The identities of Ezra and Nehemiah have been endlessly debated. Were they real historical figures who helped restore Judah after the Babylonian captivity? Did they know each other? Were Nehemiah and Zerubbabel the same guy? Could they have been Zoroastrians, not Jews at all, just envoys sent by the Persian king to restore order in a troubled province? And which king? Well, it depends who you ask, because the narrative isn't completely in chronological order and the who's who of the whole situation can get a little murky. Anyway, figuring all this out is way above Shmoop's pay grade, so we'll stick to the Hebrew scriptural story.