[b-hebrew] Dates of Ezra and Nehemiah

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Sep 17 22:10:55 EDT 2006

On 9/18/06, Shoshanna Walker wrote:
> As I recall, the whole basis of discrediting Rashi, and the counting
> of events from the year of creation, is that first Temple was
> destroyed - according to secular sources - in 586 BC, while Seder
> Olam, and Rashi, says it was 422 BC (as computed from the time of
> creation of the world) - and my question, is - what are the sources
> for saying that it was 586 BC??  Who had better records than
> Chazal????

Seder Olam quotes R' Yose in b. Avoda Zara.  Rashi probably also
depends on this tractate.  We do not know what records R' Yose
had.  You may believe that HZ"L, including R' Yose, had better
records that we just don't have anymore.  However, we do have
detailed records from Babylonian, Persian, and Greek sources and
periods, from the times that the events happened, and not a thousand
years later, that include detailed accounts of which kings ruled
and in what order, and which years were intercalated, all of which
allow us to be able to date Jerusalem's fall as it is described in
Babylonian sources.   The "whole basis" however is not simply the
fall of the first Temple but the length and description of the Persian
period which is ridiculously short in R' Yose's scheme.

Yitzhak Sapir

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