And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the articles, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, and his counselors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:
Read Chapter 8
It has frequently been said that the silver and gold and the vessels that were being sent from Babylon to Jerusalem designate souls that are converted to the Lord from the confusion and sins of this world. So it is fitting that Ezra entrusts vessels of this kind to the priests to convey them to Jerusalem, because all who desire to join the community of the holy church must be washed in baptism and consecrated to the Lord through the hands of priests. Equally, those who by sinning have been drawn away from the church’s fellowship into the devil’s servitude, and who by remaining in their sins have fallen into the captivity of the king of Babylon, must be reconciled to the holy church by doing penance through the office of a priest. And it is well that there are twelve priests to whom this charge was assigned because there are twelve apostles by whose teaching the church was first established throughout the world and by whose successors it does not cease to be built until the end of the world.