Rather, he describes the present political situation in the Middle East as similar to that described in the Book of Ezra, in which the Jews returned from Babylonian exile and rebuilt the Temple.
He juxtaposes the events described in the Book of Ezra with the 2005 disengagement from Gaza and a moratorium on settlement building the Israeli government declared in late 2009 after pressure from the White House.
In the fourth chapter of the Book of Ezra, Ahasuerus, briefed by Jewish officials that Jerusalem is about to be rebuilt, demands a stop to the building of the temple, an order the officials execute "with force and power." Gimpel expounds: "You can imagine what happened: The Jews that were in Jerusalem, they're like, 'I don't care what Obamaveirosh says, I'm building the Temple!
The book ends, as the book of Ezra
begins, with the charge of Cyrus the Great to restore worship in Jerusalem.
(5) Thus, the first six chapters of Ezra take place during the period of time from Cyrus to Darius I, with a flash forward in chapter 4 covering events in the time of Achashverosh/Xerxes and Artaxerxes I, and the rest of the Book of Ezra
(chapter 7 to the end) and the Book of Nehemiah take place during the reign of Artaxerxes I.
He has a long history of supporting peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians and Jews, including with illuminated calligraphic versions of the Qur'an, the Torah, the psalms, the New Testament, and the Book of Ezra
For example, Becking's article, in which he suggests that the idea of the "mass return" as narrated in the book of Ezra
was a historical myth and an ideologically driven concept employed by the "Ezra-group" of returnees, could easily, and more appropriately, have been included in the second section of the book.
As such, the present volume does not specifically comment on the Book of Ezra
as a whole, since Ezra appears only in chapters 7-10 of the Book of Ezra
and in Nehemiah chapter 8 (and briefly in chapter 12).
Nevertheless, the argument that so much of the rhetoric of a Samaritan-Jewish split reflects the ideology that arose in early Maccabean times (second century) when a stress on the centrality of Jerusalem supposedly became particularly prominent requires a red ating and rereading of sources (e.g., the book of Ezra
) that seems highly implausible.
The first six chapters of the Book of Ezra
detail the return of the Judeans from the Babylonian Exile and their construction of the Second Temple.
According to the biblical book of Ezra written more than a century later, the two men worked together in common purpose (Ezra 5:1; 6:14).
The book of Ezra is set some time later in the fifth century BCE.
A similar case is found in the Book of Chronicles and the Book of Ezra