Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther for Everyone (Old Testament for Everyone)

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Aug 09, Tim Baumgartner marked it as to-read Shelves: bible-commentaries , christian-living , christian-theology , christianity , devotion. Chronicles to Esther: A second version of this story, continuing it into the years af Chronicles to Esther: A second version of this story, continuing it into the years after the exile. Isaiah to Malachi: The teaching of some prophets. Here is an outline of the history that lies at the background of the books I give no dates for events in Genesis, which involves too much guesswork.

Together they give the only account of the Judahite community centered on Jerusalem as part of the Persian Empire. It is convenient to divide the books into four sections: 1 Ezra starting at BC Transition of power goes from Babylon to Persia in These chapters consist of what can be referred to as the Second Temple Period. The heroes are Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel as governors in a formal or informal sense ; Jeshua or Joshua as the priestly leader a different one from the book of Joshua, years previously ; and Haggai and Zechariah as prophets.

Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther for Everyone [9780281061327]

After about a half a century, most of the community still in Babylon would have been born there and would have no more interest in 'returning' to this land they had never seen than Jews in Los Angeles or New York or London wish to do today. In the reign of King Artaxerxes, Ezra recounts, Ezra makes the journey in , eighty years after the first return that led to the temple rebuilding.


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He brought the Torah of Moses, saw people were intermarrying and not committed to the God of Israel, and leads them in an act of repentance concerning that practice. These books include lists of people who made the journey from Babylon to Jerusalem, quotations from documents such as imperial decrees concerning affairs of the community.

So it looks like someone in the period that followed them compiled these books of renewal. This renewal includes: -rebuilding the temple -restoring its worship -implementing the expectations of the Torah in connection with the community maintaining its distinctive identity as the people of Yahweh over against other ethnic groups -rebuilding the city's defenses -providing the city with a proper population -taking action to see that its people were characterized by by mutual support and generosity rather than each family living for itself These books do not reach closure.

They would give the readers both reason to praise God for what was achieved and reminders of issues to which they need to give attention [see the last ch. In the English Bible, Ezra-Nehemiah follows Chronicles and the opening verses actually repeat the closing verses of Chronicles.

The concern with the temple in Ezra corresponds to the agenda in Chronicles. However, these books include concerns not addressed in Chronicles, such as the emphasis on keeping the people of God pure in relation to people who acknowledged other deities and the emphasis on mutual support in the community.

Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther For Everyone (Old Testament Guide For Everyone Series)

This suggests that we should not see the books as simply continuing Chronicles. In the Hebrew Bible, Ezra-Nehemiah precedes Chronicles, and this supports the idea that Ezra-Nehemiah did not originally follow Chronicles; if anything, they followed Kings. This would mean that Chronicles was written later, as a new prequel to Ezra-Nehemiah. However, this short-term solution is turning out to be an extended period of time [similar to 'refugee camps' in Palestine].

Darfuri children can no longer remember what it was like in the villages from which they came. However, these deportees were not in refugee camps.


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See Psalm on how they were to never forget Jerusalem and the self-curse if they did so. Those deported to Babylon and those who stayed in Jerusalem had good theological reasons for thinking the deported would soon be back home. They needed to see they were wrong. See Jeremiah One way God squares the circle of a commitment to faithfulness and a commitment to justice is to let justice have its way in the short term but to let faithfulness have its way in the long term.

Virtually no one who left Jerusalem in would be alive to go back. See prophecies of verses in Isaiah [YHWH was behind these military and political events], which are basically dotting the i's and crossing the t's of Jeremiah's promise in his letter and his prophecies. It is always worth asking whether there is a divine initiative behind the actions of political powers, even if they are not aware of it. In a document called the Cyrus Cylinder because it is cylindrical in shape he [Cyrus] speaks of himself as a worshiper of Marduk--the Babylonian god--because he claims Marduk's support in his conquering of Babylon.

Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther for Everyone by John E. Goldingay

Although he did not realize, he really was YHWH's agent in making it possible for the Judahites to move back to Babylon and rebuild the temple. God can be involved in world politics, inspiring countries such as Britain and the US to implement selfish policies that actually serve needy peoples for whom God is concerned. She left at a moment's whim and now has virtually no momentoes or photos from their past.

They were placed in their own god's temple [Marduk]. They sat there as a taunting reminder of the plausible Babylonian claim that Marduk defeated Yahweh. Cyrus becomes in position to send these items back to Jerusalem, which can keep the Judahites subservient to him, but we can see Yahweh's inspiration behind his action. He was later identified as governor, but Ezra 3 names Zerubbabel as initiator of the rebuilding work who is later called governor also.

It's pretty interesting how God motivates people to want to go back to Jerusalem and even inspires people to make voluntary offerings [same word traditionally translated as freewill offering].

Overview: Ezra-Nehemiah

Sheshbazzar leads the first aliyah [going up [to Jerusalem, which is meters or feet above sea level], which people still participate today when people go to Israel. The move from Babylon to Judah is a repetition of the exodus. When this happened previously, Yahweh made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward them so that they gave them objects of silver and gold to take with them, which facilitated the making of the dwelling for God in the wilderness. These Babylonian neighbors [including Cyrus] are likewise making a contribution to the worship of Yahweh. Ezra Who We Were [Goldingay and his wife were recently married and they went to Scotland to explore her ancestry.

He was born in the city that his family had lived for generations, so he had no such interest. But some were just used to being there for generations. Records like Ezra 2 fulfill several functions: 1 It includes the list of people who came to Judah from Babylon in The list changes in Nehemiah 7, which indicates it is more than a list from Ezra 2. The move took decades and even centuries. Some names, like Nehemiah aren't necessarily the same people we think of. The list is a composite and complicated one; for instance, it moves between listing people by family to listing by towns, and the total in verse 64 cannot be related to the numbers that come earlier.

This is evidence that God's faithfulness to the original promise and purpose was still being fulfilled. Perhaps the fact that these Levites were preserved through the exile was evidence that God's hand was at work ensuring their ministry continued after the exile. The community was not a closed one.

People could be adopted in. All the people listed indicates that the temple was a lively community, not like today's church [as it often is]. Ezra Worship, Scripture, Gospel [Goldingay gave a talk to pastors about the importance of the OT, especially Scripture and the gospel. The last 50 years in the US has gotten further and further from these. The change was gradual, just like the frog in the pot who was put in cold water, but gradually it was heated so it never knew it was getting boiled to death].

A conservative, bible believing perspective! God's providence gave us the 27 book New Testament Canon, not the church. God, not men decided the canon. This providence does not mean that church leaders were inspired in their selecting the canon, only that God had his eye on the scriptures the whole time and brought about His will to form the Bible we see today! Go to: "Canon of the Bible" Home Page. List of Old Testament texts quoted in the New Testament:. Gen Matt Mark Heb Matt , Mark ,1 Cor , Eph Acts Gal Rom Rom ,9,22, Gal , Jas Rom , Heb Luke Ex Acts , Mark , Acts Jam John Rom 9.

Matt , Mark Lev Rom , Gal Lev , Num Matt ,, Mark , Gal ,Jam Num New edition to the popular Old Testament for Everyone series Using personal anecdote, a witty and lively style, and drawing on his considerable theological knowledge, John Goldingay takes us deep into the unfolding story of the Old Testament.

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