A Biblical Study

The Years of Return

Ezra 7-8




Such a Thing as This in the Kings Heart





537 BC - 516 BC - Temple is finished, 21 years after the foundation was laid, 70 years after it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

486-464 BC - Reign of Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes); time of Esther.

463-424 BC - Last Persian king, Artaxerxes, to reign; time of Ezra; permission granted to re-establish Gods law in the land.

445 BC - Nehemiah helps rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, 70 years after the completion of the temple.


NETHINIMS - servants of the Levites (Ezra 8:20); possible origin found in I Kings 9:20-22.



King Artaxerxes granted Ezras request to return to Jerusalem from Babylon along with 1800 Jews.

1.        What was Ezras intent? (7:10) He ...prepared his __________ to seek the law of the ________, and to _____ it, and to ___________ in Israel _______________ and ____________________.

2.        What was the mind set of those Jews that returned with Ezra? (7:13)

3.        What 3 things did they help collect?

         Vs. 15 -

         Vs. 16 -

         Vs. 16 -

4.        What were they told by Artaxerxes to do with some of this money? (7:17)

5.        What was returned to them that also needed to be carried? (7:19)

6.        What was the reason Artaxerxes wanted to make this decree? (7:23)

7.        List 3 additional things the king certified:

         Vs. 24 -

         Vs. 25 -

         Vs. 26 -

8.        What amazing thing did Ezra recognize about all of this? (7:27-28)

         How did Ezra say he was strengthened?

REFLECT: Does the Lord use unbelievers to accomplish His will?

         Prov. 16:4

         Rom. 9:21-23

         II Tim. 2:21

How does God use unbelievers in the lives of His children?

Does this give license to be unequally yoked in friendship with the world?

         II Cor. 6:14

         Ephesians 5:7


I Was Ashamed to Require of the King


1.        What was the first test Ezra faced as he and the 1800 Jews began to travel the journey back to Jerusalem? (8:21)

         What is this right (3477) way? Psalm 33:4; 107:6-7

         When is decision making made difficult for us?

2.        What did Ezra discuss with the other men of understanding (7922) he had gathered together? (8:22)

         Why is it so important to consult with people of like understanding in our decision making? Proverbs 16:22

3.        What was done before a decision was made? (8:23)

4.      What was the result? (8:31

REFLECT: The Israelites were finally released from the bonds of captivity and tested to see if there would be reform. Does the captivity of our sin cause reform in our lives or is it something else? Ezekiel 36:25-32,36



In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.

- II Timothy 2:20



Pray for His mercy that we might be used as a vessel of honor.