We have no information regarding Jerusalem during the period of the captivity, but fortunately Nehemiah, who was permitted to return and rebuild the defences about 445 B.C., has given a fairly clear description of the line of the wall which enables us to obtain a good idea of the extent of the city at this period.
The Temple had already been partially rebuilt by Zedekiah and his companions, but on a scale far inferior to the magnificent building of King Solomon, and Nehemiah devoted his attention to the reconstruction of the walls.
Nehemiah mentions a number of places on the eastern hill, including the tomb of David, the positions of which cannot with our present knowledge be fixed with any certainty.
After the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, a considerable number of Jews returned to the city, but we know practically nothing of its history for more than a century until, in 332 B.C., Alexander the Great conquered Syria.
The oppression of Antiochus led to a revolt of the Jews under the leadership of the Maccabees, and Judas Maccabaeus succeeded in capturing Jerusalem after severe fighting, but could not get The sites shown on the plan are tentative, and cannot be regarded as certain; see Nehemiah ii.
The Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) was finally completed in its present form at some time before 400 B.C. The latest parts of the Old Testament are the books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah (c. 330 B.C.), Ecclesiastes and Esther (3rd century) and Daniel, composed either in the 3rd century or according to some views as late as the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (c. 168 B.C.).
Longimanus (465-425), attracts attention because the famous Jewish reformers Ezra and Nehemiah flourished under a king of this name.
44 8 -447), independent evidence for the position of Judah is needed, since a catastrophe apparently befell the unfortunate state before Nehemiah appears upon the scene.
- The biblical history for the Persian period is contained in a new source - the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, whose standpoint and period are that of Chronicles, with which they are closely joined.
2 In addition to this, the Egyptian story of the priest Uza-hor at the court of Cambyses and Darius reflects a policy of religious tolerance which illustrates the biblical account of Ezra and Nehemiah (Brugsch, Gesch.
4 See Ezra And Nehemiah with bibliographical references, also T.
Nehemiah and Ezra.
It is the work of rebuilding and reorganization, of social and of religious reforms, which we encounter in the last pages of biblical history, and in the records of Ezra and Nehemiah we stand in Jerusalem in the very centre of epoch-making events.
Nehemiah, the cup-bearer of Artaxerxes at Susa, plunged in grief at the news of the desolation of Jerusalem, obtained permission from the king to rebuild the ruins.
It was insinuated that Nehemiah had his prophets to proclaim that Judah had again its own king; it was even suggested that he was intending to rebel against Persia!
Nehemiah naturally gives us only his version, and the attitude of Haggai and Zechariah to Zerubbabel may illustrate the feeling of his partisans.
Nevertheless the undaunted Judaean pressed on unmoved by the threatening letters which were sent around, and succeeded in completing the walls within fifty-two days.2 In the next place, Nehemiah appears as governor of the small district of Judah and Benjamin.
Nehemiah was faced with old abuses, and vehemently contrasted the harshness of the nobles with the generosity of the exiles who would redeem their poor countrymen from slavery.
Nehemiah also turns his attention to religious abuses.
With this Nehemiah brings the account of his reforms to a conclusion, and the words " Remember me, 0 my God, for good " (xiii.
The story of this scribe (now combined with the memoirs of Nehemiah) crystallizes the new movement inaugurated after a return of exiles from Babylonia.
22), Bagohi (Bagoas), governor of Judah, and Delaiah and Shelemiah sons of Sanballat (408-407 B.C.) They ignore any strained relations between Samaria and Judah, and Delaiah and Bagohi unite in granting permission to the Jewish colony to rebuild their place of worship. If this fixes the date of Sanballat and Nehemiah in the time of the first Artaxerxes, the probability of confusion in the later written sources is enhanced by the recurrence of identical names of kings, priests, &c., in the history.
- The biblical history for the period in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah is exceptionally obscure, and it is doubtful how far the traditions can be trusted before we reach the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezra vii.
(c) In the 10th year (445 B.C.) Nehemiah returned with permission to rebuild the walls, the citadel and the governor's house (Neh.
Next, since there are three distinct sources, for (a) above, and for the work of Nehemiah and of Ezra, implicit reliance cannot be placed upon the present sequence of narratives.
13) or Nehemiah (i.
5, 17), should now interfere when Nehemiah was armed with a royal mandate (Neh.
This agrees substantially with the independent records of Nehemiah, and unless we assume two disasters not widely separated in date - viz.
7) to frighten Nehemiah (Neh.
15 seq., 20 seq.), and it may possibly be gathered that Nehemiah at once departed to justify himself (Neh.
In the records of Nehemiah the ruins of the city are extensive (ii.
BOOKS OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH, in the Old Testament.
From the authentic report of his cup-bearer Nehemiah we see that he was a kind, good-natured, but rather weak monarch, and he was undoubtedly much under the baneful influence of his mother Amestris (for whose mischievous character cf.
The book closes with an appeal to observe the law of Moses, and with a promise that Elijah shall come before the threatened judgment.3 The topics noticed clearly relate the prophecy to the period of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Temple had been rebuilt (i.
The majority of modern scholars are agreed that the prophet prepares for the work of those reformers (Ezra, 458; Nehemiah, 444, 43 2 B.C.).
The abuses of which he particularly complains are such as were found rampant by Ezra and Nehemiah - marriage with foreign women (ii.
Produce the impression that it was not introduced for the first time by Ezra and Nehemiah, though the collection of the tithe was enforced by them.
The manufacture of jewelry, which was established in Providence in 1784, was greatly promoted ten years later by Nehemiah Dodge's invention of the process of " gold-filling," still further improved in 1846 by Thomas H.
Which contain the Syriac Massorah or tradition of the reading of the text pass over Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, and in the case of the Nestorians also Esther.
Ben Sira indeed in his list of worthies mentions Zerubbabel, Joshua and Nehemiah; but Zerubbabel and Joshua he must have known from the books of Haggai and Zechariah, and he may well have been acquainted with that document relating to Nehemiah which the Chronicler incorporated with his book.
In Nehemiah xii.