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Ezra 7:1-5

Context
The Arrival of Ezra

7:1 Now after these things had happened, during the reign of King Artaxerxes 1  of Persia, Ezra came up from Babylon. 2  Ezra was the son of Seraiah, who was the son of Azariah, who was the son of Hilkiah, 7:2 who was the son of Shallum, who was the son of Zadok, who was the son of Ahitub, 7:3 who was the son of Amariah, who was the son of Azariah, who was the son of Meraioth, 7:4 who was the son of Zerahiah, who was the son of Uzzi, who was the son of Bukki, 7:5 who was the son of Abishua, who was the son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eleazar, who was the son of Aaron the chief priest.

1 sn If the Artaxerxes of Ezra 7:1 is Artaxerxes I Longimanus (ca. 464–423 B.C.), Ezra must have arrived in Jerusalem ca. 458 B.C., since Ezra 7:7-8 connects the time of his arrival to the seventh year of the king. The arrival of Nehemiah is then linked to the twentieth year of the king (Neh 1:1), or ca. 445 B.C. Some scholars, however, have suggested that Ezra 7:7 should be read as “the thirty-seventh year” rather than “the seventh year.” This would have Ezra coming to Jerusalem after, rather than before, the arrival of Nehemiah. Others have taken the seventh year of Ezra 7:7-8 to refer not to Artaxerxes I but to Artaxerxes II, who ruled ca. 404–358 B.C. In this understanding Ezra would have returned to Jerusalem ca. 398 B.C., a good many years after the return of Nehemiah. Neither of these views is certain, however, and it seems better to retain the traditional understanding of the chronological sequence of returns by Ezra and Nehemiah. With this understanding there is a gap of about fifty-eight years between chapter six, which describes the dedication of the temple in 516 b.c., and chapter seven, which opens with Ezra’s coming to Jerusalem in 458 b.c.

2 tn The words “came up from Babylon” do not appear in the Hebrew text until v. 6. They have been supplied here for the sake of clarity.



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