I gathered them by the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the descendants of Levi. Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, who were leaders, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were wise, and sent them to Iddo, the leader at the place called Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his colleagues the temple servants at Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God. Since the gracious hand of our God was upon us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the descendants of Mahli son of Levi son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and kin
Here, you see Ezra refuse to settle for who he had before him. He was determined to see that the ministers to God’s people be the absolute most qualified people they could be. They had to be Levites. There were none there. Did he just throw up his hands and say that they had to “settle” for who was there and willing? No! He went out and sought qualified ministers.
See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.
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