Ezra journeys from Babylon to Jerusalem. v1-10
a. Vs 1… reign of Artaxerxes King of Persia – not the same Artaxerxes as mentioned in Chapter 4
b. Vs 1-6 Who was Ezra?
- Scribe, skilled in the law of Moses (vs 6)
- Priest (vs 11)
- descended from Aaron, long line of Priests
Around the year 458 bc, the 7th year of Artaxerxes I, some of the sons of Israel, some priests, the Levites, singers and gatekeepers and temple servants, went up to Jerusalem.
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem from Babylon in the 5th month (Ab July/Aug) of the year 458 bc (approx.). As the crow flies the distance was around 500 miles but the route Ezra would have taken would double that distance to around 900-1000 miles, as it wasn’t a straight shot.
He left Babylon the 1st of the 1st month (Nisan Mar/Apr). So it was a long journey but God was with him and his group and there were no major troubles.
Artaxerxes I gave another decree of support to Ezra, the Priest and Scribe.
Again, we see this Persian King following in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great, King Darius, and Mordecai (Esther’s Uncle) with the authority of King Ahasuerus. Each one offering tolerance and support for the Israelites and their God.
Artaxerxes I also expanded their rights to appoint magistrates and judges to not only officiate in their own province but also beyond the Euphrates, and to teach anyone who is ignorant of the Laws of their God.
This king, gave them the right to pass judgement on themselves and others, with consequences ranging from confiscation of goods to even execution. So even though the Jews spent their exile in Babylon, they were not mistreated.