Bible 110 Old Testament contemporary with him. Chronicles History

Bible 110 Old Testament
Chronicles History
Ezra – Nehemiah
A. Begin the kingdom of God on earth; Chronicler writes of events which are
contemporary with him.
B. Five identifiable sources used:
1. Letters. Official correspondence. Two types: Hebrew and Aramaic.
Aramaic is official language of Persian Empire. The Persians encouraged
local religions and local language to flourish. Ezra 4-6 is official
correspondence (Aramaic). Decree of Cyrus allowing rebuilding of
Temple; Hebrew version has them being allowed to return from exile and
build the Temple. Chronicler assumed that all were deported in 586 BC
and that they would have to return to rebuild the Temple. This is not
necessarily true.
2. Memoirs of Nehemiah (Neh. 1-7; 13:4-31); They are not necessarily
authentic but they are self-congratulatory
3. Stories of Ezra (Ezra 7-10; Neh. 8-10) Highly legendary stories. Ezra is
given more power and authority than would be possible under Persian
rule. Idealization of Ezra.
4. Rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 1-6). Idealized, assumes immediate
rebuilding of Temple. Haggai and Zechariah show that it wasn’t complete
until 520 BC.
5. Supplementary Memoirs (Neh 11-12). More diverse than Nehemiah’s
C. These works point out the day of righteousness dawning in the post-exile
period. They also point up the Jerusalem – Samaria split. The purity of the
community was needed to gain the blessing of God. Emphasis was upon
religious functions. Emphasis upon fulfillment of the literal prescription of the
Law. In short, this was the beginning of the literalistic Judaism. Nehemiah under
Artaxerxes I (444 BC); Ezra under Artaxerxes II (398 BC)
Bible 110 Old Testament
D. Contents – Ezra
Ch 1-2 The return of the people
Ch 3-6 Rebuilding the Temple under Darius
Ch 7-8 Return of Ezra
Ch 9-10 Ezra’s teaching on mixed marriages
Ch 1-4: Nehemiah hears about the plight in Jerusalem and then returns to help
rebuild the walls. He accomplishes this against the opposition of a conspiracy
Ch 5: Economic and internal Josiah problem
Ch 6: Attempts to trap Nehemiah; completion of the wall
Ch 7-8: Reorganization of Jerusalem, reading the Law to the people (Ezra)
Ch 9: Mixed marriage reform, Penitential Psalm
Ch 9:38-10:39: Pledge of reform
Ch 11: Distribution of peoples in Jerusalem and outside of Jerusalem
Ch 12: Clerical genealogies; Dedication of the walls of Jerusalem (12:27-43)
Ch 12:44-13:3: The Ideal Community
Ch 13:4-31:Reforms of Nehemiah
Expulsion of Tobiah 13:4-8
Restoration of Levitical support 13:10-14
Sabbath Reforms 13 15-22
Mixed marriage reforms 13:23-29
Recapitulation 13:3-31