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Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 1:9-2:70

Ezra and Nehemiah: Ezra 1:9-2:70

 

9 This was the inventory:

gold dishes      30

silver dishes    1,000

silver pans       29

10   gold bowls      30

matching silver bowls 410

other articles   1,000

 

11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along when the exiles came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

 

1 Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, 2 in company with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of the people of Israel:

 

(We don’t have space to include all the people that Ezra lists. But it would be good to look them up in your own Bible. By mentioning all their names, the list shows in a concrete way that the Lord was fulfilling his promises to real people)

 

64 The whole company numbered 42,360, 65 besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 200 men and women singers. 66 They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

 

68 When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments.

 

70 The priests, the Levites, the singers, 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.

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In general, Cyrus adopted a position of tolerance toward the people he conquered as well as leniency toward their respective religions. Nevertheless, neither his disposition nor his government policies fully explain why he went beyond financial support for the reconstruction of the city and temple to include even the release of the temple vessels. The items that had been profaned were reconsecrated and put back into the Lord’s service. While he may not have had personal faith, Cyrus nevertheless recognized “the Lord, the God of heaven” (Ezra 1:2), and it was this God, the one and only true God, who moved Cyrus by his Spirit.