These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Ezra 1-2: Return from Exile

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Ezra.

Exile. Their homeland was destroyed. They were forcibly removed to a strange land. There they were foreigners, losers, third-class inhabitants. Feelings ran deep—anger, shame, alienation and isolation. What hope could possibly exist in people who had not seen their homeland for over fifty years? This is where the book of Ezra starts.

Warming Up to God

Have you ever had an experience of being physically or emotionally far from home? How would you describe that experience of exile?

Read Ezra 1-2

Discovering the Word

  • What would it have been like to have heard the proclamation of King Cyrus (1:1-4)?
  • What were the Israelites provided with beyond their freedom (1:3-11)?
  • What might have been the thoughts and feelings of those who were chosen to return to Israel (2:1-66)?
  • Why were the returnees so generous in the offering (2:68-69) to rebuild the temple?
  • How would the prophecy of Jeremiah (2Ch 36:21) affect them as they resettled Israel (2:70)?

Applying the Word

  • How might God be calling you to return to a place or a group?
  • How can the profound gratitude of the Israelites in 2:68-69 impact your response to God?

Responding in Prayer

Offer the Lord your thanks for bringing you back from the exile of sin.

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