As scribe, Ezra taught people

While in captivity in Babylon, Ezra was "the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel." (Ezra 7:11.)

In the days of the Hebrew monarchy, "scribe" was the title of a court official. (See 2 Sam. 8:17; 2 Kings 12:10; 18:18.) Ezra and others to whom the title was given acted as teachers of the law. By the time of the New Testament, the word "scribe" sometimes was used interchangeably with "lawyer."Ezra "prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." (Ezra 7:11.)

In 458 B.C. he obtained from Artaxerxes an edict allowing him to take to Jerusalem any Jewish exiles who wanted to go. Artaxerxes also gave Ezra money, animals for offerings, silver and gold, and "the vessels" for the temple that was to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. (See Ezra 7:12-19.)

Artaxerxes authorized Ezra to appoint magistrates and judges. Ezra had some authority himself, for after arriving in Jerusalem, "Ezra the priest stood up" and admonished the people who had "transgressed, and

hadT taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel." (Ezra 10:10.) (The word "strange" is commonly used in the Old Testament as meaning "foreign" or those who are not of the household of Israel or not of the covenant.)

The latter part of Ezra's history is recorded in the book of Nehemiah, a "sequel" to the book of Ezra.

Ezra had a role in instructing the people in the law of Moses. Commonly, only priests had copies of the written law. However, "all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street. . . . And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding. . . . And he read therein . . . and the ears of all the people were attentive upon the book of the law." (Neh. 8:1-4.)

The Bible Dictionary in the 1982 LDS edition of the King James Bible states that religious values in the book of Ezra are found in the teaching that:

The promises of the Lord through His prophets shall all be fulfilled.

Discipline and patience are borne of disappointment, as one expectation after another was frustrated.

There is eternal significance in everyday life.

Preparation is needed for the rule of Messiah, the law being the schoolmaster to bring men to Christ.

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