16 Facts About Ezra


Ezra returned from Babylonian exile and reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem.

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Book of Ezra describes how he led a group of Judean exiles living in Babylon to their home city of Jerusalem where he is said to have enforced observance of the Torah.

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Ezra was described as exhorting the Israelite people to be sure to follow the Torah Law so as not to intermarry with people of particular different religions, a set of commandments described in the Pentateuch.

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Ezra, known as "Ezra the scribe" in Chazalic literature, is a highly respected figure in Judaism.

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Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem, where he discovered that Jewish men had been marrying non-Jewish women.

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Ezra tore his garments in despair and confessed the sins of Israel before God, then braved the opposition of some of his own countrymen to purify the community by enforcing the dissolution of the sinful marriages.

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Once this task was completed Nehemiah had Ezra read the Law of Moses to the assembled Israelites, and the people and priests entered into a covenant to keep the law and separate themselves from all other peoples.

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Ezra uses the name Xerxes for Artaxerxes I reserving the name Artaxerxes for the later Artaxerxes II whom he identifies as the Ahasuerus of Esther, thus placing Ezra before the events of the book of Esther.

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Josephus's account of the deeds of Ezra derives entirely from 1 Esdras, which he cites as the 'Book of Ezra' in his numeration of the Hebrew bible.

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Traditionally Judaism credits Ezra with establishing the Great Assembly of scholars and prophets, the forerunner of the Sanhedrin, as the authority on matters of religious law.

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In Rabbinic traditions, Ezra is metaphorically referred to as the "flowers that appear on the earth" signifying the springtime in the national history of Judaism.

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Where early Christian writers refer to the 'Book of Ezra' it is always the text of 1 Esdras that is being cited.

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Ezra's tomb at Al-?Uzer on the banks of the Tigris near Basra, Iraq, is a pilgrimage site for the local Marsh Arabs.

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Ezra came to Jerusalem "in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the King".

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Mary Joan Winn Leith in The Oxford History of the Biblical World believes that Ezra was a historical figure whose life was enhanced in the scripture and given a theological buildup.

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Those who argue against the historicity of Ezra argue that the presentation style of Ezra as a leader and lawgiver resembles that of Moses.

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