Daily Word

Set apart | Ezra 10:16-17 (ESV)

16 Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of fathers’ houses, according to their fathers’ houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter; 17 and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

Ezra 10:16-17 (ESV)

Made good

The assembly made good on their promise to carry out the work as they proposed. Sometimes people are passive aggressive and promise to do something with no intention to follow through. That’s not very responsible at all. These folks carried through with their commitment.

Three month process

In Ezra 10:9, they all came together to repent on the 20th day of the 9th month. Ten days later they started the review process. It took three months to thoroughly investigate every family, one by one. We’ll see tomorrow in v18 it began with the priests who lived in Jerusalem, then the Levites and temple singers, then the rest of the people. 

Set Apart

Ezra carefully selected leaders to execute the task. He was in a position to do so without much bias since he had not been “in town” very long. These leaders focused on this work for 3 months. Good thing it was probably not harvest time so it would be less of a financial burden. Either way, the task was important enough to make any necessary sacrifice.

Ezra selected heads of the households. He likely used criteria similar to what Paul outlines in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9.

This was a critical task that required the utmost care and attention to detail, balanced with spiritual maturity and love. They were deciding, on God’s behalf, which families would need to be split up. They may have also had responsibility to make sure that the mothers and children that were “put away” would be well taken care of.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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