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May 6, 2017

Chapter 7 talked about the departure from Babylon of the second group of Jews and their arrival in Jerusalem; now, chapter 8 shares that journey.

This chapter opens with verses 2-14 recording the genealogy of those that traveled to Jerusalem with Ezra; however, prior to their departure when all the Jews assembled at the designated departure location Ezra discovered that there were no Levites among them. Thusly, he sent a delegation to Casiphia to recruit some Levites who would be involved with the temple ministry upon their arrival in Jerusalem. This resulted in thirty-eight Levites and two hundred twenty Nethinim joining the group, and accordingly, Ezra was able to give twelve priests and twelve Nethinim the responsibility of handling, guarding and transporting the valuable gifts and monies that would be used in the temple.

Ezra had boasted highly about God’s supreme power and faithfulness; therefore, he did not want to ask the king to send a military escort with them. However, he and the traveling Jews fasted and prayed prior to leaving and asked God for traveling mercies. Despite the 900 miles perilous journey and the marauding plundering tribes of the desert with God’s hands on them the group arrived unmolested in Jerusalem where they were able to deliver and record the gifts and monies for the temple, offer burnt offerings and convey to the nearby Persian satraps the king’s wishes for continued assistance for which they complied.

The gleaning points from this chapter are:

  1. In life, we have a beginning, an end and the unknown in-between which we can call “the journey.”
  2. Ministry gifts and offices are needed for the work of the ministry.
  3. There is no comparison; God’s help always supersedes that of man.
  4. Prayer and fasting before starting an assignment are always advisable and beneficial.
  5. God cares for His people; He provides traveling mercies.
  6. Offer thanks to God for answered prayers and all that He does for you.




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