Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Probably Ezra. Some of its statements must have been learned from others. Ch. 1 perhaps from the writings of Daniel; Ch. 2, the same as Neh. 7, perhaps written by Nehemiah; Ch. 3–6 per haps by the prophet Haggai; the rest by Ezra himself; Ch. 4:8–6:18 written in Aramaic, the rest in Hebrew.

2. DATE. — About 450 B. C.

3. LEADING TOPIC. — The building of the temple by the returned Jews, and the re forms instituted by Ezra.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. – At the time that the restored Jews, having completed the temple, were beginning to relapse into in difference about the service of Jehovah.

5. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show how God's promise to gather his people from the heathen was fulfilled, how they were again provided with a temple in which to worship Jehovah, and how they again were inclined to depart from the laws of God, but covenanted to keep them. It shows the religious condition of Israel after the exile.


Part 1. Rebuilding of the temple, Ch. 1-6.

(a) The decree of Cyrus, Ch.1.

(b) Names of those returning, Ch. 2.

(c) Foundation of the temple laid, Ch. 3.

(d) The work hindered, Ch. 4.

(e) The work finished, Ch. 5, 6.

Part II. Reforms by Ezra, Ch. 7-10.

(a) Ezra's journey, Ch, 7, 8.

(b) Confession of sin, Ch. 9.

(c) Covenant to obey the laws, Ch. 10.

7. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — Decree of Cyrus; estimate of the new temple; opposition to the Jews; sins confessed; foreign wives put away.

8. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — To the Pentateuch, which warned Israel of punishment by exile; to the historical books, which show how sin led to captivity; to the Prophets, which threatened with captivity, but promised restoration.

9. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — The restoration from captivity was illustrative of the restoration of God's true people from the power of the world, promised by the prophets in the Messianic times.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The succession of Persian rulers; the religion of Cyrus; the number of Jews who returned, compared with those taken captive; the scribes; intermarriages.