The Times of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther I
Prophecies fulfilled by the return of Israel from Exile
God through his faithful prophets, said that the people of Judah would be taken into captivity because of their sinfulness. But he also promised that they would return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city, the Temple, and the nation.
The Persian Kings of Ezra's day
The Postexilic Prophets
God used these men to confront and comfort his people after their return to their homeland from exile in Babylon.
A. THE RETURN LED BY ZERUBBABEL (1:1-6:22)
The first group of exiles returns to the land
The people rebuild the Temple
B. THE RETURN LED BY EZRA (7:110:44)
The second group of exiles returns to the land
Ezra opposes intermarriage
Finally given the change to return to their homeland, the people started to rebuilt the Temple, only to be stopped by opposition from their enemies. God;s work in the world is not without opposition. We must not get discouraged and quit, as the returning people did at first, but continue on boldly in the face of difficulties, as they did later with encouragement from the prophets.
Ezra returned to Jerusalem almost 80 years after Zerubbabel, only to discover that the people had married pagan or foreign spouses. This polluted the religious purity on the people and endangered the future of the nation. Believers today must be careful not to threaten their walk with God by taking on the practices of unbelievers.