The topics include notes on divine presence in the Books of Ezra
and Nehemiah, converging metaphors in family religion in ancient Israel and the Levant, the theme of divine disfavor in the biblical prophetic books, reflections on the biblical evidence for how comprehensible divine silence can be, and the eloquent silence of God in Esther.
Many of them would have received their introduction through Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader--a heavily annotated copy is among the books of Ezra
Pound in the Pound archives in Texas--so it is appropriate that Mark Atherton here places Sweet in his own cultural context.
The inclusion of the formerly excluded becomes a prime expression of God's initial command to the newly returned from exile, fearful of miscegenation and idolatry (see the Books of Ezra
, Nehemiah, and Ruth), to "maintain justice, and do what is right.
When you read the strongly spiritual books of Ezra
and Nehemiah, you get a glimpse of the passionate concern which these two men had for the religious observances and the political aspiration of the Jews in exile.
The books of Ezra
and Nehemiah detail the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon.
In fact, this openness to marriages with others is one of the most significant differences between the Chronicler and the author of the books of Ezra
In Baba Batra 14b-15a, Sanhedrin 93b, the books of Ezra
and Nehemiah were considered one book called "Ezra.