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Based on years of rigorous research and study, this guide provides insightful guidance into the complexities of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The author gives special attention to the difficult scholarly challenges associated with their form, structure, and literary history.

needs to be balanced by many other parts of the Old Testament which resolutely adopt a more open stance towards both the Gentile nations and the other groups of descendants from pre-exilic Israel which had not shared in the Babylonian exile. For the moment, however, it will suffice for our purposes to acknowledge that there is also a positive side to such lists as those in Ezra 2 and Neh. 7, namely the claim that physically speaking the new community is but the old reconstituted. Where this could
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