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Book of Ezra


Authorship and Origin:

The book of Ezra, like Ruth, Job, Esther, and others is named after it's principle character. The Jews considered it to be one book with Nehemiah, but the repetition of Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 may indicate it was originally two works. Although the author is not mentioned, and the narrative appears in both first and second persons, it is most likely that Ezra himself wrote the book. Ezra lived to the time of Nehemiah, and had plenty of time to write between 456 B.C. and 444 B.C. when Nehemiah arrived to accelerate some of the more immediate needs such as rebuilding the walls and fortifications around Jerusalem.

Overview and Significant sections

The book of Ezra records the fulfillment of God's promise to the nation of Israel through Jeremiah to bring them back to the land seventy years after exile to captivity. Through the protection and help of three Persian kings (Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes), and the leadership of godly Jews such as Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, Zechariah, and Ezra, the second temple was completed and true worship restored in Jerusalem.

Significant sections:

  • The exiles' return from Babylon 1:1-2:70
  • Temple building begun: altar, foundations, oppositions to work. 3:1-4:24
  • Building completed, decrees from Cyrus and Darius, temple completed. 5:1-6:22
  • Ezra's journey to Jerusalem, letter from Artaxerxes 7:1-8:36
  • The great reformation of the nation from pagan practices. 9:1-10:44

For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available starting here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book. introduction of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.