Posted on 40 Comments

Ezra, Bible Prophet

Ezra was an ancient Jewish priest and scribe who was one of the primary leaders of Israel when they returned from exile to rebuild Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple. His story begins around 480 BC, which is where he appears on the Amazing Bible Timeline with World History study companion.

[This article continues after a message from the authors]
These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History

Click to find out more about this comprehensive Bible study tool now! >

Ezra was a knowledgeable leader of Jewish law, and he was also a descendant of the high priest Aaron, who was the brother of Moses. God had blessed Ezra and was with him, so the king of Persia (King Artaxerxes) gave Ezra whatever he needed to make the journey and to rebuild the temple. Ezra was a devout servant of the Lord who made it a point to study and do all that the Lord has commanded him.

When Ezra traveled back to Jerusalem, he was accompanied by many Jewish people. They came from many different professions and backgrounds. Starting in Ezra 1 the Bible lists various different clans and Jewish tribal members that made the journey back to Jerusalem. The Jewish traveled back to Jerusalem at different times. Later in Ezra 8 a list of families that traveled back to Jerusalem was written down so that people could see who they were.

Ezra Bible_Prophet

When the first wave of Jewish people went back to Jerusalem in Ezra 1, it happened during the reign of Cyrus the Great. Many years later when King Artaxerxes ruled Persia, he also decreed that more Jewish people should go back to their homeland. He gave a decree that supported the Jewish people and their efforts in Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes told nearby countries to provide the Jewish people with supplies for the temple, and he also made the provinces give them food and water when they needed it as well. The king's decree also allowed the Jewish people to take back the treasures that were taken from the Lord's Temple by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Jewish priests and temple servants did not have to pay taxes because the decree freed them from this responsibility. Ezra and the rest of the Jewish people finally made it back to Jerusalem and when he arrived he was shocked to discover that his people had intermingled with the pagan nations that surrounded Jerusalem.

Ezra prayed for forgiveness for his people, and he then set out to make some reforms. He formed a great assembly comprised of 120 prophets and sages. He influenced this council to oversee and enforce the Biblical laws that God had given to his people in the days of Moses. He no longer permitted any people to marry foreign women and led them to repent of their sins. He then organized leaders for the newly established community. Though Ezra was associated with prophets, he wasn't considered a prophet in the truest since of the word. God didn't send Ezra out with specific messages or revelations to give to the people he used him to remind the people about keeping God's word. Ezra made it a point to keep God's word relevant to the people and to make sure that they were careful to obey all that was written. Ezra probably knew Nehemiah though the Bible doesn't specifically state this as fact. Both men went back to Jerusalem during the reign of Artaxerxes.

Ezra was born in 480 B.C. and he died in 440 B.C.

Biblical References: The book of Ezra in the Bible tells about the Jewish peoples return back to Jerusalem after they were exiled. The story of Ezra's life is revealed in chapter seven of the same book.

These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. Quickly See Over 6000 Years of Bible and World History Togetherbible timeline
  • Unique circular format - over 1,000 references at your fingertips on this wonderful study companion
  • Discover interesting facts - Biblical events with scripture references plotted alongside world history showcase fun chronological relationships
  • Attractive, easy to use design - People will stop to look at and talk about this beautifully laid out Jesus history timeline poster ideal for your home, office, church ...
  • Click here to find out more about this unique and fun Bible study tool!

Gift yourself, your family and Bible studying friends this amazing study companion for an exciting journey of discovery.

40 thoughts on “Ezra, Bible Prophet

  1. I dont understand why ezra was born in 480 b.c and died 440 b.c please I need exlpanation.

    1. The years Before Christ count backwards from Christ. So 4 years before Christ is earlier in time than 2 years before Christ. If you remember the number in school with negative numbers,then Christ is 0 and BC are the negative numbers, AD are the positive numbers. I wish I could be more help. We need a picture!

      1. I think iddrisu is asking where you got these dates.

        1. Good point. Again, our dates are based on the calculations of Bishop James Ussher found in the King James Bible. According to Ezra 7:7 Ezra came to Jerusalem “in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the King.” Some say that is the first King Artaxerxes, some say the second. Using the first King, the dates are as we show it.

    2. Time Counts Backwards, As Negative Type Of Numbers To Zero. Born 480 BC , Next year 479, 478, 477 etc to zero, Jesus Birth. Died 440 BC, as we move towards zero. Thus 480-440 he lived 40 years of life, on earth. He went to Heaven 440/years before Jesus was born. Hope that helps.

    3. Oh, when it’s in BC, it goes backwards or towards the birth of Christ.

      1. BC – means Before Christ..

    4. The bible calendar is descending to Chtist bitth…time is “deducted” to reach 01 before Chtist birth.
      Ex. A perdon born in 420 BC and lived 60 years…whe that perdon died
      the time of death is listed as the year 380.

    5. Because when you’re talking about BC it goes backwards it means he died at the age of 40 because he was born 480 years before Christ and died 40 years later.

    6. Cause it goes back to 0 or the time of Christ. In other words 400+- years before Christ was born

    7. As you get closer to Jesus birth, the year numbers get smaller. So Ezra was born 480 years before Jesus birth…..lived 60 years and died in 440 BC

  2. This was a lot of help to my essay thank you so much

  3. Two points need to be remembered in the stories of Ezra: (1) that the knowledge of Torah had been lost during the exile, Ezra was the only one who had this knowledge and as he read the Torah to the Assembly before their entrance to Jerusalem, the people wept (and he is said to be responsible for rewriting the Torah later. (2) That the people who had married non-Judaic (goim) women and had children from them, as they reached the borders, some people (the officials” among them “approached” Ezra raising the spectre of what can be considered, a ‘racist’ question of denouncing mixed marriages and refusing to allow the non-Jewish wives and their children to enter Judea, making Ezra rend his clothes and make a long prayer. Eventually on the suggestion of Shecaniah bin Jeheil to separate themselves from the peoples of the lands (goim) and sent them away back to their lands(Ezra chapter 9-10). There were only two persons who objected to this kind of inhuman treatment of the wives and children: Jonathan son of Assahel and Jahzei’ah son of Tikvah, who opposed this, and Meshul’lam and Shab’be-that the Levites supported them. Ezra 10.15. If we were to remind ourselves of how Meriam and Aaron were punished because of objecting Moses’s marrying Kushite woman, we might understand which one of the two parties at this gathering were true believers: the offcials and the multitudes who demanded women and children to be sent back or the two who objected to this move and the other two supporting them. Muhammad Umar Chand

    1. You must have read Ezras prayer when he was told about the inter marriage of the people with pagan nations. God had expressly forbidden this, and still tells us not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

      1. Ezra objected to marriages between humanity (Adamites) and the fallen angels that bred the daughters of men. This is represented by the snake that tempted Eve in the garden of Eden. These are the Reptilians (Annunaki). This information comes from government whistleblowers and the Secret Space Program. Humanity will very soon be told the real truths about these fallen Angels.

      2. Thank for the summary…but I am confussed about Ezra’s lifespan .They say between Ezra 6 and 7 are 60 years…how could he have lived 40 years yet two kings wrote him letters in Chap 6 and 7 ..This also means he was also an adult at the time
        Please explain

    2. No, this is false. It wasn’t a matter of race or Ruth and Rahab would never have been able to marry Jews. If a person decides to follow God, they were not sent away. It was only those wives who were leading their husbands astray that were sent away. Harsh, yes, but unfortunately it was better for the health of the nation. You can see how easily the Jewish people are led astray. Solomon is given as the example that even the wisest man on Earth can be led astray by foreign wives who worship other gods. The wives and children didn’t have to leave, but they were not willing to give up their foreign gods. Even the children were not speaking the Jewish language.

  4. So was Ezra successful in telling the people of Jerusalem the statues and judgments of God?

    1. Yes, there was a reformation…..its all in the book of Ezra

  5. How many readers are aware of the differences and discrepancies between the King James version of the Bible and a real, actual Old Testament bible? The most significant difference is the calendar used which changes dates by as much as several decades. Next, Christianity didn’t separate from Judiasm until the 4th century C.E. At that time, they were blatant anti-semites. St. Jerome mistranslated a Hebrew text into Latin and forevermore Moses had horns. Never rely on a single source for information.

    1. Goodness‼️ Incorrect! People could not look at Moses after he encountered Yahweh, God, on Mt Sinai. He had great light, radiance, coming from his face. Artists imaged those lyrics get rays as appendages coming from his head when statues or images were made depicting Moses in that after experience. In painted art, Moses
      Has beams of light coming from his head area. In statues it is mistaken for HORNS if you’re looking unfamiliar with that Biblical narrative.

    2. Where does the Bible say Moses had horns?

  6. Does anyone know if Ezra was married and if so,who to. Who were his brothers.

    1. Ezra have how many son and daughter

  7. If Daniel was born in 628 and was sent into exile at about age 15 that would be 614 BC. Then they were held in captivity for 70 years so that would be 543, right?
    If Ezra was not born until 480 and he was one who helped rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. What was going on between 543 and 480? I know the Jews returned in waves to their homeland. Was there someone before Ezra who led some of them back?

    1. Yea.. I think Zerubbabel led the first exodus from babylon and it thus recorded in Ezra 1-6 … 70 years before Ezra led the second exodus..

    2. Ezra arrived in Jerusalem 50 years after the temple had been rebuilt and dedicated

    3. When you consider the Koresh of Ezra 1 to be the grandson of Cyrus the Great, Xerxes. Then the distance to the destruction of the temple was 100 years when the Jews returned. At that moment it was 120 years ago that Daniel had been taken to Babylon.

      Daniel 6:28 suggests the Daniel of Daniel 6 and the Daniel of Daniel 1-5 are two distinct persons.

  8. I have to disagree with the date of Ezra’s death.

    I believe the entire traditional narrative concerning Ezra and Nehemiah is in error.

    Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BCE
    538/37 BCE: He gave the decree for the Jews to return to the land of Israel, but they did not return to Jerusalem.

    Not long after, the foundation and altar were constructed by Sheshbazzar and Zerubabbel (Ezra 5:16 and 3:2). Cyrus gave them the artifacts until the Temple was built. Except for Josephus,

    521 BCE Darius I began reign. Contrary to popular belief, little construction is done during this time.

    516 BCE Prophecy of the Seventy years ends (Jer. 8:14 and Dan. 9). No one could have inhabited Jerusalem till this date let alone have completed a Temple within a few years.

    486 BCE Xerxes I (Ahasuerus associated with Esther).

    465 BCE Artaxerxes I halts construction due to anti -Jewish restoration movement. In a nutshell, these were old settlers in the area that did not want the Jews coming back. They held up construction for over 100 years from the time of Cyrus’s decree. Artaxerxes I did NOT give decree to build. Just the opposite.

    422 BCE: The famous decree given in “the second year of Darius” was Darius II, NOT Darius I. The Temple was completed in 418/19 BCE…NOT 516 BCE. (Ezra 6:1. 4:24; I Esdras 2:30). Construction had been halted 43 years since 465 BCE

    According to Ezra 5, it appears Zechariah and Haggai prophesy in 423 and 422 BCE. Ezra 4:23 and 5:1-2 show that Haggai and Zechariah were appointed after the decree of Artaxerxes forced cessation of construction (see also 1Esdras 7:5).

    A celebration by order of Darius in the fifth year of his reign throughout the Jewish people even into Elephantine is that Passover celebration referred to in Ezra 6:13-22. This celebration took place on the dedication of the Temple, which from the letters at Elephantine would have occurred in 419/8 BCE.

    398 BCE decree given for the return of Ezra in the “seventh year” of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7). This is Artaxerxes II, NOT the popular Artaxerxes I in 457 BCE.

    The “twentieth year” of Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2:1-20

    Ezra died the same year as Alexander in 323 BCE.

    We are finding out that many of the old traditional views are in error. Archaeological and biblical.

    The Bible is not in error…just how it has been interpreted. Not to mention the secular and archaeological evidence that has come to light.
    It is too much to get into to here.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly! But there’s so much missing in the Bible. I’ve had a vision of the Books being taken from a library that they were in. Also, the guardians of the Books bound, tortured and killed! He slowly giving me the revelation of the vision! He directed me to Ezra! Try to understand why.

      1. Can you say more on what you believe you are being shown? If you are permitted?

      2. So that we should all read Esdras.
        A very important book taken out of our bibles.

    2. You’re conflating the reconstruction of the temple and the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem.

      There’s a portion of Ezra which is out of chronological order (Ezra 4:6-23). This is clear from the mention of Ahaseurus and Artaxerxes.

      537-536 BC – Cyrus’ decree, first group returns with Zerubbabel, foundation of the temple laid, work on temple ceases.

      520 BC – Haggai and Zechariah motivate the people. Work resumes on temple.

      516 BC – Temple completed.

      458 BC – Second group returns with Ezra.

      444 BC – Third group returns with Nehemiah. Walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt.

      Rebuilding the temple would’ve been of little concern to the Persians. The opposition was local. Rebuilding the walls of the capital, on the other hand, could be viewed as a step toward rebellion, and that’s exactly how the Jews’ enemies spun it to the Persian king. The opposition involved the empire. Ezra grouped the two topically rather than chronologically in chapter 4.

      As an aid to reading Ezra, note these Persian kings and their reigns: Cyrus (560-530); Darius I (522-486); Ahasuerus (486-465); Artaxerxes I (465-424).

      The main subject of Ezra’s book was the rebuilding of the temple (which happened long before Ezra’s return to Judah). The main subject of Nehemiah’s book was the rebuilding of the walls. Ezra was present for the wall, but Nehemiah led the work and provided his first-hand account.

    3. Sources?

  9. Does anyone know how Ezra died? Did he marry or have any children? Who in his family carried over to the New Testament?

  10. Could you tell me. Where did Ezra died?

    1. he died in babalonia in about 323 the same year as Alexander

  11. Would you please explain in what sense of the word that you consider Ezra a prophet? I believe that he was a prophet but I don’t see the justification to make the claim. Thank you.

  12. Was Ezra Pound, who hated Jews in his writings but had some Jewish friends, named for the Ezra of the bible. Ezra Pound is a very famous American poet.

  13. As mentioned by others, the Elephantine papyri pinpoint the Darius mentioned in the book of Ezra as Darius II. This because the high priest Johanan, also mentioned in the book of Ezra, is mentioned there during the reign of Darius II.

    When you walk back to Ezra 2 you can see the daric coin mentioned (Ezra 2:69, ESV). This coin was introduced by Xerxes’ father Darius I. Therefore it makes sence to identify the Koresh/Cyrus of Ezra 1 as Xerxes rather than his grandfather Cyrus the Great.

    Also consider the name Ahasuerus is Hebrew but the name Artaxerxes (how it is translated) is written in Aramaic. They probably just are two versions of the same name.

    Thus the kings mentioned in the book of Ezra become: Xerxes (Ezra 1), Artaxerxes I (Ezra 4), Darius II (Ezra 5), Artaxerxes II (Ezra 7).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *