- King Cyrus issued the first
decree to rebuild the temple.
- King Cyrus brought out all
the articles of silver and gold used for the service of the temple which
Nebuchadnezzar had taken.
- They could not identify
through genealogy that their fathers were of the priests of Israel.
- They feared the people of the
other nations around them.
- They sang and played music with
cymbals before the Lord as David had done when the Ark of the Covenant was
returned to Jerusalem.
- Some shouted for joy, others
- The adversaries could cause
trouble and have the rebuilding stopped.
King Artaxerxes was king at this time. b. They
told the king that the Jews would rebel against him as they had done
others in the past. He would not receive tribute from them, and his
treasury would be diminished.
- The prophets Haggai and
King Darius was king at this time. b. They wanted him to search the
records and find the decree issued by King Cyrus stating that the temple of God should be rebuilt.
- He provided all the materials
needed to rebuild the temple, even the animals for the burnt offerings and
the food for the special offerings. He threatened to kill anyone who tried
to stop the rebuilding.
- In the sixth year of King
Darius the temple was finished.
- Ezra was a descendent of
Aaron the priest and a skilled scribe and teacher of the law of Moses.
- Ezra goes to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. (This seems to be a long time after the
completion of the temple as Darius ruled for thirty five years.)
- The king gave Ezra gold and
silver to purchase the bulls, rams, sheep, grain, and drink to be offered
to God in the temple.
- He had told the king that his
God would protect them on their journey.
- He fasted and prayed before God
for His protection on their journey.
- a. They had intermarried with
the people of the land from whom they were to keep separate. b. Ezra tore
his garments and robe and plucked out hair from his head and beard. c. He
fasted and then prayed, confessing their sin before God.
- Ezra told the people they
must put away their pagan wives and children.
- It took three months as each
Israelite was questioned on an individual basis.