Presentation on theme: "Step By Step: Old Testament 2 Lesson 7: Ezra & Nehemiah Rev. Christopher J. Respass Antioch Bible Institute Spring 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Step By Step: Old Testament 2 Lesson 7: Ezra & Nehemiah Rev. Christopher J. Respass Antioch Bible Institute Spring 2013
Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther The historical books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther continue the story of the Babylonian exiles up to the resettling of Judah. They chronicle events that began around 540BC, the year that Cyrus, king of Persia, defeated Babylon. (This was about 45 years after the destruction of Jerusalem).
Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther Like Luke-Acts, Ezra and Nehemiah should be viewed as one book. In fact, in the Hebrew bible, it is treated as such. The authorship for Ezra-Nehemiah is unknown, although Ezra did write some portions of Ezra himself. Scholars conclude that whoever authored Ezra is also the author of Nehemiah. The author of Esther is unknown as well.
Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther Main actors and familiar names found in these books are: 1. Ezra 2. Nehemiah 3. Haggai 4. Zechariah 5. Zerubbabel 6. Esther 7. Mordecai
Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther From these books we learn that: 1. God is always with his people. 2. God’s laws affect all of life. 3. God helps his people accomplish their God-given goals.
Ezra I.Returning to the Land (Ezra 1:1-4) 1. Jeremiah prophesied that the exiles would return from captivity back to Jerusalem (Jer. 25:11-14) and Ezra recognizes this as fulfillment of that prophecy (Ezra 1:1). 2. God used Cyrus, king of Persia as his tool to end the Babylonian captivity and to begin the process of rebuilding the temple (Ezra 1:2-4)
Ezra II.Rebuilding the Temple A. The Origin of Opposition (Ezra 4:1-5) 1. The inhabitants were adversaries of Israel, who were taught to worship Yahweh (2 Kings 17:24-28), but they also worshipped other false gods (2 Kings 17:29-33). 2. The inhabitants offered to assist in building the temple, but the leaders of Israel rejected their assistance (Ezra 4:1-3).
Ezra 3. Offended, the inhabitants began to discourage the people of Judah and made them afraid to build. They even bribed counselors against them in order to frustrate their purposes (Ezra 4:4-5).
Ezra B. The Local Opposition intensifies and is addressed by King Darius. 1. Tattenai, governor of the area, questioned the authority Israel to build the temple. They essentially asked “who gave you a building permit?” and “who is your construction company?” (Ezra 5:3-4) 2. Israel continued to build while the matter was under dispute (Ezra 5:5)
Ezra 3. Darius, king of Persia affirmed Israel’s authority to build (Ezra 6:1-12). He told Tattenai to: a) keep away and leave the work on this house of God alone (Ezra 6:6-7) b) pay for the construction of the temple out of the royal revenue (taxes) (Ezra 6:8) c) provide what is needed for the daily sacrifices (Ezra 6:9-10) d) Do it or pay the price! (Ezra 6:11)
Ezra III.Calling the People to Revival A. Ezra’s Personal Commitment to God (Ezra 7:8-10). 1. Study the Law. 2. To do (or obey) the Law. 3. To teach God’s statutes and rules to the people. Q: How strong is your commitment to the word of God?
Ezra B. Ezra’s Favor with King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:11-26). 1. Willing priests & Levites could return with Ezra. 2. Ezra carried considerable wealth with him. 3. Part of the wealth was for sacrifices. 4. The local government was support temple worship & they could not tax religious workers and institutions.
Ezra C. Israel’s recommitment to God 1. The Problem of Intermarriage a) God’s law forbade it (Deut. 7:1-4) b) the people intermarried because of the exile (note: Ancient deportation scheme (Assyria: 2 Kings 17:24; Babylon: 2 Kings 24:10-17). c) the leaders were the main culprits in this intermarriage debacle.
Ezra Our commitment to God is best expressed in obedience to his word rather than changing circumstances. Ezra was grieved (Ezra 9:3-5)
Ezra 2. The people covenant to put away their foreign wives and children (Ezra 10:1-5). 3. The people of Israel repent (Ezra 10:7-17). Note: Ezra is not the last word on marriage between a believer and an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:12-16).
Questions 1. How committed are you to the Word of God? 2. Do you desire God’s favor so much that you will make the difficult decisions? 3. Do you desire God that you would “disown” your spouse to please God? (see, Matt. 10:34- 37).