Ezekiel 33:11

Hebrew Bible

10 “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you have said: “Our rebellious acts and our sins have caught up with us, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! Why should you die, O house of Israel?’ 12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him if he rebels. As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness if he sins.’

4 Ezra 8:59

2 Esdras

57 Yes, and they trampled on his just servants; 58 they said to themselves, “There is no God”, though well aware that they must die. 59 Yours, then, will be the joys I have predicted; theirs the thirst and torments which are prepared. It is not that the Most High has wanted any man to be lost, 60 but that those he created have themselves brought dishonor on their Creator’s name, and shown ingratitude to the One who had put life within their reach. 61 My day of judgment is now close at hand, 62 but I have not made this known to all; only to you and a few like you.’

 Notes and References

"... The fate of the dead is described at length in 4 Ezra 7. It is a part of a longer section (6:35–9:25), a dialogue between Ezra and the angel Uriel concerning whether the eternal punishment of sinners, who comprise most of humankind, can be reconciled with the idea of God’s love for his creation. Ezra inquires why the majority of people are sinners and thus will be punished, and only a few are saved. According to the divine answer, God is merciful to all and wants no one to be lost. Those who will be lost can only blame themselves for not keeping the law and being faithful to God (4 Ezra 8:59–60). On the other hand, the new world is only for the few precious ones, who are few “like precious stones are few amidst the clay” (4 Ezra 7:49–61). This would imply that the sinners were created not for their own sake but for those who will be saved. The majority, then, only form a dark background against which the light of the righteous shines even more brightly ..."

Lehtipuu, Outi The Afterlife Imagery in Luke’s Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (pp. 138-139) Brill, 2007

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