During the 70 years of Exile most of the Jews settled into a comfortable life in Babylon and other Eastern cities. Then in 539 B.C. Cyrus the Persian issued a decree permitting any Jew to return to his ancient homeland, to rebuild the temple of the Lord. Only a few responded. This enthusiastic group of settlers laid the temple foundation, but local enemies delayed its completion for 18 years. The first six chapters of Ezra tell the story of these pioneers and their struggle to finish the temple of the Lord. In 458 B.C. another group of exiles, led by Ezra the priest, returned to Jerusalem. Ezra was a reformer, who taught God’s Law in Judea and called God’s people to rededicate their lives to the Lord. This book, written by Ezra, tells the story of these two groups of exiles who resettled the Promised Land.
OUTLINE OF CONTENTS
|I.||The Exiles Return||Ezra 1–2|
|II.||The Temple Is Rebuilt||Ezra 3–6|
|III.||Ezra Teaches God’s Law||Ezra 7–10|