Pop back over to Ezra.
We travel back to Jerusalem to the rebuilding of the temple. Guess how long that gap was between chapters 6 and 7? 60 Years! It has been 80 years since the first captives were set free.
It opens with a genealogy of Ezra. It is very important that we know Ezra is from the line of Aaron. He is a scribe FROM the High priesthood family. Ezra received a letter to carry with them on their trip kind of like a “passport” in case they ran into trouble. The letter had 5 points:
- authorized them to go and appoint magistrates and judges
- provide funds to purchase sacrifices and temple vessells
- requires the Trans-Euphrates to give them supplies
- prohibited charging them taxes
- authorized Ezra to teach the
In chapter 8 we read the journey. The trip was about 900 miles and they were carrying 65 tons of gold and silver that were given to them by Atexerses (Xerxes’ son). This was a dangerous trip and Ezra led them through it in fasting and prayer for protection.
Chapter 9 we run into an old problem. The very issue that caused stress when entering the promised land. Marrying outside their faith! Ezra prays for the nation: he begins with his own confession and humbles himself. Then he changes to “we” and “our” (NOT look what they have done!)
The chapter ends with national repentance and all eyes and hearts are on the Lord!
FIVE MORE DAYS!!