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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Ezra

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 9

Book Overview - Ezra

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE BOOK OF EZRA

January 2013Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme - How to Serve the Lord with All Our Strength

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF EZRA

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah - The tragic events of Israel's Babylonian exile served as the fertile soil for regenerating a nation that was transformed, no longer as much politically oriented as it was religiously focused, being led by priests and governors; thus, these events produced a nation that was more priestly than political. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah reveal how a restored Israel became focused upon religious conformity rather than political enterprises. This narrative material reveals that God was more concerned about the hearts of His people when they returned from exile than he was about the shame and ridicule that they had to endure from outsiders. They were no longer summoned to battle to conquest heathen nations; but instead, they were called to sanctify themselves in the midst of the nations to which they had been scattered. 1] The Holy Scriptures would never again become misplaced and lost in clutter amidst dusty rooms in the Temple, as in the days prior to Josiah's reform ( 2 Kings 22:1-20). The Scriptures would be canonized during this inter-biblical period of Jewish history, treasured above all else, as elders carefully taught to their children how to obey the Law. The great manifestations of divine miracles had now largely subsided in which God had continually delivered His wayward people prior to the Captivity. Israel now clung to her Jewish traditions without compromise in the midst of great persecutions, demonstrating a great intolerance for paganism. The nations knew the Jews as a people judged by God, rather than a glorious people of worship under Solomon's reign. Nevertheless, the Jews were now a holy people unto the Lord, anxiously awaiting the coming of the Messiah.

1] W. Schultz, The Book of Ezra , trans. Charles A. Briggs, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students, ed. John Peter Lange (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1877), 1.

This series of events parallels modern-day ministers of the Gospel who after becoming great, have subsequently fallen, and then resurrect to become better servants of God, although their ministries have become greatly reduced in size. Such modern-day evangelists as Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker became more pleasing to the Lord after their fall and repentance than during the peak of their glorious ministries when sins and weaknesses remained undisclosed; and not only they, but also many of us as believers have backslidden, found repentance, and gained a greater walk with the Lord than in the past. Our new zeal for the Lord moves us to greater walk with the Lord than before, as we lay aside worldly pursuits and seek those things that are above. Thus, many of us can identify with Ezra's long journey home to Jerusalem and Nehemiah's passion to restore genuine worship of the Lord.

Introductory Material- The introduction to the book of Ezra will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 2] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

2] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

HISTORICAL SETTING

"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture

if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."

(J. Hampton Keathley) 3]

3] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the book of Ezra will provide a discussion on its title, historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the Jewish tradition that Ezra the scribe was the most likely author of the book of Ezra.

I. The Title

The Masoretic scribes named Ezra -Nehemiah by the single title "Ezra." 4] Thus, the Babylonian Talmud says that Ezra wrote his book and the book of Chronicles, and that Nehemiah , the son of Hachaliah, finished his work, which is a reference to the book of Nehemiah as well. The Jews recognized a distinction between Ezra and Nehemiah , but identified them under one title in ancient times.

4] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

"And who wrote all the books? Moses wrote his book and a portion of Bil'am , xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning: ‘And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died.' Samuel wrote his book, Judges , and Ruth. David wrote Psalm , with the assistance of ten elders, viz.: Adam the First, Malachi Zedek, Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamentations. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah ,, Proverbs ,, Song of Solomon , and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel , the Twelve Prophets, Daniel , and the Book of Esther. Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh's theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra's book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah." (Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) 5]

5] Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.

J. Barton Payne tells us that the oldest manuscripts containing the LXX (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus) combine Ezra and Nehemiah , while later versions of the LXX separate them, entitling them 1,2Ezra, perhaps from the influence of the Church fathers. 6] John Gill adds that the Arabic versions entitled them 1,2Ezra. 7]

6] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

7] John Gill, Ezra , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), "Introduction."

The Jewish historian Josephus (A.D 37-100) counts the canonical books of the Old Testament as twenty-two, which suggests that Ezra and Nehemiah were counted as one book by the Jews.

"For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another [as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; (39) and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; (40) but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life." (Against Apion 18)

Melito, bishop of Sardis (d. c 190) calls them by one title "Edras." 8] Origen (A.D. c 185 - c 254) says Ezra and Nehemiah are called 1,2Edras, which the Hebrew Bible combines into one book called "Ezra." 9] Payne says Jerome (A.D 347-420) separated the two books in his Latin Vulgate, calling Nehemiah "liber secundus Esdrae." Payne says the Wycliffe"s Bible (1382) calls them "The First and Second Book of Esdras." 10] Payne says the Hebrew Bible held its tradition of one title until 1448 , 11] at which time we have the first testimony of a Hebrew manuscript separating these books into two titles, followed by the separation of the two books in Bomberg's printed edition of 1525. 12] Luther's Bible of 1530 gives the two distinct titles "Das Büch Esra" and "Das Büch Nehemia." 13] The Coverdale Bible (1535) gives the titles as "The First Boke of Esdras" and "The Second Boke of Esdras, otherwyse called the Boke of Nehemias." 14] The Geneva Bible of 1560 entitled the books "Ezra" and "Nehemiah." 15] The Authorized Version of 1611followed this tradition, using the names "Ezra" and "The Booke of Nehemiah." 16] While the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were popularly called 1,2Edras as late as the fifteenth century by Jews and Christians alike, the two modern Hebrew titles ( עזרא) (Esra) and ( נחמיה) (Nehemia) can be found in the standard work Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 17] and modern English Bibles entitle them Ezra and Nehemiah.

8] Eusebius cites Melito, bishop of Sardis, saying, "Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis ,, Exodus ,, Numbers ,, Leviticus , Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges , Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalm of David, the Proverbs of Song of Solomon , Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes ,, Song of Solomon , Job; of Prophets, Isaiah , Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel ,, Ezekiel , Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books. Such are the words of Melito."

9] Eusebius cites Origen, who says, "Esdras, First and Second in one, Ezra , that Isaiah , ‘An assistant'[ βοηθός]." (Ecclesiastical History 6252)

10] The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, with the Apocryphal Books, in the Earliest English Versions Made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and His Followers, 4vols, eds. Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1850).

11] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 4. Canon."

12] Mikraot Gedolot, ed. Jacob ben Ḥayyim of Tunis (Venice: David Bomberg, 1525).

13] Martin Luther, Die gantze Bibel der ursprgliche[n] Ebraischenn unnd Griechischenn warheyt nach, auffs aller trewlichest vertetschet (Zrich, 1530).

14] The Holy Scriptures Faithfully and Truly Translated by Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Ereter, 1535 (London: Samuel Bagster, 1838).

15] The Bible: That Isaiah , the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament, Translated According to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the Best Translations in Divers Languages (London, 1579, 1599, 1615).

16] The Holy Bible A Facimile in a Reduced Size of the Authorized Version Published in the Year 1611 (Oxford: The Oxford University Press, 1611).

17] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, eds. A. Alt, O. Eifelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c 1967-77).

II. Historical Background

A. The Historical Times of Ezra and Nehemiah - Ezra and Nehemiah ministered during the reign of Artaxerxes I (465 to 424 B.C.), the third son of Xerxes, and was commonly called Longimanus. 18]

18] R. Dick Wilson, "Artaxerxes," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

The book of Nehemiah commands the position as the last historical book of the Old Testament, 19] and with its closing, the Jews waited four hundred years for their next divine prophecy, which took place when the angel appeared to Zechariah in the Temple to announce the birth of John the Baptist ( Luke 1:5-25).

19] Matthew Henry, An Exposition, with Practical Observations, of the Book of Nehemiah, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

B. The Biography of Ezra - The Babylonian Talmud tells us that Ezra was a disciple of Baruch , the scribe of the prophet Jeremiah , saying, "Rabh, and according to others R. Samuel b. Martha, said: The study of the Law is of more importance than the building of the Temple; for so long as Barach b. Neriah lived, Ezra returned not to the land of Israel." (Megilla 16b) 20] This explains why Ezra did not immediately go with the first group of Jews returning from Babylonian Captivity, since he waited on Baruch until his death before leaving for Jerusalem. 21] Josephus tells us that he died as an old man and was buried at Jerusalem. 22]

20] Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 8 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 44.

21] Rabbi Nosson Scherman [on-line]; accessed 27 November 2010; available from http://www.jewishpress.com/author.cfm?contentid=13434&sid=0&start=41; Internet.

22] Josephus writes, "So it came to pass, that after he had obtained this reputation among the people, he died an old Prayer of Manasseh , and was buried in a magnificent manner at Jerusalem. About the same time it happened also that Joacim, the high priest, died; and his son Eliasib succeeded in the high priesthood." (Antiquities 1155)

III. Authorship

A. Internal Evidence - Internal evidence points to Ezra as the author of the book of Ezra.

1. The Author of Ezra Refers to Himself in the First Person - The author of the book of Ezra refers to himself in the first person in from Ezra 7:27 to Ezra 9:15.

2. Chronicles and Ezra Share the Same Authorship - Scholars widely agree that the books of Chronicles and Ezra -Nehemiah were authored by the same individual. 23] This view is based upon a number of observations about common features of these two books.

23] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 5. Literary Form and Authorship."

a) Chronicles and Ezra Share the Same Passage of Scripture - The closing passage of the books of Chronicles ( 2 Chronicles 36:22-23) is repeated almost word for word in the opening of the book of Ezra ( Ezra 1:1-3), suggesting the same author of both books. Bowman suggests this replication was a deliberate attempt to indicate the close connection between these books. 24]

24] Raymond A. Bowman and Charles W. Gilkey, The Book of Ezra and the Book of Nehemiah , in The Interpreter's Bible, vol 3, ed. George Arthur Buttrick (New York: Abingdon Press, 1954), 551.

b) The Literary Style of the Chronicles and Ezra -Nehemiah - Raymond Bowman says the Chronicles and Ezra -Nehemiah share the same literary style of later Hebrew language, as well as similar "presuppositions, interests, points of view, and theological and ecclesiastical conceptions." 25]

25] Raymond A. Bowman and Charles W. Gilkey, The Book of Ezra and the Book of Nehemiah , in The Interpreter's Bible, vol 3, ed. George Arthur Buttrick (New York: Abingdon Press, 1954), 551.

The literary style of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are also similar to that of 1-2Chronicles in that they both contain numerous genealogies and lists. For example, Payne offers the following list of names and items:

"(1) the vessels of the temple ( Ezra 1:9-11);

(2) the returned exiles ( Ezra 2:1-70; Nehemiah 7:6-73);

(3) the genealogy of Ezra ( Ezra 7:1-5);

(4) the heads of the clans ( Ezra 8:1-14),

(5) those involved in mixed marriages ( Ezra 10:18-43),

(6) those who helped rebuild the wall ( Nehemiah 3);

(7) those who sealed the covenant ( Nehemiah 10:1-27);

(8) residents of Jerusalem and other cities ( Nehemiah 11:3-36); and

(9) priests and Levites ( Nehemiah 12:1-26)." 26]

26] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 5. Literary Form and Authorship."

Payne also notes the following "official documents or letters" contained in Ezra:

"(1) the decree of Cyrus ( Ezra 1:2-4);

(2) the accusation of Rehum et al. against the Jews ( Ezra 4:11-16);

(3) the reply of Artaxerxes I ( Ezra 4:17-22);

(4) the report from Tattenai ( Ezra 5:7-17);

(5) the memorandum of Cyrus"s decree ( Ezra 6:2-5);

(6) Darius"s reply to Tattenai ( Ezra 6:6-22),

(7) the king"s authorization to Ezra ( Ezra 7:12-26)." 27]

27] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 5. Literary Form and Authorship."

c) Grammatical Terms in Ezra are Similar to Chronicles - The books of Chronicles share a number of words and phrases in common with Ezra -Nehemiah.

i) Jewish Festivals- Both books describe Jewish festivals in detail.

ii) Levites and Temple Workers - Both books make frequent references to the Levites and other Temple workers. Payne notes that the word "Levites" is mentioned twice in the books of Samuel, once in the books of Kings, but approximately one hundred times in the Chronicles, and at least sixty times in Ezra -Nehemiah. The terms "singer," "gatekeeper," and "temple servants" are used almost entirely in the books of Chronicles and Ezra -Nehemiah. 28]

28] J. Barton Payne, Ezra -, Nehemiah , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction: 5. Literary Form and Authorship."

iii) The Phrase "father's houses" - The phrase "father's houses" occurs over twenty times in the Chronicles and five times in Ezra -Nehemiah ( Ezra 2:59; Ezra 10:16, Nehemiah 1:6; Nehemiah 7:61; Nehemiah 10:34).

iv) The Phrase "chief of the fathers" - The phrase "chief of the fathers" occurs over twenty times in the Chronicles and fifteen times in Ezra -Nehemiah ( Ezra 1:5; Ezra 2:68; Ezra 3:12; Ezra 4:2-3; Ezra 8:1; Ezra 8:29; Ezra 10:16, Nehemiah 7:70-71; Nehemiah 8:13; Nehemiah 11:13; Nehemiah 12:12; Nehemiah 12:22-23).

v) The Phrase "house of God" - The phrase "house of God" occurs often in Ezra -Nehemiah and over thirty times in the Chronicles.

B. External Evidence - We are able to find clues as to the authorship of the book of Ezra outside of biblical literature when we look at other ancient Jewish literature. The Babylonian Talmud says that Ezra wrote his book and the book of Chronicles, and that Nehemiah , the son of Hachaliah, finished his work, which is a reference to the book of Nehemiah as well. 29] This fits well with the abrupt ending of Ezra , so that someone like Nehemiah would have felt compelled to complete the narrative material contained in Ezra.

29] "Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh's theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra's book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah." (Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) See Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.

IV. Date

V. Recipients

VI. Occasion

LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)

"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.

If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."

(Thomas Schreiner) 30]

30] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.

Within the historical setting of the Babylonian Captivity of the nation of Israel, the author of the book of Ezra chose to write using the literary style of the historical narrative. Thus, the book of Ezra is assigned to the literary genre called "historical narrative literature."

Ezra 4:8 to Ezra 6:18 and Ezra 7:12-26 were originally written in Aramaic, rather than in Hebrew. The reason is that they may preserve an official correspondence with the king.

THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."

(Andreas Ksenberger) 31]

31] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.

Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the book of Ezra , an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the book of Ezra for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.

VII. Purpose

VIII. Thematic Scheme

IX. Literary Structure

X. Outline of Book

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

Espin, E. T. and J. F. Thrupp. Numbers. In The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 1, part 1. Ed. F. C. Cook. London: John Murray, 1871.

Gill, John. Ezra. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Gill, John. Numbers. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Henry, Matthew. The Book of Nehemiah. In Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Metzger, Bruce M, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007.

Payne, J. Barton. Ezra -Nehemiah. In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 4. Eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992. In Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001.

Rawlinson, George. Nehemiah. In The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 3. Ed. F. C. Cook. London: John Murray, 1873.

Schultz, W. The Book of Ezra. Trans. Charles A. Briggs. In A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students. Ed. John Peter Lange. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1877.

Yamauchi, Edwin. Ezra , Nehemiah. In vol 4of The Expositor's Bible Commentary. Ed. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992. In Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001.

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abrahams, I. "Time." In A Dictionary of the Bible Dealing with its Literature, Language and Contents Including the Biblical Theology. Ed. James Hastings, vol 4. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.

Balcer, Jack Martin. "Cyrus the Great." In The World Book Encyclopedia, vol 4. Chicago: World Book, Inc, 1994.

The Bible: That Isaiah , the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament, Translated According to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the Best Translations in Divers Languages. London, 1579, 1599, 1615.

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Eds. A. Alt, O. Eifelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c 1967-77.

Bowman, Raymond A. and Charles W. Gilkey. The Book of Ezra and the Book of Nehemiah. In The Interpreter's Bible, vol 3. Ed. George Arthur Buttrick. New York: Abingdon Press, 1954.

Bruce, F. F. The Books and the Parchments. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963.

Bullinger, E. W. "Appendix 30: Massrah." In The Companion Bible Being The Authorized Version of 1611With The Structures And Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive And With 198 Appendixes. London: Oxford University Press, c 1909-22.

Gunkel, Hermann. The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction. Trans. Thomas M. Horner. In Biblical Series, vol 19. Ed. John Reumann. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967.

The Holy Bible A Facimile in a Reduced Size of the Authorized Version Published in the Year 1611. Oxford: The Oxford University Press, 1611.

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Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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