Was the Jewish Torah codified from its various sources at the behest of the Persian imperial government? This is the question the present book explores by engaging in the much acclaimed theory of Imperial Authorization proposed by Peter Frei. It is a politico-historical analysis of the bilateral relationship between the Achaemenid imperial government and the province of Judah in order to assess the historical plausibility of Ezra s mission recorded in the Hebrew Bible. This study turns to legislative documents from Achaemenid-era Egypt and Asia Minor in order to appraise Frei s theory, while taking a diachronic and synchronic approach to the socio-political history of Judah under the Persian rule. It examines the administrative value of the Jerusalem Temple and the geopolitical significance of Judah from the standpoint of the imperial government. The literary-critical evaluation of the biblical record along with the insight garnered from the historical circumstances reveals how imperial politics intervened in the emergence of Torah.
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