Bible Time Period: Return
You brought the exiles back to Canaan; they rebuilt the Temple and Jerusalem and were taught once more from your Law: Rebuild my broken heart and life as I return to you.
A corporate confession of sin and a recitation of God’s dealings with Israel begins the chapters you’ll read for today. They lead to a very important act: a sworn oath, documented in writing, signed and sealed, to follow God’s law and observe his commandments.
After this, the newly-walled Jerusalem was populated by volunteers and by people chosen by lot from among the priests and Levites, the gatekeepers, and the descendants of Judah and Benjamin (previous members of the kingdom of Judah). Most of the people preferred to stay in their home towns.
Key Verse to Remember from the Period of the Return
“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: the Lord, the God of heaven, has … charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, … let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord…” (Ezra 1:2-3).
Notice the final reforms that are made by Nehemiah in the closing chapter. At the close of the Return: What kind of a new start has been made?
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