A summary of the book of Ezra in the Old testament as recorded in The Bible Brief by James Paris
When Ezra was written:
Not certain, but around 450 B.C.
Generally considered to be Ezra and Nehemiah.
People & Places:
Cyrus: Ezra; Nebuchadnezzar; Artaxerxes; Darius
They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” 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. (Ch.3:11)
This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him. (Ch.7:6)
“…Thus I was strengthened according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.” (Ch.7:28)
The Messianic Link:
Messiah typified in Zerubbabel who rebuilt the Temple.
This is a period that covers the return of the Judean exiles to their homeland by decree of Cyrus. The return takes place over three time periods. Firstly under Zerubbabel we have the reconstruction of the Temple (Ch.1-6); then Ezra re-unites the community (Ch.7-10). Finally, Nehemiah sees to the building of the walls surrounding the city of Jerusalem.
This book is concerned with the first two phases of the return; the theme of the book is restoration in both a physical and spiritual sense.
Notes & Quotes:
The return from exile in Babylon did not happen all at once owing to several factors, not the least of which being that the Jews had made a life for themselves during the long period of captivity in Babylon; and some were, therefore, reluctant to return.
After 70 years had passed, most of the people had no memory of Jerusalem at all, being born in Babylon where they had set up a community and the institution of the Synagogue.
Extract from The Bible Brief (Amazon link)