- 4:1-3 – Zerubbabel and Jeshua knew that they were intended to be set apart. We don’t know what the adversaries intended to do, but they aren’t allowed to be a part of the temple build.
- 4:7-16 – Artaxerxes succeeded Cyrus as king of Persia. Some of his advisors discouraged him from allowing the Israelites to leave exile and return to and rebuild Jerusalem.
- 4:17-24 – Artaxerxes halts the rebuild of the temple. This must have been a devastating blow to the Israelites who were trying to reestablish their identity.
- 5:6-17 – King Cyrus had approved the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, but King Artaxerxes, his predecessor had halted the progress. Now the leaders trying to get it built again were appealing to Darius to allow them to search for the gold and silver vessels used in worship in the original temple.
- 6:6-12 – King Darius makes a decree putting all the building plans back in progress.
- 6:16-22 – It would have been a huge celebration for the Israelites to return to their land, dedicate the temple, and celebrate Passover again. It is hard for us to relate to how significant that would have been for them.
- 7:1-6 – When Ezra showed up, it had been 58 years since the dedication of the temple.
- 7:11-20 – The king gives all the priests permission to go back to Jerusalem with Ezra and to equip the temple with everything it needs.