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Wednesday, January 30 2013

Ezra: The Return Of The Levites To Jerusalem

Ezra, from the Hebrew name pronounced ez-raw, was a Levite, a descendant of Aaron (see The Meeting Of Moses And Aaron and The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood) through the lines of Eleazar and Phinehas (see From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar and The Lines Of Eleazar and Ithamar). As such, Ezra wasn't merely someone who assumed himself to be a "leader," but the qualified selection for the task, "according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him."

"7:1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia], Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 7:2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 7:3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 7:4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 7:5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest: 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD and The Kingdom Of The LORD God]: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7:7 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." (Ezra 7:1-7 KJV)

The return of the people of Judah was a fulfillment of a prophecy that was declared by the LORD seventy years before, as recorded by the prophet Jeremiah. It was not merely a people allowed to return to their national homeland, but rather the restoring of the prophetic stage for the purposes of the coming Messiah. The Temple and priesthood portrayed the High Priesthood of the Messiah (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity and Day of Atonement: The Messiah's Deliverance) and the city of Jerusalem portrayed the Messiah's future rule of all the Earth from His (then) Holy City (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Zion and The Church: Mission Accomplished).

Rebulding The Walls Of Jerusalem

"1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled [see Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon], the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah]. 1:3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 1:4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

1:5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 1:6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. 1:7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD [see The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today], which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; 1:8 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

1:9 And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, 1:10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

1:11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. " (Ezra 1:1-11 KJV)

The Book of Ezra (who was a Levite priest) focuses more on the rebuilding of the Temple, while Book of Nehemiah (a governor of Judah) accounts moreover for the rebuilding of the city as a capital. The two Books are very similar in content, which itself is a prophecy of how there will be no man-made "separation of church and state" in the Kingdom of God (see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God and The Church In The Kingdom Of God).

"6:13 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. 6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet [see The Prophets: Haggai] and Zechariah the son of Iddo [see The Prophets: Zechariah]. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar [see The New Moon Calendar], which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

6:16 And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, 6:17 And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel [see The Blood Of Bulls And Goats]. 6:18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.

6:19 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover]. 6:20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. 6:21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, 6:22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy [see The Messiah's Days Of Unleavened Bread and The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week]: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel." (Ezra 6:13-22 KJV)

The Chapters Of The Book Of Ezra

Chapter 1: Cyrus Of Persia Orders Judah's Return Home

Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist

Chapter 2: Return Of The Exiles

Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah

Chapter 3: Rebuilding The Temple

Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple

Chapter 4: Opposition To The Rebuilding

The Decrees Of The Persian Kings

Chapter 5: Darius

A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah

Chapter 6: The Temple Rebuilt; Passover

Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover

Chapter 7: Ezra The Priest

The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood

How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?

Chapter 8: Judah's Return To Jerusalem

Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism

Chapter 9: Ezra's Ban Of Marriage With Idolaters

Ruth: Building The House Of Israel

Chapter 10: Judah and Benjamin

Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah

Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?

Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah

A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism

Fact Finder: (a) Why did all of the faithful Levites leave Israel and live in Judah? (b) Why didn't the people of the "lost ten tribes" of Israel ever observe Purim, Hanukkah or Judaism?
(a) See No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?
(b) See Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism


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This Day In History, January 30

1077: Pope Gregory VII retracted his excommunication of German emperor Heinrich ("Henry") IV (see Emperors and Popes; also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy.

1606: English Roman-Catholics Everard Digby, Thomas Winter, John Grant and Thomas Bates were executed for their part in the "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the British Houses of Parliament and King James I (after whom the King James Bible was named). The goal of the treasonists was to return Britain under the rule of the papacy.

1648: The Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and Spain came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Munster and Osnabruck.

1649: King Charles I (the son and successor of King James I, after whom the King James Bible was named) of England was beheaded for treason, primarily due to his involvement with Roman Catholicism.

1800: The official U.S. population: 5,308,483 people, of which 1,002,037 were black people held as slaves.

1820: The first known sighting of Antarctica (by Europeans) occurred when William Smith, a sealer, and Edward Bransfield of the Royal Navy sailed through what is now called Bransfield Strait and saw the Antarctic Peninsula to the south.

1835: Andrew Jackson survived the first-ever known assassination attempt on a U.S. President (4 were assassinated: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy; 11 others survived gunshot wounds or other assassination attempts).

1902: Britain and Japan signed a treaty providing for the independence of China and Korea.

1911: The Canadian Naval Service became the Royal Canadian Navy. By the time of the Second World War, Canada had the fifth-largest navy in the world, extending through the "Cold War" era of the 1950s and 1960s when Canada had 3 aircraft carriers.

1933: Newly-elected Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor (Prime Minister) of Germany by German President Paul von Hindenburg. After Germany's "9-11" a month later, (the burning of the Reichstag, the German Parliament Building, by a "terrorist" - a mentally-retarded man from the Netherlands, Marinus van der Lubbe, who many historians believe was either completely innocent, or a patsy of the Nazis; he was executed in 1934, but posthumously pardoned in 2008), Hitler later assumed both offices for himself as "der Fuhrer" ("the leader") in order to "protect" his people (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1937: 13 anti-Communists were sentenced to death for participating in a plot, allegedly led by Leon Trotsky, to overthrow the Soviet regime and assassinate its leaders.

1943: During the Second World War, the British Air Force carried out the first daylight bombing raid on Berlin.

1948: Mohandas Gandhi, 79, was assassinated at a prayer meeting by Pandit Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic who objected to Gandhi's tolerance for Muslims.

1964: A coup overthrew the government of South Vietnam. It was the second military takeover of the government in 3 months.

1965: The funeral of Sir Winston Churchill was held in London, one of the largest in British history. His defiance of Adolf Hitler during the darkest days of the Second World War was exemplified in his famous speech after the "Miracle of Dunkirk" (which it was): "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender."

1968: The Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam) "Tet Offensive" began - nearly 70,000 North Vietnamese troops launched a surprise attack against South Vietnam.

1973: G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord (Whitehouse associates of Richard Nixon) were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping and attempted bugging of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington.

1991: The Hudson's Bay Company announced that it was getting out of the fur business, the trade on which the company was founded in 1670 (see also Who Invented Fur Coats?).





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