§ I. THE ORIGINAL FORM OF THE BOOKS.
The books of Ezra and Nehemia were originally one, and ought really to be so
combined now. The evidence of this is overwhelming. Two points suffice for a
demonstration: (1) The story of Ezr. is partly in one book, Ezr. 7–10, and
partly in the other, Ne. 770–812.* In 1 Esd. these two parts are united in a
single book. (2) At the end of each book of the OT. there are certain Massoretic
notes, giving the number of verses, the
It is also generally agreed that Ezr.–Ne. originally was a part of the book of Ch., so that the whole work was a comprehensive history of the Jews from Adam down to the end of the Persian period.
It is true that in the Heb. Bible our books precede Ch., though the right order is found in G. The order in the Heb. canon is naturally illogical, and is prob. due to the fact that Ezr.–Ne. was accepted as canonical before Ch. The fact is that Ch. was under a great deal of suspicion. It was a book parall. the earlier histories long established as authorities, and differing from them so much that the presence of the new work created difficulties. Ezr.–Ne., on the other hand, contained the only account of the important Pers. period. A part of the large work of Ch. was, therefore, severed from the rest, and naturally just that part dealing with the otherwise unknown period, and of which there was no dup., and this part was accepted.
Later the rest of the work found its place at the very end of the canon. The
order in G really does not contravene this conclusion, for the
The latter ends in the middle of a sentence “and let him go up,” and in the middle of Cy.'s decree. The simplest explanation of the strange fact is that a copyist who was working on the book of Ch.had as his exemplar one of the older editions containing the whole original Ch.–Ezr.–Ne.
He got beyond the point of division before he noted his mistake, and this
slip has been perpetuated down to the present day. Howorth explains differently
(PSBA. 1901,2). It is indisputable that Ch. and Ezr.–Ne. come from the same
hand. There is no book in the OT. which has more marked peculiarities than Ch.
These cover both literary features, favourite words and expressions, peculiar
style, etc. (for a list of which, see Curt.7), and also historical features, for
the Chr. had his own way of looking at the history, and his theory colours his
work so markedly that it is often quite valueless to the student of history.
There is scarcely one of these peculiarities that is not found also in Ezr.–Ne.
Evidence of the original
the Author -- The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Ezra and Nehemiah
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Please Note: To read our e-books, you need Adobe Acrobat or its free Reader (you can get one from here). Once you have installed it, download and install one of our free security plug-in for to unlock the books that you have purchased .
If you have not done it already and if your have either PC or Mac, please click here to install now free security plug-in from FileOpen.
For Linux, click here and choose either "Open" or "Run".
IMPORTANT: Using FileOpen Plugin with your Mac