7:18 that do. The temple, having been completed under the leadership of Zerubbabel several decades previously, had fallen into disrepair despite the prophetic preaching of Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 5:1,2; 6:15). The offerings and sacrifices were being neglected and the general moral character of the people had deteriorated. Therefore God, through Artaxerxes, sent Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as the prophet Malachi, to stir up their hearts.
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