Book type: History
No. of chapters: 10
Key character(s): God, Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah. 
Brief description: Ezra – God’s worship, word, work and way.
01) God’s worship must be restored (1:1-6:22)
02) God word must be followed (7:1-10:44)
Ezra means “help” & is is a shortened form of Azariah, meaning “Yahweh has helped” in Hebrew.
Ezra & Nehemiah are a profound encouragement to God’s people to magnify worship as supremely important, to encourage the need for & use of God’s Word as the only authoritative rule for living, & to be concerned about the image God’s people give the world.
Ezra & Nehemiah are historical books that contain the last century of Israel’s history that the Bible records.
Originally Ezra was combined with Nehemiah in a single book. By the 3rd century AD the accounts had been separated into 2 books.
Ezra begins with the first group of exiles to return from Babylonian exile (538 BC); Nehemiah concludes with the last group (432 BC.)
Ezra & Nehemiah inform us of these essential doctrines:
01) God’s Word is trustworthy & essential for faith.
02) Worship is necessary for God’s people.
03) God’s disciples obey him.
04) God gives his people leaders.
05) Opponents hinder God’s work.
06) Prayer is our response to God’s presence.
07) God is sovereign [supreme ruler, monarch.]
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]
Fuller list of major characters in the book of Ezra:
|Zerubbabel||Governor of the Persian Province of Judah (Haggai 1:1.) Grandson of Jehoiachin, penultimate king of Judah. Led the first group of exhiles (42,360 in number) back from the Babylonian Captivity in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia. Laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.|
|Ezra||Son of Seriah (descendent of Aaron the priest.) Returned from the Babylonian exile during the reign of Artaxerxes and reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem (Ezra 7-10 and Nehemiah 8).|
|Nehemiah||Son of Hachaliah. In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king. Artaxerxes sent him to Judah as governor. He defied opposition & rebuilt the walls within 52 days.|