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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).
"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,
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.
The Chapters Of The Book Of Ezra
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?
This Day In History, January 30
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?).