It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hearing from the Lord and from worried people, reflection on 1 Esdras 2

Citing a command to him from the Lord to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, the Persian king announced, "For all of you who are people of the Lord of Israel, you can go to Jerusalem, and, from your neighbors here, you can obtain gold and silver, horses and cattle, and other things useful in preparing the temple."

The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and priests and Levites, and all whose spirit had been stirred by the Lord received contributions from their neighbors. King Cyrus gave back to them the holy vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem.

However, various Samarian leaders objected to this resettlement, alleging that if the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem, they not only wouldn't pay taxes but even resist kings, "Read your history to see that we are right, if they rebuild their city and repair the walls, you will be blocked from access to Colesyria and Phoenicia.

The king responded, "You're right about their history so I've rescinded my permission fro building their city."

Building was halted

The Levant in c. 300 A.D.

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