord dishonored his people?  Does he now hate Israel and Zion?  Uriel once again is sent Ezra to respond to his complaints (5:31-40).

The first response to Ezra’s complaint is once again to ask him “imponderable” questions which God alone knows. Wait long enough, Uriel says, and you see the goal of the suffering.   Ezra accepts this, but continues his complaint: what will we do while we wait (5:41-55)?  The answer once again lies in the natural order of creation.  Things happen because that is the way they have been planned.

ages_and_dispensationsEzra then asks about the end of the age: How will the Lord visit creation (5:56)? This is answered in chapter 6.  First, the plan was set before time (6:1-6).  All of history has been divided by key events, for example Esau is the end of one age while Jacob is the beginning of the next (6:7-10). Oddly enough, this is proven by the fact that Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel with his hand.  The heel is the end of a man while the hand is the beginning of a man.

Rather than expand on this “division of ages” concept, Ezra asks for more signs of the end of the age (6:11-28).  In this case Uriel describes the period after Zion’s humiliation is over.  Infants will speak with a mature voice, women will give birth to premature children of three or four months and they will live and dance. Sown places will suddenly appear unsown and storehouses suddenly empty, a trumpet will sound and all will be terrified and the whole world will be stilled.  At that time people who have been taken up without experiencing death will return (presumably Enoch and Elijah are in mind here). All of the earth’s inhabitants will have a changed spirit and evil will be blotted out.

Once again Ezra is physically overcome by this vision and he must wait another seven days of prayer and fasting before his third vision (6:29-34).  Uriel exhorts him to believe what he has seen and not be quick to “think vain thoughts,” a commentary on the questions he has asked of the Lord so far.