1. Structure and outline

The main contents of Ezra 9

Ezra 9:1–15 (ESV)

1 After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

Ezra 9 details events that take place around four months after Ezra and the new exiles have returned to Jerusalem (according to Ezra 10:9). Ezra is approached by a group of officials who inform him that God’s people have not been living in accordance with God’s law (Ezra 9:1–2). Upon hearing this news, Ezra is distraught, he tears his clothes and sits in silence at the temple until the time of evening sacrifice (Ezra 9:3–5). Ezra then prays loudly and publicly so that all those who have gathered around him can hear his prayer (Ezra 9:5–15). Ezra 9 thus contains narrative, dialogue, and an example of prayer.