Old Testament Survey Book of Ezra

Introduction: Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, all record the return of the Jewish remnant to Palestine and to Jerusalem. About 50 years after the fall of Jerusalem, the Jews came under Persian rule. The Persians were conquered by the Babylonians; now, the Jews were subjects to Babylon.

In 538 B.C., Cyrus issued a decree permitting and encouraging all people in exile, in his domain, to return to their home lands. The first group of Jews were led by Zerubbabel and Joshua in 536 B.C.  Ezra led another group in 458 B.C. and he restored the Law and the rituals.

Most of the nation remained in Babylon on their own free will because they were prospering there. The number that returned to Palestine was a very small percentage of the  exiled people. This is a shame to those who stayed in Babylon. God had prophesied that He would raise up a king that would decree that His people would return to the Land that God had given to them.

The Israelites were 70 years in captivity and God had given them opportunity for them to return to their homeland. This was with the help of three Persian kings: Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. God uses the leadership of five Godly Jews to build the second Temple and to restore proper worship in Jerusalem. Those five were: Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, Zechariah and Ezra.

The Book of Ezra covers about 80 years of history. Three others Persian kings; Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes, have virtually nothing said about them. They cover a 58 year period of history in which these kings tried and failed two times to conquer Greece. This is the same time period in which the events of  the Book of Ester takes place.

  1. The Return Under Zerubbabel
  2. Go to Jerusalem to build the House of the Lord 1:3
  3. we work to build the House of the Lord
  4. there is a building referred to as God’s House – a particular meeting place
  5. there is the building up of the people who make up God’s House
  6. winning souls to Christ and baptizing them
  7. building up of people
  8. building up the numbers of the congregation
  9. building means: to instruct, to encourage
  10. to mold and to shape that we may be like Jesus and do His work
  1. In the Old Testament, the House of the Lord was the Tabernacle in the Wilderness then it                                        was the Temple
  1. God gave specific instruction on how it was to be built and operated
  2. God gives specific instructions in the New Testament for the Local, New Testament Church
  1. Hindrances To The Work Of The Lord
  2. The people praised God because the Temple was to be restored – Ezra 3:8 & 11-13
  3. The enemies work at destruction – 4:1-5
  4. vs 2- “let us build with you.”
  5. enemies try to get inside the work and destroy it from within
  6. always remember … God builds … satan destroys
  7. vs 3 – the leaders of the people refused to let them “help”
  8. vs 4-5 – the enemies fought from the outside
  9. enemies can be the obvious – N.C.C. & W.C.C. – Communist party; local clergy associations etc.                               Their goal is to lead all church to become “one”

This breaks down the doctrines of the local church etc.

  1. enemies can be subtle and sly – gossip – sowing discord – undermining of the pastor;                                    undermining of the teachings of the local church – working behind the scenes to                                               “change” the way the church believes or operates etc.
  1. the enemies purpose is to destroy

NOTE: from the end of chapter 6, till the beginning of chapter 7, there was a 60 year gap. It was here when Zerubbabel dies; at the beginning of chapter 7, Ezra comes to Jerusalem. It is during this 60 year time span when the Book of Ester takes place.

III. The Return Under Ezra

  1. Ezra is their leader – chapter 7
  2. Their journey to Jerusalem – chapter 8
  3. approximately 1,500 priests and head of houses went to Jerusalem with Ezra
  4. an unknown number of women and children also went with him
  5. Sin in the camp
  6. chap. 9:1-2 – lack of separation from the world
  7. the response from Ezra – vs 4-6
  8. he was astonished – vs 4
  9. he begins to pray – vs 5
  10. he is ashamed – vs 6
  11. he blushes  = embarrassment – vs 6
  12. acknowledgment and confession of the peoples sins – vs 6 – 7
  13. Grace – vs 8
  14. God is a God of grace
  15. He revives from sin and bondage
  16. Hope – chapter 10:1-2
  17. when a person repents of their sins and turns back to God – He revives them
  18. Jeremiah 17:7 – Psalms 39:7 – Titus 1:2

1 Comment so far
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Good. And meaningful explanation near to the truth.

Comment by K solomon

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