Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 133
Blenkinsopp now asks a series of questions:
- Why was it necessary for Ezra to bring so many priests and Levites with him if the temple had been functioning for sixty years?
- Why were such large funds and suppiles necessary?
- Why does the text imply that the sacrificial system had been stopped or abandonned?
- Why did there need to be another set of sacred vessels?
- And when Ezra, in the prayer attributed to him, says that G-d had allowed them to build G-d's house and repair its ruins (9:9), was he speaking of events more than half a century in the past or was he not rather referring to what he and his associates had recently accomplished?
With respect to the Jersualem temple, therefore, it seems that, if Ezra's role was not primordial, it represented in effect a new beginning; and if he was not himself associated with the school ofEzekiel, his agenda replicated that of Ezekiel and his disciples.