ISSL Reflections March 13 2022 Ezra 6:1–12 Post 1

It seems this week’s Scripture sounds very similar to last week’s Scripture passage.

Maybe the first thing we need to do in reading this passage is to notice not only what stands out to us, but also what is similar and what is different in this week’s reading.

Ezra 6:1-12 (New Revised Standard Version)

Then King Darius made a decree, and they searched the archives where the documents were stored in Babylon. But it was in Ecbatana, the capital in the province of Media, that a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought; its height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, with three courses of hewn stones and one course of timber; let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. Moreover, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple in Jerusalem, each to its place; you shall put them in the house of God.”

“Now you, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and you, their associates, the envoys in the province Beyond the River, keep away; let the work on this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid to these people, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests in Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children. Furthermore I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill. May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people that shall put forth a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”

Let’s see – last week we read about King Cyrus and this week we hear King Darius’ decree.

What similarities do you notice in what we hear from Cyrus and from Darius?

If we read some of Ezra chapters 1 – 5 we will see that the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem did not happen without some starts and stops and restarts.

Does anything stand out to you about the “tone” of Darius’ decree?

How much patience does Darius have for anyone who “alters” his edict or for anyone who hampers the completion of the Temple in Jerusalem?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *