Attempts by non-Jews to join the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple were blocked by the faithful leadership. This served to intensify opposition which halted construction. Ezra also documented decades of opposition.
The Jews united in their cause to reestablished Temple worship. The alter was built and used. The monies, craftsmen, and materials arranged for the temple. The foundation was laid with a mixture of joy and sorrow.
The first of three groups of Jews return to the Promised Land. Ezra 2 is an honor roll of those who stepped out in faith: leaders, people, priests, Levites, Nethinim, children of Solomon’s servants and the unconfirmed.
The Jewish people had been subject to Babylonian captivity for seventy years just as Jeremiah the prophet foretold. Now, Cyrus King of Persia, was ending their captivity, just as Isaiah the prophet foretold.