"The Sons of the Province."
This Bible Study is provided by http://www.theseason.org/ with permission from it's author R. Christopherson
To understand the book of Ezra it is important to understand what was taking place at this time. The "House of Judah", better known as the Jews had been taken into captivity seventy years earlier by King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. This was exactly as the prophet Jeremiah had said that they would be taken. Babylon, of course, means confusion.
The first group to find their way back to Jerusalem, to rebuild the Temple, was led by Zerubbabel, which means "born in babel" or confusion. It indicates the coming out of confusion.
Ezra 2:1 "Now these are the children of the Province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;"
One of the reasons that most people have trouble with Ezra is the lists of genealogies.
Ezra 2:2 "Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the People of Israel:"
This is not the Mordecai who is the uncle of Queen Esther, the mother of King Cyrus. As we continue for the next forty two verses, we see the number of people, or their children, of each of the towns and villages that were taken seventy years prior, and are now returning to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. The names down to verse forty three are all Hebrew names.
In the records of these people that are returning, all those beyond verse forty three are the foreigners, Nephilim and Kenites. They were not of any part of any of the tribes of Israel as they were presenting themselves to be.
Ezra 2:3 "The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two."
Ezra 2:4 "The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two."
Ezra 2:5 "The Children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five."
Ezra 2:6 "The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Jeab, two thousand eight hundred twelve."
Ezra 2:7 "The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four."
Ezra 2:8 "The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five."
Ezra 2:9 "The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore."
Ezra 2:10 "The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two."
Ezra 2:11 "The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three."
Ezra 2:12 "The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two."
Ezra 2:13 "The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six."
Ezra 2:14 "The children of Bigbai, two thousand fifty and six."
Ezra 2:15 "The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four."
Ezra 2:16 "The children of Ater of Hexekiah, ninty and eight."
Ezra 1:17 "The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and tree."
Ezra 2:18 "The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve."
Ezra 2:19 "The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three."
Ezra 2:20 "The children of Gibbar, ninety and five."
Ezra 2:21 "The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three."
Ezra 2:22 "The men of Netophah, fifty and six."
Ezra 2:23 "The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight."
Ezra 2:24 "The children of Axmaveth, forty and two."
Ezra 2:25 "The children of Kirjath-arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three."
Ezra 2:26 "The children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one,"
Ezra 2:27 "The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two."
Ezra 2:28 "The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three."
Ezra 2:29 The children of Nebo, fifty and two."
Ezra 2:30 "The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six."
Ezra 2:31 "The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four."
Ezra 2:32 "The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty."
Ezra 2:33 "The children of Lod, Hadid, and ono, seven hundred twenty and five."
Ezra 2:34 "The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five."
Ezra 2:35 "The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty."
Ezra 2:36 "The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three."
Ezra 2:37 "The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two."
Ezra 2:38 "The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven."
Ezra 2:39 "The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen."
Ezra 2:40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four."
Ezra 2:41 "The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight."
Ezra 2:42 "The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine."
Ezra 2:43 "The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,"
There is a word we here we must become acquainted with. The word "Nethinim" in the Hebrew means "given". The Nethinims were the people that were given to service in the Temple of God. They were captives, and volunteers that were given to the priests to do their work. The priests had a way of becoming lazy in performing the duties of the Temple, and these Nethinims were there to help the priests.
Nethinim, in Strong's Hebrew dictionary, # 5411; "Nathuwn, naw-theen, (the proper form, as pass. part.), from # 5414; one given, i.e. (in the plural only) the Nethinim, or Temple-servants (as given up to that duty):-Nethinim". This is called a transliteration, rather then a translation. They are Temple servants, and not of the House of Judah.
From here on, what we will find, and they will comprise almost half of all those returning and they are Babylonian names; they are not of either Judah, Benjamin, or Levi. They are all foreigners, but we will see that it is they that run the church. What we will see is that these foreigners have taken over the Temple of God.
It is from this that we can better understand why Christ would say in Matthew 23 that the scribes and Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses.
Ziha, Hasupha and Tabaoth are all Babylonian names, not Hebrew names. When we break these names in the next fifteen verses back to the Hebrew, or the Chaldeean, you would find that these persons are pure Babylonian. They are all of the confusion tongue, and very few Christians would catch that in reading through the book of Ezra. We find the interest the same today, as it was then, God's people, Israel, simply don't care.
Is it any wonder that God had to go outside of His own people, of Judah to find the servant and shepherd to tend to the rebuilding of His Temple. Today there are very few pastors and teachers that even dare to teach the in-depth truth in God's Word, that will take a person through hard times. Before we finish the Book of Ezra you will see just how important it is to understand Ezra, and see what and who had attached itself to the tribe of Judah.
Through this you can better understand why it is written in Revelation 2:9, concerning the church of Smyrna; "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and not, but are the synagogue of Satan." It was in the Book of Ezra where the transfusion took place, and the "cankerworm" [Kenites] of Joel 1:4, had entered into the house of Judah, and took over the ranking positions within the Temple, and the government.
The reason for bringing this out is so we can be more careful in the study of God's Word, for we know by I Chronicles 2:55 that the three families of Kenites had taken over the duties of the scribes, and the interpreting God's word. This is why the true student of God's Word will know where the trouble spots are, and when the translation goes against the true nature of God, we know why.
Ezra 2:44 "The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,"
Ezra 2:45 "The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,"
Ezra 2:46 "The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,"
Ezra 2:47 "The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,"
Ezra 2:48 "The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,"
Ezra 2:49 "The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,"
Ezra 2:50 "The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,"
Ezra 2:51 "The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,"
Ezra 2:52 "The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,"
Ezra 2:53 "The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,"
Ezra 2:54 "The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha."
Ezra 2:55 "The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,"
Ezra 2:56 "The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,"
Ezra 2:57 "The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami."
Ezra 2:58 "All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two."
We are seeing here how the condition of the Church got into the condition that it did by the time Jesus Christ walked on the earth just four centuries later. We see that while in Babylon, these Kenite scribes had achieved such a high seat in the priesthood, that even they were named in the chronology of Judah. If your the one controlling what is being recorded, that is a very simple task. All these names, including verse fifty nine are names of the Babylonians. How many pastors would even start to know this, because of their not being familiar with the Bible, and the manuscripts.
Remember these Nephinims are people taken captive and put to work in the Temple of God. Why? Because the priests are lazy, it always has been, and always will be for most.
Where it reads; "the children of Solomon's servants", gives us a clue as to where this infiltration of Satan's children through Cain, came into the Temple and established themselves.
Ezra 2:59 "And these were they which went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their see, whether they were of Israel:"
These Kenites called themselves of Judah, however we see here that they could not document who they were, and from the time of Moses you could not serve in the Temple if you could not document your parentage as being of the Levitical priesthood. That even applied to the cutting of wood for the offering sacrifices.
This is why Jesus called special attention to these sons of Satan through Cain [the scribes and the Pharisees] presenting themselves, and sitting in the seat of Moses, the Lawgiver, when in fact they are not. They are pretending to be the servants of God, yet they were listed many times as the people that God wanted destroyed. The Israelites allowed them to live, and from their disobedience to God, this is what has happened.
The Kenites are sitting in the leadership roles, and directing what is to be taught, and all the time they call their words to be of God. They do our interpretations, and teaching, and then Christians accept their words as being truth because they are lazy when it comes to scholarship. Most people shy away from any detailed work, and seek others to do it for them.
The Kenites have a deeper reason for being a scribe, then the Levites, for their desire is to is to alter history, and the manuscripts to fit their agenda. Their methods are the same as their father Satans'. Their tampering is not big noticeable changes, but a series of many half truths. In I Kings 9:20 we will see just who these people are that Ezra is telling us about, as being of "Solomon's servants". This is how the sayings and traditions of men have slipped into the records of the church, and are now being presented as truths of God.
I Kings 9:20; "And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel." The Perizzites were even offspring of the second influx of the Nephilim, which is to say from the Hebrew tongue, "fallen angels". Not one part of these half-breeds is of the Children of Israel.
I Kings 9:21; "Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond service unto this day." Solomon's bond service is putting them to work in the Temple. It was these heathen that Solomon put to service in his big beautiful Temple, and now five hundred years later, they control God's house from top to bottom.
Is it any wonder that there is so much confusion over God's word, and His form of worship. Satan's kids are running the house of God, and most preachers have no idea what is going on. Another place where the chronology of Judah is given is in I Chronicles 2. After the families of Judah are given, these Kenite scribes gave authority to themselves, and attached themselves to the end of the list.
I Chronicles 2:55; "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem]; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab." Even in the manuscripts you can see the work of these Satanic [Kenite] scribes, as they twist God's Word, and sneaks in their little hidden messages. Rachab is the father of the Kenite nation.
The Kenites are the sons of Cain, the very sons of Cain, the son of the union between Eve and Satan in the Garden of Eden; had worked themselves into the most critical spots of the Temple duties and were doing the record keeping. Judah had turned the duties of scribe ship over to the Kenite. Is it any wonder that our heavenly Father is upset. The whole reason that the genealogies were kept up was because God wanted you to be able to tell His children from the enemy that would try to come through the gate. This is why Jesus made the comment in Mark 13:5; "Take heed lest any man deceive you:"
The seal of God in your forehead, is when you have the understand of God's word, and can identify these Kenites, or any other person that teaches any form of mans traditions, and calls it of God. We are living in the final days of this earth age, and the offspring of these Kenites are the very ones that are preparing the way for the entire world to accept their father, Satan, as the Messiah. It is obvious by what is taught in most churches, that these cankerworm [of Joel 1:4] have transformed the entire Christian world, except for God's elect.
To memorize foolish genealogies is a waste of time, however the genealogies listed in the Bible are not foolish. The bloodlines of the Old Testament establishes the purity of the lineage of Christ, and marks those that fall under the Abrahamic Covenant. It establishes a value, and separates God's people from those of Satan's offspring, and that of the lineage of the fallen angels.
If you do not like lists of names, then you would have missed the most important part of the problems we have even today. Notice these scribes covered their tracks by using the term, "the families of scribes", they are assuming that you will automatically place them in the family of Judah.
So remember that our topic is the Nephinim that have entered into the service of the Temple, and taken over those duties.
Ezra 2:60 "The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two."
We see the numbers of these Nephinims keeps growing. These are where the priests are coming from.
Ezra 2:61 "And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:"
The Gileadite are more of the Niphilim, and not of Israel.
Ezra 2:62 "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood."
When these priests came forth to serve, their genealogies were checked with the family register, and all those that were not in the register, were refused service. This is why it was important for the Kenites, and their brother Nephinims to be listed in the register of Israel. This is also why it was important for them to control that register, and have their names placed in that register.
Ezra 2:63 "And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim."
The Tarshatha is a Persian word that means "governor". This Tarshatha or governor was Nehemiah. It is his title as recorded in Nehemiah 7:66.
The Urim and Thummim were objects used by the priests prior to the time of Jesus Christ came, which in another words, the Holy Spirit of God came. It was a way for man to communicate with God. It was a thing that was mounted on a bob, and as it moved, it gave a priest an answer.
It isn't done that way any more; for God's Spirit now dwells with man's spirit, and convicts man directly of sin. It is through God's Spirit that we have direction for our lives, and we receive understanding from His Word.
Nehemiah knew that the priesthood was polluted at this time, and so as governor he was going to separate the true priest [Levitical Priest] from this tribe of Kenite fakes. What is puzzling is that Nehemiah knew that they were all fakes, yet he still let them carry on the Temple duties. Nehemiah would not let them eat of the foods that were given for God's service, but he let them stay.
Do you know who writes the sermons that your pastor delivers each week, or the source of that material? Do you know what scribe writes the material for your Sunday school classes? Friend, you are trusting them with more then your life, but your eternal soul. Has it crossed your mind?
Ezra 2:64 "The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,"
That population count was 42,360 people. That is all that returned from Babylon to Jerusalem. The difference between Ezra's count and Nehemiah's count of Nehemiah 7, was 10,777 people. But then when you took away all the false Kenites and Nephinim it would cut the number in half. Though the two accounts may show a difference, the important thing to recognize right of the bat, is that a very small proportion of God's people [Judah] returned to Jerusalem. Ot the millions that were carried away, just a trickle returned.
When we consider the Covenant promise that God gave to Abraham, that his offspring would become as numerous as the stars of the heavens, and the sand of the sea; and here we have but a trickle. We have 42,360, minus the fakes, and Kenite crud left in the group. These crud would be fine in their own society, but not in the Temple of God, and this is an indication of what the Levitical Priesthood had sunk to. Friend, it has become the same today in the so called "Beth-els" houses of God, as it was then.
If this is offensive to you, then you had better get back into the study of God's word, for it is better to be offended now, then burn in hell fire later.
Ezra 2:65 "Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women."
Understand this is only part of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but even these two tribes would have had far more than one million people each at this time. We see just a handfull going back at this time, and that is all that will ever go back until the time of the Millennium, and the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Yes today the tiny nation of Israel is established, but even so, it's population is overflowing with the Kenite population, and most of that population is Arabic. The prophet Jeremiah told of this tiny nation being established in the end times in his prophecy parable of the two baskets of figs, in Jeremiah 24. The good figs being the true house of Judah, while the bad figs are those toxic [spiritually] Kenite, that "call themselves of Judah, but are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. [Revelation 2:9, 3:9]"
Ezra 2:66 "Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;"
Ezra 2:67 "Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty."
Though this is but a small number, we know that in the Millennium all of Israel will return to true Israel, Jerusalem.
Ezra 2:68 "And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:"
What it is saying here is that some of the older fathers still remembered what the old Temple looked like, and they came to the location just to see what was left of the old Temple. There was just part of the foundation remaining.
Ezra 2:69 "They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments."
This won't even start to cover the expense of the rebuilding; but I wonder who is going to wear the garments of the priests, as only the polluted Kenite priests, and their brother scribes are there in control. The Book of Nehemiah will document exactly who these priests are, as we study that book.
Ezra 2:70 "So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities."
The Nethinim are still with them, those given to service in the Temple when God said they had no business in that position, as only those of the register of the tribe of Levitical priesthood could serve in that duty.
It is difficult to understand how this book of Ezra can be so confusing, unless you realize who it is that is in control of keeping the records. Many pastors today seek the truth earnestly, and try to interpret the Scriptures, yet they hold fast to the traditions of the Kenites that lock-in their understanding, and blind them to seeing the simplicity of God's Word.
At the time of this return to Jerusalem, seventy years of captivity under Babylon rule have ended, as was prophesied. Though this book comes prior to Job and the Psalm, you are only about 420 years before Christ birth. It is from Ezra that gives us the key to why the church was not right when Jesus was born. Jesus was rejected His entire life as the Messiah, and then crucified by this band of religious Kenites that had taken over the priesthood, from top to bottom. When Jesus went into the Temple to teach the very word of God, it was rejected and why? Because of these Nephinim that were sitting in the seat of Moses [the Levitical priest's] .
In that day, just as we can see it happening today; The people just don't know the difference.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field
-----------------------------7d44e2e40406 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="upfile2"; filename="C:\Documents and Settings\Reine\My Documents\My Webs\ezra\ezra3.htm" Content-Type: text/html
"The Temple, Foundation and Feast."
This Bible Study is provided by http://www.theseason.org/ with permission from it's author R. Christopherson
Ezra 3:1 "And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the People gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem."
This is to say that all the people loyally and faithfully came to Jerusalem for these feast days.
Ezra 3:2 "Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God."
Jeshua means the high priest, and it is spelt Joshua in Haggai 1:1, 2:2. We know that Jozadak the son of Seraiah was the brother of Ezra, for they had the same father, as recorded in Ezra 7:1, and Jeshua [Joshua] the high priest then was the nephew to Ezra.
They are building the altar according to Moses' law, however they are overlooking the part of that same law which speaks strongly against having someone other then an Levitical Priest at that altar before God. In the Levitical priesthood, Aaron's sons got a little lazy in his delivering of this daily sacrifice, or offering and took their fire not from the Altar, but from their own stove at home, and God smote them dead. God simply doesn't like people messing around with his word.
The prophet Haggai gives us the same account of what is happening here at this time. Haggai 2:1; "In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the Lord by the Prophet Haggai, saying," This is the same time and the same place that we have just read in Ezra 3:1.
Haggai 2:2; "Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying," These are the same men, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel, Joshua [Jeshua]. and Jozadak from Ezra 3:2. When Haggai called them "residue" of the people, Haggai was right. Most of these people were not of Judah, or of any part of any of the tribes of Israel.
Haggai 2:3; "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" You just cannot compare the beautiful work of the Temple built by Solomon, with its marble and inlaid gold, and all its splendor and wealth, to this primitive wood structure.
This writing of Haggai is one of the things that convicted our Lord Jesus Christ, when He made the statement; "tare that Temple down and I'll rebuild it in three days". They simply did not know or believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and to them, it was mockery of the house of God, the Temple. When Jesus went to the cross, and arose from the dead, the Temple was no longer a structure built by man, but it became the body of believers of Jesus Christ.
What Haggai is saying here is that whether the building is made of gold and marble, or of cedar, it just doesn't matter.
Haggai 2:4; Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye People of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts:"
Did you get that, friend; "WORK", it doesn't say pray or have faith, Haggai said that God told them to work and get the job done. If you don't have time to study and say a word for Him, of what value are you in His kingdom? What ever your gift is that God has given you, that is what you are expected to do.
Haggai 2:5; "According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not." Just as God committed to the Israelites way back in Egypt, that His Spirit would be with them; God has not change and that Spirit is with them to this day. This is in reference to Exodus 29:45, 46.
Haggai 2:6; "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; "Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;" This is in reference to the "Lords day" that is coming shortly, at the sounding af the seventh trumpet.
Haggai 2:7; "And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." The "desire of all nations" is the coming of the Messiah. That is what the building of the Temple is all about; our presence with the Messiah, and at the seventh Trumpet we will be in His presence. However, three days after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the Temple of this flesh age was also built, and that body of Christ, His believers are beautiful as they go about their service for him in praise and worship. That Temple is within each of the members of the body of Christ, and that is what gives each member peace and comfort.
Christ was speaking of the Temple as His own body, and the comforter is His own Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Christ has reminded us that He will never leave thee nor forsake thee. The things that were built into that wooden house of God was only types to show us today in a spiritual sense how God is delivering His people. God wrote His message way back then so that we would have a guide today, and the way most that church houses are teaching today, you are not getting it there, but only in your own study.
Ezra 3:3 "And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries; and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening."
These priests found the remains of the old altar, and that is where they put this new altar. They then established the morning and evening oblation. They did this because they loved the Lord, and they wanted His protection. This is simply remembering to ask God for forgiveness, and repenting for their sins. This is as important today, as it was then.
Ezra 3:4 "They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;"
The feast of Tabernacles falls in late September of early October, depending on the year. All the offerings were made by the courses of the priests, and they were made in accordance with Exodus 23. Though they are keeping these feasts right to the letter, they are very careless about who they are allowing to perform their priestly duties. In the closing verses of Exodus 23 God told them to get rid of the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from their midst, yet here these Israelites of Judah have promoted them to priestly duties, as the Nethinims.
Yet as we saw in the first two chapters, these sons of Satan promoted themselves to the status of Israel, within the tribe of Judah. Not only did Judah not chase them out, but these Jews have them serving at this altar. Keep this point in mind; this is the exact point in time where the deception started to work itself into the church. This is also where and how these Kenites have presented themselves as the critics and authority for Christianity today.
Ezra 3:5 "And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord."
These people were really trying, just like most people that attend church today, they want to do what is right. They are trying to do his work, without studying his word, and this can get you into difficulty. God's Knowledge is the beginning of the understanding and blessing of God.
Ezra 3:6 "Form the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid."
What happened here is that the worship started before the work began. The altar is on the old foundation of the old altar, but they simply overlooked the building of the house of God. they had a good idea, however don't expect God's blessings until after you do the work.
When Christ became our sacrifice on the cross, God said I don't want you burnt offerings anymore, Christ became our daily oblation [sacrifice] and from the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb, the oblation became our repentance, belief, and faith in Jesus Christ, and the service that He expects us, and that has become our daily oblation. Our oblation is praising and thanking Him for what He has done for each of us. When you pray for something, thank God in advance. When you even try, God will accept your effort as being perfect.
Ezra 3:7 "They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia."
In II Chronicles 2:16 we read that the ships of Tarshish sailed from Tyre, for that is where the center of Kenite trade was. Tyre was a little rock Island, which was just off the coast of Zidon, and it was the New York City of that day. These Kenites were more then willing to overcharge and take king Cyrus' money, gold and what ever he sent in advance. Cyrus had agreed to this, so there was nothing new to what was going on.
Ezra 3:8 "Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord."
These people have been here now two years, and they have built the altar, and given Cyrus' money to the Kenites at Tyre, and now they have just started to appoint the men to build the house of the Lord. There has been a lot of praying and offering to this date, but no work on the Temple has been preformed. This is what the entire book of Haggai is all about, people putting their own work and time before the work of the Lord.
It seem that they all built themselves big nice houses before they even started to think of building God's house, and doing His work. There is a part here that most teachers overlook; "and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem". Though there were over a million of the House of Judah at this time, there were just over half of the forty two thousand that were part of what is going on here. The rest did not return to Jerusalem, but migrated to points elsewhere. This is only a type and an example, for many of these calling themselves Jews, and Nethinim [fake Jews] and not of the registry.
Ezra 3:9 "Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites."
Ezra 3:10 "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel."
When the foundation was laid the people came together to praise God and to give thanksgiving to Him in the manner of the ordinance set forth by king David. The structure was underway, and the foundation was laid; this was a time to be thankful. It is easy to forget to say thanks for what we get, and to say thanks for the progress to this point, but this is according to the ordinance of David.
Ezra 3:11 "And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the People shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid."
It can never be stated more perfect; "because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel". This can be extended to include all of God's Children, who have come to know, love and trust in Him. Here it is more then two years later, and only the foundation is laid.
Ezra 3:12 "But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:"
All the old people that were hauled into captivity over seventy years prior had seen the truly fine splendor of Solomon's Temple, and as they saw the crude workmanship of this new Temple, they could see the difference, and they cried aloud but not for joy.
When Christ went to the cross, and died and arose from the dead, that was the foundation of our Christian life. Christ is the foundation our salvation. It will be the offspring of many of those that are shouting and jumping for joy over the foundation of this poorly built structure, that be the very ones that would demand the death, and kill our Messiah, Jesus Christ 420 years later. Yes they shouted on that day also; "Crucify Him".
When Christ said "I will rebuild it in three days", they did not understand that it was the three days that He spent in the tomb, to satisfy the prophets writing of God's word; then He arose from that tomb, and this became the foundation of the new Temple.
Ezra 3:13 "So that the People could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the People: for the People shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off."
The people of Ezra's day observed two Temples, the first was a beautiful, with much splendor. However the people of our generation will also see and compare the third Temple, which is the body of Christ. The Temple today on earth is the body of Christ, and Paul talks about this Temple in Romans 12.4-6. "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportions of faith; "
God is not telling us of a building, but of His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the foundation of that Temple, and the structure is formed in this period, or flesh age through the members that have different proportions of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus becomes the mercy seat in this new Temple, and in Zechariah 3, we have the prophetic view of Christ the Branch, the Temple of God and the promise and security that we can have in Him. Take and read Zechariah 3. Remember that Joshua in the Hebrew means "Jesus".
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field