Return Under Zerubbabel and Reconstruction of Temple

EZRA 1–6

A number of earlier sources—the proclamation of Cyrus that enabled the return (1:2–4), the list of temple vessels (1:9–11a), the long list of those who had returned with Zerubbabel (2:1–67), two letters summarized in 4:6 and 7, and two additional sets of Aramaic correspondence between the community’s opponents (4:8–16; 5:6–17) and the Persian throne (4:1'7–22; 6:3–12) the latter including the official transcript of Cyrus’s proclamation in verses 3–5—are skillfully woven into the fabric of a narrative designed to accentuate the continuity between the present community and the past. This is done in a number of ways, the investigation of which will order the exposition.