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The Book of Ezra (1 of 8)
Introduction and Chapter 1:1-2
Dr. Harley Howard
1. 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, that he made a proclamation
throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,
The book of Ezra covers 2 distinct time periods. The first 6 chapters
cover the 23 years from the edict of Cyrus to the rebuilding of the
temple in Jerusalem (538-515 BC)
Chapters 7-10 deal with the events after Ezra returned from
Babylon (458 BC).
Chapter 4 contains an event which refers to the reign of king
Ezra was also a contemporary of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8).
This is the first of three returns to Israel which was in 538 BC. This
return was led by Zerubbabel (538 BC), Ezra 1-6, and Haggai (520)
and Zechariah (520-518 BC). This return was to build the temple.
The second group was under Ezra himself, 7-10, in 458 BC. This
return was to reform the people.
The third group was led by Nehemiah (444 BC). This was to rebuild
the walls in Jerusalem and thee lives of the people.
The main purpose of the book was for Israel to respond to the
mercy of God by obedience to Him and to His covenant.
Israel was taken into Babylonian captivity. 70 years have passed
and now, God will give them opportunity to go back to their
homeland and to rebuild the temple. This proclamation was given
by a king named Cyrus.
One of the greatest proofs of the scriptures being the word of God
is the fulfillment of predictive prophecy. One of the clearest
evidences of that, and one of the greatest frustrations to those who
try to deny the miracles of the bible, is this man Cyrus. Isaiah
predicted the existence of king Cyrus, by name, about 150 years
before he was born. In fact, it was in 688 BC that Isaiah made this
prediction, that Cyrus would be use ...
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