Feeling the need to better understand the Old Testament, I’m jumping over there for the morning, and opening the book of Ezra, of which I know nothing about. So I’m starting here in the Bible Dictionary.
The first thing that I find particularly noteworthy is the time period. Though Ezra appears relatively early in the Old Testament, Ezra lived only about 450 years before Christ, well after the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah — 150 years after Lehi left Jerusalem.
The Book of Nehemiah is a sequel to the Book of Ezra. Ezra, the name sake of the book, was a priest who dealt with the restoration of some Jews to Jerusalem.
(13 April 2016) – Ezra 3
In the restoration of the children of Israel to Jerusalem in the 450 BC, they take pains to resume the offering of sacrifices upon the alter of the temple even before the temple had been rebuilt.
They worked to follow the patterns established by Moses, to observe the commandments which the Lord had given to Moses. I ask myself why would they do this? Why was this, for them, counted as righteousness?
These were the ordinances that the Lord ordained for them to perform. Even in the mere act of observance, two things are accomplished: 1) a remembrance of the Lord their God and 2) an acknowledgement of their ancestry as the Lord’s chosen people and all that that entails.
A great celebration was held in the laying of the foundation of the temple. I suppose that I am surprised to find an account of temple construction, or reconstruction in the Old Testament. But the reality of the matter is that the children of Israel were a temple building, temple worshiping people. No modern religion outside of Mormonism has this component of worship.