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Author: Good evidence for Ezra the priest, who was part of the remnant who returned to Jerusalem after Cyrus king of Persia’s decree, which is referenced in 2 Chr. 36:22-23 and at the beginning of Ezra’s book.

Date: Probably 450-425 B.C. Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C. to the Babylonians. Cyrus the king of Persia issued a declaration in 536 B.C., allowing the Israelite remnant to return to Jerusalem.

Audience: “All Israel” who had been exiled but returned to Jerusalem.


  • Chapters 1-10 - Genealogy from Adam through Saul of who resettled in Jerusalem after the Exile

  • 1:1-2:2 - Adam to Noah to Abraham to Israel (Jacob) and his 12 sons

  • 2:3-55 - Traces Jacob’s son Judah through his son Perez through his son Hezron and his 3 sons lines

  • 3:1-24 - Traces line of David, Jesse’s son, from Ram, Hezron’s son, through Jehoiachin last king before exile

  • 4:1-23 - Other clans who came through Judah’s family line (“Prayer of Jabez” v. 9-10)

  • 4:24-5:26 - The lines of Jacob’s sons, Simeon, whose descendents eventually destroyed Amalekites, and Reuben, Gad, and the people of the half-tribe of Manasseh (Joseph’s firstborn, Jacob’s grandson)

  • 6:1-48 - The line of Jacob’s son, Levi, who administered the music before the tabernacle, Tent of Meeting

  • 6:49-81 - Describes the line of Aaron, who administered the offerings on the altar in the Most Holy Place, and the lands that the Levites and descendents of Aaron received from the rest of the Israelites

  • 7:1-40 - The lines of Jacob’s sons, Isaachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Asher

  • 8:1-9:44 - The line of Jacob’s son, Benjamin, down through king Saul and his son Jonathan’s line, along with the rest of Israel and the priests, Levites, and temple servants (9:1-3) who resettled in Jerusalem

  • 10:1-14 - Story of Saul’s suicide and death because of his unfaithfulness and kingdom turned over to David

Chapters 11-29 - David’s reign established and strengthened, preparations for the building of the Temple

  • 11:1-12:40 - David’s kingdom established, Jerusalem conquered and made central city of kingdom, his mighty men and all those who voluntarily joined him from Saul and other tribes and places

  • 13:1-14 - Attempt to bring ark of the Lord to Jerusalem failed, ended up at Obed-Edom’s house

  • 14:1-17 - David’s house fully established and defeat of the Philistines

  • 15:1-16:43 - Ark of the Lord brought properly to Jerusalem by Levites with much worship and care

  • 17:1-27 - God’s promise to establish David’s throne forever, his son will build Temple, David’s response

  • 18:1-20:8 - David’s kingdom further established through military victories

  • 21:1-22:1 - David’s sin taking census of army brought God’s judgment in plague, but David repented, built altar, offered sacrifices, and the Lord answered by fire, took away plague, became future site of Temple

  • 22:2-19 - David’s preparations for construction of Temple, prepared way for Solomon

  • 23:1-24:31 - Descendents of Levi and Aaron commissioned to assis