St. Irenaeus Ministries
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St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

Ezra has a meeting with some of the leaders of the group returning to Israel where they discuss the plans for the return and take a tally of some of the gifts they are bringing with them. It is with this group that Ezra would later meet and discuss the fact that many of the people had returned married to people who were practicing a pagan worship. Ezra declared that these marriages with people who were actively worshiping foreign gods could not stand.

Direct download: EzraNehemiah06.mp3
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Ezra was a priestly scribe of some import in the Jewish community in exile who was moved to bring his people back to the law. He comes to Israel in the seventh year in the reign of Artaxerxes I, 60 years after the completion of the temple. The Persian empire makes special provisions for the Jewish faith and for Ezra in particular.

As God's people, the Jews are called to be consecrated and separated, not adulterated by people of other religions. As such, no foreign wives may be taken by the Jews, unless they change and are converted to Judaism.

Direct download: EzraNehemiah05.mp3
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Zec 4:6-10 tells Zerubbabel that he will restore the temple, but by God's power, not by his own. The people of the lands around Israel attempted to frustrate or co-opt this building of the temple for the with their own worship. This harassment would go on in some form for around 70 years.

Playing on the fears of the Persians, they were able to halt construction on occasion, but God shepherded the rebuilding of His temple and it was eventually completed.

Direct download: EzraNehemiah04.mp3
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Paramount importance was placed on creating an altar to God, as Moses had commanded of the original altar. This is appropriate, since sacrifice is the Old Testament way that sinful men can approach a holy God. These sacrifices are ways that men would pray that God would remember the covenant.

Direct download: EzraNehemiah03.mp3
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