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Return from Exile
(Category 11 of 16)
Watch our Read Scripture video on the books Ezra & Nehemiah (originally one scroll), which breaks down the literary design of the books and their flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to Ezra-Nehemiah, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
In these books, many Israelites return to Jerusalem after the exile and face some success alongside many spiritual and moral failures.
The book of
EZRA continues the Old Testament narrative of Second Chronicles by showing
how God fulfills His promise to return His people to the Land of Promise after
seventy years of exile. Israel’s “second exodus,” this one from , is less
impressive than the return from Egypt because only a remnant chooses to leave
Ezra relates the story of two returns from —the first led by Zerubbabel
to rebuild the temple (1—6), and the second under the leadership of Ezra to rebuild
the spiritual condition of the people (7—10). Sandwiched between these two
accounts is a gap of nearly six decades, during which Esther lives and rules as
queen in Persia.
Ezra is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word ezer, “help,” and perhaps means
“Yahweh helps.” Ezra and Nehemiah were originally bound together as one book
because Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah were viewed as one continuous history.
The Septuagint, a Greek-language version of the Old Testament translated in the
third century B.C., calls Ezra–Nehemiah, Esdras Deuteron, “Second Esdras.” First
Esdras is the name of the apocryphal book of Esdras. The Latin title is Liber
Primus Esdrae, “First Book of Ezra.” In the Latin Bible, Ezra is called First Ezra
and Nehemiah is called Second Ezra.
End of the Babylonian Captivity
1 NOW in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD aby the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, bso that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has acommanded me to build Him a 1house at Jerusalem which is in
3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in , and build the house of the LORD God of Israel a(He is God), which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of
6 And all those who were around them 1encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was awillingly offered.
7 aKing Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, bwhich Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the 1temple of his gods;
8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to aSheshbazzar the prince of .
9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives,
10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles.
11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the
CHAPTER 1 References
1 a2 Chr.
36:22, 23; Jer.
bEzra 5:13, 14;
2 aIs. 44:28;
45:1, 13 1Temple
3 a1 Kin. 8:23;
5 a[Phil. 2:13] 1stirred up
6 aEzra 2:68
7 aEzra 5:14;
6:5; Dan. 1:2;
5:2, 3 b2 Kin.
24:13; 2 Chr.
36:7, 18 1Lit.
8 aEzra 5:14,
CHAPTER 2 References
1 aNeh. 7:6–73;
14:22 b2 Kin.
25:11; 2 Chr.
Neh. 7:7 3Mispereth,
5 aNeh. 7:10
6 aNeh. 7:11
captives who were brought fromto Jerusalem.
The Captives Who Returned to Jerusalem
1 Now athese are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, bwhom Nebuchadnezzar the king of
2 Those who came with Zerubbabel were Jeshua, Nehemiah, 1Seraiah, 2Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, 3Mispar, Bigvai, 4Rehum, and Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
3 the people of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two;
4 the people of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two;
5 the people of Arah, aseven hundred and seventy-five;
6 the people of aPahath- , of the people of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve;
7 the people of Elam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;
8 the people of Zattu, nine hundred and forty-five;
9 the people of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty;
10 the people of 1Bani, six hundred and forty-two;
11 the people of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-three;
12 the people of Azgad, one thousand two hundred and twenty-two;
13 the people of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-six;
14 the people of Bigvai, two thousand and fifty-six;
15 the people of Adin, four hundred and fifty-four;
16 the people of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-eight;
17 the people of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-three;
18 the people of 1Jorah, one hundred and twelve;
19 the people of Hashum, two hundred and twenty-three;
20 the people of 1Gibbar, ninetyfive;
21 the people of Bethlehem, one hundred and twenty-three;
22 the men of Netophah, fifty-six;
23 the men of Anathoth, one hundred and twenty-eight;
24 the people of 1Azmaveth, fortytwo;
25 the people of 1Kirjath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three;
26 the people of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one;
27 the men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two;
28 the men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred and twenty-three;
29 the people of Nebo, fifty-two;
30 the people of Magbish, one hundred and fifty-six;
31 the people of the other aElam, one thousand two hundred and fifty-four;
32 the people of Harim, three hundred and twenty;
33 the people of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-five;
34 the people of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five;
35 the people of Senaah, three thousand six hundred and thirty.
36 The priests: the sons of aJedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three;
37 the sons of aImmer, one thousand and fifty-two;
38 the sons of aPashhur, one thousand two hundred and forty-seven;
39 the sons of aHarim, one thousand and seventeen.
40 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the sons of 1Hodaviah, seventy-four.
41 The singers: the sons of Asaph, one hundred and twenty-eight.
42 The sons of the gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, one hundred and thirty-nine in all.
43 aThe Nethinim: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth,
44 the sons of Keros, the sons of 1Siaha, the sons of Padon,
45 the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub,
46 the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shalmai, the sons of Hanan,
47 the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah,
48 the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam,
49 the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai,
50 the sons of Asnah, the sons of Meunim, the sons of 1Nephusim,
51 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur,
31 aEzra 2:7
36 a1 Chr.
37 a1 Chr.
38 a1 Chr. 9:12
39 a1 Chr. 24:8
Ezra 3:9, or
43 a1 Chr. 9:2;
44 1Sia, Neh.
55 a1 Kin. 9:21
58 aJosh. 9:21,
27; 1 Chr. 9:2
b1 Kin. 9:21
59 1Or Addon,
Neh. 7:61 2Lit.
tell 3Lit. seed
61 aNeh. 7:63
b2 Sam. 17:27;
1 Kin. 2:7 1Or
62 aNum. 3:10
63 aLev. 22:2,
10, 15, 16 bEx.
64 aNeh. 7:66;
68 aEzra 1:6;
3:5; Neh. 7:70
69 a1 Chr.
70 aEzra 6:16,
17; Neh. 7:73
52 the sons of 1Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha,
53 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Tamah,
54 the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha.
55 The sons of aSolomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of bSophereth, the sons of 1Peruda,
56 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel,
57 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim, and the sons of 1Ami.
58 All the aNethinim and the children of bSolomon’s servants were three hundred and ninetytwo.
59 And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, 1Addan, and Immer; but they could not 2identify their father’s house or their 3genealogy, whether they were of Israel:
60 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two;
61 and of the sons of the priests: the sons of aHabaiah, the sons of 1Koz, and the sons of bBarzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name.
62 These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found; atherefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled.
63 And the 1governor said to them that they ashould not eat of the most holy things till a priest could consult with the bUrim and Thummim.
64 aThe whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty,
65 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirtyseven; and they had two hundred men and women singers.
66 Their horses were seven hundred and thirty-six, their mules two hundred and forty-five,
67 their camels four hundred and thirty-five, and their donkeys six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
68 aSome of the heads of the fathers’ houses, when they came to the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God, to erect it in its place:
69 According to their ability, they gave to the atreasury for the work sixty-one thousand gold drachmas, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priestly garments.
70 aSo the priests and the Levites,
some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
Worship Restored at Jerusalem
1 And when the aseventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem.
2 Then 1Jeshua the son of aJozadak2 and his brethren the priests, band Zerubbabel the son of cShealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is dwritten in the Law of Moses the man of God.
3 Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its 1bases; and they offered aburnt offerings on it to the LORD, both the morning and evening burnt offerings.
4 aThey also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, bas it is written, and coffered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day.
5 Afterwards they offered the aregular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the LORD.
6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, although the foundation of the temple of the LORD had not been laid.
7 They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and afood, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to bJoppa, caccording to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
Restoration of the Temple Begins
8 Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, aZerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of 1Jozadak, and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work band appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the LORD.
9 Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of 1 , arose as one to oversee those working on the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, athe1 priests stood in their apparel
CHAPTER 3 References
1 aNeh. 7:73;
2 a1 Chr. 6:14,
15; Ezra 4:3;
Neh. 12:1, 8;
Hag. 1:1; 2:2
bEzra 2:2; 4:2,
3; 5:2 c1 Chr.
12:5, 6 1Or
1 Chr. 6:14
3 aNum. 28:3
5 aEx. 29:38;
Num. 28:3, 11,
19, 26; Ezra
1:4; 2:68; 7:15,
7 a1 Kin. 5:6,
9; 2 Chr. 2:10;
b2 Chr. 2:16;
cEzra 1:2; 6:3
8 aEzra 3:2;
4:3 b1 Chr.
1 Chr. 6:14
10 a1 Chr. 16:5,
6 b1 Chr. 6:31;
16:4; 25:1 1So
11 aEx. 15:21;
2 Chr. 7:3;
b1 Chr. 16:34;
c1 Chr. 16:41;
12 aEzra 2:68
with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the bordinance2 of David king of Israel.
11 aAnd they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD:
b“For He is good, cFor His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
12 But many of the priests and Levites and aheads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes.Yet many shouted aloud for joy,
13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.
The Glories of the Messiah and His Bride
To the Chief Musician. aSet to 1“The Lilies.” A 2Contemplation of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love.
1 MY heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a 1ready writer.
2 You are fairer than the sons of men; aGrace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
3 1Gird Your asword upon Your thigh, bO Mighty One, With Your cglory and Your majesty.
4 aAnd in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; The peoples fall under You.
6 aYour throne, O God, is forever and ever; A bscepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God,Your God, has aanointed You With the oil of bgladness more than Your companions.
PSALM 45 References
title aPs. 69:
2 aLuke 4:22
3 a[Is. 49:2;
Rev. 1:16 b[Is.
9:6] cJude 25
4 aRev. 6:2
6 a[Ps. 93:2];
Heb. 1:8, 9
b[Num. 24:17] 7 aPs. 2:2 bPs.
21:6; Heb. 1:8,
8 aSong 1:12,
9 aSong 6:8
b1 Kin. 2:19
11 aPs. 95:6;
[Is. 54:5] 12 aIs. 49:23
14 aSong 1:4
16 a[1 Pet. 2:9;
Rev. 1:6; 20:6] 17 aMal. 1:11
9 aKings’ daughters are among Your honorable women; bAt Your right hand stands the queen in gold from .
10 Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; aForget your own people also, and your father’s house;
11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty; aBecause He is your Lord, worship Him.
12 And the daughter of will come with a gift; aThe rich among the people will seek your favor.
13 The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold.
14 aShe shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; They shall enter the King’s palace.
16 Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, aWhom You shall make princes in all the earth.
17 aI will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.
DREAM IT => PLAN IT => DO IT
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