The people of Israel had been carried away to Babylon, where they had lived as exiles and outcasts. The Lord had sent this judgment upon His people because of their continued unfaithfulness to His word - but the day finally came when He called them to return to Jerusalem. Yet when they got there, they discovered that things had changed - dramatically, and not for the better. The temple was destroyed, the walls were torn down, and the land had been taken over by people who did not want them back. There was work to be done, and it was not going to be easy.