What Ezra 2 Has to Teach Us About Biblical Lists

Lists of names in the Bible can often be a stumbling block for
many preachers. This article is an attempt to help preachers read
and preach biblical lists by using Ezra 2 as a case study. First, this
paper will provide a series of questions to ask the text in an
attempt of exegeting it. Questions such as, why does Ezra use a
list in chapter 2? What are the names included in the list? What
is highlighted or downplayed in this list? How are the people in
the list arranged? How is Ezra 2 connected to the surrounding
narratives? Second, attention will be paid as to how we as New
Testament believers should understand Ezra 2. Third, we will
transit from the text to a sermon, where suggestions will be
offered as to how a sermon can emanate out of our study of Ezra
2. This paper will argue that Ezra 2 is more than just a list of
unrelated names. Rather, it encapsulates a powerful message that God is using you and me to show the world that he is in the
process of bringing his restoration in Jesus.