The Jews had been captives in Babylon for seventy years. Then the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon and that opened the door for their return to Jerusalem. Cyrus, king of Persia, made a decree that the Jews were at liberty to return to their homeland. This account of restoration holds some very important truths concerning the restoration we are involved in at the present time. We are moving out of Mystery Babylon, the Early Church is being restored, and the Kingdom of God is being established.
Ezra 1:1-3 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the Word of the
Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the
spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his
kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He has charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
3 Who is there among you of all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
Let him go up to Jerusalem: I suppose Jerusalem is at a higher elevation than Babylon, but that really isn’t the issue here. However, that which Jerusalem represents is higher spiritually. When moving out of mystical Babylon unto spiritual Jerusalem where the house of the Lord is being built, you are ascending. Our walk with God progressively ascends. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18.
Ezra 1:4 And whosoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
The one that “sojourneth” is speaking of the Jews. They were sojourning in Babylon; it was not intended for them to remain there. So Cyrus is issuing a decree for the people of the land to help them with gold, silver, and any other need they may have to return to Jerusalem. How does this relate to us? In our spiritual journey of ascension unto the Lord, everything that we need is supplied. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. II Peter 1:2-3.
Ezra 1:5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
This is what we are doing now. We are going up to build the house of the Lord: all them whose spirit God has raised. The word “raised” is quite significant. The Hebrew means “to open the eyes, to wake, or to raise up.” In other words, the Lord is lifting up our spirits, giving us spiritual vision. He is waking us up to a higher reality, to a vision and a burden for the house of the Lord to be built.
Ezra 1:6-7 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels
of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things,
beside all that was willingly offered.
7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods.
When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, he removed all the vessels and precious things from the temple, took them to Babylon, and put them in the house of his gods. He did that to show that his gods were greater. In effect, his actions were saying, “My gods are greater than your God.”
Cyrus took the vessels belonging to the house of the Lord out of the Babylonian temple to be returned to Jerusalem. We understand Babylon to represent the religious world. Many of the precious truths and spiritual principles that belonged to the people of God have been held captive in religious Babylon, which relegated them down to something much less than was intended. For example, the truth of being born again has been lowered to only mean that sins have been forgiven. But to be born again really means to be born of God; it means a change of nature. It is much more than being forgiven for sins committed. But all these vessels of our worship and dedication to the Lord were placed in the house of Nebuchadnezzar’s gods. Now, a decree is being made, “Take those vessels of gold and silver out of Babylon!” The real truths of the Kingdom of God are being taken out of the hands of Babylon and are being restored to the house of God.
Ezra 1:8,11 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah…All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
Sheshbazzar is a type of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Judah. The name Judah means praise, and is prophetic of “the people which shall be created to praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of the people of praise and worship, and they are becoming the vessels of gold and silver. The precious truths and principles of the Kingdom are given to the Prince and He ministers them through His people.
Copyright © 2001 by Henry DuBose