Book of Ezra
The Book of Ezra is a continuation of the Books of Chronicles. The period covered by the book is eighty years, from the first of Cyrus, B.C. 536, to the beginning of the eighth of Artaxerxes, B.C. 456. It consists of the contemporary historical journals kept from time to time, containing an account of the return of the captives under Zerubbabel, and the rebuilding of the temple in the reign of Cyrus and Cambyses. Most of the book is written in Hebrew, but several chapters are written in Chaldee. The last four chapters, beginning with Chapter 7, continue the history after a gap of fifty-eight years--from the sixth of Darius to the seventh of Artaxerxes--narrating his visit to Jerusalem and giving an account of the reforms accomplished there. Much of the book was written by Ezra himself, though the first chapter was probably written by Daniel. Styles of other writers are also apparent.
Ezra, called Esdras in the Apocrypha, was a famous scribe and priest. He was residing in Babylon, when in the seventh year of Artaxerxes's reign he obtained leave to go to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites. The journey from Babylon to Jerusalem took four months, and the company brought with them a large offering of gold and silver. It appears that Ezra's great design was to effect a religious reformation among the Palestine Jews. His first step was to enforce separation upon all who had married foreign wives. We hear nothing more of him until thirteen years later, when we find him again at Jerusalem with Nehemiah. The date of his death is uncertain; however, there was a Jewish tradition that he was burred in Persia.
On this page are several pictures from the Book of Ezra taken from my collection of old religious books. You're welcomed to use the Book of Ezra illustrations in your art projects. Click on the drawings below to see more details about saving a free image or about purchasing the images from the Book of Ezra at a higher resolution.