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This book offers dynamic accounts of the victories and struggles of God’s People as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Its content primarily describes the rebuilding and reform in postexilic Judah during the latter half o the fifth century B.C. Ezra returns to the land to lead the community in establishing the most significant priority known to humanity, that is, the worship of God. Despite opposition in the form of intimidation and seduction, the community is successful in locking in on their relationship with God through building the temple and studying God’s word.
Nehemiah follows Ezra with a building project in mind – namely rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. This wall would distinguish God’s people from the surrounding groups, but was not intended to separate them from the world entirely. Engaging in the world around them, God’s people would maintain their identity by nurturing their faith within community and wisely interacting with their surroundings.
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