1st Return of the Jews to Judah & the Rebuilding of the Temple Ezra 1-6
Ezra 6:1-12-The Construction Begins Again (520 B.C.)
Darius discovers that Cyrus had made such a decree. He writes to the governor and tells him and other people to stay away and allow the building to continue...and goes even further by telling them to pay for the building costs out of the government taxes and threatening anyone who attempts to stop them with punishment (6:11-12).
Ezra 6:13-22-The Construction is Completed
- March 12, 515C.-Temple restoration is completed.
- The prophets Haggai & Zechariah were with the people who had returned and encouraged them to complete the Temple. There was a huge celebration and then they observed Passover.
2nd Return of the Jews to Judah & the Reformation of the People Ezra 7-10
Ezra 7:1-8:36 The Return of Ezra
Ezra 7:1-10-Ezra, a scribe, left Babylon and came to Jerusalem (457 B.C.)...this happened 58 years after chapter 6. The hand of God was on Ezra because he had "set his heart to (1) study the law of the LORD, (2) and to practice it, (3) and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel" (:10).
Ezra 7:11-28-Artaxerxes wrote a letter and gave it to Ezra with instructions for the ministry and maintenance of the Temple. He also gave him authority to appoint magistrates and judges over the land. This project was financed by Artaxerxes (7:12-26).
Ezra 8:1-36-1,496 people accompanied Ezra back to Jerusalem (:3-14). Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers to protect them since they had been telling people that God was with them (:21-22). It took them 4 months to complete the trip to Jerusalem.
- The people are now commonly referred to as the “Jews” because most of them were of the tribe of Judah
Prayer: Lord, help me to have the heart of Ezra. Help me to have a desire to study Your Word, to put it into practice in my life, and to teach others its truths. Please give me Your wisdom so that not only can I teach the facts of Your Word…but so that I can also explain its meaning and give its practical application.