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Names of the Book

EZRA READS SCRIPTURE- unknown artist

English:  Ezra
Hebrew:  עזרא
Transliterated:  Etzra
Other names:   

 

whoWho

Wrote the book:  Ezra
Are the key people:  Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, Darius, Artaxerxes I, Ezra
Is it written to:  The people of Israel

 

whatWhat

The return led by Zerubbabel and start of reconstruction (Ezra 1:1-6:22)
The return led by Ezra and continued reconstruction (Ezra 7:1-10:44)

 

whenWhen

Was it written:  c 450 BCE
Did the events occur:  c 538-450 BCE
Was it canonized:  c 499-100 BCE
(see the Timeline of the Tanakh)

 

whereWhere

Was it written:  Jerusalem, Israel
Did the events occur:  Babylon and Israel

 

whyWhy

Ezra was written to inform us that: 
G-d returns Israel to their land as He promised.
The temple was rebuilt.
G-d's Word is central to the life of faith.
Faith and action go hand in hand.

 

whyIntroduction

The historical narrative of Ezra begins where 2 Chronicles concludes with the Persian King Cyrus sending the exiles of Judah back to Jerusalem.  In spite of opposition from the non-Jewish inhabitants of Judea, and after encouragement by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the temple was rebuilt.  Afterwards Ezra leads the second of three waves of returning exiles back to the Land.  By the time Ezra arrives, the people had once again fallen into sin.  Ezra declares the Word of the Lord, calls the people to repent and obey G-d's commandments, and they respond.  Ezra succeeded because G-d's hand is upon him (7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31).  The book of Ezra demonstrates G-d's power to move in the lives of men (even pagan kings!)  to accomplish His plan of redemption.

 

 

Torah Portion

דברים (Devarim)

 

 

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Today is

Yom Sheni, 4 Av, 5778

Monday, July 16, 2018

 

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