This collection of essays deals with key topics in Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, such as the list of returnees, the construction of the city wall of Jerusalem, the adversaries of Nehemiah, the tribal genealogies, and the territorial expansion of Judah in 2 Chronicles. Finkelstein argues that the geographical and historical realities cached behind at least parts of these books fit the Hasmonean period in the late second century BCE. Seven previously published essays are supplemented by maps, updates to the archaeological material, and references to recent publications on the topics.
Israel Finkelstein is Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and correspondant étranger of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres. He is the author or editor of more than 350 articles and books, including The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel (2013). He serves as editor of the journal Tel Aviv.