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Ezra, The Book of

An OT book that relates the restoration of the Jewish community after the exile, with emphasis on the role of the priest and scribe Ezra, who accompanied the returnees with authority from the Persian rulers to govern them. The book continues the account of Israel’s history found in 1 and 2 Chronicles and is also closely related to the book of Nehemiah, which follows it.

Outline of Contents


I. Restoration of the community (Ezra 1:1-6:22)

A. Decree authorizing rebuilding (Ezra 1:1-11)

B. List of returnees (Ezra 2:1-70)

C. Restoration (Ezra 3:1-13)

1. Altar (Ezra 3:1-7)

2. Temple (Ezra 3:8-13)

D. Opposition to restoration (Ezra 4:1-24)

E. Restoration completed (Ezra 5:1-6:22)

1. Temple completed (Ezra 5:1-6:18)

a. Work begun (Ezra 5:1-2)

b. Official reports (Ezra 5:3-6:12)

c. Work completed (Ezra 6:13-18)

2. Completion celebrated (Ezra 6:19-22)

II. Ezra’s mission (Ezra 7:1-10:44)

A. Ezra introduced (Ezra 7:1-10)

B. Ezra’s commission (Ezra 7:11-26)

C. Ezra’s departure (Ezra 8:1-36)

1. Preparations (Ezra 8:1-30)

2. Departure (Ezra 8:31-36)

D. The purity of God’s people (Ezra 9:1-10:44)

1. Mixed marriages: problem (Ezra 9:1-2)

2. Mixed marriages: reaction (Ezra 9:3-10:6)

3. Mixed marriages: action (Ezra 10:7-19)

4. Mixed marriages: result (Ezra 10:20-44)

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.