Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible



The Babylonian Exile.


The return of the Remnant back from Exile.


The re-building of the Temple.


Key Phrase :

"The word of the Lord."

Key Verse :

Chapter 7:10.

"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel."

Key Theme:

The impact of the word of God on the religious, social and civic life of the nation.


Ezra returned from Babylon to Jerusalem in 457 B.C. some 80 years after the Jews had returned under Zerubbabel and 13 years before before Nehemia arived.

Ezra wrote this book around 457 B.C. Ezra was a decendant of Hilkiah the high priest during the reign of King Josiah. Ezra was a Priest. According to 2 Chronicles 34:14 Ezra while searching in the Temple found a copy of the law of  Moses. He determined to study the law of Moses so as to communicate that word to his people.

In so doing the nation came to a new place before God, obedience to the word of God became foundational again in national life.

Chapter 1: The proclamation of Cyrus.

It is interesting to note that the last two verses of 2 Chronicles are reflected in the first two verses of  2 Chronicles. That real connection may reflect that at another historical moment the two books were actually one book.

A short time after Daniel prophesied (Daniel 5:25-31) that Babylon would eventually fall to the rising power of Persia, Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to their beloved Jerusalem.

Chapter 2: The names of those captives who returned to Jerusalem.

In this chapter we discover that some 42360 Jews returned plus all their families and servants. The lists in this chapter when calculated come to around 31000 the additional 11000 is thought to be composed of the exiles from other tribes other than Judah, for example, in 1 Chronicles 9:3 the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned. In the final chapter of Ezra 10: 25 the term Israel is used instead of Judah giving the understanding that there were more than one single tribe of Israel returning to Jerusalem.

Chapter 3: The Temple foundations are laid.

One year after returning to Jerusalem work began on the laying of the foundations to the Temple but many of the older generation who had experienced the majestic Temple that was built by King Solomon were unhappy with this new building proposed to house the presence of God. Cyrus appointed Zerubbabel to be the governor of Judah.

Chapter 4: The Building work stops. 

There was great resistance to the building of the Temple by the people who had been in the land before the Jews returned from exile, in the light of that building slowed down and stopped for some 15 years until the reign of Darius 1.

Chapter 5-6: The Temple is completed. Darius 1 encouraged the Jews to complete the task of building the Temple. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah also God sent to encourage and so the work began again. With funds supplied from Darius 1, encouragement from the prophets that temple was finished within 4 years and dedicated to the Lord.

Chapter 7-8: Ezra comes to Jerusalem.

Between chapter 6 and chapter 7 some 60 years passes. The temple was finished in 515 BC and Ezra arrives in 458 BC during the reign of Artaxerxes 1. Ezra arrives with the specific task of teaching the word of God to the people and restoring the temple worship.

Chapter 9-10: Mixed Marriages.

Ezra, when he arrived in Jerusalem was faced with the problem of mixed marriages and idolatry something that was forbidden by the laws of Moses. Ezra inspired the people to return to God`s ways and reform took place making possible anew beginning for the returned people.







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©2008 Church Education Trust