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Ezra 10

1 - Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before God's house, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very bitterly.

2 - Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered Ezra, "We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land. Yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing.

3 - Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and those who as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let it be done according to the law.

4 - Arise; for the matter belongs to you, and we are with you. Be courageous, and do it."

5 - Then Ezra arose, and made the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they would do according to this word. So they swore.

6 - Then Ezra rose up from before God's house, and went into the room of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. When he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of their trespass of the captivity.

7 - They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;

8 - and that whoever didn't come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his possessions should be forfeited, and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity.

9 - Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the wide place in front of God's house, trembling because of this matter, and because of the great rain.

10 - Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel.

11 - Now therefore make confession to The LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women."

12 - Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, "As you have said concerning us, so must we do.

13 - But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside. This is not a work of one day or two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.

14 - Now let our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned from us, until this matter is resolved."

15 - Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this; and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.

16 - The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers' households, after their fathers' houses, and all of them by their names, were set apart; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.

17 - They finished with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.

18 - Among the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women:of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.

19 - They gave their hand that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt.

20 - Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.

21 - Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.

22 - Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.

23 - Of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.

24 - Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.

25 - Of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, and Izziah, and Malchijah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.

26 - Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah.

27 - Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.

28 - Of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai.

29 - Of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, Jeremoth.

30 - Of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.

31 - Of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,

32 - Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah.

33 - Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei.

34 - Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel,

35 - Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,

36 - Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,

37 - Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu,

38 - and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,

39 - and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,

40 - Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,

41 - Azarel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,

42 - Shallum, Amariah, Joseph.

43 - Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Iddo, and Joel, Benaiah.

44 - All these had taken foreign wives; and some of them had wives by whom they had children.


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Ezra 1 Ezra 2 Ezra 3 Ezra 4 Ezra 5
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Ezra Images and Notes

The Book of Ezra

Ezra 1:1-3 - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem.

Ezra 9:6-8 - And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers [have] we [been] in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, [and] our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as [it is] this day. And now for a little space grace hath been [shewed] from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Ezra
Hebrew Name - Etzra "Ezra"
Greek Name - Esdras (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Ezra (According to Tradition)
Date - From 536-456 BC Approximately
Theme of Ezra - The return from the captivity
Types and Shadows - In Ezra Jesus is the one who led the captives out

ARCHAEOLOGY

Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae

The Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadae
"O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus

This tomb of the great Persian ruler, Cyrus, was discovered in 1951 at the ruins of Pasargadae (south-central Iran). Over 2500 years old, the tomb is in decent condition, made of white limestone and stands a total of 36 feet high. The tomb itself is 18 feet high resting on a 6 level base, also 18 feet high. It was built like a Ziggurat with Ionian and Lydian features. There is a small entrance and double doors leading to a room with no windows which once contained the "golden sarcophagus" of Cyrus, it is now an empty shell. Five huge stones make up its roof, which was slanted (gabled) to shed heavy rains. These Nordic gables were the architectural style of lands far to the north. The inscription was seen and recorded by Plutarch in AD 90.


Summary of The Book of Ezra

The Hebrew traditions treated the books of Ezra and Nehemiah is one book, although they were probably separated in the Bible. The book of Ezra bears the name of an individual who was a descendent of the priest Hilkiah who had helped initiate reforms in the time of Josiah (2 Kings 22:8). Ezra returned from the Babylonian captivity in 457 BC which was 80 years after the first group of Jews had returned to Israel under the leadership of Zerubbabel (13 years before Nehemiah). Ezra was both a priest and a scribe and he had a single purpose, to purify the worship of the Lord among the Hebrews based on the law of Moses. The Jews have regarded Ezra as the second greatest hero in the history of Israel, after Moses.

The most important observation about  the book of Ezra is to see how God fulfills his Word, and the prophets spoke continually about the restoration of the people of Israel  to the land of their inheritance, after the captivity. God did miracles in the hearts of foreign monarchs like Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. He fulfilled his purposes through great  leaders like Joshua, Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, and Nehemiah to bring about the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem, and the Temple of Solomon, and the reestablishment of the law of Moses. The book of Ezra along with Nehemiah provide for us all the history among the Jews between 536 BC and 430 BC. The accomplishments of Ezra focuses on the period from 536 two 456 BC, and Nehemiah begins his mission in 445 BC with a detailed description of 12 years of events.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Persian Empire at the Time of Ezra
Map of the Persian Empire at the Time of Ezra (Click to Enlarge)

The contents of the book of Ezra may be summarized as follows:

Outline of the Book of Ezra

1) The return of the exiles to Jerusalem at the decree of Cyrus, 546 BC (Ezra 1-2 ).
2 ) The work of rebuilding the temple begun, brought to a standstill through the efforts of heathen neighbors, and finally completed at the urging of Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 3-6).
3 ) Ezra's return to Jerusalem for the purpose of restoring the temple service (Ezra 7-8).
4 ) The problem of mixed marriages, which threatened to plunge the Jews into the same course of idolatry which had brought about their original downfall (Ezra 9-10).

Quick Reference Maps - Ezra

Zerubbabel and Ezra's Journey to Restore Jerusalem - Zerubbabel, of the house of David heeded the decree of Cyrus to allow the Jews to return and restore Jerusalem and later more Jews including Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem.

The Persian Empire in the 6th Century BC - The great rulers of the Persian Empire during the 6th century BC were Cyrus the Great, Cambyses, and Darius I the Great.

The Persian Empire in the 5th Century BC - During the 5th centuries BC the Persian Empire expanded under various rulers: Darius I, Xerxes I (Ahasuerus), and Artaxerxes I.

The First Day. Light.

Ezra Resources

The Return From Babylon

More About the Book of Ezra
Ezra in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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