PERSEVERANCE IN the face of opposition is one of the lessons from our reading today. The Samaritans, Ammonites, and Arabs in Nehemiah’s day tried to discourage the Jews through threats, political pressure, and even a conspiracy to assassinate Nehemiah.
THE SECOND group to return from Babylon to Jerusalem was led by Ezra the priest in 458 B.C. It was a four-month journey, which the Jews undertook without an armed guard — something that was unheard of in that day.
THE PROPHESIED return of the exiles from Babylon is the focus of our study today. Under the leadership of Zerbbabel, who led the first group back to Jerusalem in 538 B.C., and with the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. We discuss