Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Ezra: Authorship

1. The inscription and writer of the book. Ezra is described. He was a ready Scribe in the law of Moses. The tale concerning the restoration of the law by him.

The book is inscribed by the Writer עזרא/Ezra, who, as we found in the Chapter on Joshua, etc., on good evidence, was the son of Seraiah, the High Priest, killed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:18, 21), the younger brother of Jehozadak, who was High Priest in the captivity (1 Chronicles 6:14, 15), the great-grandson of Hilkiah, the twenty-third from the great Priest Aaron; Ezra went up to Jerusalem from Babylon, סֹפֵ֤ר מָהִיר֙ בְּתוֹרַ֣ת מֹשֶׁ֔ה, a ready scribe in the law of Moses, Ezra 7:6, that is, an expert in the Law, a ready teacher of the law, having an understanding of the Divine, High Priestly, and civil Law beyond that of others: an expositor and interpreter of the Laws of Moses, and also a writer of the same. For סֹפֵ֤ר, from סָפַר, to explain in detail, to enumerate, signifies this here. The Hebrews call him a second Moses, and ראש לסופרים, the prince of Scribes; and Suidas[1] in his Collections, νομομαθέα ἄριστον, the best Interpreter and Teacher of the law. Some of the Fathers, Eusebius, Tertullian, and others, relate that he restored the books of the Sacred Scripture, burned, together with the Temple, by the Chaldeans, by Divine, rather than human, memory the the Spirit. But that does not deserve credit, both because the Chaldean, although they burned the Temple, were not able to burn all the copies that were in all Judea and the rest of the world: and because it is evident that Daniel had the book of Jeremiah, Daniel 9:2: and because the prophecy of Isaiah was shown to Cyrus, as Josephus relates.[2] Nevertheless, it is probable from the things we said above that he, together with אנשי הכנסתה גדולה, the men of the great Synagogue, reduced the Books of Scripture into order, and also included certain of the older and more ample Records.

[1] Suidas was the compiler of the Suda, an encyclopedia containing more than thirty thousand entries concerning the ancient Mediterranean world. It was probably composed in tenth-century Byzantium. [2] Antiquities, book XI, chapter I.

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