2:1 2 These are the people 3 of the province who were going up, 4 from the captives of the exile whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had forced into exile in Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem 5 and Judah, each to his own city.
1 sn The total number as given in the MT does not match the numbers given for the various items in v. 9. It is not clear whether the difference is due to error in textual transmission or whether the constituent items mentioned are only a selection from a longer list, in which case the total from that longer list may have been retained. The numbers provided in 1 Esdras come much closer to agreeing with the number in Ezra 1:9-11, but this does not necessarily mean that 1 Esdras has been better preserved here than Ezra. 1 Esdras 2:13-15 (RSV) says, “The number of these was: a thousand gold cups, a thousand silver cups, twenty-nine silver censures, thirty gold bowls, two thousand four hundred and ten silver bowls, and a thousand other vessels. All the vessels were handed over, gold and silver, five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine, and they were carried back by Shesbazzar with the returning exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem.”
2 sn The list of names and numbers in this chapter of Ezra has a parallel account in Neh 7:6-73. The fact that the two lists do not always agree in specific details suggests that various textual errors have crept into the accounts during the transmission process.
3 tn Heb “the sons of.”
4 tn The Hebrew term הָעֹלִים (ha’olim, “those who were going up” [Qal active participle]) refers to continual action in the past. Most translations render this as a simple past: “went up” (KJV), “came up” (RSV, ASV, NASV, NIV), “came” (NRSV). CEV paraphrases: “were on their way back.”