Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ezra - Back from Captivity Book Intro

Ezra tells of the return of the Jews from captivity. It is in two parts: 1-6 covers the return of 50,000 under Zerubbabel under the reign of Cyrus. 7-10 covers the return of the colony under Ezra. It deals with building the temple and returning the people to the law, i.e. doing away with intermarriage with none Jews.

Ezra was a priest, probably descended through Caleb. It is said he was also a scholar which would mean he knew the law.

As for the children of Israel, most stayed in the land of the captivity because they were prospering there. Those who returned were a remnant with a heart for God. Those who stayed in Babylon and Assyria did, I think, add to the treasury of those who returned to Palestine to lay the foundation for the temple.

Key Verse: I think, for me this would be the key verse of the book: Ezra 9:8 "And now for a little space grace hath been showed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage."

It is a book of relearning the law and of guilt and repentance for their sin. It goes along with the books of Nehemiah, Ester, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi.

So after studying the events of the kings and the return after the captivity, we will look at the other side of the events from the prophets view as it happened i.e. the warnings during the time of transgression of the nation and the people.

Ezra: return from captivity.

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