Ezra 2 Commentary
If the list in this chapter was a list in the Book of life, all of us would be checking it every day. It definitely felt that way for the remnant. Being away from Jerusalem was always going to be a pain to the Old Testament saint. It can never be a good feeling when you think about the Promised Land. Israel was meant to enjoy increase, prosperity, and dominion in the land that the LORD had given Abraham.
This chapter gives us a list of people that returned back to the land of their inheritance. Among the returnees are Zerubbabel, Joshua, and Nehemiah. From the Book of Haggai, we learn that Zerubbabel and Joshua played an important role in the reconstruction of the temple of the LORD. Nehemiah would play a critical role in the construction of the wall around Jerusalem.
The priests; the Levites, the musicians; the gatekeepers; and the temple servants. We have a good team for the purpose of resuming the temple business. However, some individuals are excluded from the priesthood as unclean. They were not listed in the family records. Identity was an important qualification for service at the temple of the LORD. Nothing has changed. Someone must be a family member in order to serve at the new temple.
Of course, everyone is given the chance to be born again. That is the only way to gain membership into the Christ family. You cannot buy the membership from the marketplace.
“The priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns.” This verse closes chapter two. It however opens an entirely new page in the storyline of God’s people. The post-exile dispensation has begun. At the same time, the observer can celebrate it as the fulfillment of God’s word to resettle the remnant.
The resettled community must build the temple of the LORD, even as per goodwill instruction from King Cyrus. And through the prophets that worked during these times, particularly the prophet Haggai, we have the following declaration: “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2 verse 9.
So we come into the post-exile dispensation with very high expectations. Let’s see what becomes of the temple project and the promised glory. Let’s keep reading.
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