DATE: 450-444 B.C.
The book is named after its principal character, Ezra, although Ezra is not mentioned in the book as the author. It is, however, believed that Ezra did write that book and it’s known that it originally was part of a larger book that included the books of Nehemiah and Chronicles. Ezra is thought to have used various documents (e.g., 4:7-16), genealogies (e.g., 2:1-70), and personal memoirs (e.g., 7:27-9:15) as his sources. In the Latin Vulgate, Ezra and Nehemiah are titled 1 and 2 Esdras. The apocryphal book of 1 Esdras (in the English text) is 3 Esdras in the Vulgate.
Although some date the book around 330 B.C., the linguistic similarities it shares with the fifth-century Aramaic papyri from the Jewish community at Elephantine, Egypt, suggest an earlier date during the lifetime of Ezra who lived until the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 8:1-9; 12:36). It is likely that Ezra finished the book between 456, when the events of 10:17-44 took place, and 444, when Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem.
The book of Ezra records the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore Israel to her land after the 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Jer. 25:11). God used three Persian kings, Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, to bring this to pass, as well as Jewish leaders such as Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, Zechariah, and Ezra.
The Persian King Cyrus overthrew Babylon in October 539. In accord with his policy of encouraging subject people to return to their homelands, he issued a decree in 538 allowing the Jews to do so (see Zechariah Overview and Outline). About 50,000 people left Babylon and returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel. The foundation of the Temple was laid, but under rising opposition construction ceased and the Temple was not completed until 515 B.C. in the reign of Darius. Ezra 1-6 describe these events and chapters 7-10 tell of Ezra’s return to Jerusalem and his efforts to bring spiritual revival to the people.
OUTLINE OF EZRA
I. The Return Under Zerubbabel, 1:1-6:22
A. The Decree of Cyrus, 1:1-11
B. The Census of the People, 2:1-70
1. Leaders, 2:1-2
2. Families, 2:3-20
3. Cities, 2:21-35
4. Priests, 2:36-39
5. Levites, 2:40-42
6. The Temple servants, 2:43-54
7. Solomon’s servants, 2:55-58
8. Uncertain genealogies, 2:59-63
9. Totals, 2:64-70
C. The Construction of the Temple Begun, 3:1-13
1. Sacrifices begun, 3:1-6
2. Foundation begun, 3:7-13
D. The Opposition, 4:1-24
1. The compromise, 4:1-3
2. The campaign, 4:4-5
3. The climax, 4:6-24
E. The Construction Renewed, 5:1-6:12
1. The preaching of the prophets, 5:1-2
2. The protest of Tattenai, 5:3-17
3. The decree of Darius, 6:1-12
F. The Temple Completed, 6:13-22
1. The completion, 6:13-15
2. The dedication, 6:16-18
3. The Passover, 6:19-22
II. The Return Under Ezra, 7:1-10:44
A. The Return to Jerusalem, 7:1-8:36
1. The leader, Ezra, 7:1-10
2. The letter of Artaxerxes, 7:11-28
3. The journey, 8:1-36
B. The Revival of Jerusalem, 9:1-10:44
1. The condition of the people, 9:1-4
2. The confession of Ezra, 9:5-15
3. The covenant of the people, 10:1-8
4. The cleansing of the people, 10:9-44
Videos and Charts Used By Permission of the Bible Project
If you do NOT know Jesus, click here NOW!
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering
YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, we hope you will support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and we need your help to continue. Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
CLICK TO DONATE
to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.
***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?*** Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus. Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email). SUBSCRIBE NOW
The Top Ten in 2019
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- Is my TATTOO a sin?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
- CHARLIE BROWN Theology
- Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
- Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM? Where was that?
- Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
- Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
More Popular Questions & Articles:
If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Baptized Again?
How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM? Psalm 22
Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER? Or Should We Call Him Satan?
What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
The Names of Jehovah hidden in Psalm 23! This will surprise you!
What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
JESUS WEPT. Why? And…it’s not the shortest verse in the Bible!
Is There a Remez (HIDDEN MESSAGE ) in Revelation 7? Why is Dan Missing?
What Does it Mean to Be A CHILD OF GOD?
Why Is PRAYER Important?
Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?
Something ALL Christians must know: IVDARR