Sirach 49:13

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

11 How shall we magnify Zerubbabel? He was like a signet ring on the right hand, 12 and so was Jeshua son of Jozadak; in their days they built the house and raised a temple holy to the Lord, destined for everlasting glory. 13 The memory of Nehemiah also is lasting; he raised our fallen walls, and set up gates and bars, and rebuilt our ruined houses. 14 Few have ever been created on earth like Enoch, for he was taken up from the earth. 15 Nor was anyone ever born like Joseph; even his bones were cared for.

2 Maccabees 1:21


19 For when our ancestors were being led captive to Persia, the pious priests of that time took some of the fire of the altar and secretly hid it in the hollow of a dry cistern, where they took such precautions that the place was unknown to anyone. 20 But after many years had passed, when it pleased God, Nehemiah, having been commissioned by the king of Persia, sent the descendants of the priests who had hidden the fire to get it. And when they reported to us that they had not found fire but only a thick liquid, he ordered them to dip it out and bring it. 21 When the materials for the sacrifices were presented, Nehemiah ordered the priests to sprinkle the liquid on the wood and on the things laid upon it. 22 When this had been done and some time had passed, and when the sun, which had been clouded over, shone out, a great fire blazed up, so that all marveled. 23 And while the sacrifice was being consumed, the priests offered prayer—the priests and everyone. Jonathan led, and the rest responded, as did Nehemiah.

 Notes and References

"... Scholars have long debated whether Ezra was a real historical figure, with some claiming he was a fictive creation and others arguing that Ezra was not only real but, in fact, the original source for the authors who wrote the biblical book that carried his name. What is clear, in any case, is that there was a circle of early Jews — however small or influential — who were sympathetic to Ezra and worked to preserve his legacy and the values, traditions, and activities they associated with him. On the other hand, there exists a range of other ancient Jewish sources where, much as in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ezra is largely absent. One example is the famous “Praise of the Ancestors,” a hymn offered by the second-century B.C.E. priestly sage Ben Sira that is included within the apocryphal work that takes his name ... when we reach the time of the return from exile and the beginning of the restoration period, where we might reasonably expect Ezra to be mentioned we read nothing ... Ben Sira credits the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua and praises the achievements of Nehemiah, but he has not a word about Ezra ... Second Maccabees, another second-century B.C.E. Jewish work, similarly presents Nehemiah alone as the one who built the Temple and the altar ...""

Hempel, Charlotte Ezra and the Dead Sea Scrolls (pp. 55-58) Biblical Archaeology Review, 2022

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