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The Post-Exilic Period: Ezra, Nehemiah, And Esther

DudleySmith

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A beginning study guide, with a lot of historical information for students of history.


Example section,

Introduction to Ezra

VI. SOURCES CORROBORATING HISTORICAL SETTING


A. The form of documents in Ezra follows the pattern and style of the official documents of the Persian period:


1. decree of Cyrus (Hebrew translation), 1:2-4 (about the Jews returning to Jerusalem and the temple)


2. legal charges by Rehum to Artaxerxes I, 4:7-16 (about royal permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem)


3. response of Artaxerxes I, 4:17-22


4. legal charges by Tattenai to Darius I, 5:6-17


5. Darius I's response (about the temple)


6. Artaxerxes I's decree to Ezra, 7:12-26


B. The Elephantine Papyri (a letter from Jewish mercenaries on an island in the Nile to the priests in Jerusalem) in 408 b.c. establishes the historicity of Ezra/Nehemiah by mentioning Sanballat (Sin-Uballit in Babylonia, cf. Neh. 2:10,19; 4:1). The letter also exhibits the typical style of Imperial Aramaic correspondence.


C. Several silver bowls which were found at Succoth were inscribed "to Geshem's son Qainu," also confirm the historicity of Geshem the Arab in Ezra/Nehemiah, who ruled the kingdom of Kedar (cf. Neh. 2:19; 6:1,6).


And so on, a good reference source as well for other issues and literature.
 

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