This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Ezra 1-2, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
A long time ago, there was a great king named Cyrus. God had spoken through a prophet named Jeremiah that He would use Cyrus to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. God stirred up King Cyrus to make a proclamation throughout his whole kingdom, which he also wrote down. In the proclamation, he said that God had given him all the kingdoms of the earth, and God wanted him to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He said that anyone who wanted to help could go to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of the Lord.
The people of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites, were happy and excited about the news. They knew that God had stirred their spirits to help rebuild the temple. People from all over the place donated their money, goods, and animals to help rebuild the temple. Even King Cyrus brought out the vessels of the Lord’s house that had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar and gave them to the prince of Judah.
Later on, the exiles returned to Jerusalem and Judah. There were many people who returned, and some of them are named in this story. There were sons of Parosh, Shephatiah, Arah, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Zaccai, Bani, Bebai, Azgad, Adonikam, Bigvai, Adin, Ater, Bezai, Jorah, Hashum, Gibbar, Bethlehem, Netophah, Anathoth, Azmaveth, Kiriath-arim, Chephirah, Beeroth, Ramah, Geba, Michmas, Bethel, Ai, Nebo, Magbish, the other Elam, Harim, Lod, Hadid, Ono, Jericho, and Senaah. There were also many priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants.
All together, there were over 42,000 people who returned to Jerusalem and their towns. Some of the heads of families gave money to help rebuild the temple. They gave 61,000 darics of gold, 5,000 minas of silver, and 100 priests’ garments. After that, the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants lived in their towns, and all the rest of Israel lived in their towns too.
- God is faithful to keep His promises, and He can use even kings to accomplish His plans.
- When we feel God stirring our hearts to do something, we should listen and follow through.
- God’s people can come together and work towards a common goal.
- Giving generously to God’s work is important.
- God cares about His people and wants them to be able to worship Him in His temple.