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"Ezra" Materials In Judaism And Christianity

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Chapter Summary

The Hebrew name "Ezra" (Esdras, Esdram; etymological meaning, "[God will] help") has come to be associated with various writings of Jewish and Christian antiquity, including historical narratives, prophetic exhortations, and various apocalyptic journeys and discourses. In Judaism and Christianity it is not at all unusual to find various writings attributed to or associated with famous names from Jewish religious history - e.g., Adam and Eve, Enoch, Abraham, Job, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Baruch. A key factor in the general understanding and use of "return from exile" traditions in Judaism and Christianity was the belief that the defeat of Babylon and return to Jerusalem took place some seventy years after the destruction of the city, in fulfilment of Jeremiah's prophecy. The picture of Ezra as a prophetic person is, for the most part, affirmed also in the extra-canonical texts with which Ezra's name is associated.

Keywords: Babylon; Christianity; Ezra; Jeremiah's prophecy; Jerusalem; Judaism

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