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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Book of Ezra

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1.1–11 : The return of the exiles to Jerusalem under Sheshbazzar.

1–3 :

These verses duplicate 2 Chr. 36.22–23 ; see annotation there.

1 :

The first year of Cyrus was 538 B.C.E. Cyrus ll's rule over Persia actually began in 557 B.C.E.; 538 is the date from the perspective of the Babylonians. The word spoken through Jeremiah: what to the Persians was undoubtedly an act of political expediency was to the Jews the fulfillment of God's promise as taught by Jeremiah (see Jer. 25.11–14; 29.10 ; compare Isa. 44.28; 45.1 ). Notices in writing were posted in public places.

2–4 :

Compare the decree of Cyrus in vv. 2–4 , which is in Heb., with the Aram. parallel in 6.3–5 . The somewhat different versions both conform with what is known of the diplomatic policies of the early Persian Achaemenid kings (sixth–fourth centuries B.C.E.).

4 :

Left among us: surviving (2 Chr. 36.20 ).

8 :

Mithredath: Cyrus' treasurer. Sheshbazzar may be identical with a son of Jeconiah whose name in 1 Chr. 3.18 is given as Shenazzar and elsewhere as Shenabasar or Sheshbazzar. Ruler: leader.

11 :

In all: see 1 Esd. 2.13–15 .

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