In this class we will study the history of the nation of Judah’s return from Babylonian captivity. The story is found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and we will also study the book of Esther which falls in the same time frame of events. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah also prophesied during this time (See Ezra 5:1).

After the fall of Babylon in 539 bc, the Persian ruler Cyrus made a decree authorizing the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. This was prophesied by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25:8-12 and is recorded at the end of 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 as well as our text, Ezra 1:1-3. Notice the similarity of these 3 passages.

Why were the children of Israel in captivity? Review the history of Judah’s last kings (2 Chronicles 33-36, especially the sins of Manasseh (33:1-10).

What did God say he would do as a result of Manasseh’s sins? 2 Kings 21:11-15

What are your thoughts on the length of the captivity? Why 70 years? (For one idea see Leviticus 26:32-34 compared with 2 Chronicles 36:21)

Who are the “Home again Heroes”? Be sure to include the names of the two men found in Ezra 3:2 on your list. Who were these men? (For help with Zerubbabel see 1 Chron.3:15-17.)

Join us for class in person or online Wednesday night at 7 pm.


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