Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Old Testament survey (15): Ezra

“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” (Ezra 3:11)

“This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.” (Ezra 7:6)

“Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.” (Ezra 9:4)

“Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.” (Ezra 10:3)


[1] Ezra, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

The theme of the Book of Ezra is The Word of the Lord. There are ten direct references to God’s Word in this little book: Ezra 1:1; 3:2; 6:14, 18; 7:6, 10, 14; 9:4; 10:3, 5. The place of the Word of God is seen in the total lives of these people: religious, social, business, and political.

The key to this book is found in Ezra 9:4 and 10:3: they “trembled at the words of the God of Israel.” (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Ezra, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
We see in the Book of Ezra a continuation of the biblical theme of the remnant. Whenever disaster or judgment falls, God always saves a tiny remnant for Himself—Noah and his family from the destruction of the flood; Lot’s family from Sodom and Gomorrah; the 7000 prophets reserved in Israel despite the persecution of Ahab and Jezebel. When the Israelites were taken into captivity in Egypt, God delivered His remnant and took them to the Promised Land. Some fifty thousand people return to the land of Judea in Ezra 2:64-67, and yet, as they compare themselves with the numbers in Israel during its prosperous days under King David, their comment is, “We are left this day as a remnant.” The remnant theme is carried into the New Testament where Paul tells us that “at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5). Although most people of Jesus’ day rejected Him, there remained a set of people whom God had reserved and preserved in his Son, and in the covenant of His grace. Throughout all generations since Christ, there is the remnant of the faithful whose feet are on the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14). This remnant will be preserved through the power of the Holy Spirit who has sealed them and who will deliver them safely at the last day (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30). (Read the complete article)
[3] Ezra, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Ezra, the first of the post-captivity books (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi), records the return to Palestine under Zerubbabel, by decree of Cyrus, of a Jewish remnant who laid the temple foundations (B.C. 536). Later (B.C. 458) Ezra followed, and restored the law and ritual. But the mass of the nation, and most of the princes, remained by preference in Babylonia and Assyria, where they were prospering. The post-captivity books deal with that feeble remnant which alone had a heart for God.

The book is in two parts:

1. From the decree of Cyrus to the dedication of the restored temple, 1:1-6:22.
2. The ministry of Ezra, 7:1-10:44.

The events recorded in Ezra cover a period of 80 years (Ussher).
[4] Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther (with chart 3 Books, 2 Lands, 1 People), from Uplook Ministries

Further study
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] An Argument of the Books of Ezra-Nehemiah, by David Malick

[2] A Literary and Theological Analysis of the Book of Ezra, by A. Philip Brown II
  • Acknowledgments to Literary and Theological Analysis of the Book of Ezra
  • Introduction to A Literary and Theological Analysis of the Book of Ezra
  • Chapter 1 Temporal Ordering In Ezra: Part I
  • Chapter 2 Temporal Ordering In Ezra: Part II
  • Chapter 3 An Analysis Of Plot In Ezra
  • Chapter 4 An Analysis of Point of View in Ezra
  • Chapter 5 Yahweh: God of Israel, God of Heaven and Earth
  • Chapter 6 Holiness in Ezra: Separated From Uncleanness and Seeking the Lord
  • Chapter 7 Continuity With The Past And Hope For The Future
  • Chapter 8 A Reader’s Guide to the Theological Message of Ezra: A Literary-Theological Synthesis
  • Conclusion to A Literary and Theological Analysis of the Book of Ezra
  • References To God In Ezra
  • Selected Bibliography for A Literary and Theological Analysis of the Book of Ezra
[3] The Return to the Promised Land, by Bob Deffinbaugh

[4] Materials by Greg Herrick
[5] The Historical Books, by J. Hampton Keathley, III

Sermons (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Sermons by by Douglas James Wilson
[2] Repentance Ezra 9:1–4, 10:1–44, by Harold D. Markham

[3] Moments Of Grace Ezra 9:8, by John Leffler

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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