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Ezra's Emergence and the Significance of the Book of the Law

  • 7 Pages
  • Published On: 27-11-2023

It is the first time that Ezra is mentioned in this book. Although it is evident from Ezra 7: 6 as a scribe and in also as a priest in Ezra 7; 11-12 in Jerusalem. Priests were not “congregational leaders” as synagogues did not yet exist, although Ezra certainly steps forward in the set passage as a senior leader for the whole community. In the previous chapters, it is seen that the city had been rebuilt. Asking Ezra for the book of the Law of Moses shows that the people are ready to reconcile with the law. The book of the Law of Moses corresponds to the Ten Commandments. It also shows that the people trust that the book has answers to their questions. Also, it is not until when we reach chapter 8 that the centrality of the scripture has been mentioned (Whitters, 2017). The time the people have gathered ushers in the last month of the religious festival and also, among the new moons, it is the most sacred (Numbers 29:1-6; Leviticus 23:23-25). The issue of understanding is also very key. Hosea 4:6 lack of knowledge destroys people.

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It is crucial to understand that all the people go to Ezra, who is a scribe to seek for a better relationship with God. Not only can the men and women hear, but they can also understand. Understanding has been stressed in verses 2-3, 7-8, 12. The book is read from morning until midday and the people are very attentive. This means that the reading takes at least 6 hours. Ezra stands on an elevated place, not to elevate himself, but to allow the men and women to see and hear from him. It is a sign that the word of God should be elevated mentioned (Whitters, 2017). With him on the pulpit are 14 men, 7 to his left and 7 to his right. Most likely the men stood with him to show that they agree with what he says.


To add, Ezra is taking up the role of reading and not acting as the priest he is. Perhaps no public role of “reader” yet, but any priest would certainly be literate and capable of doing this. Lev 10:10–11 makes teaching an Aaronic (priestly) duty. In Nehemiah 8:5, all the people stand up when Ezra opens the book. Standing up shows that the people respect the book and they act as if they are in the presence of God himself. It also shows the honor they accord to that book. The term ‘‘blessed the Lord’’ has been used to show that Ezra praises God as the crowd affirms ‘Amen’. It shows that there is worshiping and spiritual renewal taking place. There are also some people who are with him and some Levites who assist Ezra to read and explain the book. The word is read and the Levites give the sense.

From verse 9 downwards, there are results which are derived from reading and understanding the book. Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites caution the people against weeping or mourning after the book has been read. They weep tears of sorrow when they understand the book. It is possible that they had made violations and the tears show their remorse. They could have also cried tears of joy since it has been long before they listened to the word of God, which God’s people see as precious (1 Samuel. 3:1). Ezra represents spiritual leadership while Nehemiah represents civic leadership. The people are encouraged to make merry and share their food with those who do not have. This is a culture that is specific to the feast of trumpets. They tell them that the joy of the lord is their strength, therefore should remain joyful. The day is holy and the people refrain from mourning and weeping, and they go and celebrate since they have understood the word of God (Psalm 89:15).

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The verses play a crucial role of bringing back the people to the Lord. The people had not listened to the word God for long and they needed a way to do so. The word of ‘understanding’ has been insisted, which shows that there was a need basically understand what was being read out. Sorrow, mourning and weeping had filled the people since they came to realize what God’s will to them was. They bow their heads and raised their hands up as a sign that they had surrendered to the will of God. Later, they rejoiced and celebrated because they understood that the joy of the lord was their strength. This relates to what is happening today. Some Christians have forgotten to read their bible and they need to reconcile with the lord. The priests, just like Ezra have an important role to play of explaining the word of God in details so that everyone can understand.


Whitters, M., 2017. The Persianized Liturgy of Nehemiah 8: 1–8. Journal of Biblical Literature, 136(1), pp.63-84.


Typical structures of Mark distinguish the following sections: I. Prologue (1:1-13); II. Early Galilean Ministry (1:14-3:6); III. Later Galilean Ministry (3:7-6:13); IV. Withdrawal Ministry (6:14-8:30); V. Journey to Jerusalem (8:31-10:52); VI. Jerusalem Ministry (11:1-13:37); VII. Passion Narrative (14:1-16:8 [9-20]) The crowd is fond of following Jesus as in the case where he feds the 5000 men with five loaves and two fish (Mathew 14: 13-21; John 6:1-14; mark 6: 31-44). Mark 5:21-42 is a part of the chapter that has two incidences: One involving Jairus’ daughter and the other one involving the woman who had bled for 12 years. Both are with Him at the other side of the lake. Jesus performs miracles wherever he goes. Some of the people who are following him in the crowd are his followers while others are not. His disciples are there with him as they help him in his ministry. Jesus attracts people, and everywhere he goes, he attracts a huge crowd.

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Jairus is a synagogue leader, a position that is highly placed in the culture, and falls at Jesus’ feet after seeing him. For a synagogue ruler to have done this would have given out quite a string “message”. It shows his humility and elevates Jesus. As a leader, Jairus recognizes that there is a person who is greater than him and falls to Jesus’ feet. He pleads with Jesus to go and lay hands on his daughter who is very ill. Jesus has been laying hands on the sick and they get healed. He recognizes that Jesus has the power to give life to the daughter (Hurtado, 2011). Jesus goes with him and the crowd still follows him. There is a woman who has been in the crowd and she has bled for 12 years. Feminine bleeding is a social taboo in the culture. 12 years has been used to show that it had really been a long time. It shows the many years that she has been suffering and has spent all her wealth on medication but she isn’t getting better. The way the stories have been told together could cause readers to compare the situations of Jairus and the woman. Probably, the crowd would have found the Jairus’ daughter case to be more deserving since he held a high position.

The Woman touches Jesus’ cloak. Eventually, Jesus would touch Jairus’ daughter, although not lay hands on her in any formal sense. Indeed, the touch there is more or less incidental. The centurion in Luke 7:6–7 is commended for very strong faith when he does not even need Jesus to come to his house at all. This might suggest a variety of beliefs about faith and touch. She knows that even the cloak that Jesus wore has power. She had heard about Jesus meaning that there were rumors going around about him. The bleeding stops immediately. She receives instant healing, and she feel that her suffering has stopped. Immediately, Jesus feels that power has left him. Probably, the crowd might have thought that he had become powerless. He asks for the person who had touched him. The woman fears and trembles and falls at Jesus feet. She is the second person to fall at Jesus feet after Jairus at that time. The woman shows humility and also confirms that Jesus has power to heal her. The woman is told to go in peace and that her faith had healed her. Faith works miracles.

The news of Jairus’ daughter’s death reaches them when Jesus is still speaking. Probably this could have raised ethical questions about Jesus’ priorities. The people who brought the news tell him not to bother Jesus again. They have lost hope and their faith is very low. They do not think that the situation can be reversed. Jesus urges Jairus not to fear, instead, he should believe. He means that Jairus ought to have a greater faith and trust in him. Jesus does not let anyone to follow him apart from 3 of his disciples. Jesus could have left the crowd because of their little faith. People cry and wail over the death and as Jesus goes in, he tells them that she is not dead; rather, she is sleeping. The crowd laughs at him. The laughing, which is common in the culture is a sign of doubt. They do not trust what Jesus is telling them (Hurtado, 2011). Jesus takes Jairus’ Daughter’s hand and he tells her to wake up. Immediately the girl stands up. Jesus has power over death since he also raised Lazarus (John 11:1-44).


The verse plays a crucial role in showing that Jesus has power over illness and death. The comparison between “obvious” and “hidden” problems is central to the passage, as also that the same faith is needed for both. Another central issue is faith in the face of delay – which the two characters experience in rather different ways … one publicly, and the other privately … one unable to speed Jesus up, the other seizing her moment to beat him. In today’s society, Christians may think that their things have gone wrong and nothing can be done about it. However, they should understand that if Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead, their prayers will be answered.


Hurtado, L. (2011). Mark (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

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