Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Down by the River Ezra 8

Ezra 8:15 "And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people and the priests and found there none of the sons of Levi."

Ezra is setting off on his journey with Artaxerxes', the king, approval. He is gathering those he will take with him and found that there were no Levi's among them. They needed the Levi's to offer sacrifices and do service in the house of the LORD as prescribed by Moses.

v17 "And I sent the with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia and I told them what they should say unto Iddo and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God."

I am not sure who Iddo was but he had a lot of pull in the neighborhood. So did Ezra.

v18 "And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding..."

Also, a number of other people to minister, as Ezra requested. Once Ezra had the right people to go up to Jerusalem with him, he made the effort to prepare them and to seek the LORD. He declared a fast.

v21 "Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance."

The situation is this, they were traveling with their family and with the treasures for the house of the LORD. There were reasons for highway robbers to be interested in attacking them. Ezra separated men to take the treasure and to guard it safely to Jerusalem. Ezra did not want to ask for the kings help because he had already told the king that God would care for them.

v23 "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us."

v31 "Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way."

We are seeing names we remember from previous studies i.e. Eleazar, Phinehas.

Included in this chapter is the genealogy of those who went up to Jerusalem and the amount of the sacrifices made: i.e. 96 rams, 77 lambs, etc. It was a big event.

Zechariah 4:6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

Ezra gathers his company to go to Jerusalem.

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