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The Book of Ezra - Highlights & Notes
The LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he
made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in
'Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: "The LORD God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath
charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in
Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and
let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house
of the LORD God of Israel, (he is God), which is in Jerusalem.
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the
fathers of Israel, said unto them: "You have nothing to do
with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together
will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of
Persia hath commanded us."
Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of
Judah, and troubled them in building,
And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all
the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius
king of Persia.
And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote
they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and
Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was
read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions,
they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to
cease by force and power. (4:23)
Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the
Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his
Also we notify you that as to any of the priests and Levites,
singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this
house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or
toll on them.
You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, which is [in His
instructions] in your hand, set magistrates and judges who may
judge all the people [west] of the River; choose those who know the
instructions of your God, and teach him who does not know them.
And whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the
king, let judgement be executed upon him exactly and speedily,
whether it be unto death or banishment or confiscation of goods or
imprisonment. (7:24-26 Amp)
The Israelites and the priests and Levites have not separated
themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the
abominations of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites,
Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites.
For they have taken as wives some of their
daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy
offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands.
Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this
wicked act and direct violation [of God's
When I heard this, I rent my undergarment
and my mantle, I pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down
appalled. (9:1-3 Amp)
And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam,
answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God,
and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now
there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
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.
Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers,
and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the
people of the land, and from the strange wives.
Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As
thou hast said, so must we do. (10:11-12)