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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.
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.
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?
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).
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."