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The Jews return to the land of Israel and Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile, Ezra is the man who leads them.

Very few Jews return, only 42,000 and the enemies of Israel are living in their midst.

Not only does he have a problem with the Samaritans and those who oppose Jews live in Israel, but there are tremendous problems in the Jewish nation itself. Intermarriage, Sabbath desecration, etc.

It seems that the Jews have lost their tradition and belief, but somehow Ezra is able to restore their faith in what is called a “Brit Amanah” – a covenant of faith.

Ezra has a convention of all the Jewish people, wherein they all pledge themselves to G-d and Torah, they solve the problems of intermarriage, and Ezra institutes a council which will rule the Jewish people.

This “Great Assembly” in Hebrew is called a Knesset, which is where the modern Israeli Knesset took its name from (though they were modest enough to not include the word “Great” 🙂 )

The Great Assembly included 120 great people- amongst them the remnants of the prophets, Ezra as their leader. The last of these great men was the Righteous Simon, who was the High Priest of Israel.

Of the 120 men, they start dying off yet they are never replaced. Simon, as the last of these great men, was the bridge to the next period of time which deals with the coming of the Greek culture and Alexander the Great.