Notes: May 24, 2009

Free to leave

Not often does a king, and almost never a pagan king, allege that God has a job for him to do. Christians know that every government leader has been appointed by God (Romans 13).

2 Chronicles 36:22-23

  • What a leader does in his first year often predicts the tone of his entire term in office. Cyrus, king of Persia, acknowledges the authority of Jehovah.
  • The words of Jeremiah the prophet, written for all to read, including Daniel, are fulfilled.

Ezra 1

  • Solomon knew about God’s ability to turn even the king’s heart. How else do you explain the decree of Cyrus (v. 1-2)?
  • The Jews are free to leave. The king calls for volunteers among them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (v. 3).
  • Those not going back to Judea are expected to help finance the project (v. 4).
  • As God moved Cyrus, so He moved men of Judea to undertake the work (v. 5).
  • The king also contributed much to the mission (v. 6-11).

Ezra 2

A reckoning of the first Jews who returned to Judea.

  • Their leaders (v. 1-2).
  • Their family and place relationships (v. 3-35).
  • Their religious leaders (v. 36-60).
  • Their heritage, their family trees (v. 61-63).
  • Their number (v. 64-67).
  • Their offerings (v. 68-70).