Ezra Creates His "Law of Moses"

Ezra is credited, by Jewish tradition, with the compilation of the books of the Old Testament. In this ancient apocryphal acount of 2nd Esdras, or 4th Ezra, the books of the Old Testament are not only said to be put together by Ezra, but actually "channeled", or written by him! If this account is not historically accurate, it is at least allegorically correct in its assertion that some redactor, about the time of Ezra, wrote down a hodge podge of religious traditions and cultic practices and called it the "Law of Moses".

In this account Ezra laments that there is no existing Law, for all copies of it have been burnt or destroyed upon his return to the land of Palestine. His solution to this situation is to simply write a new one. Ezra had not been raised with the Law, for he and all his generation had grown up in exile in Babylon where animals were sacrificed as a form of worship. Had his generation possessed copies of the true Law during their exile, Ezra would not have said that no copies had survived. With no firsthand knowledge of the ancient Law of Moses, Ezra was forced to write a new and different Law based on his own experiences in exile. Ezra called this new law the "Law of Moses". Ezra's "new law" was no doubt based partially on older oral tradition, and perhaps even included scraps of earlier written material, but its main core of animal sacrifice was most certainly not part of the original Law of Moses.

"The Nasaraeans . . .They acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws - not this law, however, but some other. And so, they were Jews who kept all the Jewish observances, but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books (of Moses) are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers.(Panarion 1:18)

The animal sacrifice cult portrayed in Ezra's Law was condemned by Yeshua (Jesus) and by all true Nasarenes who adhered to the more ancient and true law of Moses.

And Jesus answered: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. (Essene Gospel of Peace - Szekely)

Apocrypha Acount of 4 Ezra 14,15

[1] On the third day, while I was sitting under an oak, behold, a voice came out of a bush opposite me and said, "Ezra, Ezra."
[2] And I said, "Here I am, Lord," and I rose to my feet.
[3] Then he said to me, "I revealed myself in a bush and spoke to Moses, when my people were in bondage in Egypt;
[4] and I sent him and led my people out of Egypt; and I led him up on Mount Sinai, where I kept him with me many days;
[5] and I told him many wondrous things, and showed him the secrets of the times and declared to him the end of the times. Then I commanded him, saying,
[6] `These words you shall publish openly, and these you shall keep secret.'
[7] And now I say to you;
[8] Lay up in your heart the signs that I have shown you, the dreams that you have seen, and the interpretations that you have heard;
[9] for you shall be taken up from among men, and henceforth you shall live with my Son and with those who are like you, until the times are ended.
[10] For the age has lost its youth, and the times begin to grow old.
[11] For the age is divided into twelve parts, and nine of its parts have already passed,
[12] as well as half of the tenth part; so two of its parts remain, besides half of the tenth part.
[13] Now therefore, set your house in order, and reprove your people; comfort the lowly among them, and instruct those that are wise. And now renounce the life that is corruptible,
[14] and put away from you mortal thoughts; cast away from you the burdens of man, and divest yourself now of your weak nature,
[15] and lay to one side the thoughts that are most grievous to you, and hasten to escape from these times.
[16] For evils worse than those which you have now seen happen shall be done hereafter.
[17] For the weaker the world becomes through old age, the more shall evils be multiplied among its inhabitants.
[18] For truth shall go farther away, and falsehood shall come near. For the eagle which you saw in the vision is already hastening to come."
[19] Then I answered and said, "Let me speak in thy presence, Lord.

[20] For behold, I will go, as thou hast commanded me, and I will reprove the people who are now living; but who will warn those who will be born hereafter?

For the world lies in darkness, and its inhabitants are without light.
For thy law has been burned, and so no one knows the things which have been done or will be done by thee.
[22] If then I have found favor before thee, send the Holy Spirit into me, and
I will write everything that has happened in the world from the beginning, the things which were written in thy law, that men may be able to find the path, and that those who wish to live in the last days may live."
[23] He answered me and said, "Go and gather the people, and tell them not to seek you for forty days.
[24] But
prepare for yourself many writing tablets, and take with you Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ethanus, and Asiel -- these five, because they are trained to write rapidly;
[25] and you shall come here, and I will light in your heart the lamp of understanding, which shall not be put out until what you are about to write is finished.
[26] And when you have finished, some things you shall make public, and some you shall deliver in secret to the wise; tomorrow at this hour you shall begin to write."

[27] Then I went as he commanded me, and I gathered all the people together, and said, [28] "Hear these words, O Israel
[29] At first our fathers dwelt as aliens in Egypt, and they were delivered from there,
[30] and received the law of life, which they did not keep, which you also have transgressed after them.
[31] Then land was given to you for a possession in the land of Zion; but you and your fathers committed iniquity and did not keep the ways which the Most High commanded you.
[32] And because he is a righteous judge, in due time he took from you what he had given.
[33] And now you are here, and your brethren are farther in the interior.
[34] If you, then, will rule over your minds and discipline your hearts, you shall be kept alive, and after death you shall obtain mercy.
[35] For after death the judgment will come, when we shall live again; and then the names of the righteous will become manifest, and the deeds of the ungodly will be disclosed.
[36] But let no one come to me now, and let no one seek me for forty days."
[37] So I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we proceeded to the field, and remained there.

[38] And on the next day, behold, a voice called me, saying, "Ezra, open your mouth and drink what I give you to drink."
[39] Then I opened my mouth, and behold, a full cup was offered to me; it was full of something like water, but its color was like fire.
[40] And I took it and drank; and when I had drunk it, my heart poured forth understanding, and wisdom increased in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory;
[41] and my mouth was opened, and was no longer closed.
[42] And the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and by turns they wrote what was dictated, in characters which they did not know. They sat forty days, and wrote during the daytime, and ate their bread at night.
[43] As for me, I spoke in the daytime and was not silent at night.
[44] So during the forty days ninety-four books were written.
[45] And when the forty days were ended, the Most High spoke to me, saying, "Make public the twenty-four books that you wrote first and let the worthy and the unworthy read them;
[46] but keep the seventy that were written last, in order to give them to the wise among your people.
[47] For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the river of knowledge."
[48] And I did so.


[1] The Lord says, "Behold, speak in the ears of my people the words of the prophecy which I will put in your mouth,
[2] and cause them to be written on paper;
for they are trustworthy and true.

[3] Do not fear the plots against you, and do not be troubled by the unbelief of those who oppose you.
[4] For every unbeliever shall die in his unbelief."
[5] "Behold," says the Lord, "I bring evils upon the world, the sword and famine and death and destruction.

The Nazarenes of  Mount Carmel
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