Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town, in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah):
Ezra 2: 1, 2

Reading: Ezra 1-6

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of the restoration of God’s people after the exile.

The return of Judah took place in three stages. There are three historical books, which were written after the Exile, and during the restoration period. They are Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. The first two record the three stages of the restoration process, while Esther records a dramatic and interesting story, which occurs in Persia during the years when the restoration was being accomplished. 

Ezra, chapters 1 to 6, narrates the first stage of the Return, when Zerubbabel returned with 50,000 Jews to rebuild the altar and the Temple in 538 BC. Ezra, chapters 7 to 10, records the second stage of the Restoration, when Ezra returned with about 2,000 Jews to restore pure worship in the temple (458 BC). Nehemiah records the third stage of the Restoration, when Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls and re-inhabit the city of Jerusalem (445/444 BC). The events recorded in the book of Esther took place between stages 1 and 2 of the Return, around about 483-478 BC.

I find this a particularly fascinating section of the Bible, simply because so few know anything about it. And yet, we have so much to learn from this period of Israelite history. 


Lord, I know that nothing in Your Word is irrelevant to me. Teach me over the next few days, I pray. 


Watch this video over the next few days

Exile and Return