Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ezra Chapter 5

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (450 BC)
Overview: The Return of the Jewish Exiles (c 1-10)
Theme: The Return Led By Zerubbabel (c 1-6)
Message: Enemies Inform King Darius (1-17)

Ezra 5 Commentary 

(5:1-2) Prophets of God - "With them were the prophets of God helping them." God sometimes sends prophets to encourage and strengthen his people. To accomplish this, Haggai and Zechariah not only preached but also got involved in the labor. In the church today, God appoints prophetic voices to encourage us and to help us with our work (Ephesians 4:11-13). Their ministry should have the same effect upon us as Haggai's and Zechariah's had on Israel. "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Corinthians 14:3). In turn, we should encourage those who bring God's words to us.

(5:2) Haggai and Zechariah - More details about the work and messages of Haggai and Zechariah are found in the books of the Bible that bear their names.

(5:3-5) Distractions - The non-Jews who lived nearby attempted to hinder the construction of the temple. But while the legal debate went on and the decision was under appeal, the Jews continued to rebuild. When we are doing God's work, others may try to delay, confuse, or frustrate us, but we can proceed confidently. God will accomplish his purposes in our world, no matter who attempts to block them. Just as he watched over the Jewish elders, he watches over you. Concentrate on God's ultimate purpose, and don't get sidetracked by intrigues, slander, or other difficulties.

(5:6-17) The Lord Will Accomplish His Will - This letter, in comparison with the previous one (4:11-16), at least stated the facts correctly and asked a fair question. The earlier letter had accused the Jews of preparing the foundation for the entire city rather than reporting that they were doing only what they had been permitted by Cyrus to do. Perhaps the opposition simply thought that sending this letter to Babylon would create enough concern to stop the Jews from rebuilding the temple. God had other plans, however. We can't predict how God will get his purposes accomplished, but we can certainly trust that he will succeed!

(5:11) Serve The Lord - While rebuilding the temple, the workers were confronted by the Persia-appointed governor, who demanded to know who had given permission for their construction project (5:3). This could have been intimidating, but, as we learn from the letter, they boldly replied, "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth." It is not always easy to speak up for our faith in an unbelieving world, but we must. The way to deal with pressure and intimidation is to recognize that we are workers for God. Our allegiance is to him first and people second. When we contemplate the reactions and criticisms of hostile people, we can become paralyzed with fear. If we try to offend no one or to please everyone, we won't be effective. God is our leader, and his rewards are most important. So don't be intimidated. Let others know by your words and actions whom you really serve.

(5:13-17) Why is Cyrus called the king of Persia in 1:1 and the king of Babylon in 5:13? Because Persia had just conquered Babylon, Cyrus was the king of both nations. Babylon is more important to this story because it was the location of the Hebrews' 70-year captivity. The Babylon referred to in 5:17 may be the city of Babylon, which was the capital of the nation of Babylonia.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Making Application

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Ezra with Chapter 5 and we see the rebuilding continues with the Haggai and Zechariah proclaimed the Word of God and then worked to accomplish the task. In making application we see the need to make application of the Word of God. When the Lord instructs us to do something in His Word it is not enough to just proclaim its promises we must apply it to the actual actions of our life. How about you? Do you apply the Word of God to Your life? let us from our text today and example of Haggai and Zechariah to make application of the Word of God.  


Ezra 5

Ezra 5

 1Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.

 2Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

 3At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?

 4Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building?

 5But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

 6The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and his companions the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, sent unto Darius the king:

 7They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus; Unto Darius the king, all peace.

 8Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

 9Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls?

 10We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.

 11And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up.

 12But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

 13But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.

 14And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;

 15And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place.

 16Then came the same Sheshbazzar, and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not finished.

 17Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.