Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives

By James M. Scott | Go to book overview

“MIND THE GAPS”: EZRA, NEHEMIAH
AND THE JUDEAN RESTORATION1

Lester L. Grabbe
University of Hull

However you look at it—whether maximalist, minimalist, or can'tmake-up-my-mind—the Persian period in Jewish history is largely a blank. Many historians today would argue that we have sources (primarily the biblical text) for much of the history of Israel from the “settlement” to the fall of Jerusalem, but then suddenly the sources disappear. For the “exilic period” we have almost nothing; for the Persian period we find sources purporting to tell us about the early decades (Ezra, some prophetic writings), similarly for the period in the mid-fifth century BCE (Ezra, Nehemiah), possibly for a few years at the beginning of the fourth century (depending on when Ezra is dated), and that is it.

There are major gaps, and scholars are in danger of falling into them. My purpose here is to look at the nature of the narrative in Ezra and Nehemiah and ask to what extent the accounts in these books help to fill some of the blanks in the history of Persian period Judah, or Yehud, to use the Aramaic name by which the Persians knew it.


THREE FOUNDATION LEGENDS2

In its present form the Hebrew book of Ezra-Nehemiah gives a more or less continuous narrative. It begins with the return of the people from captivity, relates the rebuilding of the temple (made more

1 Those readers who have traveled at any length on the London
Underground will have heard the periodic admonition on the loudspeaker system,
“Mind the gap.” This happens where the Victorian builders of the original
Underground have allowed an unsafe gap of space to occur between the edge of
the platform and the train door. Persian-period Jewish history, unfortunately, has
not one but several unsafe gaps, though the metaphor is still appropriate. This
article was written for a particular context and from a particular perspective, but
further detail on a number of points can be found in my study, Ezra-Nehemiah
(Old Testament Readings; London/New York: Routledge, 1998).

2 This section is largely a summary of the points made in my Ezra -
Nehemiah (e.g., chap. 5 and pp. 187–89).

-83-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 602

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.