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Come, Follow Me
Old Testament Lesson 30:
July 18–24

“I Am Doing a Great Work”
Ezra 1; 3–7; Nehemiah 2; 4–6; 8

Illustration of the temple of Zerubbabel, by Sam Lawlor

President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “The word of God … has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good, and find joy in this life” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson [2014], 118).

Ezra 1: King Cyrus of Persia lets the Jews go back to Jerusalem to build the temple—Cyrus returns the vessels of the house of the Lord taken by Nebuchadnezzar.

Ezra 3: The altar is rebuilt—Regular sacrifices are reinstituted—The foundations of the temple are laid amid great rejoicing.

Ezra 4: The Samaritans offer help, then hinder the work—The building of the temple and of the walls of Jerusalem ceases.

Ezra 5: Haggai and Zechariah prophesy—Zerubbabel renews the building of the temple—The Samaritans challenge the Jews’ right to continue their building work.

Ezra 6: Darius renews the decree of Cyrus to build the temple—It is finished and dedicated, and sacrifices and feasts commence again.

Ezra 7: Ezra goes up to Jerusalem—Artaxerxes provides for beautifying the temple and sustains the Jews in their worship.

Nehemiah 2: Artaxerxes sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem—Sanballat and others oppose Nehemiah in rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 4: The Jews’ enemies seek to prevent them from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem—Nehemiah arms the laborers and keeps the work progressing.

Nehemiah 5: Many Jews are in bondage to their fellow Jews—At Nehemiah’s direction they are freed, their lands are restored, and the taking of usury is discontinued.

Nehemiah 6: Sanballat engages in intrigue against Nehemiah and the building of the wall—The Jews finish the construction of the wall.

Nehemiah 8: Ezra reads and interprets the law of Moses to the people—They keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

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