Ezra 2: Being in the Family
Ezra chapter 2 is mostly a long list of all of the people who left captivity and were allowed to go back to Jerusalem. What is very interesting about the list is that people were known by their lineage. They obviously did not list everyone’s names individually, but they were identified as a family.
In fact, when they found someone who could not be verifiably tied to a family, the person was disqualified from the priesthood.
Ezr 2:59 And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father’s house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
Ezr 2:60 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
Ezr 2:61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
Ezr 2:62 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
The priesthood was a privilege given to the tribe of Levi, so that people who were not part of that tribe could not be priests. Being in the family was what granted a person that privilege.
A very similar process will happen with a much larger family in the future. This time, we all will need to be able to say that we are children of God.
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
I know that there is a lot of controversy as to the exact nature of the final judgment, and it might not be the happiest note to end this post on. However, we can safely conclude from this passage that it is a whole lot better to be written in God’s book of life.
Obviously, our human lineage has no impact on whether or not we get to heaven. God doesn’t care if our parents were pastors or missionaries. He cares that we are in His family.