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Who wrote the book of Ezra? Who was the author of Ezra?

author of Ezra

In the Hebrew Bible, the book of Ezra is considered a unified work with the book of Nehemiah. However, some commentators propose that they were initially two distinct books that were later joined together in the Hebrew canon. In our Bibles, Ezra is a separate book that precedes Nehemiah. This sequence makes sense, as Nehemiah can be considered a sequel to Ezra.

The first section of Ezra (Ezra 1—6) documents the return of some Jewish exiles to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel, who oversees the rebuilding of the temple. The next section, occurring sixty years later, details Ezra’s arrival with a second group of returning exiles. Interwoven in these accounts are the challenges faced by both groups, notably conflict with the local inhabitants (Samaritans and other enemies of God’s people) and spiritual apathy among the Jews. Both Ezra and Nehemiah provide crucial insights into Israel’s history.

According to Jewish tradition, the scribe (and priest) Ezra wrote the book of Ezra. Given the similarities of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles, it is possible that the same author wrote all three books. Ezra’s authorship is widely accepted due to strong internal evidence. After a third-person introduction of Ezra in chapter 7, the point of view switches to first person in Ezra 8:1: “These are the family heads and those registered with them who came up with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes.” The narrative maintains a first-person perspective through chapter 9 before reverting to third person in chapter 10. Two plausible scenarios emerge: an unknown author incorporated Ezra’s personal memoir, or Ezra wrote and compiled the entire text based on various sources. Regardless, the traditional attribution of the writing to Ezra is valid. He was certainly qualified as a scribe and participant in the events recorded.

The book of Ezra is a divinely inspired text, one that emphasizes the priority of worship and our reliance on God’s Word.

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This page last updated: March 6, 2024