NEHEMIAH - Chapters 7 and 8 - EZRA's Thirteen Men Print E-mail

 

NEHEMIAH – Chapters 7 and 8

Ezra’s Thirteen Men

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

The wall is built.  Jerusalem was a fortified City again.  Provisions were made for the defense of the City.  Nehemiah set up laws for safety. 

 

 Hananaiah, the brother of Nehemiah was given charge over Jerusalem because “HE WAS A FAITHFUL MAN’ AND HE FEARED GOD ABOVE MAN.” (Neh. 7:2)

 

Now the city was large but the people were few therein.  And the houses were not built.  And my God put it in my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy.  And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at first.  These are those families recorded in Ezra 2: 1-70   (Principle of FIRSTFRUITS).

 

If we compare Nehemiah 7 with Ezra 2, we will see the leaders though not in the same order and there are slight differences in the spelling of their names, the same 12 men are named.  When we get into chapter 8, we will see the twelve become thirteen and are known as Ezra’s thirteen men.  These are those who stood beside Ezra and they ushered in a great revival.

 

The scanty population of Jerusalem and its inadequate defense led to the taking of a census.  The wisdom of Nehemiah is seen in that he posted the watches in the most practical and efficient arrangement by posting them in the area of their own houses. This is a foundational Judeo/Christian principle that each family has the right to defend their own home.

 

It is interesting that the 50,000 who came back with Zerubbabel had decided to remain outside of the walls of the city.  Nehemiah had to persuade them to come in.  Coming out of Babylon is not enough.  He brought us out that He might bring us in. (Deut. 6:23).

 

In chapter 8, we move into spiritual heart-searching and rededication.  In this chapter Nehemiah’s immediate concern is to get the people rightly oriented, and sure both of their inheritance and their calling.

 

This is the Lord’s providential care for the protection and preservation of His people.

 

Just as the leaders who are described in 7:6-7 are the same as Ezra 2, the Lay Israelites are the same 33 clans.  The priests, Levites, Singers, Porters, etc., all follow the same principle.

 

7: 70-73 describes what each family gave.

 

7:70 The “Tirshatha” is a Persian word for Governor.

 

 When the seventh month came the children of Israel were in their cities.

 

The Law was read before the Water Gate.  The 1st day of the 7th month (September-October) was a day of convocation.  The effect of the Word moved the people into revival and the keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

The key to this chapter is the attitude of the people.  They came with earnestness, attentiveness, reverence, worship, contrition, and joy.  Most of all, they obeyed and practiced that which they heard.  They walked it out beginning in this chapter to the end of the book.  This is the second part of the book of Nehemiah: the reading of the law, and the reform that followed.  Ezra now appears on the scene.  The most logical reason for his not being mentioned until now is that he had no direct part in the work that was done in the building of the wall.   The sword and the trowel were laid down and the people began to gather around the Book.  From WORK AND WAR, WE TURN NOW TO WORSHIP.  THIS WAS A BACK TO THE BIBLE MOVEMENT

 

The scene now unfolds before us of a great assembly at Jerusalem in the seventh month, the crown of the religious year.  Nehemiah had lost no time--- the wall had been completed only a few days before this.  Yet a sizeable platform had been erected and constructed for this great occasion.

 

Neh. 8: 1-10 reveals a Pattern for Maintaining the Cloud (of God’s Presence)”

  1. 8:3,5 – Everything is based upon the WORD
  2. 8:1-3, 5-6 – The Leadership of Era (pastor) was the key to unity.
  3. 8:4, 7-8 – There was a plurality of leadership to balance Ezra.
  4. 4. 8:7 There was operating the principle of placement
  5. And the principle of Body Ministry.

 

8:1-2: “All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.  Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  He read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.”

 

“As one man” is indicative of the “unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace which we the Body of Christ must be in. 

 

Eph. 4:3-4: “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling.”

 

The effect of the reading of the Word moved the people into revival and the keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles which is a type and shadow of the Glory of God.

 

8: 3-4: “Ezra read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.  Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they made for the purposes; and beside him stood:

 

EZRA AND THE 12 MEN who stood beside Ezra OPENED THE BOOK FOR THE READING OF THE WORD which ushered in the revival of Feast of Tabernacles.

 

1.  MATTITHIA         “gift of Jehovah”                   GRACE

2.  SHEMA                  “A REPORT, SOUND,”       FAITH

3.  ANAIAH                 “Answered by Jehovah, “     PRAYER

4.  URIJAH                  “My light is Jehovah,”          REVELATION

5.  HILKIAH               “The portion of Jehovah,”    INHERITANCE

6.  MAASEIAH           “WORK OF Jehovah.”         CREATION

7.  PEDAIAH               “redeemed of Jehovah”        REDEMPTION

8.  MISHAEL               “who is what God is”            SONSHIP

9.  MALCHIAH           “My king is Jehovah”           GOVERNMENT

10. HASHUM                “enriched, fertile,”                FRUITFULNESS

11.  HASHBADANA    “wise judgment”                    RIGHTEOUSNESS

12.   MESHULLAM     “reconciled, recompensed”   MERCY

 

This is a tremendous picture of a Pastor and Deacons standing together in one purpose.  This “corporate” Ezra opened the book just as Joseph opened the granaries.  This points to the opening or the unveiling, manifestation, revealing of the sons of God. (Ro. 8) We are the letter that is being opened, and the seals in us are becoming loosed! (Jn. 11:44) This was done before the eyes of all the people for he was ABOVE (Phil. 3:1-14) the people and when he opened it all the people stood up.  Ezra blessed Jehovah the Lord the great God.  All the people answered AMEN, AMEN, with lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. (Neh. 8:5-6)

 

Neh.: 8:7: There were also 13 Levites whose names also have prophetic mean.  These men caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.

Their names mean: “Jah saves,” “my building,” “Jah sets free,” “Right hand,”
“subtle,” “My Sabbaths,” “My glory is Jah,”  “Work of Jehovah,” “lacking, stunted,” “helped of Jah” “Jehovah bestows,” “Gracious giver,”, “Jah distinguishes.”

 

Once the walls of our security and identity in Christ have been established through salvation, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we must have the Word.  We will then understand that it has an objective (divine order) of fulfilling one’s life.  We must come with reverence and worship, submitting to teachers. 

 

The people of Jerusalem had heard things about the Lord, but they did not know Him.  They were convicted when they heard the Word.  Nehemiah corrected this: receive the Word as a seed.  Be comvicted, but not condemned!  God is interested in what we are becoming.  This had caused the people to “stand”.  The word had made sense as they divided it rightly.

 

This is what we are doing on Sunday evenings; we are dividing the Word of God as in breaking bread.  The work of the Holy Spirit on Sunday evenings is a work of sanctification.

 

Neh. 8:9-10: The King-Priest (Nehemiah-Ezra) ministry said, “This day is Holy to the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep.  For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet.  Send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord; either be you sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

To “eat of the fat of the land” is a blessing of the House of Jacob (Gen. 45:18) of which we are heirs.

 

On the Second Day of the convocation, Ezra and the other Leadership met and discovered the Scriptures concerning the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

 So it was in the late 1940’s  that the Leaders of the Body who were yet in the SECOND DAY  OF THE FEAST OF PENTECOST BEGAN TO DISCOVER THE THIRD DIMENSION OF THE MOST HOLY PLACE.

 

Eastgate Church flows in this river.  I had no prior knowledge of what is now known as the “Latter Day Revival” when the Lord called and placed me in this “River”.  I saw this by vision and began to teach and preach the visions I saw:

 

  1. New Jerusalem (Carolyn teach as purity).
  2. The Lord named us the Eastgate.
  3. He spoke to me from the golden altar and admonished me to clean up an area of my life that I might not miss his glory.
  4. I was raptured by vision into the Glory of God.
  5. He opened up the Word for me to understand about the Feasts and the Temple.
  6. I had a vision of the man-child being born.
  7. There are others, but as I searched the Word after each vision, I began to understand the revelation of the realm of the Spirit separated from the flesh and the soul.

 

We must publish and proclaim this truth to all the cities, and with all our might!

 

8:14-15: “They found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; that they should publish and proclaim it in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, go forth to the mount, ad bring olive branches, pine branches, myrtle, palm and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.”

 

The Branch man is God’s dwelling place whether in Jesus Christ or the man-child company.

 

So the people obeyed and fetched branches and every man made booths on the roof of his house, in the courts of the Temple, and in the street of the Gates (Water Gate and Ephraim Gate).  This feast had not been kept since the days of Jeshua (1000 years)!

 

One millennium had passed since there had been a revival in the nation of Israel.

 

 8:17: There was very great gladness.  They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly according unto the manner.

 

8:18: “”Day by Day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God.”

 

We see the POWER OF THE WORD:

 

THE Point in Time was the 7th month for 6 hours.

The place was the street that was before the Water Gate.

The purpose was to hear the Word

The Ministry Team was Ezra plus 12 others = 13 men.

And the Partakers were all the people as one man

 

THE RESULTS BROUGHT REVIVAL

 

THE PEOPLE ROSE FOR THE Word which is the principle of Reverence and Respect.  The Response of the people was Worship.  They had Understanding and Comprehension.  They had remorse for sin – Conviction and confession.  They had a renewal of strength and Rejoicing.  Restoration of Truth will bring us into obedience.

 

 The First day of the Seventh month is the time of the Feast of Trumpets (hearing a clear Word of the Lord)

 

This revival was sparked by the HUNGER OF THE PEOPLE FOR THE WORD OF GOD.

 

The United States has become Bible illiterate.  We must pray the Lord will again give the people a hunger for the Word of God.

 

Sunday evening in our study of Proverbs, we were as a group “rightly dividing the Word of God” when a certain scripture puzzled us.

 

Prov. 27:7: “He who is satiated (with sensual pleasures) loathes and treads underfoot a honeycomb (revelation of the Word), but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Amplified)

 

Let us pray there will again be a hunger and thirsting after righteousness and a passion for the Word of God. 

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

 

I entered into the labors of  Kelly J. Varner –PPT; Strong’s Concordance; Dake’s Bible; F.F.Bruce Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry Bible Commentary and THE WORD OF GOD.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I gleaned.

 
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