<<Jewish priest and scribe>>

He led the second group of exiles from the Babylonian captivity back to Judah about 458 BC.  The heathen King gave him instructions to evaluate the situation at Jerusalem, set up a religious education system and then report back to him (Ezra 7:14-26). He lived from about 480-440 BC.

His story is told in Ezra 7:1-10:16 and Nehemiah 8:1-12:36.

Lessons from his life: * He knew, believed and obeyed God’s Word, “Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).  He used his position of influence and knowledge of God’s word to confront sin – he was concerned about their spiritual condition. He didn’t criticise from the sideline, for although not guilty himself, he identified with the people’s sin and lead them to confess which brought restoration (Ezra 9:1ff). Genuine repentance always produces good fruit. From a sound foundation and with commitment to God we also will be used effectively to bring release for people.

* He worked alongside Nehemiah in the work of God (Neh 8:9). It is important to cooperate with and not be jealous of fellow workers, especially those with a similar ministry, as after all we are on the same team and building His Kingdom, not ours. Where there is unity of purpose, blessing flows (Ps 133:1,3).

See also: Babylon, Ezra (Ezra), Nehemiah.