Week #66; Wed, Apr 03: Ezra 8:1–Nehemiah 4:23
1. Here we see more evidence of the “lifeline of Christ” in the Old Testament with the genealogy of those Hebrews who returned with Ezra from Babylonia which includes the sons of David.
2. When Ezra learned that the exiles took foreign women as wives, he required those involved to confess their sins and put away their foreign wives and children; and they did.
Ezra 8, Genealogy of Those That Returned With Ezra, Ezra Sends for the Levites, Fasting and Prayer for Protection, and Priests to Guard Offerings
1. The sons of David are included in the genealogy of the Hebrews that returned with Ezra from exile in Babylonia.
2. Ezra gathered Levites from Iddo in Casiphia to minister for the house of God.
3. Mahli a son of Levi was found with his sons,
4. Ezra then proclaimed a fast at the river Ahava to humble themselves and seek safe journey to Judah.
5. Ezra designated the priests and the Levites to guard the gold, silver, holy vessels, and free will offerings until they could be weighed within the chambers of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.
6. The hand of God delivered them from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.
7. When Meremoth the priest received the gold, silver, holy vessels, and free will offerings in Jerusalem, they were recorded and weighed.
8. Burnt offerings were made by those who had come from captivity in Babylonia.
9. The king’s commissions were delivered to the king’s satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River.
10. They began to aid the people and the house of God per the king’s dictate.
Ezra 9, Ezra Prays About Intermarriage
1. Ezra discovered that many of the exiles took some of the daughters to be wives so that the holy race mixed itself with the peoples of the lands.
2. Ezra tore his garments and pulled hair from his head and beard and sat appalled.
3. Because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, Ezra prayed to the Lord God in great lament for what they did.
4. While Ezra prayed and confessed great numbers of men, women, and children gathered to him out of Israel and all wept bitterly.
Ezra 10, The People Confess Their Sins and Those Guilty of Intermarriage
1. The exiles made a covenant with God to put away all the wives and their children, according to the Law.
2. Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath that they would do as had been said.
3. Ezra required all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem within 3 days otherwise lose all property.
4. All the people sat in heavy rain in the open square before the house of God to make confession to the Lord to do his will to separate themselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives; all agreed.
Nehemiah 1, Report from Jerusalem and Nehemiah’s Prayer
1. Nehemiah was told that the remnant in Jerusalem was in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.
2. As soon as he heard these words, he sat down and wept and mourned for days, and he continued fasting and praying before the God in heaven.
3. Confession centered on failure to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that God commanded Moses.
4. The word to Moses included, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.”
5. Notice that Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah Sent to Judah and Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
1. As Nehemiah served wine to the king (and presumably the queen), he asked Nehemiah why he was sad.
2. Nehemiah replied that he wanted to be allowed to return to Judah to rebuild Jerusalem.
3. The king granted Nehemiah freedom to go and rebuild Jerusalem and he also provided him letters for safe passage “Beyond the River” and to be supplied with timber for construction.
4. When Nehemiah inspected Jerusalem’s walls and gates that were destroyed by fire, he confirmed the destruction and led the officials to the task and they agreed.
5. Opposition came from Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem; they accused Nehemiah and the officials of rebelling against the king.
6. Nehemiah replied he was led by the God of heaven and they will have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 3, Rebuilding the Wall
1. A huge labor force began restoring the walls and the gates with timbers for doors and gates, bolts and bars.
2. The repairs were done by residents opposite their own house.
Nehemiah 4, Opposition to the Work and the Work Resumes
1. The wall was built to half its height and the breaches were being closed.
2. Opposition became stiffer from Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem; they plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.
3. It was said in Judah that there is too much rubble and we cannot build the wall by ourselves.
4. Nehemiah then stationed people by their clans, with swords, spears, and bows at the lowest parts of the wall and in the open spaces.
5. Nehemiah told the nobles, officials, and to the rest of the people not to be afraid of the opposition and return to work on the wall.
6. Nehemiah instructed half of the servants to work on the wall and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail; the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah.
7. Those that carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other; each of the builders had his sword strapped to his side while he built.