Ezra & Nehemiah

Thru the Bible in 24 Weeks
The Bible contains stories of the greatest EVILS
. . . . . betrayals, revenge, deception, and
The ultimate Prince of Deception: Satan
The Bible contains stories of the greatest GOOD
. . . . . miracles, achievements, courage, and
The greatest sacrifice for you and me
The crucifixion & resurrection
Of Jesus Christ our Lord!
EZRA, priest & scribe
Date of writing: 400 BC
Author: Ezra
Written in Aramaic
Ezra & Nehemiah a single book in Hebrew Old Testament
538BC: Returning from Captivity (how long did this take?)
Rebuilding the 2nd Temple & Genealogy (why make list?)
Cyrus decree permitting Jews to Jerusalem
(Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon & founded Persian Empire)
EZRA: Returned to Jerusalem, Sent for the Levites &
Temple Servants, Fast to seek Lord’s Protection,
Treasure to 12 priests, Prayer of Confession,
Reconciliation to God thru Confession, AND credited
to establishing “CANNON” – 1st official version of OT
Date of writing: 400 BC
Author: Nehemiah
Ezra & Nehemiah a single book in Hebrew Old Testament
Rebuilding Jerusalem’s Walls
Ezra recorded building of temple; walls not rebuilt because of laziness of people “back
Nehemiah’s Memoirs – Prayers (11x)
Distress people in Jerusalem; Nehemiah prays & God
answers prayers
Great Revival under Nehemiah – taught & explained law
Nehemiah got officials to cancel debt of poor
Confronted people about their sin
Reinstated Tithing (first fruits) & Sabbath Observance
Rebuked those who married foreigners
• Ezra & Nehemiah: between the Exile in
Babylon and the Advent of our Lord Jesus
• Babylonian Empire will soon be succeeded by
the Persian Empire
• Persian Empire will then be succeeded by the
Greek Empire (270BC OT translated into Greek
• Greek Empire will then be succeeded by the
Roman Empire
Purpose for Ezra & Nehemiah Writing
Of course, rebuilding of temple and temple walls
Religious and social reforms after repentance
God’s presence and Israelite’s understanding of God’s divine
presence – the need of holiness in God’s people, as individuals,
corporately, nationally!
(what about US today?)
Ancient Writing
• Pre-Exile, official secretaries were key figures
in religious and civil administration
• Time of Hebrew Monarchs, experts in the
languages and literature – intl correspondence
• Fall of Hebrew Monarchies – temple scribes
that copied & interpreted Law of Moses (Ezra)
• New Testament (Jesus’ time), powerful
religious and political class & MAJOR
OPPONENTS of the ministry of Jesus, accusing
Jesus of violating Jewish law
Building & Rebuilding the Temple
Moses built Tabernacle, covenant with God
David & Solomon built Temple – Davidic Covenant
Ezra & Nehemiah rebuilt Temple as a reminder of expectations as
they are surrounded by Pagan world – keep the Law of Moses
Nehemiah had lots of resistance with his initiative to repair the
walls – Sanballat (Samarian governor), Tobiah the Ammonite
(Jerusalem aristocracy) Geshem (Arab official), citizens of Arabs,
Ammonites, Ashdod.
Covenant violations of the time: spiritual apathy (don’t care) and
improper worship, divorce, intermarriage with foreigners, neglect
of tithing, moral laxity (COEXIST?), Priest abuse of authority.
Final Thoughts: Your Covenant with God
Moses was given 10 Commandments from God
– Man made 613 rules & regulations from them
David, a man after God’s own Heart
– Not allowed to build temple / sin
Solomon, wisdom & wealth & built temple
– turned away from God and worshipped other gods
What about you?
Next Week: ESTHER

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