A Christian writer examines the book of Ezra.
In this compact work, Robertson quickly gets down to the business of explaining and extrapolating the Old Testament book of Ezra. The author opens by asserting that “Ezra is an encapsulated recording of God’s work of redemption.” He relates that the work, written between 455 and 444 B.C., begins in 538 B.C. during the reign of the Persian King Cyrus. Robertson tells his readers that Ezra reveals the story of “how God rebuilt the national and spiritual life of Israel.” The author goes through the book section by section and passage by passage, expanding on the Israelites’ history outlined at each juncture. One of Ezra’s central points encompasses both the spiritual rebuilding of Israel and the literal reconstruction of the great Temple of Jerusalem. Robertson concentrates a great deal of his scholarly attention on the specific sequence of historical events alluded to throughout Ezra. (The author’s reference to a “simple man” in his volume’s title is belied a bit by his obviously extensive research and frequent references to the original Aramaic of his subject.) But Robertson also works in a liberal amount of Christian exhortation, mapping the literal content of Ezra onto broader Christian living applications. When writing about the process of rebuilding the Temple, for instance, he widens the focus smoothly. “You can not sneak into heaven!” he writes. “Every person called to God is to be a worker with and for God, to build His church.” Some of these elaborations take Robertson far afield of the technical study of his subject, usually into recognizably evangelical topics. “When we become Christians and invite Jesus to come into our hearts,” he writes at one point, “or when we renew our commitment to God after a period of living by and for ourselves, our enemy, Satan, hears our words and sees the change in our attitude and life.” The result is a very strong guide to Ezra and a thought-provoking, inspirational manual.
A valuable, wide-ranging Christian study of the book of Ezra, complete with life lessons.