Scriptures

The Book Of Ezra

WELCOME TO THE STUDY OF THE BOOK OF EZRA

The seventy years of Israel’s captivity had now come to an end, exactly as Jeremiah said it would and so, the Book of Ezra covers the events of the Jews returning from their Babylonian captivity. In the year 538 B.C. the Medes and Persians took over from the Babylonians and became the ruling power of the world.

All the prisoners, including those from Israel, who were formally under the subjection of Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king were now under the control of Cyrus, the Medo-Persian king. It was now time for a remnant of God’s people to go home and start building the temple again.

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Full Study

Cyrus was a different kind of king, as he believed that all his prisoners would be more loyal to him if they were free, rather than being slaves. He and the other kings who followed, helped the people to return home and rebuild their temples. Because the people were free to practice their religion, this is turn promoted loyalty to the kings. Complete Study Of The Book Of Ezra


CHAPTER BY CHAPTER

The seventy years of captivity were coming to an end just as Jeremiah had prophesied. God now moves Cyrus, king of Persia to encourage a remnant of God’s people to return home to Jerusalem and begin the work of rebuilding the temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Ezra 1

In this chapter we find a list of those who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. In this list we find a list of names which can be split into seven distinct groups of people.

Although we may find genealogies very boring, to the Jew they were vitally important. Ezra 2

The first task the Jews got on with after returning from captivity was the building of the altar. They offer many sacrifices to the Lord and begin to be together in fellowship as they once did in the past. One year later they begin to build the temple, however, as some rejoice when the foundation is laid, others begin to weep. Ezra 3

As the Jews were building the temple, enemies arose against the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. These people weren’t happy that the Jews were back in their land. Opposition soon begun against those who were rebuilding the temple and the city walls. as a result of this opposition, the work came to a complete stand still. Ezra 4

After receiving opposition from those who lived in Judea, the building work of the temple came to a complete standstill. It appears the Jews now turned their attention to building their own lives and houses, despite God’s temple being in ruins. However, when the building works begins again, the Jews now receive more opposition. Ezra 5

At the request of Tattenai, a search was made for the decree of Cyrus, which states that the Jews were permitted to return home and rebuild the temple. After it is discovered, Darius then goes ahead and supports the work for the temple to be built and makes a new decree to ensure that no one else can oppose the work. Ezra 6

If we learn anything from this chapter, we learn that Ezra done such a great job in sharing God’s Word and His laws with Artaxerxes, that Artaxerxes felt moved to understand the spiritual importance of God’s law. He understood how important it was for God’s people to become educated in God’s laws. Ezra 7

In this chapter we read a list of people who returned with Ezra to Jerusalem. The journey back to Jerusalem was around 900 miles and would have taken four months. As they were carrying gold, silver and many other valuables, the journey was filled with many danger, but God would protect them all the way. Ezra 8

In this chapter we read about a problem with intermarriage. God’s people had married Gentile women, which was a direct violation of God’s commands. Ezra’s prayer is deeply moving, he can’t even bring himself to look up to God. He asks God not only for His grace and forgiveness, but also for His mercy. Ezra 9

In this chapter we find Ezra still praying and it appears his prayers have been answered. His prayers had a huge impact on God’s people as they too gathered around him and wept bitterly in repentance.

It’s time to put away their foreign wives. Ezra 10

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

1 Peter 3:15

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