Presupposes the desolation after that disaster, and some traces of these families are found in Nehemiah's time; and while the traditions know of a separation from Edom (viz.
Again Nehemiah's wrath was kindled.
But (d), whilst as governor he accomplishes various needed reforms, there is much confusion in the present narratives, due partly to the resumption of Ezra's labours after an interval of twelve years, and partly to the closely related events of Nehemiah's activity in which room must be found for his twelve-years' governorship and a second visit.
The disaster which aroused Nehemiah's grief was scarcely the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., but a more recent one, and it has been conjectured that it followed the work of Ezra (in b above).
On the other hand, a place can hardly be found for the history of Ezra before the appearance of Nehemiah; he moves in a settled and peaceful community such as Nehemiah had helped to form, his reforms appear to be more mature and schematic than those of Nehemiah; and, whilst Josephus handles the two separately, giving Ezra the priority, many recent scholars incline to place Nehemiah's first visit before the arrival of Ezra.'
Seq.), Nehemiah's position as a reformer would be more secure.
Jerusalem had suffered some serious catastrophe before Nehemiah's return; a body of exiles returned, and in spite of interference the work of rebuilding was completed; through their influence the Judaean community underwent reorganization, and separated itself from its so-called heathen neighbours.
Proves too doubtful, they may belong to the history preceding Nehemiah's return, provided the internal features do not stand in the way (e.g.
For the impression which we get from Nehemiah's memoirs is that in his days the community at Jerusalem was in the main poverty-stricken, while Malachi's exhortations to the people to pay their dues to the priests implies that in the middle of the fifth century B.C. the Temple was by no means wealthy.
The period of history covered by the books of Ezra and Nehemiah extends from the return of the exiles under Zerubbabel in 537-536 B.C. to Nehemiah's second visit to Jerusalem in 432 B.C. In their present form, however, the books are considerably later, and allusions to Nehemiah in the past (Neh.
26, 47), to the days of Jaddua (the grandson of Nehemiah's contemporary Joiada; ib.
A valuable account is given of Nehemiah's economical reforms, illustrating the internal social conditions of the period and the general character of the former governors who had been placed in charge (v., cf.
The book concludes with another extract from Nehemiah's memoirs dealing with the events of a second visit, twelve years later (xiii.
There are relatively few traces of it in Nehemiah's memoirs and in the Aramaic documents, but elsewhere the sources are largely coloured, if not written from the standpoint of his age.
I.; that the walls had been destroyed and the gates burnt down; that some external opposition (with which, however, Ezra did not have to contend) had been successful; that the main object of Ezra's mission was delayed for twelve years, and, finally, that only through Nehemiah's energy was the work of social and religious reorganization successful.
3 Nehemiah's attitude towards intermarriage is markedly moderate in contrast to the drastic measures of Ezra, whose mission and work the simpler and perhaps earlier narratives of Nehemiah originally ignored, and the relation between the two is complicated further by the literary character of the memoir of Ezra.
6 ("before this"), which would imply that the dedication of the walls was on the occasion of Nehemiah's later visit (see G.
I I) makes the date of Nehemiah's arrival practically the anniversary of Ezra's return (Ezr.
The present chronological order of Nehemiah's work is confused (cf.
There is internal literary support for this in the criticism of Deuteronomy (which appears to have in view a comprehensive Israel and Judah at this period), and of various passages evidently earlier than Nehemiah's time (see R.
Genesis - Kings (incomplete; some further material in Jeremiah) and the later Chronicles - Nehemiah are in their present form posterior to Nehemiah's time.