November 14, 2017: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Ezra 1-5
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Commentary: In 539 BC, Cyrus, King of Persia, overthrew the Babylonians and permitted the Israelites to return to their homeland, fulfilling a prophecy by Jeremiah. Chapter 2 lists the names of those who chose to return, as not all Israelites returned, having built lives for themselves in their new homelands. Chapters 3 and 4 recount the building of the Temple and the numerous problems encountered. Haggai encouraged the people to continue their rebuilding no matter the obstacles. When they encountered more problems, the people relied upon the Lord and continued their efforts.
Focus Verses: 1:1-4 The Israelites had been removed from their lands and made new lives for themselves. Many did not want to return. What was the sacrifice of those willing to return? What are you prepared to give up for the Lord?