15th book of the BIBLE, Old Testament and 10 of the 12 historical books
Ezra follows 2 Chronicles as a history of the Jewish people, recording their return to the land after the Captivity
Ezra himself was a “priest, [a] scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the LORD”
He led the second of three groups returning to Jerusalem from Babylon.
The events in Ezra cover slightly more than eighty years.
Chapters 1 to 6 covers 23 years
The return from Babylon to Judea has been called Israel’s “Second Exodus.”
Two major messages emerge from Ezra: God’s faithfulness and man’s
Out of perhaps 2 to 3 million people, only some 49,897 choose to return to Judea.
The distance covered in the returns was about 900 miles.
Fewer than 2,000 men accompanying Ezra to Judea.
Between chapters 6 and 7 is a period of nearly six decades 60 years), during which Esther lives and rules in Persia, and the events in the Book of Esther take place.
Ezra was a godly man characterized by:
A strong trust in God.
Grief over sin.
Ezra was a contemporary of Nehemiah who arrived in Jerusalem in 444 B.C.
During the period covered by the Book of Ezra:
Gautama Budda (560-480 B.C.) lived in India.
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) lived in China.
Socrates (470-399) lived in Greece
Two centuries before the Temple was rebuilt, Isaiah had recorded in Isaiah 44:28 – “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”
King Darius found the decree of Cyrus and carried it out.
Those who return from the exile are from the tribes of:
Chronology of the rebuilding of the Temple.
Completed 21 years after the foundations were laid.
2 years the work was underway. 536-534 B.C.
Opposition stopped the work for 14 years. 534-520 B.C.
Work was resumed in 520 B.C.
Temple was completed 5 years later in 515 B.C.
Actual work on the Temple took 7 years