Ezra Devotional Commentary

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Ezra 1:1

Ezra 1:1

God used Cyrus, the great king of Persia, to carry out His plans and purposes for Israel. He issued a proclamation, which not only allowed the Jews to return to Judea, following their 70 year-long exile in Babylon, but also permitted them to rebuild the Temple of God.

Long before he was even born, Isaiah had prophesised that a man named Cyrus was destined to fulfil this extraordinary role, in the history of Israel, and we read read more...

Ezra 1:2

Ezra 1:2

Over 100 years before he was born, Isaiah identified Cyrus, as God's servant and future shepherd, who would perform all God's pleasure. He even prophesised that this coming king of Persia would say to Jerusalem, “Thou shalt be built.. and to the ruined temple of God, Thy foundation shall be laid.'

The truth of Proverbs 21 is clearly seen in the life of king Cyrus, for we read that “the kings' heart is in the hand read more...

Ezra 1:5

Ezra 1:5

Unlike the cruel Assyrians and barbarous Babylonians, Cyrus.. the great king of Persia permitted those who had been taken into exile as slaves, to return to their native homeland and reinstate their customs and religious practices. Cyrus considered the brutality of previous regimes were likely to encourage rebellion among subjected people. He decided to relax the authoritarian grip imposed on exiles, which he considered would produce more contented citizens - - he read more...

Ezra 1:7

Ezra 1:7

Throughout history, the Lord has used gentile nations and pagan kings in forwarding His unfolding plan of redemption. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was used by God to punish His people Israel, because they broke His covenant, ignored His Law, rebelled against His statutes – and did evil in the sight of the Lord.

During their wilderness wanderings, God made a conditional covenant with His people, whereby obedience would bring them great read more...

Ezra 2:1

Ezra 2:1

In Ezra chapter 1 we read how the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, the Persian king to fulfil prophecies from Isaiah and Jeremiah. Centuries before, Isaiah had identified Cyrus as the king who would decree the return of Jewish exiles to reestablish their land and rebuild the temple, while Jeremiah prophesied that Israel's exile in Babylon would last for 70 years.

Both books of Ezra and Nehemiah detail the fulfilment of these read more...

Ezra 2:68

Ezra 2:68

Following the 70-yearlong Babylonian captivity, there were three main occasions when Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem. The first group of returnees came back with Zerubbabel, and a great caravan of people accompanied him. The important issue that faced this group was the rebuilding of the Temple, so that sacrifices could once again be made to the Lord, as the Law commanded.

Many decades later a second group returned with Ezra read more...

Ezra 3:4

Ezra 3:4

What a joy it must have been for Ezra and those who returned with him to Jerusalem, at the end of Israel's 70 year-long exile, to start rebuilding the city and sanctuary in Jerusalem. Ezra was the scribe who diligently recorded the proclamation made by Cyrus, to build the Lord a house in Judah.. and he conscientiously documented the king's decision to restore the Temple treasures and artifacts, stolen by Nebuchadnezzar.

Ezra was read more...

Ezra 3:8

Ezra 3:8

The people of Judah had been exiled in Babylon for 70 years, but as Scripture foretold, Cyrus the Great, issued a proclamation, at the end of the 70-year long exile. He explained that the Lord, the God of heaven, had appointed him to build Him a house at Jerusalem, in the land of Judah, and at that time, the Jews were permitted to return to their promised homeland, to carry out the rebuilding work.

Although Israel were back in read more...

Ezra 3:10

Ezra 3:10

After 70 years of exile from their land, the people of Israel returned with Ezra after the edict to rebuild the Temple was signed by Cyrus the Great. The Babylonian exile occurred because the kings of Judah, the priests, and the people, had become idolatrous. They had strayed far from the Lord and had to be punished for breaking their covenant. But God in His grace determined to bring His people back after the 70 years - as we read in the books of Jeremiah and read more...

Ezra 4:4

Ezra 4:4

The returning exiles held a great celebration when the first section of the Temple was completed. They had worked hard and happily to construct the Temple foundations, and the whole congregation rejoiced together. The priests stood in their priestly apparel with trumpets raised, and the Levites joined in the triumphant chorus, banging loud cymbals. Together the congregation praised the LORD just as David the king had directed. 

read more...

Ezra 7:10

Ezra 7:10

There were three separate occasions when exiled Jews returned to Israel, and in this seventh chapter of Ezra, we read about the second influx of Jewish exiles, where four to five thousand souls returned to Jerusalem, to beautify the temple.

But this was also a time when the nation was called to reform their ways, and return to the Lord. Ezra, was a skilled scribe, who knew the Law of Moses, and he became a major player in turning read more...