We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Ezra - Introduction

EZRA‐NEHEMIAH, WHICH BEGINS where Chronicles ends, is written as a continuation of Chronicles. It contains historical traditions, records significant liturgical developments in the newly reconstituted Second Temple community, and preserves important geneaolgical lists of returnees, priests, Levites, and other leadership and Temple personnel. In presenting this material concerning the early postexilic period, Ezra‐Nehemiah emphasizes repeatedly their continuity with the Israelite preexilic past. Ezra explicitly appropriates Mosaic authority as he is represented as regiving the Torah in a kind of repetition of the Sinai event. Indeed, Ezra and Nehemiah insist that their legal innovations are already part of Mosaic Torah, i.e., that they are accurate applications of Mosaic Torah and have authoritative Mosaic status. Furthermore, the narrative of Ezra‐Nehemiah repeatedly invokes and identifies with the “conquest” of the land of Israel during the time of Joshua as a way of authorizing the returnees' appropriation of Judah and their insistence on rebuilding the Temple and the wall of Jerusalem. The narrative of Ezra‐Nehemiah thus represents the self‐understanding of the reconstituted Second Temple community as fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant of promised land, a land which, in their textual memory, had been violently torn from them by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Ezra‐Nehemiah also repeatedly invokes the prophetic traditions of promise for return after the exile. They see themselves as part of the divine fulfillment of earlier prophecies for return and hope uttered by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. This identification was meant, in part, to encourage the returnees to identify with and revere their past textual history and overcome the profound disappointment that must have overwhelmed the exiles in Babylonia.

During the reign of Cyrus II (559–530 BCE), the king issued a proclamation encouraging nations to establish their own temples in their indigenous lands. At this time Sheshbazzar was the appointed governor (or leader) of Judah, now a province in the Persian empire, known as Yehud. As a result of Cyrus’s decree of 538, known in different forms in Ezra 1.1–4 (see 2 Chron. 36.22–23 ) and Ezra 6.1–5 , some Judean exiles returned to Israel. Returnees began to reconstruct the Jerusalem Temple and resettle in Judah and surrounding environs. During the reign of Cambyses (530–522), Zerubbabel was governor of Judah and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple continued. During the reign of Darius I (522–486) Haggai and Zechariah prophesied in Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Temple was rebuilt anddedicated in 516. The rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall and surrounding areas continued under Xerxes I (486–465) and Artaxerxes I Longimanus (465–424). Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in 458. Nehemiah, governor of Judah, was sent to Jerusalem to rebuild the city in 445 and served under both Artaxerxes I and Darius II (423–405), who, following the general Persian policy of religious tolerance, continued to support Judah during his reign.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy and legal notice