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Ezra
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Book of Ezra free images and Bible art. Search art and lessons in Ezra by verse. Free high resolution images and study resource.


The Book of Ezra is a natural continuation of those of Chronicles, and has apparently been put together by the same compiler. Hebrew tradition ascribes its authorship to Ezra himself, "a ready scribe." While this can not be correct as applied to the entire book, yet in some passages Ezra's words are given in the first person, as though spoken directly. Evidently the editor or chronicler has incorporated the personal memoirs of Ezra, which constitute a source of first-class historical information. This is especially important, since the chronicler himself lived at a later time. In addition to these memoirs he used a series of documents containing the correspondence of the Persian Kings, which were written in Aramaic, which was the diplomatic language of the Persian court for its official business in Syria. Palestine and Egypt.

The book is divided into two parts. The six opening chapters tell of the first return of some portion of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity. This migration occurred in 537-6 B.C. under the direction of Sheshbazzar. Whether he was the same as Zerubbabel, who is afterward mentioned as the active leader, or whether Zurubbabel was his nephew, at any rate he was a descendant of the former kings of Judah. Cyrus had made him Persian governor of the province Judea. The return of these exiles seems to have been actuated largely by religious motives; and the chief effort of the colonist was devoted at first to the rebuilding of the Temple. But untoward circumstances and the opposition of hostile neighbors delayed this work for many years. Under the influence of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah it was taken up again- and the temple was completed in 516 B.C.

After this there is in the book an unnoted gap of time during which sixty years elapse: and chapter seven begins the personal experiences of Ezra. Eighty years after the first migration, Ezra led a second host of the Jews back to their native land. Under his guidance a vigorous religious reformation was inaugurated.

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Menorah on the Torah Ark Curtain, 1772  

Ezra Chapter 1
The proclamation of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the temple 1-4. The people provide for their return 5-11.
Ezra Chapter 2
The numbers that returned 1-35. The numbers of the priests and Levites 36-63. The offerings for the temple 64-70.
Ezra Chapter 3
The altar and festivals 1-7. The foundations of the temple laid 8-13.
Ezra Chapter 4
The adversaries of the temple 1-5. The building of the temple is hindered 6-24.
Ezra Chapter 5
The leaders forward the building of the temple 1-2, letter against the Jews 3-17.
Ezra Chapter 6
The decree for completing the temple 1-12. The temple is finished 13-22.
Ezra Chapter 7
Ezra goes up to Jerusalem 1-10. The commission to Ezra 11-26. Ezra blesses God for his favor 27-28.
Ezra Chapter 8
The companions of Ezra 1-20. Ezra implores God's blessing 21-23. Treasures committed to the priests 24-30. Ezra arrives at Jerusalem 31-36.
Ezra Chapter 9
Ezra mourns for the Jews' conduct 1-4. Ezra's confession of sins 5-15.
Ezra Chapter 10
Ezra encourages to reformation 1-5. He assembles the people 6-14. Reformation effected 15-44.

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