Ezra and Nehemiah are accounts complementary to one another. Both books of the Hebrew Bible speak of men who serve God as leaders of fellow men. Ezra, “a scribe, well-versed in the law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6) is concerned primarily with the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s temple and following the prescriptions found in the Mosaic covenant and Nehemiah, is concerned with the rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall as expressed in a portion of Nehemiah 2:17-20, “‘You see the evil plight in which we stand… Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be an object of derision!’” (Nehemiah 2:17). Both Ezra and Nehemiah abide by the laws of the LORD. Ezra and Nehemiah alike are fearless in honoring their LORD with their lives and respective ministries. The Book of Tobit, however, completes the story of these men’s faith in the LORD by providing glimpses of their faith challenges not expressed in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Through all three books, we see the rebuilding of the city walls and of the temple to effectively honor and worship the God of Israel, as prescribed by the Mosaic covenant and promulgated by Ezra’s proclamations.
The Book of Ezra begins with a concise Jerusalem history, which leads to Ezra’s ministry. It begins with Jeshua in the third chapter. Jeshua “[rebuilds] the altar of the God of Israel in order to offer on it the holocausts prescribed in the law of Moses” (Ezra 3:2). The people who were inhabiting the land were those who had destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem. Because of the previous destruction, Jeshua and his people were in fear of them (Ezra 3:3). Despite this fear, Jeshua commenced with holocaust offerings to the LORD. Ezra 5 depicts the prophets beginning to rebuild the tem...
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...lped fortify his army who watched and protected through both day and night the construction of the city walls. All these men constructed faith in God for their own lives and within the lives of those in their cities. These constructions of faith are what remain in the kingdom of God.
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