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In this chapter we have, first, a representative list of those who joined Ezra when he went up to Jerusalem. First in order, members of the priestly and royal houses are named (verses Ezr 8:1-2 ). Then follows the register and number of the people (verses Ezr 8:3-14 ). Before the actual march commenced, Ezra gathered together at Ahava those who were to accompany him in order to review them and prepare for the journey. He found that none of the sons of Levi was in the company. Recognizing the necessity for their presence, he paused, and sent to Iddo, who perhaps was in charge of some school of the Levites.
In response to his appeal, certain of their number joined him. The journey before them was full of peril, and the character of Ezra is remarkably revealed in his action at this point. Conscious of the perils, he was yet ashamed to seek help in the way from an earthly king; and therefore proclaimed a fast in which, in humiliation, they waited upon God for His guidance and protection.
In this story there is a h e illustration of the independence and dependence of those who follow the Lord. Of greatest importance to Ezra was the honor of the name of his God. That honor he would not sully by seeking help from an earthly king. The voluntary gifts of the king were welcome, and for this Ezra was thankful. To ask for soldiers would have been tacitly to confess questioning the ability or willingness of God to help. God never fails those who act in full dependence on Him and independently of all others. At last, after a long journey, they arrived in safety at Jerusalem, and made their offerings.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ezra 8". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent