11-4 Angels In Ezra And Nehemiah
EZRA Chapter 1
v. 1 "The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus". The Angel
acted directly on his heart (or on his guardian Angel?).
EZRA Chapter 5
v. 5 "The eye of their God (the Angel) was upon the elders of
the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease" (building).
EZRA Chapter 6
v. 22 "The Lord had made them (Israel) joyful, and turned the
heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands
in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel" (the God of
Jacob- an Angelic term for the Angel that stands for Israel).
Note the emphasis on the Angel directly working on human hearts.
EZRA Chapter 7
The theme of the Angel acting on the heart is common here: "The
king granted (Ezra) all his request, according to the hand (Angel)
of the Lord his God upon him. . . blessed be the Lord God of our
fathers (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was an Angelic
term), which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart.
. . I was strengthened as the hand (Angel) of the Lord my God was
upon me" (v. 6,9,27,28).
EZRA Chapter 8
v. 31 "We departed from the river of Ahava. . . to go unto Jerusalem;
and the hand (Angel) of our God was upon us"- on the dangerous
journey back across the desert with no military escort, carrying
the temple treasures. As the Angel was with them from the Red
Sea to Jerusalem at the Exodus, so He was again.
EZRA Chapter 10
v. 11 "Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your
fathers"- confession of sin to an Angel.
Notice the same emphasis on the Angel acting directly on the hearts
of the Jews and Persians- 2:8,12,18; 4:6.
The Angel Gabriel
explained to Daniel that he had to battle with both the rulers of
Persia and Greece in order to bring about the fulfilment
of Daniel’s prayer and Jeremiah’s prophecy- in the command for the
Jews to return to Judah. By appreciating the local politics which
the Angel brought about between Persia and Greece, we can better
understand why Gabriel had to manipulate Greece in order
for the Persians to allow the Jews to return, and even to
encourage them to do so:
“From the point of view of the Persian king a strong pro-Persian
Judea was a major threat to the Greek coastal lifeline, and as long
as the Greeks dominated the coast and Egypt he supported a strong
Judean province headed by a Judean-Persian official and peopled
by a pro-Persian population, most of whose families were hostages
in Babylon and Persia”(1).
(1) Othniel Margalith,
"The Political Role of Ezra as Persian Governor," Zeitschrift
für dieAlttestamentliche Wissenschaft 98:1 (1986):111.