August 1st, 2022

August 01, 2022

Today's Reading:

New Testament & Psalms Plan: Acts 24:1–21, Psalm 89:21–26
Entire Bible Plan: Acts 24:1–21, Psalm 89:21–26, Ezra 1–2

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The Accusation against Paul

Five days later Ananias the high priest came down with some elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. These men presented their case against Paul to the governor. When Paul was called in, Tertullus began to accuse him and said, "We enjoy great peace because of you, and reforms are taking place for the benefit of this nation because of your foresight. We acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with utmost gratitude. But, so that I will not burden you any further, I request that you would be kind enough to give us a brief hearing. For we have found this man to be a plague, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the Roman world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the temple, and so we apprehended him. By examining him yourself you will be able to discern the truth about these charges we are bringing against him." The Jews also joined in the attack, alleging that these things were true.

Paul's Defense before Felix

When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied, "Because I know you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I am glad to offer my defense in what concerns me. You can verify for yourself that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem. They didn't find me arguing with anyone or causing a disturbance among the crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or anywhere in the city. Neither can they prove the charges they are now making against me. But I admit this to you: I worship the God of my ancestors according to the Way, which they call a sect, believing everything that is in accordance with the law and written in the prophets. I have a hope in God, which these men themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection, both of the righteous and the unrighteous. I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and men. After many years, I came to bring charitable gifts and offerings to my people. While I was doing this, some Jews from Asia found me ritually purified in the temple, without a crowd and without any uproar. It is they who ought to be here before you to bring charges, if they have anything against me. Or let these men here state what wrongdoing they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, other than this one statement I shouted while standing among them, 'Today I am on trial before you concerning the resurrection of the dead.'"

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
The Decree of Cyrus

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and to put it in writing:

This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: "The Lord, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you, may his God be with him, and may he go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. Let every survivor, wherever he resides, be assisted by the men of that region with silver, gold, goods, and livestock, along with a freewill offering for the house of God in Jerusalem."

Return from Exile

So the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone whose spirit God had roused—prepared to go up and rebuild the Lord's house in Jerusalem. All their neighbors supported them with silver articles, gold, goods, livestock, and valuables, in addition to all that was given as a freewill offering. King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the Lord's house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and had placed in the house of his gods. King Cyrus of Persia had them brought out under the supervision of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. This was the inventory:

30 gold basins, 1,000 silver basins,
29 silver knives, 30 gold bowls,
410 various silver bowls, and 1,000 other articles.

The gold and silver articles totaled 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought all of them when the exiles went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The Exiles Who Returned

These now are the people of the province who came from those captive exiles King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had deported to Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

The number of the Israelite men included:

Parosh's descendants 2,172
Shephatiah's descendants 372
Arah's descendants 775

Pahath-moab's descendants:

Jeshua’s and Joab’s descendants 2,812
Elam’s descendants 1,254
Zattu’s descendants 945
Zaccai’s descendants 760
Bani’s descendants 642
Bebai’s descendants 623
Azgad’s descendants 1,222
Adonikam’s descendants 666
Bigvai’s descendants 2,056
Adin’s descendants 454
Ater’s descendants: of Hezekiah 98
Bezai’s descendants 323
Jorah’s descendants 112
Hashum’s descendants 223
Gibbar’s descendants 95
Bethlehem’s people 123
Netophah’s men 56
Anathoth’s men 128
Azmaveth’s people 42
Kiriatharim’s, Chephirah’s, and Beeroth’s people 743
Ramah’s and Geba’s people 621
Michmas’s men 122
Bethel’s and Ai’s men 223
Nebo’s people 52
Magbish’s people 156
the other Elam’s people 1,254
Harim’s people 320
Lod’s, Hadid’s, and Ono’s people 725
Jericho’s people 345
Senaah’s people 3,630

The priests included:

Jedaiah’s descendants of the house of Jeshua 973
Immer’s descendants 1,052
Pashhur’s descendants 1,247
and Harim’s descendants 1,017

The Levites included:

Jeshua's and Kadmiel's descendants
from Hodaviah's descendants
The singers included:

Asaph's descendants 128
The gatekeepers' descendants included:

Shallum's descendants, Ater's descendants,
Talmon's descendants, Akkub's descendants,
Hatita's descendants, Shobai's descendants, in all
The temple servants included:

Ziha's descendants, Hasupha's descendants,
Tabbaoth's descendants, Keros's descendants,
Siaha's descendants, Padon's descendants,
Lebanah's descendants, Hagabah's descendants,
Akkub's descendants, Hagab's descendants,
Shalmai's descendants, Hanan's descendants,
Giddel's descendants, Gahar's descendants,
Reaiah's descendants, Rezin's descendants,
Nekoda's descendants, Gazzam's descendants,
Uzza's descendants, Paseah's descendants,
Besai's descendants, Asnah's descendants,
Meunim's descendants, Nephusim's descendants,
Bakbuk's descendants, Hakupha's descendants,
Harhur's descendants, Bazluth's descendants,
Mehida's descendants, Harsha's descendants,
Barkos's descendants, Sisera's descendants,
Temah's descendants, Neziah's descendants,
and Hatipha's descendants.

The descendants of Solomon's servants included:

Sotai's descendants, Hassophereth's descendants,
Peruda's descendants, Jaalah's descendants,
Darkon's descendants, Giddel's descendants,
Shephatiah's descendants, Hattil's descendants,
Pochereth-hazzebaim's descendants, and Ami's descendants.
All the temple servants
and the descendants of Solomon's servants

The following are those who came from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer but were unable to prove that their ancestral families and their lineage were Israelite:

Delaiah’s descendants,
Tobiah’s descendants,
Nekoda’s descendants

and from the descendants of the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, the descendants of Barzillai—who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and who bore their name. These searched for their entries in the genealogical records, but they could not be found, so they were disqualified from the priesthood. The governor ordered them not to eat the most holy things until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.

The whole combined assembly numbered 42,360
not including their 7,337 male and female servants,
and their 200 male and female singers.
They had 736 horses, 245 mules,
435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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