Grand Canyon University
January 14, 2009
Ezra, an Israelite loyal to God of the Hebrews, lived in captivity in Persia under the rule of Cyrus, who was the King of Persia years before Herod the Great. Ezra was a man that was faithful to the rules and instructions of the Gods. He shared not only his allegiance to God with his surrounding countrymen, he also preached to them about their disobedience to God and their consequences that they would face for not abiding by Gods rule. The first ruler to start rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem was Cyrus. (LAB 1991) The rebuilding was started however, it was not completed because of the oppositions of the local inhabitants and the temple stood incomplete until Darius was named King of Persia. After approximately fifty eight years, Darius for volunteers that would be willing to go back to Jerusalem and complete the task of building the Temple. Appointed as one of the leaders was Ezra, he was given the decrees and the written authority to complete the construction. When Ezra finally entered the lands he found that the Hebrews that had remained there had turned their beliefs to paganism and had even intermarried with the pagans. Ezra’s condemnation of the Hebrews led to a national revival of the Jewish faith and restored the nation to its obedience to God. The Romans warred against and succeeded Persia in the rule over the Jewish nation. During this war the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Herod the great became recognized in the Roman Empire as a great general (www.livius.org) The Roman Statesman, Mark Anthony became familiar with Herod and his reputation as well as realizing his status as a Jewish national ally and leader while remaining true and loyal to Rome. At Mark Anthony’s suggestion the senate, Herod was appointed King over a portion of the empire that was inhabited by Jews, Judaea. In order to set up his kingdom, Herod was given an army...