The relationship between the dialogues in the first three episodes of 4 Ezra and the visions and epilogue in the closing four episodes has challenged scholars for over a century. The inconclusiveness of the dialogues (episodes 1–3) along with the apparently different emphases in the visions and epilogue (episodes 4–7) has made it difficult for scholars to agree on the actual author’s position. Who does the author want the reader to agree with: Ezra, Uriel, neither, or some combination of both? This article seeks to address these problems from a fresh perspective by studying the foundational narratives appealed to and presupposed in the worldviews of Ezra and Uriel in the dialogues, and by the visions in the second half of 4 Ezra. A concluding section will explore the answers provided by the author of 4 Ezra to the two dominant problems he raises in the book (the one/many, and many/few) and will reflect on the rhetorical force of the book, the voice of the author, and the purpose of 4 Ezra. The narrative frame and flow of 4 Ezra solidly root the author’s own convictions and theology in episodes 4 through 7. The author’s primary purpose for the book is to renew Israel’s faith in its covenant-keeping God and motivate the people to pursue righteousness through obedience to the law in the absence of a functioning temple.

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