Book of Ezra

Ezra1 Esdræ1 Ezra2 EsdrasBooks of EzraEsdrasEzra (1 Ezra)Ezra and NehemiahI EzraThe Book of Ezra
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah.wikipedia
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Hebrew Bible

biblicalBibleHebrew
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah.
These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others).

Book of Nehemiah

NehemiahNeh.2 Esdras (Nehemiah)
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah.
Before that date, it had been included in the Book of Ezra; but in Latin Christian bibles from the 13th century onwards, the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah become separated; a separation that became canonised with the first printed bibles in Hebrew and Latin.

Ezra

Ezra the ScribeArtaxerxes(the Scribe)
Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews. Twentieth-century views on the composition of Ezra revolved around whether the author was Ezra himself (and who may have also authored the Books of Chronicles) or was another author or authors (who also wrote the Chronicles).
Ezra (, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra, was a Jewish scribe (sofer) and priest (kohen). In Greco-Latin Ezra is called Esdras . According to the Hebrew Bible he was a descendant of Sraya the last High Priest to serve in the First Temple, and a close relative of Joshua the first High Priest of the Second Temple ( CJB and similar translations only; see also ).

Babylonian captivity

Babylonian exileexileexile in Babylon
Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews.
According to the biblical book of Ezra, construction of the second temple in Jerusalem began around 537 BCE.

Ezra–Nehemiah

Ezrasingle bookEzra and Nehemiah
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah.
The Christian scholar Origen in the 3rd century, noting that the other Hebrew historical books; Samuel, Kings and Chronicles were 'doubled' in the Septuagint, proposed that Hebrew Ezra too should be considered as two books, which he denoted as I Ezra and II Ezra, dealing respectively with the careers of Ezra and Nehemiah; but no surviving Christian Bibles from antiquity follow this principle.

Temple in Jerusalem

TempleJewish TempleJerusalem Temple
Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews.
According to the Book of Ezra, construction of the Second Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great and began in 538 BCE, after the fall of the Babylonian Empire the year before.

Second Temple

TempleJewish TempleSecond
The Book of Ezra consists of ten chapters: chapters 1–6, covering the period from the Cyrus the Great to the dedication of the Second Temple, are told in the third person; chapters 7–10, dealing with the mission of Ezra, are told largely in the first person.
According to the closing verses of the second book of Chronicles and the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem following a decree from Cyrus the Great, construction started at the original site of the altar of Solomon's Temple.

Aramaic language

AramaicChaldeeAram.
The book contains several documents presented as historical inclusions, written in Aramaic while the surrounding text is in Hebrew (1:2-4, 4:8-16, 4:17-22, 5:7-17, 6:3-5, 6:6-12, 7:12-26)
Aramaic was the language of Jesus, who spoke the Galilean dialect during his public ministry, as well as the language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and also one of the languages of the Talmud.

Return to Zion

Restorationreturnexilic returnees
Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews.
The Book of Ezra depicts Sheshbazzar's Aliyah as a consent and encouragement of the Persian King Cyrus:

Cyrus the Great

CyrusCyrus IICampaigns of Cyrus the Great
Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews.
The Book of Ezra narrates a story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus, in which Cyrus boastfully proclaims: "All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah."

Zerubbabel

1 EsdrasZorobabelDarius contest
1. Decree of Cyrus, first version: Cyrus, inspired by God, returns the Temple vessels to Sheshbazzar, "prince of Judah", and directs the Israelites to return to Jerusalem with him and rebuild the Temple. 2. 42,360 exiles, with men servants, women servants and "singing men and women", return from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest.
According to the Book of Ezra chapter 2, Zerubbabel returned to Jerusalem in the first wave of liberated exiles under the decree of King Cyrus of Persia in 538 BCE.

Zechariah (Hebrew prophet)

ZechariahZachariasZechariah the Prophet
5. Tattenai's letter to Darius: Through the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Joshua recommence the building of the Temple. Tattenai, satrap over both Judah and Samaria, writes to Darius warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt and advising that the archives be searched to discover the decree of Cyrus.
The book of Zechariah introduces the prophet as the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo . The book of Ezra names Zechariah as the son of Iddo ( and ), but it is likely that Berechiah was Zechariah's father, and Iddo was his grandfather.

Ahasuerus

King XerxesAchashveroshAhasverus
4. Chapter 4 of the Book of Ezra mentions Xerxes I imposing sanctions on the Jewish people, which some see as support of Haman's decree.

1 Esdras

3 Esdras13 Ezra
1 Esdras, also known as "Esdras α", is an alternate Greek-language version of Ezra.
1 Esdras, also Greek Esdras, Greek Ezra, or 3 Esdras, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity.

Vulgate

Latin VulgateVulgate Biblevg
Jerome himself rejected the division in his Vulgate translation of the Bible into Latin from the Hebrew; and consequently no early Vulgate manuscripts separate the two books, and they remained undivided as a single book in the 8th century commentary of Bede, and in the 9th century bibles of Alcuin and Theodulf of Orleans.
Also beginning in the 9th century, Vulgate manuscripts are found that split Ezra and the Nehemiah into separate books called 1 Ezra and 2 Ezra.

Esdras

Esdrae i (Ezra)Ezra
*Esdras
Likewise, the Vulgate enumeration is often used by modern scholars, who nevertheless use the name Ezra to avoid confusion with the Greek and Slavonic enumerations: 1 Ezra (Ezra), 2 Ezra (Nehemiah), 3 Ezra (Esdras A/1 Esdras), 4 Ezra (chapters 3–14 of 4 Esdras), 5 Ezra (chapters 1–2 of 4 Esdras) and 6 Ezra (chapters 15–16 of 4 Esdras).

Books of Chronicles

1 ChroniclesChronicles2 Chronicles
Twentieth-century views on the composition of Ezra revolved around whether the author was Ezra himself (and who may have also authored the Books of Chronicles) or was another author or authors (who also wrote the Chronicles).
Jewish and Christian tradition identified this author as the 5th century BC figure Ezra, who gives his name to the Book of Ezra; Ezra was also believed to be the author of both Chronicles and Ezra–Nehemiah, but later critical scholarship abandoned the identification with Ezra and called the anonymous author "the Chronicler".

Mikraot Gedolot

Rabbinic BibleBen Hayyim edition of the Mikraot Gedolotedition of the Bible
The two became separated with the first printed rabbinic bibles of the early 16th century, following late medieval Latin Christian tradition.

List of monarchs of Persia

Shah of IranShahShah of Persia
Ezra is written to fit a schematic pattern in which the God of Israel inspires a king of Persia to commission a leader from the Jewish community to carry out a mission; three successive leaders carry out three such missions, the first rebuilding the Temple, the second purifying the Jewish community, and the third sealing the holy city itself behind a wall.

Nehemiah

Neh.Nehemiah the son of HacaliahNehemya
(This last mission, that of Nehemiah, is not part of the Book of Ezra.) The theological program of the book explains the many problems its chronological structure presents.

Hebrew language

HebrewHeb.Hebrew-language
The book contains several documents presented as historical inclusions, written in Aramaic while the surrounding text is in Hebrew (1:2-4, 4:8-16, 4:17-22, 5:7-17, 6:3-5, 6:6-12, 7:12-26)

Cyrus the Great in the Bible

Cyrus the GreatCyrusCyrus in Babylon and the Jewish connection
The Book of Ezra consists of ten chapters: chapters 1–6, covering the period from the Cyrus the Great to the dedication of the Second Temple, are told in the third person; chapters 7–10, dealing with the mission of Ezra, are told largely in the first person. 1. Decree of Cyrus, first version: Cyrus, inspired by God, returns the Temple vessels to Sheshbazzar, "prince of Judah", and directs the Israelites to return to Jerusalem with him and rebuild the Temple.

Joshua the High Priest

JoshuaJoshua, son of JehozadakJeshua
2. 42,360 exiles, with men servants, women servants and "singing men and women", return from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest. 3. Jeshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel build the altar and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. In the second year the foundations of the Temple are laid and the dedication takes place with great rejoicing.

Sukkot

Feast of TabernaclesSuccothFeast of Booths
3. Jeshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel build the altar and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. In the second year the foundations of the Temple are laid and the dedication takes place with great rejoicing.

Haggai

Haggiah
5. Tattenai's letter to Darius: Through the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Joshua recommence the building of the Temple. Tattenai, satrap over both Judah and Samaria, writes to Darius warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt and advising that the archives be searched to discover the decree of Cyrus.