[b-hebrew] Dates of Ezra and Nehemiah

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Sep 16 23:38:08 EDT 2006


The only thing I know about this Elephantine document is from this
discussion. But from earlier discussions, I have repeatedly mentioned
that from what I was taught is that dates preceding the adoption of a
universal dating system are suspect, by the time we get to a half
millennium BC we are doing pretty good to get the dates within a
decade, by a millennium BC by a century. Yet below, not only do you
give a precise year, even a precise day. That's making a lot of

Remember, over in Egyptology they are arguing whether Raamses II the
Great was the pharaoh of the Exodus or the pharaoh who sacked
Jerusalem after Solomon died, a difference of two and a half
centuries. So while I do not doubt the statements contained in this
document, I have reason to question the date, and in questioning the
date, I question also the significance of the document.

As for when Christians consider Jesus to start his reign, Peter's
answer is close enough. In other words, within Christian circles there
is some disagreement, but none consider it as starting at his birth.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/16/06, Lisbeth S. Fried <lizfried at umich.edu> wrote:
> The document from Elephantine doesn't mention Nehemiah at all.
> The document is dated  precisely to Nov. 25, 407 BCE. This is the reign of
> Darius II. It states that the sons of Sanballat are now governors of
> Samaria, and Bagohi is the governor of Judah. Since Nehemiah was governor at
> the time of Sanballat, not the time of his sons, the Artaxerxes that he
> served under must have been Artaxerxes I.
> >
> > > Best,
> > > Liz Fried

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