Hidden Heroes of the Bible: Ezra & Nehemiah

Hidden Heroes of the Bible: Ezra & Nehemiah

Ezra 1:1-4; 3:8-13
Luke 18:1-8

FIRST READING Ezra 1:1-4; 3:8-13
In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, to fulfill the word of the
Lord from the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King
Cyrus of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his
kingdom and also in writing, saying: 2

“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia:
The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth,
and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in
Judah. 3 Let any of those among you who are of his people—may their
God be with them!—go up to Jerusalem in Judah and rebuild the house
of the Lord, the God of Israel; he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And
let all survivors in whatever place they reside be assisted by the people
of their place with silver and gold, with goods, and with livestock,
besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”
8 In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at
Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua
son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their people,
the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the
captivity. They appointed the Levites from twenty years old and up to 5

have the oversight of the work on the house of the Lord. 9 And Jeshua
with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and
Hodaviah, along with the sons of Henadad, the Levites, their sons and
kin, together took charge of the workers in the house of God. 10 When
the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in
their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the
Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of
King David of Israel; 11 and they sang responsively, praising and giving
thanks to the Lord,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”
And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the
Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord had been laid. 12
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people
who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice
when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that
the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the
sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the
sound was heard far away.

1 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and
not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who
neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3

In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my accuser.’ 4 For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Though I
have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8
I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of
Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”