Today's reading describes how Ezra, a key priest, led a group of exiles returning to Jerusalem. In fact, Ezra carries with him a letter from the Persian king, Artaxerxes, authorizing him to collect money and items for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple and making sacrifices.
After listing the family leaders who returned in this group of exiles with Ezra, the book suddenly changes to a personal narrative by Ezra himself. In the second part of chapter 8, Ezra describes how he led the people on their return.
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Reading the Bible in Its Entirety
If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Ezra 7-8 today.