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Those rulers Daniel served (although they always came second to the Lord) began to have mercy on our people. King Cyrus allowed the first of the exiles to return home. Time had moved on. The temple had to be rebuilt. King Cyrus restored to us the temple treasures, which Nebuchadnezzar had pillaged.
Kings Xerxes and others were against us. We were not short of enemies, who would stir things up against us and hinder our work.
King Darius was reminded of King Cyrus’ decree. He supported the rebuilding.
I was surprised to receive a letter from King Ataxerxes himself. Among other wonderful news the king gave me authority to teach everyone about the God of Israel, the God Daniel had served faithfully in this alien land.
With the King’s support and after guidance from God I set out with many leaders of Israel to travel with treasures for the temple all the way back to Jerusalem. After such a long journey we rested for three days. Then we gave thanks to God.
It should have been a time of rejoicing and hope, but there was a problem. Many of the men who had been in Jerusalem since the time of King Cyrus had disobeyed God’s commandments. They had married women from the nations around Jerusalem, who did not worship the Lord our God.
I prayed to God for the people. When I had finished praying I found that Shecaniah had a good plan to restore hope to the people. But it came at the price of drastic action.
Read the book with my name to see if you think we acted wisely.
This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.
I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)
This post is based on the Book of Ezra from the Old Testament.