The 70 Missing Verses in 2nd Esdras
Many people are aware that the Bible is composed of the Old and New Testament writings, however, few have heard of the Apocrypha. Within the Apocrypha can be found the Book of 2nd Esdras.
The 1611 King James Version contained the Apocrypha books, however, the King James Version was missing 70 lines from 2nd Esdras. In the 1611 KJV the Book of 2nd Esdras in chapter 7, the chapter ends at verse 70.
The missing verses can be found in the Cambridge Annotated Study Apocrypha – edited by: Howard Clark Kee as well as the NRSV Holy Bible with the Apocrypha – by Zondervan Bible Publishers.
NRSV Holy Bible with Apocrypha Images:
2nd Esdras 7:70-140
70 He answered me and said, ”When the Most High made the world and Adam and all who have come from him, he first prepared the judgment and the things that pertain to the judgment. 71 But now, understand from your own words – for you have said that mind grows with us. 72 For this reason, therefore, those who live on earth shall be tormented, because though they had understanding, they committed iniquity; and though they received the commandments, they did not keep them; and though they obtained the law, they dealt unfaithfully with what they received. 73 “What, then, will they have to say in the judgment, or how will they answer in the last times? 74 How long the Most High has been patient with those who inhabit the world! – and not for their sake, but because of the times that he has foreordained.
State of the Dead before Judgment
75 I answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, show this also to your servant: whether after death, as soon as everyone of as everyone of us yields up the soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come when you will renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented at once?” 76 He answered me and said, “I will show you that also, but do not include yourself with those who have shown scorn, or number yourself among those who are tormented.” 77 For you have a treasure of works stored up with the Most High, but it will not be shown to you until the last times. 78 Now concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone out from the Most High that a person shall die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of the Most High. 79 If it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept the way of the Most High, who have despised his law and hated those who fear God – 80 such spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately wander about in torments, always grieving and sad, in seven ways.
81 The first way, because they have scorned the law of the Most High.
82 The second way, because they cannot now make a good repentance so that they may live.
83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for those who have trusted the covenants of the Most High.
84 The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days.
85 The fifth way, they shall see how the habitations of the others are guarded by angels in profound quiet.
86 The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will cross over into torments.
87 The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, because they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame and shall wither with fear at seeing the glory of the Most High in whose presence they sinned while they were alive, and in whose presence they are to be judged in the last times.
88 “Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most High, when they shall be separated from their mortal body. 89 During the time that they lived in it, they laboriously served the Most High, and withstood danger every hour so that they might keep the law of the Lawgiver perfectly. 90 Therefore this is the teaching concerning them: 91 first of all, they shall see with great joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders.
92 The first order, because they have striven with great effort to overcome the evil thought that was formed with them, so that it might not lead them astray from life into death.
93 The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly wander and the punishment that awaits them.
94 The third order, they see the witness that he who formed them bears concerning them, that throughout their life they kept the law with which they were entrusted.
95 The fourth order, they understand the rest that they now enjoy, being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels in profound quiet, and the glory waiting for them in the last days.
96 The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible and shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the straits and toil from which they have been delivered, and the spacious liberty that they are to receive and enjoy in immortality.
97 The sixth order, when it is shown them how their face is to shine like the sun, and how they are to be made like the light of the stars, being incorruptible from then on.
98 The seventh order, which is greater than all that have been mentioned, because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be confident without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they press forward to see the face of him whom they served in life and from whom they are to receive their reward when glorified.
99 “This is the order or the souls of the righteous, as henceforth is announced; and the previously mentioned are the ways of torment that those who would not give heed shall suffer hereafter.”
100 Then I answered and said, “Will time therefore be given to the souls, after they have been separated from the bodies, to see what you have described to me?”
101 He said to me, “They shall have freedom for seven days, so that during these seven days they may see the things of which you have been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered in their habitations.” No Intercession for the Ungodly 102 I answered and said, ”If I have found favor in your sight, show further to me, your servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous ,will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them – 103 fathers for sons or sons for parents, brothers for brothers, relatives for their kindred, or friends for those who are most dear.” 104 He answered me and said, “Since you have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive and displays to all the seal of truth. Just as now a rather does not send his son, or a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend, to be ill or sleep or eat or be healed in his place, 105 so no one shall ever pray for another on that day, neither shall anyone lay a burden on another; for then all shall bear their own righteousness and unrighteousness 106 I answered and said, “How then do we find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for our ancestors who sinned in the desert, 107 and Joshua after him for Israel in the days of Achan 108 and Samuel in, the days of Saul, and David for the plague, and Solomon for those at the dedication, 109 and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for the one who was dead, that he might live, 110 and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib, and many others prayed for many?” 111 So if now, when corruption has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, why, will it not be so then as well?” 112 He answered me and said, “This present world is not the end; the full glory does not remain in it; therefore those who were strong prayed for the weak. 113 But the day of judgment will be the end of this age and the beginning of the immortal age to come, in which corruption has passed away, 114 “‘sinful indulgence has come to an end, unbelief has been cut off. and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared. 115 Therefore no one will then be able to have mercy on someone who has been condemned in the judgment, or to harm someone who is victorious.
Lamentation over the Fate of Most People
116 I answered and said, “This is my first and last comment: it would have been better if the earth had not produced Adam, or else, when it had produced him, had restrained him from sinning. 117 For what good is it to all that they live in sorrow now and expect punishment after death? 118 Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendants. 119 “For what good is it to us, if an immortal time has been promised to us, but we have done deeds that bring death? so 120 And what good is it that an everlasting hope has been promised to us, but we have miserably failed? 121 or that safe and healthful habitations have been reserved for us, but we have lived wickedly? 122 nor that the glory or the Most High will defend those who have led a pure life, but we have walked in the most wicked ways? 123 or that a paradise shall be revealed, whose fruit remains unspoiled and in which are abundance and healing, but we shall not enter it 124 because we have lived in perverse ways? 125 or that the faces of those who practiced self-control shall shine more than the stars. but our faces shall be blacker than darkness? 126 For while we lived and committed iniquity we did not consider what we should suffer after death.” 127 He answered and said, “This is the significance or the contest that all who are born on earth shall wage: 128 they are defeated they shall suffer what you have said, but if they are victorious they shall receive what I have said. 129 For this is the way of which Moses, while he was alive, spoke to the people, saying, ‘Choose life for yourself, so that you may live!’ 130 But they did not believe him or the prophets after him, or even myself who have spoken to them. 131 Therefore there shall not be’ grief at their destruction, so much as joy over those to whom salvation is assured.
Ezra Appeals to God’s Mercy
132 I answered and said, “I know. O Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, because he has mercy on those who have not yet come into the world; 133 and gracious, because he is gracious to those who turn in repentance to his law; 134 and patient, because he shows patience toward those who have sinned, since they are his own creatures; 135 and bountiful, because he would rather give than take away; 136 and abundant in compassion, because he makes his compassions abound more and more to those now living and to those who are ~one and to those yet to come 137 for if he did not make them abound, the world with those who inhabit it would not have life – 138 and he is called the giver, because if he did not give out of his goodness so that those who have committed iniquities might be relieved of them, not one ten-thousandth of humankind could have life; 139 and the judge, because if he did not pardon those who were created by his word and blot out the multitude of their sins, 140 there would probably be left only very few of the innumerable multitude.”
I truly hope these missing verses inspire you to keep the law handed down by Moses (The 10 Commandments), the law was not done away with and we will all be judged by it. While we cannot keep it like Christ did perfectly and we are saved by grace through our faith, we are expected to uphold the law, teach it to our children and keep it to the best of our ability.
If you know of someone teaching the law has been done away with, make sure they see these missing verses.
The law was never nailed to the cross…
The handwritten (cheirographon) ordinances/ decrees (dogma) were. Those “handwritten ordinances” were not the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God given to Moses.
You are under the law, please have faith in Christ and uphold what was given to our ancestors to the best of your ability… It is expected you will make mistakes, we all do and Christ is there to be your safety net the days you stumble but put your heart into it.
I send my blessings,