1. Exposition

Was this the first time the people of the land made the Israelites afraid?

Ezra 4:4–5 (ESV)

4 Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build

According to Williamson, this reference the people of the land making the Israelites afraid to rebuild is not a new development but refers back to the work they had already been doing in Ezra 3:3 where they made the people afraid. Ezra 4:4–5 is then the author’s way of saying that opposition was seen in the time of Cyrus (Ezra 3:1–6) and the time of Darius (Ezra 3:7–4:3).1