The Biblical Book of Ezra, as one might expect, is arranged systematically. That’s likely because its author (whom the Holy Spirit inspired to write its chapters) was trained in logic and systematic thought.
In Luke’s New Testament Books (the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts), it is easy to discern he was a physician, all that medical language!
In Matthew’s Gospel (which says so much about money, investment for Jesus), it’s clear he had a background in finance, in fact, a “tax-collector!”
So typically Ezra, being a scribe, his training shows in the Book we believe he wrote. Many also teach that Ezra wrote 1 and 2 Chronicles, these 3 Books all having the same style! (The same topic in a way, the history of God’s people Israel!)
Ezra 7:11 identifies our hero as: “Ezra the priest, the SCRIBE, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD.” Good credentials, certainly!
Trained as a scholar and writer!
Anyway, my “point” today is this.
Ezra’s 10 chapters clearly divide into two sections, nearly two halves.
Chapters 1-6 discuss the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord, arranging a place the Jews could WORSHIP God … their having just been granted freedom from Babylonian/Persian captivity! Worship (God’s Way) is now possible!
Then in chapters 7-10 (when Ezra arrives back home, back in Jerusalem) the focus is immediately on CLEANLINESS, HOLINESS, SEPARATION FROM SIN AND EVIL!
See the logic here?
The spiritual truth?
Ezra 1-6 … the plan of worship, first. (Including the desire to worship! And a Temple in which to worship! And animals to sacrifice to God as one worshipped!)
Then Ezra 6-10 … but worship not being (really, sincerely) possible without a “separated” seeker of God (child of God) coming to His Lord (God does not associate, commune intimately with hypocrites) the process of cleansing one’s heart, one’s life (one’s behavior) comes to the forefront!
I know I am repeating now …
This is adding to one’s faith (belief in Jesus)… virtue (moral excellence, purity), as taught in 2 Peter 1:5.
This is in accordance with truth as presented in Psalm 66:18 as well. “If I regard INIQUITY in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Wow!
It fleshes out (obeys) Psalm 24:3-4 too. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath CLEAN HANDS, and a PURE HEART; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
Or in a lengthier form, Psalm 15. “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that WALKETH UPRIGHTLY, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Though here I’ve only shared the Psalm’s first two verses. Read it all when you can.
Ezra is constructed, arranged, showing us spiritual “separation” still counts!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
(Note: Ezra gets pretty violent, stringent in enforcing this code of holiness, separation. So much so that many commentators don’t know what to do with Ezra chapters 9 and 10!)