Our new devotional "If God Loves Me, Why Did I Lose My Job?" explores the struggle of unemployment. Sign up here.
1:5 The response is described in language parallel to the decree, emphasizing the immediate response of the people to Cyrus’s decree and God’s prompting.
heads of the fathers’ houses. These were the patriarchs of extended families.
Judah and Benjamin. The two tribes exiled by the Babylonians.
the priests and the Levites. Restoration of the temple service required their return (8:15–17).
God had stirred. The same Hebrew phrase as in v. 1. God’s sovereign power generated the decree and the response.