Ezra 1:1-3

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return

1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.

Ezra 1:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
ESV
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
NLT
1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the LORD fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:
MSG
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia - this fulfilled the Message of God preached by Jeremiah - God prodded Cyrus king of Persia to make an official announcement throughout his kingdom. He wrote it out as follows:
CSB
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Lord put it into the mind of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and [to put it] in writing:

Ezra 1:1-3 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF EZRA

This book, in the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, is called the "First" Book of Ezra, Nehemiah being reckoned the "second"; but with the Jews both were accounted but one book {a}; in the Syriac version, it is called the Writing or Book of Ezra the Prophet; and this title is given him, both by Jews {b} and Christians {c}; in the Arabic version, it is called the First Book of Ezra the Priest, skilful in the Law; and that he was a priest is clear, since he was the son of Seraiah the high priest, who was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, and the younger brother of Josedech, who succeeded his father as high priest, and uncle to Joshua that succeeded him; and he was also a ready scribe in the law of Moses, see Ezr 7:1,6,10-12. That Ezra was the writer of this book is believed by the Jews {d}, and by the generality of Christians; only Huetius {e} thinks that the six first chapters were written by another hand, but his reasons are not satisfactory; and it has been universally received as canonical by all; it agrees with the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, and serves to illustrate them; it is of use for the continuation of the sacred history, to point at the fulfilment of prophecies concerning the return of the Jews from captivity, and the rebuilding of the temple; and to give us an account of the state of the church in those times, the troubles and difficulties it met with, and what care was taken to keep the tribes and families distinct, that it might be known from whom the Messiah sprung; this book contains an history of seventy years, according to the calculation of Bishop Usher {f}, from A. M. 3468, to A. M. 3538.

{a} Origen apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 6. c. 25. Hieron. Opera, tom. 3. Epist. ad Paulin. fol. 6. B. & ad Domnion. & Rogat. fol. 7. G. {b} Seder Olam Zuta, p. 108. {c} Lactant. Institut. l. 4. c. 11. {d} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1. {e} Demonstr. Evangel. prop. 4. p. 208, 209. {f} Annal. Vet. Test. p. 146, 193.

\\INTRODUCTION TO EZRA 1\\

This chapter informs us of the proclamation of Cyrus king of Persia, for the Jews to return to their own country, and rebuild their temple, Ezr 1:1-4, and that, upon it, the chief of them rose up for that purpose, whose hands were strengthened and supplied by those about them, Ezr 1:5,6 and particularly by Cyrus, who gave orders that the vessels belonging to the temple should be delivered to them, Ezr 1:7-11.

Ezra 1:1-3 In-Context

1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.
4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ ”
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Zechariah 1:12-16
  • 2. Ezra 6:22; Ezra 7:27; 2 Chronicles 36:22,23
  • 3. S Judges 4:10; Psalms 72:11; Isaiah 41:2,25; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:13; Isaiah 46:11; Isaiah 49:7,23; Isaiah 60:3,10
  • 4. Ezra 5:13; Haggai 1:2
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