Key Verses and Themes in Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project
Key verses ezra



Ezra 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom and also in a written edict declared...

God is at work throughout the world, even in and through a pagan king

Ezra 7:28b I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.

Human work is successful when God blesses the work

Ezra 8: 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way; since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”

Sometimes trusting in God means not relying on human help

Nehemiah 2: 8b-9 The king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me. Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and cavalry.

Sometimes trusting in God means recognizing his provision of human help

Nehemiah 4:9 We prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

Trust in God should not lead to passivity

Nehemiah 5:19 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.

The key to determining the right thing to do is how it affects the people involved

Nehemiah 13:19 When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the sabbath day.

Keeping the Sabbath is commanded, even when it puts believers at an economic disadvantage

Esther 2:14 In the evening she went; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.

People — especially women— may find themselves in economic circumstances where there is no completely virtuous resolution. Nonetheless God is with them

Esther 4:13b Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.

It is an illusion to think that power, position or wealth insulates us from the hazards of life

Esther 4:14b Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for such a time as this?

God’s work among us is sometimes subtle, and sometimes should not even be identified specifically

Esther 4:16b If I perish, I perish.

The only way to serve God is to acknowledge that we cannot control the outcomes of our actions