“The hand of God” is upon Ezra and his companions who returned from exile (Ezra 7:28, 8:31). God’s favor is stressed twice in today’s reading by the imagery of God’s guiding hand. Since God’s provision, however, is often a major theme in our readings, today I simply note and appreciate some of the cultural distance we experience from many of the Biblical writers by looking at Ezra’s genealogy.
Consider how many prior generations are mentioned in Ezra’s lineage (Ezra 7:1-7). Seventeen generations are traced all the way back to Aaron, Moses’ brother. How many of us could easily access the info on our family from five generations back? If you are reading this and know thenames of two of your great-great-great grandparents, I dare say your familial knowledge is exceptional.
What is the point? In addition to the fact that God inspired our scriptures, our Bible is recorded by authors reared in the ancient Jewish culture, uniquely skilled at making written records that we still read and trust today. We have good reason to trust the Biblical writers and the stories they tell.