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;
The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not show their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:
They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests garments.
So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
 

2:1 came again unto Jerusalem. Although chronological data are somewhat ambiguous, they seem to indicate that this initial return to Jerusalem took place just seventy years after Nebuchadnezzar’s initial capture of Jerusalem (II Chronicles 36:5-7), when he took Daniel and his three friends away into Babylon (Daniel 1:1-3). This return was in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (II Chronicles 36:20,21).

2:2 Zerubbabel. This verse lists the leaders of the returning exiles. Zerubbabel was governor and Jeshua high priest. The Nehemiah and Mordecai included in this list are not the same as the Nehemiah who became governor many years later (Nehemiah 1:1) or the Mordecai who was Jewish leader in Persia during the days of Queen Esther (Esther 2:5).

2:43 Nethinims. The Nethinim were an order of servants established by David for the more lowly aspects of the Levitical ministries (Ezra 8:20).

2:63 Tirshatha. The “Tirshatha” was the governor appointed by Cyrus, presumably Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2).

2:63 Thummim. Evidently, since certain of the returning priests could not verify their right to the office through the remaining genealogies (Ezra 2:61,62), they were not allowed to function as such until they could demonstrate their divine calling spiritually, through the prophetic gifts associated with the Urim and Thummim. See note on Exodus 28:30.

2:64 forty and two thousand. This number evidently includes the women and children, and so is larger than the total of the numbers in the preceding verses of the chapter.

2:65 Beside their servants. The returning Jewish exiles were not impoverished, having many servants as well as animals (Ezra 2:66-67), and money (Ezra 2:69). Many had prospered while in Babylon. They evidently had much freedom in Babylon, even though technically they were a captive people.


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