The Levites – Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah – instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” NIV

It struck me this morning, as I was reading chapter 8, that Ezra has suddenly appeared on the scene, and I haven’t specifically noted it. Just to say that the ministries of Nehemiah and Ezra overlap, and their books should be read together to get a bigger picture of the time, and the circumstances they were facing. Warren Wiersbe explains: ‘When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem in 444 B.C., Ezra was already there, instructing the people in God’s law. When the work of rebuilding was completed, Ezra held a great ‘’Bible conference’’ during the Feast of Tabernacles.’ ‘With the Word’, p.268.

With regard to today’s reading, I have also found this quote helpful:‘Passages like this give scriptural confirmation of the need for preachers and teachers of God’s word, and for books to help explain it…Some Christians have the idea that they don’t need to read books about the Bible, such as commentaries. They say that only the Holy Spirit is needed to help one understand the Bible. Ezra certainly would not have agreed. After all, the Holy Spirit also helps writers write commentaries. It is pride that keeps people from wanting to learn from others.’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.761.

PRAYER: Lord, please give understanding to  your preachers, and through your preachers.