Ezra

Scribe who helped establish Jewish practices in Jerusalem after the exile.

A member of a Jewish priestly family in exiled in Babylonia, Ezra was also a scribe skilled in the law of Moses. The Book of Ezra recounts the return of the exiles from Babylon, the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple and the rebuilding of the community under Ezra. Ezra’s program required that Jewish men divorce Gentile wives to help maintain Israel’s distinctive identity. He provided for the public reading of the Torah, public confession of sin, and renewed commitment to God.

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