Introduction; 1. When generations really count: Dating Zerubbabel and Nehemiah using genealogical information in the Book of Nehemiah; 2. What's in a date? The unreliable nature of dates in Haggai and Zechariah; 3. It's all in the sources: The historicity of the account of temple rebuilding in Ezra 1-6; 4. Setting the bounds: The territory comprising Yehud under Artaxerxes I in the md-5th century BCE; 5. Excavating the past: Settlement patterns and military installations in Persian-era Yehud; 6. Piety or pragmatism? The policy of Artaxerxes I for the development of Yehud; Appendix 1: The Behistun inscription; Appendix 2: The Cyrus cylinder; Glossary of terms
Diana Edelman is a senior lecturer in the Dept. of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. Her research has focused on the King Saul in history and tradition, Israelite religion during the time of the monarchy, and now is centering on the emergence of Judaism in the Persian period with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. She is the author of King Saul in the Historiography of Judah (Sheffield Academic Press, 1991) and editor of The Fabric of History: Text, Artifact and Israel's Past (Sheffield Academic Press, 1991), You Shall not Abhor an Edomite for He is your Brother: Edom and Seir in History and Tradition (Scholars Press, 1995) and The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms (Kok Pharos 1995; reprinted by Eerdmans).
'Edelman's book provides a major challenge to the scholarly consensus about the 'origins' of the Second Temple. It will stimulate much discussion.' - Review of Biblical Literature