Bible Commentaries
Ezra 8

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-36

    1. (1) This was simply the list of those who returned w/him.
  2. LOOKIN FOR LEVITES (8:15-20)
    1. (15) Ahava – Exact location unknown, most likely a tributary off the Euphrates River. Here Ezra assembled the returning exiles before their journey to Jerusalem.
    2. So now there only about 100-200 miles into their 400 mile journey.
    3. (15-20) No Levitical priests were coming???
      1. Ezra had to draft some because they didn’t volunteer.
      2. Again, this shows the state of the people. It also shows they would have…
        1. To Uproot Everything: Kids were in school, have to sell the house.
        2. Heavy Hardships: they’d have to load up the covered wagons & move west.
        3. Radical Job change: They’d move from ordinary pursuits to the strict routine of Temple service.
    1. (22) What a great leader. He cared more for God’s reputation then his own safety. What integrity.
      1. To Ezra their nations testimony was at stake.
      2. He told the king we don’t need a military escortGod will be our escort! He would care for them. [no visible protection needed...we have invisible protection]
        1. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
      3. When do we take the escort & when don’t we?
        1. Once in Russia in the city of Lipetsk (S/E of Moscow) we received a police escort lights-a-flashin & sirens a blarin all the way through the city.
          1. But they were trying to honor us…& probably wanted us out of their city.
      4. When do we except the help of Caesar or the unbeliever & when don’t we? ASK?
        1. In this case it is when Gods name, testimony, & his people are at stake.
      5. This is a healthy, holy shame-facedness.
        1. The king would think that Ezra’s profession of faith in God was just hypocrisy…i.e. The God of Israel couldn’t take care of His own worshippers?
        2. He couldn’t bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh. F.B.Meyer
        3. Here’s what helped him: (a) He knew this was of the Lord (b) He knew since it was of Him, he would be guarded by Him who is his sword & shield.
          1. Deut.33:29 Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty.
    2. (23) This verse ought to encourage us also to have this similar behavior.
      1. Mt.6:15,16 says twice, when you fast…inferring you will,…it doesn’t say, if you fast.
      2. Has the Lord shown you to fast for anything lately? Were you obedient to it? How about this week? Is there anything you are not getting answers to in prayer? Fast.
      3. What do we learn about our God here?
  4. GIFTS FOR GOD (8:24-27)
    1. ​​​​​​​22 men were entrusted w/the goods.
  5. GUARDING GODS GIFTS (8:28-30)
    1. ​​​​​​​22 were held accountable to the delivery of their task.
      1. The Lord does the same with us. Entrusting us as His stewards & one day to stand before his Bema seat for accountability.
  6. XI. Slide16 JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM (8:31-36)
    1. ​​​​​​​Do you ever pray the prayer for Traveling Mercies?
      1. Like when you hop in your cars with your family before trips.
        1. Here is a place in scripture where they prayed for Traveling Mercies.
        2. Vs. 21-23’s prayer & fasting…answered!
    2. (33-35) Everything…all was delivered & weighed in…all watched & kept (29).
      1. The left in April 458bc & arrived in July. They averaged 7 miles a day.
      2. They all deposited their treasures…each man found faithful.
      3. A great reminder to us to Watch & Keep all that He bestows into our care.
    3. (36) Prov.16:11 When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
    1. ​​​​​​​God’s Hand was with him: It’s a Providing hand (7:6). It’s a Guiding hand (7:9). It’s a Encouraging hand (7:28). It’s a Protecting hand (8:31)
    2. We also see Ezra’s Hand: The word of God was in his hand (7:14).
      1. The word of God is in your hand also, whatcha doing with it?
    3. We also see God using the people’s Hands: Their hands carried & faithfully delivered all the treasures in their hands (8:26,33). So, watch & keep (29).
      1. Here’s how it works: God’s strong but tender hands are laid upon our frail hands, as a father does his son in the turning of a wrench.
        1. With joy the little boy says, Look what I’VE done, when really the credit should go to the Father.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezra 8". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.