– Restore Jerusalem as Light to Nations

 A gentile King (Artaxerxes) told Ezra to preach to foreigners- “And thou, Esdras, according to the wisdom of God ordain judges and justices, that they may judge in all Syria and Phenice all those that know the law of thy God; and those that know it not thou shalt teach. 1 Esdras 8:23  &  Ezra 7:25.  Ezra only knew how to be born a Jew – not BORN AGAIN – he sent foreigners away.  Gods prophets of the time expected the inclusion of foreigners – Mal. 1:10 “My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord”(Septuagint) God’s prophets condemned Ezra’s actions (see “Born Again” )

The message is below the surface – David knew that Jerusalem was established because a foreign King gave God praise – 2 Sam. 5:11 “Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.”  David understood the meaning of the city of God and building Jerusalem – not with bricks and mortar – but in preaching to the gentiles- which caused Hiram (a gentile King) to praise God  2 Chron. 2:12 And Hiram said: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! From Nehemiah we see that 13 years after the arrival of Ezra, the city and walls were still in ruins- foreigners still excluded. Ezra should have understood Is. 60:10 “Foreigners will rebuild your walls,and their kings will serve you.” The Old Testament ends with Jerusalem shutting its gates on foreigners and the dark period where the “sun set on the prophets” Micah 3:6.  The New Testament ends with  New Jerusalem whose gates are never closed. “And its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there”. Rev. 21:25
It’s interesting that Ezra was told to preach to foreigners, to all who didn’t know about God. He obviously didn’t, he sent foreigners away.  The area he was supposed to convert – described as “beyond the river” in Ezra 7:25 and “Syria and Penice” in 1 Esdras 8:23 is most probably the area on the map below called “Syro-Phoenicia”.  Ezra left this land in spiritual darkness.  It’s also interesting that it adjoins the first place Jesus went to bring the light of His word  –  Matt. 4:12-17
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:  “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned”

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”


About alsowritten

Another voice in the wilderness
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