“Lesson 47: ‘Let Us Rise Up and Build’” Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual (2001), 220–24
“Lesson 47,” Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 220–24
“Let Us Rise Up and Build”
Ezra 1–8; Nehemiah 1–2; 4; 6; 8
To encourage class members to help build Zion and to show Christlike love to those who oppose the work of the Lord.
Prayerfully study the following scriptures:
Ezra 1–6. King Cyrus reads his name in Isaiah’s prophecies and is filled with a desire to do the Lord’s will. He frees the Jews who have been captive in Babylon and invites them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (Ezra 1). Zerubbabel and Jeshua lead approximately 50,000 people back to Jerusalem, and they begin to rebuild the temple (Ezra 2–3). The Samaritans offer to help work on the temple, are turned down, and attempt to stop the work; the rebuilding ceases (Ezra 4). Several years later, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah exhort the Jews to finish the temple; the Samaritans continue to oppose it (Ezra 5; see also Haggai 1). King Darius renews the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple, and it is finished and dedicated in about 515 B.C. (Ezra 6).
Ezra 7–8. More than 50 years after the temple is dedicated, Ezra receives permission from King Artaxerxes of Persia to lead another group of Jews back to Jerusalem. Ezra and his people fast and pray, and the Lord protects them on their journey.
Nehemiah 1–2; 4; 6. Learning that the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem were “in great affliction and reproach, “Nehemiah receives permission from King Artaxerxes to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls (Nehemiah 1–2). The enemies of the Jews seek to prevent them from rebuilding the walls. Nehemiah arms the laborers and keeps the work going forward until the walls are finished (Nehemiah 4; 6).
Nehemiah 8. After the walls are rebuilt around Jerusalem, Ezra reads the scriptures to the people. When they hear the words of the law, the people weep and desire to obey them.
Additional reading: Haggai 1; “Ezra,” Bible Dictionary, page 669; “Nehemiah,” Bible Dictionary, page 738.
You may want to invite a class member to prepare to give a brief summary of the historical background given at the beginning of the first scripture account.
If the picture Temple Used Anciently is available, you may want to use it during the lesson (62300; Gospel Art Picture Kit 118).
Suggested Lesson Development
Additional Teaching Ideas
The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.