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the study of EZRA


Ezra Chapter 8

by Neil Eukel + Matt Winter | The Mission Hills Bible Study Podcast


  • Big Takeaways | 00:01
  • Ezra 8:1-14 | God provides priests. Matt goes on a tangent about prophecy | 9:20
  • Ezra 8:15-20 | Ezra goes looking for Levites | 19:10
  • Ezra 8:21-30 | God provides wealth for the Temple and Ezra gets ready for the journey | 28:05
  • Ezra 8:31-36 | Ezra and company arrive in Jerusalem begin to worship | 42:07


1 | The importance of worship

In the Old Testament, worship was prescriptive. That means, in the Old Testament, the form of worship is important. Israel needed to follow certain rules and regulations in order to display their faithfulness to God. In the New Testament, worship is descriptive. That is, it describes how the church worshipped, but it does not tell us we need to do it exactly the same way. It is more about the heart behind worship. In Ezra 8, we gets to see that Ezra makes worship a priority because he goes out of his way to follow the rules and regulations. How are you making worship a priority in your life?

2 | God’s providence

He has provided everything the people need and he has provided in abundance. The genealogies in verses 2-14 are important because they show how God is providing the people necessary to reestablish worship. Priests and Levites had to be from the correct lineage in order to serve in Temple worship. Without these descendants, worship was impossible for Israel. God provides the people necessary to accomplish his goals. Later in the chapter, he provides the materials necessary to decorate and pay for the Temple. God calls Israel to reestablish the Temple, and then God provides both people and resources to accomplish his goals.

3 | More than prophecy

We tend to think of prophecy as one to one correspondence. That is, we think of a prophet making a prediction, and then that prediction becoming reality later. But to the Hebrew, there is more to prophecy. God is the author of history, so he can set up patterns in history to reveal his plans. In chapter 8, Ezra leans into this idea and sets up his caravan into a form resembling the 12 tribes of Israel. Ezra patterns this return after the Exodus from Egypt. By doing this, God is letting us know that this group is the reconstituted Israel, even though not everyone is present. Jesus does the same thing by picking 12 disciples, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus was intentionally revealing that he was the new center of the nation of Israel.


In this episode, Matt and Neil continue to nerd out in Ezra, but we give you the main points up front! We talk about the Hebrew understanding of prophecy and give you some tips on how to interpret it in the Bible. We get to see how God provides both people and resources for Ezra to accomplish what God has called him to do. Ezra shows how important worship is to him by following the rules and regulations to the letter. He also trusts God intensely. He chooses to make hard decisions and trust God when solving problems himself would actually have been easier.


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