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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on 1 Esdras

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1.1–22 (2 Chr 35.1–19 ):

Josiah's Passover. * It is not likely that this is the original beginning of the book since Josiah is not introduced and there is no date formula in v. 1 (see 2 Chr 34.8 ).

6 :

The Levites killed the Passover lamb as they had at the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr 30.17 ).

12 :

The Passover meal was both roasted and boiled (see Ex 12.8–9; Deut 16.7 ).

20 :

No Passover had been held like this one since the time of Samuel the prophet (see 2 Kings 23.22 ). Its uniqueness apparently lay in the role of the Levites.

1.23–24 (without canonical * parallel):

Evaluation of Josiah. In spite of the personal piety of Josiah, there were people during his reign who were more wicked than any other people, with the result that God's word of judgment fell on Israel (1 Kings 13.2, 32 , and 2 Kings 23.24–27 may have served as a source for this addition). These words resolve the theological difficulty in the accounts of Josiah, in both Kings and Chronicles, which cannot explain why the whole kingdom fell a few years after this great king died.

1.25–38 (2 Chr 35.20–27 ):

The death of Josiah.

26–27 :

Neco, king of Egypt, warns Josiah not to resist his march toward the Euphrates to shore up the reeling forces of the Assyrians. Since the Lord was with the Pharaoh, Josiah's attack on him would be an attack on the Lord as well.

28 :

In 2 Chr 35.22 the words of Neco were said to come from the mouth of God; 1 Esdras adds that they were delivered by the prophet Jeremiah! By ignoring this prophetic word Josiah brought about his own premature death.

1.34–58 (2 Chr 36.1–21 ):

Josiah's royal successors and the final days of Jerusalem.

34 :

Instead of Jeconiah/Jehoiachin, we would expect Jehoahaz, as in 2 Chr 36.1 .

38 :

Jehoiakim brought his brother Zarius back from Egypt, but according to the parallel text in 2 Chr 36.4 , Neco took Jehoiakim's brother Jehoahaz down to Egypt.

43 :

Instead of Jehoiakim in the Greek text, we would expect Jehoiachin, and NRSV so emends the text.

45 :

After the Exile, * the holy vessels of the Lord were returned to the Temple * in Jerusalem.

48 :

According to an addition in 1 Esdras, Zedekiah compounded his guilt known from 2 Chronicles (not listening to the word of the Lord and violating an oath he had sworn to Nebuchadnezzar) by transgressing the laws of the Lord, the God of Israel.

58 :

The devastated land enjoyed a sabbath rest during the Exile (see Lev 26.34–35 ). The Chronicler expected the Exile to last seventy years in fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah ( 25.11; 29.10 ).

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