Second Maccabees 1:10–2:18 ascribes authority to Nehemiah for the reinstatement of pure and acceptable worship in the Second Temple, including an extensive comparison between Nehemiah, Jeremiah, and Solomon. This concern for the sanctity of the temple and the presentation of Nehemiah’s role therein respond to the ever-shifting political circumstances characterizing Jerusalem and the diasporic community in the second century BCE. There are important correlations between the portrayal of Nehemiah in 2 Macc 1:10–2:18 and in several of the latest compositional changes preserved in MT Ezra-Nehemiah. My analysis of these correlations provides a framework for interpreting these compositional changes, supporting recent conclusions regarding the pro-Hasmonean character of MT Ezra-Nehemiah. Moreover, it provides insight into the rationale behind the combination of the originally separate Ezra and Nehemiah traditions. Inasmuch as the pro-Hasmonean tradents viewed Nehemiah as a compelling historical antecedent to Judas Maccabeus, they also considered Ezra’s Aaronic priestly authority to be an antecedent to their own claims. By fashioning a narrative in which an Aaronic priest confirms the legitimacy of Nehemiah’s reforms through communal celebration of the Festival of Booths, the pro-Hasmonean tradents bolster their own political and religious claims to authority while further establishing the Festival of Booths as a compelling symbol for Hanukkah (2 Macc 10:1–6).

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