16 Shevat, 5761
February 9, 2001
Ezra 8:16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
Online Bible definition of names (used throughout):
Matthew Henry Commentary:
INTRODUCTION TO EZRA CHAPTER 8
This chapter gives us a more particular narrative of Ezra's journey to Jerusalem, of which we had a general account in the foregoing chapter
I. The company that went up with him, #Ezr 8:20.
II. The solemn fast which he kept with his company, to implore God's presence with them in this journey, #Ezr 8:21-23.
III. The care he took of the treasure he had with him, and the charge he gave concerning it to the priests, to whose custody he committed it, #Ezr 8:24-30.
IV. The care God took of him and his company in the way, #Ezr 8:31.
V. Their safe arrival at Jerusalem, where they delivered their treasure to the priests (#Ezr 8:32-34), their commissions to the kings lieutenants (#Ezr 8:36), offered sacrifices to God (#Ezr 8:35), and then applied to their business.
8:1 These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
8:2 Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.
8:3 Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.
8:4 Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.
8:5 Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
8:6 Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.
8:7 And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.
8:8 And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.
8:9 Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
8:10 And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.
8:11 And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
8:12 And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.
8:13 And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.
8:14 Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.
8:15 And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.
8:16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
8:17 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.
8:18 And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;
8:19 And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;
8:20-30 Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name. Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered: I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents; Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold. And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers. Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD. So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto 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.
Nisan 12, two days before Passover (corresponds to April 4/5, 2001)
The timing of these events can be further clarified by looking at chapter 7 of Ezra which states:
7:7-9 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
- First day of first month, Nisan 1 (March 24/25, 2001) everyone starts to assemble, 8:1-14
Torah portion being read that week: Exodus 35:1-40:1-38 (deals with construction of the tabernacle: gathering the material, the workmen, building the ark, the lampstand, the incense altar, burnt-offering altar, the courtyard, materials used, the priestly garments, Moses inspects the work, putting the tabernacle together, the glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle); Exodus 12:1-20 (Passover); Ezekiel 45:16-46:18 (the Prince gives offerings in Third Temple); 1 Samuel 20:18,42
- After three days of the people gathering, Ezra becomes aware that there are no Levites in the group, 8:15
- He sends for Ariel, Eliezer, etc., 8:16
- He sends them out to get Levites and Nethinim, 8:17
- They come, 8:18-20
- A fast is proclaimed, 8:21
- They leave Ahava on the 12th day of the first month, Nisan 12 (April 4/5, 2001)
Torah portion: Leviticus 1:1-5:26 (instructions for the offerings); Isaiah 43:21-44:23 (disobedience, idols are false gods, Israel not to be forsaken)
- They arrive in Jerusalem on the 1st day of the 5th month (about 3 1/2 months after they left [day for a year?]), Av 1 (July 20/21, 2001)
Torah portion: Numbers 30:2-36:13 (rules about vows, war against Midian, 2 1/2 tribes receive their land, journeys of the children of Israel, boundaries of the Promised Land, Leverite cities, cities of refuge, each tribe inherits land that cannot be moved from one to the other)
8:32 And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
8:33 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 the son of Binnui, Levites;
8:34-35 By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time. Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.
8:36 And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.
Encyclopaedia Judaica, CD-ROM Edition [I added everything in brackets]
Isaiah 33:7-9 seems to describe Israel at this time. Those that love Jerusalem are crying because the city is in danger of being given away. The "peace process" has proven to be a farce and those that were promoting the idea of negotiations are realizing that it is impossible. The highways are abandoned to stone-throwing, bomb blasts and death. The wayfaring man--the traveller--decides to cancel his trip because of the unrest. Arafat has broken every promise he has ever made and incites his people to view the Israelites with contempt and pure hatred having mercy on none, not even the children of those he is said to represent. Lebanon has been abandoned...]
Ariel Sharon overwhelmingly elected as Prime Minister of Israel on 13 Shevat, 5761 (Feb 6, 2001).
The "Sharon Era" is over after the Knesset declares him "permanently incapacitated" on April 11, 2006. Declaration will take effect 100 days after his stroke (April 14, 2006).
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