While in captivity in Babylon, the Israelites had many tests of their faith. Shaʹdrach, Meʹshach and A·bedʹne·go were thrown into a fiery hot furnace, but God brought them out alive. Later, after Babylon was defeated by the Medes and the Persians, Daniel was pitched into a lions’ pit, but God also protected him by shutting the mouths of the lions.
Finally, the Persian king Cyrus freed the Israelites. They returned to their homeland just 70 years after they were taken away to Babylon as captives. One of the first things they did when they returned to Jerusalem was to begin building Jehovah’s temple. However, enemies soon stopped their work. So it was about 22 years after returning to Jerusalem that they finally finished the temple.
Next, we learn about Ezra’s trip back to Jerusalem to beautify the temple. This was some 47 years after the temple was finished. Then, 13 years after Ezra’s trip, Nehemiah helped to rebuild Jerusalem’s broken-down walls. Part FIVE covers 152 years of history down to this time.