Returning to Israel
Background: The temple of Solomon was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BC, when they sacked the city, killing or taking captive back to Babylon, the Jews. In 539 BC, Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. Soon after, Cyrus the Great of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Israel. Another twenty years later, the Jews completed the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. This “Second Temple” survived for almost 600 years until it was destroyed by the Romans several decades after Christ’s life.
Rebuilding the Temple
READ Ezra 1:1-2
Who commanded that the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
What issues might the Jews have had in rebuilding the Temple?
READ Haggai 1:3-4, 7-8
Did the Lord want this temple built - why?
The Word of the Lord
READ Nehemiah 8:1-3, 8-11, 17-18
Who was Ezra?
What did Ezra do for the people?
Why did the people weep to hear the scriptures?
How was Ezra able to help the people understand the scriptures?
The Legacy of Josiah
One might ask why, with the exception of Malachi 100 years later, that from the time of Daniel to John the Baptist, there were no actual prophets in Israel?
From reading the Book of Mormon (which was written by prophets before the attack by Babylon) and hints from the New Testament, what truths were hidden/distorted/changed by Josiah and the Deuteronomists?
Out of this apostasy, masquerading as truth, came the “dry ground” or lack of revelation from God that the people found themselves living in when John the Baptist and Christ were born – an extremely piously religious people who were devoid of the Spirit of the Lord and, ironically, ended up killing the One sent from heaven to teach and save them.