Friday, 16 January 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 24
Blenkinsopp reports too on the terms, exclusively in Hebrew, used by Nehemiah, often considered either to be a part of one Ezra-Nehemiah book:
The Nehemiah narrativr uses te designation 'yehudiym' in a straightfoward, primarily geographic sense with reference to the Persian province. It is the equivalent of Judeans.
He suggests that since it is also used at the beginning of the book (1:2), it might be a designation used from an external, i.e. outside, perspective.
But the same term can refer to those living outside the province (4:12) and Sanballat - although himselfa worshipper of YHVH, uses it to refer to Nehemiah and his co-workers.
However, in 2:16 and 5:1, the geographic or ethnic meaning doesn't seem to fit. Blenkinsopp concludes:
The context suggests a reference to the economically dominant Judeo-Babylonian element in the province, those known elsewhere as the 'golah'.
Do the returnees, those coming back from exile, have a particular right to be called Judeans?