The Book of Ezra Chapter 4, Opposition by The Elamites

beemanlee's picture

Most of this Chapter will cover the opposition who see this new threat of power which The Jews seem to have as they work on the restoration of The Temple with Cyrus,Xerxes and Artaxerxes. Work comes to a stop until the Second year of reign of Darius, King of Persia.

Names like Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabbl, Rehum, Shimshai, The Elamites, those whom Osnappaar deported to Sumaria are now causing a slow down in Jerusalem with the restoration of The Temple.
Lee...

beemanlee's picture

Time of rule, Kings of Persia

Djacque and class,

First let me say that this portion of Ezra4:8 to 6:18 is an Aramaic Narrative inserted into Ezra's Hebrew text, which is addressed to King Artaxerxes who's reign was from 465 to 424BC. This is longer than the 26 years it takes to rebuild the Temple to its dedication in 516BC.

This is 90+ years more when you look at the time line dates below.

We will be going through it shortly but for reference I will say that the memory by The Persian Court is lost on what is going on with the Jews and all the work being done. The records must be checked out first and they are stored in a Far Eastern part of Persia called Ecbatana, which is a Summer Palace for the king, now modern Hamadan in Iran.

Then in Ezra6;19 The Aramaic text is now dropped and the original Hebrew text picks up again and goes back to Ezra's story of The returning People and drops Zerubbabel and Jeshua with the prophetic being spoken of by both Haggai and Zechariah in verse 14.

Someone in the class asked for a time line, but I couldn't find one which went into detail. So I will put together a small date line below.

So let me give you the names of The Kings of Persia with the dates all in one place to understand what we are talking about.

Then I will add to that our story, in relation to those kings.

Then I will point out different people we know of who also fit into this same time frame from the Old Testament.

The Persian Kings in The Book of Ezra.

Cyrus II, The Anointed of G-d, his decree... 538BC
His reign, 559-530
To let the Jews in Babylon return to Judah
and start to rebuild G-d's house. Ezra 1:1
Ezra is studying Torah in Susa...

Cambyses, Rebuilding continues on The Temple...
His reign, 530-522
Zerubbable is governor of Judah.

Darius I, The Temple continues to be rebuilt...
His reign, 522-486
Darius I, is very supportive to the Jews.
Zerubbable, is still governor of Judah...
Temple is Dedicated in 516...
Haggai and Zachariah, prophesied in Jerusalem...
The walls continued to be rebuilt...

Xerxes I, The Walls continue to be repaired...
His reign, 486-465
Along with the work on the walls the surrounding area of Jerusalem was also being worked on...

Artaxerxes I Longimanus,
His reign 465-424
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in 458...
Nehemiah is governor of Judah in 445...
The Book of Esther is identified with this Persian King...

Darius II, Followed religious tolerance and supported Judah.
His reign 423-405
Nehemiah is still governor...
Darius II is also mentioned in The Book of Nehemiah 12:22

I hope this little discussion helped some of you to understand context in relation to the text and why it was inserted into this portion of Ezra for reference later, instead of going on to a different scroll to find it.

Lee...




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