Survey of the Old Testament- Ezra and Nehemiah and Esther

Survey of the Old Testament- Ezra and Nehemiah and Esther

Lesson Objective: To continue the survey of the Old Testament with a review of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Scriptures: Entire books of Ezra and Nehemiah and Esther
Introduction
1) The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are considered one book in the Hebrew Bible. The author are not known but many believe that they were both written by Ezra and in fact some believe that Ezra followed Nehemiah
2) Both books cover the last historical period of Israel after the exile
3) Both books cover the rebuilding of Jerusalem
4) The three major characters are Zerubbable, Nehemiah and Ezra
5) Esther is thought to have occurred during the same time period of Ezra and Nehemiah
6) Esther is thought to have been written by Ezra
Ezra
1) The book of divided into two parts.. The first being the return after the decree by Cyrus and the second following the decree by Artaxerxes – The book of Ester occurred between these two sections
2) Ezra was not considered a prophet but a priest
3) The book of Ezra begins with a degree from Cyrus King of Persia- Ezra 1:1-2
4) Many of the Israelites remained but about 42,000 followed Zerubbable (Matthew 1: 12-13) back to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. This was prophesized by Daniel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. ( primarily Judah inhabitants)
5) The land was inhabited by Samaritans and those born thru intermarriage. Northern kingdom ceased to exist.
6) The rebuilding was stopped until completion under Darius due to Samaritans protest 4: 1-6 5: 1-2 and 6:6-8
7) The second part of Ezra was following decree by Artaxerxes who gave Ezra permission to take another group back to Jerusalem 7: 11-13
8) Ezra removed all of the priest that had intermarried- 9: 1-3
9) Samaritans flee Jerusalem after not being considered a part of the house of Israel (refer to New Testament stories)
Nehemiah
1) Divided into two sections 1) Building of the walls 1-7 and Spiritual restoration Chapters 8-13
2) Served in the king’s court of Artaxerxes as cup bearer
3) Named governor of Jerusalem
4) Was the leader of the third group of Jews to return to Jerusalem
5) Nehemiah lead the people in spiritual restoration- 10: 30 and 31

Esther
1) King Xerxes Husband of Esther ruled between Cyrus and Darius
2) The only book in the Bible that does not have the word “God” in the book.
3) Esther was one of the people who did not return to Jerusalem.
4) Esther put to the test and provided words of wisdom by Mordacai Esther 4: 10-14

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