Ezra chapter 8

The people who return with Ezra. Ezra asks Levites to join them. Ezra proclaims a fast. They guard the valuables. They arrive in Jerusalem.





VERSE 1. Now these are the heads of their fathers’ households, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king:

those who went up with me. These are the people who return to Jerusalem with Ezra.

The total number of men who returned was 1,514.


VERSE 2. Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush.


VERSE 3. Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were listed by genealogy of the males one hundred fifty.


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


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


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


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


VERSE 8. Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him eighty males.


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


VERSE 10. Of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him one hundred sixty males.


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


VERSE 12. Of the sons of Azgad, Yochanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him one hundred ten males.


VERSE 13. Of the sons of Adonikam, who were the last, their names are: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males.


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




VERSE 15. I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days. Then I looked around at the people and the priests, and found there were none of the sons of Levi.

there were none of the sons of Levi. The Levites were to be teachers of the Law.

Not having any Levites was a desperate situation.


VERSE 16. Then I sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, for Elnathan, for Jarib, for Elnathan, for Nathan, for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib and for Elnathan, who were teachers.

who were teachers. This does not mean school teacher. Rather, it means “teachers of the Law.”

Has the Holy Spirit given you the ministry gift of Teaching? It is to impart knowledge of the faith to your learners. Read more »


VERSE 17. I sent them out to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo and his brothers the temple servants at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God.

the place Casiphia. This place is unknown in our day.


VERSE 18. According to the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen;

the good hand of our God on us. This means “God helped us.”

Is the hand of God upon you?


VERSE 19. and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty;


VERSE 20. and of the temple servants, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred twenty temple servants. All of them were mentioned by name.




VERSE 21. Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a straight way for us, for our little ones, and for all our possessions.

I proclaimed a fast there. What a great way to start their journey!

In our day, how many of us Christians start our projects with fasting and prayer?

Fasting is a natural human impulse. And it is a wonderful companion during our special times of prayer to God. Read more »


VERSE 22. For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him.”

The hand of our God is on all those who seek him. This is a major development in their theological understanding.

Previously, they would have said the hand of God was upon the Jewish people. Or their own nation.

But now they see that the favoring hand of their own God is upon all who seek him, without distinction of Jew or Gentile.

The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »


VERSE 23. So we fasted and begged our God for this, and he granted our request.




VERSE 24. Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the priests, even Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them,


VERSE 25. and weighed to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, his counselors, his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered.


VERSE 26. I weighed into their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, one hundred talents of silver vessels, one hundred talents of gold,

talents. A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds or 965 Troy ounces.


VERSE 27. twenty bowls of gold weighing one thousand darics, and two vessels of fine bright bronze, precious as gold.

darics. A daric was a gold coin issued by a Persian king, weighing about 8.4 grams or about 0.27 troy ounces each.


VERSE 28. I said to them, “You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy. The silver and the gold are a free will offering to the LORD, the God of your fathers.


VERSE 29. Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and the princes of the fathers’ households of Israel at Jerusalem, in the rooms of the LORD’s house.”


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




VERSE 31. Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the bandits by the way.

he delivered us from the hand of the enemy. They had no military escort, and so there journey would have been quite dangerous.


VERSE 32. We came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

We came to Jerusalem. Their journey was around 900 miles.

They walked 900 miles.

In our day, very few Christians would agree to walk even one mile to glorify God.


VERSE 33. On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them were Jozabad the son of Yeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, the Levites.


VERSE 34. Everything was counted and weighed; and all the weight was written at that time.


VERSE 35. The children of the captivity, who had come out of exile, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the LORD.


VERSE 36. They delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s local governors and to the governors beyond the River. So they supported the people and God’s house.


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RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Seventy Years

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.