Ezra 2-3  The People Reclaiming


Ezra is a Continuation of 1-2 Chronicles

A)In those books Ezra was writing to the Remnant that would return to rebuild and Restore


B)Writing them to encourage them to keep their hearts in step with the Lord

1)Uses History of Judah to show – result Blessing


C)The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of those who came back –

1)How they were once again established in the Land


D)Ezra is the author but he is not the main Character – infact he doesn’t show up until Ch 7


The Group is led by a man who’s name is Zerrubbabel

A)Stranger in Babylon { Parents – this is not your home!


B) Sheshbazzar – Chaldean name = Joy in Affliction

1)Great Witness


C)So much so he becomes recognized as a leader and King Cyrus – commissions him to lead the charge!


D)Last time we noted the book could be divided this way!


Ch.1 - The king proclaiming


Ch.2-3 - The people reclaiming

(Ch.2 Their genealogy / Ch.3 their theology.)     


Ch.4 - The enemy defaming


Ch.5-6 - The Lord sustaining

(ch.5 Prophetically, ch.6 politically)


Tonight Ch.2-3 The people reclaiming first Genealogy / Ch.3 Their theology


Ezra 2:1-2

Now these are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city.

2 Those who came with Zerubbabel were Jeshua, He is Notable in this group for he was the high priest, He was an important part of the leadership of the remnant and served at the side of Zerubbabel the governor.

Also Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai



How many returned? Just under 50,000 out of how many? Close to 2 million.

A)They would be joined by an even smaller # - the remnant left in Judah – who were not carried away

V.2-35 gives a listing of the families returning the family names!

A)We can look at this and think – why is this here – why waste the ink – why fill up a page.


B) 3 Reasons #1 Reminds us pp are important to God so much so that he records names – not #’s

1)Not multitudes/ but names/ families


C)Most important list of names is the lambs book of life.


#2 Important for reclaiming their land – they had to be able to trace their lineage what family they belonged to. { Land by family or name


#3 Practical for re-gathering. – Who was there?

A)Think of it is this way: Suppose part of SD was hit by a Nuclear weapon


B)Part of down town was wiped out – but because of Radiation everyone living this side of Camp Pendleton had to evacuate.


C)Some go east to Arizona / some go South down into Mexico / others head north So Cal / No Cal



D) All of San Diego is quarantined for 50 yrs –


After 50 yrs those who want to can come back – come relocate – come back to what is left of their homes

A)A list like this would be important – beneficial – who came back


B) Salvatos came back – Hills came back

1)Eddie and Dawn are long gone – dead – Rob and Denise are gone


C)But Amanda comes back – she is now 62 yrs old

Look up Emma and Bella / Ethan and Austin

1)See how they are doing – meet their families


D)That is the scene here – This list would be important for that reason as well

1)See who came back – who are the Pastors and leaders


E)Coming back to rebuild a temple – reestablish worship{ So who are the spiritual leaders


2-35 Family names

V.36-39 – Priest

v.40-54 Levites


Divided into Singers{ just traveled 900 miles 4mths no ipods – need some singers in the group


Gatekeepers and Servants


V.43 Mentions the Nethinim – theses were not Levites but servants of the Levites –

A)The Nethinim were descendants of the Gideonites  tricked Joshua – recall came from far


B)Allowed to Dwell – they were servants

1)Seemed over time that a group of them began to serve the Levites became known as the Nethinim


C)Grace: They could Serve in the things of the Lord!


V.55-60 Similar group The children of Solomon’s servants: Most believe that these were those employed by Solomon who came from other people groups.


They came into Israel as foreign proselytes & were incorporated into the commonwealth of Israel.

                                                           RD V. 61-63


So here is a group of men who claimed to be from the Priestly line/ problem no genealogy record to support

A)Not going to let them serve as priest unless they can prove that – because they would be defiled


B)Zerub the Gov – says hold tight until we find the Urim and Thummin


C)Stones that were a part of the High Priest Breastplate – change colors

1)It was a way in the OT – God honored the sincerity of their heart in seeking him

D)So Zerub says lets wait: Imagine how disappointing that must have been 


These young men who have grown up their whole lives being told – from the Priestly line

A)hearing the stories of the Priest – their duties in the temple in Jerusalem –


B) Longing to be a part of that – Signing up to take the Journey – traveling 900 miles

1)4 months thinking – now I am going to get to do what I was created to do –


C)Only to have this set back – And we are never told what the outcome was of this.


D)If any of them were allowed to serve or not!


Not only that but the Priest had no inheritance in the land – God was their inheritance –

A)Didn’t own land – they lived in Priestly cities


B)They were taken care of thru the offerings


C) So not only were these men not being able to be priest – but essentially it would render them homeless unless they found the Genealogy


D)Commend Zerub / and others – who were willing to do what was right before the Lord even though it was a hard  call                           RD 64-70

So Ch. 2 is all about Reclaiming their Genealogies

Ch. 3 Reclaim their Theology!

V.1 And when the seventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem.


The seventh month would be Tishri, our September–October, a month very sacred to the Jews


 It opened with the Feast of Trumpets;

the Day of Atonement was on the tenth day;

and from the fifteenth to the twenty-first, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles.


Gathered at the temple site

A)They are in a proper place.... the temple site: Lying in ruins – stood there and looked 


Gathered as one man!

B) They were unified Unity and power are related

1)Psalm 133:1 – Behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell …. in unity.


C)Acts 2 Gathered as one in the Upper room HS fell!


D) God blesses Unity – pours out his spirit

1)Disunity – quenches the Spirit of God.


E)So they were gathered as one man!


RD V.2-4

Notice the Phrase twice v.2 / V.4 As it is written

A)Getting back to basics back to the Bible!


B)First thing they do is to gather stones to build and altar.

1)Something is being reborn in the hearts of the pp


C)Notice where is starts – it starts with God’s word and God’s Altar


Weather it is a nation / a Church / an individual

A)When coming back to our foundations back to beginnings  always – God’s word / God’s altar


B)The place of shedding of Blood – for us it is the Cross – back to our 1st love

1)Back to the Cross where the Blood of Jesus flowed for us.


C)Notice also that they offered burnt offerings

1)Offering of Consecration – recommitment


D) Lord we do not want to be carried away again

1)No more idolatry – there wasn’t in their history

They were cured of that


E)There would be dead Pharisees – but never idolatry again


F)Burnt offerings consecrating themselves – hearts right

Celebrating the feast of Tabernacles – again going back – remembering – the Exodus

A)Tabernacled in the Wilderness – God blessed them – God delivered them.


B)Out in Booths – out in tents – under stars talking to their kids


C)A time of going back – reclaiming what had been lost!

                                          RD V.5-6


So they are at that place – where God had ordained for man to meet with Him!

A)It is not that the God needed a place to meet with the Pp – but the pp needed a place to meet w/ God


B)So God prescribed the place and the means – thru Sacrifice – shedding of Blood

1)All a picture not pointing  to a place where God would meet with man – but to the Person – Jesus

God’s son and his sacrifice!


C)The center of it all is not the Building – but it is the altar

1)The altar that makes it all make sense – having meaning and purpose


D)Blood shed – Cross makes it all make sense

1)God commands – Jesus fulfilled –

God’s wrath – Jesus Bore { God’s grace – He bestow

D)Not about Buildings it is about Jesus – about bringing pp to Jesus

1)About pp communing growing in Jesus


 7 They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.


C)Another example of Biblical Building project

1)Pp Giving – supplying as part of worship


D)Outside help – Cyrus had arranged with the Sidonians supply cedar logs


RD v.8   Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the LORD.


 So two yrs have elapsed from the time where they have come back to actually building.

A)Delayed was probably caused by the cleansing of the temple area / gathering of materials & supplies


B)So now the work is actually beginning!


RD V.9-10

This is 535 BC exactly 70yrs from the time when the deportation began in 605 BC.

A)So it is exactly 70yrs just like Jeremiah prophesied

70yrs later they are laying the foundation stone of the temple again.


B)Encouraging because God has declared certain thing that will take place in our day.

1)This encourages us – they will happen – they will take place


C)God is faithful to His word – prophecy will be fulfilled –

1)Jesus is coming


11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD:


"For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel."


Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.


Worship is a response to who God is … He has done!


Think about how many are standing here amazed because they have never dreamed that they would be standing in Jerusalem.

A)How many of those priest and Levites grew up hearing about Aaron and the other priest

B)Hearing about the temple – the sacrifices – the presence of God in that place

1)Never dreaming that they would have the opportunity to officiate in that place that God had set apart for His pp to worship Him


C)That place that was set apart by God that place where fire came down from Heaven on Ornans threshing floor – God sanctifying that place as His own


D)The sanctified place where His temple would be built – and now they were there

1)Standing on that very spot – Altar is built


E)All they can say is God you are Good !

1)You are merciful – Your mercy endures forever!


Here they stand thinking about David and he set all this up and rejoicing in God’s goodness and mercy!


12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, 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 sound was heard afar off.



So in the midst of the moment there are mixed emotions – some shouting / celebration others the older are weeping.

A)Why were they weeping – first they probably never dreamed this would happen


B)They had seen the first temple – and now it was just a memory – tears of joy –

1)I can’t believe we are back – this is happening again


C)But I also suggest that there is probably a hint of sorrow as well


The older men knew that his temple would never match up to the glory of the first.

A)After all, King Solomon spent the modern equivalent of $5 to $8 billion on building the first temple.


B)They also remembered the horrible end of the first temple, and these combined with the joy of the restoration to make profound mixed feelings in the old men.


C)In one way I can relate to this: I came to Christ in 1973 – and in 1974 started attending CCCM

1)That was about 5-6 yrs into the Jesus people movement that started in 1968{A revival


D)It was still going strong in 74 – so much so that I remember attending CCCM and being blown away

I was blown away by several things:

A)One how packed it was – how many pp were gathering for a Bible study


B)We had come from a Church that had larger crowds – but it was a circus – wild

1) Charismain to the max – always a new twist


C)Going forward for prayer and being pushed over

1)This is joke – 11 yrs old


D)So glad got to CCCM – Pastor Chuck – 12 yrs old loved listening to him

1)Those days midweek Thurs / Youth on Wed

I went to both – Parents took me to youth


E)Thurs – I went to the big Church – sat down on the floor – pp were Hungry for the word

1)Pastor Chuck would teach for at least an hr and pp would eat it up!


Tons of young pp on the floor with me – I was one of the youngest – but HS / College / Hippies

A)That was the other thing – that blew my mind


B)Hippies and the Suits – as one man ! Love

1)Unity –


C)I felt proud to belong to something so powerful so moving – so simple yet beautiful

1)And Pp were always getting saved !

Now I know that we are not supposed to live in the past – but I will admit that it is often hard to not compare

A)I know what a revival looks like – I was a part of it


B)I know what happens when God is moving on a powerful way.


C)And it is not that I want to go back – but I want to experience that kind of move of God again

1)I long for that – dream of that – pray for that!


When pp get excited about things happening today I get excited too but there is always a sense in my heart of this is nothing compared to what that was


There is a disappointment – they is a longing

A)I want my kids to have that kind of an experience with God { your kids – our grand kids


B)I want to see God pour out His spirit again


C)Even though there are many wonderful experiences today – I long for that

1)Not longing for the old music – the clothes hair styles none of that


D)Just that simple yet powerful move of God!

1)Sometimes  - talk about getting hipper


E)Lord do we really have to do that – I wrestle

So I can relate to these old guys thinking – this is wonderful – but it pails in comparison to what we remember!

A)Joy for the new work – but sorrow in realizing it probably will never be like the old.



So there is a time to Reclaim




Theologies – Back to basics


Consecrate around the altar


Back to the Word