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Re: orion 4QMMT (c)

   I have several arguments against Ezra being a Pharisaic development.
Esdras was preserved by the Christian tradition, and this text reflects
more the original Ezra document according to L. Dequeker, (I can get the
proper cite later if you need it). He developed the argument that Ezra as
a text was edited to fit Nehemiah, Esdras wasn't, to put it in a nut
   But there is another interesting element. The use of the name Tab'el in
the Ezra text(s) (an enemy of the Jews) was a reference to an archaic form
of the name of the Tobiad Dynasts, rulers of the Ammonitis,a principality 
east of the Jordan.This name is seen in an Assyrian document that makes
reference the Land of Tob'el. The Bible also makes reference to a Jewish
dynast, Ben Tab'el in a region east of the Jordan. This same territory
would be called the Land of Tobias in Hellenistic times and is refered to
in the Zenon Papyri as well as Second Maccabees.
    I have reason to suspect that this Tab'el in Ezra/Esdras was either
Tobiah the Ammonite or they were father and son.This is supported by
Josephus's reference to a letter written by Tab'el in Ezra, as one written
by a governor of Ammon in Josephus's account. If Ezra/Esdras was a
Pharisaic development, then why didn't they make clear the link with the
evil Tobiads, the opposition of Judas Maccabeus? However you see the
text(s)and the man, Ezra is certainly a Persian period document that went
through some bad editing.
    What I was hoping to do with my original question was to find more
concrete evidence for my position concerning the Tobiads, and to possibly
resolve the date problem that persists when dealing with the Ezra
    My MA Thesis at KU Leuven this year was on the Tobiads, I just handed
it in. I want to get it published. Perhaps I will let Jim read it, if
they pass me. Next year's MA is going to be on Cultural Anthropology of
Religion. Perhaps I will have a Ph.D before I'm hundred.

 Thanks for your reply

Brad Harrison
KU Leuven

On Tue, 20 May 1997, Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> Dear Brad,
> First you'd have to try to substantiate the existence of an Ezra. Garbini
> thinks the Aramaic is rather confused and not representative of letters
> written at a single period (read "faked"). (Others feel that the linguistic
> debate is not conclusive, but that's indicative in itself.) Ben Sirach
> doesn't know anything about Ezra whereas he does know of Nehemiah. In fact
> no other source knows anything about the figure (outside the also
> heterogenous book of Nehemiah) until late in the first century. Josephus
> doesn't use the "canonical" book in his history, preferring the apocryphal
> version.
> If Ezra is a Pharisaic development, then it's unlikely that he can help.
> Canon is clearly later than Qumran (but I'd think that people would be tired
> of fruitless dicussions on canon).
> Ian Hutchesson
> >    I am also popping into the middle as well, but what about the
> >traditional view of Ezra developing the cannon. Is this a valid view, or
> >is it too traditional?