Day 168 – 2 Ezra 1-3; Psalms 136, 137; Proverbs 29:19–23; Acts 2:22–47

2 Ezra 1-3

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord from the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, and he made a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom, and even put it in writing, saying, 2 “Thus says Cyrus king of the Persians: ‘The Lord God of heaven gave to me all the kingdoms of the earth. And He commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judea. 3 Who is there among you from all His people? For his God shall be with him, and he shall go up to Jerusalem in Judea and rebuild the house of the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And each one remaining from all the places where he lives as a stranger, the people from where he lives shall help him with silver and gold, and goods, and livestock, along with freewill offerings for the house of the God which is in Jerusalem.’ ”
5 Then the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God stirred up arose to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord, which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those around them encouraged them with vessels of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and by gifts, in addition to the freewill offerings. 7 King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar took away from Jerusalem and then placed in the house of his god, 8 and Cyrus king of the Persians brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar, a ruler of Judah. 9 And this is their number: thirty gold basins, one thousand silver basins, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold bowls, two hundred silver bowls, and one thousand other vessels. 11 All the vessels of gold and silver going up with Sheshbazzar from the land of exile, from Babylon into Jerusalem, totaled five thousand four hundred.
The Census of Those Returning to Judea
1 And these are the sons from the places of the people who had gone up from the captivity, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away and settled in Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judea, every man into his city. 2 Those who came with Zerubbabel were Jesus, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
  The number of the men of the people of Israel: 3 the sons of Parosh were two thousand one hundred seventy-two; 4 the sons of Shephatiah were three hundred seventy-two; 5 the sons of Arah were seven hundred seventy-five; 6 the sons of Pahath-Moab belonging to the sons of Jesus and Joab were two thousand eight hundred twelve; 7 the sons of Elam were one thousand two hundred fifty-four; 8 the sons of Zattu were nine hundred forty-five; 9 the sons of Zaccai were seven hundred sixty; 10 the sons of Bani were six hundred forty-two; 11 the sons of Bebai were six hundred twenty-three; 12 the sons of Azgad were three thousand two hundred twenty-two; 13 the sons of Adonikam were six hundred sixty-six; 14 the sons of Bigvai were two thousand fifty-six; 15 the sons of Adin were four hundred fifty-four; 16 the sons of Ater belonging to Hezekiah were ninety-eight; 17 the sons of Bezai were three hundred twenty-three; 18 the sons of Jorah were one hundred twelve; 19 the sons of Hashum were two hundred twenty-three; 20 the sons of Gibbar were ninety-five; 21 the sons of Bethlehem were one hundred twenty-three; 22 the sons of Netophah were fifty-six; 23 the sons of Anathoth were one hundred twenty-eight; 24 the sons of Azmaveth were forty-two; 25 the sons of Kirjath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth were seven hundred forty-three; 26 the sons of Ramah and Geba were six hundred twenty-one; 27 the men of Michmas were one hundred twenty-two; 28 the men of Bethel and Ai were four hundred twenty-three; 29 the sons of Nebo were fifty-two; 30 the sons of Magbish were one hundred fifty-six; 31 the sons of Elam were one thousand two hundred fifty-four; 32 the sons of Harim were three hundred twenty; 33 the sons of Lod, Aroth, and Ono were seven hundred twenty-five; 34 the sons of Jericho were three hundred forty-five; 35 the sons of Senaah were three thousand six hundred thirty; 36 the priests: the sons of Jedaiah belonging to the house of Jesus were nine hundred seventy-three; 37 the sons of Immer were one thousand fifty-two; 38 the sons of Pashhur were one thousand two hundred forty-seven; 39 the sons of Harim were one thousand seven; 40 the Levites, the sons of Jesus and Kadmiel, belonging to the sons of Hodaviah were seventy-four; 41 the singers: the sons of Asaph were one hundred twenty-eight; 42 the sons of the gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai were one hundred thirty-nine in all; 43 the Nethinim: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 44 the sons of Keros, the sons of Siaha, the sons of Padon, 45 the sons of Lebanah, the sons of Hagabah, the sons of Akkub, 46 the sons of Hagab, the sons of Shalmai, the sons of Hanan, 47 the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, the sons of Reaiah, 48 the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, the sons of Gazzam, 49 the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, the sons of Besai, 50 the sons of Asnah, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephusim, 51 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 52 the sons of Bazluth, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 53 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Tamah, 54 the sons of Neziah, and the sons of Hatipha; 55 the sons of Abdeselma: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Peruda, 56 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 57 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth of Zebaim, and the sons of Ami; 58 all the Nethinim and the sons of Abdeselma were three hundred ninety-two.
59 And these came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not identify their father’s house or their seed, whether it was of Israel: 60 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Bua, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda were six hundred fifty-two; 61 and of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habaiah, the sons of Koz, and the sons of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called by their name. 62 These sought their names among those registered by genealogy, but they were not found. Therefore they were excluded from the priesthood. 63 And Athersatha told them not to eat from the holy things until a priest should arise with the Lights and Perfections.
64 And the whole assembly together counted forty-two thousand three hundred sixty, 65 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven; and there were two hundred men and women singers. 66 They had seven hundred thirty-six horses, two hundred forty-five mules, 67 four hundred thirty-five camels, and six thousand seven hundred twenty donkeys.
68 And some from the heads of the families, when they came up to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to erect it in its place. 69 According to their ability, they gave to the treasury for the work sixty-one thousand pieces of pure gold, five thousand pieces of silver, and one hundred garments of the priests. 70 So the priests and the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants settled down in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
The Feast of Tabernacles Observed
1 And when the seventh month had come and the children of Israel were in their cities, the people gathered together as one person in Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set up the altar on the place, for fear had come upon them because of the neighboring peoples of the land, and they offered whole burnt offerings upon it to the Lord, both morning and evening. 4 They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. 5 Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord. 6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer whole burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the house of the Lord had not yet been laid. 7 They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.
Temple Restoration Begins
8 Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak began the work, together with the rest of their people, the priests and the Levites, and all those returning from exile to Jerusalem. They appointed the Levites from twenty years and above to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. 9 And Jeshua with his sons and brothers, and Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah arose to oversee those working on the house of God: the sons of Henadad, their sons, and their brethren the Levites.
  10 And they laid the foundation for the building of the house of the Lord. And the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang antiphonally in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord that He is good, that His mercy is upon Israel forever. And all the people shouted with a loud voice to give praise to the Lord, for the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and the Levites and the elders and the heads of the father’s houses, who had seen the first temple on its foundation and with their own eyes saw this house, wept with a loud voice. But the multitude, shouting with joy and gladness, lifted up their voices in song, 13 and the people could not distinguish the shouting voices of joy and gladness from the wailing of the people weeping, for the people shouted out with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.
Psalm 136

1 By David.

By the rivers of Babylon,

There we sat and wept

When we remembered Zion.

2 Upon the willows in her midst,

We hung up our musical instruments;

3 For there our captors asked us for words from our songs,

  And those who carried us off said to us,

“Sing us the songs of Zion.”

4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song

In a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

May my right hand be forgotten;

6 May my tongue be glued to my throat

If I do not remember you,

If I do not prefer Jerusalem

In the beginning of my merriment.

7 O Lord, remember the sons of Edom

On that day in Jerusalem,

When they were saying, “Empty it out,

Empty it out,

Even to its foundation!”

8 O wretched daughter of Babylon,

Blessed is he who shall deal with you

As you dealt with us;

9 Blessed is he who shall get the upper hand

And dash your infants against the rock.

Psalm 137

1 By David.

I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with all my heart,

For You hear the words of my mouth;

And I shall sing to You in the presence of angels.

2 I shall bow down and worship toward Your holy temple,

And I will give thanks to Your name

For Your mercy and Your truth;

For You magnified Your teaching above every name.

3 On the day I shall call out to You, hear me speedily;

You shall treat my soul with great care in Your power.

4 O Lord, let all the kings of the earth give thanks to You,

For they heard all the words of Your mouth;

5 And let them sing in the ways of the Lord,

For the glory of the Lord is great;

6 For the Lord is high, and He watches over the lowly things;

But the high things He knows from afar.

7 If I walk in the midst of affliction, You shall make me live;

You stretched out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,

And Your right hand saved me.

8 The Lord shall repay them on my behalf.

O Lord, Your mercy endures forever;

Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Proverbs 29:19–23

19 A stubborn servant will not be instructed by words,

For even if he understands them, he will not obey.

20 If you see a man hasty in words,

Know a man without discernment has more hope than he.

21 He who lives luxuriously from childhood shall be a servant,

And in the end, he shall cause himself pain.

22 An angry man digs up strife,

But a furious man digs up sins.

23 Arrogance humbles a man,

But the Lord supports the humble-minded with glory.

Acts 2:22–47

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
23 “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
24 “whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
25 “For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
30 “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,
31 “he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
A Vital Church Grows
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

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