1. Exposition

What is significant about the mention of “stirred”?

Ezra 1:5 (ESV)

5 Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem.

Once again, we find the Hebrew verb that appeared in Ezra 1:1. There it says that the Lord stirred up the heart of Cyrus king of Persia. Here in Ezra 1:5 the Lord stirred up the heart of his own people. God’s prompting rather than human opportunism is the reason why some returned and others did not.1