Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Ezra 7:10

In the book of Ezra, we observe a people returning from ruin and witness how God works for the benefit of His people to heal and restore them. The whole focus of the book is the restoration of the people through returning to true worship. This is the beginning point of all spiritual renewal and social reformation. Restoration always means a complete surrender to God. Everything must be according to the Word of God.

Hymn: How Firm a Foundation
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. In the first return from Babylon, Zerubbabel came to Jerusalem with 49,897 people (Ezra 2:1–2, 64–65).
  2. As they sought to restore true worship, Zerubbabel and Jeshua used Scripture as their guide (Ezra 3:2, 4; 6:18).
  3. Both Haggai and Zechariah prophesied during the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 5:1; 6:14).
  4. The temple was finished in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius (Ezra 6:15). 
  5. Ezra traveled to Jerusalem with the purpose of teaching the Law of God to the Jews (Ezra 7:10).
Theme: Restoration

In Ezra, God is glorifying Himself through the restoration of His people, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: Ezra

The book contains a large amount of eyewitness testimony from Ezra’s point of view, making it very likely that he authored the other sections of the book. Ezra also incorporated several letters and legal documents into his book (which he probably obtained from the royal archives of Artaxerxes I).

Time of Writing: 457-444 B.C.

Ezra began writing after he came to Jerusalem in 457 B.C., and probably completed his book before the arrival of Nehemiah (who is not mentioned in the text) in 445 B.C.

Key Verses:

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’ ”

Ezra 1:1–4

“Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. They assigned the priests to their divisions and the Levites to their divisions, over the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.”

Ezra 6:15–18

“Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.”

Ezra 10:1

  1. Those seeking to restore true worship should expect resistance from God’s enemies.
  2. Christians should be people who regularly confess and repent of their sins.
  3. God uses ungodly leaders to accomplish His purposes.
  4. We should base our worship on the teachings of Scripture.
Christ in Ezra:

Ezra and Zerubbabel are both types of Christ. Like these men, Christ came as a Restorer of true worship.

  1.      The Restoration of the Temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 1–6)
  2.      The Reformation of the People under Ezra (Ezra 7–10)
Study Questions

Who is the author of the book of Ezra?

What king first commanded the rebuilding of the temple?
Cyrus king of Persia (Ezra 1:1–4).

What did Cyrus do with the articles that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem?
He counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah (Ezra 1:7–8).

Who are the people listed in Ezra 2?
The Jews who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:1–2).

What was the first thing the Jews restored when they returned to Jerusalem?
The altar of the God of Israel (Ezra 3:2–3).

Why did the people shout with a great shout?
Because the Temple’s foundation had been laid (Ezra 3:11).

Who tried to discourage the Jews from rebuilding the temple?
The adversaries of Judah and Benjamin (Ezra 4:1–5).

Who commanded the Jews to rebuild the temple?
Cyrus the king of Persia (Ezra 4:3).

What was King Darius’ decree?
To search the royal archives for Cyrus’s decree (Ezra 5:17–6:1).

Who prophesied during the rebuilding of the temple?
Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo (Ezra 5:1; 6:14).

When was the temple completed?
In the sixth year of King Darius’ reign (Ezra 6:15).

What feasts did the Jews keep after finishing the temple?
The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ezra 6:19–22).

Who was Ezra?
A descendant of Aaron, and a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses (Ezra 7:1–6).

What task did Ezra prepare his heart for?
To seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:10).

What did the Lord put into King Artaxerxes’ heart?
To beautify the house of the Lord (Ezra 7:27).

Why did Ezra proclaim a time of fasting and prayer?
To petition God for guidance and protection (Ezra 8:21–23).

What sin of the people did Ezra have to deal with?
The marrying of pagan wives (Ezra 9:1–2).

What was Ezra’s response when he heard about the sin of the people?
He tore his clothes, plucked out some of the hair of his head and beard, and sat down astonished (Ezra 9:3). He then confessed the sin to God (Ezra 9:5–15).

How high had the people’s iniquities risen, according to Ezra?
Higher than their heads, all the way up to the heavens (Ezra 9:6).

Who gathered to Ezra while he was crying out to the Lord?
A very large assembly of men, women, and children (Ezra 10:1).

What did Ezra tell the people who had married pagan wives to do?
To confess their sin, and separate from their pagan wives (Ezra 10:10–11).

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