ust as God was big enough to remove the entire nation of Israel out of their homeland... He was also big enough to bring them back again. That's the story that we find here in Ezra; at least, part of the return is recorded here. Nehemiah will tell us more.
After having spent 70 years in Babylon, some of the people were sent back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (which Nebuchadnezzar had formerly destroyed). There were even a few old Jews who had survived the entire time of captivity and were literally returning to their own property. In other words, they were old enough to remember what Solomon's temple had looked like.
Jeremiah had prophesied that someday God would bring the Jews back into their land. And, as it is recorded here in Ezra 1:1-3 (as well as back in II Chronicles 36:22-23) God used Cyrus, the king of Persia, to bring about the reviving of Judah and Jerusalem. In the meantime, the Babylonian empire had been replaced by the Persian. And, most notably, the great Jew Daniel had risen to great significance during that period of captivity and had received wonderful prophecies from Jehovah. Certainly the 70 years were not wasted. God had accomplished great things even in the disciplining of His children.