1. Exposition

To what does the phrase "God of heaven and earth" refer?

Ezra 5:11 (ESV)

11 And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.

In Ezra 1, the Lord has already been identified as the God of heaven (Ezra 1:2). The phrase God of heaven refers to the heavenly sphere where God holds sway over events on earth.1 By changing this phrase to God of heaven and earth, the Jews testify to the importance of the Lord2 and to the fact that he is not a local god who only rules over a small portion of land. He is the only God.