In a throwback to many of the earlier books, most of this chapter is a list. “And these are the people of the province who went up from the captivity of the exile, whom Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had exiled to Babylon, and they returned to Jerusalem and Judea, each one to his city (Ezra 2:1).” We get a whole list of the names of these people, and how many children/descendants each one claims. Since that’s literally all that happens in this chapter, it leads me to think about how we as a society mark ourselves by our families. For most of us, for better or worse, our families are the groups that shape us the most, and their influence defines us throughout our lives. We derive pride and pleasure from them, hopefully, or the opposite, in some cases. Our families give us our place in the world, and it’s interesting to think about how much of who we are is shaped by others, both those we are born into and those we choose for ourselves. I like that each person here is marked by their extended clans, because I know that for me personally, I could never separate my own identity out from that of my family, and this strikes me as one in the same.