Introduction to Ezra

Ezra was a Jew, sprung from the race of Aaron, and descended from the high priest who was slain at the capture of Jerusalem, 2Ki_25:18-21. This book is not a continuous narrative, but consists of two parts separated by several years. The first part, Ezr_1:1-11; Ezr_2:1-70; Ezr_3:1-13; Ezr_4:1-24; Ezr_5:1-17; Ezr_6:1-22, contains a narrative of the return of the first caravan of Jews from Babylon, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. The second part, Ezr_7:1-28; Ezr_8:1-36; Ezr_9:1-15; Ezr_10:1-44, is an account of an expedition, sixty years after the first, conducted by Ezra himself, accompanied by large numbers of his fellow-countrymen, and empowered to re-establish order and religion.

This book is supposed to have been written by Ezra, who was a great student of the holy writings, and a ready scribe in the Law of Moses. He must have been a man of note among the Jewish captives to have won the favor and trust of the king of Persia. There is an absence of the miraculous, and a great similarity to the books of Chronicles. It shows enthusiasm characterizing the beginnings of work for God; then coldness and apathy follow in face of opposition; but when men get back to foundation principles, the work is carried forward to completion.