Ezra 2

1 Many of the exiles left the province of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, all to their own hometowns. Their families had been living in exile in Babylonia ever since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners.
2 Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah. This is the list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned from exile:
3 Parosh - 2,172
4 Shephatiah - 372
5 Arah - 775
6 Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) - 2,812
7 Elam - 1,254
8 Zattu - 945
9 Zaccai - 760
10 Bani - 642
11 Bebai - 623
12 Azgad - 1,222
13 Adonikam - 666
14 Bigvai - 2,056
15 Adin - 454
16 Ater (also called Hezekiah) - 98
17 Bezai - 323
18 Jorah - 112
19 Hashum - 223
20 Gibbar - 95
21 People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned: Bethlehem - 123
22 Netophah - 56
23 Anathoth - 128
24 Azmaveth - 42
25 Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth - 743
26 Ramah and Geba - 621
27 Michmash - 122
28 Bethel and Ai - 223
29 Nebo - 52
30 Magbish - 156
31 The other Elam - 1,254
32 Harim - 320
33 Lod, Hadid, and Ono - 725
34 Jericho - 345
35 Senaah - 3,630
36 This is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile: Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua) - 973
37 Immer - 1,052
38 Pashhur - 1,247
39 Harim - 1,017
40 Clans of Levites who returned from exile: Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) - 74
41 Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) - 128
42 Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) - 139
43 Clans of temple workmen who returned from exile: Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,
45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
46 Hagab, Shamlai, Hanan,
47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephisim,
51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
54 Neziah, and Hatipha
55 Clans of Solomon's servants who returned from exile: Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
56 Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
57 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Ami
58 The total number of descendants of the temple workmen and of Solomon's servants who returned from exile was 392.
59 There were 652 belonging to the clans of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer;
60 but they could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites.
61 The following priestly clans could find no record to prove their ancestry: Habaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai. (The ancestor of the priestly clan of Barzillai had married a woman from the clan of Barzillai of Gilead and had taken the name of his father-in-law's clan.)
62 Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not accepted as priests.
63 The Jewish governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a priest who could use the Urim and Thummim. [a] 1
64 Total number of exiles who returned - 42,360
65 Their male and female servants - 7,337
66 Male and female musicians - 200
67 Horses - 736 Mules - 245 Camels - 435 Donkeys - 6,720
68 When the exiles arrived at the Lord's Temple in Jerusalem, some of the leaders of the clans gave freewill offerings to help rebuild the Temple on its old site.
69 They gave as much as they could for this work, and the total came to 500 kilogrammes of gold, 2,800 kilogrammes of silver, and 100 robes for priests.
70 The priests, the Levites, and some of the people settled in or near Jerusalem; the musicians, the temple guards, and the temple workmen settled in nearby towns; and the rest of the Israelites settled in the towns where their ancestors had lived. 2

Ezra 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The numbers that returned. (1-35) The numbers of the priests and Levites. (36-63) The offerings for the temple. (64-70)

Verses 1-35 An account was kept of the families that came up out of captivity. See how sin lowers a nation, which righteousness would exalt!

Verses 36-63 Those who undervalue their relation to the Lord in times of reproach, persecution, or distress, will have no benefit from it when it becomes honourable or profitable. Those who have no evidence that they are, by the new birth, spiritual priests unto God, through Jesus Christ, have no right to the comforts and privileges of Christians.

Verses 64-70 Let none complain of the needful expenses of their religion. Seek first the kingdom of God, his favour and his glory, then will all other things be added unto them. Their offerings were nothing, compared with the offerings of the princes in David's time; yet, being according to their ability, were as acceptable to God. The Lord will carry us through all undertakings entered on according to his will, with an aim to his glory, and dependence on his assistance. Those who, at the call of the gospel, renounce sin and return to the Lord, shall be guarded and guided through all perils of the way, and arrive safely at the mansions provided in the holy city of God.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 2.63Numbers 27.21.
  • 2. 2.701 Chronicles 9.2;Nehemiah 11.3.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. urim and thummim: [Two objects used by the priest to determine God's will; it is not known precisely how they were used.]
  • [b]. [One ancient translation] in or near Jerusalem; [Hebrew does not have these words.]

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a list of those that went up from Babylon to Jerusalem, of their leaders, their chief men, princes and priests, Ezr 2:1,2 of the people, described by their families, towns, and cities, and number of persons, Ezr 2:3-35, of the priests, Levites, and Nethinims, Ezr 2:36-58, and of those that could not make out their genealogy, people and priests, Ezr 2:59-63, and then the sum total of the whole congregation is given, Ezr 2:64, besides men and maidservants, singing men and women, and cattle of divers sorts, Ezr 2:65-67, and the chapter is closed with an account of the freewill offerings of the principal men towards the building of the temple, and of the settlement of the people in their respective cities, Ezr 2:68-70.

Ezra 2 Commentaries

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.