Epistles of Thomas

October 15, 2009

Ezra 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 14:22
Tags: , ,

Ezra begins by stating the decree of Cyrus to return the people to Jerusalem and build a temple to God there. To facilitate this he returned 5,400 articles of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar had brought to Babylon along with the exiles. The second chapter lists the totals of the men of Judah who returned, including priests, Levites, and temple workers. It also mentions that there were a number of men who could not prove they were of Hebrew descent, including some from among the priestly families. They were restricted from eating the sacred food until their heritage could be established.

When they arrived back in Jerusalem their first task was to rebuild an altar to God and perform the twice daily sacrifices. They reinstituted the seasonal festivals and holy days and performed the obligatory rites. As they were able they laid the foundation for a new temple. Those who had seen the former temple were apparently distraught at seeing the foundation of the new one while others celebrated wholeheartedly to be in Jerusalem and able to build another temple.

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