The works of Ezra and Herod the Great were extremely significant to the history and background of the New Testament. They made many different contributions to the Jewish community. These contributions had different impacts on Jewish life during the time of Jesus and the church.
Being born in the period of Herod the Great had a tremendous impact on the life of Jesus. Before he was born an angel came down to Mary and Joseph and warned them that they needed to escape from Bethlehem for Herod would try to kill Jesus even as a infant. Herod was afraid of this infant because he was prophesied to be the “King of the Jews”. Probably the most well known act of Herod during his reign is when he had every male infant in Bethlehem killed so that the prophecy would not be fulfilled. It was because of this act that Christ could not live in Judea for the entire length of Herod’s rule (Niswonger 1988).
Although this cruel and gruesome act is what Herod is known for, he did bring prosperity to his people during his reign. He was also known for his achievements in construction. He built many different structures but his crowning achievement that had the most impact on the life of the Jewish community was the erection of the third temple. Many of the Jews were skeptical of the rebuilding of the temple but once it was completed the whole Jewish community was ecstatic (Mueler 2008).
The works of Ezra also had a tremendous impact on the Jewish community. It tells of the development of the Jewish religion. It is within these works that the reconstruction of the temple is described and the rebuilding of the Jewish community after the destruction that the Babylonians caused. The book of Ezra is also the groundwork for the Book of Torah, which is the foundation of the Jewish religion (Grabbe, 1998).
In conclusion, although these are different time periods from which the works of Herod and Ezra came about, they both have tremendous...