Ezra 2:1-35

1Now these are the children of the province who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city; 2who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: 3The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two. 4The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two. 5The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy-five. 6The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred twelve. 7The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four. 8The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty-five. 9The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty. 10The children of Bani, six hundred forty-two. 11The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty-three. 12The children of Azgad, one thousand two hundred twenty-two. 13The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-six. 14The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty-six. 15The children of Adin, four hundred fifty-four. 16The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 17The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty-three. 18The children of Jorah, one hundred twelve. 19The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty-three. 20The children of Gibbar, ninety-five. 21The children of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three. 22The men of Netophah, fifty-six. 23The men of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight. 24The children of Azmaveth, forty-two. 25The children of Kiriath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three. 26The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one. 27The men of Michmas, one hundred twenty-two. 28The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty-three. 29The children of Nebo, fifty-two. 30The children of Magbish, one hundred fifty-six. 31The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four. 32The children of Harim, three hundred twenty. 33The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-five. 34The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five. 35The children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred thirty.


In around 576BC the dominate power was now Persia and King Cyrus was on the throne.  Coming up to the end of his reign he decided to let the people of God return home and rebuild their temple.  This return and rebuilding of Jerusalem happened in 3 waves, just as the exile did.

  • 536BC, 70 years from exile and the first wave of people return under the leadership of Zerubbabel, they begin to rebuild the temple.  Although the rebuilding is slow and sporadic and Haggai and Zachariah have to step in to encourage the people to keep building.  We will look as these men at a later date.
  • The second wave of return was led by Ezra, the majority of the people that returned with him were the Levites.  
  • The third wave was headed up by Nehemiah, hence traditionally Ezra-Nehemiah are read as one book.  This return included the craftsmen in order to rebuild the wall.

God’s plan was not just to rebuild the place, but also to restore his people.  Zerubbabel returns in phase one, he is a direct descendant of King David and so God restores a future for his people and the hope of the coming Messiah.  When Ezra returns to Judah his intention is to restore the religious life of the people, leading them back to God through obedience and worship.  Finally, as Nehemiah returns God replenishes Judah with what it need to rebuild the walls in a practical way.  Whether it is practical, or spiritual or hope for the future, God is in the restoration business.