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Title: Die Bericht Nehemias: Zur literarischen Eigenart, traditionsgeschichtlichen Pragung und innerbiblischen Rezeption des Ich-Berichts Nehemias
Author: Reinmuth, Titus
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht; Publication Date: 2002
Hardcover; ISBN: 9783525539989
Volumes: 1; Pages: 382
List Price in Cloth: $108.00 Our price: $87.99
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Nehemiah's report documents a theological controversy of the post-exilic period about the political organization of the community in general, social justice and problems of daily life in Judah. It takes a particular stance in these issues by drawing on large sections of Old Testament literature. Within the report, it is possible to distinguish between a large "wall-building narrative" (Neh. 1-4; 6:1-7:5; 12:27-43) and a rather small "Nehemiah memoir" (Neh. 5:1-19; 13:4-31). The present study provides new insight into the interrelation of tradition and reception. The texts of the memoir, with its topics of debt release, temple reform, sabbath observation and intermarriage have had a particular effect on biblical literary history: Lev. 25 and Jer. 34:8-22 allude to Neh. 5; Am. 8:4-8 and Jer. 17:19-27 recall Neh. 13:15-22; and the various reflections on intermarriage in Ex. 34, Deut. 7, Jer. 29, and Ezra 9 may be understood as responses to Neh. 13:23-31. In contrast, texts from Chronicles show more interest in the temple reform, the building of the city wall and its military protection. A clearly Torah-orientated redaction compiled and revised the whole Nehemiah report. The editors programmatically place the prayer Neh. 1:5-11 at the beginning. After special references to the Torah in Neh. 12:44 and 13:1-3 they present Neh. 13:4-31 as the book's final word in order to contrast Nehemiah's Torah-orientated reforms with the wall-building narrative. The original record of personal commitment contained in Neh. 10:31-40 was also formed in this scribal context. The redactional parts of the book demonstrate that Nehemiah's reforms were supported and perpetuated not by prophetic groups but rather by priestly and scribal circles. In the theological debates of the post-exilic period those circles accepted the contemporary challenges and tried to impose an orientation following the Torah, with the aim to shape both Judah's present and future.