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EZRA. Returning and Rebuilding. Lydians. Medes. Persians. Babylon . CHRONOLOGY OF EZRA-NEHEMIAH. EZRA. Lydia. Medes. Persians. . Babylon. Ezra 1:2-3.

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Returning and Rebuilding





Babylon 






ezra 1 2 3

Ezra 1:2-3

Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.

ezra 1 4

Ezra 1:4

“Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.”




isaiah 44 28

Isaiah 44:28

“It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”

isaiah 45 4

Isaiah 45:4

“For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel, My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me.”

proverbs 21 1

Proverbs 21:1

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;

He turns it wherever He wishes.

romans 13 1

Romans 13:1

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

ezra 1 5 8

Ezra 1:5-8

Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.

All those about them encouraged them with articles of silver, with gold, with goods, with cattle and with valuables, aside from all that was given as a freewill offering.

ezra 4 1 2

Ezra 4:1-2

Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.”

ezra 4 3

Ezra 4:3

But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.”

problems in the offer of assistance
Problems in the Offer ofAssistance
  • The Fickleness of False Friends
  • The Fabrication of False Fidelity
  • The Fable of Formulaic Fellowship
ezra 4 13

Ezra 4:13

“Now let it be known to the king, that if that city is rebuilt and the walls are finished, they will not pay tribute, custom or toll, and it will damage the revenue of the kings.”

ezra 4 14 15

Ezra 4:14-15

“Now because we are in the service of the palace, and it is not fitting for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore we have sent and informed the king, 15 so that a search may be made in the record books of your fathers. And you will discover in the record books and learn that that city is a rebellious city and damaging to kings and provinces, and that they have incited revolt within it in past days; therefore that city was laid waste.

ezra 5 1 2

Ezra 5:1-2

When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them, 2 then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them.


Who issued you a

decree to rebuild this

temple and to finish

this structure?"

But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until a report should come to Darius, and then a written reply be returned concerning it. (Ezra 5:5).

Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai

ezra 6 13 14

Ezra 6:13-14

Then Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues carried out the decree with all diligence, just as King Darius had sent.

And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

ezra 6 15

Ezra 6:15

This temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

ezra 6 16 18

Ezra 6:16-18

And the sons of Israel, the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 They offered for the dedication of this temple of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel.

Then they appointed the priests to their divisions and the Levites in their orders for the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.


Chronology of

Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther

ezra 9 1

Ezra 9:1

Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.

ezra 9 2

Ezra 9:2

“For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.”

ezra 10 2

Ezra 10:2

Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.

ezra 10 3 4

Ezra 10:3-4

“So now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

“Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.”

the plan for divorce
The absence of condemnation indicates approval, especially in light of the fact that Ezra closes on this note.

There is no editorial confirmation. If Nehemiah is seen as the continuation of Ezra, then it is possible that this was merely a problem along the way which was not satisfactorily resolved at the time.

The Plan for Divorce...

Was from God Was not from God

the plan for divorce29
Ezra agrees to the plan after a long time of prayer.

The Lord did not reveal the plan to Ezra as a prophecy.

The Plan for Divorce...

Was from God Was not from God

  • The nation was in danger of falling into idolatry and Deuteronomy 7:2-3 specifically forbids such intermarriage.
  • It is never right to do wrong so that good may come of it.
the plan for divorce30
Nearly the entire nation agreed to the proposal.

Majority opinion is no guarantee of righteousness .

The Plan for Divorce...

Was from God Was not from God

  • The actions of Ezra and the nation marked a return to the observance of the Law.
  • The New Testament confirms that believers are to remain married to an unbelieving spouse
the plan for divorce31
There was already a new generation growing that would have pagan roots.

1 Corinthians 7:14 tells how maintaining such a mixed marriage can have a positive effect upon the children.

The Plan for Divorce...

Was from God Was not from God

malachi 2 13 14

Malachi 2:13-14

This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from the Lord.

Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

malachi 2 15 16

Malachi 2:15-16

But no one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

two possible interpretations
Two Possible Interpretations
  • Interpretation #1:The decision of Ezra and the people of Israel was a correct, though difficult one
  • Interpretation #2:Though they had the best of intentions in seeking to repent and return from their sinful attitudes, Ezra and the people of Israel took a bad situation and made it worse