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ezra

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ezra


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Ezra 
  help.  (1.)  A  priest  among  those  that  returned  to  Jerusalem  under 
  Zerubabel  (Neh.  12:1). 
 
  (2.)  The  scribe"  who  led  the  second  body  of  exiles  that 
  returned  from  Babylon  to  Jerusalem  B.C.  459,  and  author  of  the 
  book  of  Scripture  which  bears  his  name  He  was  the  son,  or 
  perhaps  grandson,  of  Seraiah  (2  Kings  25:18-21),  and  a  lineal 
  descendant  of  Phinehas,  the  son  of  Aaron  (Ezra  7:1-5).  All  we 
  know  of  his  personal  history  is  contained  in  the  last  four 
  chapters  of  his  book,  and  in  Neh.  8  and  12:26. 
 
  In  the  seventh  year  of  the  reign  of  Artaxerxes  Longimanus  (see 
  {DARIUS}),  he  obtained  leave  to  go  up  to  Jerusalem  and 
  to  take  with  him  a  company  of  Israelites  (Ezra  8).  Artaxerxes 
  manifested  great  interest  in  Ezra's  undertaking,  granting  him 
  "all  his  request,"  and  loading  him  with  gifts  for  the  house  of 
  God.  Ezra  assembled  the  band  of  exiles,  probably  about  5,000  in 
  all  who  were  prepared  to  go  up  with  him  to  Jerusalem,  on  the 
  banks  of  the  Ahava,  where  they  rested  for  three  days,  and  were 
  put  into  order  for  their  march  across  the  desert,  which  was 
  completed  in  four  months.  His  proceedings  at  Jerusalem  on  his 
  arrival  there  are  recorded  in  his  book. 
 
  He  was  "a  ready  scribe  in  the  law  of  Moses,"  who  "had  prepared 
  his  heart  to  seek  the  law  of  the  Lord  and  to  do  it  and  to  teach 
  in  Israel  statutes  and  judgments."  "He  is,"  says  Professor 
  Binnie,  "the  first  well-defined  example  of  an  order  of  men  who 
  have  never  since  ceased  in  the  church;  men  of  sacred  erudition, 
  who  devote  their  lives  to  the  study  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  in 
  order  that  they  may  be  in  a  condition  to  interpret  them  for  the 
  instruction  and  edification  of  the  church.  It  is  significant 
  that  the  earliest  mention  of  the  pulpit  occurs  in  the  history  of 
  Ezra's  ministry  (Neh.  8:4).  He  was  much  more  of  a  teacher  than  a 
  priest.  We  learn  from  the  account  of  his  labours  in  the  book  of 
  Nehemiah  that  he  was  careful  to  have  the  whole  people  instructed 
  in  the  law  of  Moses;  and  there  is  no  reason  to  reject  the 
  constant  tradition  of  the  Jews  which  connects  his  name  with  the 
  collecting  and  editing  of  the  Old  Testament  canon.  The  final 
  completion  of  the  canon  may  have  been  and  probably  was  the 
  work  of  a  later  generation;  but  Ezra  seems  to  have  put  it  much 
  into  the  shape  in  which  it  is  still  found  in  the  Hebrew  Bible. 
  When  it  is  added  that  the  complete  organization  of  the  synagogue 
  dates  from  this  period,  it  will  be  seen  that  the  age  was 
  emphatically  one  of  Biblical  study"  (The  Psalms:  their  History, 
  etc.). 
 
  For  about  fourteen  years,  i.e.,  till  B.C.  445,  we  have  no 
  record  of  what  went  on  in  Jerusalem  after  Ezra  had  set  in  order 
  the  ecclesiastical  and  civil  affairs  of  the  nation.  In  that  year 
  another  distinguished  personage,  Nehemiah,  appears  on  the  scene. 
  After  the  ruined  wall  of  the  city  had  been  built  by  Nehemiah, 
  there  was  a  great  gathering  of  the  people  at  Jerusalem 
  preparatory  to  the  dedication  of  the  wall.  On  the  appointed  day 
  the  whole  population  assembled,  and  the  law  was  read  aloud  to 
  them  by  Ezra  and  his  assistants  (Neh.  8:3).  The  remarkable  scene 
  is  described  in  detail.  There  was  a  great  religious  awakening. 
  For  successive  days  they  held  solemn  assemblies,  confessing 
  their  sins  and  offering  up  solemn  sacrifices.  They  kept  also  the 
  feast  of  Tabernacles  with  great  solemnity  and  joyous  enthusiasm, 
  and  then  renewed  their  national  covenant  to  be  the  Lord's. 
  Abuses  were  rectified,  and  arrangements  for  the  temple  service 
  completed,  and  now  nothing  remained  but  the  dedication  of  the 
  walls  of  the  city  (Neh.  12). 
 
 
  From  Hitchcock's  Bible  Names  Dictionary  (late  1800's)  [hitchcock]: 
 
  Ezra,  help;  court 
 




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