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A Study on the Multiculture in postexilic Jewish Community - Receptivity and Exclusiveness of Gentile in Ezra and Nehemiah

Choi Jong-Won 1

1서울신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article aims to study not only the Identity of Israel in postexilic Jewish Community, but also Receptivity and Exclusiveness of Gentile in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah. For this study, literary criticism in the texts of ‘foreign[or other] women’(Ezra 10:2, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 44; Neh 9:2; 13:26-27, 30) were discussed, and first of all, it is compared and analyzed by materials of ancient near East. Each texts strictly prohibite intermarriage of Israelites, who would have married women from other nations, and compel a divorce even between marriaged couple. The ‘Ezra-group’ or ‘Nehemiah-group’ was facing the crisis, because holy seed has become mixed with ‘the peoples of the land after return of Gola Community in the postexilic period. At this point, last compositor of these books was making a set of appropriate prohibition about the mixed marriage in connection with Dtn 7 and 23:3-6 and has added an extension of the concept of holiness from the edited Priestly tradition in Lev 11 and 18 for a renewal of the new faith community. This community was based on the separation between Receptivity and Exclusiveness of Gentile in a religious and ritualistic position, but it is clear that there was fierce competition around the temple Zerubbabel to take the politic privilege. In this study the important text is Nehemiah 13. Its compositor new strengthen the Jewish solidarity in the politic position. He was trying to resolve the politic privilege by the concept of priesterly purity. The core of this issue is ‘the marriaged women with other nations. Interestingly, it was adapted to the identity of the women and the meaning of the word ‘foreign’, which was to related not with the ‘ethnic’ character but the ‘other’ religious Receptivity in the Israel’s society. Thus the compositor interpreted the identity of the early Jewish Community in closely relation to the topic ‘holy seed and purity’. With this concept he accepted the theological tradition in Jesaja 6 and his message was oriented to obey the Torah. Through this study we come to know how the bild of the Gentile in the Israel’s society was accepted. And it is today help newly to define attitude of Gentile in the light of the Bible.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.