Ezra 9-10

Ezra returned to Jerusalem to teach the law; it was said that, “he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given…Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the LORD, obey it, and teach its statutes and … Continue reading

Ezra 7-8

The exiles, with the permission and support of the Persian kings, returned to the Promised Land in phases.  Cyrus, the first Persian king, issued a proclamation that the Jews could return to Judah and Jerusalem as they wished, and rebuild their temple; under the direction of Zerubbabel, many family leaders … Continue reading

Ezra 4-6

The leaders of the returned exiles wished to provide them with a temple-centered theological vision.  Understandably then, the book of Ezra enjoyed a prominent place among writings of historical Judaism.  For Ezra, and perhaps the other leaders as well, re-construction of the temple so naturally accorded with rebuilding the whole … Continue reading

Ezra 1-3; Psalm 107

In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim, the prophet Jeremiah announced that the Babylonian empire would soon come and overtake Judah—and that they would be exiled for seventy years (Jeremiah 25).  Although Jeremiah’s prophecy was given in just the first year of King Nebuchadnezzar, it came to pass just as … Continue reading