|Village of Maonites or Mehunim|
(public domain photo published in
Images from The Temple Dictionary of the Bible
shared here courtesy of Logos Bible Software)
The beginning of this chapter tells us that the previous genealogies were kept in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel who were carried away into captivity. Then we are told that the first people to come back to their possessions were the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims*. What follows are the names of those that settled in Jerusalem from the families of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. We are also given the names of the priests who returned. We will encounter a few of these names later when we study Ezra and Nehemiah.
*Note: Nethinims, the name given to individuals set apart for service in the Temple is only found in the post-exilic books although Ezra 8:20 says that they were appointed and registered by David and the princes for tasks of service to the Levites. They could possibly have been slaves taken in war from conquered nations. (Mehunim, possibly descendants of Esau, could have been the people of Mount Seir that were captured in the days of King Hezekiah. These were listed as Nethinim in Ezra 2:50.)
Does God issue any commands?
- God does not speak.
Does God make any promises?
- God does not speak; however, we can see a promise of God being fulfilled here with the return of the captives 70 years after they were taken to Babylon.
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- The priests are types of Christ, He who is Prophet, Priest, and King. As Priest, He ever lives to make intercession for [us]. (Hebrews 7:25)
Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
- We are shown by this text that even the most menial laborer in the Temple service had his job and name recorded. Since God keeps records of our deeds done for His service it would seem that no matter how menial a task, it is noticed by God and will one day be recognized and rewarded by Him.