Saturday, September 21, 2013

Days 263-264 ~ 2010

Originally posted in a forum in 2010 - this post may contain links which are no longer valid, if you find a non-working link, please let me know and I will attempt to find a replacement or make a correction as necessary.

Days 263-264

Ezra's reforms at Jerusalem
- Arrives, establishes law and order - Ezra 7:6-10
- King's commission declared, reforms begin - Ezra 8:32-36

483 years elapse between time of Jerusalem's re-establishment and Messiah's appearance (baptism of Jesus) (Dan 9:25) - 458 B.C.

Ezra's reforms continue
- Marriage to heathen rebuked - Ezra 9:1-4
- Ezra's prayer and confession - Ezra 9:5-15
- Ezra plans national gathering - Ezra 10:1-8
- Ezra preaches and people repent - Ezra 10:9-15
- Strange wives rejected - Ezra 10:16-44

The building of the wall - Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem

Hanani reports wall's conditions - Nehemiah 1:1-3

Nehemiah's reaction
- Grief - Nehemiah 1:4
- Prayer - Nehemiah 1:5-11
- Sadness - Nehemiah 2:1-2
- Request - Nehemiah 2:3-6

Appointed governor of Judah - Nehemiah 5:14

Journey to Jerusalem
- Letters and escort - Nehemiah 2:7-9
- Sanballat and Tobiah disturbed - Nehemiah 2:10

Arrived at Jerusalem - Nehemiah 2:11

Inspects ruins at night - Nehemiah 2:12-16

Building of the wall begins
- Encourages rebuilding of the wall - Nehemiah 2:17-18
- Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem ridicule - Nehemiah 2:19-20
- List of builders - Nehemiah 3:1-32

Ezra 9:3 - plucked out his hair and beard - ouch. This made me think of how our Lord's beard was plucked out...beards were a significant item for a Jewish man. Also, when David sent ambassadors to H? (whose name I can not locate - sorry!) - and they were to remain until their beards were grown.

astonied - H8079 - A primitive root; to stun (or intransitively grow numb), that is, devastate or (figuratively) stupefy (both usually in a passive sense).

Strange wives - Ezra 10 - this appears to be for all the people.

strange - H5237 - From H5235 (second form); strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful).

This is, somewhat, heart retching...these women trusted the men to protect, provide and defend them...they traveled from Persia to Israel (4 months) only to be set aside once they are there. I wonder if they were entitled to the provision given by Father to 'not diminish' their allotment though they had been set aside. How hard it must have been for these men to set aside their wives and children. Were they ever able to interact with them? Obedience involves sacrifice. What 'strange' things do we have in our lives that Father wants us to put aside?

Nehemiah - cupbearer - weighty responsibility - if the wine was poisoned, guess who died! Nehemiah appears to have been a very trusted and valued servant.

Nehemiah 2:1-2 - Sad countenance, concerned king. The king notices that Nehemiah is downcast - which causes Nehemiah to be fearful. As someone tasked with ensuring that the king is NOT poisoned and being sad in his presence I can see why Nehemiah may have been somewhat fearful.

2:4 - prior to speaking to the king, Nehemiah prays, though he had already made petition prior to coming into the king's presence. O' Lord, forgive me for not being as diligent as my brother to be prayerful prior to speaking. Help each of us Lord to speak forth Your words of truth and light, prayerfully.

Tobiah, the servant - he is referenced this way several times...reminds me of Judas, the one who betrayed...wonder how people remember me?

Tobiah - H2900 - From H2896 and H3050; goodness of Jehovah; Tobijah, the name of three Israelites and of one Samaritan. ~ Well...I learned something! The goodness of Jehovah. Which is a reminder that Father can use anyone or anything to bring about HIS perfect plans and purposes, even when it involves our discomfort!

servant - H5650 - From H5647; a servant. H5647 - A primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.

Walls - I was pondering the walls and how it was laid out...if I'd the time, I would enjoy sketching out the information. :( Instead check out this link for a graphic I found:

In Nehemiah 3:1-32 I noticed the specific reference in verse 5 "...but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord." I thought that intriguing...and as I read the rest of the passage it specifically states those who were in a position of authority, their names, and seems to indicate that they were working alongside their 'constituents.

In verse 25 in mentions the court of the prison - so if there is a court, there must be a prison. E-sword turned up prison numerous times...mostly with foreign nations. In God's decree for handling those who trespassed, He never specified a prison...there were cities of refuge, but no literal prison. I wonder if Israel implemented prisons because of what they saw in the nations around them.

prison - H4307 - From H5201; a jail (as a guard house); also an aim (as being closely watched).

Our fellow SGS - Rhys Mawr shared a link for a paper he wrote about the time frame of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. Excellent overview. Reposting the link: - The domain where this article was stored is no longer valid.

Only 100 days left in our Roman calendar read through...whoo hoo! Remember you can NOT be behind...unless you were with HIM in the beginning we are really all behind! If you have hit a slump or haven't even it now. The beauty and majesty of our Father's Word is a delectable delight to the soul. May you richly enjoy the feast as you partake with your Savior.

Construction opposed
- Ridicule - Nehemiah 4:1-6
- Conspiracy - Nehemiah 4:7-9
- Discouraged brethren - Nehemiah 4:10-23
- Greediness and heartlessness - Nehemiah 5:1-5

Nehemiah's indignation - Nehemiah 5:6 - "And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words."

Rebukes Usurers - Nehemiah 5:7-10

Restitution - Nehemiah 5:11-13

Example of generosity - Nehemiah 5:15-19

Craftiness - Nehemiah 6:1-14

Wall completed, despite Tobiah's interference - Nehemiah 6:15-19

Shook out his lap - an interesting phrase...what meaneth it? I checked the commentaries and thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Henry's - it was too large to post - here is a link if you would like to read:

I specifically like the comparison between Ezra and Nehemiah as leaders - that they each administered in a different way. What a refreshing challenge for us to remember that each person is gifted with talents and abilities and can be a vessel of honor in the hand of our Father. Lord, help us to cherish each of the gifts as You have distributed them throughout the body.

Unselfish example of Nehemiah - willing to serve and sacrifice and not be burdensome to the people. Reminds me of Paul's comment that he was not burdensome to the believers, but worked as well as preached the gospel.

I noticed in my reading today that Tobiah is no longer referenced as a servant...and he seems to be the leader in attempting to cause upheaval. They sent 5 times to Nehemiah letters to try and discourage or dissuade him from the course Father had sent him to accomplish. 5 = grace. Father's grace is sufficient in every trial, tribulation and/or testing. Though it is difficult and the nagging instance of the world snaps at our feet, we can stay steadfast. Not because of who we are, but because of who HE is...always faithful.

:-) Which reminded me of this song:

Scare tactics - threatening mail - insistent encouragement to 'run and hide' in the temple...and yet Nehemiah stood firm..."Should such a man as I flee? and who is there that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in."

A man willing to swear to his own hurt and changeth not. O' Lord, continually raise up men who have a passion for You, Your Word and stand ready to lay down their lives for the sake of upholding Your righteous standard. Give them strength and courage to proclaim Your Word and truth in every season and situation. Raise up prayer warriors for them...Lord, raise up those who will call for repentance and a turning to You.

Walls - 52 days! That is an awesome building project. If all were in rubble and the doors burned with fire, the clean up alone would have been HUGE...with God nothing is impossible. Nothing. Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

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