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These are historical narratives.
- Ezra 1:2
- This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.' When did Cyrus rule the entire earth? He didn't, but ANE kings had the propensity to use hyperbole. On the other hand the word "earth" here is 'erets which is a vague term that means any area of land.
- Ezra 1:9-11
- Does this passage "not add up"?
- Ezra 2/Nehemiah 7
- Are these chapters full of contradictions to each other? Some other places to look here and here.
- Ezra 5:1, 6:14
- Was Zechariah Iddo's son or grandson (Zech. 1:1)? "Son" here is word that can mean "son", "grandson" or any male descendant.
- Ezra 6:4-8
- Would Cyrus give funds from the Persian treasury to rebuild the Temple? Yes -- it was Persian policy to help restore sanctuaries in the Empire. Cyrus also repaired temples at Uruk and Ur; Darius and Cambyses each gave funds to restore a temple in Egypt. A charter decree from a Persian satrap on behalf of a local cult, paralleling this decree, was found at Xanthos in Turkey, dated to 358 BC; the text is in Greek, Lycian, and Aramaic, and it records amount of sacrifices, names of priests, the responsibility of the upkeep of the cult is specified, and the gods which are invoked to curse those who diss the decree are local deities. (Yamauchi, Persia and the Bible, 91)
- Ezra 9-10
- Is this "wholesale divorce"?