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A Brief History of Israel Session 4 To Babylon and Back A Brief History of Israel Session 4 To Babylon and Back

Opening Prayer “Before the day is out” By Walter Brueggemann, Walter. Awed to Heaven, Opening Prayer “Before the day is out” By Walter Brueggemann, Walter. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003.

Introduction Ø Focus will be on the exile to Babylon l And return to Introduction Ø Focus will be on the exile to Babylon l And return to Jerusalem Ø Story of exile seen through the eyes of the prophets in the biblical text l l l Beautifully poetic Disturbingly violent Visually based communication; not just oral

Introduction Ø Will cover tonight – in overview, not story l l Jeremiah Ezekiel Introduction Ø Will cover tonight – in overview, not story l l Jeremiah Ezekiel Ezra Nehemiah

Jeremiah Ø Priestly family who lived in Anathoth in the tribal area of Benjamin Jeremiah Ø Priestly family who lived in Anathoth in the tribal area of Benjamin Ø Called to speak during reigns of Judean kings: l l Josiah Jehoiakim Zedekiah Captivity of Jerusalem

Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah’s call follows pattern (Jeremiah 1: 4 -10) l l l God Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah’s call follows pattern (Jeremiah 1: 4 -10) l l l God calls Prophet protests there is some difficulty God overcomes that difficulty 4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ” 6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD, ” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child. ” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child. ’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, ” declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant. ” Jer 1: 4 -10

Jeremiah Ø Charges the people with breach of contract (Jeremiah 2: 4 -7) 4 Jeremiah Ø Charges the people with breach of contract (Jeremiah 2: 4 -7) 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. 5 This is what the LORD says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. 6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives? ’ 7 I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land made my inheritance detestable. Jer 2: 4 -7

Jeremiah Ø Calls the people to repent and paints vision of the future (Jeremiah Jeremiah Ø Calls the people to repent and paints vision of the future (Jeremiah 3: 15 -18) 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land, ” declares the LORD, “men will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD. ’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers as an inheritance. Jer 3: 15 -18

Jeremiah Ø Warns of imminent disaster – an invasion from the north (Jeremiah 4: Jeremiah Ø Warns of imminent disaster – an invasion from the north (Jeremiah 4: 5 -6) Ø Specifies the sins of Judah (Jeremiah 5: 27 -29) 27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful 28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor. 29 Should I not punish them for this? ” declares the LORD. Jer 5: 27 -29

Jeremiah Ø Criticizes religious ritual (Jeremiah 6: 19 - 20) 19 Hear, O earth: Jeremiah Ø Criticizes religious ritual (Jeremiah 6: 19 - 20) 19 Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. 20 What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me. ” Jer 6: 19 -20

Jeremiah Ø More on worship (Jeremiah 7: 1 -11) 1 This is the word Jeremiah Ø More on worship (Jeremiah 7: 1 -11) 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Stand at the gate of the LORD'S house and there proclaim this message: “ ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. 9 “ ‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, 14 burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? l 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD. Jer 7: 1 -11

Jeremiah Ø What about those sacrifices? 22 For when I brought your forefathers out Jeremiah Ø What about those sacrifices? 22 For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. Jer 7: 22 -23 Ø What does it mean to worship the LORD? 23 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, ” declares the LORD. Jer 9: 23 -24

Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah’s prophetic role doesn’t please everyone Ø Complains to God l l Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah’s prophetic role doesn’t please everyone Ø Complains to God l l Initially Jeremiah expresses sorrow and anguish over Judah’s fate (Jeremiah 4; 8: 229: 1) Now Jeremiah prays that God will accelerate his timetable (Jeremiah 12) Ø Commanded not to marry

Jeremiah Ø God’s judgment is not ultimately focused on retribution (Jeremiah 16: 14 -15) Jeremiah Ø God’s judgment is not ultimately focused on retribution (Jeremiah 16: 14 -15) 14 “However, the days are coming, ” declares the LORD, “when men will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt, ’ 15 but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them. ’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers. Jer 16: 14 -15

Jeremiah Ø God uses visual imagery to speak to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18: 1 -12) Jeremiah Ø God uses visual imagery to speak to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18: 1 -12) 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message. ” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? ” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. 11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions. ’ 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart. ’ ” Jer 18: 1 -12

Jeremiah Ø Plot proceeds against Jeremiah l l l Led by Pashur, the priest Jeremiah Ø Plot proceeds against Jeremiah l l l Led by Pashur, the priest Jeremiah put in stocks Calls Pashur: Terror-all-around Ø Jeremiah complains to God (Jeremiah 20) l l l Accuses God of overwhelming him Complains of gossip about him Curses the day of his birth

Jeremiah Ø Calls the people to choose life ‘This is what the LORD says: Jeremiah Ø Calls the people to choose life ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Jer 21: 8 Ø After sermon in temple, the people, priests and prophets seize Jeremiah with intent to kill him Ø Released after officials & people recall the role of Micah

Jeremiah Ø Instructed to give Judah a visual lesson (Jeremiah 27) l l Ø Jeremiah Ø Instructed to give Judah a visual lesson (Jeremiah 27) l l Ø Hananiah takes the yoke off Jeremiah and breaks it l Ø Says this is how God is breaking Babylon Jeremiah’s response l l Ø Jeremiah wears a yoke (like an oxen) Judah & surrounding nations are to wear the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar Even the wild animals belong to Nebuchadnezzar Hananiah will die within the year for teaching lies Hananiah dies that year

Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah writes to the first deportees in Babylon (Jeremiah 29: 4 -7) Jeremiah Ø Jeremiah writes to the first deportees in Babylon (Jeremiah 29: 4 -7) 4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. ” Jer 29: 4 -7 Ø Now that the people are suffering, Jeremiah encourages the people 17 But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, ’ declares the LORD, Jer 30: 17

Jeremiah Ø God declares a new covenant 31 “The time is coming, ” declares Jeremiah Ø God declares a new covenant 31 “The time is coming, ” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ’” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, ” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. ” Jer 31: 31 -33 Ø As a sign of this promise, Jeremiah buys a field and stores the deed in a jar

Jeremiah and the scroll Ø Jeremiah commanded to write a scroll and read it Jeremiah and the scroll Ø Jeremiah commanded to write a scroll and read it in the temple l Ø Baruch the scribe takes Jeremiah’s dictation Officials become concerned and call for Baruch to bring the scroll and read it to them l Instruct Baruch to go into hiding with Jeremiah Jehudi reads the scroll to King Jehoiakim As Jehudi reads, the king takes a penknife and cuts off 3 -4 columns of text and throws it into the fire Ø Jeremiah dictates another scroll to Baruch Ø Ø

Jeremiah After Zedekiah is placed on the throne by the Babylonians, Jeremiah is arrested Jeremiah After Zedekiah is placed on the throne by the Babylonians, Jeremiah is arrested and imprisoned in the cistern house Ø Later, Zedekiah commutes his sentence to imprisonment in the court of the guard with a daily ration Ø During the second siege of Jerusalem, Zedekiah seeks Jeremiah’s advice Ø l l Ø He advises the king to surrender Otherwise, his wives and children will be seized and the city will be burned Jerusalem falls l l l Zedekiah tries to escape and is captured by Nebuchadnezzar His sons are killed while he watches He is blinded and taken captive

Jeremiah Gedaliah is appointed governor of Judah Ø Jeremiah exhorts those remaining to serve Jeremiah Gedaliah is appointed governor of Judah Ø Jeremiah exhorts those remaining to serve Nebuchadnezzar and his officials Ø People rebel against Gedaliah, then set out to flee to Egypt Ø l l l Ø But first, they consult Jeremiah says don’t go to Egypt Jeremiah and Baruch are seized and brought to Egypt against their will Much later … l l King Jehoiachin is brought out of prison and given a seat at the king’s table He dies in Babylon

Ezekiel Ø Ø A priest exiled with Jehoichin to Babylon Sees a vision beside Ezekiel Ø Ø A priest exiled with Jehoichin to Babylon Sees a vision beside the river Chebar in the land of the Chaldeans (Ezekiel 1) l l Chariot powered by 4, human-like creatures with 4 faces and 4 wings 4 faces • • l l Human Lion Ox Eagle Middle of creatures, furnace with coals Each creature had some sort of connection with a wheel Entire vehicle domed and noisy Above the dome, a throne with a human form seated on it • Ezekiel describes this as the appearance of the glory of the LORD

Ezekiel Ø Ezekiel receives his call (Ezekiel 2 -3) l l Given a scroll Ezekiel Ø Ezekiel receives his call (Ezekiel 2 -3) l l Given a scroll to eat Scroll is sweet Ø Ezekiel end oftransported to sit with the exiles 16 At the is seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have in Tel-abib for 7 days Ø Receives the “prophetic imperative” (Ezekiel 3: 16 -21 & 33: 1 -9) made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die, ’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. ” Eze 3: 16 -21

Ezekiel and the Siege of Jerusalem Ø Ezekiel is called to enact the final Ezekiel and the Siege of Jerusalem Ø Ezekiel is called to enact the final siege of Jerusalem l l Ø Instructed to lie on his left side for 390 days l Ø Uses a brick to represent the city Build a siege wall and ramp Set up camps and battering rams An iron plate between Ezekiel’s face and the city Ezekiel is in some sense paying for the sins of Israel Then switch to right side for 40 days l Suffering for the sins of Judah Ezekiel will be immobilized by God during this time Ø Instructed to take certain provisions for food and water to be eaten during this time Ø

Ezekiel Visits Jerusalem in Vision Ø Transported to temple (Ezekiel 8 -9) Ø Ezekiel Ezekiel Visits Jerusalem in Vision Ø Transported to temple (Ezekiel 8 -9) Ø Ezekiel views a variety of desecrations of the temple 17 Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you Ø Ezekiel viewsthe countries where you have leave thefrom the nations temple and bring you back from God’s glory been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again. ’ by way 18 “They will return to itfrom previousand detestable idols. 19 I will of chariot and remove all its vile images vision give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from their heart of stone give Ø Begsandlaws. They will be my for 20 and I will bewill follow my decreesfor thosecareful to for them a heart of people, his they their God. 21 But as and be whose hearts mercy flesh. Then people keep my are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they promises Sovereign LORD. ” Eze 11: 17 -21 Ø God have done, declares thea new heart for Israel (Ezekiel 11: 17 -21)

Ezekiel Ø Instructed to enact the exile of Judah l l Ø Digs through Ezekiel Ø Instructed to enact the exile of Judah l l Ø Digs through a wall in the night Carries the baggage of an exile The LORD speaks to Ezekiel of Israel as an abandoned infant girl of mixed parentage l l l God causes the child to flourish Enters into covenant with woman of age Clothes her with rich fabrics Fed her with choice foods Israel rejects God’s love and seeks other suitors, beginning a life of prostitution One of 3 sisters • Elder sister: Samaria • Younger sister: Sodom 49 “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. Eze 16: 49

Ezekiel Ø God speaks to Ezekiel of individual retribution (Ezekiel 18: 2 -4) 2 Ezekiel Ø God speaks to Ezekiel of individual retribution (Ezekiel 18: 2 -4) 2 “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “ ‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. Eze 18: 2 -4 Ø God on punishment of the wicked (Ezekiel 18: 23 -25) 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? 24 “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just. ’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? Eze 18: 23 -25

Ezekiel Ø On the sins of Israel (Ezekiel 22: 6 -12) 6 “ ‘See Ezekiel Ø On the sins of Israel (Ezekiel 22: 6 -12) 6 “ ‘See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood. 7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths. 9 In you are slanderous men bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts. 10 In you are those who dishonor their fathers’ bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean. 11 In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter. 12 In you men accept bribes to shed blood; you take usury and excessive interest and make unjust gain from your neighbors by extortion. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD. Eze 22: 6 -12

Ezekiel and the Shepherds On the responsibility of the shepherds of Israel (Ezekiel 34: Ezekiel and the Shepherds On the responsibility of the shepherds of Israel (Ezekiel 34: 1 -10) Ø God is Israel’s true shepherd (Ezekiel 34: 11 -19) Ø 11 “ ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. 17 “ ‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet? Eze 34: 11 -19

Ezekiel Ø God’s promise to redeem Israel (Ezekiel 36: 22 -28) 22 “Therefore say Ezekiel Ø God’s promise to redeem Israel (Ezekiel 36: 22 -28) 22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. 24 “ ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. Eze 36: 22 -28

Ezekiel Ø Is Israel’s redemption possible? (Ezekiel 37: 1 -14) 1 The hand of Ezekiel Ø Is Israel’s redemption possible? (Ezekiel 37: 1 -14) 1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live? ” I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know. ” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD. ’ ” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; o prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live. ’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet —a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off. ’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit w in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD. ’ ” Eze 37: 1 -14

Ezekiel 1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and Ezekiel 1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits l and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could l not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this? ” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen l will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds —like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. ” Eze 47: 1 -12 Ø Given a vision of the restored temple in great detail Measurements for its construction Temple as the source of water (Ezekiel 47: 112)

Ezra Ø King Cyrus of Persia issues an edict that Judeans be allowed to Ezra Ø King Cyrus of Persia issues an edict that Judeans be allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1: 2 -3) 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. Ezr 1: 2 -3 Ø Certain temple implements seized by the Babylonians are returned to Jerusalem

Ezra Contains a census of the returning exiles Ø After 7 months begin sacrifices Ezra Contains a census of the returning exiles Ø After 7 months begin sacrifices Ø In second year lay the temple foundation Ø “People of the land” first offer assistance, then resistance to rebuilding the temple Ø l l Building ceases until Darius comes to power in Persia During reign of Ahasuerus opponents send letter alleging that the temple reconstruction is part of a plan of rebellion

Ezra Ø Prophets Haggai and Zechariah encourage the people to continue the building of Ezra Ø Prophets Haggai and Zechariah encourage the people to continue the building of the temple Ø More trouble ensues Ø Matter is brought to attention of Darius l l Searches the archives Finds the original decree of Cyrus Ø Temple is completed during reign of Darius

Ezra Passover is celebrated Ø Ezra commissioned by King Artaxerxes Ø l l Return Ezra Passover is celebrated Ø Ezra commissioned by King Artaxerxes Ø l l Return with a second group of exiles Provision the temple with wheat, wine, salt, etc. On return, Ezra shocked to learn of mixed marriages within the priestly family Ø People gather at the temple to hear Ezra’s word Ø l l Ezra spends the night in fasting and prayer Exhorts the people to send away their foreign wives and children

Nehemiah Ø Nehemiah – cupbearer to the king of Persia Ø Nehemiah is in Nehemiah Ø Nehemiah – cupbearer to the king of Persia Ø Nehemiah is in Susa when he hears of the distress of the returned exiles in Jerusalem l Broken walls mean they lack security Ø Makes his plea to King Artaxerxes l His request is granted

Nehemiah Ø Returns to Jerusalem Ø Supervises the repair of the walls Ø Sanballat, Nehemiah Ø Returns to Jerusalem Ø Supervises the repair of the walls Ø Sanballat, the governor at Samaria is threatened and threatening Ø Walls are finally completed Ø Ezra gathers the people to hear the law read in the square at the Water Gate Ø People confess with fasting and sackcloth

Nehemiah Ø City Wall is dedicated Ø Marriages to foreign wives are condemned, but Nehemiah Ø City Wall is dedicated Ø Marriages to foreign wives are condemned, but no command to send them away l Proscription appears to be for the future

Bibliography Ø Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. New York: The Jewish Publication Society, 1985. Ø Bibliography Ø Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. New York: The Jewish Publication Society, 1985. Ø The Harper. Collins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. New York: Harper. Collins, Publishers, Inc. , 1993. Ø The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.