Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ezra-Going Home For the First Time

By Mary Vee
Ezra 8

From Ezra's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Ezra. I have spent many years studying the Law of Moses as a servant in Babylon.

The Jews who met me by the river leading to Ahava had chosen to leave their homes in Babylon and return to the land of our fathers. A gift from God, promised to Abraham. 

We were excited. And nervous. Our whole lives have been spent living in Babylon as slaves. We didn't know any other way of life. We didn't know what the land would look like. How much work would be needed to restore the ruined homes and buildings when Babylon burned our city? We could only picture these things in our mind.

And so, at the end of our three-day fast and prayer we gathered our things. 

King Artaxerxes gave me offerings of silver and gold for the temple. I called the Levites to gather around the offerings. These were the men who were from the tribe of Levite, the chosen priesthood of the Jewish people. The men in this tribe were given the task to care for the temple by God. 

I weighed the silver and gold items in front of the Levites for the record. The same amount should be weighed when we arrive at Jerusalem.

I said to them, "You and these silver and gold articles are dedicated to the Lord. These articles are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers. Guard them carefully until you weigh them in the inner chambers of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem before the leading priests, your brother Levites, and the family heads of Israel."

The men took the job very seriously. They wrapped the articles carefully and packed them for the journey, agreeing to guard them and keep them safe at all times.

I looked around at the people. Everything was packed. We had formed groups to help each other carry our things, care for the animals, and assist those who needed help walking. "Let's go."

This was the twelfth day of the first month. The day we left the bondage of Babylon, the only life we knew, for the freedom of a new-to-us land. 

We arrived in Jerusalem the first day of the fifth month safe because the hand of God was on us. He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. After the long journey, we chose to rest for three days.

On the fourth day, the Levites and I went to the house of our God. The silver and gold articles were placed in the hands of the priest. Eleazar and a number of Levites were there. All the articles from our journey were accounted for by number and weight and recorded at that time. Every piece had arrived safely.

We had such a great celebration giving offerings and praising the God of Israel. We also delivered the king's orders to the governors of Trans-Euphrates. The orders stated Trans-Euphrates should help us and assist in the repairing of the house of God.


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sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Before the people left Ahava, what job did he give the Levites?
2. Where were the people going?
3. Have they been there before?
4. Why were the people nervous about going?
5. After they returned to Jerusalem, and rested what was done?
6. Was the number correct?
7. That means who did their job honestly?

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