Monday, 2 February 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 143
Both Ezra and Nehemiah were leaders in this process of trying to establish the golah community as the true inheritors of the Israelite calling and mandate. But what was Nehemiah's larger vision?
Neheiah's specific contribution was in the application of ritual principles to politics. The goal of a ritually segregated, religiously homogeneous and autonomous polity dictated his actions from the beginning of his tenure in office, including his struggle against the priestly and lay aristocracy for control of the temple and its resouces, spiritual and temporal.
Blenkinsopp suggests that the most significant and problematic outcome of this was the way in which future generations - particularly the Hasmoneans - would adopt and model his program.