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So in chapter eight it gives to us a list of those who went with Ezra, totaling out about 754 of the males, when you add the priests that were added to later. So they numbered the people, and they found out that they didn't have any ministering priests among them of the Levites. And so they wanted to take back some priests to administer also. And so search was made, and they found these men and "by the good hand of our God upon us," they brought to us a man of understanding and his sons who were the sons of Levi, the sons of Israel. And so they returned with them to the land.
But as they gathered at the river and they were ready to go, they had collected a lot of money, the king had given them a lot of gold and silver and he said,
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all of our substance. For [he said] I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because ( Ezra 8:21-22 )
He had actually told the king how great God was. "The God that we serve, He's the God of the universe," and really been bragging to the king about God. Been witnessing to the king about the power and the greatness of God and how God watches over His people and how God's hand is upon those for good who seek after Him, and we're going to seek after God and all. And so the king gave them all this gold and everything else. But now he has all this treasure and he's got this long journey through this land that is filled with Nomadic tribes who plunder all of the caravans that come along. They live off of these caravans. And with all of the wealth that he's carrying, he's really worried about it. What if they get plundered on the way and they're going to have to move slowly. Actually it took them four full months to make the journey from the area there in Persia to the to Jerusalem. And with all this money.
So he really had sort of painted himself into a corner in bragging about God. It would be inconsistent to go back to the king now and say, "Would you mind sending a bunch of soldiers and horsemen so we can be protected from the enemy?" When they had told him that God was able to protect. So they fasted and prayed and they then began their journey. So he took twelve of the men and he divided the treasure among them. Weighed out all of the silver and the gold with these twelve men and he instructed them to watch it and to keep it.
And so we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. And we came to Jerusalem, and we were there for three days. Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah ( Ezra 8:31-33 )
And so forth. And so they had these guys bring the gold in and they weighed it out and it was all there. Every ounce made it safely.
And they delivered the king's decree to the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side of the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God ( Ezra 8:36 ). "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezra 8". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29