Artaxerxes had said that Ezra should take the priests, Levites, singers, porters, and Nethinims to minister at Jerusalem. The names of the chief men and the number of those who went are given in verses 1 through 14 of this chapter. After Ezra examined those in that number he sent for others to join them. To that list were added the names found in verses 17 through 20.
Ezra instituted a fast before proceeding on the journey. This was a plea to God for safe passage to Jerusalem because Ezra felt it would be a bad testimony to ask the king for soldiers to accompany them. Their journey was particularly perilous given the amount of wealth that they carried with them as stated in verses 25-27.
Does God issue any commands?
- Once the people were safely in Jerusalem they offered sacrifices as required in the law.
Does God make any promises?
- God does not speak, but God kept them safe on their journey from those who would rob them along the way. God answered their prayer and Ezra praised Him for doing so.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- "The hand of our God" in verse 31 is Jesus, the same Person who was Captain of the Host during the Exodus.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- It is a perilous journey with those who would attack the pilgrims along the way but God's people always make it safely Home because He protects them. No matter how bad the travel is, the child of God always arrives safely! (Nothing can separate us from the love of God.)