The People Who Returned
Ezra 2:1-67 contains a register of the people who returned to Judah. The list begins with the leaders of the people and then lists the numbers of repatriates according to their clan, their hometown, the priests, and those who were not able to give evidence of their origin. One commentator has noted that “the protective hand of God and the vitality of Israel are clearly evident in this genealogical listing.”
The Priority of the Repatriates
Upon arriving in Jerusalem and viewing the depressing ruins of the Temple, the repatriates “offered willingly to the house of God to restore it on its foundation. According to their ability they gave to the treasury” (Ezra 2:68b-69a). Their priority was to rebuild the Temple. In so doing they would also rebuild their homes and their lives. The people faced both the joys and challenges of a new beginning. The road ahead would certainly be filled with hazards and discouragements as well as victories and triumphs, but after all, that is what the road to the land of Beginning Again is paved with.