2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2 (NIV)
At the time of this writing I finished reading the book of Ezra and nearly finished the book of Nehemiah here is a brief over view of the combined book.
The return of the exiles to Jerusalem at the decree of King Cyrus of Persia, 546 BC (Ezra 1-2 ). In Chronicles the king of the Chaldeans captured Jerusalem destroyed parts of the city and its walls. Killed most of the inhabitants and those that did survive were captured and taken back to serve as slaves. Now they were released to return to Jerusalem.
The work of rebuilding the temple began but was brought to a standstill because of the heathen neighboring countries that did not want the temple built and the city restored. However it was finally completed at the urging of Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 3-6).
Ezra returned to Jerusalem for the purpose of restoring the temple and bringing the people back to God (Ezra 7-8).
In the past mixed marriages often led to idolatry since husbands and wives not of Jerusalem worshipped other gods hence people returning to Jerusalem with spouses of pagan countries could not return unless they divorced those pagan spouses. Then Ezra read the Book of the Law of Moses to the people and afterwards the people sought to repent their sins and follow all the laws written in the Book of Law of Moses (Ezra 9-10).
So I went and read the last chapter of the Book of Nehemiah and here is my brief overview of the book.
After a brief explanation from Nehemiah King Artaerxes sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls (Nehemiah 1-2).
The rebuilding of the wall took 52 days despite opposition (Nehemiah 4:1-7:4).
The public reading and explanation of the Book of the Law of Moses (Nehemiah 8).
The repentance and the covenant of obedience by all the people of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 9:1-10 :39).
Dedicated the wall and organized the temple services according to the Book of Laws of Moses (Nehemiah 12:27-47).
Nehemiah’s correct all of the abuses connected with tithes, the Sabbath and mixed marriages (Nehemiah 13).
All through Chronicles 1 and 2 mixed marriages of people from other countries that worshipped other gods was the sin that brought the downfall of Jerusalem.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3 (KJV)
In Chronicles 1 and 2 when Jewish kings did not correct the people and did not turn them away from their idolatry not so good things happened to those kings and their people. Here Ezra and Nehemiah realized this and corrected the people of Jerusalem and so it was not allowed for the people of Jerusalem to be married to spouses from other pagan countries and live in Jerusalem.
Here are two great men Ezra and Nehemiah that brought back the exiles from Jerusalem rebuilt the walls and the temple in the city and guided its entire people back to faith and to God. I am going out on a limb here and I know its an election year but if Ezra and Nehemiah ever decided to run for President and Vice President of the United States…I would vote for them because they are what this country needs. Leaders that rebuild cities and bring people to God who takes away their hate and anger.
God bless all that read this with His love, light, grace, mercy, and wisdom. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21 (KJV)