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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Ezra 1

Verses 1-11

The Book of Ezra contains an account of a most important epoch in the history of the people of God. After seventy years of captivity, a return from captivity was made possible by the decree of a Gentile king. This Book gives us the story of that return, and the building of the Temple. It is not consecutive history, for while, with the Book of Nehemiah, covers a period of about one hundred years, there is a gap of sixty years. There are two main divisions, first, the story of the return under Zerubbabel and the building of the Temple, and then, after sixty years, the story of the coming of Ezra and the work he undertook.

God may seem to tarry in carrying out His purposes. He never abandons them. Indeed, there is a very true sense in which He never tarries even for a moment in carrying them out. The wreck of the chosen nation we have seen in previous books. The people had become scattered and peeled, having lost national position and power, and, to a very large extent, national consciousness. Notwithstanding all this, God still moved on toward His great ultimate purpose of redemption, not merely for these people, but for the world. During the seventy years, through the process of suffering, He prepared a remnant to return and rebuild and hold the fort until He, the true seed and servant, should come.

The history of the return sets forth clearly the truth concerning this overruling of God. He compelled the most likely instruments to accomplish His will. Babylon had carried His people into captivity, and so fulfilled His purpose. They had, however, treated the conquered nation with undue severity; and in process of time, in fulfillment of the distinct prophesying of Jeremiah, Cyrus the Persian had broken the power of Babylon. This Cyrus was now chosen and commissioned as the instrument of the chosen people’s return. Cyrus’s proclamation opened the door. It was the result of divine dealing with him, of which he was conscious. The God who opened the door stirred up men, and made them willing to respond. This is ever so in the divine economy. The opportunity, the willingness to obey and the leaders necessary, all come together under God’s direction.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ezra 1". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/ezra-1.html. 1857-84.