Many Israelites return to their homeland after exile. They are not yet the transformed people of God, and they continue to hope for a full restoration.

EZRA & NEHEMIAH: Restoring true worship in Jerusalem

After years of exile in Babylon, a small number of Jews return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the temple. Despite opposition, they restore the Temple and celebrate the Passover.

Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jews complete the reconstruction of the walls. The people are called to reform  and back to true worship. 

ESTHER: God in the absence

Some of the Jews remain in Persia, Esther and her uncle Mordecai among them. Esther wins a beauty pageant and is crowned queen of Persia. The book of Esther does not mention God. He remains hidden, but works to save his people from ruin.