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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the history of Judah and the Judeans in the early Persian period (from about 539 to about 398 bce), based not just on Ezra-Nehemiah but on a critical examination of a variety of biblical and extra-biblical sources. It covers the obscure figure of Sheshbazzar, the building of the second temple, the activities of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the satrap Tattenai, the governorship of Nehemiah, and questions about the activities of the enigmatic figure of Ezra, in the satrapy of Transeuphrates under the rule of the Persian emperors from Cyrus to Artaxerxes II.

Keywords: critical historiography, second temple, Haggai, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Ezra, Sheshbazzar, Sanballat, Elephantine, Transeuphrates

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