1 Section for Biblical Studies, Faculty of Theology, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 unknown
A Reassessment of the Early Persian Period
The article takes its points of departure from previous work in the field that has challenged the biblical portrait of the events related to the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE and its aftermath. It considers how reassessments of a homeland population in Judah in the sixth century BCE contribute towards understanding the era commonly referred to as the postexilic period. A realignment is sought in terms of four areas: (1) terminology and chronology, (2) evidence of continuity with the material culture and thought preceding the fall rather than a great watershed, (3) efforts at social integration rather than community in-fighting, and (4) the important role of the theme of the return to Zion as ideological support for the re-establishment of Jerusalem as the social and political capital. The study offers some preliminary observations about the implications of this new understanding in terms of the thought representative of the time (e.g. from literature commonly associated with the sixth century Deutero-Isaiah, Ezekiel, Haggai, Zechariah 1-8, Trito-Isaiah, and the Holiness Code).
Exile and Restoration Revisited: Essays on the Babylonian and Persian Periods in Memory of Peter R. Ackroyd, 2009, p. 174-194
return to Zion; community building; exile; the postexilic period; the Templeless Age; continuity; social integration; Deutero-Isaiah; Ezekiel; Haggai; Zechariah 1-8; Trito-Isaiah; the Holiness Code