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Ezra 2

1 - Now these are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city;
2 - who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.The number of the men of the people of Israel:
3 - The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two.
4 - The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two.
5 - The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy-five.
6 - The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred twelve.
7 - The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
8 - The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty-five.
9 - The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty.
10 - The children of Bani, six hundred forty-two.
11 - The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty-three.
12 - The children of Azgad, one thousand two hundred twenty-two.
13 - The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-six.
14 - The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty-six.
15 - The children of Adin, four hundred fifty-four.
16 - The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight.
17 - The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty-three.
18 - The children of Jorah, one hundred twelve.
19 - The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty-three.
20 - The children of Gibbar, ninety-five.
21 - The children of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three.
22 - The men of Netophah, fifty-six.
23 - The men of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight.
24 - The children of Azmaveth, forty-two.
25 - The children of Kiriath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three.
26 - The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one.
27 - The men of Michmas, one hundred twenty-two.
28 - The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty-three.
29 - The children of Nebo, fifty-two.
30 - The children of Magbish, one hundred fifty-six.
31 - The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
32 - The children of Harim, three hundred twenty.
33 - The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-five.
34 - The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five.
35 - The children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred thirty.
36 - The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy-three.
37 - The children of Immer, one thousand fifty-two.
38 - The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred forty-seven.
39 - The children of Harim, one thousand seventeen.
40 - The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy-four.
41 - The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred twenty-eight.
42 - The children of the gatekeepers: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all one hundred thirty-nine.
43 - The temple servants: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
44 - the children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
45 - the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
46 - the children of Hagab, the children of Shamlai, the children of Hanan,
47 - the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
48 - the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
49 - the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
50 - the children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephisim,
51 - the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
52 - the children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
53 - the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah,
54 - the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
55 - The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Hassophereth, the children of Peruda,
56 - the children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
57 - the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Ami.
58 - All the temple servants, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.
59 - These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, and their offspring, whether they were of Israel:
60 - the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty-two.
61 - Of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Hakkoz, and the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.
62 - These sought their place among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they deemed disqualified and removed from the priesthood.
63 - The governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things until a priest stood up to serve with Urim and with Thummim.
64 - The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty,
65 - besides their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven; and they had two hundred singing men and singing women.
66 - Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five;
67 - their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred twenty.
68 - Some of the heads of fathers' households, when they came to The LORD's house which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly for God's house to set it up in its place.
69 - They gave according to their ability into the treasury of the work sixty-one thousand darics of gold, and five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
70 - So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants, lived in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
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


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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