Today’s reading is: Ezra 1:1-4:5; 2 Chr. 36:22-23; 1 Chr. 3:17-24
Ezra Chapter One
- The Lord “stirred up the spirit of Cyrus” to accomplish His eternal purpose (Ezr. 1:1).
- This fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy of a 70 year captivity (Jer. 29:10).
- This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy which named Cyrus by name (Isa. 44:28; 45:1).
- Cyrus’ decree instructed the Lord’s people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (Ezr. 1:3). They were to be sponsored by the exilic communities from which they go (Ezr. 1:4).
- The elders who returned did so according to the stirring of their spirit by God (Ezr. 1:5).
- Cyrus funded their operations from Nebuchadnezzar’s plunder of Jerusalem (Ezr. 1:7-11). Note: Sheshbazzar (Ezr. 1:8,11; 5:14,16) is the Babylonian name for Zerubbabel (Ezr. 2:2; 3:2,8; 4:2-3; 5:2).
Ezra Chapter Two
- Chapter 2 details the names and numbers of the faithful remnant that returned to Israel’s covenant land of promise.
- Eleven tribal leaders are named (Ezr. 2:2). The Nehemiah account lists 12 tribal leaders (Neh. 7:7).
- Returning men are indicated by their families, and the land allotments of their inheritance (Ezr. 2:3-35).
- The Priests, Levites, and other temple servants are particularly featured as the main purpose for the Return is to rebuild the temple (Ezr. 2:36-54 cf. 1:3).
- A number of Jews were unable to document their lineage (Ezr. 2:59-60), including some of the priests (Ezr. 2:61-63).
- The total number of the exiles returning with Zerubbabel was 49,897 out of an estimated population of two or three million Jewish people (Ezr. 2:64-65).
Ezra Chapter Three
- The seventh month was the month for the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:23-25), Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:26-32), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-44). The returning exiles were blessed to build an altar and observe the first sacrifices in Jerusalem in over 50 years.
- The two leaders of this worship were the Davidic heir Zerubbabel and the Aaronic heir Jeshua (Ezr. 3:2).
- The returning exiles worshipped even as they assembled their building materials, and even as they lived in fear of the surrounding peoples (Ezr. 3:3-7).
- Construction gets underway in the second month of the second year of their return (Ezr. 3:8-13).
- The young men rejoiced at the laying of the foundation.
- The old men lamented at the same event.
Ezra Chapter Four
- The Adversary of Israel motivated the adversaries of Israel to hinder the temple project (Ezr. 4:1ff.).
- They attempted to infiltrate and join in the work project (Ezr. 4:2-3). Their claim to worshiping YHWH was partially true according to their hybrid Samarian religion (2nd Kgs. 17:29-41).
- They engaged in terrorism to discourage the temple building project (Ezr. 4:4-5,24).
(Chapter Four continues on Day 264)
Second Chronicles Chapter Thirty-Six
(Outline continues from Day 243)
- The proclamation of Cyrus for God’s people to return to their land and rebuild the House of God (2nd Chr. 36:22-23; Ezr. 1:1-3; Isa. 44:28; 45:13). Remember: this is not the decree which launches the seventy septad calendar of Daniel 9.
First Chronicles Chapter Three
(Outline continues from Day 231)
- The descendants of Jeconiah “the childless” (Jer. 22:30) are listed (1st Chr. 3:17-24).
- Jeconiah’s “childlessness” is one of royal childlessness. “In his days” he will observe no descendant seated on the Davidic throne (Jer. 22:30).
- Shealtiel is the legal son of Jeconiah (1st Chr. 3:17; Matt. 1:12), but the physical son of Neri (Lk. 3:27,28).
- Zerubabbel is the legal son of Shealtiel (Ezra 3:2,8; Hag. 1:12,14; Matt. 1:12), but the physical son of Pedaiah (1st Chr. 3:19).
- The descendants of Zerubabbel are listed down through Ezra’s generation (1st Chr. 3:19-24), giving additional evidence to the Ezrite authorship of the Book.
- The line of David is vital as the continuation of the promise of the Seed of the Woman: through Shem; through Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob; through Judah; through David (2nd Sam. 7:12-16).