Becking begins with an extensive 11-page bibliography, and then in the introduction he accepts the view that the Chronicler did not write Ezra–Nehemiah, considers parts of Ezra pseudepigraphic writings, rejects the idea of an Ezra Memoir (but not a Nehemiah Memoir), and does not treat Ezra–Nehemiah as one book. Becking accepts Schwiederski’s analysis that the seven Persian documents quoted in Aramaic are not copies of official Persian documents but reflect later literary characteristics (D. Schwiederski, Handbuch des Nordwestsemitischen Briefformulars:Eine Beitrag zur Echtheitsfrage der Aramaischen Briefe des Ezrabuches, BZAW 295 [Berlin: de Gruyter, 2001]). The introduction ends with comments about ancient translations of Ezra and Nehemiah and their reception history (in Judaism, the Church Fathers, and Islam). Unfortunately, the commentary does not include an overview of key historical events and political conflicts during this era or a summary of important aspects of Persian culture.

Each chapter of the commentary is...

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