By Mark A. Throntveit
Project a theological interpreting of Ezra-Nehemiah which emphasizes its personality as narrative and tale, Throntveit avoids a very ancient method of the textual content and provides a transparent photograph of Ezra and Nehemiah.
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Extra resources for Ezra-Nehemiah (Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching)
As is becoming clear, ancient historians have very little, if any, interest in such matters. Their concern was rather to press forward paradigms, privileged symbols, and patterns, through which their readers might meaningfully, indeed consolingly, bring the past down into their present and launch themselves successfully into the future. The assumption of the biblical historians is that who or what Israel is may be found in what Israel has been, and that the core of what Israel has been lies in the intrigue and challenge of its bond with the divine mystery (Carmody, Carmody, and Cohn, p.
Though the same list, displaying minor discrepancies, appears with a different purpose in Nehemiah 7:673, here it provides a triple emphasis on the restoration community's continuity with the past. First of all, comparison with its twin listing in Nehemiah 7 suggests that an additional name has dropped out of verse two, that of Nahamani (cf. Neh. 7:7). This would yield a total of twelve names for the leadership of the nation, and while there is no explicit linkage of these men to the twelve tribes, we may Page 19 take the number as suggestive of a complete restoration of the tribes that formed sacral Israel (vv.
Ezra 36: Continuity and Opposition After the straightforward account of Ezra 12, the narrative takes a tortuous path to its completion in Ezra 6. Failure to take the text's literary composition into consideration has opened a Pandora's box of attempted historical reconstructions as interpreters have sought to understand why material dealing with opposition to the rebuilding of the city and its walls during the later reigns of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and Artaxerxes (4:623) should be included in a discussion of the building of the Temple.