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Ezra, Book Of

is a continuation of the books of Chronicles. The period covered by the book is eighty years, from the first of Cyrus, B.C. 536, to the beginning of the eighth of Artaxerxes, B.C. 456. It consist of the contemporary historical journals kept from time to time, containing, chs. 1-12, and account of the return of the captives under Zerubbabel, and the rebuilding of the temple in the reign of Cyrus and Cambyses. Most of the book is written in Hebrew, but from chs. 4:8 to 6:19 it is written in Chaldee. The last four chapters, beginning with ch. 7, continue the history after a gap of fifty-eight years--from the sixth of Darius to the seventh of Artaxerxes-- narrating his visit to Jerusalem, and giving an account of the reforms there accomplished, referred to under Ezra. Much of the book was written by Ezra himself, though the first chapter was probably written by Daniel; and other hands are evident.