Ezra chapters 7 and 8 are about a return from captivity that took place in 458 bc, roughly 80 years after the return led by Zerubbabel, 60 years after the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

  1. Who was Ezra?  What do you learn from Ezra 7:1-11? List several things about him revealed in these verses.
  2. Verse 11 through the end of the chapter concerns a letter given by the Persian king Artaxerxes for Ezra authorizing his return.  How supportive is Artaxerxes for the return of Ezra?
  3. What does the statement by Artaxerxes recorded in verse 14 reveal to be the focus of Ezra’s mission?
  4. What does Artaxerxes letter say about those who are found not keeping the law?  (25)
  5. Chapter 8 begins with a census. How many returned with Ezra? (8:1-14)
  6. In verse 15 we learn about a 3 day encampment “by the river that flows to Ahava”.  It appears that 3 things were accomplished here. What are they?
    • In verses 15-20?
    • In verses 21-23?
    • In verses 24-30?
  7. The remainder chapter 8 tells about how they departed from the 3 days by the river and complete the journey to Jerusalem.