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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ezra 2:1

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;

For further reading - Ezra 2:1-70

I know exactly what you are going to do for the extended reading today. You will skim quickly through the list of names of the heads of families and how many of each family will return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple.

By the way, this will be the Second Temple to be built in Jerusalem. The first was the one Solomon built around BC 1000. This Temple will be erected around 500 years before the birth of Christ by the names on the list that is our reading for today.

The first chapter of Ezra records the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that God would raise up a Persian leader, Cyrus, who would allow a number of Jews to return to Jerusalem and build the Second Temple.

God raised up Zerubbabel to lead the almost 50,000 Jews back to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem to build the Temple. Ezra 2 records the heads of family, where they lived, and how many of their family would travel back to Jerusalem. This is a very important list that Ezra includes in his history book.

Let me answer your question not mentioned. Why read this passage? What can we learn from this information? That is a good question. Let me remind you that II Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is profitable.

Let me introduce you to that which helps us see that God was allowing for all the Jewish people to return to the land. However, a smaller number than the entire Jewish population will return to build the Temple. There are included in this list peoples from all twelve tribes of Israel, meaning all twelve tribes or their representatives would travel back into the land of Israel.

These almost 50,000 Jews were not just people from the two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah, which was known as Judah. We will see that when the Babylonians captured the Assyrians who had taken the ten northern tribes into captivity all twelve tribes would be joined together once again. Some from all twelve tribes would return to Israel at this time.

Two examples. The men of Bethel in verse 28 who were of the tribe of Ephraim. Also verse 29 speaks of the children of Nebo, which is on the eastern side of the Jordan River and was given to the tribe of Reuben. There are other tribes mentioned in this list, which helps us know that members of all twelve tribes returned to the land under the Medes and the Persians.

This proves there are no "lost tribes" and also that a prophecy of two Jewish states in the future, Ezekiel 37:15-23, could be ready for fulfillment in the near future (see my study of Ezekiel). Verse 70, "all of Israel in their cities".

The stage is set for Ezekiel's "two Jewish states" prophecy to be fulfilled. Today Jews have returned to the land of Israel as one people in one Jewish state. Ezekiel reveals two Jewish states in the future and the stage is set for that to happen.

Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Bible Prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past, which is a basis for me to believe that all unfulfilled Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.