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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
September 2024
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Book description

In the opening verses of the Book of Ezra-Nehemiah, King Cyrus exhorts the exiled Judeans to return to Jerusalem to restore worship in Jerusalem. It then narrates this restoration through the construction of the temple, the repair of the city walls, and the commitment to the written Torah. In this volume, Roger Nam offers a new and compelling argument regarding the theology of Ezra-Nehemiah:  that the Judeans' return migration, which extended over several generations, had a totalizing effect on the people. Repatriation was not a single event, but rather a multi-generational process that oscillated between assimilation and preservation of culture. Consequently, Ezra-Nehemiah presents a unique theological perspective. Nam explores the book's prominent theological themes, including trauma, power, identity, community, worship, divine presence, justice, hope, and others – all of which take on a nuanced expression in diaspora.  He also shows how and why Ezra-Nehemiah naturally found a rich reception among emerging early Christian and Jewish interpretive communities.


‘Nam offers a fresh perspective on the theological themes embedded in Ezra-Nehemiah that sheds light on the complexities of the postexilic era. The book skillfully weaves together historical context, theological insights, and a critical analysis of contemporary scholarly approaches, creating a thought-provoking narrative that will resonate with academics and those new to the study of Ezra-Nehemiah.'

Deirdre Fulton - Baylor University

‘Roger Nam's Ezra-Nehemiah commentary is a rare self-aware and inclusive application of historical critical methods. Nam thoughtfully integrates excellent historical, linguistic, theological, economic, and postcolonial analyses. He also contextualizes Ezra-Nehemiah within biblical literature, diverse textual witnesses, and broad reception history, facilitating deep and well-informed study of this challenging text.'

Lisa Cleath - Princeton Theological Seminary


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