The Bible: Ezra Chapter 1: with Audio and Commentary.

Version: World English Bible.

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Ezra Chapter 1

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the LORD's word by Jeremiah's mouth might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

2 "Cyrus king of Persia says, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

3 Whoever there is amongst you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem.

4 Whoever is left, in any place where he lives, let the men of his place help him with silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, in addition to the free will offering for God's house which is in Jerusalem.' "

5 Then the heads of fathers' households of Judah and Benjamin, the priests, and the Levites, all whose spirit God had stirred to go up rose up to build the LORD's house which is in Jerusalem.

6 All those who were around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with precious things, in addition to all that was willingly offered.

7 Also Cyrus the king brought out the vessels of the LORD's house, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought out of Jerusalem, and had put in the house of his gods;

8 even those, Cyrus king of Persia brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

9 This is the number of them: thirty platters of gold, one thousand platters of silver, twenty-nine knives,

10 thirty bowls of gold, four hundred and ten silver bowls of a second sort, and one thousand other vessels.

11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. Sheshbazzar brought all these up when the captives were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.


Verse 1 (LORD)
When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
Verse 2 (God)
The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.

Version: World English Bible


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Ezra Chapter 1 Guide

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 fulfilment 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.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Ezra Chapter 1 Commentary

Chapter Outline

  1. The proclamation of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the temple. -- (1-4)
  2. The people provide for their return. -- (5-11)

Verses 1-4

The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus. The hearts of kings are in the hand of the Lord. God governs the world by his influence on the spirits of men; whatever good they do, God stirs up their spirits to do it. It was during the captivity of the Jews, that God principally employed them as the means of calling the attention of the heathen to him. Cyrus took it for granted, that those among the Jews who were able, would offer free-will offerings for the house of God. He would also have them supplied out of his kingdom. Well-wishers to the temple should be well-doers for it.

Verses 5-11

The same God that raised up the spirit of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to the Jews, raised up their spirits to take the benefit. The temptation was to some to stay in Babylon; but some feared not to return, and they were those whose spirits God raised, by his Spirit and grace. Whatever good we do, is owing to the grace of God. Our spirits naturally bow down to this earth and the things of it; if they move upward in any good affections or good actions, it is God who raises them. The calls and offers of the gospel are like the proclamation of Cyrus. Those bound under the power of sin, may be made free by Jesus Christ. Whosoever will, by repentance and faith, return to God, Jesus Christ has opened the way for him, and raises him out of the slavery of sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Many that hear this joyful sound, choose to sit still in Babylon, are in love with their sins, and will not venture upon a holy life; but some break through all discouragements, whatever it cost them; they are those whose spirit God has raised above the world and the flesh, whom he has made willing. Thus will the heavenly Canaan be filled, though many perish in Babylon; and the gospel offer will not have been made in vain. The bringing back the Jews from captivity, represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.

From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.