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Ezra 7:24 meaning...

This verse is part of a letter from King Artaxerxes to Ezra, a scribe and priest, granting him authority to lead a group of Israelites back to Jerusalem from Babylon. The letter includes instructions regarding the priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim (temple servants), and other servants of the house of God. 

  • Exemption from Tribute, Custom, or Toll

The primary content of Ezra 7:24 is a decree from King Artaxerxes, extending certain privileges to those involved in the service of the house of God in Jerusalem:

Exemption from Taxes: The verse specifies that priests, Levites, singers, porters, and temple servants are not to be subject to tribute (taxes), custom (duties), or toll (levies). This exemption reflects the king's acknowledgment of their role in the religious service and maintenance of the temple.

  • Recognition of Religious Service

The decree highlights the importance of recognizing and supporting those engaged in religious service:

Priests and Levites: The exemption extends to the priests and Levites, who played crucial roles in the religious rituals, sacrifices, and teaching of the Law.

Singers and Porters: The inclusion of singers and porters emphasizes the diverse roles within the religious practices and the upkeep of the temple. Singers likely participated in worship, and porters were responsible for the security and maintenance of the temple gates.

Nethinim and Servants: The Nethinim, temple servants, and other servants associated with the house of God were also granted exemption, indicating the comprehensive recognition of those contributing to the functioning of the temple.

  • Religious Freedom and Support

Ezra 7:24 reflects a measure of religious freedom and support from the Persian king:

Protection of Religious Functionaries: The exemption from taxes and duties ensures the protection and financial support of those dedicated to the service of the temple. This allows them to focus on their religious duties without undue financial burden.

Acknowledgment of Religious Importance: The king's decree acknowledges the significance of the temple and its personnel in the religious and cultural life of the Israelites. It demonstrates a level of respect for their religious practices and institutions.

Relevance for Believers Today

While the context of Ezra 7:24 is specific to the historical situation of the returning exiles, there are principles that hold relevance for believers today:

Support for Religious Service: The verse underscores the importance of recognizing and supporting those engaged in religious service. Churches and religious institutions may draw inspiration from this principle to ensure that those involved in ministry are adequately supported.

Religious Freedom: The concept of exemption from taxes for religious functionaries echoes the broader principle of religious freedom. Believers today value the freedom to practice their faith without undue governmental interference.


Matthew 17:24-27: In the New Testament, Jesus instructs Peter to pay the temple tax, highlighting the concept of financial support for religious institutions.

1 Corinthians 9:13-14: Paul discusses the principle of those engaged in ministry being supported by the ministry, emphasizing the recognition of their service.

Conclusion: Ezra 7:24 captures a decree from King Artaxerxes, providing exemptions from taxes and duties for those involved in the service of the house of God in Jerusalem. This reflects the acknowledgment of the religious significance of the temple and its personnel. While the historical context is specific, the principles of recognizing and supporting religious service have broader applications for believers today.

As contemporary readers engage with this verse, it prompts reflection on the value and support of religious institutions and those dedicated to serving in various capacities within the faith community.

See also: vs 25

Ezra 7:24. Of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, on them.


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