Daily Bible Reading for November 18, 2014, with Commentary: Ezra 6-10
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Context: Chapter 6 records the events that led to the completion of the Temple being rebuilt. The Temple was completed in time to celebrate the Passover. In chapter 7, we finally meet Ezra. The book shifts from the rebuilding of the Temple, to the restoration of worship and returning to the Law of Moses. Ezra had rigorously studied the Law and was a teacher of the Law before going to Jerusalem. Ezra did not return to Jerusalem alone. He brought many people with him, including Levites. One of the first acts was to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Since the Jews had been taken from Jerusalem, they had not followed the Laws given to Moses by the Lord. Specifically, they had intermarried with other nations. Ezra prayed for the sins of the nation, of which he was a part. Under Ezra, a revival took place in Jerusalem. They once again separated themselves from other nations. They removed the influences of other nations so that they would once again be faithful to the Lord and uphold His commandments.