The Book of Ezra, Chapter 2, The Jewish People Returned

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Most of Chapter 2 of Ezra gives The Family Name and the number returning to Judah.

"Usually" in Semitic culture, only the males are recorded in the number given. So we can probably figure that the number can be then multiplied by the average family size of the day and come somewhat close to the exact number of people going back to Judah.

"Women and children" were never counted in amount of numbers, but just referenced to. Some women never marry, and some do not have children.

Most Jewish Males were expected to marry and have children. Even those in Religious service were expected to have one wife. But that usually is not and exact Science.

Lee Ostrander, Group Manager, The Minor Prophets
beemanlee@yahoo.com

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The Hebrew Urim and Thummim

I've been doing some research on this sense the Question was raised last week about this unique way of The High Priest ability to give G-d's answer with a yes or no.

Below is a work done in the Jewish Encyclopedia's describing some of the background research from a Semitic point of view.

Below describes The ancient idea:

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Assyro-Babylonian account of Creation and otherwise figure in Assyro-Babylonian conceptions suggest the correct explanation of the Hebrew Urim and Thummim.

One of the functions ascribed to the Babylonian seer was to deliver oracles and to consult the god, whose answer was either "Yes" or "No." Quite often the god sends to his people an "urtu," a command to do, or not to do, something. "Urtu" belongs to the samestem from which is derived "ertu," the "terminus technicus" for "oracle." The gods speak ("tamu, utammu") to the priest the oracle which they reveal; and the oracle is called "the mysterious word, revelation." Since God "at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past," not only unto the fathers by the Prophets, but to all mankind in ways which it is now almost impossible to trace precisely, it is quite possible that the mythological account of the Tablets of Destiny and the Old Testament Urim and Thummim, both shaping the destiny of king and nation, revert to the same fountainhead and origin. Notwithstanding the fragmentary account of Babylonian literature and the scanty report of Old Testament writers, some points common to both may yet be gathered.

A more modern Old Testament from Jesus time concept below:

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In Israel the development of a strict monotheism necessarily modified the conception of the Urim and Thummim. No description of them is found in the Old Testament; they are mentioned as something familiar both to Moses and to the people—an inheritance received from the time of their ancestors. The very fact that the Old Testament assumes that Moses and the people were acquainted with the nature of the Urim and Thummim confirms the view that the latter were naturally connected with the functions of the high priest as the mediator between Yhwh and His people.
Lee...




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