God’s Word should have a place and power in the religious, social and civil life of His people.


Prayer, pains and perseverance are the conditions of successful work for God.

   Ezra was a Jew, sprung from the race of Aaron, and descended from the high priest who was slain at the capture of Jerusalem, II Kings 25:18-21. This book is not a continuous narrative, but consists of two parts separated by several years. The first part, Ezra 1-6, contains a narrative of the return of the first caravan of Jews from Babylon, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. The second part, Ezra 7-10, is an account of an expedition, sixty years after the first, conducted by Ezra himself, accompanied by large numbers of his fellow-countrymen, and empowered to re-establish order and religion.
   This book is written by Ezra, who was a great student of the holy writings, and a ready scribe in the Law of Moses. He must have been a man of note among the Jewish captives to have won the favor and trust of the king of Persia. There is an absence of the miraculous, and a great similarity to the books of Chronicles. It shows enthusiasm characterizing the beginnings of work for God; then coldness and apathy follow in face of opposition; but when men get back to foundation principles, the work is carried forward to completion. —Through the Bible Day by Day 

​Return and Reconstruction

I. The Return under Zerubbabel, Ezra 1-6
   1. The Proclamation and Provision of Cyrus, Ezra 1
   2. The Census of the Return, Ezra 2:1-67
   3. The Offerings of the People, Ezra 2:68-3:7
   4. The Building of the Temple, Ezra 3:8-6:22
II. The Return under Ezra, Ezra 7-10
   1. The Commission and Gifts of Artaxerxes, Ezra 7
   2. The Census of the Return, Ezra 8:1-20
   3. The Journey and the Delivery of the Treasure, Ezra 8:21-36
   4. Ezra Annuls Strange Marriages, Ezra 9, 10 —Through the Bible Day by Day

   Ezra continued his labors in Jerusalem for some twelve years after the events recorded in his narrative, and actively cooperated with Nehemiah, to whose history we now turn. Indeed, though this book was largely written by him whose name it bears, certain portions of it were probably written by the ready scribe, Ezra, who spent the closing years of his life in collecting the sacred books into one volume, and completing the canon of Scripture. Nehemiah was born in exile. In early life he was exposed to great temptation, although the appointment which he held in the Persian court was an honorable one. But he remained faithful, devout, simple-hearted, patriotic, and godly; he was evidently valued by the heathen monarch as a good and faithful servant—“an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47)
   He arrived at Jerusalem thirteen years after Ezra, with the rank of governor of the province, and with full authority to rebuild the walls, which, notwithstanding the erection of the Temple, still lay waste. His administration lasted some thirty-six years. The secret of his efficiency lay in his constant bringing of all the problems before God, and of this habit we shall have abundant evidence as we proceed. The book abounds in expressions of his sincerity. Nehemiah was a simple-hearted man, characterized chiefly by humility and purity of motive, and revealing the mighty power that can be exerted by one who has no purpose in life and no power that is not centered in God. —Through the Bible Day by Day 

Reconstruction and Reform

I. The Building of the Wall, Nehemiah 1:7-7:73
   1. The Expedition of Nehemiah to Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1, 2
   2. The Assigning of the Workers and Their Tasks, Nehemiah 3
   3. The Opposition of Tobiah, Sanballat, and Geshem, Nehemiah 4, 6
   4. Nehemiah’s Reform of Unjust Usury among the Jews, Nehemiah 5
   5. The Completion of the Wall and Census of the City, Nehemiah 7 
II. Renewing the Religious Life; Reform, Nehemiah 8-13
   1. The Public Reading of the Law; Feast of Tabernacles, Nehemiah 8
   2. The Renewing of the Covenant, Nehemiah 9-10
      a. The National Fast, Nehemiah 9:1-3
      b. The Prayer of the Levites, Nehemiah 9:4-37
      c. The Sealing of the Covenant, Nehemiah 9:38-10:39
   3. Distribution of Population; Census of the Priests, Nehemiah 11:1-12:26
   4. The Dedication of the Wall, Nehemiah 12:27-47
   5. The Cleansing of the Temple; Sabbath and Marriage Reforms, Nehemiah 13 —Through the Bible Day by Day