Encyclopaedia Biblica/Ezem-Fat

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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(D>7, 106 ; ACOM [BAL]), an unidentified site in the Negeb of Judah toward the Edomite border, Josh. 152 9 (AV AZEM ; aae/j. [A] aSe/u, [L]).

In Josh. 19 3 (AV AZEM ; <.a<rov [B] -//. [L]) and in i Ch. 4 2 g (SootroA [B] /3oacro|ii [A]) it is one of the towns in the midst of the inheritance of Judah (Josh. 19 1) assigned to Simeon

AZMON (pcsy) may be another form of the same name.


pXN; ACAP [D sil EL], C 6.<\p[A]), a son of Seir the Horite (Gen. 8621 ; i Ch. 1 38, AV EZAR, a<rap [A], om. B), whose sons are mentioned in Gen. 3(3 27 (ia<rap [D]), i Ch. 1 42 (acrap [A], axrap [B]). More strictly Ezer was a Horite clan (I^X, not *J1>K), Gen. 8630 (o-aap [D], atra. [E]). The name appears in i S. 15 33 L (o.<n;p) as that of Agag s father ; see H. P. Smith, ad loc.


pty and 1W, help, 1 50; ezep [AL] a shortened theophorous name).

1. One of the B'ne HUR, i Ch. 4 4 (ajp [B]), probably the same as EZRA (RV EZRAH) of z/. I7(eo-pei [B], efpi [A], ifpaa[L]).

2. A priest in the procession at the dedication of the wall (see EZRA ii., 13^), Neh. 12 4 2 (om. BN*A, tefovp [N c - am - L]).

3. In genealogy of EPHRAI.M ( 12), i Ch. "21 (oap [B],

H-b^v. for lySfjn 1TJ? [Pesh.]), perhaps a corruption of the name Elead (see E LAD AH).

4. One of David s warriors, i Ch. 12 9 (afa [BN], aep [A]). See DAVID, n c.

1 <& A has epyot for epya.fi, (S 1 - irapa rai Ai Ow eiceii ta. 2 A has virvov for apya/3, B L apyo/3.


(ezepioy L A ])- r Esd - 8i = Ezra7i. AZARIAH, 3.


i. (oz(e)iOY E BL ]- ez- [A]), i Esd. 82 = Ezra7^, AZAKIAH, 3.

2. (e^etas [B]) i Esd. 9 14 RVmg. = Ezra 10 15, JAHAZIAH.


(EV) or EZION-GABER (AV) p33 ]W$V, hardly back-bone of the giant [as, e.g., Smith s DBW~\ ; perhaps, like the Ar. gadyCi, a place where the tree gada. grows in abundance [Lag. , Ubers. J 57] C P NAMES, 103 ; yao-iui> yafitp [BAL], y. 7a/3eXos [Jos. Ant. viii. 64]. It has been suggested, however, that the true name was Nfisib-gdom i.e. , Column of (the god) Edom. See JEHOSHAPHAT, i). 1

One of the last stations where the Israelites encamped (Nu.33 3 s/.. ytffffiuv y. [B*]. -f<ri. y. [H :ll A] [P 2 ], Dt. 28 [D]) ; see WANDERINGS, 12 _/". It was here that Solomon made a ship (or a navy of sliips) to fetch gold from Ophir (i K. 926, e/xaecreiwv y. [B], yeaitav y. [L], cp 2 Ch. 8 17 7ecria;i y. [L]) ; and at a later time Jehoshaphat made Tarshish-ships (cp our Indiamen ), which were broken up by a storm (iK. 2248; acreuv y. [A] 1 6 28 f in B [yacriwj 7.] and L [-ye. 7.] ; 2 Ch. 20 36 epya.ffi.tav [ = ^7.] 7. [A], ivyeffiuv y. [L], see JEHOSHAPHAT, i). To judge by i K. 9 29 Ezion-geber must have been situated near (nx) to ELATH ; its precise situation is unknown, but on the supposition that the mud-flats which now form the lower end of the Wady el- Arabah were once covered by the sea, it is identified by Robinson with VtftM el-Ghudyan, a valley with brackish water some 15 m. N. of the present extremity of the gulf (see Dr. Dent. 35 f. ). Others would place it in the small bay N. of the mouth of the Wady Marakh, opposite to which at a short distance from the land is the islet of el-Kureya. The identifica tion of Ezion-geber with the modern Dahab proposed by Wellsted (ii. ch. 9 153) rests on the old legends common among the Sinaitic monks. This place is situated too far N., and its name ( gold ), which may have given rise to the legends, arose probably from the shining appearance of the place, rather than from any legends of gold-laden transport-ships from Ophir.

Ezion-geber soon seems to have lost its importance and to have given way to Elath. In i K. 929 its position has to be defined by means of the latter place, whilst in 2 K. 1422 166 it is unmentioned.

According to Jer. and Eus. Ezion-geber (Asion-gafor, acriwi/- ya/3ep) is said to have been called Essia, cuo-ia (OS 97 21 125 7 227 44 241 53). At a. much later time the Egyptian historian Makrlzi (i5th cent.) mentions as hearsay that in early times hard by Aila (Elath) was a great and important town called Asyun ; but whether his information was based on biblical sources or arose from an independent source, cannot be said. At the present day it has totally disappeared. (Cp Burckhardt, 831, Buhl, Gescli. d. Edomiter, 397^) See ELATH.

S. A. C.

1 According to Jos. (I.e.) it was known by the name of BepevixTj.

2 [The author of this article stands between the extreme negative criticism of Torrey in his Compos, and Hist. Value of Ezra- N eh., and the much more conservative criticism of E. Meyer in his Entstehung des Judenthums. For a fuller state ment of the author s criticism and its results see his Het Herstel van Israel (which has been translated into German) and the articles referred to below (EZRA ii., 18). Meyer s work is a very thorough and instructive historical and archaeological study ; but it is not as keen in its criticism as could be wished. Torrey, on the other hand, is sometimes almost hypercritical. He thinks that the older documents incorporated by the Chronicler are of much less extent than has generally been supposed, and denies the historical character of all the supposed official documents inserted in our Book of Ezra. He regards the story of Ezra as the best exemplification of the qualities of the Chronicler as a writer of fiction and of his mistaken idea of the history of Israel. Marquart s essay (Fund. 28-68) on the organisation of the Jewish community after the so-called Exile is learned and acute ; it should be read in com bination with Meyer s work which it preceded. Che., in Jewish Religious Life after the Exile ( 98), adopts a view approaching that of Rosters, but much affected by more recent critics, e.g., Marquart, Torrey, Wellhausen, and Meyer. Winckler's articles on the time of the restoration of Judah, and on the reform of Nehemiah (AOJ ~ 2210-236, cp 241-244), attach too much weight to disputable corrections of names of Persian kings. See also GOVERNMENT, 28^; ISRAEL, 50-64.]


(3>Tn ; Kt. UXJjn), 2 S. 238. See ADINO.


(ezoup&[BA], NAA&BOY ? [ L ]) a post-exilic family in list of those with foreign wives (see EZRA i. , 5 end), i Esd. 934 RV, AV OZORA. According to Be. -Rys. = family of Ater in Ezra 2 16 ; but see MACHNA-DEBAI.


(X"W ; perhaps abbreviated from AZARIAH, 1 Yahwe helps ; see NAMES, 27, 84; eCRAC [B], ezp-

1 His oriein [A : but * Esd> 9l> eA P ] ezA P" [L]: in ngm. title and subscriptiori) cAp [BN]), of whose memoirs, written by himself, some portions unaltered and others very considerably modified have come down to us in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah 2 ( Ezra 7-10 Neh. 8-10), lived as a Jewish exile in Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and was a younger contemporary of Nehemiah. Of his antecedents otherwise nothing certain is known.

1. His origin.[edit]

We are told indeed in Ezra 7 1-5 that Ezra belonged to the high-priestly order (in i Esd. 1*40 49 he is even called high priest) ; but no credit deserves to be given to the statement, which is taken from the fictitious genealogy in i Ch. 63-15 [5 29-41] (see EZRA ii., 14), and makes Ezra a son of Seraiah, the priest who, according to 2 R. 25 18-21, was put to death by Nebuchadrezzar in 586. If we accept the date given in Ezra 1 1 f- ( see 2 )> Seraiah died almost 130 years before Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, and therefore, of course, cannot have been his father. The statement, moreover, is plainly not derived from Ezra s own memoirs, which would hardly have passed over his immediate ancestors in silence ; it comes from the hand of the redactor. There is even some reason for questioning whether Ezra was a priest at all. He is called priest or the priest, the scribe only in those places which have been worked over by the redactor (Ezra 7n f. 21 ; 10 10 16 ; Neh. 829, and cp Neh. 1226) ; Ezra himself sometimes refers to our priests (Ezra 9_7 ; Neh. 93234), in a way that implies he did not reckon himself as belonging to the number. Cp GENEALOGIES i. , 7 (iv.).

2. Expedition to Jerusalem : Chronicler's account.[edit]

After the thirty-third year of Artaxerxes 1 (Neh. 136 ; see EZRA-NEHEMIAH, 16) Ezra set out from Babylon for Jerusalem with a band of 1496 men (Ezra 8 1-14= i Esdras 828-40, where the number amounts to 1690), besides women and children. It was by the favour and liberality of Artaxerxes that he was able to undertake this expedition, for which it is not unlikely that Nehemiah during his stay at the court of the Persian king (to which reference is made in Neh. 136) had paved the way (see EZRA-NEHEMIAH, 3). According to Ezra 7 11-26, which purports to give the words of the firman, Artaxerxes not only permitted all the exiles without exception to return, if so minded, to the land of Judah, but also, along with his counsellors, supplied them on a generous scale with the means of purchasing animals and otherwise providing for the temple sacrifices ; it would also appear that Ezra was authorized to draw upon the royal exchequer to a con siderable amount for further necessities of the temple worship. Moreover, the king freed all those employed in the service of the temple from all taxes (see EZRA- NEHEMIAH, 3, n. ), and gave Ezra full powers to order everything in Judaea and Jerusalem in accordance with the law of God which he carried with him ; even the Jews outside of Palestine were made subject to the jurisdiction of the authorities at Jerusalem, on \vhom an almost unlimited power of punishment was conferred. This representation, however, is obviously a highly exaggerated one, and the firman of Artaxerxes un questionably spurious, for he speaks there as if he were a believing Jew, recognising Yahwe as the God of heaven, 2 holding himself bound to care for his service, and in case of remissness holding himself and his posterity liable to the consequences (see further EZRA- NEHEMIAH, 3).

It is only in passages which have been worked over by the redactor that we find any mention of this firman or of the copies made from it by the king s officials (cp Ezra 8 36) ; all that Ezra himself tells us is that the king and his nobles gave gold and vessels for the temple, and that God inclined the heart of the sovereign in his favour (Ezra 7 27 f. ; 825) ; he also believes that had he chosen he could have obtained a safe-conduct for his band from Artaxerxes ; but this he had refrained from doing because he bad expressed so unreservedly his confidence in the help of his God.

1 [This suggests an emendation of seventh in Ezra 7 7 into thirty -seventh," see Marq. (Fund. 39). Cheyne, who places Ezra s arrival between Nehemiah s two governorships, and shortens the time of Nehemiah s first period of office, would prefer to correct seventh to twenty-seventh. In fact, the date of Ezra and his chronological relation to Nehemiah are hotly disputed. Meyer has shown strong reasons for adhering to the view that the Artaxerxes of Ezra is Artaxerxes I., but probably inverts the right order when he makes Ezra precede Nehemiah (Die Entst. go). On these points cp NEHEMIAH.

2 [Meyer (Die Entst. 63) seems to misunderstand this objec tion. The use of the phrase the god of heaven for Yahwe in a different context would have been less surprising. Did the Persian authorities really sanction v. 23?]

3. Its real aim.[edit]

Again, it seems doubtful whether, as the redactor represents (Ezra7io), the object of Ezra s expedition was to establish in Israel the law of Yahwe, and whether he thus arrived in Jerusalem with the law of his God already in his hand (Ezra 7 14). From his own words we gather rather that his aim was, by bringing back its exiles, to restore Israel and re-establish the twelve tribes once more in the land of their fathers : the company he brings with him consists, in addition to one Davidic and two priestly families, of twelve clans ; the gifts received are entrusted to twelve priests and twelve Levites ; the number of sacrificial victims offered by the exiles on their arrival in Jerusalem is twelve of each kind or a multiple of twelve (if, at least, following i Esd. 866, we read 72 for 77 in Ezra 835). The aim he had in the whole expedition was to bring back the twelve tribes to their fatherland and to restore the temple to its pristine glory.

4. Journey.[edit]

By the banks of the AHAVA [q. v. ] which flowed past a town of the same name, Ezra assembled his company. After three days stay, discovering that he had no Levites with him, he sent messengers to a certain IDDO [i. ] at Casiphia, apparently an influential compatriot, from whom some Levites and NETHINIM [q.v.~\ were obtained. Prayer was then offered, with fasting, for a successful journey, the temple vessels which accompanied the expedition were handed over to the charge of certain priests and Levites, and on the I2th of the first month the company set out on its journey. If we are rightly informed by the redactor (Ezra 7 9) that Ezra left Babylon on the first of the same month, and if by the three days of 8 15 we are to understand the first three of the month, the en listment of the Levites thus involved a delay of only nine days. The journey, probably at first in a NW. direction along the Euphrates towards Thapsacus or Carchemish, and then SW. down the valley of the Orontes, occupied more than 3^ months ; on the first of the fifth month, we are told, Jerusalem was reached, and there, after an interval of three days, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were handed over to a commission of priests and Levites in the temple, and thank-offerings made.

5. Mixed marriages.[edit]

Not long after his arrival Ezra heard of the serious defilement which the Jewish population of Palestine, priests add Levites included, had contracted by mixed marriages [a trouble to which most scholars have also found a reference in Mai. 2 ii ; see, however, MALACHI, 26. What actually happened may, or may not, be correctly represented in the extracts from Ezra s memoirs (Ezra 9/i) ; this is a matter which calls for keen criticism. It is possible that some admirer of Ezra wrote in Ezra s name. Or, as Volz suggests, we may distinguish between an original Ezra - document and a drastic recension of the same by the Chronicler, especially in the I section. He notices that i Esd. 81-7 betrays the work of two hands ; also y)ff. ; even the original Ezra-document can have been of but slight historical value, since it was mainly an imitation of the memoirs of Nehemiah. Cp also Che. Jew. Rel. Life, 58 /. , who agrees with Torrey that the story in Ezra 9/ is full of improbability, and that the ascription of Ezra 9 to Ezra does not make it more plausible. According to the story, for which we need not hold Ezra himself responsible,] Ezra s distress on learning this was such that he rent his clothes, tore his hair and beard, and sat for hours as one astonied on the plateau in front of the temple, until the time of the evening sacrifice. He then rose up, and renewing the outward expressions of his grief poured out his heart in a passionate confession of guilt.

Meanwhile a very great congregation of men, women, and children (lOi) had been gathering around Ezra. A certain SHECHANIAH (4), recognising the guilt that had been incurred, urged Ezra to take measures to extir pate the evil, assuring him of the support of all right- thinking persons. Ezra lays all present under an oath to stand by him, and then passes the night in fasting and humiliation in the chamber of Johanan, Eliashib s son or grandson 1 (cp Neh. 12 io/. 23). Undoubtedly this branch of the high-priestly family was favourably disposed to Ezra s schemes, and Ezra was able by its help to get an assembly of the whole people of Judah and Benjamin summoned to Jerusalem.

Three days after, on the soth of Kisleu, probably in the same year as Ezra s arrival, the assembly met. The outcome was, from Ezra s point of view, hardly satisfactory ; the proposal that all mixed marriages should be dissolved and the alien wives sent away, though not unsupported, provoked strong opposition (see Ezra 10 15 RV). This and the violent rain which prevented any prolonged meeting they were assembled on the plateau eastward of the temple, in front -of the Water-gate caused the assembly to break up without determining on more than the appointment of an authoritative commission of inquiry. Their task, begun on the first of the tenth month, was completed on the first day of the following year ; and the list of persons implicated, drawn up by them, still lies before us in Ezra 10 18-43. ^ T further progress, however, was made.

We read indeed that, in cases where the offenders belonged to the high-priestly family, promises to send their foreign wives away were made ; but that these promises were fulfilled is nowhere said. As for the other offenders, it is not so much as alleged that either by word or deed any concession whatever was made to Ezra s demand. The narrative ends (Kzral044) with the statement : These all had married foreign wives ; followed by some words now unintelligible. Ezra s own memoirs doubt less went on to tell the sequel, which the redactor probably from a desire to conceal the failure of the measures taken by Ezra afterwards struck out, and in place of which, for the same reason, the author of i Esd. 9 36 substituted the clause: and they sent them together with their children away. 2

6. Formation of congregation.[edit]

The impossibility of cleansing the people at large from their defilement in this fashion once apparent, it became necessary to try some other method. If the old Israel refused to be reformed then the like-minded with Ezra must unite themselves in a new society and so restore the true Israel. This scheme offered some prospect of success, for it had the support of the powerful Nehemiah, and the high-priestly functions were, in consequence of Nehemiah's radical reforms (Neh. 1328/ ), in friendly hands. In these circumstances it was that, at the call and under the leadership of Nehemiah, certain Israelites met in solemn assembly to separate themselves from the heathen and all their heathen connections, and so to form the true Israel, henceforth to be known as the congregation (Neh. 9/. 13i-3). 3 See ASSEMBLY.

They met in a spirit of the deepest contrition ; fasting and with earth sprinkled on their heads, they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquity of their fathers and joined in the humble prayer made by Ezra (Ezra 9 6), in which Yahwe s favour shown to the fathers is celebrated, and Israel s guilt (by which that favour had been constantly forfeited) is acknowledged, and the downfall of the nation is recognised to be a righteous chastise ment of Yahwe, but at the same time prayer is made that the chastisement may now come to an end.

1 [Or had Eliashib both a son and a grandson named Johanan ? See JOHANAN (2).]

2 [See, however, Guthe, SBOT. _i Esd. 836 runs, IIdi> T e ourot <rvvipKi<Ta.v -yumi/cas aAAo yei ets, <cal aire Aixrav auras


3 [In the list of names, Neh. 10 2-28, which though old in origin has been modified and expanded by the editor, we find names of families and of individuals side by side (see Smend, Die Listen der BR. Esr. n. Neh. 13 ; Hosiers, Met Hcrstel, 78, n.).]

7. Covenant.[edit]

Hereupon Nehemiah and the heads of clans drew up a sealed document containing a vow of fidelity to Yahwe, to which the rest of the people gave their adhesion by oath and imprecation. The undertaking was to observe the law of Yahwe (as contained in the Book of the Covenant [Ex. 21-23 ; see EXODUS ii. , 3] and Deuteronomy) along with the following special pledges : not to allow their children to intermarry with foreigners ; not to trade with the peoples of the land on the sabbath day ; to let the land lie fallow every seventh year ; not to exact payment of debts ; and to contribute yearly a third of a shekel for the support of the temple worship. Regulations were fixed for the supply of wood for the altar ; promise was made to bring the first fruits of field and orchard and the best of all that was produced from these as well as the firstlings, to the temple to be handed over to the priests ; the tithe was to be paid to the Levites, who in turn had again to hand over a tenth to the priests. On such terms the congregation, now freed from all foreign contamination and filled with zeal for the service of their God, could confidently rely on the divine help henceforward. 1

8. Priestly law.[edit]

On yet one other occasion do we find Ezra coming forward publicly alongside of Nehemiah 2 at the bring- ing in of a new law (Neh. 8). Already, at the assembly in which Israel was rehabilitated, the people, besides engag ing themselves to an observance of the law of Yahwe, had pledged themselves to a variety of matters on which the written law was silent or prescribed otherwise. There was a sense that in the new circumstances the needs of Israel were not sufficiently met by the old law, and that a new one was required. This law was given to the congregation by Ezra and Nehemiah.

It was on the first of Tishri (v. 2 ; cp v. 13 ff.} the year is not known that Ezra, in a great gathering held on the plateau before the Water Gate, first brought forward the Book of the Law. Standing on a wooden pulpit high above his hearers he unrolled the book, the whole congregation meanwhile reverently rising to their feet, and proceeded to read aloud from it from daylight till noon. The congregation, signifying with its loud amen its acceptance of what was being read as the word of Yahwe, was deeply moved. If this was the law of Yahwe which had been given to Moses, how great had been their shortcomings in fulfil ling the divine will ! However, Nehemiah and Ezra (so our Hebrew text states) comforted the people : this was in truth a joyous day, the people ought to hold festival and give presents one to another. Thus the day was turned to a feast. The new law, the so-called priestly law- book that constitutes an important part of our present Hexateuch, became henceforth, along with the older laws, the sacred writing which regulated the life of every Israelite (see CANON, 2^f. ). [Torrey s criticism of the narrative, however, is very forcible. It looks very much like an imitation of the account of the introduction of the older law-book under Josiah. It also appears intrinsically improbable. A new scripture differing so widely as this from the older law-book could not, it would seem, have been at once accepted. Only a small kernel of fact can safely be admitted. Cp Jen . Rel. Life, 56-58.] The first feast celebrated in accordance with its enactments after its promulgation and within the same month was the feast of tabernacles (vv. 13-18 ; see FEASTS, n) ; since the days of Joshua the son of Nun, never had the Israelites so observed it. Where and by whom this law was written we do not know.

1 [Cp Jciu. Rel. Life, 62 f. The scene in the foreground of the picture may still be correct. The Babylonian Jews who came up with Ezra certainly regarded themselves as the true Israel ites, and it was only natural that they should form themselves into what claimed to be a national ecclesia or assembly. ]

2 [This, however, is very doubtful. See i Esd. 98, and cp TIRSHATHA. Kosters view that the lawbook was introduced during Nehemiah s second governorship is criticised by We. GGN, 95, 172, and by Meyer, Die jKntst. 201. In fact, Ezra s failure seems to have caused Nehemiah s second visit.]

[The firman of Ezra, indeed, i.e., virtually] the redactor informs us that Ezra came from Babylon with the law of his God in his hand (Ezra 7 14); but it is in the highest degree improbable that our present law was committed to writing so early, for in the assembly of Neh. $/. the congregation is still bound only to the older law, and moreover our present law con tains precepts respecting the worship and servants of the temple, which certainly must have been written by some one acquainted with the temple service and with the actual circumstances in Judaea. That Ezra indeed had a large share in its compilation is very likely, and so it is not without reason that by the redactor of Ezra-Nehemiah, he is constantly called the scribe. 1 (Ezra liif. 21 Neh. 89 1226). But Jewish tradition as we learn from 2 Esd., a writing belonging to the close of the first Christian century goes much further than this, and tells us that, not merely the entire law, which had perished in the destruction of Jerusalem in 586, but the contents of all the twenty-four books of the OT, were anew or for the first time revealed to Ezra, and thus that the whole of the sacred Canon of the Jews is in the last instance due to him (see CANON, 17).

2. One of the priests who came with Zerubbabel out of Babylon (Neh. 12 2 ; eo-Spa [BN], efpa [L]) and after whom (v. 13) one of the priestly clans was named. In the list (102) AZARIAH (y.v., 4) takes the place of Ezra. See EZRA ii., 8 (e).

3. A priest, contemporary with Nehemiah (Neh. 12 33 ; eerfipa [N]).

4. i Ch. 4 17, RV EZRAH. See EZER ii. (i).

W. H. K. T. K. C.


  • Text (1).
  • Contents and authorship (2-4).
  • Sources (5-6).
  • The Return (7).
  • The list in Ezra 2 (8-9).
  • The walls (10).
  • The list in Neh. 12 12-26 (11).
  • The congregation (12).
  • Other adjustments (13-14).
  • Dislocations (15).
  • Real order (16).
  • Editor's motives (17).
  • Bibliography (18).

1. One book : The text[edit]

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Jewish Canon were originally one (cp CANON, 10 [2], 13). They still are one in S), where they bear the name of 2 Esd. or iepevs [A], whilst what is called i Esd. contains, in addition to our present Book of Ezra (with numerous variations, especially in the arrangement of the latter portion), the last two chapters of Chronicles, Neh. 7 73-8 12, and a legend about Zerubbabel at the court of Darius. In the Latin, Ezra is called i Esdras; Nehemiah, 2 Esdras, and also Nehemiah. In the Christian Church, Ezra and Nehemiah gradually came to be treated as two books. The Jews followed the Christians in this, so that now they appear as separate books in the Hebrew printed text also.

In conformity with the old tradition they will here be treated as one book, as not only are they drawn from the same sources, but they have also been compiled by the same redactor (cp HISTORICAL LITERATURE, !!./).

[On the text of i Esdras, which rests on a recension of the Hebrew superior in some points to MT, see also EZRA, GREEK, 6.

There is an admirable conspectus and critical discussion of the textual phenomena of the Hebrew text and the versions by Klostermann, in PR@} 5 501 _^ ; but there is still scope for an analytic treatment of the same material. The present work, too, offers not a few contributions to the correction of the text, especially in proper names ; i Esd. has been found helpful (see, e.g., BILSHAN). Guthe s treatment of Ezra and Nehemiah, in SBOT, is perhaps too cautious; but so far as it goes it is excellent, and not least in its critical use of the versions and of i Esdras. A good specimen of the emendations due to these helps is to be found in Ezra 106, where 7)^1 ( and went ) should be j^l ( and lodged ) ; so Pesh., and i Esd. 9 2.]

2. Contents[edit]

Ezra, so named from the man who, from chap. 7 onwards, is its leading figure, naturally falls into two main divisions. The first, 1-6 (48-6i8 being in Aramaic), deals with the fortunes of Ezra, and of the Jews in Palestine from the first year of Cyrus as king of Babylon down to the sixth year of Darius Hystaspis (538-515).

The contents are : the return of the exiles in consequence of the edict of Cyrus (1) ; a list (apparently) of those who thus returned (2 ; but see s 7) ; the setting up of the altar of burnt offering and the restoration of the daily services (3 1-6) ; the preparation for and the beginning of the rebuilding of the temple (87-13); the opposition of the Samaritans in consequence of the refusal of the Jews to allow them a share in this work (4 1-5) ; repeated complaints raised against the Jews on account of the rebuilding of the walls (46-23) ; the stoppage of the building of the temple (4 24) ; the rebuilding, begun in the second year of Darius, and completed in his sixth (5 i-O is) ; the celebration of the feast of the passover (ti 19-22).

The second division of the book, 7-10 (7 12-26 being in Aramaic), which transports us to the seventh year of Artaxerxes, describes the return of Ezra and his fellow- exiles to Jerusalem (If-}, and the measures taken by him with reference to mixed marriages (9/).

1 [Cp/f. Rel. Life, 70-72.]

3. Contents of Nehemiah.[edit]

The book called after Nehemiah relates the origin of that Jewish courtier s mission to Jerusalem as governor, with the object of restoring the walls, and describes the measures which he took, in spite of Sanballat, to accomplish this.

Chaps. 1-0 include an inserted list of the builders (81-32); also the episode of the governor s dealings with the hard-hearted usurers (5). Next are described the final efforts of Sanballat and his friends to ruin Nehemiah (chap. 0), also some special administrative measures of the latter ; another copy is given of the important list in Ezra 2. This concludes Part I. (chaps. 1-7).

Next follows an account of the reading of the law and the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles (S), and of the great assembly for Israel s dedication of itself to Yahwe (9f.) \ a short account of the increase of the population of Jerusalem (ll if.) , a list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Judah, and Benjamin (113-1921-2425-36); lists of heads of priestly and Levitical families dating from various periods (12 1-26) ; an account of the dedication of the wall (12 27-43) and of the appointment of guardians of the temple chambers (1244-47) ; and a brief state ment about the expulsion of strangers from Israel (13 1-3). The book closes with an account of Nehemiah s second visit to Jerusalem and of his reforms (184731).

4. Authorship.[edit]

We see from the fact that the opening verses of Ezra (Ezra li-3) are attached to Chronicles (2 Ch. 8622 /.) that our Ezra is the immediate sequel to Chronicles, and had already been written when the last-named book was composed. In fact, whenever the contents of our Ezra and Nehemiah are not taken from earlier sources, the style and habits of thought are those of the Chronicler, who must be re garded as the compiler of our Ezra and Nehemiah. That this writer used a variety of documents in pro ducing his work is manifest. Here and there he reproduced his authorities verbatim ; but he also often used great freedom of treatment, and did not scruple to expand or abridge, to alter or transpose.

5. Memoirs.[edit]

The most important of the authorities used by the compiler are two works which, after their authors, we may call the Memoirs of Ezra, and of Nehemiah, respectively : (a) from the first is taken Ezra 727-834 9 ; from the second, Neh. 1 1-7 50. 184-31 ; in which passages Ezra and Nehemiah are themselves the speakers, the compiler having only here and there made slight alterations, (b] There are other passages from the same memoirs ; but in them the first person is almost wholly absent, and they have been considerably modified by the Chronicler.

To this class belong Ezra V 1-26 8 357^ 10 [between Ezra 10 9 and 10 we should perhaps insert Neh. 13 I/! 1 ], founded on the Memoirs of Ezra; and Neh. 11 if. [20], also 3-19 2i-24 2 [cp7s] 11 25-36 1227-43 44-47 13 i-3 PI. founded [unless 1125-36 be an addition of the Chronicler] 3 on those of Nehemiah.

(c) Neh. "6-1039 also, in its original form, was part of the memoirs ; but we cannot make out whether it is derived from those of Ezra or from those of Nehemiah.

[It is doubtful whether the passages assigned directly or indirectly to the memoirs of Ezra can really claim the authority of Ezra. That authentic utterances of Ezra are to be found in them may be allowed (see, e.g. , Ezra 7 27 /) ; but the passages in which Ezra appears to speak in the first person contain some statements too improbable for us to assign them without compunction to the great scribe himself. It is allowed that a redactor had to do with the passages in which the first person is almost wholly absent ; the same concession must almost certainly be made with regard to the passages in which Ezra himself appears to be the speaker. Even the royal firman in Ezra 7 11-26 cannot be authentic.

1 Robertson Smith, OTJCW, 427 n.

2 On Neh. 113-19 21-24, C P Meyer, Entst. ioof., i&6fi

3 [Neh. 1125-36 should perhaps never be referred to without an expression of reserve. The tendency of the most thorough recent criticism is to regard this passage as an insertion of the Chronicler, and not as an authentic statement of the territory occupied after the so-called Return by the sons of Judah and the sons of Benjamin. ]

Meyer himself admits (p. 65) that the firman lacks the Persian colouring which appears to characterise the other supposed official documents, and proves that, if fictions, they are not unskilful fictions ; a strict criticism of the contents shows that the firman too is of Jewish origin. Meyer s answer (p. 64) is altogether inadequate. That the Persian court was favourable to the maintenance of the religions of subject races, at any rate of such religions as that of Yahwe, is recognised ; the missions of Sheshbazzar and Nehemiah, in so far as they had religious objects, are perfectly in accordance with Persian policy. But for the violent interference with the religion of the people of Judah, and even as the supposed firman says, of the people 1 of the province W. of the Euphrates in general, there is no parallel certainly that adduced by Meyer 2 (p. 71) is no parallel at all. Meyer thinks that the Persian court simply- adopted the terms of the petition laid before it by Ezra in the name of the Babylonian Jewry ; but it could not have acceded to a petition for which there was no precedent, nor could the Babylonian Jewry have been so unwise as to ask leave for something that was unattainable. The firman declares that Ezra the priest and scribe is sent by the king and his counsellors to institute an inquiry into Judaean re ligion on the basis of the law which is in his hand. It even empowers Ezra to appoint magistrates and judges to judge the people of the province W. of the Euphrates in accordance with this law, and should there be any who presume to disobey, or refuse to be taught, a strict sentence is to be passed upon them, ranging from simple imprisonment to confiscation of goods, banishment, and death. As a matter of fact, Ezra is not reported to have attempted to carry out this firman, which is evidently the work of a partisan of Ezra with but slight historical sense. The one thing which is credible in the firman is that the Persian court was willing to grant freedom from taxes to the Jewish priests, a parallel for which is supplied by the rescript of Darius I. to the Persian official Gadatas at Magnesia (on the river Ma^ander). 4 What the real object for which Ezra desired the royal permission was, has been pointed out elsewhere (see EZRA, 3) ; it was by no means what the supposed firman represents. It is not permissible, therefore, to say that the pious exclamation of Ezra in Ezra 7 27 proves that the firman must have been inserted by Ezra in his memoirs ; the point to which it refers is only incidentally mentioned in the firman, and is not that for which Ezra is specially sent by the king and his seven counsellors. In fact, to carry silver and gold to Jerusalem to beautify the temple, required no firman at all (Zech. 6 io/.).

Those who can bring themselves to hold that, in spite of the objections raised, the firman must be genuine, might do well to identify the Artaxerxes who was the patron of Nehemiah and Ezra with Artaxerxes II. Mnemon (404-359), simply because this king did not scruple to force the acceptance of religious innova tions on his own people, so that he might conceivably have permitted Ezra to use force in introducing his law- book at Jerusalem. It would, however, be the re source of despair. The objections which, if space permitted, could be raised to this proposal of Marq. (Fund. 37), are weighty, and, it seems, insuperable. Rosters, Wellhausen, and Meyer are probably right in identifying the Artaxerxes of Nehemiah and Ezra with Artaxerxes I., and a political motive for that king s generosity to the Jews can be divined (see Jew. Rel. Life, 387". ). The view assumed by most on the basis of Ezra 7 11-26 seems to the present writer historically inconceivable, and a warning to the student was necessary. ]

1 [Marq., it is true, would read ^SV thy people for NSy the people in Ezra 7 25.]

2 [The interesting story of Uza-hor (an Egyptian who became chief physician to the king of Persia ; see Brugsch, Cesch. Ag. 784^) is considered in Jew. Rel. Life, 40-43.]

  • \Jeu>. Rel. Life, 55.]

4 [Marq. (Fund. 37), referring to Bulletin dc corresfi. heUcn., 1889, p. 530. This scholar (Fund. 37, 39) and Meyer (Entst. 19-21) have done good service in calling attention to this im portant piece of evidence for the attitude of the Persian court towards the religions of subject peoples. The fact that a copy of this rescript has been found near the very place to which Gadatas belonged as an official, shows that Persian documents may well have been preserved in the archives at Jerusalem. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that some part of the supposed official documents in Ezra is genuine. Indeed, the presence of fictitious documents in Ezra may perhaps be taken to imply the existence of genuine ones.]

6. Other sources.[edit]

The Memoirs of Ezra and of Nehemiah are not the only documents to which our author is indebted.

(a) For example, he has used an account of the building of the temple in the reign of Darius (Ezra 5 1-615). This is made up out of two accounts (a and /3) as is. at once apparent ( i ) from its inconsecutiveness: in 66-12 (a) we find the close of a letter of Darius (the beginning is wanting), given as the sequel of a decree of Cyrus contained in 63-5 (/3) ; (2) from its contradictions : according to 62 (a) it is Zerubbabel and Jeshua who begin to build the temple, whereas, according to 5i6 (/3), the foundations had already been laid by Sheshbazzar in the time of Cyrus; according to 6 if the decree of Cyrus which is sought for at Babylon is found at Achmetha (Ecbatana), without any notice of the search being abandoned at the one place and resumed at the other.

We are unable, however, to separate the two portions with certainty, chiefly because only parts of each of the two accounts have been taken. We may perhaps say that 5 i-io if. (in part), and 6-15 belong to the one (a), and 5 11-17 6 i f. (in part), and 3-5 to the other ((3). Probably the Chronicler had the story before him already in its composite form.

[Against Kosters attempt to separate the report of the satrap Tattenai (Ustanni? 1 ) into two parts derived from different sources, see Wellhausen, GGN, 95, p. 176 ; Meyer, Entst. 42, n. 4. It is not probable, however, that the document has reached us in its original form.

The answer of the Jewish elders in Ezra5n_/C is plainly fictitious; so also the last clause of the imprecation which concludes the answer of Darius appears to be either a Jewish addition, or altered in a Jewish spirit from the original passage, which may have referred to Ahura-mazda. The statement, how ever, that Tattenai complained to the great king of the attempt to rebuild the temple, and at the same time referred to the mission of Sheshbazzar is probable enough, and the mention of the discovery at Ecl atana of the roll (i.e., the cuneiform tablet) containing the decree of Cyrus, which, as Meyer plausibly supposes, entered into the answer of Darius, 2 is self-evidently authentic.]

(b) Again, in Neh. 12 1-26 we have a list of heads of priestly and levitical families dating, it would appear, from the time of the high priest Jaddua, a contemporary of Alexander the Great, originally compiled as a supple ment to the register which we find in Neh. 113-36.

[It might perhaps be better to modify this statement thus: Neh. 12 12-21 may have been intended as a supplement to the register in 11 1-24." On the passage see Meyer, Entst. 103. It is plain at a glance that Q l jn has come into 12 22 by error from, v. 23 (it is a synonym of }? J3), an d tnat ^ before D 3."n should be cancelled. Winckler s attempted explanation (AOFZm) recognises this, but is too devoid of plausibility to be con sidered here.]

(c) The author may have made use of a written source also in Ezra 4 6-23. For Ezral 3 41-524 616-22, it does not appear that he consulted other writings.

[On Ezra 3 i-4 5 see Driver, / ntr.(}, 547/1]

1 So Meissner ; see TATNAI.

2 [Meyer (Entst. 47) thus restores the opening of the royal rescript : King Darius to the satrap Sisines (Tattenai), etc. The decree of Cyrus has been found in a roll in the treasury of Ecbatana, and therein is the following record. ]

3 [Cp col. 1473, note 2.]

4 [At any rate no considerable band of exiles can have re turned none that was able materially to influence the Jewish community ; so much must be inferred from Hag. and Zech. ; cp Che. Intr. Isa. p. xxxv ; Jew. Rcl. Life, (>f. The mere circumstance that no allusion is made by Hag. and Zech. to the arrival of Sheshbazzar does not disprove the actuality of his return.]

7. Historicity : the return.[edit]

Such portions of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as have been simply transferred from the memoirs, have great historical value ; but the redactor s own contributions are largely inventions .3 Particularly is this true of what he tells about the return of the exiles, the foundation of the temple, and the suspension of the work in the reign of Cyrus (Ezral 81-4524). At least, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who lived when the temple was being built under Darius, know of no other founding of the temple than that which took place in their own time (Hag. 2 19 [18]), and presuppose no return from exile ; 4 according to them the time of chastisement is still present, and that of redemption is all in the future (see Zech. l2/ 12 26jf. 69-15 87 /.}; above all, a prophecy of Zechariah (615) spoken to encourage the Jews to accept certain gifts from Baby lonia, to the effect that Jews from a distance would take part in the building of the temple, shows that up till then no band of exiles had returned or taken a part in the restoration of the sanctuary.

Our faith in the historicity of the return in the time of Cyrus is shaken by the testimony of 1st Esdras. In that book we have, in the remarkable pericope 3i-56, an account of the return of the exiles and the rebuilding of the temple (442-66) that is in irreconcilable conflict with the representation of Ezral. At least we are told in 1 Esd. that not Cyrus but Darius sent Zerubbabel with the returning exiles and restored the temple vessels which Cyrus had already set apart to be handed over, when he made the vow to destroy Babylon. Is it conceivable that this representation has grown out of that of Ezral? that the writer of i Esd. 4 transferred the original restoration of Israel by Cyrus, the deliverer mentioned in Yahwe s name by Deutero-Isaiah, to Darius who is nowhere mentioned in any prophecy? that if the return and the restoration of the temple vessels had really taken place under Cyrus, a later writer should have transformed this into a mere promise and intention on the part of Cyrus, afterwards fulfilled by his successor Darius? This is inconceivable. Ezra 1 evidently contains a form of the tradition later than i Esd. 442-66, and its account is therefore not to be accepted. Cp EZRA, GREEK, 6.

Nor does either of the two narratives of which Ezra5i-6is is made up, presuppose a return of exiles in the time of Cyrus. Both representations of the temple rebuilding vary from that given by the redactor. According to the one (a), a beginning with this was made not in Cyrus s reign but in that of Darius (62) ; according to the other (), Cyrus was well disposed to the undertaking, and, with a view to it, sent to Judaea, not indeed Jewish exiles, but an official of high rank, Sheshbazzar, 1 of course to co-operate in the work with the Jews in Palestine a work which was carried on without interruption until Darius s time, 5 14-16 [j3]) : neither account has a single word about returning exiles.

8. The great list: Ezra 2 = Nehemiah 7 = 1 Esdras 5[edit]

Nor does the list of those who returned, which we find in Ezra 2 (Neh. 76-73), prove anything for the credibility of the Chronicler's way of representing matters. Originally it had no reference to the time of Cyrus. In its present form it certainly has, as is evident (i) from the place which has been assigned to it, (2) from ^.2, where Zerubbabel and Jeshua are enumerated among the twelve leaders of the Jews, and (3) from v. 68f., which carries us back to the period before the restoration of the temple. To take the last-mentioned point first : (a) a compari son with Neh. 7 70-72 [Ba. 69-71] shows that the narrative here originally related, not to gifts for the building of the temple, but to gifts to the treasury out of which the work i.e., the temple-service was defrayed; whilst, that the representation in Ezra 268 /. according to which the work is taken to mean the building of the temple is incorrect, is further evident from the fact that the gifts consisted in part of priests garments, which could of course come into requisition for the establishment and maintenance of public worship, but not for a re-building of the temple. Above all, (6) the number of those who, according to this list, returned to Judasa (v. 64) presents great difficulty. It is much larger than the total number of Jews who, according to 2 K. 24 nff. Jer. 5228^, were carried into captivity in 597, 586, and 581. If, in addition to this, we bear in mind that, according to Ezra?/, (cp the Book of Esther), a large number of the Jewish exiles remained behind in Babylonia, the figures in the list in question cannot be accepted as representing returning families. Moreover (c) the list includes names not only of out standing families (vv. 3-19 30 ff. ) but also (vv. 20-28 33 ff. ) of common people (contrast 2 K. 24 15 25 12), and (d) these last consist, according to v. \b, of returned exiles who have recently settled again in the homes of their ancestors ; which cannot have been the case.

1 [That Sheshbazzar was a Persian official may be admitted. I5y nationality, however, he was a Jew ; we may infer this from the phrase in Ezral 8 rn iT 1 ? N C jn, the (legitimate) Judaean prince (based perhaps on an earlier document), and from the statement in the genealogy of the Davidites that among the sons of Jechoniah was SHKNAZZAR (i Ch. 3 18 RV), whose name in MT seems to be a corruption of the Babylonian name of which another corrupt form is SHESHBAZZAR [y.v.]. That the Jewish nitsl prince (if the term may be accepted as genuine) went up to Jerusalem unattended, is riot to be supposed. Cp Jew. Rel. Life, 6; ISRAEL, 51.]

We can, indeed, if need be, suppose that the exiles had pre served the memory of the places from which their ancestors had been taken arid that, in the land of their exile, community of origin constituted a bond of union among those who had formerly belonged to the same town or village ; but we can hardly suppose that they all were able to settle again in the places from which they had sprung. During their absence aliens had established themselves in Judasa, and in the case of many towns the earlier population must have remained behind in Babylonia ; one locality would therefore, if things were as the author sup poses, have received too great a population, whilst another was insufficiently supplied. Circumstances must thus have com pelled many to take up their abode elsewhere than in their ancient homes.

If then v. ib gives an inaccurate representation of the character of the citizens, the conjecture at once arises that the statement is to be ascribed to a redactor, and that the original list dealt with the population of the places mentioned as a whole, not exclusively with those who returned.

Lastly (e), let us take the second of the three points mentioned above (beginning of 8). It would seem that the list of the twelve leaders (Neh. 7 7 ; in Ezra 2 2 only eleven are named) is by no means free from suspicion, 1 partly on account of the names Nehemiah and Azariah (so Neh. 7? ; Seraiah in Ezra 22) of which the second, especially in Hebrew, closely resembles that of Ezra, with which indeed it is confused (cp Neh. 12 1 Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra with Neh. 102 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah), and partly also because it name? Zerubbabel and Jeshua as leaders of the return, whic) they are not [if MT may be trusted] in the writings of their contemporaries Haggai and Zechariah, 2 who nevertheless frequently refer to them ; the writer of I Esd. 3 1-5 6 knows them as leaders of the return in the time of Darius.

9. The original meaning.[edit]

There can be no doubt, therefore, that this list at one time possessed a character quite different from that in which it here comes before us. Perhaps it was originally a complete register of the clans and citizens constituting the restored Israel the congregation the origin of which is related in Neh. 9/. The compiler of Ezra-Nehemiah subsequently, by placing it immediately after Ezra 1, by the interpolation of v. \b 2, and by v. 68/., made it serve as a list of the exiles who returned in the reign of Cyrus. [On this list see also below, 15 1 (a).]

The account, in Ezra 1 3i-4s 24, of the return from the captivity, of the laying of the foundation of the temple, and of the arrest laid on the work of rebuilding by the hostility of the Samaritans, is thus unhistorical.

1 [Whether Prof. Kosters would have adhered to this view, may be doubted. To Meyer (Entst. 193) the names have a credible appearance. In this we must agree with him, though he too hastily adds that Zerubbabel and Jeshua are the only leaders of whom we have any definite knowledge. It has been shown elsewhere (Bn.sHAN, REGEMMELECH, TIRSHATHA) that of three of the heads we possess definite information. On the heads cp GOVERNMENT, 25 ; Jew. Rel. Life, 6, ip, 16.]

2 [Prof. Kosters here shows himself a conservative textual critic. See REGEM-MF.LECH for the text of Zech. 72, where it appears that two of the leaders are referred to ; see also pre ceding note.]

10. The city walls.[edit]

Equally unhistorical is the narrative according to which a beginning had already been made with the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem long before Nehemiah's time (Ezra 4 6-23). This narrative includes letters from Persian officials to Xerxes (485-466) and Artaxerxes (465-424), reporting that the Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem ; also a letter from Artaxerxes giving orders for the stoppage of the work. The unhistorical character of the passage appears from the following considerations.

(a) It comes in between the account of the hostility to the building of the temple shown by the Samaritans (4 1-5) and the statement that the work was accordingly suspended until the second year (519) of Darius (Ezra 424) ; as if this suspension of the temple building had been the consequence of the letter of Artaxerxes about the building of the wall. The passage thus cannot, at all events, originally, have belonged to the place where we now find it ; perhaps the redactor transferred it here in order to signify to the reader that the building of the temple had been interrupted by accusations similar to those which, under Xerxes and Artaxerxes, had inter fered with the building of the wall.

(b) Quite apart from its connection, it is not in itself probable that the story is historical. Nehemiah s account of the restoration of the wall (Neh. 1-6) does not leave the impression that any others before him had already addressed themselves to this work.

Is it likely that the enemies of the Jews, who were bold enough to set themselves against the royal governor Nehemiah, even when addressing himself to the work with the express permission of the king, would at an earlier period have hesitated, until they had received in writing the orders of the king, to interfere with the Jews when these were addressing themselves to the work of building without permission ?

Further (c) [even after certain errors in the text have been removed] the letters themselves bear internal marks of non-originality. [The question is no doubt a complicated one. We may admit that the facts pre supposed by the letters are not always incorrect ; or again that in one case or another there may be a genuine kernel ; or again that the letters are in some respects skilfully composed ; but that they are genuine in their present form, and can be used without criticism for historical purposes, must unhesitatingly be denied. Notice that Rehum s letter of complaint (Ezra 48-i6) is addressed immediately to the king of Persia, passing over the satrap of the province through whom it ought to have been sent. This points to the period when Syria was under the rule of the Ptolemies or the Seleucidae, and was divided into small administrative districts (Marq. ), and it is difficult (see below) not to trace the later antagonism of Jews and Samaritans in the prominence given to the alien population of Samaria. Notice further that] Artaxerxes states in his answer (vv. 17-22) that an examination of royal records showed that there had been mighty kings of Jerusalem who had ruled over all the lands to the W. of the Euphrates and received toll, tribute, and custom. This is a manifest reference to David and Solomon [as Winckler (AOF 2231) has also, since Kosters death, pointed out], and betrays the hand of a Jewish writer. It cannot be shown that Assyria or Babylon ever had relations with these kings of Israel or with their dominions ; a com plete silence respecting them is preserved in the inscrip tions. [In spite of the particularity of the statement, 1 written in Assyrian (i.e. , in cuneiform) and interpreted in Aramaic : (Ezra 4?, emended text), the document is certainly fictitious. The motive of the fiction was probably to show that Nehemiah s rebuilding of the walls was no arbitrary innovation, the same work having been taken in hand before the reign of Darius, and only hindered by the malice of the Samaritans, whose opposition to the Jews the redactor antedates. That the writer confounds Cambyses with Artaxerxes 2 (cp Jos. Ant. xi. 2126) need not surprise us; he may have thought of Darius II. or Darius III. who did succeed an Artaxerxes. 3 ]

1 [Reading IV IB N for the first n ffJN (Klo. PRE$) 6514). To read n 013 (Meyer ; cp Marq., 63) is more difficult.]

2 [B niBTlN, Ahasuerus, in Ezra 4 6, is probably a scribe s error f r RDE tSTiniNi Artaxerxes ; IT. 6 and 7 should be fused. For Bishlam, Mithredath and Tabul, we should, as Marq. (62) suggests, read Rehum and Samlai (see SHALMAI).]

3 [So Marq., 61. Klo. PREV] 5 516, thinks that Ezra 46-6 18 is a great apology for the Judaean community by a person officially competent for the task, whose name in Aramaic was Tab el, and had the sanction (Q^BQ ?) of the Persian governor Mithredath. The cause of the apology was the accusation brought by Rehum which Tab el prefixes to his work. This accounts, he thinks, not only for the singular 303, and the sing. suffix in in>>> hut also for the 'suggestive' chronological statements ' u h the reign of Darius ' (4 5), ' at the beginning of his [Ahasuerus'] reign' (46), etc. Kautzsch too (Abriss 109) takes a very favourable view of 48-6 18 : the compiler has good information but inserts 45-23 out of chronological order. Evidently Kautzsch has been moved by Meyer s somewhat excessive expression of his confidence in his own historical results, and perceives that earlier critics laid too much stress on one class of evidence to the neglect of other important pheno mena to which Meyer seems (unduly) to limit the term historical. ]

11. The list of Nehemiah 12:12-26.[edit]

The redactor s view of the fortunes of Israel in the time of Cyrus rendered it necessary that he should here and there introduce alterations even into the documents taken over by him. We have already seen how this has been done in Ezra 2. Something similar happened with Neh. 12 12-26, where priests of the time of Darius and the high priest Joiakim (vv. 12 26), and Levites of the time of Nehemiah and Ezra (vv. 22-26), are named as patriarchal heads of priestly and levitical houses ; by prefixing vv. 1-11 he carried the list back to the time of Cyrus.

12. Formation of 'congregation' misrepresented.[edit]

According to Neh. 9-10, after Ezra and his exiles had come to know that the people of Judea had intermarried with aliens, the true Israel separated itself from the 'peoples of the land' and had constituted itself into 'the congregation'. According to the redactor, who had made a separation and formation of a congregation take place already soon after the return of the exiles in the time of Cyrus (Ezra 621), the alien marriages of which Ezra complained could only have reference to the congregation already thus separated. He therefore introduced into Ezra 9/. certain corrections, with the effect of making it appear that the contaminating alliances which Ezra met with in Jewish territory had occurred in the case of certain exiles who had united themselves into a congregation (94 106 8 12 14). The narrative itself (Neh. 9/) which described the formation of the congregation in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah he has thus failed to appreciate in its true significance, and he partly mutilates it by re moving a portion (Neh. 181-3), partly makes it almost unintelligible by placing it in a connection to which it does not belong (after Neh. 8) and by making interpo lations (e.g. 9s ff.} which obscure the scope of the narrative.

13. Editorial adjustment to r.[edit]

Other more or less considerable corrections, made by the compiler in the passages he took over, were due to his conviction that, throughout the entire period with which he was dealing, not only the regulations affecting priests and Levites (which according to i Ch. 23-26 had been established by David), but also the prescriptions of the law, which according to Neh. 8 had been introduced by Ezra, were valid. The last-named law (what is now known as the Priestly law) he regarded as dating from the time of Moses, so that apparently he did not regard Neh. 8 as describing the introduction of a new law which in fact it was.

Consequently in the portions composed by himself the redactor represents everything as happening in accordance with the law and the ordinances of David ; (a) the feasts are observed (Ezra 3 4/7 619^) in accordance with Ex.126 Lev. 23 ^ff. 33-43 Nu. 2912-38; (b) the priests have trumpets (Ezra 3 10) in ac cordance with Nu. 10i-io; the Levitical years of service (Ezra 3 8) are those which, according to i Ch. 23 24 27, had been fixed by David ; (c) the Levites have the oversight of the build ing of the temple (Ezra 3 &f.) in accordance with i Ch. 23 4 ; (ff) the singers are Levites (Ezra 3 lof.) as enjoined in i Ch. 23 5 25, though they are not so, as yet, in Ezra 2 40^ ; (e) priests and Levites are divided into classes (Ezra 6 is) as laid down in i Ch. 24. For the same reason he introduced correc tions into the narratives he took over. (/) In Neh. 8_/C he has inserted some verses which not a little confuse the course of the narrative (84* if. n 93-5) because he thought it impos sible to dispense with the services of the Levites as interpreters of the law and leaders of the congregation in the ceremonies described, (g) In Neh. 12 27-43 the account of the dedication of the wall is exceedingly confused, because the redactor missed, in the description of the feast which lay before him, things which he thought he ought to have found, and thus regarded corrections and interpolations as necessary ; he made the singers Levites, provided them with the musical instruments of David (v. 36), supplied the priests with trumpets (TO . 35, 41), and inserted lists of names, so that even Judah and Benjamin, in the original narrative designating the people, became priestly names (v. 34). See BENJAMIN, 5.

14. Other adjustments[edit]

Elsewhere he has made corrections in the accounts given in the older narratives for other reasons.

(a) Ezra s genealogy (Ezra 7 1-5) he has conformed to I Ch. 63-14 [629-40] so as thereby to make his hero a member of the high-priestly family (cp also EZRA i., i) ; (l>) the account of the measures taken by Ezra against the mixed marriages he has so modified and altered in Ezra 10 that we cannot make out what the result of the attempt was ; probably he intended to disguise its failure as much as possible. Cp EZRA, 5.

15. Dislocation of materials.[edit]

Above all, the author has allowed himself great freedom in the arrangement of the materials at his disposal. At least, the events cannot all have followed each other in the order in which he describes them.

i. During the interval between the completion (Neh. 6 15) and the dedication of the walls (1227^) it is impossible that all the things which stand in his account can have taken place.

(a) The list of those who returned occupies, neither in Ezra nor in Nehemiah (Neh. 7 6-73), the place to which it rightly belongs; after 7i-5 what we should expect to find would be some particulars regarding the population of Jerusalem, but for this we look in vain in the list here introduced, though the case is different with the list in Neh. 11, which probably once occupied this place.

(b) Inasmuch as the law, the introduction of which is described in Neh. 8, was the so-called Priestly law of the Hexateuch, 1 its introduction must have occurred after the assembly of Neh. $/., for here the people, besides pledging themselves to fidelity to the law (10 30 [29]), bound themselves to observe certain precepts (TO. 36-40 [35-39]) which are found for the most part in the Priestly law ; had these been integral parts of the law which the people had just sworn to obey, there would have been no reason for special vows of observance in the case of these particular precepts. 2 Further,

(c) all that is related in Neh. 8-10 must have taken place after what we read in Neh. 134-31. At all events, the enactment of the congregation in Neh. 10 38-40 [37-39], that the Levites shall themselves collect the tithes and then bring the tenth part of these to the temple treasury for the priests, transports us to a period when the method by which, according to Neh. 13 10-13, Nehemiah pro posed to secure the Levites in their revenues was regarded as insufficient. Finally, (,f) the redactor has erroneously made the narrative regarding Ezra (Ezra 7-10) anterior to that regard ing Nehemiah. Whilst Ezra and a considerable band of exiles have, according to the narrative in its present form, already returned to the land of their fathers, there is not in Neh. 1 i-7 5 184-31 a single hint of these or of any earlier return, and among the names of those who took part in the building of the wall (Neh. 3) we seek in vain for those of Ezra s companions (Ezra 82-14).

2. Another strange thing is that after Ezra had already demanded separation from, and dismissal of, the alien wives (Ezra 10 3 1119), Nehemiah should have rested content with a much smaller concession with an undertaking, namely, that neither the men themselves nor their children should in future contract mixed marriages (Neh. 13 23-29).

3. Further, in the narrative of Ezra s arrival and first measures in Jerusalem we meet with at least one circumstance which transports us to Nehemiah s latest period ; namely, that Ezra, shortly after his arrival at Jerusalem, takes up his quarters with a son of the high priest Eliashib (Ezra 10 6 cp Neh. 12 loyC 22) ; as Eliashib was still high priest in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes (Neh. 13 6), it is improbable that a son of his should already have been a prominent personage in the seventh year of that monarch, which according to Ezra 7 jf. was the date of Ezra s coming. What is related must thus have oc curred most probably after Eliashib s death, and certainly after the events of Neh. 134-31. When the redactor reversed the original order Nehemiah-Ezra, which is still met with in Neh. 12 26, he also moved back the date of Ezra s coming and then further inserted the name of Ezra at least once, in a rather inappropriate place, in the account of the building of the wall (Neh. 12 36).

i. After the temple had been rebuilt (519-515) by


2 [See further the pages devoted to this subject in Rosters Het Herstel.}

16. Actual events.[edit]

The order in which the events related in the books now before us actually occurred was probably the following.

  • Jews who had been left behind in Judah and Jerusalem (Ezra 5 1-6 15).
  • Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in 44 and rebuilt and consecrated order of the city wall (Neh l:1-7:5 12:27-43).
  • 2. On a second visit, in 433, on his return from a journey to court, he came forward as an ecclesiastical reformer (Neh. 184-31).
  • 3. Not long afterwards, the date in Ezra 7 7 being incorrect, Ezra arrived in Jerusalem with his band of exiles and, perceiving that his compatriots had been intermarrying with their heathen neighbours, endeavoured, but in vain, to dissolve the mixed marriages ( Ezra 7-1 0). 1
  • 4. Upon this, under the joint leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra, was held the great assembly at which the Jews separated themselves from the people of the nations, and thus the congregation was constituted (Neh. 9/ 13 1-3).
  • 5. Into the congregation thus formed, the new law was shortly afterwards introduced (Neh. 8).

17. Motives for alterations.[edit]

The reason that induced our author to invent a return of exiles in the time of Cyrus and to give to the events of Nehemiah's and Ezra's time a different order from that which he found in his sources, was perhaps this.

(a) According to his view (2 Ch. 8620) all Israel had been carried into captivity, no Israelites at all having been left behind in Palestine. Israel's restoration, which began with the rebuilding of the temple, thus became possible only with the return of the exiles. This must accordingly have already occurred before the time of Darius. When, then, in one of his sources (Ezra 5 13-16) our author came across a tradition (apparently resting on Is. 4428-458) which ascribed the founding of the temple to Cyrus, he supposed that the return of the exiles also had occurred under that king.

(b) Just as the temple had been rebuilt and a begin ning made with the restoration of Israel by those who returned in the reign of Cyrus, so in like manner, according to our author, the honour of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the second great step in the restora tion of Israel, fell to the lot of the exiles who returned with Ezra. In this view he placed Ezra7-10 before the account of the restoration of the wall by Nehemiah, and gave as the date of Ezra s arrival the seventh year of Artaxerxes ; and more than this, in Ezra 4 6-23 he gives it to be clearly understood that already before Nehemiah s time a beginning had been made with the rebuilding of the walls by the people of Ezra s company. Thus the restoration of Israel had been begun by returned exiles, and by returned exiles also had it been brought to a successful issue.

(c) The author s reason for placing Neh. 9/. after Neh. 8 is obvious. In the last-named chapter he saw no introduction of a new law-book all laws were by his time laws of Moses, but the reading of the old law which had for centuries possessed validity for Israel, though often transgressed ; as, then, Neh. 9 / spoke of an assembly at which those present came under obligation to observe the law, this must have been preceded by the public reading of the law. That this was the engagement he had in view appears not obscurely in the verses (Neh. 9s/ ) interpolated by him, by which he makes the people s pledge of fidelity to the law to be preceded by a public reading by the Levites, and so makes the assembly of chap. 9 /. become in a certain sense a continuation of that of chap. 8.

1 [It is a question, however, whether Ezra s arrival should not rather be placed between Nehemiah s first and second visits to Jerusalem. See NEHEMIAH, 5.]

18. Literature.[edit]

See besides the Introductions of Dr., Co., Konig, and especially Kue. Ond.W 1495-517 ( 87); Berth., Die BB. Esra, Neh. u. Esther, ed. Ryssel ( 87); Smend, Die Listen der BB. Esra . Nek. ( 81); H. E. Ryle, Ezra and Neh., in Cambr. Bib. ( 93); A. v. Hoonacker, Neh. et Esd. ( 90); Kue., De Chronol. van hct Perz. Tijdvak der Joodsche Gesch. , A. v. Hoonacker, Neh. en fan 20 cCArtax. I., Esd. en. [an ^ dArtax. II. ( 92), and Zorobab. et le sec. Temple ( 92) ; W. H. Kosters, Het Herstel van Israel in het Perz. Tijdvak ( 94), German tr. ( 95) ; We. Die Ruckkehr der Juden aus dem bab. Exil in GGN ( 95, heft 2); J. Marquart Die Organisation der jiid. Gemeinde seit dem sogenannten Exil (dated Aug. 29 95), J> unt/. ( 96), 28-68 ; W. H. Kosters, Het Tijdvak van Israels Herstel i., ii., and iii., in Th 7" 2!) 77-102 30 489-504 31 518-554 Cgsjf.) ; C. C. Torrey, The Campos, ami Hist. Vahie of Ezra- 1\ eh. ( 96); A. v. Hoonacker. Nouvelles Etudes sur la Restauration Juive ^( 96) ; E. Meyer, Die Entsteh. d. Judenthums ( 96); We., critique of Meyer s book in GGA (Feb. 97) ; E. Meyer, Julius ll ell/tausen u. meine Schrift Die Entsteh., etc. ( 97) ; H. Guthe, Ezra and Neh., in 5 ( 98), 500-523; Sir H. Howorth, A criticism of the sources and relative importance and value of the canonical Kook of Ezra and the apocryphal book known as Esdras I., in Trans, ofqth International Congress of Orientalists ( 93), 268-85 , and series of articles in Acad. 93. W. H. K. T. K. C.


1. Name.[edit]

The Greek, the Latin (before Jerome's time), the Syriac, and the English Bible from 1560 onwards, designate the book as Esd. A, or i Esd. (the canonical books Ezra-Neh. being in (5 Esd. B), either because its narrator begins at a chronologically earlier date than does the Hebrew, or because it is not a mere translation into Greek like Esd. B, but a free redaction made at a date earlier than Esd. B.

The Latin Bibles, since the time of Jerome, have called it 3 Esd. (2 Esd. being Nehemiah) ; in a Florentine MS (cp Pitra, Anal. sac. 2635) it is called 3 Paralip. ; others again cite it as 2 Esd. (Ezra-Nehemiah being regarded as one book) ; cp Isidor, Or. t)2. In (S A it bears, like the other book of the same name, the inscription (o) tepeus ( = Ezra jrtan ; but Nestle, Margin. 29, conjectures E^pas a iepeus, Efpas p tepevs to have been the oldest superscriptions); and the subscription Epas a((S BA ); perhaps also the name Pastor, used by Jerome in Prol. Gal., refers to our book.l

Modern writers call the book the apocryphal Ezra ; the Greek Ezra would be better (see APOCRYPHA, 4.)

The best tradition of the text is given in codd. B and A ; the book has dropped out from N ; the recension of Lucian is peculiar.

2. MSS and versions.[edit]

There is a double Latin translation an older (of which Sabatier in Bibl. Sacr. Latinte versiones antiquie, 1751, gives two versions, one of them from cod. Colbertinus, 3703), and a later (admitted into the Vg.), of which the intention was to improve the older Latin translation and make it more intelligible. See also the fragment of a third Latin translation in Lagarde (Septuag. Studien, 2, 92). The Peshitta does not contain the book; on the other hand, it is found in the Syro-Hexaplar of Paul of Telia (616 A.u. ; see Walton, Sacr. Polys/., 1657), doubtless from a strongly corrected Greek text ; there is also an Ethiopic version (Dillm. Bibl. Vet. Test. ^Lthiopica, 5, 94), and an Armenian (this last, worthless critically, is to be found in Holmes, Sergii Rlaleie codd. Armeni).

1 In s)L, the Greek Ezra appears as 2 Esdras, i Esd. being Ezra-Nehemiah.

a The verses in brackets refer to the Greek text.

3. Contents.[edit]

The contents of the book are as follows ._

  • Chap. 1 ( = 2 Ch. 35-36:21). Josiah's passover, his death, and his successors down to the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • 2:1-14 ( = 2 Ch. 36:22 - Ezra 1:11). The so-called edict of Cyrus.
  • 2:16-30 [15-26] 2 ( = Ezra 4:7-24). The building of the temple (wall) interrupted by Samaritans in time of Artaxerxes.
  • 3-5:3. Triumph of the Jewish youth in the contest between the pages-in-waiting before Darius. Leave for the return to Jerusalem given.
  • 5:4-6. Beginning of a list of those who returned under Joshua and Zerubbabel.
  • 5:7-73 [70] ( = Ezra 2:1-4 5:24 Neh. 7:6-73). List of those who returned with Zerubbabel. Labours on the temple. Their suspension under Cyrus until the time of Darius.
  • 6:1-7:9 (=Ezra 5:1-6:18). Application by Sisinnes the governor to Darius with reference to the building of the temple. Darius gives permission to build. Completion of the work by Zerubbabel in the sixth year of Darius.
  • 7:10-15 (= Ezra 6:19-22). Celebration of the completion of the temple.
  • 8:1-9:55 ( = Ezra 7-10 Neh. 7:73-8:12). Ezra's work : the return of the exiles. The struggle against mixed marriages. The reading of the law.

Thus, apart from the section 3:1-5:3 with the account of the pages competition, which is peculiar to the Greek Ezra, the contents of the book are a doublet of the Hebrew Ezra, with portions of Chronicles and Nehemiah. The opening is very abrupt ( And Josiah held the passover ); cp 125, where the last scene in Josiah s life is introduced not less abruptly. The present conclusion, too, is mutilated ; originally, we may suppose, the narrative went beyond Neh. 8 12, perhaps coming as far down as to Neh. 818 or 10 39. Any considerable departure from the Hebrew Ezra is found only in the position of 216-30 and in the fact that 937 ff. ( = Neh. 7j3jf.) comes immediately after 936 ( = Ezra 1044).

4. Josephus.[edit]

Josephus in his Antiquities follows i Esd. (the Greek Ezra). The whole arrangement of his narrative, the story of the pages competition, the agreement of many of his names with the Greek against the Hebrew Ezra, all abundantly show that this was the book he had before him, not the Hebrew or its Greek rendering in Esd. B. The only question is as to what parts Josephus copied from our i Esd.

What is related in chap. 1 Josephus takes up in Ant. x. 4 5^?. , though there, so far as we can judge, he seems to depend more on the MT of Ch. or rather on the LXX of Ch. On the other hand, he begins Ant. xi. 1 i with our i Esd. 2 1-15 [14] and continues to use it throughout down to Ant. xi. 5 5. After i Esd. 2 12 [i i] he introduces from chap, (i an edict of Cyrus to Sisinnes and Sarabasanes ; and after 7 15 he introduces an account of intrigues of the Samaritans which is wanting in the present Greek text. From chap. 8 onwards there are many shortenings ; the story ends with 9 55, but mention is added of the feast of tabernacles (cp Neh. 813-18), the return of the people to their inheritance, and the death of Ezra.

Certain variations from the text make it evident that Josephus used not only a Greek text similar to that which now lies before us, but also the source upon which it is based ; cp, for example, Ant. xi. 4 4 with i Esd. 64, and the more skilful phrasing of Ant. xi. 82 with i Esd. 3 3 /:

5. Claims to canonicity.[edit]

The facts (i) that in the best MSS (BA) the Greek Ezra stands beside the canonical books of Ezra and Neh. ; (2) that Josephus uses the Greek Ezra not the Hebrew . ( 3 ) that the Greek and the Latin fathers frequently quote from it, especially from the portion that is peculiar to it chap. 3/. (cp Pohlmann} 1 lead to the conclusion that originally the same value was attached to i Esd. as to the Hebrew Ezra.

Augustine, for example, sees in the praise of truth in chap. 4 a prophecy of Christ, and in one of his lists of canonical books (De lidctr. Christ. 2 8) enumerates two books of Ezra, of which our i Esd. was certainly one.

The Church's unfavourable judgment on i Esd. is due to Jerome, whose firm attachment to the Hebrew OT led him to refrain, in the first instance, from translating this and the other Apocrypha, remarking in his preface to Ezra : nee quemquam moveat quod unus a nohis editus liber est ; nee apocryphorum tertii et quarti somniis delectetur ; quia et apud Hebraeos Esdras Nehemiaeque sermones in unum volumen coarctantur. This became a ruling decision for the Church, and the Tridentine edition of the Vg. prints i Esd., as it prints the Apocalypse of Ezra (4 Esd.) and the Prayer of Manasseh, after the NT, in a small-type appendix, quippe qui a nonnullis sanctis Patribus interdum citantur et in aliquibus Bibliis latinis . . . (not in Greek, we are to infer) reperiuntur. The Protestant Church followed in the same course. Karlstadt (De canonicis scripturis lib., 1520) places the book among the plane apocryphi ; Luther translated neither i Esd. nor 2 [4] Esd. since they contain absolutely nothing which one could not much more easily find in ./Esop or in even more trivial books (Erlangen ed. 03 103^).

In the EV i Esd. heads the list of the Apocrypha.

i Op. cit., 13.

6. Origin and relation to the canonical Ezra.[edit]

Formerly i Esd. used to be regarded as a free handling of E<r5pas /3, the LXX version of the canonical Ezra (so Keil, Bissell, and others ; see below. Nestle Marg. 23_) Of more critical views, three have to be mentioned

(a) Some (e.g Trendelenburg and Fritzsche) consider it to have been taken directly from the Hebrew.

(b) Others (e.g. , Ewald, Hist. 5 165 ; Thackeray in Hastings, DB) assume a no longer extant Greek version of the canonical Ch.-Ezra-Neh. from which were taken, in the first instance, the present Greek Ezra as a free redaction, and afterwards the more scrupulously careful rendering of LXX.

(c) Sir H. H. Howorth (Acad. ; see 13) sees in i Esd. the original and genuine LXX translation, the present LXX text of EcrSpas /3 being perhaps that of Theodotion (cp the case of Daniel ; in the present case, however, both versions found admission alongside of each other into the Greek canon). This would explain how it came about that our book, as being of greater age, took the place of precedence as EcrSpas a in the MSS of our present LXX.

That it came closer to the original than EcrSpas b would seem to be supported by the fact that it is used by Josephus, as also by the better condition, from a text-critical point of view, of many passages when compared with EcrSpas b (see Thackeray, Hastings DB 1 760). What strikes the present writer as of primary importance to the discussion is the observation that the text of i Esd. is of very unequal value and of varying degrees of excellence when compared with the various parts of the parallel Hebrew.

Chap. 1 is quite manifestly inferior to 2 Ch. 35yC ; cp, for ex ample, 1 5 io_/T 25 [23] (Pharaoh), 1 26 [28] 34 [32] (Jechoniah), 1 35 [33] (Israel), 1 3843 [3641] (Jehoiakim), 156(53]. On the other hand, the text of chap. 6 is good perhaps still better than in the parallel Ezra 5 iff. ; e.g., observe the names in 63, the form of the superscription of the letter in <>;, the omission of the Great God of Ezra 58 in 68, the mention of the names in 627 ; according to 29 _/. the royal treasury makes merely a grant of the sacrifices to be offered for the life of the king, in Ezra 8f. it is a grant of all the temple expenses. In 216-30 [15-26] the relative value of the two texts is not so clear ; the superscription and exordium of the letter, as also the names, come down to us better in i Esd. ; on the other hand, the rest of the passage shows many misunderstandings.

This varying quality of the text excludes the supposi tion that the Greek version can have been produced aus einem Guss. It thus becomes necessary to treat it as a compilation and to analyse it as such into its component parts :

1. Ch. 81-53, relating to the pages competition, is an inde pendent piece of narrative that is also found standing by itself in a MS of the Vg. (Berger ; Hist, de la Vulgate, "93, p. 94, n. 5). To all appearance this piece is itself also a composite production, the praise of truth being an addition. The whole seems to have been originally written in Greek, and shows affinity with the epistle of Aristeas (Rvi.Hist. 5 165) ; the writer appears to have knowledge of the court history of Persia (4 vf)ff.). The hero of the story (6 vearicncos, 4 58) was not originally Zerubbabel.

2. 6 i-7 15 216-30*1 [15-26^]. Fragment of an Aramaic his torical writing (the parallel portions of Ezra are written in Aramaic). It is worthy of notice that Jos. Ant.xl.it) intro duces immediately after our 7 15 an expansion in which Samaritan intrigues are described. This leads to the inference that something of the same kind must have fallen out between (5 and 215-26. The Greek translation of this Aramaic fragment here goes back perhaps to a better text recension than we have in the case of the canonical Ezra.

3. Ch. 8/1 is from the Ezra document ( = Ezra 7-10 Neh. 7 73 8 iff.). What the present writer thinks of that document is ex pressed elsewhere (see EZRA, 5) ; he now speaks only of the text of the Greek Ezra, which here seems to rest upon a different Hebrew text from MT ; observe the designation of Ezra as iepeus KCU ava.yv<a<rrt\s TOV VO^LOV (apart from 8325 [A] where he is ypajU./A<XTfvs as in the Chronicler) as compared with the rn.T niiD n:n ^D jnbn of MT ; the connection of 9 37^ with 936 ; the name Theras (841); and the like.

4. 21-1557-7372-^6-15. Sections taken from the Chronicler.

5. Ch. 1 is a defective, and in many places, incorrect transla tion of the Hebrew of 2 Ch. 35 f., Esd. B having been at the same time before the translator. Of this, as well as of the hurried manner of this translator, we have a specially instructive illus tration in l23[2i]yC, which has been condensed from 2 Ch. 35 iga-iqd (5 (notice also the confusion in v. 24).

Our book, then, we may venture to suppose, arose somewhat as follows :

(a) In the first place an Egyptian Jew combined the story of 3 1-5 3 with the Aramaic fragment 6i-7is. 2 16-30^ which he translated into Greek. He made the story refer to Zerubbabel (4 13 5$), and after 5s interpo lated a section which has reached us only in a mutilated form (some words have also fallen out before Zerubbabel in v. 5). It contained originally the names (the names, be it observed ; not the numbers) of the heads of families of the returning exiles, especially of their leaders.

(6) Next, a later writer, whose readers were acquainted with the first collection or composition (a), just spoken of, addressed himself, with the entire work of the Chronicler before him, to the task of translating that portion of Ch. which we now know as the book of Ezra. He began with 21-15, ant l n order to explain Zerubbabel s petition to Darius for the restoration of the temple (notwith standing the edict of Cyrus), transferred 2 16-30 from its later position in the book to its present place, the result being that what had originally followed 7 15 was lost ; in the further course of his translating he introduced into his work, from the Chronicler, all that he did not already find in his original. Finally chap. 1 came to be prefixed ; perhaps it owes its position here to a mere oversight (similar to that which has placed 2 Ch. 8(3 22 f. at the end of Ch.) possibly remaining attached to

1 Esd. when that book was transferred from its connection in a (bad) Greek translation of Ch.-Ezra-Neh., to find admission into the present Greek canon.

7. Purpose.[edit]

The purpose of the book has been estimated variously, and indeed, in the case of so complex a compilation, is difficult to determine. The subscription of Vetus Itala de Templi Restitutione is appropriate enough ; in point of fact, the various restorations of the Jewish worship and religious organi sation under Josiah, Zerubbabel, and Ezra are substan tially the theme of the book. The political interest is in the background ; the rebuilding of the wall becomes a rebuilding of the temple ; the restitution of the sacred vessels, the cleansing of the congregation, the regulation of the religious festivals figure as the main things. The book, accordingly, in its present form, bears throughout the impress of the religious and ecclesiastical temper which characterised the Jewish people of the late post- exilic period ; and this becomes all the clearer by com parison with the history we find in Josephus. Perhaps the Greek-reading public for whom the work was published included others besides Jews. Note the remarks in 83 939 and compare also 23 (6 Kijpios TOV Iffpari\, KupLos 6 lii/ tcrroy ; also 946) ; the same thing is suggested by the good Greek style, which is much superior to that of Esd. B. At the same time we are hardly inclined to think that the book, either as a whole or in any of its parts, was designed to influence any Gentile power in favour of the Jews. 1 It is enough to suppose a purely historical intention that the book is designed to set forth, for the benefit of readers who have received a Grecian education, the restoration of ! the post-exilic Jewish community.

(Cp Bertholdt, Einl. 3 ion ( iz- ig), in whose view the purpose I was to compile from older works a history of the temple from the time when its regular services ceased down to its rebuilding and the re-establishment of the ritual.)

8. Historical value.[edit]

As we now have it, the book is full of repetitions, errors, and inconsistencies. The repeated narratives of opposition offered to the building of the temple ( 2 i6/:, 566- 73 , 6) cannot all of them be historical ; 5:66-73 leaves the impression of being an imitation of pure fiction; 1\(>ff. dealt originally with the building of the wall but was made by the compiler to refer to the building of the temple ; ch. 6 on the other hand speaks from the outset of the building of the temple. The list of positive errors ; would be long.

Take as examples 1 25 [23! (Pharaoh for Pharaoh-Necho), 1 34 [32](Jechoniah for Joahaz), 135 [33] (Israel) ; 152 UglOao-iAeis); 2 16 [15] (QJ7B Sj?3 as a name) ; 640 (Nehemiah and Attharias), j 673 [70] (two years until the reign of Darius), "4 (Aitaxerxes); | 7 15 (King of the Assyrians) ; 9 40 49 (Ezra a high priest) ; 949 (Attharates as a proper name).

1 So Ew. Hist. 5 165, Bissell, Caimn, 63, Lupton, Comin. 10 (see 13, Literature ).

Of these errors some are to be charged to the Chronicler, others to the latest compiler. Finally, the chronological scheme is quite wrong. Artaxerxes is placed before Darius (but contrast 74 BA ) ; Zerubbabel returns, according to the connection in ch. 5, under Darius (cp EZRA-NEHEMIAH, 7) ; but, according to the original scheme of 5?^!, which also reappears in w. 71 73, under Cyrus. Thus the narrative actually proceeds backwards ; 215-26 happens under Artaxerxes, 3/. under Darius, 5 7.^ under Cyrus. Manifold were the attempts to introduce order into this chaos. Josephus makes out the Artaxerxes of 2 16 to be Cambyses, re presents Zerubbabel as having returned to the court of Darius after having come up to Jerusalem in the reign of Cyrus, adds Darius to Cyrus in 571 and makes the special point of the complaint of Sisinnes to be that the temple buildings were assuming too large dimen sions. Howorth (Acad. 17 ff.} seeks to remedy matters by substituting Darius Nothus (423-404) for Darius Hystaspis. The view of the origin of the book set forth in the preceding paragraphs adequately explains the contradictions : the compiler, as we have seen, introduced between 2 15 [14] and 3i, the incident of the interruption of the building of the temple (the wall) under Artaxerxes in order to supply a motive for Zerubbabel s petition to Darius ; and, the story of 3/. having once broken the true historical connection, it became necessary to transfer to Darius s time events which in the document before the compiler were brought into the reign of Cyrus (57-73).

It is our duty as critics to distinguish between the historical value of the original elements and that of the present compilation. As it stands, the compilation bears the impress of the genuine Jewish spirit, which, without any feeling for history, writes stories for the honour and glory of Judaism, and regards the kings of the alien world-power purely as instruments for bringing to realisation the greatness of Israel. On the other hand, in the opinion of the present writer, the Aramaic source of ch. 6 is entitled to be regarded as historical ; * also what we read in 2i6^ of the interruption of the building of the wall, even if we cannot be sure under whose reign it occurred. Chap. Sf., however, have of course no similar claim to our respect. Cp EZRA-NEHEMIAH.

9. Value for literary criticism.[edit]

In praise of the text of i Esd. as an aid to the student of the MT, enough has been said elsewhere (EZRA-NEHEMIAH, i). It is of its usefulness for literary criticism that we have to speak here, supplementing the article already referred to. The question to be raised is this, How did Neh. l:1-7:72 come to be interpolated between Ezra 10 44 and Neh. 7 73 (or conversely Neh. 7 73-10 39, which plainly belongs to the Ezra-document, between Neh. 7 72 and 11) whilst yet, in i Esd., 937 ( = Neh. 773) follows 936 ( = Ezra 1044)? It should be borne in mind that i Esd. 937 is plainly out of place in its present position, and that 937 f. corresponds ex actly to 546/! (Neh. 7 73 f. to Ezra27o/). To sup plement EZRA-NEHEMIAH ( 8, 15), we may suggest that what happened may have been somewhat like this. The lists as well as the accounts of the contributions to the building and of the settlement are in their original place in Ezra 2 (=1 Esd. 5) perhaps taken from a source that lay before the Chronicler; Neh. 7s suggested to the Chronicler the idea of bringing forward the lists again, and accordingly he introduces them at 7 6 along with 7 70-73 = Ezra 2 68-70. Further, the original Nehemiah-document (see EZRA ii., 6) contained an account of the popular assembly in Jerusalem (7s), of which traces still survive in i Esd. 9 49 (Attharates [see TIKSHATHA] the speaker !) ^Stf- 54! ut the Chronicler had before him only fragments of this, and accordingly he substituted, from the Ezra-document, the account of the assembly for the reading of the law, worked over by himself and prefaced with the words J?*3i! n cnnrj i jl l. Thus the narrative came to disappear from its original place in the Ezra-document (let us say, before Ezra 9 i = i Esd. 8 68). Everything else (Neh. 8 13-1039) is embellishment by the Chronicler, and is to some extent parallel with Ezra 8 35-1044 ( = i Esd. 8 65-!) 36). Later still Ezra 3 i (=i Esd. 647), which has nothing to do with its present connection, was introduced from Neh. 7 73^, 8 1, in order to bring P^zra 268 and Neh. 7 70^ into complete correspondence with each other. When, finally, i Esd. came to be completed in agreement with the work of the Chronicler and translated (see above, 6, end), the translator added after i Esd. 936 from Neh. S everything relating to Ezra that he found in that work.

1 Note that the name Zerubbabel in 6 18 must be due to the redactor.

10. Style.[edit]

The style of the book is genuinely Greek ; fluent and easy, it betrays none of (S's slavish dependence on the Hebrew. Perhaps the elegance of its Greek was one of the reasons Josephus had for using i Esd.

Eichhorn (EM. 346, [ 95]) detects in its style a likeness to the style of Symmachus ; Gwynn (Diet. Chr. Biogr., s.v. Thep- dotion, 977) calls attention to its similarity to that of Daniel in (5, which suggests (cp Thackeray, Hastings DB, 761) that both 1 Esd. and Dan. (LXX) may be renderings by the same hand. Sometimes the translator finds himself unable to make anything of his Aramaic original ; see, for example, 4 (<cai raAAa Trdcra), 2 20 6 24, and so forth.

11. Date.[edit]

As regards the date of the compilation all that can be said is that the book in its present form, or perhaps still without ch. 1, was already in the hands of Josephus (100 A. D. ). The affinities between i Esd. 3ijf and Esther li-3, as also between i Esd. and Dan. (LXX), give our nearest indications for any approximate determination of date.

The view of Lupton (Coiiini. 11-14) tnat tne hook was designed to prepare the way for the building of the temple of Onias for the Jews of Alexandria (170 B.C.) is insufficiently supported.

12. Place.[edit]

The place of composition of the book, or of its constituent portions, is not known. There is at present a disposition to assume an Egyptian authorship (cp Lupton, io/i).

The mention of eis TTJI/ 0dAacr<7<x>/ TrAecc icai Trorajious in 423, and the use of the expression Eupi a (or /cot Ar/ Supt a) /cat Qoipua] for rnnr~ay may be noticed (cp CCELESYRIA).

The most important point to be considered is whether 3-4 betokens contact with the religious philosophy of Alexandria. Such a contact certainly is disclosed in the praise of truth.

See especially the personification in 438-40, where we read that while all else perishes, Truth lives and conquers for evermore. With her there is no partiality in accepting of persons ; all else is unrighteous, but in her and her judgments there is never any wrong ; and all men who do well like her works. Hers is the strength and the sovereignty and the power and the majesty of all ages (Mt. 613 RVmg.).

Even granting the Alexandrian origin of this section, however, especially if it be only a later addition, we are still very largely in ignorance of the origin of the work as a whole.

Dahne 1 points to the use of 6 VI[/I<TTOS as a Divine name a feature by which i Esd. (2 3 (3 31 [30] 8 19 21 9 46) is distinguished from the Hebrew as an example of its Hellenistic habit of thought. Note also the o v^ttrros flebs <rafiaiu9 of 1)46 (5 A; and on the worship of flebs i!i/u<7TO5 and of <ra|3aftos-<ra/3aco0 see TLZ, 97, p. 506.

13. Literature.[edit]

(a) Text and Exegesis : Ball, notes to i Esd. in The Variorum Apocrypha; Guthe, translation in Kau. Apokr., 98; Fritzsche in KGH, 51 ; Bissell in Lange-SchafFs Comm. 80 (reprint from Bibl. Sacr. 209-228, [ 77]) ; Lupton in Speaker s Commentary, 88 ; Zockler in KGK, 91 ; Reuss, Das A Tiibersetzt, eingeleitet, it. erldutert, 436-40 6417 ff. ( qz- q^). (i) Introduction, etc. : Trendelenburg, Apocr. Esra in Eichhorn s Allgem. Bibl. der bibl. Litt. 178-232(1787); Dahne, Geschichtliche Darstellungder jiid.-alex. Keligionsphilosophie, 2 115-125 ( 34); Treuenfels, Ueber das apocr. Buch Esra, in Fiirst s Litteraturblatt des Orients, nos. 15-18, 40-49 ( 50) ; also, Ueber Entstehung des Es.- apocr. (find. nos. 7-10 [ 51]) ; Pohlmann, Ueber das Ansehen des apocr. 3BuchsEsra, in Tub. Theol. Quart. Schr., 59, pp. 257-275; Ewald, Hist. 5 126-128 (GVm, 4 163-167); Schiirer, GJVM l^ff- ( 86), cp PREP) 1 636/. ; Howorth in Trans, of the Ninth Oriental Congr., London, 2 68-85 (93), and On the real character and importance of the First Book of Esd. in Acad. Jan. -June,

See also Literature in EZRA-NEHEMIAH.


(rnU?) i Ch. 4 17 RV, AV EZRA. See EZEK (ii., i).


(TTtfK, a patronymic, meaning descendant of ZERAH [<j,v. , i]), an epithet applied to ETHAN (q.v., i) in I K. 431 [5n] (o ZApeiTHC [B], O 6ZRA- HAlTHC [A], o ICp&HAlTHC [L]) Ps. 89 title; and to HEMAN (q.v.) in Ps. 88 title (o icp<\HA[e]iTHC [BANRT]. Pesh. in K. has JLtaJ.10 of eastern origin.


Cn?y [Yahwe is] my help ; ecApei [B], ezp&l [AL]), b. Chelub, according to the Chronicler the overseer of tillage in David s time (i Ch. 27 26).


(ezp[e]lA [BA]) i Esd.9 3 4 RV=Ezral0 4 i AZAKEEL, 5.


(Acts 27 8: dsroirov riva KaKov^evov KaXoi>s At/ae^as [Ti. WH]), at some point on the S. shore of Crete near Lasea. Paul s ship was detained here for some time, owing apparently to continued NW winds. Precisely according with this is the situation of the small port still known as the Fair Havens ( s TOI)J KoAoi)s At/xeaJccts), two hours W. of C. Leonda. It is open to the east but protected from SW. winds by two rocky islets. The coast projects W. in C. Lithinos or C. Matala (anc. Lissen or Lisses ; Aicrcrrjv, Str. 479), and then bends N. for many miles. The vessel would therefore be compelled to wait at KaXoi At/x^fes for a change of wind to enable her to get round the point. This small anchorage, however, might well be regarded as not commodious to winter in. Hence the attempt to work to Phenice. Paul himself was averse from taking the risks of a passage across the Gulf of Messara, and the event proved that his caution was sound (v. 10, where rbv ir\ovi> signifies, not the entire voyage, but the crossing from fair Havens to Phenice).

(See Pococke, 2250; Bursian, Geogr. v. Griech. 2566; Jas. Smith, Voyage and Ship-wreck of S. PauK*), 82_/C, with view and charts ; cp Spratt, Travels and Researches in Crete, vol. ii. frontis. and p. if. W. J. W.


(D^ntr) Ezek. 27 12 etc. AV, RV wares. See TRADE AND COMMERCE.


1. Explanation of the term.[edit]

(a) Faith 1 (LXX and NT TTICTIC) in the sense of good faith or faithfulness occurs in the EV of Dt. 3220 (J-1OK, gmun) Mt. 2823 Rom. ?3 G-L5- <RV faithfulness ), Tim. 1519 2? 2 lim. 222 3 10 4? Tit. 2 10 (EV fidelity ) Rev. 2io 13io. We must not add Heb. 24, because the translators have here evidently been influenced by the Pauline use of the words (see below, 4). Nor need we deny that in some of these passages faithfulness to God is included ; all that has to be emphasised is that faithfulness (cp TRUTH) is used as a general term without exclusive refer ence either to God or to man as its object. So, too, in Ecclus. 46 15, iv irlcrrei avrov means by his honesty, or by his veracity ; the Hebrew text no doubt had inMDNa, though the 3 alone is now legible in the Oxford fragment.

(b) Of the term faith with exclusive reference to God i.e. , trust or belief, the subjective condition of salvation (H. Schultz ; cp i Pet. Is), no example can be cited from the OT. The famous passage, Heb. 24, should probably be rendered but the righteous by his faithfulness will he remain alive. There is nothing in the context to prove that rmc.N, tmundh, here means faithful performance of promises made to God ; elsewhere the test of righteousness is the faithful performance of moral duties towards fellow -Israelites or fellow -men (see Jer. 62). Delitzsch, who, in deference to tradition, retains the rendering, by his faith will he live, fully admits that nMOM has a passive, not an active, sense, and that the form has nothing to do with J DKn, hSlmin, to believe.

1 Gesch. Darstell., etc., I2of. (see 13)

It is true, however, that Jewish and Christian tradition favour the active sense. The Gk. Vss. render by JTICTTIS the LXX strangely ex nia-reuts jaov; 1 Moses and David Kimhi gloss n:iCN by jinoa, bittalwn, trust.

In fact, there is no word equivalent to faith in the active sense in biblical Hebrew : Talmudic Hebrew has KrmD rt (from jo < n = jp n, to believe ) and .TJDN. On the other hand, J pxn, to believe, followed by m,T3 (liter ally in Yahwe j is of frequent occurrence. A notable passage is Gen. 156, 2 where EV gives, and he believed in the LORD ; and he [Yah we] counted it to him for righteousness. The idiom rendered he believed in (aj DN.i) is a very striking one ; the belief intended is, not merely a crediting of a testimony concerning a person or a thing (this would be expressed by (jppxn), but a laying firm hold morally on a person or a thing, without the help of any intermediate agency (cp the phrase, to cleave to Yahwe, -3 pm, Dt. 10 20 11 22, etc. ). Abraham has a sure confidence in God that, in spite of natural conditions, he will give him a son as an heir, and Yahwe reckons this as righteousness, because the first obligation of the truly righteous man is to trust God.

This relation of trust to righteousness is specially Deuteronomic ; trust or belief is obedience ; both *7 j DXn and 3pDNn are found (see Dt. 023132).

Though, however, the phrase, to believe (in) God, occurs only once in the story of Abraham, the idea of the phrase pervades the narrative. Abraham is the hero of faith (see Heb. 11 8-12, and ABRAHAM, 2). It is this that made his life so precious to pious Jews, for faith, they knew, was the quality which alone could preserve them as a people, and of faith they had a perfect example in Abraham (cp Gal. 89), whose spirit, unlike that of his descendants (Ps. 788), was constant or steadfast towards God. The idea must surely have been derived from some great religious teacher; was it perhaps Isaiah? Such is Duhtn s opinion. According to him, the supreme importance of believing in God was first expressed by Isaiah in his interview with Ahaz, when he said, If ye take not hold [of God], ye shall not keep hold [of your life] ; x 1 ? DN oxn xV 3 CKn (Is. 7g). Again, in 2 Ch. 2020 the Chronicler puts these deeply-felt words into the mouth of King Jehoshaphat, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem ; take hold of Yahwe your God, 3 so shall ye keep hold (of your life) ; take hold of his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 1 The Psalmists, too, use the phrase, though not very frequently (Ps. 782232 1061224 11966), and it so happens that the only passage of the Psalter quoted by Paul to illustrate the importance of faith (iri<ms) is Ps. 116 10, of which he adopts <S s version, ^wicrrevaa. 5i6 (\d\-rjffa., which cannot represent the right text. 4

1 Bishop Lightfoot (Galatians ( 2 ) , 154) conjectures that the translator may have meant this to be understood, by faith in me 1 ; but surely ;inOX3 most naturally means, by my fidelity to my promise (cp Ps. S0 33 [34] _f.), and e* TriWws p.ov can certainly mean this. Lightfoot himself quotes Rom. 83, Ti}v iricrTiv TOU eoO.

2 Usually assigned to J or J 2 (but see Holz. EM. 95).

3 EV inconsistently renders, believe in the LORD your God, but, believe his prophets, though the Hebrew idiom is the sam< in both cases.

4 It is true, MT is as corrupt as the text presupposed by <E (see Che. J>sM).

2. Its use by the Synoptists.[edit]

The Second Gospel surprises us by the statement that the first sermons of Jesus contained the exhortation, 'believe in (irurretfere eV) the Gospel' (Mk. 1:15). The phrase irrT ^ t " ^" (?r aNn ) is unique in the NT.

Jn. 815 Eph. 1 13 have indeed been referred to as containing it ; but the reference implies an interpretation which is certainly not to be preferred (see RV). In Gal. 826, however, and in i Tim. 813 we have the phrase ly] IJWTIS [r)] tv Xpierrw Ir)<roG, faith in Christ Jesus. 1

Possibly in (tt>) the gospel was not in Mk. "s original source ; this writer often introduces superfluous words from an excessive striving after clearness. Repent and believe would be quite sufficient (for the absolute use of iriffTtveiv, see Mk. 942 1632 Lk. 3 12. ) Certainly the statement in Mk. lis may be well bunded so far as believe is concerned. It is credible that Jesus used the words believe, faith, very early n his ministry, and that he quickly drew the eyes of men upon himself, without having occasion to use the words Believe in me. He spoke as one having authority (Mt. 729 Mk. 122), and such an one produces "aith in himself without having occasion to ask for it. [n the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 630) we meet with the phrase 6\i-ft>wiaToi, men of little faith, which is not classical Greek ; it is equivalent to the Talmudic phrase n:cx 3Bp. small in faith. After the rebuke of the wind and the waves Jesus said (Mk. 440 tells us), Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith ? Again, in the narrative of the healing of the centurion s servant we read of Jesus expressing surprise at the centurion s faith, which exceeded any faith that he had as yet found among Israelites (Mt. 810). The scarcity of faith in his native district was such that he did not many mighty works there (Mt. 1858), and to his own disciples he had to give the exhortation,

Have faith in God (x ere irtcrTiv 6eov), Mk. 1122, whilst they on their side had to ask for help against unbelief (Mk. 924 ; cp Lk. 17s) i.e. , for his efficacious intercessory prayers (Lk. 2232). This all -important possession what is it?

Di , buon Cristiano, fatti manifesto ; Fedechee? !

It is not an intellectual assent and consent to dogmatic decrees; it needs not proofs physic and metaphysic, nor phraseological suggestions rained 2 throughout the Scriptures. It is the assent and consent of the human personality the recognition with heart, and mind, and soul, and strength of the truth that God is not only King of Israel, and therefore of each Israelite, but also de jure sovereign of the world which he made, and that anything necessary for the establishment of his sovereignty de facto over the world and its in habitants will be granted to those of the true Israel who ask it. Not only if the opposition of heathen rulers require signs and wonders in order that it may be quelled ( Be thou removed, O mountain ), but if it be necessary for the production in any individual of a filial feeling towards God, the sickness which oppresses, or the physical danger which threatens that individual will be removed, if he ask for this in faith. For himself, Jesus demands unconditional trust ; for God, he requires undoubting belief or faith.

The distinction is not an idle one. In the Psalms, trust is the characteristic attitude of the soul towards God. When, however, the Son had come, some new phrase, or at any rate some old phrase which could be invested with a new dignity, seemed to be required to express the joyous and undoubting confidence which Jesus sought to cultivate in his disciples ; that phrase was faith. For himself, as we have seen, he asked not faith, but trust ; the distinction can, however, best be expressed in German, One has Vertrauen on God, Zutrauen to Jesus (Holtzmann). Jesus is one greater than the prophets ; in teaching his disciples how to pray, he implies that though they are his brethren, he is in a fuller sense Son of God than they are. They must therefore trust him, see with his eyes, hear with his ears ; then they will believe in God as he does, and be able to do the wonderful things which he himself, in the service of the kingdom, is enabled to do.

1 Dante, Paradise, 2452.

2 Anco la verita che quinci piove, etc. (Paradise, 24135^. ; cp /. 91).

3. In the fourth Gospel.[edit]

In the Fourth Gospel the noun (Tricrns : eight times in Mt. , five in Mk. , eleven in Lk. ,) does not occur once. The verb (wtoret/w) occurs ninety-nine times, and might therefore be expected to convey a prominent idea of the evangelist. Such, however, cannot be said to be the case. To know God is, in this Gospel, a much deeper and fuller idea than to believe in (TTKTT. e/s) God, or in the Son. The best spiritual blessings can be had now ; belief in the God who will shortly redeem Israel gives place to joyous, personal communion with the God who has redeemed his own from the power of evil by manifesting himself to them ; such persons know God. Believing is no doubt a necessary pre-requisite of knowledge. Those who do not believe have had their sentence already (tfdr) K^Kpircu, Jn. 3i8), because they do not receive the testimony of Jesus. If there are those who cannot believe i.e. , who have no spiritual susceptibility it is because a demoniacal power ( the prince of this world ) has blinded them (Jn. 12s9/), or because they are entirely absorbed in giving and receiving honour as members of a close corporation, the existence of which is imperilled by the claims of Jesus (Jn. 644). Cp GNOSIS, 2, TRUTH.

4. In other NT writings.[edit]

Paul s conception of faith needs to be considered in connection with his own inward personal history, and in combination with his conception of RIGHTEOUSNESS [?..]. The 'faith' of the Epistle of James is also excluded from consideration here, because it is neither clear nor homogeneous. So much, however, may be suggested, that the view of the intention of Jas. 214-26 sometimes put forward viz. , that the author is controverting a prevalent misuse of Paul s doctrine of faith is possible only if the work belongs to the post-apostolic age 1 (cp JAMES, EPISTLE OF).

The idea of faith in the Epistle to the Hebrews is not open to the same objection. It is neither mystical nor metaphysical ; but it satisfies the fundamental require ments of spiritual religion. Faith is obedience, just as unbelief is equivalent to disobedience (Heb. 3i8/. ) ; hence, without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11 6). It is brightened, however, by a strong tinge of hope (cp Ecclus. 49 10, fr TrLcrrei Aw/dos 2 ) ; faith, like hope (Heb. 619), is an anchor of the soul ; it enables a man to move about while on earth as if already in the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 1222). Hence the heavenly- minded writer of the great eulogy of faith in this epistle (Heb. lli-122) defines it as the firm expectation (vTr6<TTa(ns) of things hoped for, the con viction (ZXeyxos) of things not seen : Dante s syllogisms (Parad. 24 94) are not needed here. It is true, however, that in the Pastoral Epistles and in Jude 3 we find traces of a nascent conception of faith which ultimately took full form in the theology of the old Catholic Church.

Besides the numerous works on the teaching of the different books of the NT, see Schlatter, DerGlaube im NTW [ 95] (note especially the discussion of the OT conceptions ctnetk and einiindh and their Aramaic equivalents, and of the linguistic usage of Greek philosophers, historians, and jurists) ; also Lightfoot, GalatiansW, 152-156 ; Hatch, Biblical Greek, 83-88. On the different views of faith in the Pauline Epp. and in James respectively, see von Soden./PT, 84. p. 137 ff.\ Holtz- mann, NT Theol. 2 330^ X. k. C.


(PPN ; forty; in Job, -yity), Lev. 11 14 Dt. 14i 3 RV (AV kite ), Job 28 7 RV (AV vulture ). The only clue to the identification of the Ayyah is the keenness of sight alluded to in Job (I.e.). The refer ence might therefore be to the Milvus ictinus (Tristram ; see KITE). Of the genus Falco, however, nine species are enumerated in Palestine.

1 So H. von Soden, //C iii. 6. 176 ; Holtzmann, Neutest. 7VW.2 337 .

1 It is not clear, however, what the Hebrew equivalent of this phrase can have been. The Hebrew text is defective ; the word for jrtoTis does not seem to have been njlDN-



(1-1OIT. Dt. 14s /3oi5/3a\os [AFL ; B om.], i K. 4 23 [5s] [<5 om.]t), RV ROEBUCK (tf.V., 4).


pitf), Lev. 20 27 . See DIVINATION, 4 (ii.).


  • Importance (1-2).
  • The woman (3-6).
  • The child (4-5).
  • Birth (9-11).
  • Parental authority, etc. (12-13).
  • Adoption (14).
  • Literature ( 1 5).

[The present article is introductory. Affinity, whether by marriage (this is the special sense in which the word occurs in EV of i K. 3 i 2 Ch. 18 i Ezra 9 14) or by blood, and the terms expressing relationship, will be considered under KINSHIP. The range of subjects covered by the word family is too large to be treated in a single article. ]

1. Importance.[edit]

The importance of the family in ancient Israel is apparent from the nature of the social conditions then prevailing, which are discussed with some detail elsewhere (see GOVERNMENT, 3 ff. ). Other factors no doubt there were in the tribal constitution of the oldest period with which the OT deals ; but none of them played a larger part than the family. Indeed, the clan and the tribe were regarded by the Hebrews themselves simply as extensions of the family, which thus had a special prominence given to it. By it, right and wrong are determined ; it makes law, administers justice (see LAW AND JUSTICE, i, 8), and maintains divine worship (see below, 2). All public affairs are, up to a certain point, family matters ; they are regulated by the elders, the heads of families and clans. This condition of things con tinued long after the settlement in Canaan.

2. Place in religion.[edit]

The importance of the family in ancient Israel was partly due, further, to the fact that in those days it was a society of worship. What has to be said of the tribe ( see GOVERNMENT 8 ) holds good also of the family, and of the family in the first instance, viz., that community of worship is the bond which keeps the family and the clan together.

The same thing was true of various Indo-Germanic peoples, notably the Greeks and the Romans. There too the family was the oldest society of worship. The house-father was in primitive times the priest who had charge of the relations between the members of the household and the god. The right of sacrificing, in particular, was his alone. This is clearly shown in the case of the Israelite house-father, in the Passover ritual (Ex. 1213 Sf.). The transference of the designation father to the priest in this connection is also worth noting. Accordingly, within historical time in Israel we still find clans celebrating special sacrificial feasts of their own, feasts that had an important place in the social scheme. The members of the family were under the strictest obligation to assemble at the family sanctuary (i S. 2029) an obligation which clearly points to an original family cultus (see FEASTS, i). The same family character shows itself in the social position of the slave. He is a member of the family ; but he becomes so (and shows that he is so) by joining in the family worship. Eliezer prays to the god of his master * (Gen. 24 12). Foreign slaves are received into the religious fellowship of the house by the rite of circumcision an ancient custom, although no direct precept relating to it that has come down is of earlier date than P (see CIRCUMCISION, 3). Lastly, reference may be made to all the indications from various sources which make it probable that, until well within historical times, ancestor-worship was practised, and that this worship may therefore be regarded as representing one of the earlier intermediate stages of Israelitic religion. Ancestor- worship, it need hardly be said, is a family worship. How profound was the influence of this family character of religion upon the family life will appear from the details which have been preserved. See further ESCHATOLOGY, if.

3. Marriage.[edit]

The family takes its character from the position of woman. As to this nothing could be more instructive than the form of speech in which the husband is called bd al, the wife bif uldh : the man is the owner, the woman the chattel. Such at least was the custom as far back as our sources carry us (see, however, KINSHIP, 8). In accordance with the classification of Robertson Smith, this type of marriage and family is therefore usually spoken of now as baal marriage. The married woman is completely under the power of her husband ; the husband has over her a proprietary right. Precisely similar is the form, of marriage that chiefly prevailed in old Arabia. The husband acquires his property by purchase. The mohdr paid by the ancient Hebrews, as by the ancient Arabs, and by the Syrian fellahm of the present day, on betrothal, is simply the purchase-money paid to the former proprietor the father or guardian (cp MAR RIAGE, i). With the payment of this purchase- money the marriage becomes legally valid, and all rights over the bride pass to the purchaser.

This is seen most clearly in the terms of the law relating to the seduction of a betrothed virgin, that is, one who has already been purchased by her future husband. The compensation to be paid was fixed exactly on the same scale as for a married woman (Dt. 22 23 f.) ; looked at from the present point of view, it made no difference whether the marriage had been consum mated or not ; the violation of the rights of private property was equally great in both cases.

Originally, as Robertson Smith (Kin., 72 ff.} rightly observes, such a bdal marriage must have been a marriage by capture. Before a daughter of the tribe could be sold into such slavery, the slavery of woman must have become fixed as a firmly rooted usage in virtue of the established fact that ordinarily wives were obtained by plunder from abroad or as captives in war. Such women were of course, in the strictest sense, the property of the husband, the slaves of their master. We know that down to Mohammed s time marriage by capture was extremely prevalent ; and, as was only to be expected, we have clear traces that it was not unknown in ancient Israel. In this way, we are told, the Benjamites who had escaped extermination were provided with wives (Judg. 21). Here (the date of the narrative is immaterial) capture in war (v. -ioff.} stands alongside of capture (in peace) at the annual harvest festival at Shiloh (v. ^ff. ; cp DANCE, 6). It is safe to infer that at the festival in question there survived ancient customs which owed their existence to a reminiscence of marriage by capture in the strict sense of the word. Such customs belong to the same category as those found among the Arabs, which plainly are designed, after the wife has ceased to be captured really, to represent the practice figuratively (see MAR RIAGE, 3). D, moreover (Dt. 21 10^), has special regulations (whatever we may choose to make of them) as to the manner of entering into a valid marriage with a prisoner of war regulations which certainly have relation to an ancient custom. By the fact of becoming the lawful married wife of her master, the captive woman passes into the ranks of the free women (as far as it is possible for any woman to be free ; see 4) ; she is no longer liable to be sold as a slave by her master ; if he divorces her she becomes free. The rule of old Arabia was precisely similar. Obviously, however, a certain stigma attached to marriage by capture as soon as it had been supplanted in general usage by marriage (by purchase) with a tribeswoman. Laban reproaches Jacob for his stealthy flight on the ground that he had carried off his daughters with him as if they had been captives taken in war (Gen. 31 26).

4. Legal position of woman.[edit]

Though the wife at marriage passes into the power of her husband, her position is not otherwise changed - at least for the worse - and accordingly she feels no degradation. The unmarried woman in the house of her parents, also is under tutelage ; she is the property of her father or guardian. Amongst the Arabs, for example, her guardian can make her his wife or marry her to his son without having to pay any mohar. In like manner, to take another instance, two fathers can exchange daughters as wives for their sons.

The seduction of an unbetrothed virgin is from this point of view regarded as an injury to property, and, very significantly, is dealt with by the law in that connection only. A virgin is \alued at a higher figure than a widow or a divorcee. The seducer has to pay to the father, as compensation, the amount of mdhar which the father would otherwise have been entitled to at her marriage (Ex. 22 15 [16]). The father, however, is under no compulsion to give the girl in marriage to the seducer ; otherwise the way to force a marriage would be only too plain. Such an encroachment on his rights he is entitled to resist ; so also in old Arabia.

Whilst thus treated as a valuable chattel, woman was not originally at all regarded from the point of view of working efficiency. The ancient Semites never appraised her so low. Women were looked upon rather as potential mothers, destined to give the tribe the most priceless of all gifts namely, sons. On the number of its spears depended in those primitive times the whole power and dignity of clan and tribe. Therefore it was that the tribe did not willingly allow its women to pass by marriage into another tribe so as to enrich it with children. Later, indeed, when a sedentary life had been adopted, views changed and at the present time what the fellahin grudge is the working efficiency which by marriage is transferred from their own to another family.

5. Special points.[edit]

The onesidedness of the marriage relation comes into prominence especially at three points : (a) where there is polygamy, (b) where there is divorce, and (c) where there is inheritance.

(a) In a condition of society where the husband is regarded as owner of the wife, naturally no limit is set to his powers of acquisition. He can own as many wives as his means allow him to purchase and maintain. He can also acquire secondary wives and make his female slaves his concubines at his pleasure. In this there is felt to be so little of reproach to the first legal wife that instances are not wanting in which she herself promotes the arrangement (as in the cases of Sarah, Leah, and Rachel). The great antiquity of this custom (and thus also of the patriarchal system, see KINSHIP, 9) is shown by the fact that the word (ms) for a secondary wife is common to all the Semitic languages (see ADVERSARY).

On the other hand the wife is very zealously guarded. Though she is by no means shut up as in the Islam of to-day, the custom of veiling which doubtless originated in the circle of ideas that we have been considering is very ancient (Gen. 24 65 29 25). Adultery is punished with death, and if the husband has suspicions he can subject his wife to the ordeal of jealousy (Nu. 611-30; see JEALOUSY, ORDEAL OF). Under such conditions the only case in which the husband can be guilty of adultery is when he seduces the wife of another man. Cp MARRIAGE, 4.

(b) The right of divorce is equally onesided in favour of the man. It is always in his power to forgo his rights of property and to send his wife back to her home, if only he is prepared at the same time to send back the mohdr. The wife, on the other hand, has no means of obtaining a separation from her husband, or of forcing a divorce.

(c) Neither the unmarried nor the married woman is capable of inheriting. In baal marriages and under the patriarchal system the tendency to limit women s power of ownership and inheritance is easily intelligible. What belongs to the woman goes out of the family at her marriage. Thus in Israel daughters had no right of inheriting along with sons (see LAW AND JUSTICE, 18), and women s right of property was confined to what they had received as a gift ; the wife of good position retains at her marriage (for example) the right to the female slaves who have been given to her as her personal attendants on leaving her father s house (Gen. 1626 3049). Even these, however, in the last resort, rank as part of the husband s property disposable by inheritance. Numerous indications tend to show that in ancient Israel when a man died his womenkind passed to the heir in the same way as the rest of his property (cp MARRIAGE, 8).

Strictly, however, this right of property over the wife is not a right over her person : it is a right to enjoy her society and have children by her. The husband cannot, for example, sell his wife (though he can sell his children) into slavery (Ex. 21?). He cannot sell even the concubine whom he has bought as a slave, or gained as a prize of war. Thus, even from a purely legal point of view, the position of a woman who has become a wife of any sort differs from that of a mere slave. There are other aspects also in which she is by no means absolutely without resource against her husband ; she can always fall back on her blood- relations, who are ever ready as they are also under obligation to support her whenever she has just cause for complaint. Her position is, therefore, in the last resort, essentially dependent on the dignity and influence of her own family. This being so, it is easily intelligible why men were unwilling to let their daughters pass into the possession of a foreign tribe or (later) to a distant home, where they would, to a great extent, lose the protecting influence of their kin. Conversely, we meet in Arabian literature, on occasion, the exhortation not to marry too near one s own camp if one wishes to avoid the continual interference of one s wife s relations (We. GGN437, 93).

6. Real position.[edit]

It would be a great mistake, then, to draw immediate conclusions as to the personal relations of the wife to her husband and household from the mere facts of her legal position. In the lower classes of society, no doubt, the lot of a wife may well have been hard on the whole, inasmuch as (just as among the bedouin and fellahm of to-day) upon her fell a very large share indeed of the most arduous labours of the domestic establishment water- carrying, corn-grinding, baking and the like besides, as far as circumstances allowed, field labour and the task of tending the flocks and herds. That she owed the master of the house unconditional obedience hardly needs to be said. This, however, held good of her sons as well. If we can draw any conclusion from what we read of the wives of the patriarchs we cannot regard the Hebrew wife as having been unduly sub ordinate and dependent.

According to custom and right she was entitled to claim her wifely dues, her food and clothing, and general good treatment. Cases of cruelty to wives may be presumed to have occurred no oftener, if no seldomer, than they have always occurred in East and West alike. Women of rank and wealth, who could have personal attendants of their own, had a much easier lot. It need hardly be added that the amount of influence the wife possessed in the household would always depend upon her own character and her attractions for her husband. As a consequence of the comparatively large amount of freedom enjoyed by the Hebrew girl, she never as a wife became the (intellectually and morally) stunted creature which is now the prevalent type of woman in Mohammedan towns.

In the OT stories we are continually meeting with women of energy, capable of wielding great influence in household affairs and of taking independent action, worthy to be commended for their ability no less than for their beauty (Gen. \Qsf- 27i3/. vff. Judg. k$/.

  • iff. IG6/: iS. 25i4/i etc.). See, also, MARRIAGE, 4.

Though the legal status of the wife remained un changed, it is evident that her actual position improved as time went on. More and more did she cease to be regarded as a mere chattel. The original meaning of the mohar was gradually lost sight of. In Gen. 31 15 the narrator (E) makes it a matter of reproach against Laban that he had sold his daughters and entirely devoured the price received. The story of the creation in J (Gen. 2i8) gives the woman a far higher place in relation to man that of a helper, matching him, as one part of a whole matches another (nj:3 ~ny). A no less lofty conception of the marriage relation finds expression in the prophets who represent the relation of Yah we to his people under this figure. If, in the songs of Canticles, the beauty and love of women are repre sented with frank sensuousness and in glowing colours, this is supplemented in Proverbs by the praise of the virtuous wife which reveals a lofty ideal of the sex. It may always of course remain a question how far such theoretical reflections had penetrated into the conscious ness of the people or practically affected the position of women in everyday life.

7. Desire of offspring.[edit]

To have a numerous progeny was the desire of everyone in ancient Israel. Give me children, or I die was the heart's cr y of the wife ( Gen - 30 1) ; be thou the mother of countless thousands" summed up the good wishes of parents over a departing daughter (Gen. 246o). Barrenness was a dire misfortune, nay, a divine judgment (i S. 1 $ff. ) ; for it was not until she had become mother of a son that the wife attained her full dignity in the house hold (i S. 16/; cp Gen. 16 4 30 if.). Still worse was it for the husband to have no son ; his house was threatened with extinction. In the last analysis the dread of childlessness had its root in ancestor worship ; the man who is childless will have no one to pay the needful dues to his manes after his death (cp ESCHA- TOLOGY, 5/.). This was often the true reason why a second wife or a concubine was taken, and it was the essential consideration in levirate marriages (see MARRIAGE, 8, ESCHATOLOGY, 6).

It is remarkable in this connection that we have absolutely no instance of resort to the means that would appear to us the most obvious the adoption of a child from without ; in Gen. 48 and parallel cases it is a son of the house-father, not an outsider, who is spoken of (see below, 14). The inheritance in the last resort fell to the slave, who had already been participator in the family- worship, rather than to the mere outsider (Gen. 163).

The desire was, in the first instance, for sons. By them alone is the family continued ; daughters marry and go elsewhere. Sons alone, not daughters, keep up the family worship ; sons alone belong to the kdhdl (see SYNAGOGUE), the aggregate of persons capable of bear ing arms. The preference accorded to sons shows itself above all in the fact that they alone can inherit (see LAW AND JUSTICE, 18). In all this we are dealing with views not specifically Israelite ; they are fully shared by the ancient Arabs. A much lower value was set on daughters ; but it was not forgotten that a mohdr could be demanded for them at their marriage, and nowhere in the OT is there any trace of the contempt for girls which characterises so many nations past and present.

Amongst the ancient Arabs female infanticide seems to have been not very uncommon, the motives being not merely desire to be rid of the trouble of rearing female children, but also resentment against the disgrace of having become father of a daughter (We. GGN, 1893, p. 458). No such practice, as far as our records go, was known among the Hebrews.

8. Legitimacy.[edit]

Any distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children in the modern sense of these words was unknown Legitimacy depended, of course, on fatherhood, and amongst the Hebrews, as amongst the Arabs, the claims of the man will originally have rested not on the presumption of his paternity but on the fact that the mother was his property. Similarly, the children of the slave of the mistress belong to the mistress and are reckoned as hers, inasmuch as their mother belongs to her (Gen. 16 if. 30 \ ff. ). At all events, wherever the paternity is certain all children are legitimate, those of the secondary as much as of the principal wife ; all are children of the paterfamilias, and all, therefore, are capable of inheriting (Gen. 21 10).

Even Jephthah, though (as son of a harlot) illegitimate in the strictest sense of the word, was brought up in his father s house along with the children born in wedlock, and if these afterwards drove him away it was a case of might against right (Judg. 11 if., cp v, 7). No doubt the right to inherit may not, in such a case, have been exactly the same as in the case of sons of a principal wife in this respect much seems to have depended on the father s goodwill, and a definitely fixed usage cannot be discovered but this does not alter the fact that the legitimacy of the children did not depend on the form of the marriage.

9. Birth: recognition.[edit]

In Ex. 1:15+. we read of the ease with which, according to Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew women delivered themselves. Nevertheless the office of the midwife must have been an ancient one (Gen. 35 17 8828 Ex. 1:15+). Stade has tried to make out (Z.A TW 6143^ [ 86]) that among the Hebrews the wife brought forth on the knees of her husband ; but this is hardly likely.

In Gen. 803 it is proposed that the handmaid bear upon the knees of her mistress so that the child may come to be regarded as the mistress s own. In this case it is easy to see how the practice arose, and how the very expression became a synonym for adoption. Custom and expression alike can have arisen only under the matriarchal system where a woman adopted, in other words, received into her kindred and clan, a child of really alien birth. The transference of the expression to denote adoption by the father represents, therefore, at best, only a secondary sense. Moreover, it is far from certain that the phrase has this meaning at all, or that the symbolical action of placing the child upon the knees at adoption on the father s part was actually used. There is no mention of it at the adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48), and in Gen. 50 23 the expression is very doubtful (see Holzinger, Comm. eui loc.).

From Job 812 all we can infer is that at that time the mother brought forth upon the knees of another person. This need not, however, have been the father ; it may have been the midwife or some other female friend. In Jeremiah s time (Jer. 20 15), at the birth of a child, the father was not present. Some interpreters have found in the passage already cited from Job an instance of a symbolical act analogous to that in use among the ancient Romans, whereby the father by raising the child from the ground signified that he recognised it and wished it to live ; but if so it would be a reminiscence of an earlier custom of infanticide of which we have in the whole OT no further evidence even in the case of female children, not to speak of males (see above).

10. Infancy.[edit]

The newly-born infant was bathed, salted, and swaddled (Ezek. 164). The use of salt in this connection seems to have been somewhat widely diffused in the ancient East, and it is still kept up to the present day. The fellahin consider that it strengthens the child (ZDPV 463). This, we may be certain, was not the original reason for the custom ; doubtless it had a religious significance. The mother usually suckled her own children (Gen. 21? i S. Izi/". 1 K. 821 etc.), resort being had to a nurse (ngrp) only in exceptional cases (Gen. 24 59 358), though afterwards this seems to have become the practice more and more among the wealthier classes (28. 44? 2 K. 11 2, cp Ex. 2 9). Weaning was late. At present the child in Palestine is kept at the breast for two or three years, and the case was nearly the same in antiquity (cp 2 Macc. 727 ; the Rabbins give two years). The weaning was made the occasion for a family festival, with sacrifices and joyous feasting (Gen. 218 i S. 124).

11. Ceremonial uncleanness.[edit]

The birth of the child made the mother unclean. This idea was shared by practically all the nations of antiquity, and is held still by all nations living in a state of nature ; we must not, therefore, in seeking to explain it, appeal to religious and ethical conceptions peculiar to the Hebrews or even to later Israel as, for example, to the notion that the sexual life from first to last was sinful, defiling alike to body and soul. Just as little should we be justified in regarding the whole arrange ment as a primitive quarantine, the first step towards a public hygiene (Ploss, Das Kind in Branch u. Sitte der Volker, I6i). More probably the original idea was that the sickness of childbirth, like any other sickness, lay under the influence of certain demons, or that this, like other events in the sexual life, was under the protection of a special spirit ( see Sta. G VI \ *$$/.}. The consc ious- ness of any such origin of the practice had, needless to say, become entirely obliterated before historical times.

The priestly law (Lev. 12) distinguished two degrees of un cleanness, the first lasting (in the case of a boy) seven days, or (in that of a girl) fourteen days ; the second lasting for other thirty-three days in the first case and sixty-six in the second thus making total periods of forty and eighty days respectively. Only after the expiration of the term of uncleanness could the offering of purification be made. Though we have no evidence of such a graduation of periods for the older time, it is possible that the totals of forty and eighty days may go back to very ancient custom. Amongst the Greeks also the woman was usually held to be unclean for forty days, and according to Zoroaster she had to live in a separate place for forty days and only after the lapse of another forty days might she resume the society of her husband. Among the ancient Arabs also the woman had to live for some time in a separate tent, and according to Islam she is unclean for forty days. That the uncleanness arising from child birth lasts longer in the case of a girl than in that of a boy is also a widely diffused belief. The Greeks, for example, held pregnancy in the first case to be more troublesome and birth more painful ; the purification after birth had to last only thirty days in case of a boy, but forty-two in that of a girl (Hippocr. De nat. fueri, ed. Kiihn, 1 392). See CLEAN, 14.

On circumcision and the naming of the child see CIRCUMCISION, i ; NAME.

12. Parental authority.[edit]

Growing children were kept in the most rigorous sub jection to their parents. Good morals forbade the father to kill his child ; but otherwise his power over it was almost absolute. He could sell his daughters into marriage, and even into slavery, though not to foreigners (Ex. 21 if.}. Disobedience to parents, or cursing them, was punishable with death (Ex. 211517; cp for the later time Lev. 209 Prov. 20 20 Mt. 164). Custom gave to the father the broad general right to put to death the worthless dissipated prodigal or heedless son, or the daughter who had gone astray (cp Gen. 8824). As the legal system developed, the father s right of personally punishing was transferred to the regular courts ; but in substance this changed nothing ; on the complaint of the father the court would pronounce sentence of death. No limit of age at which the father s full power came to an end is ever mentioned. In practice, no doubt, it would terminate generally as soon as the son came to be independent and to have a house of his own.

13. Education.[edit]

The children s upbringing was, in the first years of their life, the duty of the mother. Boys and girls remained together in the harem (Prov. 31 ) The girl continued there till her marriage ; but boys comparatively soon passed under the superintendence and guidance of the father, or in the wealthier families were handed over to special guardians (Nu. 11 12 Is. 4923 2 K. 10 1 5 i Ch. 27 32, and perhaps 2 S. 12 25). Attention would of course be paid to their initiation into the worship handed down from their ancestors (Ex. 138 Dt. gff. etc.). Hardly less im portant was their practical instruction in the cultivation of the field and the vineyard, in the tending of cattle, or in the exercise of their father s trade. The wealthier classes also learned to read and write, arts which in Isaiah s time (probably even earlier) were, it would seem, fairly widely diffused (Is. 10 19 81, cp Judg. 814). Of schools no mention is made in the OT ; it was not till a much later date that education was systematized (see Jos. Ant. xv. 10s, and cp EDUCATION). I. B.

14. Adoption.[edit]

[We have now to refer to the act by which the privilege of virtual sonship was conferred on one who was not a son by birth, cp above - 7)- Three cases of informal adoption may plaus ibly be said to occur in the OT. One is the adoption of Moses by Pharaoh s daughter (Ex. 2io) ; a second, that of GENUBATH (q.v. ) by an Egyptian or rather N. Arabian princess (i Ki. 11 20) ; a third, that of Esther by Mordecai her father s nephew (Esth. 2?, ITI). The first two, however, appear to be survivals of the matriarchal system among the Semites (Ex. 2i-io comes to us from a Semitic writer), and the third exhibits the influence of non-Semitic surroundings on a post-exilic Hebrew writer.

In the Pauline epistles we meet five times with the technical legal term viodeala (Gal. 4s Rom. 81523 94 Eph. Is). Here, too, except in Eph. Is, we notice the influence of non-Semitic social usages usages which in Galatians are probably of the Greek type, in Romans of the Roman type, while in Ephesians (see below) adoption seems to be used merely as a symbolic term, specially intelligible to Greek but by no means obscure to Jewish readers. Archasologically, therefore, the passages in Galatians and Romans are the more interesting, but to rest in their archaeological aspects (on this subject see GALATIA, 21) would show strange blindness to their highest significance. The writer of Galatians and Romans knows that all things are [his], and scruples not to use law as an illustration of the highest truth. To faithful Christians he says that the spirit of adoption is possessed already (Rom. 815), but the inheritance is according to promise (Gal. 829), and till the promise is fulfilled perfect happiness is impossible. Hence adoption itself can be described as something for which we wait ; it will be enjoyed when the body, and with it the entire sympathising creation (i.e. , the whole world apart from man), is delivered from the bondage of corruption (Rom. 821 23). Thus the spirit of adoption resembles the spirit of bondage in so far as it refers to the future, but differs from it in so far as its characteristic is, not fear, but sure confidence in God s fatherly attitude towards us (Rom. 815). Those who are under the law are not properly sons, but servants (Gal. 4 jf. ). It is true that in the context of this very passage (Gal. 41-3) men in this position are likened to children under age ; but children under age are virtually servants, and so may in some sense be redeemed. The use of this term redeem (e^ayopda-rj) in Gal. 4s (cp 813) has been illustrated by the Roman practice in adoption, which was virtually a sale by the natural father, and a buying out by the new father. Apart, however, from the question whether the Greek or the Roman type of adoption is implied, we must not press the preposition, considering the late Greek tendency to use verbs compounded with prepositions without increase of meaning. 1 The last passage (Eph. Is) is remark able because adoption there appears to be closely akin to moral and spiritual likeness to God ; cp Jn. 1 12, where those who receive (i.e. , believe on) the eternal word (i.e. , virtually Jesus Christ) are said to have authority (^ovcriav ) given them to become sons of God. The next verse explains that such persons have been begotten ( RV m - ), not in the natural way, but of God. The adoption which is in the writer s mind, though he does not use the term, is a recognition by God of a certain spiritual character in those who have received Christ, and this must also be the idea of vloOfcria in Eph. 1 5.

We are a long way here from the t/io#e<rt a of Rom. 9 4, where the adoption is that referred to in Ex. 422, Hos. 11 1, etc. Still the insistence of Hosea on the moral conditions of Israel s sonship (cp LOVINGKINDNESS) shows that the adoption of Israel intended by the OT writers is really a recognition of a degree of likeness to God in the Israelitish people. We are also still separated by a considerable interval from the ecclesiastical use of vioOea-ia recorded by Suicer (s.v.). Hesychius, says this writer, defines the term thus, O-TO.V TIS Scrov v Cov \a.fj.f}dinr), xai TO ayiov /3anTurju.a. Photius, too (/>. 97, ad Basiliinn Macedonem}, makes a strong appeal to Basilius in the name of their old friendship and various other still more sacred things, last among which is the bond by which the adoption of the fair boy (17 rov KO\OV 770186? viodria.) bound us together. The reference is to a child of Basilius whose sponsor Photius had been, viofletrta has become a synonym for baptism, for which we have a parallel in the phrase the laver of regeneration in Tit. 3 5 (RVmg.).]

15. Literature.[edit]

For the older literature see Ugolini, Thes. 30 ; Selden, U.ror Ebraica, 1673; J. D. Michaelis, Mosaisches Rccht, II. ; Saal- schiitz, Mosaisches Recht, 7-2.5 ff. See also, besides the archsological handbooks : W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia ( 85), and Animal Worship and Animal Tribes, etc., Journ. Phil., $l$ff.\ Noldeke in ZDMG, 40 1487?! ; Wilken, Das Matriarchat l>ei den alien Arabern ( 84); Chr. Stubbe, Die Ehe int A T ( 86) ; Wellhausen, Die Ehe bei den Arabern, GGN 1893, p. 431.^ ; Benzinger, art. Familie u. Ehe, in PREP) ; Simon, L, Education des Enfants chez Its anciens Jiiifs ( 79); Strassburger, Gesch. d. Erziehung bei den Israeliten ( 85). I. B. , 1-13, 15 ; T. K. C. , 14.

1 Ramsay, Historical Commentary on the Galatians, 337-344.

2 The fact that violent emotions such as anger, jealousy, or grief find one of their natural and appropriate expressions in abstinence from food (i S.lj 2034 i K. 2l4yC) need not be further dwelt on here. The present article deals with fasting in its religious aspects.


(rnjO, mizreh, Is. 8024 Jer. 15 7, cp fanners Jer. 51 2 AV RV" 1 ?-; nryON Mt. 812 Lk. 817). See AGRICULTURE, 9.


(<\cc&plON, Mt. 102 9 Lk. 126 [Amer. RV penny ]; KOAp&NTHC, Mt. 626 Mk. 1242). See MONEY.


Fasting (D-1V, sum later HSy, inndh ntfpfics, see below, 5), to the Hebrews, meant, as amongst other Orientals it still means, total abstinence from meat and drink.

1. Duration of fasts.[edit]

Such abstinence lasted as a rule from sunrise to sunset, when it ended in a meal (cp e.g. , Judg. 20z6 i S. 1424 2 S. 1 12 835). When a fast of more days than one is spoken of (i S. 81 13 seven days fast ) the expression is to be understood in the sense that meat and drink were taken each day after sundown just as at present in the Mohammedan fast of Ramadan. If, as in Esther 4 16, a prolonged fast extending over a specified number of days and nights is spoken of, this is to be regarded as exceptional. The weakened form of fasting which consists in ab stinence from certain kinds of food and drink appears only as a development of later Judaism. Of Daniel we are told (Dan. 10 2/.) that he drank no wine, ate no flesh or dainty food, and abstained from anointing himself. It is a fast of this sort that we are to suppose in the case of Judith (Judith 86 ; see below, 6).

2. Original meaning.[edit]

On the object of fasting the only express utterance of the OT occurs in 2 S. 12 22 :

While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for methought, Who knows whether Yahwe will not have compassion upon me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, why should I fast ? Can I bring him back again ?

David is here said to have fasted in order to raise Yahwe s pity, and so make him inclined to listen to his prayer (see below, 3).

We may well doubt, however, whether we have here the original meaning of the act of fasting. For we could not thus explain how fasting became one of the most prevalent and widely diffused of mourning customs ; the passage merely suggests the uselessness of fasting as an element of mourning for the dead. It was well, therefore, to try another explanation, and that of Robertson Smith (Rel. Sem.W 434) seems likely to be correct. This scholar points out that sacrifice, being essentially a sacrificial meal, needed to be carefully prepared for ; this preparation was obtained by fasting.

In addition to numerous parallels for such a preparation, he notices the fact that abstinence, though in another direction, was certainly a preparative for eating of the consecrated bread and sacrificial food (i S. 21s [6]_/0- This is of much weight. We must, it is true, concede that fasting is nowhere mentioned as one of the details of preparation for a sacrifice, or sanctifying oneself for a festal celebration. Rather is it represented every where as a religious act of independent value. This, however, proves nothing against the possibility of such an origin of fast ing ; it only shows that even in the earliest historical period the Hebrews had already lost this custom of fasting before sacrifice. And yet perhaps there may be a trace of the view of fasting which is here advocated in the reports in Exodus (3428 [J] ; cp Dt. 9 9) that Moses on Mount Sinai neither ate nor drank for forty days and after that received from God the tables of the law. Daniel, too, received his revelations after a long fast (Dan. 9 3 10 2/.).

The cases of Moses and Daniel prove that fasting was a means by which man was brought into such a condition that it was possible for God to have com munion with him. Perhaps also a similar thought underlies and has had an influence on the report that Elijah passed forty days and forty nights in Horeb without meat or drink (cp also the fasting of Jesus, Mt. 42). Fasting in mourning for the dead is sufficiently explained in the same way ; the funeral meal is in its origin not different from a sacrificial meal, except in the fact that the offering is in the former case made, not to Yahwe but to the deceased.

Fasting in sign of mourning finds express mention in the OT only twice ; the men of Jabesh fast for Saul seven days (i S. 31 13 i Ch. 10 12), and David and his people fast for Saul and Jonathan on the day of the arrival of the news of their death (2 S. 1 12). 2 S. 1221, however, warrants the conclusion that fasting in mourning was a pretty general custom ; David s courtiers wonder that the king ceases to fast after the death of his child, since, in their view i.e., according to ordinary custom that was the very time when he ought to have fasted.

The explanation of the origin of fasting now given comes nowhere clearly to light in the OT ; no consciousness of it remained, at least when the narratives came to be written. The custom itself, however, survived like so many other mourning usages (such as rending of the garments) as a universally prevalent expression of sorrow.

3. New significance.[edit]

Fasting, therefore, is frequently mentioned in this connection (aS. Ill/ 835 12 16 20 iK.21 2 7 Is. 685 Joel 2 I2/ JonahSs^ EzralOe Neh.9i Dan.93 Esther43 i Macc. 847 Judith4 13 86 ; cp MOURNING CUSTOMS).

As we have seen already, fasting gradually came to have a significance that raised it above all other mourning customs, being considered as a specially efficacious means of influencing the deity a pain which man brought upon himself and which must awaken the divine pity. Thus it falls into the same category as sacrifice proper, which also in process of time came to be regarded as a surrender of property a gift made to God (Jer. 14 12). The suppliant fasted in order to give special emphasis to his prayer. Of course it is always some impending or actually present calamity which is the occasion of the act ; there can be no fasting in times of prosperity, least of all on festivals (Judith 8 6). How deeply rooted was this conception of the purpose of fasting can be seen from 2 S. 12 rfff., where David is represented as holding fasting to be useless except where it reinforces a prayer ; or from Is. 58s (post-exilic), where the people think that they have just cause for complaint because Yahwe pays no heed to their fasting.

4. Occasions for fasting.[edit]

In practice, of course, there were all kinds of occasions for fasting, and these remained the same, though the frequency of fasting varied (see below).

(a) Private. Like David (28. 12 16^), the pious Israelite fasted when his friends were sick (Ps. 8513). Ahab fasted, and not in vain, when Elijah predicted his downfall (i K. 21277^); Nehemiah bewails with fasting the sad condition of the Jews in Jerusalem (Neh. 1 4) ; Ezra and his companions, before their journey to Palestine, fast in order to secure the divine protection (Ezra 8 21), and Esther does the same before her perilous visit to the king (Esth. 4 16).

(b) Public. In cases of public danger or disaster, such as a plague of locusts (Joell 13 /.), or a reverse in war (Judg. 2026 2 Ch. 203 i Mace. 847), the entire community or people fasted. It is true, the passages cited are all post-exilic ; but such passages as i K. 21 9^ Is. 1 13* (), Jer. 36 (, ff. show that public fasts were known also in the older period (see below).

5. Spiritual conception.[edit]

The idea of exciting the compassion of Yahwe by such self-mortification had at first, as we might expect, a very realistic form. The deity, it was thought, could not bear to look on while his servant had such acute suffering ; he became a fellow-sufferer and was moved to com passion. With the spiritualising of the conception of God there came a gradual refinement of this idea. Fasting was no longer a self-inflicted chastisement, but a humbling of oneself before God ; thus the act assumed a spiritual complexion.

When this change of view came about, we know not ; a notable saying in one of the Elijah-narratives marks it as already complete. Seest thou, says Yahwe to Elijah, how Ahab has humbled himself before me ? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disast* in his days, etc. (i K. 2129; cp also Dt. 83). In this connection a heightened interest attaches to the remark that the ancient expression 01S, sum, after the exile is pushed into the background by another, not known to have been used in pre- exilic times 2>3J Hjy, innah nephes, to humble, or mortify oneself (f-f-, Lev. 16 29 31 Nu. 297 Is. 58 3 5, and often, and, with the addition of D1S3 J bassom, Ps. 35 13). The derivative JT:yn, taanith, is a very frequent word for fasting in the post-biblical literature.

All this makes it easy to understand the close relation of fasting and penitence. Great calamities were always regarded as manifestations of the divine anger, and supplication for their removal involved as a matter of course the penitent confession of guilt. In particular, general and public fasts must early have assumed the character of days of penitence.

This seems to be the only satisfactory explanation of i K. 21 <)jtf., and may be safely assumed for the fast days of Jeremiah s time (Jer. 36 6 9). Fasting is expressly associated with a con fession of sin in the following passages (post-exilic) : i S. Y 6 Neh. 9 i Joel 2 12^ ; similarly the great day of atonement is at the same time a fast day (Lev. 10 29 31).

1 [According to Che. Ps.P), ad loc., D1X3 is an interpolation suggested possibly by 69 10 [n].]

6. Later development.[edit]

It was in the period immediately before the exile that fasting began to acquire special importance. It was one of the expedients to which the Jewish people resorted for averting the dreaded calamity ; the opinion that it had any intrinsic value is combated by Jeremiah (Jer. 14 12). The popular estimation of it went on increasing during and after the exile. This may be ascribed, partly at least, to a feeling of the need of religious exercises to take the place of the suspended temple services. The post -exilic differs from the pre-exilic period not only in the increased frequency of fasting, but still more in the adoption of this usage as one of those universally practised religious exercises which needed no extraordinary or specially definite occasion. This deprives fasting of much of its religious value. It becomes simply, at least in the eyes of the multitude, a meritorious work. Against this view the later prophets struggled (Is. 583^ Zech. 7s/ ); but in vain. The picture of Judith (84^:) fasting every day except the eves of the sabbaths, and the sabbaths, and the eves of the new moons, and the new moons, and the feasts and joyful days of the house of Israel shows us the ideal of piety prevalent in the later period. Fasting and prayer now becomes a constant combination of words (Judith 4911 Tobitl28 Ecclus. 3426 Lk. 237). The special days of the week devoted to public or private fasting were the second and the fifth (Monday and Thursday) ; very pious persons fasted on these days all the year through (Lk. 18 12 ; Taanith, 120.). It was forbidden to fast on Sabbaths, new moons, and feast days (also on the eves ; see Judith 8 6, as above). Two degrees of fasting were distinguished. The less stringent form required abstinence from food and drink between sunrise and sunset ; in the stricter, the fast lasted twenty-four hours, and abstinence from washing, anoint ing, sleep, and work, were added.

Public fasting too became much more frequent in post-exilic times. During the exile had arisen the custom of observing four yearly fast -days to commemorate the calamities of Jerusalem. That of the fourth month had reference to the capture of the city by the Chaldeans (Jer. 526/. ), that of the fifth to the destruction of the city and temple (Jer. 52 12/), that of the seventh to the murder of Gedaliah (Jer. 41 iff.}, that of the tenth to the commencement of the siege (Jer. 524). These fast- days were not taken into the law, and disappeared after the time of Zechariah. They were revived after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ; according to Dalman, however (PREP1 7 16/. ), in Palestine only the ninth of the fifth month (Ab) was observed in com memoration of the destruction of Jerusalem first by the Chaldaeans and afterwards by the Romans, both of which events, according to Josephus (BJ\\. 58), happened on the same day of the year. In Babylonia the other three anniversaries also were permanent public fast days. The law itself enjoins rigorous fasting for the great day of atonement only (see ATONEMENT, DAY OF). On the (very late) fast of the thirteenth of Adar, which professed to commemorate the counsel of Haman that all the Jews should be put to death, see PURIM.

Over and above these regular public fasts it was competent for the community at any time of trouble or distress to enjoin a fast. Special public fasts of this kind were very common. Among such occasions one of the most frequent was the failure of the autumn rains. If by new moon of Chisleu no rain had fallen, three fast days were held ; if the drought still continued, the fasts were renewed and intensified.


Keil, Handb. d. Bibl. Arch. 353 /; Nowack, HAI^o;, Benzinger, HA 165, 484, 477 ; art. Fasten in Riehm s HH B, and Buhl in PREP) 5 768 ff. ; Smend A T Rel. Gesch.M 142, 319; WRS Rel. StmJPny$f. Schiirer, GJl W 2 489^ ; Dalman, art. Gottesdienst, Synagogaler in PREP) 7 i6/. , I. B.


P93)i Ex. 29is. See FOOD, 10, LIVER, SACRIFICE.