Ezra 2:1 ¶ Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;
This chapter is a listing of those that made up the returning remnant to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel. I will include notes of interest that I find.
New Bible Commentary: “The main theological purpose for the inclusion of this list is to emphasize once again the continuity between the post–exilic community and the former people of Israel. This is indicated especially by the notes in vs 59-63 concerning those who could not at this stage establish their genealogy to public satisfaction, and by the number of leaders (twelve), which recalls the number of the tribes of Israel.”
Several commentators make note of the different groups comprising the returning remnant—leaders, men of Israel in general, priests, Levites, temple servants, sons of Solomon’s servants and those of uncertain genealogy.
I liked this observation from Ironside: “There is something peculiarly solemn about records such as these. Many, yea, most of the names in them are for us only names, but God has not forgotten one of the persons once called by these names on earth, and “in that day” He will reward according to the work of each. Some too must “suffer loss” for opportunities neglected, or half-hearted service. Nothing of good or ill shall be overlooked by Him who seeth not as man seeth, who looks not on the outward appearance but on the heart. How little did any of these devoted Jews of Ezra’s day think that God would preserve a registry of their names and families for future generations to read, and thus to learn how highly He values all that is done from devotion of heart to Himself and for the glory of His name!”
Ezra 2:2 Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
Ezra 2:3 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
NIV Commentary: “The descendants of Parosh” represented the largest family of priests returning from Babylon.”
Ironside: “In verse 2 we read both of a Nehemiah and a Mordecai: but the first must not be confounded with the writer of the next book, who came up later, after the re-building of the temple, and in accordance with the “commandment to restore and build Jerusalem,” mentioned as the starting point of the seventy heptads of Daniel 9:24. Nor should the record be identified with the aged consin of Queen Esther, who remained in the city of Shushan, and so far as we know, never went up to Jerusalem after being carried away as a child.”
Ezra 2:4 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
Ezra 2:5 The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five.
Ezra 2:6 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
Ezra 2:7 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Ezra 2:8 The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five.
Ezra 2:9 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
Ezra 2:10 The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two.
Ezra 2:11 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three.
Ezra 2:12 The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two.
Ezra 2:13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six.
Ezra 2:14 The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six.
Ezra 2:15 The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four.
Ezra 2:16 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
Ezra 2:17 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three.
Ezra 2:18 The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve.
Ezra 2:19 The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three.
Ezra 2:20 The children of Gibbar, ninety and five.
Ezra 2:21 The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three.
Broadman Bible Commentary: “Thus without any warning or transition, the list ceases to identify families by ancestors and begins to identify them by hometowns."
Ezra 2:22 The men of Netophah, fifty and six.
Ezra 2:23 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
Ironside: ““The men of Anathoth,” of verse 23, recalls Jeremiah’s purchase of the field of Anathoth, so long before, and the sealed title-deeds awaiting their lawful claimant. It looked, like the height of folly to purchase a field in a doomed district; but faith looked on to the restoration, and now the long-expected day had come when the sealed scroll would prove of real value (Jer. 32)”
Ezra 2:24 The children of Azmaveth, forty and two.
Ezra 2:25 The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three.
Ezra 2:26 The children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.
Ezra 2:27 The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two.
Ezra 2:28 The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
Ezra 2:29 The children of Nebo, fifty and two.
Ezra 2:30 The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six.
Ezra 2:31 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Ezra 2:32 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
Ezra 2:33 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five.
Ezra 2:34 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
Ezra 2:35 The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.
Ezra 2:36 ¶ The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
Ezra 2:37 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
Ezra 2:38 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
Ezra 2:39 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
Ezra 2:40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.
Ezra 2:41 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.
Ezra 2:42 The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
Ezra 2:43 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
Ezra 2:44 The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
Ezra 2:45 The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
Ezra 2:46 The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,
Ezra 2:47 The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
Ezra 2:48 The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
Ezra 2:49 The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
Ezra 2:50 The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
Ezra 2:51 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Ezra 2:52 The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Ezra 2:53 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,
Ezra 2:54 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Ezra 2:55 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
Ezra 2:56 The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Ezra 2:57 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
Ezra 2:58 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
Ezra 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:
John Gill re verse 59: “These were such that professed the Jewish religion, and went for Jews in Babylon, but could not trace their pedigree, and tell what family they were of, who their ancestors, and where they had lived in Judea; they had lost their genealogical tables, if they ever had any, and could not make it out, whether their parents were Israelites or proselyted Gentiles; or they were such who had been exposed, and taken out of the streets, and their parents unknown.”
Ezra 2:60 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
Gill: “These, though their immediate parents were known, yet by their being mentioned here, it seems as if they could not carry their genealogy further, and make it clearly appear what was the house of their fathers, or what their family. “
Ezra 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:
Ezra 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.
Ezra 2:63 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
More who could not prove their genealogy and, therefore, could not serve as priests until proven qualified by God. It is unlikely that they would be able to do so since it seems that the Urim and Thummim, items used by the high priest to determine God’s will, had been lost.
Ezra 2:64 ¶ The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Ezra 2:65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
Ezra 2:66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
Ezra 2:67 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
JFB regarding the number of people returning: “This gross amount is twelve thousand more than the particular numbers given in the catalogue, when added together, come to. Reckoning up the smaller numbers, we shall find that they amount to 29,818 in this chapter, and to 31,089 in the parallel chapter of Nehemiah [see Nehemiah 7:66-69]. Ezra also mentions four hundred ninety-four persons omitted by Nehemiah, and Nehemiah mentions 1765 not noticed by Ezra. If, therefore, Ezra’s surplus be added to the sum in Nehemiah, and Nehemiah’s surplus to the number in Ezra, they will both become 31,583. Subtracting this from 42,360, there will be a deficiency of 10,777. These are omitted because they did not belong to Judah and Benjamin, or to the priests, but to the other tribes. The servants and singers, male and female, are reckoned separately (Ezra 2:65), so that putting all these items together, the number of all who went with Zerubbabel amounted to fifty thousand, with eight thousand beasts of burden [ALTING, quoted in DAVIDSON’S Hermeneutics ].”
NIV Commentary: “’Horses’ in the OT are usually associated with royalty and the military. The horses listed here may have been a donation from Cyrus for the nobility. ‘Mules’ are hybrid offspring of donkey stallions and mares. They combine the strength and size of the horse with the patience and sure-footedness of the donkey. They were not originally bred in Palestine; Solomon had to import them. As precious animals they were used by the royalty and wealthy….The ‘camels’ mentioned in the OT were the one-humped Arabian camels as distinct from the two-humped Bactrian camels. The camel can carry its rider and about four hundred pounds and can travel three or four days without drinking.”
Ezra 2:68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:
Ezra 2:69 They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments.
Ezra 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
Indication is that the people in the returning remnant were generous and gave as much as they could to provide for the rebuilding of the temple.
Point is made that once they reached Israel, many of the returning remnant settled in their ancestral cities instead of all congregating in Jerusalem.