The Celebration of Passover in Ezra

In today’s lectionary reading in Ezra 6, the people celebrate the Passover.  This is somewhat significant as according the Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament there has been no mention of the Passover celebration since the time of Josiah which was more than 100 years earlier.  This is potentially an example of the idea that the Jews considered the return from Exile to be a type of “New Exodus.”  The idea of a New Exodus is prominent in the second part of the Book of Isaiah and also in places like the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus is depicted as a new Israel (i.e. goes down into Egypt and then returns).

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