Bible Passage: Ezra 1; 3
Memory Verse: Ezra 3:11a
Bible Truth
God keeps His promises.

Lesson Introduction:
The Israelites had been disobedient to God, so He sent them out of the land He had given them. They weren’t allowed to live in Jerusalem for seventy years! Thankfully, the story did not end there. Ezra was written to show how God’s plans are not stopped by human sin or our mistakes.

This cylinder is actually a document. The story of the exiles being allowed to return to their land was recorded on it. Even though King Cyrus is credited with allowing them to go back, the Jews knew that it was God who arranged for His people to return home. 

Watch Joel’s video, and then continue below!

Discuss these questions together as a family:

Where was Joel today?
What journey did the Israelites take in today’s Bible story?
Why did they travel to Jerusalem?
Who always keeps His promises?

Read Ezra 1:1-5 together as a family. King Cyrus was known to be supportive of different religions, because he hoped to gain from the people and their idols.

So, even though Cyrus probably did not intend to honor the one true God, Cyrus gave recognition that it was God who had given him authority and power. The Lord in His sovereignty caused Cyrus to issue the decree to allow the Israelites to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Whether the king realized it or not, God was in control. God not only wanted them back in the land He had given them so long ago, but He also wanted them to properly worship Him. Read Ezra 3:10-11 together as a family. It would take a long time for the temple to be completed, but laying the foundation was an important step in the right direction. Sin turns us away from God, but our relationship can be restored. We can be forgiven, because Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for sin. This is a promise and we can trust that God keeps His promises.

Use these questions for more Bible study together as a family!

  1. Name the book that comes before and the book that comes after Ezra. (2 Chronicles and Nehemiah)
  2. Which king allowed the Israelites to return home? (Cyrus of Persia, Ezra 1:1-4)
  3. What types of items did the Israelites' neighbors give them? (Silver, gold, livestock, and other valuables; Ezra 1:6)
  4. King Cyrus also gave back items that had been taken from what special place in Jerusalem? (Temple, Ezra 1:7)
  5. Name something that King Cyrus gave back. (Gold basins, silver basins, gold bowls, silver bowls, silver knives, and other items; Ezra 1:9)
  6. What did Jeshua, Zerubbabel, and the other Israelites leaders build to help the people offer burnt offerings? (An altar, Ezra 3:2)
  7. What special festival did the Israelites celebrate when they returned to Jerusalem? (The Festival of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles, Ezra 3:4)
  8. The Israelites gave food, drink, and oil in exchange for what building supply? (Cedar wood, Ezra 3:7)
  9. Name one of the instruments the Israelites used to celebrate that they had finished the temple's foundation. (Trumpets or cymbals, Ezra 3:10)
  10. Fill in the blank of today's Text Truth: God kept His __________ to bring His people back to their homeland. (Promise)

Use the bible story picture to engage your child as you tell them the story about how the people of Israel went back to Jerusalem.


Focus in on these Bible Story Nuggets as you are telling the story:

People walked back to Jerusalem.
The people got ready to build the new church.
The people thanked God.


  1. Where did God tell the Israelites to go?
  2. What did they do to get ready for their trip?
  3. What did they build when they got to Jerusalem?