Ezra 8

Talks for Growing Christians

The Jews Who Returned with Ezra to Jerusalem

Ezra 8

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. A godly leader prays about everything.
  2. A godly leader uses common sense.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, worship comes before service.


  1. Name the three phases going into the captivity.
  2. Name the three phases coming out of the captivity.


  1. Going in: Phase 1 – In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar entered Judah and took Daniel and others as captives to Babylon. Phase 2 – In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar again entered Judah and captured Jerusalem and took Ezekiel and others, including the king as captives to Babylon. Phase 3 – In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar completely conquered the kingdom of Judah and destroyed the beautiful temple that Solomon had built.
  2. Coming out: Phase 1 – In 538 B.C., about 50,000 Jews returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel as a result of the edict of Cyrus the Persian. Under phase 1, the temple was finally rebuilt in 516 B.C. Phase 2 – In 458 B.C., Ezra returned with about 2,000 Jews. Phase 3 – In 445 B.C., Nehemiah returned and motivated the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, walls that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.


  1. Ezra was a godly leader. He not only had natural leadership abilities, but he had God-given spiritual ability to lead the people, as well. Ezra Chapters 7-10 are great chapters to study in reference to “Spiritual Leadership.” What is the foundation necessary for being a godly leader? We learn from Ezra, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the lord, and to do it, and to teach it.” (Ezra 7:10) Ezra was committed to the Lord and to His word and His work. Notice, also, how Ezra proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting before they started on their four-month journey. See Ezra 8:21. A godly leader prays about everything.
  2. Read Ezra 8:24-34. Ezra sought out people and gave them responsibility, and there was accountability. The men took their responsibility seriously. Notice that Ezra as a godly leader did not handle the money himself, thus avoiding the possibility of temptation and for appearance sake. A godly leader uses common sense.


  1. Read Ezra 8:35-36. When the exiles with Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, they worshiped the Lord with sacrifices. This is the divine order – worship before service. When you truly worship the Lord, it is bound to result in some kind of service. Are you too busy serving to worship?

Key Verses

  • “The good hand of our God was upon us…we were brought a man of understanding.” Ezra 8:18
  • “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him…” Ezra 8:22
  • “So we fasted and entreated our God…and He answered our prayer.” Ezra 8:23
  • “The hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us…” Ezra 8:31

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