The leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighbouring peoples with their detestable practices
Ezra 9: 1

Reading: Ezra 9, 10

The purpose of the Stage 2 Return we learned about yesterday, was to restore the Word of the Lord to the people of God. They had deviated in many different ways. For example, they had married pagan wives. Not so bad, is it? How about allowing squatters to move in to the Temple? 

Ezra encouraged the people to return to their Jewish traditions and to obey the Law of Moses. He went so far as to force Jewish men to give up their foreign wives (Ezra 9,10)

Two religious issues were most important to the people who had returned from exile: (1) worship of the God of Israel in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, and (2) study of the Law of Moses to see how God's people were to live in the present situation.

While some of the Jewish people were settling back in Jerusalem, others stayed in the lands ruled by Persia or moved on to other major cities in the eastern Mediterranean world. Some of these groups developed their own collections of the Jewish Scriptures and their own methods of interpreting them. Jewish groups also appeared Win Syria and Asia Minor, in North Africa, and on islands in the Mediterranean. Many Jewish writings of the period after the exile come from Alexandria in Egypt, where Jewish teachers read their Scriptures along with Greek philosophy.

It is from amongst these groups that people came up to Jerusalem for Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. These were the ones who first experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and heard the wonders of the Gospel in their own languages through the gift of tongues. 


Thank You Lord that I know that you select the times and exact locations in which Your people will live. 


Watch this video over the next few days

Exile and Return