Ezra 2:63

63 The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

Read Ezra 2:63 Using Other Translations

And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food, until there should be a priest to consult Urim and Thummim.
The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the LORD about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.

What does Ezra 2:63 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ezra 2:63

And the Tirshatha said unto them
By whom Jarchi understands Nehemiah, and observes, that their rabbins say he was so called, because the wise men allowed him to drink the wine of the Gentiles, he being cupbearer to the king; but Aben Ezra, with greater probability, takes it to be a name of honour and grandeur in the Chaldee language, as a prince or governor; and no doubt Zerubbabel is meant, the prince of the Jews, the same with Sheshbazzar, ( Ezra 1:8 ) according to Gussetius F23, this office was the same with that of the king's commissary in a province, delegated to carry his orders, make them known, and see them put in execution; and that this name Tirshatha is the same with Tithraustes in Aelian F24; but that seems to be not the title of an office, but the personal name of a man that was a chiliarch:

that they should not eat of the most holy things;
as of the shewbread, and those parts of the sin offerings, and of the peace offerings and meat offerings, which belonged to the priests, which the governor forbid these to eat of, who were rejected from the priesthood:

till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim;
as yet there was not any priest that had them; they were not to be found at the return from Babylon; the governor might hope they would be found, and a priest appear clothed with them, when it might be inquired of the Lord by them, whether such priests, before described, might eat of the holy things or not; but since the Jews F25 acknowledge that these were one of the five things wanting in the second temple; it is all one, as the Talmudists F26 express it, as if it had been said, until the dead rise, or the Messiah comes; and who is come, the true High Priest, and with whom are the true Urim and Thummim, lights and perfections to the highest degree, being full of grace and truth; of the Urim and Thummim, (See Gill on Exodus 28:30).


F23 Ebr. Comment. p. 809.
F24 Var. Hist. l. 1. c. 21. Vid. Corn. Nep. Vit. Conon. l. 9. c. 3.
F25 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 21. 2.
F26 T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 48. 2. & Gloss. in Kiddushin, fol. 60. 2.
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