Daniel J. Harrington writes: "The history of the composition of 1 Esdras is complicated and uncertain. Most of the contest of the three bodyguards in chapters 3-4 probably existed separately in Aramaic (or Hebrew), which in turn may reflect an oral or written Persian original. Little or nothing in the account is distinctively Jewish until 4:41. The question ('What one thing is the strongest?') and the first three responses (wine, the king, and women) sound like pagan court wisdom. Even the addition about truth (4:33-41) to the third answer is not particularly Jewish or religious until the affirmation 'Blessed be the God of truth' (4:40). The story only becomes Jewish with the obviously parenthetical identification of the third bodyguard as Zerubbabel (4:13) and most clearly by Zerubbabel's request in 4:42-63 that as his reward for winning the contest King Darius should remember his vow to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. These links to Zerubbabel and thus to Judaism may have been made before the story's incorporation into 1 Esdras, and thus inspired the author/editor to include it in his narrative. Or the author/editor may have made the link on his own." (, pp. 153-154)
David A. deSilva writes: "Determining the date of 1 Esdras is difficult, since it is primarily interested in reflecting on past history rather than providing windows into the situation of the author. Determination of date has therefore rested on an examination of the vocabulary of the book, which appears to have much in common with the vocabulary of other second-century-B.C.E. Jewish texts (Goodman 1992: 610; Cook 1913: 5). This has tended to set the composition of the book sometime in the two centuries before the turn of the era. It was used by Josephus as the basis of 11.1-158 in preference to the Septuagint translation of Ezra and Nehemiah, though not exclusively, and not without some correction of its historical inaccuracies (Bissell 1899: 70; Schürer 1986: 3.2.714; Cook 1913: 5). It must therefore have been composed prior to the late first century C.E. Egypt has been suggested as a provenance, given the allusions to unveiled women (4:18), sea travel, and piracy (4:15, 23) (Cook 1913: 5; Bissell 1899: 64) but certainty in this matter lies beyond our meager evidence." (, p. 284)
1 Esdras Chapter 5 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):
Ioachim and Zorobabel. This place is corrupt: For Ioachim was the sonne of Iosedech, Neh.12.10. and not Zorobabel, who was of the tribe of Iuda.
Saraiah. , Or Mispar. , Or Reelaiah.
Parosh, Ezra 2. 3. Nehem.7. 9. where for breuity looke for the true numbers of the particulars following: for here they vary much, & the names much more. , Shephatia. , Or, three hundred seuentie two.
Zattu. , Zacchai.
Rama. , Gabah.
Michmas. , Bethel. , Maghbis.
Iedaiah. , Immar.
Pashur. , Harim. , Or, 217. according to some copies.
Thus it is read, Ezra 2.40. the sonnes of Ieshua, and Cadmeel, of the sonnes of Hodouiah.
Shallum. , Ater. , Akkub. , Hatita. , Shebai.
Zich. , Hasupha. , Keros. , Siaha. , Padon. , Agabah.
Akkub. , Hagab. , Shamlai. , Giddes. , Gahar.
Reaiah. , Rezin. , Necodah. , Gazam. , Huzza. , Pascah. , Besai. , Asnah. , Neumin. , Nephusin. , Bakbuk , Hacupa. , Harbur. , Bazluth.
Mehida. , Harsha. , Barcos. , Sisera. , Thamai. , Neziah.
Sophereth. , Peruda. , Iaalah. , Darcon. , Goddet. , Shephatiah
Hatte. , Phoceroth Hazzebaim, Ezra 2.25.
Delaiah. , Tobiah. , Necodah.
Hobaiah. , Cos. , Barzelai.
Nehemias, who also is Acharias, two of one. Nehe.8.9. and 10.2. chap.2.63. , Heb. Vrim and Thummim.
See Nehe. 7.66.
Ezra 2.67. , Asses.
Or, before the East gate.
Or, daily sacrifice.
See Ezra 3.9. , Or, ouerseers or encouragers of them that wrought in the house of the Lord.
Or, after the maner of Dauid king of Israel.
Ezra 3.12 13.
Asar-haddon, chap. 4.3.
Vntill the second yeere of Darius. Ezra 4.5, 6, 7.
* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania