Ezra Six: History

Back to our plot! “Then King Darius gave an order, and they searched in the library in which the archives were stored in Babylon (Ezra 6:1).” Whoever ‘they’ are found a memo from the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, which ordered the rebuilding of the Temple, including its dimensions, and the restoration of the treasures that Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the original Temple. So all of those who opposed this rebuilding project were ordered to leave. “And God, Who caused His name to rest there, will cast down any king or people that lays a hand to alter and destroy this House of God, which is in Jerusalem; I, Darius, have issued an edict; it shall be swiftly executed (Ezra 6:12).” I kind of love that Darius, who seems to be a very underrated king, made crucial decisions in his leadership based on research and history. Rather than relying on only the tunnel vision of the era in which he was born, he chose to look back, to see the foundation that his own reign was built upon, and to honor that past. In the end, it has lovely results. The people return to the Temple and make the Passover sacrifice, which is timely, since that’s the next holiday coming up in the Jewish calendar. They’re happy and rejoice, and it’s the paradox that I love history, but am also saddened by knowing it, because looking back, we know that their joy doesn’t last. But in this snapshot of time, things are good in Jerusalem.

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