Ezra

Chapter 6

"The king's Answer: Defeat of Plot."

This Bible Study is provided by http://www.theseason.org/ with permission from it's author R. Christopherson

We have seen in the prior chapters of Ezra that this mixture of scum that were inhabiting the land of Judea, that had been put there several centuries before by the King of Assyria, when he scattered the House of Israel, the northern ten tribes, had stopped the building of the Temple of God by Judah. Now after the prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to those of the House of Judah that had returned to Jerusalem, they went back to work joyfully to get God's house build.

After the work had started, we see the neighboring people hired another scribe, Shethar-Boznai to write a letter to the king, like scribe Shimshai had done years earlier, and try to stop building the Temple. This letter has been sent, and now king Darius is returning his response.

Though it appears that the major problem here is in the construction of the building of the Temple of God, but there is a more serious problem that is very much overlooked even today. That problem is the fact that three hundred and ninety two of these Nethinims [Kenite scribes and priests] are now doing the work of the Temple. Form the time of Moses, these responsibilities were delegated to the Levitical priests, but these priests have become lazy, and allowed and given God's work over to Satan's kids, the Kenites. Instead of doing away with them, as God had instructed, they were given the most sacred of all duties before the altar of God.

This is a fact that Jesus spoke of when He said of the scribes and Pharisees, "they sit in the seat of Moses." While God's word teaches against it, most pastors and teachers even today, still don't get it. This is why church doctrine of today, and most of what is taught in the so called houses of God is not of the word of God, but of the traditions of men [these Kenites].

After God had allowed the work to stop on his house, along come the prophet Haggai and he opened their eyes to why they were doing so poorly in their personal lives, and turned them back to working on the Temple. It wasn't long after the work started that the trouble makers were again on their doorstep. However now Zerubbabel told them that they had the right and duty to build the Temple; it is right there on the record, just check it out.

So that is what they did, and now we see the response from the king, about whether the Temple of God construction should go ahead.

Ezra 6:1 "Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon."

When the king went to make his search, they did not find it here. This is why it wasn't found by king Artaxerxes in the first place, and the decree went out to stop the building process. The Judaists let them get away with their distortions, and they then went about their own selfish ways. Now the Jews wanted to proceed, and great detail is given for identification in the records.

Ezra 6:2 "And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and theirin was a record thus written:"

Achmetha is not even in Babylon, but is the capitol of the land of the Medes, and it is here where Cyrus' records are stored of the decrees that he had given.

Ezra 6:3 "In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breath thereof threescore cubits;"

This is the actual record of king Cyrus, and the decrees that were made in the rebuilding of the Temple of God. The size of the Temple that Cyrus wanted the temple to be rebuilt was bigger than king Solomon's Temple was originally, some sixty feet high.

Ezra 6:4 "With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the experiences be given out of the king's house:"

Do you see now how God has things under control. He named king Cyrus and called him His servant. God gave Cyrus the desire to rebuild the Temple, and placed within his mind the source of the finds that it would be build from. God made Cyrus' house prosperous, then the proceeds to rebuild Temple would come from the king's house.

Apply that to our day, and the building of God's Temple [the body of Christ] today. When He allows you to become successful and prosperous, God then allows you to use your blessings to be used in the construction of God's Temple today. It is called the tithe, and the tithe is more then your money, but it includes your blessings and gifts also. Your time and study is also part of that. God arranges things for those who are doing His work.

Ezra 6:5 "And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem. every one to his place, and place them in the house of God."

The order here is to put God's house in order. Do you remember what Belshazzer, king Nebuchadnezzar's grandson did with these sacred vessels, and the things that are to be used in the Temple of God? He threw a drunken brawl, and orgy with them, and God claimed his life.

God's hand wrote on the wall, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, upharsin.", which Daniel the prophet interpreted for him in Daniel 5:26-28. "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." Friend, that very night Cyrus moved into Babylon, and the Babylonian kingdom fell. Cyrus was God's man, named by God in Jeremiah one hundred years before his birth, and Cyrus' records are those stored in this capital of the Medes.

It is now two kings later, and the rule is now gone from the Medes to the capital of Persia, and this is why it was necessary to go to Achmetha, the ancient Media capital. Is the picture starting to form in your mind. It is like a plot of a story that is written years in advance.

There is a Babylon now forming in these final days, and this one world political system that has taken form and that has the nations of the world bowing to it, will fall. This system is preparing a way for the Nebuchadnezzar of the final days, the Antichrist [Satan]; and his system will be a religious system. Though the entire world, including most Christians will be deceived by the Antichrist, This Temple of believers called the elect will know him and the event of the end times and not be deceived.

Just like the records of God's Temple given to Cyrus were on record for all to see, most people, including those at the top chose not to read them. We see today that even the highest in the religious orders of today chose not to pay attention to what was recorded many years ago, and they leave the record hid. God has a plan, and when it is time for the Jews to finish their Temple, God stirred Haggai and Zechariah and the Temple moved to completion. God is causing a stir today and those of the elect are coming alive, and getting back to work of the "Temple of God" of Today, the body of Christ's believers, and there is nothing that can stop that Temple from being completed. This is a spiritual Temple.

Ezra 6:6 "Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:"

Ezra 6:7 "Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place."

The king is writing a very stern personal letter, after reading the records of Cyrus. The king is telling them, you know where the foundation is, now rebuild this Temple in that same place, and leave them alone.

Ezra 6:8 "Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered."

King Darius is going much farther in his commitment to the building of the temple. Not only will money come from the king's house, but if it takes it, every penny from the other side of the river paid in tribute [taxes] will be used in the building of the house of God. The king told them to see to it that finances do not slow down the construction of Temple.

This applies to us today, as it did in Ezra's day. The ministries that are given wholly to building the body of Christ will prosper, but those led by the greedy priests and ministers will fall. We have seen this in many ministries that had to fold.

Ezra 6:9 "And that which they have need of , both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:"

This is the king's order, and it is not as we have it today. We are to give of what we have and is our own, and not take from others for our tithe and gifts. This is talking about the daily oblation [sacrifices] at the Temple, and today Christ is our daily oblation. That sacrifice is our repentance of our sins, and our prayer and work we do for our heavenly Father. Christ's sacrifice was His very blood shed on the cross, and our sacrifice to Him is our Love and praise to Him.

God now has the enemy not only stopped, but they are now supplying the goods and finances for the Temple.

Ezra 6:10 "That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons."

King Darius now knows that the "God of heaven" that put his people into captivity and later brought them out of that captivity, was a very powerful God. This statement is directed to the priests making sacrifices at the Temple, that they remember both the king and his sons when they pray to their God. Though Darius know of many gods, this God of Heaven is the God the king now calls upon for the protection of his own children.

Ezra 6:11 "Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this."

The king is now getting hard on anyone that alters his word in any way. Should anyone mess around with this order, the powers of the area are to take the rafters of his house and hang him on his own rafters. Then take the rest of his house and cover it with dung. It will become a place where no one will want to stick around very long.

Ezra 6:12 "And the God That hath cause His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed."

You can tell by this verse that Cyrus' record was quite complete, and king Darius fully understood how important it was that God's house be built. King Darius ruled the known world, with many kings and governors under himself. So convicted was he that God's house should be built, that his decree covered his entire kingdom, including those ruling under himself.

Ezra 6:13 "Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shathar-bonai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily."

When king Darius made the decree, "let it be done with speed"; Tatnai and Shathar-bonai got the message, as did all their companions. Did they sit around and have conferences? No, "so they did speedily". With a threat hanging over their head, only a fool would not have. This is a different generation and these people were not viciously negative like their fathers. The last generation sought to do harm.

Ezra 6:14 "And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. 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."

And they finished it; God's Temple was completed. Though these kings were not given in order, they each had a part in the process and the Temple is finished.

Ezra 6:15 "And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king."

Adar is the last day of the month in the Hebrew calendar. Haggai started prophesying in the second year of kind Darius, and it was finished in the sixth year of his reign.

Ezra 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,"

Do you know who the "rest of the children of the captivity" are? They are the Nephinim, those Kenites that were given for liturgical duties, and quite frankly the priests were to lazy to even cut wood for the sacrifices any more.

Ezra 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."

The scattered "house of Israel" was not forgotten in these sin offerings. "All Israel" includes the entire twelve tribes, including the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh, who were the sons of Joseph that each received a portion from father Jacob [Genesis 48 and 49].

The he goat offering is offered to God for sacrifice for sin. The next verse is the end of the writing in the original manuscripts in Aramaic, or Syriac, because the writing will now go back to pure Hebrew. The Temple is finished, and freedom is restored.

Ezra 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."

There is still one major problem, for they are not doing it as it is written in the Book of Moses. What does Moses law state? In Numbers 3:6 "Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him." Aaron is the father of the priests tribe.

Now this is their duties; Numbers 3:7, "And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle." The "charge" is the course, all of it, from the wood cutting to the cleanup. They are not to go out to hire the work to be done. God said "Levi is going to do it".

Numbers 3:8; "And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle."

The instruments are all the vessels, the furniture, including the ax and the cleaning material. The Levitical scribes are to be the only ones to tend to their service. Though this was to be the charge of the firstborn, God placed the responsibility of it for all the tribes on Levi. All others were to keep their hands off of them.

We see that when the sacrifices were reestablished in the Temple following the return out of Babylon, the hirlings, or Nethinims were now doing the work that God was against. We know from I Chronicals 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." These "Kenites" are the literal sons of Satan, through Cain, and they are part of the Nethinim, those giving service in the Temple, when it is forbidden.

This is why there was much friction in the Temple and the Law, when Exra and Nehemiah tried to restore the old standard of Moses back in place. They were not happy to go back to God's standards.

Numbers 3:9, 10; "And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel." [9] "And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death."

Did you get that? "They were wholly given unto him..." that means no one else. Now what happens when strangers [outsiders] try to do any part of the work of the priest's office? "The stranger that cometh night shall be put to death." Another part of the strange fire is altering any part of the instructions that God has given to be followed. When Aaron's sons became lazy and late for one of their services, they took ambers from sources other then the altar of God, and God struck them dead.

When you now understand that the Temple of God is rebuilt, and the altar and sacrifices are going again, can you see how God is displeased with them for allowing these strangers to assume the duties reserved for Levi's sons.

Ezra 6:19 "And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month."

We are now in the pure Hebrew, in the manuscripts. We will find out in Ezra 8, just how much the Kenites had taken over the priestly duties of the Levites. It is very important to note that, for we are getting close to the time of Jesus Christ's birth and this will help you understand why our Lord had so much against these scribes and Pharisee priests.

Ezra 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, ad for their brethren the priests, and for themselves."

There is a difference between a teaching priest and just a priest. The teaching priest taught Gods work besides his regular duties within the priesthood.

Ezra 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,"

It is important that once you partake in the Passover, and the services of our Lord, that you separate yourselves for all the filthiness of the heathen ways also. Today there are many heathen practices that have slipped into the churches, and have been accepted as part of God's word and God's ways.

Ezra 6:22 "And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: 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."

If you are in God's will and God's way, God will turn the heart of your enemies towards your way. So please God and He will actually change the minds of those who would be against you.

 

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