Ezra and the Second Wilderness

What is the relationship between Ezra the priest-scribe and the Pentateuch? After the literary strata of Ezra 7-10 and Nehemiah 8-10 are identified, what emerges as the Ezra Memoir is an account of Ezra’s leadership of the returnees from Babylonia over a period of a single year. Inspired by the multiple representations of the Israelite wilderness in the Pentateuch, the Ezra Memoir may be understood as a ‘super-narrative’ that utilizes its source materials to present the Babylonian returnees as the true inheritors of the Yahvistic cult.

This talk will revisit the so-called mixed marriages episode in Ezra 9-10 with the aim to revive arguments for its literary coherency, understand how Ezra resolves the conflicting interests among the stakeholders in the community, and explore how this episode understands and expands upon ‘biblical jurisprudence’. Although a troubling text for many modern readers, this episode addresses real—and envisioned—social, political, and religious concerns within Second Temple Judaism.

For a copy of the text for the seminar, please contact Na’ama Pat-El at npatel@austin.utexas.edu.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 12:15pm

Calhoun Hall (CAL), 516
204 21ST ST W, Austin, Texas 78705

Event Type

Academics, Arts & Humanities


College of Liberal Arts

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, General Public



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