Summary of Ezra

Summary of Ezra

Chapter by Chapter:

Ezra 1-2:  Jews go back to Jerusalem to Build Temple/Children of Captivity
Ezra 3-4: Altar of the Temple is Rebuilt/Samaritans Hinder the Work of the Temple
Ezra 5-6: Zerubbabel Renews Building of the Temple/The Temple is Finished and Dedicated
Ezra 7-8: Artaxerxes Beautifies the Temple/Ezra and the People Fast and Pray for Guidance
Ezra 9-10: The Jews Intermarry/Jews Put Away Foreign Wives


Ezra is a book of Narrative History and Genealogies. It was written by Ezra at approximately 440 B.C. and records events up to 450 B.C. Key personalities include Cyrus, Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, Darius I, Artaxerxes I, and Zerubbabel. Ezra’s purpose was to accurately record the events of the return from the Babylonian exile, after a seventy-year period and the events that surround the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. God is faithful in fulfilling His promises and so the Jews return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon.

  • Cyrus said to Let the Lord’s people go up to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. He gave the articles from the temple to Sheshbazzar.
  • The exiles returned to Judah with Zerubbabel. A total of 42,360 people returned. The heads of families gave offerings for the temple.
  • The Israelites made regular offerings. When the builders laid the foundation of the temple, the Levites sang praise to the Lord.
  • Enemies hindered the work in Judah. Rehum wrote to Artaxerxes that ‘Jerusalem is a rebellious city.’ So Artaxerxes stopped the building.
  • Zerubbabel began to build the temple. Tattenai wrote to Darius saying that Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this temple.
  • Darius issued a decree that the cost of the temple shall come from the treasury. The temple was completed and the Israelites celebrated.
  •  Ezra went up to Jerusalem to teach the law. Artaxerxes wrote that whatever Ezra needs shall be done.
  • Ezra assembled the family heads from Babylon and gave the gifts for the temple to the Levites. They came to Jerusalem and made offerings.
  • The leaders told Ezra that the people had taken foreign wives. When Ezra heard this, he tore his robe and prayed.
  • The Israelites wept. They all assembled and Ezra told them to separate from their foreign wives. The family heads investigated the matter.

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