With the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we arrive at the end of Old Testament history with the Jews back in their land after having been taken away by Babylonia and sent back by Persia.  They returned in at least three phases, under the leadership of three men – Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah – in order to rebuild the Temple, the people, and the city, respectively.  All was set for a glorious ending to the history, but things took a bad turn right at the end, leaving us hanging and wondering what would become of God’s people.  In fact, the ending of Ezra-Nehemiah points us forward some 400 years to the real end of the story, since God’s final plan for his kingdom was not merely to have one nation gathered in one city walled off from everyone else but to embrace all the people of the earth.