The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. This book is the record of events occurring at the close of the Babylonian captivity. It was at one time included in the book of Nehemiah, the Jews regarding them as one volume. The two are still distinguished in the Vulgate version as I and II Esdras. It consists of two principal divisions:
- The history of the first return of exiles, in the first year of Cyrus the Great (536 BC), till the completion and dedication of the new temple, in the sixth year of Darius Hystapes (515 BC), ch. 1-6. From the close of the sixth to the opening of the seventh chapter there is a blank in the history of about sixty years.
- The history of the second return under Ezra, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and of the events that took place at Jerusalem after Ezra's arrival there (7-10).
The book thus contains memorabilia connected with the Jews, from the decree of Cyrus to the reformation by Ezra (456 BC), extending over a period of about eighty years.
There is no quotation from this book in the New Testament.
Ezra was probably the author of this book, at least of the greater part of it (comp. 7:27, 28; 8:1, etc.), as he was also of the Books of Chronicles, the close of which forms the opening passage of Ezra.
There are two more books going by the name "Book of Ezra", or "Book of Esdras". These are found in the Apocrypha of the Bible; see there for details on their varying and complex numbering scheme.
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Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55