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Ezra 8

1 - Now these are the heads of their fathers' households, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king:

2 - Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom.Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel.Of the sons of David, Hattush.

3 - Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were listed by genealogy of the males one hundred fifty.

4 - Of the sons of Pahathmoab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males.

5 - Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males.

6 - Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males.

7 - Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males.

8 - Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him eighty males.

9 - Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred eighteen males.

10 - Of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him one hundred sixty males.

11 - Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty-eight males.

12 - Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him one hundred ten males.

13 - Of the sons of Adonikam, who were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males.

14 - Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males.

15 - I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I looked around at the people the priests, and found there were none of the sons of Levi.

16 - Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, for Elnathan, for Jarib, for Elnathan, for Nathan, for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib and for Elnathan, who were teachers.

17 - I sent them out to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo, and his brothers the temple servants, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God.

18 - According to the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen;

19 - and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty;

20 - and of the temple servants, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred twenty temple servants. All of them were mentioned by name.

21 - Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our possessions.

22 - For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him."

23 - So we fasted and begged our God for this: and he granted our request.

24 - Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the priests, even Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them,

25 - and weighed to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, his counselors, his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered.

26 - I weighed into their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, one hundred talents of silver vessels; one hundred talents of gold,

27 - twenty bowls of gold weighing one thousand darics; and two vessels of fine bright brass, precious as gold.

28 - I said to them, "You are holy to The LORD, and the vessels are holy. The silver and the gold are a freewill offering to The LORD, the God of your fathers.

29 - Watch and keep them, until you weigh them before the chiefs of the priests and the Levites, and the princes of the fathers' households of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the rooms of The LORD's house."

30 - So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

31 - Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the bandit by the way.

32 - We came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

33 - On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, the Levite;

34 - everything by number and by weight; and all the weight was written at that time.

35 - The children of the captivity, who had come out of exile, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to The LORD.

36 - They delivered the king's commissions to the king's satraps, and to the governors beyond the River. So they supported the people and God's house.


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Ezra 1 Ezra 2 Ezra 3 Ezra 4 Ezra 5
Ezra 6 Ezra 7 Ezra 8 Ezra 9 Ezra 10


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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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