Reflections for 10/27: The Return from Exile

Access to the temple allows people to understand themselves as legitimate descendants of Israelite ancestors and priests to be legitimate participants in the rituals.  The people already present are like the foreigners in earlier traditions whom the Israelites were warned not to intermingle with.  They are already in the land, but the land does not belong to them just like when Joshua started the conquest of the land.  From this perspective the Israelites should exclude these people and not intermingle with them just like they were originally warned centuries earlier.

The people are hopeful for a bright future to restore them to the former status they once had but are vulnerable to reminders of the inadequacy of their current position.  It seems, therefore, like the most important question for the People to ask are “is the punishment of exile over?”  The people still suffer from an inferior temple, the lack of a sovereign king, and are slaves to the Persians.  Yet they at least have a temple, they are keeping a crown for a king promised to come, and are slaves in the land instead of outside it.  The People therefore need a way to understand their current position as perhaps a transitioning phase between restoration to the “glory days” and the curse of exile.  When combatting this question the People would need to answer both why they are in their present state and also use predictions like the king Branch as tools for explaining how they might be brought out of it.

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One thought on “Reflections for 10/27: The Return from Exile

  1. I like the connection to the people in the land like those they were already warned against. This really ties it to the Exodus narrative. Could it be a coincidence that Joshua led them into the land, and then the later Jeshua/Joshua was a prominent leader among them?

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