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Verses 24-30

Ezra’s physical preparations 8:24-30

Ezra took special precautions to make sure the expensive temple utensils arrived safely and to guarantee that everyone would perceive that his handling of the precious cargo was completely honest (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:20-21). The Babylonian "talent" (Ezra 8:26) weighed about 66 pounds. The "daric" (Ezra 8:27) was a thick gold Persian coin that weighed 130 grams or about 4 1/2 ounces. [Note: The New Bible Dictionary, "Money."] The total weight of the precious cargo the exiles took with them seems to have been about 28 tons. [Note: Myers, pp. 67-68.] There are records that indicate that there were some very wealthy Jews living in Babylon at this time. [Note: See Fensham, The Books . . ., p. 118.]

"Following Ezra’s example, Christian leaders should delegate responsibility. Ezra carefully chose the people to whom he gave responsibility. It may seem exaggerated to have taken such precautions with the money, to weigh it out carefully, to record every detail. However, to do things carefully, with decisions and transactions documented in writing, is a sign of wisdom rather than a lack of confidence. It protects everyone involved. Many present-day scandals could be avoided if Christian leaders would learn from Ezra." [Note: Breneman, p. 143.]

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