Books Of Ezra And Nehemiah

Decent Essays

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah of the Old Testament are essential works in understanding history of the fifth century before Christ. In order to discuss why these books are essential, and exegetical investigation of each is necessary, comparing and contrasting regarding the literary and historical contexts of each, including the religious and cultural challenges that each book discusses. An exegetical investigation of the historical context of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah indicates that both books have similar religious and cultural challenges of ethnic division and exclusivity in community, intermarriage, and restoration, as well as similar methods of addressing those challenges in their respective communities both men prophesied to …show more content…

During the first year of his reign, “Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah,” was stirred by the Lord to build a temple in Jerusalem., The author also explans that Cyrus also “posed a fatal threat to the Neo-Babylonian Empire” and rose in power over Babylon after he captured Nabonidus, the Babylonian leader. According to Katherine Southwood, “one of the most prominent sources” that verifies this history is the Cyrus Cylinder, which “portrays the potential, under Persian imperial leadership, for exiled communities to return to their homeland.” This action on Cyrus’s part to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem is a major challenge that Ezra has in the later chapters. When Ezra is finally discussed in chapter seven, this begins what is called the “Ezra Memoirs.” Ezra was a priest and “a famous expert in the law…[who] went to the Persian court to obtain the royal patronage for the scheme which was devised, or rather for so much of it as it seemed worth while to communicate to Artaxerxes,” the scheme of rebuilding the temple, which Cyrus had began., The reply of Artaxerxes I is shown in the latter majority of chapter seven, which gives Ezra the power to use money from the “royal treasury” if necessary to assist in rebuilding the temple. According to Artaxerxes I’s decree, Ezra was sent “to supervise Juah and Jerusalem with reagrd to the law of…God…and

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