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

beemanlee's picture

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

eemig's picture

Mystery and Prophecy

This morning I was reading a commentary on Luke 24:35-48, one of the episodes in which Jesus appears to the apostles after his Resurrection. The commentary by Saint Gregory the Great made a point that I often overlook. Gregory says, "We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit when human reason provides a proof."

Your comment that everything God does is a mystery provided an apt illustration of this point. And your comments about those who missed or didn't hear the voices of the prophets made me realize how frequently this happened throughout the canon of scripture. Prophets speak, but only a few listen. Why is that?

Isaiah 55:8 - the words of a prophet - remind us "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD." (NAB) And Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:21, "For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith." (NAB)

Too often we try to constrain God to fit into our own finite understanding. I know I try to do this all the time - without success. It is only when I am able to stop trying to understand logically and embrace the mystery that God's true meaning and intention become clear. I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to pursue human understanding of God's Word and works - I find that a deeper understanding makes me more open to the mystery and prepares me better to appreciate it - but that we shouldn't be frustrated or turn away when we bump up against the limits of understanding.

Ed Emig

Ed Emig