Search The Scriptures —Study   — Ezra & Nehemiah

Study   From the Book of Philippians is: Ezra & Nehemiah

Introduction

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah continue the history of the Israelites from the point reached at the end of 2 Chronicles. The two books are closely linked together and cover between them a space of about one hundred years, from the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia (538 BC), to soon after the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes (432 BC). Other books of Scripture belonging to this period are Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Ester.

The events recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah gather round three periods, as follows:

First Period (Ezr. 1-6, from the first return of exiles under Zerubbabel (or Sheshbazzar) and Jeshua the high priest (536 BC) to the completion of the Temple (515 BC).  It is to be noted that, thought these events are recorded in the book of Ezra, they occurred more than sixty years before Ezra himself appeared on the scene.

Second Period (Ezr. 7-10), describing the return of a second large company of exiles under Ezra, with some account of Ezra’s ministry in Jerusalem (458 BC).

Third Period (Ne. 1-13), describing the arrival of Nehemiah as governor (444 BC), and his building of the city walls, together with his joint activity with Ezra.

Ezra and Nehemiah were men raised up of God to render invaluable service at a critical time in Israel’s history. Ezra was a priest of house of Aaron, a man of outstanding piety, a diligent student and capable teacher of the law of God, and a zealous reformer. Nehemiah was a public servant and a true patriot, who devoted himself to the improvement of the moral and material condition of his country. He combined watchfulness with prayerfulness, and energetic activity with conscious dependence upon God. While both men rendered notable service, the work of Ezra was the more enduring, for he gave to the law of God a place of supreme authority in the life of the people.

 

 

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