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i.The books Ezra and Nehemiah were originally bound together and viewed as one book in the Hebrew canon. 1.Ezra and Nehemiah were divided into two books.

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Presentation on theme: "i.The books Ezra and Nehemiah were originally bound together and viewed as one book in the Hebrew canon. 1.Ezra and Nehemiah were divided into two books."— Presentation transcript:



3 i.The books Ezra and Nehemiah were originally bound together and viewed as one book in the Hebrew canon. 1.Ezra and Nehemiah were divided into two books probably only from the 15 th century AD onwards and apparently in the Christian circles. a) Background

4 II.Together with Chronicles, the section was viewed as one continuous historical record. 1.“Priestly history of Israel” 2.Most likely, the author for Ezra-Nehemiah could be Ezra


6 b. Purpose i)To demonstrate the sovereignty and faithfulness of God in the restoration of the Jews to their land despite both external and internal problems. (1)Return from exile (2)Rebuilding of the temple (3)Re-establishment of religious life (4)Rebuilding of the walls (5)Reconstitution as covenanted people

7 c) Comparison between Ezra and Nehemiah EzraNehemiah Contributions as a Person A scribe, the most learned interpreter of the Law. He shaped the returned exiles into the “people of the book.” An efficient organizer of men and a leader of unswerving determination in rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem which lay in ruins. FocusReligious Reform Political, Geographical and Economical Reform.


9 2. EZRA a)The Person i)The name Ezra means "God helps." ii)He was a descendant from the priestly line of Aaron, and the author of the Old Testament Book of Ezra. iii)He was the leader of a group of Jews returning to Jerusalem from the Babylonian Exile in 458 BC, during the reign of King Artaxerxes.

10 b)Outline of Ezra The book Ezra covers two distinct time periods:- (a)Chapters 1—6: First exilic return under and rebuilding of the temple. (b) Chronologically, 4:6 fits between chapters 6 & 7 while 4:7-23 refers to events between Ezra 7 and Nehemiah 1. Ezra grouped them here to highlight the persistent opposition to God’s people over the years and God’s ability to overcome. Emphasis: To restore the Temple

11 (2)Chapters 7—10: Events after Ezra returned from Persia in 458 B.C. where Ezra enters the historical picture. (There is a shift from the third person to the first person (7:27-9:15) Emphasis: To restore the People

12 c) Lesson from Ezra i)God’s sovereignty to use even non-believers to fulfill his purpose (a)Ez 1:1-2; 5:5, 11, 12; 6:22; 7:23 (b)The temple reconstruction was finished “by the command of the God of Israel and by the decree of Cyrus…” (Ezra 6:14)

13 ii)What is true redemption? (1)Return from exile (2)Rebuilding of the temple (i)It symbolized God’s presence: (ii)It symbolized worship. (3)Reconstitution as covenanted people (a)God’s Redemption: The Exodus motif (1:6) (i)Israel threw off its vesture of statehood and monarchy and saw itself as what it truly is: a covenanted people. (4)God’s Holiness: Sanctification (a)Divorce foreign wives (Ezra 7)

14 iii)How to be an effective teacher of God’s Word (7:10)? (From Ezra’s example) (1)Study the law of the Lord, (2)Practice it (3)Teach it.


16 3) NEHEMIAH i)The Person ii)The name Nehemiah means "God has comforted.“ iii)Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, was a cupbearer of the Persian King Artaxerxes. iv)In 444 BC the king appointed Nehemiah to be the governor of Judah and permitted him to go to Jerusalem to help his fellow Jews. v)He rallied the people to rebuild the damaged walls around Jerusalem.


18 i)Ch 1-12 Nehemiah’s first administration in Jerusalem. (1)Ch 1-7 The wall of Jerusalem is rebuilt under the leadership of Nehemiah. (2)Ch 8-10 The people of Judah are spiritually revived. (3)11:1—12:26 The residents of Jerusalem and Benjamin are recorded. (4)12:27–43 Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. (5)12:44–47 Leaders are appointed to oversee the contributions for the priests and the Levites. ii)Ch 13 Nehemiah’s second administration in Jerusalem.

19 c. Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah i)Vision (1:4)

20 c. Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah ii)Prayer (1)Throughout the book, we saw him praying: (a)After receiving news of Jerusalem (1:4-11) (b)During his conversation with the king (2:4) (c)After being taunted by Sanballat and Tobiah (4:4-5) (d)After threats by the enemies (4:9) (e)More threat (6:9) (f)Reflections (5:19; 13:14, 22, 29, 31)

21 c. Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah iii)Management & Planning (1)Nehemiah used careful planning, teamwork, and problem solving to get things done.

22 3c. Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah iv)Facing Problems (1)After the work began, Nehemiah faced scorn, slander, and threats from enemies, as well as fear, conflict, and discouragement from his own workers. (2)Nehemiah responded with prayer, encouragement, guard duty and consolidation (ch 4). (3)Confronting Evil (ch 5)

23 EZRA MEHEMIAH ESTHER Fill in the blanks: 1. ___________ foretold the Jews would be captives in a foreign land for seventy years. 2. The period of the Babylonian Captivity began in ____________ B.C. 3. The second group of captives was taken to Babylon in _________ B.C. 4. ___________________, king of Babylon, destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. 5. The Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Medes and _____________in 539 B.C. 6. King _____________ permitted the Jews to return to their homeland. 7. ________________ was the leader of the first group to return. 8. The Babylonian Captivity lasted from 606 B.C. to _______________ B.C.

24 9. The __________________ of God was rebuilt under Zerubbabel’s leadership. 10. _______________ reorganized the temple worship. 11. ______________ rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. 12. The book of _________________ tells how a Jewish girl came to be the queen of Persia. 13. Esther was raised by a relative named ________________________. 14. ________________ was hanged on a gallows he had built for Mordecai. 15. Esther and ____________ are the only books in the Bible named after a woman.

25 True or False 1. Ezra was a descendant of King David. 2. Jews were taken into Babylon three different times. 3. Jews returned from Captivity three different times. 4. Esther tells about God’s people who remained in Persia. 5. Ezra and Nehemiah encouraged the Jews married to pagans to stay together. 6. If one approached a Persian king without being invited, he could be killed. 8. Mordecai was hanged on the gallows he had built for Haman. 9 Ezra demanded the Jews come out of their unscriptural marriages.

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