Bible Survey - Ezra Title Hebrew – ar"z>[, Greek – Esdraj Deuteron Latin – Liber Primus Esdrae
Bible Survey – Ezra Author Ezra The author of Ezra is anonymous, but the Jewish tradition again sets us in good standing. They have long held that the author is Ezra the priest and this belief does seem to hold up well to scrutiny. Ezra is definitely written from a priestly perspective, with its heavy emphasis on genealogies, the temple, the priesthood in general. There are sections written in the first person which seem to be from his perspective (7:28-9:15). We should mention again the striking similarity between the closing verses of II Chronicles and the opening verses of the book of Ezra.
Bible Survey - Ezra Author Ezra 1:1-3 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: 2 "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 'Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah....’”
Bible Survey - Ezra Theme God’s Grace Brings Spiritual Restoration One of the striking things about Ezra is the continual grace which God showers on his people in the form of favorable rulings from the pagan authorities. The rulers of Persia repeatedly issue decrees that are lavish in their favoritism to the Jews. In this favor is seen the hand of God. Ezra comes to Jerusalem to lead the people in the observance of the Law. He guides them in a time of spiritual renewal and restoration. Taken together, these two plot lines illustrate that spiritual renewal only comes from God. God’s grace (and only God’s grace) brings spiritual renewal.
Bible Survey - Ezra Purpose of Writing Ezra writes this book to chronicle the history of Israel after the exile. He answers the question of how Israel returned from their exile in Babylon and Persia; he answers the question of how Jerusalem was transformed from a heap of rubble into the city which we see in the time of Jesus; he answers the question of how the temple went from being devastated to being rebuilt and expanded in the time of Herod the Great. Ezra also writes for the purpose of recording the moral and spiritual decline of the people and the consequent revival that God wrought through his own ministry, as well as that of Haggai and Zechariah (5:1; 6:14).
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra 1. Ezra 2. Zerubbabel 3. The Temple Reconstruction
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra Ezra as a picture of Christ: - Ezra is a priest - Ezra is a priest - Ezra acts as a Law-giver - Ezra acts as a Law-giver
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra Haggai 2:21-23 "Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, 'I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 'I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.' 23 'On that day,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,' declares the LORD, 'and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,'" declares the LORD of hosts.
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra Zechariah 4:6-10 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts. 7 'What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'" 8 Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 10 "For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel-- these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth."
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra The Temple as the Kingdom - Both are dwellings of God - Both are dwellings of God - Both are reserved for the Holy - Both are reserved for the Holy - Both are entered only through blood - Both are entered only through blood - Both are ruled by priests - Both are ruled by priests
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra The Temple Reconstruction: Stage 1 – Laying the Foundation (Ezra 3) Stage 2 – Interruption (Ezra 4) Stage 3 – Completion (Ezra 5:1-6:18) Stage 4 – Celebration (Passover) (Ezra 6:19-22)
Bible Survey - Ezra Christ in Ezra The Kingdom of Christ: Stage 1 – Laying the Foundation Stage 2 – Interruption Stage 3 – Completion Stage 4 – Celebration
Bible Survey - Ezra Divorce in Ezra 9-10 1. The marriages are sinful because they are interfaith not because they are interracial. 2. Divorce was culturally acceptable (like polygamy) though it was still sinful. 3. Thus, this issue is one of choosing between an undesirable act (divorce) and a sinful act (interfaith marriage).
Bible Survey - Ezra Place in the Canon Historically, Ezra captures part of the record of the return to Jerusalem. (The rest is recorded by Nehemiah.) Theologically, Ezra emphasizes both the sovereign grace of God in providing for his people and the extremely important place that the Law deserved in Israel’s life. Devotionally, Ezra reminds us to obey the commands of our Lord recorded in Scripture and to trust him to work out the details.