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These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: 2Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush. Of the sons of Shecaniah, who was of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, with whom were registered 150 men. Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men. Of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah the son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men. Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men. Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men. Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him 80 men. Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men. Of the sons of Bani, Shelomith the son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men. 11 Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah, the son of Bebai, and with him 28 men. Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men. Of the sons of Adonikam, those who came later, their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men. Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur, and with them 70 men.
I have to admit…. when I know that I am faced with a genealogy my eyes tend to glaze over and my heart says “I don’t wanna”. And honestly I DON’T want to. I don’t want to read through an endless list of names and numbers.
Therefore as I sit here I find myself asking “why did the author find it important to include this list?” God’s word is meant to teach and admonish, to spur us on the good deeds. So what I can today… 2000 + years later learn from this passage?
How will it spur me on to becoming more of the person that God wants me to be?
I read over this list and I see that some families came with 50 people, and others came with 300. But you know what they all did? They all made the trek from Babylon back to Jerusalem. I can’t imagine it was an easy trip with air conditioned cars or trains to ride. They would have walked or had to deal with camels and donkeys. They may have faced bandits and folks unfriendly to them. But whether they came with 50 or 300, they simply headed the call and came.
We aren’t told if they needed to beg people to come, or if they lost people along the way, we are simply told that “S” brought _____ men. With those men would have been their wives and children. People to help repopulate the land. People that Ezra could teach the Law of Moses to. People to gladden the hearts of those who went first to build. Can you imagine what it meant to the builders to have these folks come? Folks to see the results of their hard work and to gladden their hearts?
I think about that and I see God at work in bringing these men and their families. What genealogies show is God at work. In individuals, in men and in their families. A good thing that yes?