How serious are you about ministering to your people? | Ezra 8.15-18


I gathered them by the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the descendants of Levi. Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were leaders, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were wise, and sent them to Iddo, the leader at the place called Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his colleagues the temple servants at Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God. Since the gracious hand of our God was upon us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the descendants of Mahli son of Levi son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and kin
Ezra 8.15-18

Here, you see Ezra refuse to settle for who he had before him. He was determined to see that the ministers to God’s people be the absolute most qualified people they could be. They had to be Levites. There were none there. Did he just throw up his hands and say that they had to “settle” for who was there and willing? No! He went out and sought qualified ministers.

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.

Politics & Tithe | Ezra 8.35-36


At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin offering twelve male goats; all this was a burnt offering to the Lord. They also delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River; and they supported the people and the house of God.
Ezra 8.36

Interesting line… Is this saying that they had people “on staff” who managed their civil tithe to the secular authority (taxes), and the lay people supported the House of God? Is this like tax accountants “on staff” among the leadership of the temple?

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.