Study Guide

Ezra and Nehemiah Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

Esdras 1
Esdras 1 is really just a Greek version of the Book of Ezra with some changes and additions. It was pretty popular with Christians back in the day (as in 1700 years ago or thereabouts).

Esdras 2
Esdras 2 is an apocalyptic book—a mash-up of Christian and Jewish apocalyptic visions It's attributed to Ezra even though he certainly didn't write it, relegating it to the apocrypha.

The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra
This isn't even in the apocrypha—it's a super-deep cut, buried in the pseudepigraphia (falsely attributed works). It's another apocalyptic work, like 2 Esdras, containing visions of heaven, hell, and the like.

Protestant Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley
Latimer and Ridley were Protestant martyrs killed by the Catholic Queen, Mary Tudor of England, for their convictions. Before being burned at the stake, Latimer said to Ridley (alluding to lines from 2 Esdras): "Be of good cheer, master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle in England, as I hope, by God's grace, shall never be put out."

Pop Culture References

"Twelve Gates to the City," Reverend Gary Davis
Blues legend Gary Davis sings a classic original—describing the twelve gates of the rebuilt city of Jerusalem, though Davis might be talking about the New Jerusalem. Since Nehemiah describes the rebuilding of the gates, we'll give him the credit.

"Twelve Gates to the City," Robert Plant
Here's a version of the same track by former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant.

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