Ezra 2

Ezra 2 begins with a list of “the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia”.  Cyrus had called people to come back to Jerusalem to help build the city and temple which had been destroyed.  There is a list similar to this in Nehemiah with one small difference, but eleven of the twelve names are the same.  The list contains the heads of household names, and interestingly they are all listed separately rather than just a lump number.

God cares about us as people.  He could have easily had a verse like what comes late in the chapter which summarizes the first 60 verses: “The whole assembly together was 42,360”.  That would save a whole lot of typing and copying.  But God is a personal God and he gives us a list of the number of men, or heads of households by family or tribe.  Add to this number the women and children and you have a lot of folks heading back to Jerusalem to be part of the rebuilding.

There was one family, sons of the priests who had some issues.  “These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean”.  This family came but they were not listed in the priestly lineage, so God’s law was respected and they were set aside until they could have their situation addressed.  This really gives a little insight into what Jesus tells us about heaven, when some will come believing they have entry but will find they do not because they have never known Him.  We must be sure our name is written in the Book of Life which happens when we have a personal relationship with Christ Himself as Savior and Lord.

We also learn that “Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site”.  These folks returned not only to help in the work of rebuilding, but also brought along their money and property.  This was not a visit to Jerusalem, but a return to build a new home and life together again after being exiled.  They gave “according to their ability” and the amount was significant.  We all need to evaluate what our ability to give is, and give generously as He leads us to His work today, just as they did here.  The offering was large and God will use it to rebuild.

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