Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them,…
I. THE TRUST GIVEN. "And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God" (ver. 25).
1. Their nature. As the men appointed by Ezra had costly and sacred vessels committed to their care, so men have given to them money, time, genius, and influence to carry through life.
2. Their purpose (ver. 28). These vessels of gold and silver were given for the use and adornment of the temple at Jerusalem. Men must hold their sacred trusts for God.
3. Their measure (ver. 26). The gold and silver given were carefully weighed; all the capabilities of men are weighed by God: to some he gives two talents, to others five talents; to each man according to his several ability.
4. Their responsibility. The comrades of Ezra had the responsible task of safely conveying the vessels of the temple to Jerusalem; human talent is a solemn gift.
5. Their registration (ver. 34). The gifts of man are written in the book of God.
II. THE FIDELITY REQUIRED. "Watch ye, and keep them" (ver. 29).
1. Their peril. The men conveying the costly vessels of the temple would be exposed to many enemies by the way (ver. 22); men of talent are liable to many moral enemies - pride, indolence, misuse, and neglect of culture.
2. Their safety. The prayers of these men were their protection. Ezra says, "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us" (ver. 23). Devotion is the safeguard of talent.
3. Their inspection. "Weighed in the house of our God" (ver. 33). At the last God will judge men for the use of their talents; then every man will be morally weighed in the unerring balance of truth.
4. Their fidelity. The comrades of Ezra were faithful to their trust; happy if at the close of life we are found faithful to the trusts we have received. - E.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,