Adult / Kids Sunday School Series
Sermon for the Starving Bible Believing Christians All Over the World Wide
- KJV Bible Believers Church in Touchet, Touchet, Washington - Pastor Mike
Paulson - 2007
the way of God more perfectly - Acts 18:26
with the Scriptures Rightly Divided - II
What is In the Old
Testament "FOR" us?
November 11, 2007
In It "FOR" Us?
Now all these things happened
unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the
world are come.
I Corinthians 10:11
whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
"Ensamples" from whom
to learn, not
"examples" for us to follow!
Return from Captivity
The Rebuilding of the Temple
Ezra 1. The Proclamation of Cyrus
Ezra was a priest, the great-grandson of Hilkiah the priest, who, 160 years
earlier, had directed King Josiah's reformation (Ezra
1:1; 2 Kings 22:8), and a most worthy descendant of his famous
He went from Babylon to Jerusalem in 457 b.c., 80 years after the Jews
had first returned under Zerubbabel, and 13 years before Nehemiah came.
Ezra 2. The Register of Those Who Returned
The last two verses of 2 Chronicles
(36:2223) are the same as the first
two of Ezra (1:12), possibly because
Chronicles and Ezra
were originally one book.
This proclamation, permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem, was issued
shortly after Daniel had read the handwriting on the wall, in which it
was declared that Babylon would fall to Persia - which happened that same
night (Daniel 5:2531).
Daniel probably showed to Cyrus the prophecies that were thus fulfilled
(Jeremiah 25:1112; 29:10)
as well as the prophecies of Isaiah, who 200 years before had called Cyrus
by name, stating that under him the Jews would return and rebuild Jerusalem
(Isaiah 44:26 - 28; 45:1, 13).
No wonder Cyrus had a high regard for the Jews' God (v.
Ezra 3. The Foundation of the Temple Is
According to verses 6465, a total
of 42,360 Jews returned, plus servants.
However, when the numbers in the list are added together, the total falls
about 11,000 short of this number.
This surplus of 11,000 is thought to have been composed of exiles from
tribes other than Judah.
Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned in 1 Chronicles
Israel is named in Ezra 10:25.
The term all Israel is used of those who returned, and 12 bulls and 12
he-goats, representing the 12 tribes, were sacrificed (Ezra
2:70; 6:17; 8:35).
This would make it appear as if the returning exiles of Judah, in their
homeward journey, gathered in some from other tribes.
It helps us to understand how, in New Testament times, Jews were still
spoken of as the Twelve Tribes (Luke 22:30; Acts
26:7; James 1:1).
Ezra 4. The Work Is Stopped
In the seventh month of the first year of their return the Israelites built
the altar and kept the Feast of Tabernacles, in joyous thanksgiving to
In the second month of the following year, when the foundation of the temple
was laid, they made the heavens ring with their shouts of praise and thanksgiving.
But the older men, who had seen the first temple, wept aloud, so insignificant
would the new temple be compared with Solomon's temple.
Zerubbabel (v. 2), the governor (Haggai
1:1), was a grandson of King Jehoiachin, who had been deported
to Babylon (1 Chronicles 3:1719).
He was the one who would have been king, had there been a kingdom.
With fine courtesy, Cyrus appointed him to be governor of Judah.
Ezra 56. The Temple Completed
As work on the temple and wall (v. 16)
progressed, the peoples to whom the Jews' land had been given, and their
neighbors, began to object.
Through intimidation and intrigue they succeeded in stopping the work for
15 years, until the reign of Darius I.
Ezra 78. Ezra's Journey to Jerusalem
Darius I was friendly toward the Jews, and in his second year (520 b.c.),
16 years after the Jews had been allowed to go home, work on the temple
was resumed with the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah.
Shortly thereafter came the decree from Darius for the temple to be completed,
with an order to draw on the royal treasury for the needed funds.
Within four years it was completed and dedicated amid great rejoicing.
The famous Behistun inscription, which supplied the key to the ancient
Babylonian language was made by this same Darius.
Between chapters 6
and 7 is a gap of about 60 years.
The temple was completed in 515 b.c., and Ezra came to Jerusalem in 458
b.c., in the reign of Artaxerxes I, who was Queen Esther's stepson.
Ezra the priest went to teach Judah:
the Law of God
to beautify the temple
to restore the temple service.
Ezra helped in further reforms, as noted in the book of Nehemiah.
When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, he found a situation that made him heartsick.
The people, priests, Levites, and leaders had freely intermarried with
their idolatrous neighbors - a thing that God had again and again forbidden
the Jews to do.
In fact, it was the very thing that had led the Jews into idolatry before,
which had been the cause of their captivity.
God had sent prophet after prophet, and judgment after judgment, and at
last had resorted to the captivity, almost wiping the nation out of existence.
Now a little remnant had come home - and they are again up to their old
tricks of intermarrying with idolatrous peoples.
Ezra's measures to rid them of their non-Jewish wives may seem severe to
us, but it was effective.
Tradition makes him the originator of synagogue worship and president of
the Great Synagogue.
The Great Synagogue was a council, consisting of 120 members, said to have
been organized by Nehemiah in about 410 b.c., with Ezra as president.
Its purpose was the rebuilding of the religious life of the returned captives.