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By Archibald Henry Sayce

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Extra info for An Introduction to The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther

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Arsames. 6. Hystaspes. ' - - _ - . _ _ _ _ ,1 I 7. Cyrus II. 8. Kambyses II. 54 THE AGE ND WORK OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH. of which were no longer able to offer the same resistance to the enemy that they had done before. C. 514, and Arakha crucified, like the other pretenders who had fallen into the merciless hands of the Persian king. Darius soon afterwards completed the re-conquest of the empire of Cryus and Kambyses by the overthrow of the nomad tribe of Sakians. During all this period of confusion and civil war, Palestine could not have remained unmoved.

It had, moreover, an advantage which Ekbatana and Shushan did not possess. It was the heir of an ancient civilisation and culture, and contained libraries which were filled with students and scribes. For a time it seemed as if the Babylonian language and system of writing were destined to be the official language and script of the new lords of the East. Cyrus recorded his conquest of Babylonia and celebrated his name and acts, not in the language and writing of Elam or Media, but of the Babylonians themselves.

It has been questioned whether Ezra and N ehemiah composed the whole of each of the two books which go under their names. I t has been contended that the Book of Ezra is a compilation, only parts of which, such as the last four chapters, come from the pen of Ezra himself. Much stress has been laid on the interchange of the first and second personal pronouns in the second part of the book, from the seventh chapter to the end. The fact, too, that some portions of the work are written in Chaldee and other portions in Hebrew has been used as an argument against the unity of authorship; and attempts have been made to show that a contradiction exists between the fourth chapter and those which follow.

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