Yes, Ezra has brought (successfully, under the power of God) his “group” home, back to Jerusalem. And they have (fully) delivered the “goods” (silver and gold) King Artaxerxes send to finance the continuing developing of Jewish culture, worship. “Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites; by number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.”
Worship? “Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.”
“And they delivered the king’s commissions (decrees, laws) unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river.” Ezra 8:33-36, their “to-do” list now being complete!
But one more thing is added to our Text, the last line of Ezra chapter 8 in fact. “… and they furthered the people, and the house of God.”
This is the crux of today’s Lesson … “… and they furthered the people, and the house of God.” Remember, Ezra’s very name means “helper!” And his followers have become “helpers” too!
Yes, the verb “furthered” translates the Hebrew word “nasa,” It most fully means “to lift a load!” To be an “encourager,” a “fellow-soldier” … “nasa” being translated “armourbearer” 18 times in the King James Bible! (Like Ezra … like his congregation!)
Well over a dozen times (closer to 18) the New Testament teaches us Christians to be “one another” people! (To love one another! To exhort one another! To submit to one another! Etc.)
To be “further-ers” of the Cause of Christ!
Yes, “furtherers,” not “hinderers!”
What a thought, from an unusual Text.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
By the way, the verb “furthered” (“nasa”) is expressed, framed in the “PIEL” stem, a point of Hebrew grammar. It means they helped energetically! With all their might! Not lukewarmly!