1 Nov. Ezra 1:1-11

1 Nov. The first exiles return from Babylonia with Sheshbazzar

“In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia, the LORD caused Cyrus to send an announcement to his whole kingdom and to put it in writing. This happened so the LORD’s message spoken by Jeremiah would come true.”

“He wrote: This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me, and he has appointed me to build a Temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. May God be with all of you who are his people.”

“You are free to go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the Temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, who is in Jerusalem. Those who stay behind, wherever they live, should support those who want to go. Give them silver and gold, supplies and cattle, and special gifts for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”

“Then the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites got ready to go to Jerusalem – everyone God had caused to want to go to Jerusalem to build the Temple of the LORD. All their neighbours helped them, giving them things made of silver and gold, along with supplies, cattle, valuable gifts and special gifts for the Temple.”

“Also, King Cyrus brought out the bowls and pans that belonged in the Temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his own god. Cyrus king of Persia had Mithredath the treasurer bring them and count them out for Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.”

“He listed 30 gold dishes, 1,000 silver dishes, 29 pans, 30 gold bowls, 410 matching silver bowls and 1,000 other pieces. There was a total of 5,400 pieces of gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these things along when the captives went from Babylon to Jerusalem.”

          (Ezra 1:1-11)



The Babylonian Empire was conquered by Cyrus, King of Persia, in 539BC. He ordered that groups of exiles within the Persian Empire should return home and worship their own gods (in order to pacify these gods and gain their approval for Cyrus’s empire). This was in accordance with the prophecy of Jeremiah that the LORD would save his people from exile (see Jeremiah 46:27-28).

The return of the exiles was a gradual process spanning the following century. The Jewish exiles from Judah (the ‘Golah’) returned to Jerusalem in four groups spread over 92 years between 537BC and 445BC.

Sheshbazzar was made Governor of Judah by King Cyrus in 537BC (see Ezra 5:14). He was given the treasures from the Temple in Jerusalem and returned to Judah with the first group of exiles.

Work began on re-building the Temple in 536BC, and the Temple treasures, which had been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, were returned to Jerusalem.

The photo (by Herwig Reidlinger) shows The Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem.

You can read more about the return of the exiles @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/35-the-exiles-return-to-judah/the-later-years-of-exile-amp-the-return-to-judah-538428bc/

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