Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ezra Chapter 8

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (450 BC)
Overview: The Return of the Jewish Exiles (c 1-10)
Theme: The Return Led By Ezra (c 7-10)
Message: Ezra Returns to Jerusalem (1-36)

Ezra 8 Commentary 

(8:1) Look for Opportunities - Ezra's progress back to Jerusalem was halted while he waited to recruit Levites. God had called these men to a special service, and yet few were willing to volunteer when their services were needed. God has gifted each of us with abilities so we can make a contribution to his kingdom work (Romans 12:4-8). Don't wait to be recruited; instead, look for opportunities to volunteer. Don't hinder God's work by holding back. As Peter wrote, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10)

(8:21-23) Preparing Spiritually - Before making all the physical preparations for the journey, Ezra made spiritual preparations. The returning exiles' prayers and fasting prepared them spiritually by showing their dependence on God for protection, their faith that God was in control, and their affirmation that they were not strong enough to make the trip without him. When we take time to put God first in any endeavor, we are preparing well for whatever lies ahead.

(8:21) Praying For the Journey - Ezra and the people traveled approximately 900 miles on foot. The trip took them through dangerous and difficult territory and lasted about four months. They prayed that God would give them a safe journey. Our journeys today may not be as difficult and dangerous as Ezra's, but we should recognize our need to ask God for guidance and protection wherever we venture.

(8:23) Submitting to the Lord - Ezra knew God's promises to protect his people, but he didn't take them for granted. He also knew that God's blessings are appropriated through submission to God; so Ezra and the people humbled themselves by fasting and praying. And their prayers were answered. Fasting humbled them because going without food was a reminder of their complete dependence on God. It also gave them more time to pray and meditate on God, and to focus on why they were praying. Too often we pray glibly and superficially. Serious prayer, by contrast, requires concentration. It puts us in touch with God's will and can really change us. Without serious prayer, we reduce God to a divine drive- through pharmacist who can give us painkillers for our every complaint.

(8:26-27) A Large Treasure - Six hundred fifty talents of silver would be about 25 tons. This was a large amount of treasure to transport, with or without a detachment of soldiers for protection.

(8:28-29) A Holy Treasure - Every object used in temple service was dedicated to God; each was considered a holy treasure to be guarded carefully and set apart for his special use. Stewardship means taking special care of whatever God has entrusted to you. This means considering what God has given to you and who he has placed in your life as being from him and for his use. Who and what has God entrusted to your care?



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Vessels of Honor

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Ezra with Chapter 8 and we see the exiles who returned with Ezra to Jerusalem. What catches my eye is verses 28-29 where every object used in the Temple service was set apart for God. Each object was considered a holy treasure for the service to uplift a Holy God. In making application we see that we are objects used for worship. Some preach, some teach, some sing, some testify, some encourage, etc...Each member of the body is to serve in the House of God to uplift our Lord for the purpose of evangelism, edification, and discipleship. The Bible describes the saved person as vessel of Honor to be used for His Purpose under the direction of the Holy Spirit, How about you? Do you realize your importance as a vessel of honor to serve in the House of God? Let us learn from our text today and the example in our text today to realize that the Lord wants to use us as a vessel of Honor in His Body which is the Church.


Ezra 8

Ezra 8

 1These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.

 2Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.

 3Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.

 4Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.

 5Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.

 6Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.

 7And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.

 8And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.

 9Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.

 10And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.

 11And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.

 12And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.

 13And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.

 14Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

 15And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

 16Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.

 17And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.

 18And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;

 19And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;

 20Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.

 21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

 22For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.

 23So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

 24Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,

 25And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:

 26I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;

 27Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.

 28And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.

 29Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.

 30So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.

 31Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

 32And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.

 33Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;

 34By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.

 35Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.

 36And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.