- /ez"reuh/, n.1. a Jewish scribe and prophet of the 5th century B.C., who with Nehemiah led the revival of Judaism in Palestine.2. a book of the Bible bearing his name. Abbr.: Ezr.3. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning "help."
* * *flourished 4th century BC, Babylon and JerusalemJewish religious leader and reformer.He restored the Jewish community after its exile in Babylon, persuading the people of Judah to return to a strict observance of Mosaic law. He served as a commissioner of the Persian government, which was tolerant of other religions but required order and authority. His efforts led to a restoration of traditional worship in the rebuilt Temple of Jerusalem and the dissolution of all mixed marriages. For creating a Jewish community based on the Law, which could exist without political statehood, he is often considered the founder of modern Judaism. His story is told in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
* * *▪ Hebrew religious leaderHebrew ʿezraʾflourished 4th century BC, Babylon and Jerusalemreligious leader of the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon, reformer who reconstituted the Jewish community on the basis of the Torah (Law, or the regulations of the first five books of the Old Testament). His work helped make Judaism a religion in which law was central, enabling the Jews to survive as a community when they were dispersed all over the world. Since his efforts did much to give Jewish religion the form that was to characterize it for centuries after, Ezra has with some justice been called the father of Judaism; i.e., the specific form the Jewish religion took after the Babylonian Exile. So important was he in the eyes of his people that later tradition regarded him as no less than a second Moses.Knowledge of Ezra (Ezra and Nehemiah, books of) is derived from the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, supplemented by the Apocryphal (not included in the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament) book of I Esdras (Esdras, First Book of) (Latin Vulgate form of the name Ezra), which preserves the Greek text of Ezra and a part of Nehemiah. It is said that Ezra came to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes (which Artaxerxes is not stated) of the Persian dynasty then ruling the area. Since he is introduced before Nehemiah, who was governor of the province of Judah from 445 to 433 BC and again, after an interval, for a second term of unknown length, it is sometimes supposed that this was the seventh year of Artaxerxes I (458 BC), though serious difficulties are attached to such a view. Many scholars now believe that the biblical account is not chronological and that Ezra arrived in the seventh year of Artaxerxes II (397 BC), after Nehemiah had passed from the scene. Still others, holding that the two men were contemporaries, regard the seventh year as a scribal error and believe that perhaps Ezra arrived during Nehemiah's second term as governor. But the matter must be left open.When Ezra arrived the situation in Judah was discouraging. Religious laxity was prevalent, the Law was widely disregarded, and public and private morality was at a low level. Moreover, intermarriage with foreigners posed the threat that the community would mingle with the pagan environment and lose its identity.Ezra was a priest and “a scribe skilled in the law.” He represented the position of stricter Babylonian Jews who had been upset by reports of laxity in Judah and desired to see matters corrected. Ezra set out in the spring at the head of a sizable caravan and arrived four months later. Ezra apparently had official status as a commissioner of the Persian government, and his title, “scribe of the law of the God of heaven,” is best understood as “royal secretary for Jewish religious affairs,” or the like. The Persians were tolerant of native cults but, in order to avert internal strife and to prevent religion from becoming a mask for rebellion, insisted that these be regulated under responsible authority. The delegated authority over the Jews of the satrapy (administrative area) “beyond the river” (Avar-nahara), or west of the Euphrates River, was entrusted to Ezra; for a Jew to disobey the Law he brought was to disobey “the law of the king.”The order in which Ezra took the various measures attributed to him is uncertain. He probably presented the Law to the people during the Feast of Tabernacles in the autumn, most likely in the year of his arrival. He also took action against mixed marriages and succeeded in persuading the people to divorce their foreign wives voluntarily. His efforts reached their climax when the people engaged in solemn covenant before God to enter into no more mixed marriages, to refrain from work on the sabbath, to levy on themselves an annual tax for the support of the Temple, regularly to present their tithes and offerings, and otherwise to comply with the demands of the Law.Nothing further is known of Ezra after his reforms. The 1st-century Hellenistic Jewish historian Josephus states in his Antiquities that he died and was buried in Jerusalem. According to another tradition, he returned to Babylonia, where his supposed grave is a holy site.John BrightAdditional ReadingThe biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and I Esdras; John Bright, A History of Israel, ch. 10 (1959); Martin Noth, The History of Israel, 2nd ed., pp. 315–333 (1960), two recent treatments of Israel's history that advocate the view that Ezra came to Jerusalem during Nehemiah's term as governor (c. 428 BC); H.H. Rowley, “The Chronological Order of Ezra and Nehemiah” pp. 135–168 in The Servant of the Lord, rev. ed. (1965), a comprehensive review of the discussion, with a defense of the view that Ezra arrived in the seventh year of Artaxerxes II (397 BC); J.S. Wright, The Date of Ezra's Coming to Jerusalem, 2nd ed. (1958), perhaps the best defense of the traditional view that Ezra arrived in the seventh year of Artaxerxes I (458 BC).
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EZRA — (Heb. עֶזְרָא; (YHWH) helps ), priest and scribe who played a major role in the rebuilding of the Temple, after the return from the Babylonian exile. The Man and His Mission Ezra whose name means help (possibly a shortened form for עֲזַרְיָה The… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Ezra — 1 Ezra 2 Ezra 3 Ezra 4 Ezra 5 Ezra 6 Ezra 7 Ezra 8 Ezra 9 Ezra 10 … The King James version of the Bible
Ezra — ist ein Vorname aus dem Hebräischen mit der Bedeutung „Gott hilft/ ist Hilfe“. Bekannte Namensträger sind Ezra Pound, US amerikanischer Dichter (1885 1972) Ezra Stoller, US amerikanischer Architekturfotograf (1915 2004) Ezra ist der Familienname… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Ezra — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ezra fue un líder religioso judío que vivió en el cuarto siglo a.C. en Babilonia y Jerusalén. Restituyó a la la comunidad judía después de su exilio en Babilonia, persuadiendo a las personas de la Judá a volver a una … Wikipedia Español
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Ezra — Ȅzra (5. st. pr. Kr.) DEFINICIJA zajedno s Nehemijem doveo prve skupine Judejaca iz babilonskog sužanjstva natrag u Jeruzalem; prikupio, redigirao, prepisivao, potakao prepisivanje i kanonizirao većinu starozavjetnih knjiga (»Ezra pisar«);… … Hrvatski jezični portal
Ezra — • Or Ezra. Article on the man and the books which bear his name Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia
Ezra — m Biblical: name (meaning ‘help’ in Hebrew) of a prophet, author of the book of the Bible that bears his name. It was taken up by the Puritans in the 17th century, and has remained in occasional use ever since, especially in America, where it was … First names dictionary
Ezra — Ezra, Abraham ben Mehir ibn Ezra, Moisés ben … Enciclopedia Universal
Ezra — masc. proper name, in O.T. name of a celebrated 5c. B.C.E. scribe, from Late Latin, from Heb. Ezra, contraction of Azaryah(u), lit. God has helped, from ezer help + Yah, a shortened form of Yahweh God … Etymology dictionary
Ezra — [ez′rə] n. [LL(Ec) < Heb ezra, lit., help] 1. a masculine name 2. Bible a) a Hebrew scribe, prophet, and religious reformer of the 5th cent. B.C. b) the book telling of his life and teachings: abbrev. Ez: or Ezr … English World dictionary