In this volume Michael D. Matlock analyses five lengthy biblical prose prayers from the exilic and post-exilic period: Solomon's prayer (1 Kings 8.14-61), Ezra's prayer (Ezra 9.5-15), Nehemiah's prayer (Nehemiah 1.4-11), the Levites' prayer (Nehemiah 9.4-37), and the prayer of Daniel (Daniel 9:3-19). He also examines prayers from Second Temple literature including texts from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, the writings of Philo and Josephus and texts from Qumran, and discusses the Septuagintal versions of the five biblical prayers and Targum Jonathan's treatment of Solomon's prayer.
He offers a new English translation of each prayer, examines the prayers' rhetorical characteristics, and demonstrates how each prayer draws upon and reinterprets traditional images and materials. Matlock describes how each prayer relates to its larger narrative context and examines its functions within that context. Finally, he appraises the various similarities and differences in these prayers in terms of their different contexts in the Second Commonwealth period noting particular theologies and ideologies.