Ezra, who was a priest, has traditionally been identified as the author of Ezra and author/compiler of Nehemiah
Composition of Ezra 440 B.C. and Nehemiah Memoirs 430 B.C.
Ezra and Nehemiah originally one composition – Josephus (A.D. 37-100) Jewish Historian Origin (A.D. 185 -253) – first writer known to distinguish the books as I Ezra and II Ezra Jerome, translator of the Latin Vulgate (fifteen years) called Nehemiah the second book of Ezra Hebrew Manuscript (Hebrew Bible) separation first occurred in 1448
Timeline of Ezra and Nehemiah 538-515 B.C. – First return under Zerubbabel 483-473 B.C. – The Book of Esther 456 B.C. – Second return under Ezra 444-425 B.C. – Third return under Nehemiah
Ezra Great figure in Jewish History Descendent of Israel’s High Priest Aaron Studied, practiced and taught the law as an educated scribe (7:1-12) Founder of the Great Synagogue where the canon of the OT Scripture was settled
Contemporaries of Ezra Guatama Buddha (560-480 B.C.) in India Confucius (551-479 B.C.) in China Socrates (470-399 B.C.) in Greece
Structure and History: Ezra 1-6: The First Return Return of a Remnant (49,897 of 2 or 3 million) Leader was Zerubbabel – means “descended from Babylon” o Lineage of David Names of the heads of Remnant o Judah, Benjamin and Levi
Structure and History: Ezra 1-6: The First Return Rebuild the Temple o Altar o Religious Feasts – Passover o Dedication of the Building Prophetic Ministry of Haggai and Zechariah
Structure and History: Ezra 7-10: The Second Return under Ezra 81 years after the first return – 456 B.C. 2000 Israelites Intercessory Ministry of Ezra (9:1-15) Renewal of the Covenant (Confession of Sin and Reformation)
Confession and response to the Word of God brings about a great revival and changed lives.
Nehemiah Cupbearer for King Artaxerses I, a prominent position of authority and influence Man of courage, integrity, godliness, selflessness and prayer Complete dependence upon God
Structure and History: Nehemiah 1-6: Reconstruction of the Wall 13 years after the second return (Ezra) and 94 years after the first return Malachi prophesied during this time The end of the historical account of the OT (400 years before the birth of Christ )
Structure and History: Nehemiah 1-6: Reconstruction of the Wall Practical and Spiritual applications in relationship o Prayer (1:4-11) o Secret Survey (2:11-20) Opposition (3-6)
Structure and History: Nehemiah 7-13: Reinstruction/ Restoration of the People Renewal of the Covenant (8-11) Dedication of the Walls (12) Reformation of the People (13)
Theological Themes of Ezra and Nehemiah Faithfulness of God (Forgiveness and Restoration) Isaiah 44:28 – 45:13 (200 years before) Jeremiah 29:10-14