1. Exposition

Why was it helpful to be able to show one's Israelite ancestry?

Ezra 2:59–60 (ESV)

59 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their fathers’ houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel:

The people who returned to Jerusalem were eager to show and confirm their identity as being part of the covenant community and separate from the Samaritans and other surrounding people.1 We do not know what happened with these people while they waited for clarification regarding their status. The fact that they are listed shows that they were treated in the same way as other families.2 They were not excluded from the people of Israel.