Ezra 8:21-23

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.
22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”
23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.

Ezra 8:21-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZRA 8

In this chapter we are told who and how many went up with Ezra to Jerusalem, Ezr 8:1-14, the gathering of them together at a river, from whence he sent to Babylon for Levites to come to him, who did, Ezr 8:15-20, the proclaiming a fast for a safe and prosperous journey, Ezr 8:21-23, the delivery of the vessels and money given him into the hands of priests, to take the care and charge thereof, Ezr 8:24-30, their safe arrival at Jerusalem, where they deposited the gifts in the temple, offered sacrifices to God, and delivered the king's commissions to his lieutenants and governors, Ezr 8:31-36.

Ezra 8:21-23 In-Context

19 and Hashabiah, together with Jeshaiah from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and nephews, 20 in all.
20 They also brought 220 of the temple servants—a body that David and the officials had established to assist the Levites. All were registered by name.
21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.
22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”
23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests, namely, Sherebiah, Hashabiah and ten of their brothers,
25 and I weighed out to them the offering of silver and gold and the articles that the king, his advisers, his officials and all Israel present there had donated for the house of our God.

Cross References 6

  • 1. S ver 15; 2 Chronicles 20:3
  • 2. Psalms 5:8; Psalms 27:11; Psalms 107:7
  • 3. Nehemiah 2:9; Jeremiah 41:16; Ezr 7:6,9,28
  • 4. S Ezra 5:5
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 31:17; 2 Chronicles 15:2
  • 6. S 2 Chronicles 20:3; 2 Chronicles 33:13; Acts 14:23