Ezra Chapter 7
Verses 7:1 – 8:36: This section introduces Ezra and presents the scholar-priest, his family, his task, and his expedition. Much of the account is his personal record, using I and we.
From verses 7:1 – 10:44, covers the return of the second group to Judah, led by Ezra (ca. 458 B.C.).
In 458 B.C. (during the reign of “Artaxerxes”), a second group of exiles retuned to the land of Judah, nearly 60 years after the first wave. This second group was led by “Ezra,” a priest who could trace his lineage back to “Aaron”. Ezra was a “skilled scribe”, important because, after the exile, scribes served as teachers of the Scriptures. The law had to be retaught and reintegrated into the life of Israel.
Ezra 7:1 “Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,”
“Now after these things” actually includes a long time, since between chapters 6 and 7 bout 58 years intervene, during which time the events of the Book of Esther occur (483 – 473 B.C.).
“Artaxerxes” (King of Persia from 464 – 423 B.C.).
“Seraiah” was High Priest in 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:18). So Ezra must have descended from a younger son of Seraiah because he is not called “son of Jozadak” as Jeshua is (3:2; 1 Chron. 6:14). Thus, his immediate ancestors were not in the high-priestly line.
“Ezra” was a scribe and priest who led the returned captives in Jerusalem to make a new commitment to God’s Law. Ezra, a descendant of Aaron through Eleazar, gained favor during the reign of Artaxerxes I, king of Persia. The king commissioned him to return to Jerusalem about 458 B.C. to bring order among the people of the new community. Artaxerxes even gave Ezra a royal letter (verses 11-16), granting him civil as well as religious authority, along with finances to furnish the temple, which the returned captives had rebuilt. Ezra was a skilled scribe and teacher, extensively trained in the Law (Genesis – Deuteronomy; Ezra 7:6, 10, 12). Ezra was also noted for his marriage reforms (9:1-2; 10:1-5). God blessed him in all of his endeavors (verse 9; Ezra 7:1; 7:10).
“Son of”: Ezra traced his lineage back through such notable High-Priests as Zadok (1 Kings 2:35), Phinehas (Num. 25:10-13), and Eleazar (Num. 3:4).
This chapter is all about the second return of the people who had been in captivity in Babylon, to their homeland. This return was led by Ezra.
Ezra 7:2 “The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,”
This portion of the genealogy agrees exactly with that of Jehozadak in (1 Chron. 6:3-15), excepting in the omission, which has been already noticed, of six names between Azariah and Meraioth. We may gather from (1 Chron. 9:11), that a Meraioth is also omitted between the Zadok and Ahitub of verse 2.
Ezra 7:3-4 “The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,” “The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,”
The genealogy of Ezra here is incomplete. The time between the Exodus and Ezra must have exceeded one thousand years, and cannot have been covered by 16 generations. One gap may be filled up from (1 Chron. 6:7-10), which supplies six names between Meraioth and Azariah (Ezra 7:3). Another gap probably occurs between Seraiah (Ezra 7:1), and Ezra himself; since Seraiah appears to be the High Priest of Zedekiah’s time (marginal reference). Who lived at least 130 years before Ezra. Three or four names are probably missing in this place. Another name (Meraioth), may be supplied from (1 Chron. 9:11), between Zadok and Ahitub (Ezra 7:2). These additions would produce 27 generations, a number nearly sufficient, instead of 16 generations.
There are six generations omitted between Azariah and Meraioth, as before some were omitted between Seraiah and Ezra, which are to be supplied out of (1 Chron. 6:7).
Ezra 7:5 “The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:”
This is showing the Ezra’s right to be priest in the land. His direct lineage goes back to Phinehas, one of my favorite priests, and then on back to Aaron, who was the first High Priest.
Verses 6-10: The king sent Ezra to Jerusalem to ensure that the Israelites were interceding for the empire in the worship services. This was required of all religions under Persian rule.
Ezra 7:6 “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he [was] a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.”
“Ready scribe in the law” Ezra’s role as a scribe was critical to reinstate the nation since the leaders had to go back to the law and interpret it. This was no small task because many aspects of life had changed in the intervening 1,000 years since the law was first given. Tradition says Ezra had the law memorized and could write it from memory.
“Ready scribe” conveys the initial idea of “quick, prompt, skilled,” and pertains to “rapid” (in Psalm 45:1), and “prompt in justice” (in Isaiah 16:5; compare Prov. 22:29). It suggests a quickness of grasp and ease of movement amid some complex material, which was the fruit of the devoted study described (in verse 10). Earlier, a scribe may have meant a “secretary”, but by Jeremiah’s time scribes were already teachers of Scripture (Jer. 8:8), and that is the meaning here.
“The hand of the LORD his God upon him”: This refrain occurs throughout the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Its resounding presence assures the reader that it was not by the shrewd leadership skills of a few men that Judah, with its temple and walls was rebuilt in the midst of a powerful Medo-Persian Empire. Rather it was the sovereign hand of the wise and powerful King of the universe that allowed this to happen.
We mentioned before that the return of the people from Babylon was gradual, over a few years. Zerubbabel led the first group, and now Ezra was leading the second group back. Ezra had never gotten away from the Law of Moses. He had remained faithful to it through all of the hardships.
Ezra 7:7 “And there went up [some] of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.”
Perhaps some of the ten tribes, as well as others of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Who, notwithstanding the edict of Cyrus, chose to remain in Babylon, and in the countries of it, until they saw how things would go in Judea. And hearing that the temple was finished, and that those that had returned had built houses in their several cities, and prospered, thought fit to return also.
“And of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, unto Jerusalem”: To take their places, and execute their offices in the temple now built. For of the Levites especially, some of which were singers, and others porters, and of the Nethinim, there were but few that went up with Zerubbabel: now this journey of theirs was taken.
“In the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king”: That is, of Darius Artaxerxes, and this was the year after the temple was finished. Though it is thought by many learned men, and not without some show of reason, that Artaxerxes Longimanus is meant.
“Nethinim” (see note on 2:43-54).
“Seventh year” (ca. 458 B.C.).
This Artaxerxes was the grandson of Darius, and the son of Xerxes. The children of Israel, priests, Levites, singers, porters, and Nethinim (temple assistants), were more of the same class of people, who went up in the first exodus following Zerubbabel.
Verses 8-9: The 4 month journey from Babylon to Jerusalem, covering almost 1,000 miles started in March/April and ended in July/August.
Ezra 7:8 “And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which [was] in the seventh year of the king.”
With the above company; this was the month Abib, answering to part of July and part of August.
“Which was in the seventh year of the king”: As in the preceding verse.
Ezra 7:9 “For upon the first [day] of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first [day] of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.”
The month Nisan, answering to part of March and part of April; this was New Year’s Day.
“And on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem”: The first of the month Ab, as in the preceding verse; so that he was just four months on his journey.
“According to the good hand of his God upon him”: His power and providence, which gave him and his company health and strength, supplied them with everything necessary, directed, protected, and defended them, and brought them in safety to their journey’s end.
We can see from these two Scriptures that this journey took about 4 months. They left Babylon about April first on our calendar, and arrived in August. We mentioned earlier that this trip was approximately 1,000 miles.
Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do [it], and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”
Ezra sought to understand God’s Word so he could practice it personally; only then did he teach it. Ezra’s life demonstrates the importance of disciplined Bible study and obedience to biblical teachings. Not only did the Lord provide him with favor, but dramatic changes took place in the nation because of Ezra’s commitment to the “Law of the Lord.
Seek … do it … teach”: The pattern of Ezra’s preparation is exemplary. He studied before he attempted to live a life of obedience, and he studied and practiced the law in his own life before he opened his mouth to teach that law. But the success of Ezra’s leadership did not come from his strength alone, but most significantly because “the good hand of his God upon him” (7:9).
Ezra was determined to make this trip, so he could teach the law to the people again. He wanted Israel to return to God’s laws and ordinances.
Verses 11-28: This section records a letter which Artaxerxes wrote in Aramaic to Ezra, granting him permission to take Jewish volunteers, silver and gold, and temple vessels back to Jerusalem. He also made ample provision for temple supplies and ministers, and gave Ezra authority to appoint magistrates and judges.
Ezra 7:11 “Now this [is] the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, [even] a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.”
“Copy of the letter”: The original was usually kept for a record. The letter was addressed to Ezra because the decree recorded therein was the critical administrative document. Decrees were commonly embedded in letters. The letter in essence authorized the document into Ezra’s hands so that he could carry it and read it to its intended audience.
We know that without permission from the Persian king, they could not have gone back to their homeland. This decree from the king, first gave them permission to leave Babylon and go back to Judah. The letter that the king sent to Ezra, gave him special privileges by authority of the king. It was a letter of authority, wherever he went. Ezra was a man who had gained respect from the king as a man who kept the law and commandments of God.
Verses 12-26: This is a remarkable decree that evidences God’s sovereign rule over earthly kings and His intent to keep the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants with Israel. This section is in Aramaic (as was 4:8 – 6:18).
Ezra 7:12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time.”
“King of kings”: Though it was true that Artaxerxes ruled over other kings, Jesus Christ is the ultimate King of Kings (compare Rev. 19:16), who alone can genuinely make that claim since He will rule over all kings in His coming kingdom (compare Rev. 11-15).
The king of Persia referred to himself as the “king of kings” because he was the most powerful man in the world. One day, the whole world will recognize the true King of kings, Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:10-11; Rev. 17:14; 19:16).
This is the beginning of the words of the decree. The king of Persia was called king of kings, because at this time the Persians were very powerful in the known world. It is interesting to me, that these Persian rulers recognized God. In essence, the decree is saying that the king has no argument with Ezra. He will allow Ezra to do what he desires to do.
Ezra 7:13 “I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.”
Which, according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, when signed, might not be changed (Dan. 6:8).
“That all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm”: Who remained there, and took not the benefit of the edict of Cyrus, which gave them leave to go; but neglecting the opportunity, it seems as if they could not now go out of the realm without a fresh grant, which is hereby given.
“Which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee”: This decree did not oblige them to go whether they would or not. For they might, notwithstanding this, continue if they pleased. It only gave them leave to make use of the present opportunity of going along with Ezra, if they chose.
We see from this, that all who had been captives were now free to go. Ezra must not force them to go, but if they desired to go they could. This would stop any of the people they had been working for, to keep them from going. They had permission of the king, which overrules anything individuals might do to stop them.
Ezra 7:14 “Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which [is] in thine hand;”
“Seven counselors”: This number was according to the Persian tradition (compare Esther 1:14).
These seven counselors are probably the seven princes of Persia and Media. Ezra’s purpose, as far as the king was concerned, was to check on what was happening in Judah and Jerusalem. The king had made everything available for Ezra to carry the mission out. Ezra wanted to check on the people, and make sure they had not fallen back into idolatry.
Ezra 7:15 “And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation [is] in Jerusalem,”
In the temple built there. For the service of which, either for purchasing and procuring vessels that were wanting in it, or for sacrifices to be offered in it. The king and his nobles had made a voluntary contribution, and entrusted and sent Ezra with it.
This would be a large sum of money in the silver and gold. The large number of Hebrews, who would be with Ezra, would be protection against highway robbery. Ezra was in charge of the silver and gold, as he was over all the people. The king of Persia had given considerably large amounts to the Hebrews for carrying on the services in their temple.
Ezra 7:16 “And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which [is] in Jerusalem:”
Not that he might take it wherever he found it, whether the owners of it were willing he should have it or not. But whatever was freely offered by them, as Jarchi, that he was allowed to take, whatever he could get in that way.
“With the freewill offering of the people”: Of the people of the Jews, who thought fit to continue in the province.
“And of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem”: Those freewill offerings, whether of the natives of Babylon, or of any of the Jewish nation, for the service of the temple at Jerusalem, he had leave and a commission to carry with him.
Now we see that even the Hebrews, who remained in Babylon, would give silver and gold to be carried back into the homeland for use in the services in the temple. Ezra would be the guardian of that as well.
Ezra 7:17 “That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which [is] in Jerusalem.”
Thus freely contributed by one and another.
“Bullocks, rams, lambs”: Which were for burnt offerings.
“With their meat offerings, and their drink offerings”: Which always went along with the burnt offerings, according to the Law of Moses. And which the king seemed to have a right knowledge of, being, no doubt, instructed by Ezra, or some other Jew in his court.
“And offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem”: The altar of burnt offering in the temple there.
The money was to be used to purchase the animals for sacrifice. These were to be sacrificed immediately. This would maintain the daily sacrifices, and the sacrifices for the various feasts and new moon celebrations.
Ezra 7:18 “And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.”
The priests that he should think fit to take in to his assistance in this work.
“To do with the rest of the silver and gold”: Which should be left after the sacrifices were offered up.
“That do after the will of your God”: As they should be directed by him, or was prescribed by him in the law.
The king completely trusted Ezra. He knew that Ezra would do exactly what the LORD wanted him to do. The extra silver and gold could be used to beautify the temple, or to employ people to do repairs, or whatever the LORD led Ezra to do with it.
Ezra 7:19 “The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, [those] deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.”
“The vessels” may have been some left behind perhaps overlooked when restored by Cyrus (in 1:7-11); or they may have been a goodwill gift, newly presented.
It appears they were still finding vessels that belonged in the temple in Jerusalem. They were not to be used for anything else. They were to be carried directly to the temple.
Ezra 7:20 “And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow [it] out of the king’s treasure house.”
For the beautifying and ornamenting the temple (Ezra 7:27).
“Bestow it out of the king’s treasure house”: Where the money collected by tribute, tax, and custom, was deposited; his exchequer (a royal or national treasury), as it may be called (see Ezra 6:8).
This is speaking of the local treasure house. This was funds that had been gathered in Judah. Ezra was such an honorable man, the king knew he would not use more of the treasury than was necessary. He certainly would not use from the treasury for anything but for the temple. The wide authority given Ezra was, because the king trusted him.
Ezra 7:21 “And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which [are] beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,”
The receivers of his tribute, tax, and custom, beyond the river Euphrates, on the side towards the land of Israel.
“That whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven” (see Ezra 7:12).
“Shall require of you, it be done speedily”: Which seems at first a grant at large for whatsoever he should want or demand, but is limited and restrained by what follows.
Ezra 7:22 “Unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much].”
These, according to Jarchi, were to buy the offerings or sacrifices with.
“And a hundred measures of wheat”: Or corn, the same measure with the homer, each of which held ten ephahs, or seventy five wine gallons, five pints, and upwards; these, according to the same writer, were for meat offerings, made of fine flour, or rather bread offerings, as they may be called.
“And to a hundred baths of wine”: Which was the same measure in liquids as the ephah in things dry, a tenth part of the cor (denotes a round vessel used as a measure both for liquids and solids), or homer, and held seven wine gallons, five pints, and upwards. These were for the drink offerings.
“And to a hundred baths of oil”: The same measure as before; these were to mix in the meat offerings.
“And salt without prescribing how much”: Because it was used in all offerings, and was cheap, and therefore no measure is fixed, but as much as was wanting was to be given (see Lev. 2:1).
We see from these two verses, that those in charge of the treasuries were not to argue with Ezra about this. They were to do exactly as Ezra requested them to do. There was a limitation, however to the top amount he could receive. Anything up to that amount they were to do quickly.
Ezra 7:23 “Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?”
In the law given by Moses to the people of Israel.
“Let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven”: For the service of it, particularly sacrifices.
“For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?” Through the neglect of the service of God in the temple, and by reason of the default of the king’s treasurers.
The king knew that Ezra spoke as an oracle of God. The requests he made would be made by God Himself, through Ezra. It appears this particular king of Persia wanted to stay in the good graces of God. There had been some threat of war, and they wanted the LORD on their side. The historians say that this king had eighteen sons.
Ezra 7:24 “Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.”
The king had a right and perfect knowledge of the distinct offices and services of those persons (see Ezra 7:7).
“It shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them”: That they might be the less encumbered with the affairs of life, and be more at leisure to attend divine service, and do it the more readily and freely. It was usual with the Heathens to except ecclesiastics from taxes, tributes, and imposts.
All who are in the service of the LORD, live of the offerings of the altar. They do not have private incomes, and should not be compelled to pay taxes. This is still true today. Many do pay taxes, but the pastors of churches are not required to pay taxes on the money they receive from the church.
Verses 25-26: God used Artaxerxes’ words to remind Ezra to set up systems that would help the people keep the covenant God made with them, the same one they had rejected so many times before. The king’s words echo the words of (Deut. Chapter 28).
Ezra 7:25 “And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not.”
“Thou, Ezra”: The letter in which the decree was embedded was written to Ezra. The king turned to him in a demonstration of administrative trust and granted him permission to appoint magistrates and judges for the region. The effect of this decision would be to offer a measure of local autonomy to the Jews.
Ezra is not just priest and scribe here. The king wanted him to appoint Godly men to run the government, as well. It is interesting to me, to note that those who were familiar with the law of God and keep it were to be the rulers in civil affairs. Ezra was even instructed to teach the ways of the LORD to those who did not know it.
Ezra 7:26 “And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether [it be] unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.”
Either the judge who delays judgment, or does not execute it according to the law of God, and of the king. Or the people, that do not obey the law of God in matters of religion, and the law of the king in civil things, Judea being now a province of the Persian empire. Though some think the law of the king only refers to this law or decree of the king, which gave the Jews power to execute their own laws.
“Let judgment be executed speedily upon him”: Immediately, without delay, according to the nature of his crime.
“Whether it be unto death”: If guilty of a capital crime, deserving death, let him be put to death.
“Or to banishment”: From his native country to a foreign distant land. Or to rooting out, as the word signifies; an utter removal of him and his family, by destroying him root and branch; or, as Jarchi expresses it, a rooting him out of the world, his seed and family.
“Or to confiscation of goods”: To payment of taxation and fines.
“Or to imprisonment”: For such a term of time; all according to the breach of what law he may be guilty of; thus far the king’s decree.
It appears that the punishment that was inflicted on those who did not conform to the decree the king had sent, would be decided by Ezra. He would be the last word on about everything. It would be up to him to decide whether they deserved to die for their sin, or whether there would be a lesser punishment. I am sure the king feels that Ezra would be guided by the LORD in even these decisions. This was the end of the decree.
Verses 27-28: The Hebrew section of the book resumes at this point. Note his praise that God had “put such a thing as this in the king’s heart” (6:22; Prov. 21:1). God had done this for Joseph (Gen. 39:21), in a pagan land, and also for Daniel in much the same circumstances (Dan. 1:9, “God had brought Daniel into favor”). Ezra “was strengthened,” or “gained strength” “as the hand of the Lord my God [was] upon me” (compare verses 6, 9; 8:18, 22, 31; Neh. 2:8 and 18).
Ezra 7:27 “Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put [such a thing] as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem:”
This is Ezra’s thanksgiving to God for the above decree.
“Which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart”: Which he rightly took to be of God, who wrought in him to will and to do.
“To beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem”: To provide for the ornamenting of it, for vessels in it, as well as for sacrifices. For as for the building of it, that was finished.
This had jumped back to the words of Ezra. He was totally aware that it was God that placed these things in the heart of the Persian king. We see from this, that Ezra would use the gold and silver that was extra over the purchase of the sacrificial animals, to beautify the temple.
Ezra 7:28 “And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God [was] upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.”
Before Artaxerxes, his seven counsellors (Ezra 7:14), and the nobles of his realm, in being appointed by them to carry their freewill offerings to Jerusalem. And the king’s commands to his treasurers, with leave to take as many of the Jews with him as were willing to go.
“And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me”: Animated to undertake this work, and execute this commission, being under the influence of divine favor and protection.
“And I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me”: He went about in the several parts where Israelites dwelt, and persuaded some of the principal men among them to go along with him to Jerusalem, showing them the king’s decree, which gave them leave. And their names and numbers are described in the next chapter.
Ezra thanked God for making the heart of the king of Persia tender toward him. Ezra was very well aware that his strength and his ability was a gift from God to him. It was a miracle that the king would allow him to go to Jerusalem. It was an even greater miracle that he would allow more of the captive Hebrews to go with him. The greatest miracle in this is the fact that the king trusted Ezra with his money. I believe this Persian king believed in God.
Ezra Chapter 7 Questions
1. What is chapter 7 all about?
2. Who was king of Persia at this time?
3. Who was the father of Ezra?
4. Who would lead this return to their homeland?
5. The lineage, in verses 2 and 3, shows what?
6. Who is one of the author’s favorite priests?
7. Who was the first High Priest?
8. What was Ezra called in verse 6?
9. The return of the people from Babylon to their homeland was?
10. Who had led the first return to Jerusalem?
11. Who went with Ezra?
12. Artaxerxes was the grandson of who?
13. When did they leave on the trip?
14. How long did the trip take?
15. How long was the trip?
16. Ezra had prepared his heart to do what?
17. What was Artaxerxes called in verse 12?
18. What did the decree, the king sent with Ezra, allow him to do?
19. Who could go with Ezra?
20. What was the king’s purpose in Ezra going?
21. In verse 15, we read that the ________ sent silver and gold.
22. The silver and the gold the king gave was to be used for what?
23. Anything that was left of the silver and gold, was to be used for what?
24. If they were still in need for the temple, what was Ezra authorized to do?
25. What were the limits set on this?
26. The king knew that Ezra spoke as an _________ of God.
27. In verse 25, what is Ezra, besides a priest and a scribe?
28. What were some of the punishments that Ezra could pronounce on those who would not do the law of God?
29. Who did Ezra bless in verse 27?
30. What strength did Ezra have?