Ezra’s Expression of Grief

David Garman

Study intentions were superseded on this Shabbat, 18 March 2017. Saw myself in my reading chair with the Septuagint. So went up, sat down and opened up that version of the Bible. It was between Ezra, chapter nine and ten. The first word which came into focus was, “confession,” the second was “slaves,” the third was “ashamed” and the fourth was “blush.” In these I knew that the Holy Spirit was directing a confirmation. I could be at peace. Because the words that I have recently written are despised by the spirit of the world.

Only short bursts could be read without stopping to regather myself. Because of the oneness of heart we share going through the millennia.

By necessity of our format, reading began in the upper left hand side. “For they have taken some of their daughter for themselves, and their sons; and the holy seed is mingled with with the tribes of the neighboring regions.” This was a principal concern among the chiefs. When Ezra heard this, he rent his clothes, tore the hair of his head and his beard. He knelt down and spread forth his his hands toward Yahweh and cried, “O Yahweh, I blush, and am ashamed to lift up, O my Elohim, My face to thee; because our iniquities are multiplied over our head, and our transgressions are heaped up to heaven.”

A powerful expression of pure grief.

So the first thing which came to mind was, what preceded this? Answer, slavery!

This is very important and it is NEVER taught.

Ezra had set his heart to seek the Law of Yahweh, and to do-and-teach in Israel the statutes and the judgments. With those seventy years of captivity ending, we have to recognize the apprehension in returning. The young would not have known of their homeland.

Going back a few pages, the beautiful commission of king Arthasatha, better known as Artaxerxes was found. What an impressive outpouring of love Yah placed on this man’s heart, essentially making law (worldwide) the generous provision and respect toward the reestablishment of the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem. It is truly beautiful and well worth the read. Ezra 7

Back a few more to the beginning, and we see Cyrus proclaim that “Yahweh Elohim of heaven and earth hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and hath watched over me, that I should build a house for Him in Jerusalem.” The rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, sound familiar? What Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar started in taking Judah, Benjamin, Levi into captivity, the Persian kings reversed. (The very recent assertion, by Iran, that Persia rescued the the Jews was in fact true, countering Israeli claims that Iran was always out to destroy Israel.)

With all respect, they decreed, go rebuild your Temple in Jerusalem, here is everything you need. Make your preparations for Temple worship. Do it according to the Law of Yahweh. Those in who’s heart it was to return to Jerusalem, not all wanted to return, did just that.

The first revelation following the delivery of the treasures was that, “The people of Israel, and the priest and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the neighboring tribes.” From the days of their fathers they were in great transgression. “Though we are slaves Yahweh hath not quite forsaken us, but hath extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia…” And Ezra goes on, that they had forsaken the Commandments, (noting the abominations of the inhabitants of the land), and that they ignored this command in particular: “now therefore give not your daughters to their sons, nor take any of their daughters for your sons…” Read it in Ezra 9:6-13

After all that they had just gone through.

“Yet we have returned to break Thy Commandments, and to intermarry with the people of these regions.” (!) Read it in Ezra 9:14,15

What! You have got to be kidding!

‘Now when Ezra prayed and made public confession, weeping and praying before the house of Elohim, there assembled to him a very great congregation, men, women and youths. Because the people wept and made loud lamentation.”

Recognize these elements found in Ezra’s day are all present in this final hour. It seems like the content of many current articles. Yet the deceiver’s work will be undone. There will be loud lamentation for our sins, including intermarriage.

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