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Thursday, September 11 2014

Ezra 8: Ezra's Journey From Babylon

"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"

Ezra returned to Jerusalem (see The Letter From Artaxerxes To Ezra) with a group of key people who would form the seed of the prophesied restoration of the Kingdom of Judah (see What Did Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon Say?). At that time, the people of Judah had only the "religion" that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had given to Moses. "Judaism," and the Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious parties that created it did not yet exist (see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees and Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism; also Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism).

"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." (Ezra 8:1-14 KJV)

Ancient Mesopotamia

The journey from Babylon to the land of Israel followed the "fertile crescent" route (rather than attempting to cross the vast desert of Arabia) that had been known to travellers and traders between Asia and Afica since the most ancient times (see the Fact Finder question below).

"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 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.

Camel Train 8:21 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. 8:22 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. 8:23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

8:24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, 8:25 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: 8:26 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; 8:27 Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.

8:28 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. 8:29 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. 8:30 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. 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 By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.

8:35 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." (Ezra 8:15-36 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Abraham make the same journey along the "fertile crescent" from Babylon as the return of the exiles? Did the route of the fertile crescent result in the tribes of Israel originating in Syria?
See A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan and A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria


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This Day In History, September 11

1297: The Scots under William Wallace battled an English force under the Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

1541: French explorer Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids, near present-day Montreal, on his third voyage to Canada.

1609: English naval explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island.

1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.

1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars.

1777: The Battle of Brandywine. The British Army defeated rebel forces under George Washington (a former Colonel in the British Army in Virginia; Washington fought as a British Army officer during the "French and Indian Wars," the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War) and advanced on Philadelphia.

1792: The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels.

1919: U.S. Marines invaded Honduras (1 of 5 invasions of the country over a span of 20 years), primarily at the behest of U.S. corporations that were involved in the banana industry of the Central American nations. The derogatory term "Banana Republic" originated by the U.S. writer William Sydney Porter (pen name O. Henry), in describing those invasions.

1922: Under the authority of a UN Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine"; see Where Is Palestine?) and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan"; see also Jordan's West Bank Invasion) came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

The British Mandate

1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).

1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the U.S. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare.

1973: The Marxist government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by a military coup.

1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.

1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.

1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.

2001: Using hijacked airliners, terrorists from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia were invaded in retaliation) killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt). The terrorist attacks triggered the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the US were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.

2007: Russia tested the largest conventional (i.e. non-nuclear) weapon ever constructed, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power. The Russian bomb is also called the "Father of All Bombs" because it is reportedly four times more powerful than the US military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb whose official military acronym "MOAB" is often stated as the "Mother of All Bombs."


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