Zechariah’s dramatic claim that Yahweh would protect the city with a wall of fire Zech. As in the days of the erection of the second temple, dynamic and determined leadership was needed to accomplish the rebuilding. Such leadership was found in Nehemiah. Although the records were compiled some time after the reported events occurred, there is reason to believe that the Chronicler incorporated accurate “personal diary” material into the narrative. On the other hand, the so-called “Ezra Memoirs” Ezra ; Neh. If genuine Ezra material is contained in these chapters, it has been so completely overwritten by the Chronicler that attempts to extract the original work are fruitless. Chronological difficulties confront those who attempt to unravel the sequence of events of this period. Biblical tradition places Ezra before Nehemiah. Ezra, a priest and scribe from Babylon, led a group of exiles to Jerusalem Ezra 7: The events recorded in Ezra are dated in the seventh year of Artaxerxes cf.
Best Commentaries on Ezra & Nehemiah
Manna ceases Joshua 5: This day of the erection of the sanctuary was the 1st of the divinely appointed 1st month, for it is the month of the Passover. It is evidently the first Abib since the departure from Egypt see on Exodus The years as reckoned from the Exodus, then, were spring-beginning years, and the first of the series was the one in which the Hebrews left Egypt. If this series of years from the Exodus had been continued as an era for dating subsequent events, it would have greatly simplified the problem of Old Testament chronology.
We are in a better position to reckon backward to the patriarchs from later and better known periods, though not with complete certainty.
The books of Ezra-Nehemiah as a whole are the product of the addition of at least six layers of material, culminating in the extension backward of a multi-layered Nehemiah narrative with successive portions of the Ezra chapters that progressively privileged the temple and priestly leadership of Ezra over the wall and lay leadership of Nehemiah.
Ezra the Scribe Identified as Nehemiah the Governor http: It is commonly thought that Malachi Heb: Wellhausen, Kuenen, and Nowack consider ch. Cornill states that Zech. Let us look further into this. The social conditions portrayed are unquestionably those also of the period of the Restoration. More specifically, Malachi probably lived and labored during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Offer it now unto thy governor. It denotes a ruler set over a province by a Persian king. As Nehemiah had refused to be burdensome to the people Nehemiah 5:
Parallel Lives, Also BC Afterglows In AD
The nightmare of warfare, slaughter, and deportation to Babylon has faded. Many alive now have never seen the Holy City, but have been born in Babylon, in the area around Nippur, where the Jews had settled after three deportations from Jerusalem between and BC. The last deportation in BC had coincided with the utter destruction of their beloved city.
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Recently I noticed a few interesting connections between Nehemiah and the story of Esther. As you may remember, Esther becomes the next Queen of Persia and eventually risks her life to save the Jewish exiles living in Persia from extermination . The Book of Esther is placed after the Book of Nehemiah, but her story actually came first .
This opens the possibility that Esther and Nehemiah could have lived as contemporaries in the same city for a period of time. From what we know of Artaxerxes heritage, this is hard to understand. What made him sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish homeland, even to the point of providing resources? Was it his personal relationship with Nehemiah that accounted for his behavior, or was there something more?
There may have been some political reason for his sympathy, but there are also some personal factors to consider. I had trouble finding much historical evidence about the connection between Artaxerxes 1 and Esther in my brief search. Why did she stay with him, rather than restart her life? Most of the Jews preferred the comfortable life of the Persian Empire to an arduous life rebuilding their devastated homeland. This would be consistent with a pattern seen often in the Old Testament, in which God intentionally chooses a woman to play an instrumental role in accomplishing his purposes take Miriam, Deborah, Jael, and Huldah, for example.
Book of Ezra
A uniformity of language, style, and outlook is evident throughout, and the concluding verses of II Chronicles The division apparently resulted from the admission of the latter portion of teh work Ezra-Nehemiah into the Canon prior to the acceptance of the first part Chronicles. Ezra-Nehemiah was admitted first because it records a phase of Hebrew history provided by none of the other canonical books, whereas Chronicles repeats in large part the history contained in the older works.
The B.C. dating of the journeys of Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem hinges on whether, by Biblical reckoning, Artaxerxes’ 7th and 20th years began with the 1st .
What are the books of 1 Esdras and 2 Esdras? The books of 1 and 2 Esdras are not part of the biblical canon. Second Esdras is an apocalyptic work and is considered pseudepigraphal. Authorship and dating of 1 and 2 Esdras are somewhat problematic, and some scholars place the writing of certain portions of 2 Esdras as late as the 2nd century AD. There are some historical problems with 1 and 2 Esdras.
In the narrative of 1 Esdras, the reign of the Persian King Artaxerxes incorrectly precedes those of Cyrus the Great c. First Esdras appears in the Septuagint as an expanded book of Ezra, containing four additional chapters. This book was said to be known by Josephus born AD Second Esdras was written too late to be included in the Septuagint and, therefore, does not appear within the more prominent canon Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox.
Second Esdras is also known by many other names, making it difficult to track fully.
Resource Limit Is Reached
Click for Ezra and Esther Home Page with all Lessons, Audio, and Handouts Last week we started looking at the way that time is treated in the book of Ezra, and we saw that it is treated in an unusual way. The first half of the book covers nearly a century while the second half of the book covers only a single year. Also, at times Ezra jumps forward and backward in time.
Our question was why. Why does Ezra do this, and is there a message for us?
II. AUTHORS: Ezra and Nehemiah (and a possible Chronicler) A. The Book of Ezra was written by the spiritual leader Ezra the scribe/priest. 1. The Babylonian Talmud identifies Ezra the scribe as the chronicler of 1 and 2 Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah 2. Note the use of the first person in Ezra .
Different translators have at times preferred different forms. With such variants, I have chosen the most popular form. All of the names may be found in the Bible, though some, like Alexander, are known from other historical sources as well. Very obscure biblical names have been excluded. Each entry is supported by a biblical citation showing the earliest known use of the name.
Genders A boy or girl of today might be given many biblical names with little regard to the original gender of the name. In fact, many parents already do this: There are also biblical names such as Daniel, traditionally masculine, that have been adapted into female versions such as Danielle. The following terms are used to indicate genders: Concubines Many biblical women are described as concubines.
In the polygamous society of the ancient Hebrews, concubinage was not immoral.
Type of Dated Event: On this important day in Jewish history, the Jews rose up in a blistering military defeat. The fear of the Jews, led by Mordecai, spread rapidly causing a quick military defeat of their enemies. This battle with the enemies of the Jews establishes the dates on which the Feast of Purim is celebrated. His 51 year reign ends in BC. The letter mentioned here is to King Artaxerxes in the first year of his reign in BC.
4. We know that Ezra, also contemporary with Nehemiah 22, was the son of Seraiah 23 and from a comparison of the genealogies 24 that that was the same Seraiah as was killed by Nebuchadnezzar in Ezra therefore must have been born about or before B.C. If he were alive and active in , he would then have been about 5.
I live in a small house. I work in a small office in a small church. For those reasons and others I will never have a huge library. When I add a book I almost always remove a book, a practice that allows me to focus on quality over quantity. Over the past couple of years I have focused on building a collection of commentaries that will include only the best volumes on each book of the Bible.
I know when I’m in way over my head, so before I began I collected every good resource I could find that rated and reviewed commentaries. I studied them and then began my collection on the basis of what the experts told me. Since I did all of that work, and since I continue to keep up with the project, I thought it might be helpful to share the recommendations. My focus is on newer commentaries at least in part because most of the classics are now freely or cheaply available and I am offering approximately 5 recommendations for each book of the Bible, alternating between the Old Testament and the New.
Most commentators on the commentaries rate this as the best volume on Ezra and Nehemiah. Fensham takes the traditional approach to the books’ dating, authorship and other elements. His strength is apparently in his emphasis on history and culture.