Ezra 1 Devotional Commentary

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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 prophesied that a man named Cyrus was destined to fulfil this extraordinary role in the history of Israel, and we read that, read more...

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 prophesied 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: read more...

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 was 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 was read more...

Ezra 1:7

Throughout history, the Lord has used Gentile nations and pagan kings in forwarding His unfolding plan of redemption. Nebuchadnezzar, 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 blessing while read more...