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The property

, with which

CHAPTER II.

the Jews returned.

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B. C. 536.

B. C. 536.

61 | And of the children of the 65 Besides their servants and their A. M. 3468.

priests: the children of Habaiah, the maids, of whom there were seven children of Koz, the children of Barzillai: thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and which took a wife of the daughters of o Barzil- | there were among them two hundred singinglai the Gileadite, and was called after their men and singing-women. name:

66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and 62 These sought their register among those six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were 67 Their camels, four hundred thirty and not found : P therefore 19 were they, as polluted, five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred put from the priesthood.

and twenty. 63 And the 20 Tirshatha said unto them, that 68 * And some of the chief of the fathers, they should not eat of the most holy things, when they came to the house of the LORD till there stood up a priest with "Urim and with which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the Thummim.

house of God to set it up in his place: 64 The whole congregation together was 69 They gave after their ability unto the forty and two thousand three hundred and u treasure of the work threescore and one threescore,

thousand drachms of gold, and five thousand

2 Sam. xvii. 27,- - Num. iii. 10. -1° Heb. they were pol- | 9 Lev. xxii. 2, 10, 15, 16.—Exod. xxviii. 30; Num. xxvii. 21. luted from the priesthood. - 20 Or, governor, Neh. viii. 9.

s Neh. vii. 67. - Neh. vii. 70.-ul Chron. xxvi. 20.

Verses 61, 62. And was called after their name, but in vain. And by the want of that oracle, Namely, Barzillai ; a name which he preferred be- they were taught to expect the great oracle, the fore that of his own family, accounting it, as appears, Messiah. a greater honour to be allied to so noble a family Verse 64. Forty and two thousand three hundred than to be a priest of the Lord. But by this vain and threescore–This is more than double the numambition he deprived himself of the honour and ad-ber which were carried away captive by NebuchadFantage of the priesthood, as is here noted. They nezzar. But here occurs a small difficulty ; (like that sought their registerThe Jews were generally in the end of the foregoing chapter;) for if we put very exact in their genealogies, from their own together the several sums before mentioned, they choice and interest, that they might preserve the dis- | amount to no more than twenty-nine thousand eight tinctions of the several tribes and families, which hundred and eighteen; so there wants about twelve was necessary both to make out their titles to offices thousand to make up this number of forty-two thouor inheritances, and to govern themselves thereby sand three hundred and sixty. Therefore, either in the matter of marriages, and from the special | these were of the rest of the tribes of Israel, who providence of God, that so it might be certainly came up with those of Judah and Benjamin: or, known of what tribe and family the Messiah was they might be Levites or other Israelites, who could born.

not make out their descent: or else, which is most Verse 63. The Tirshatha—The governor or probable, some mistake in the numbers has been king's commissioner, namely, Zerubbabel: whence made by transcribers, which might easily happen, Nehemiah is so called, Neh. viii. 9, and x. 2. That even though in general very great care was taken. they should not eat of the most holy things—That Verse 65. And singing-women-For women as they should not partake of the sacrifices offered for | well as men were employed in this exercise, in the sin, nor of the right shoulder of peace-offerings, nor temple-service. of the show-bread; which were all most holy, and Verse 68. When they came to the house of the the portion of the priests alone. Till there stood up | LordThat is, to the place in which the temple had a priest with Urim and Thummim-Till the Lord | stood, and where the ruins still remained. Offered himself should show, by an answer given to some freely-Made a new offering, besides that which high-priest, inquiring of him by Urim and Thum-| ihey had brought out of Babylon, from their brethmim, as had been anciently done, whether they were ren there, mentioned chap. i. 4, 6. By this it apof the line of Aaron or not. But as God had ceased pears that the Jews were not made absolute slaves to give an answer this way long before this time, || in Babylon, but had liberty to trade and get riches therefore, it was as much as to say, that as their for themselves; some of them being advanced to names were not found in the authentic genealogical considerable offices in the king's court. Otherwise registers of the priests, they should for ever be ex- | they could not have been able to offer such sums as cluded, till some divine oracle pronounced them to are mentioned in the next verse. have a right to the priesthood. Hereby it appears,

Verse 69. Threescore and one thousand drachms that the Urim and Thummim were lost in the de- of gold, &c.—About seventy-five thousand and five struction of the city and temple, though the Jews hundred pounds of our money; for every drachm of sed themselves with hopes of recovering them, ll gold is worth ten shillings of our money, and every The allar of burnt-offerings

EZRA.

18 set up at Jerusalem.

A. M. 3468. pounds of silver, and one hundred of the people, and the singers, and the A. M. 3468 B. C. 536.

B. C. 536. priests' garments.

porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in 70 * So the priests, and the Levites, and some their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

* Chap. vi. 16; || Neh. vii. 73.

mina, or pound of silver, nine pounds; for it contains || captivity. As to those who could not prove themsixty shekels, and every shekel of silver is worth selves Israelites by any genealogical register, they three shillings of our money. And one hunlred probably settled in those lands which were not priests' garments-Garments, as well as gold and sil- || claimed, or followed handicrast employments, of ver, were wont to be laid up in treasuries, Matt. vi. 20. one sort or other, in the cities. Although their We may infer then, from these rich offerings, not cities were out of repair, yea, in a ruinous state, yet, only, as has been just intimated, that the Jews were because they were their cities, such as God had asnot made such poor slaves in Babylon as wrought | signed them, they were content to dwell in them; for their lords and masters, but that there may not and were thankful for liberty and property, though be all the truth imaginable in that common saying they had little of pomp, plenty, or power. Their among them, that they were only the bran, that is, | poverty was an afflictive cause, but their unity and the dregs of the people, who returned to Jerusalem unanimity were happy effects of it. Here was room at the end of the captivity, and that all the fine four enough for them all, and all their substance, so that stayed behind at Babylon. See Prideaux's Con- | there was no strife among them, but perfect harmonect., Ann. 536, and Dodd.

ny: a blessed presage of their comfortable settleVerse 70. And all Israel in their cities—In the ment, as their discords in the latter times of that cities which their families had inhabited before their ll state were of their ruin.

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CHAPTER III. They set up the altar, offer 'sacrifices thereon, and keep the feasts, 1-6. They contribute, and lay the foundation of the

temple, 7–13. ND when the seventh month was || burnt-offerings thereon, as it is writ- A. M. 3468. B. C. 536

B. C. 536. come, and the children of Israel ten in the law of Moses the man of were in the cities, the people gathered themselves God. together as one man to Jerusalem.

3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for 2 Then stood up ? Jeshua the son of Jozadak, fear was upon them because of the people of and his brethren the priests, and 2 Zerubbabel those countries : and they offered burnt-offerthe son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and ings thereon unto the LORD, even d burnt-offerbuilded the altar of the God of Israel, to offerings morning and evening.

1 Or, Joshua, Hag. i. 1; ii. 2; Zech. ii. 1. - Calied Zoroba

bel, Matt. i. 12; Luke iii. 27.

• Matt. i. 12; Luke iii. 27, called Salathiel.- - Deut. xii. 5.

d Num. xxviii. 3.

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NOTES ON CHAPTER III.

gion, that they lest all their business in the country Verse 1. When the seventh month was come-Weto attend God's altar; and in this pious zeal they may suppose they left Babylon in the spring, and were all of a mind, they came as one man. were four months on their journey; for so long Ezra Verse 2. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his company were in coming, Ezra vii. 9. The ---He was the high-priest, called Joshua, Hag. i. 1. seventh month therefore commenced soon after their And Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel-That is, his arrival in Judea, when, as many of the feasts of the grandson ; for, properly speaking, he was the son of Lord were then to be solemnized, the people gather- Pedaiah. And builded the allar of the God of Ised themselves together--By agreement among them- | rael-Which was of more present necessity than the selves, rather than by the command of authority; to temple, both to make atonement to God for all their Jerusalem-Though they were newly come to their sins, and to obtain God's assistance for the building cities, and had their hands full of business there, to of the temple, and to strengthen their own hearts provide necessaries for themselves and their fami- | and hands in that great work. lies, which might have excused them from attending Verse 3. They set the altar upon his bases-- That on God's worship in public, till the hurry was a little is, in the place where it anciently stood ; for fear over, as many with us foolishly put off their coming was upon them, because of the people of those counto the communion till they are settled in the world ; | tries--And therefore they made the more haste, lest yet, such was their zeal for religion, now they were they should be hindered. Apprehension of dangers newly come from under correction for their irreli- I should quicken us in our duty. Have we many ene

They keep the feast of tabernacles,

CHAPTER III.

and dedicate the temple.

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B. C. 535.

B. C. 535.

41. They kept also the feast of || unto the house of God at Jerusalem, A. M. 3469

tabernacles, as it is written, and in the second month, began Zerubbasoffered the daily burnt-offerings by number, bel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of according to the custom, as the duty of every Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the day required;

priests and the Levites, and all they that were 5 And afterward offered the h continual burnt- come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; mand offering, both of the new-moons, and of all the appointed the Levites, from twenty years old set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and upward, to set forward the work of the and of every one that willingly offered a free- || house of the Lord. will-offering unto the LORD.

9 Then stood n Jeshua with his sons and his 6 From the first day of the seventh month | brethren, Kamiel and his sons, the sons of began they to offer burnt-offerings unto the Judah, ? together, to set forward the workLORD. But the foundation of the temple of men in the house of God: the sons of Henathe LORD was not yet laid.

dad, with their sons and their brethren the 7 I They gave money also unto the masons, | Levites. and to the 5 carpenters; and i meat, and drink, 10 And when the builders laid the foundation and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests Tyre, to bring cedar-trees from Lebanon to the in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites sea of * Joppa, ' according to the grant that they the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the had of Cyrus king of Persia.

LORD, after the Pordinance of David king of 8. Now in the second year of their coming Israel.

• Neh. viii. 14, 17; Zechariah xiv. 16. - Exodus xxiii. 16.
Num. xxix. 12, &c. - Heb. the matter of the day in his day.

Exod. xxix. 38; Numbers xxviii. 3, 11, 19, 26; xxix. 2, 8, 13.
* Heb. the temple of the LORD was not yet founded.-
workmen,

il Kings v. 6,9; 2 Chron. ii. 10; Acts xii. 20.—K 2 Chron. ii. 16; Acts ix. 36. – Chap. vi. 3. _ml Chron. xxiii. 24, 27.

Chap. ii. 40.- Or, Hodaviah, Chap. ii. 40.-? Hebrew, as one. Chronicles xvi. 5, 42.- -P1 Chron. vi. 31; xvi. 4; xxv. 1.

Or,

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mies? We have the more need to have God for our | Zidon now, as of old, furnished them with workmen, friend, and to keep up our correspondence with him. || and Lebanon with timber, orders for both which Some translate the clause, Although fear was upon | they had from Cyrus. What God calls us to we them; that is, although they were in great fear of | may depend upon his providence to furnish us with. their evil neighbours, yet, notwithstanding, they Verse 8. In the second month began Zerubbabel, would not desist from restoring the worship of God. || &c.—The building of the temple was begun as soon

Verse 4. They kept also the feast of taberna- || as ever the season of the year would permit, and as cles-This seems to be mentioned for all the solem- soon as they had ended the solemnities of the passnities of the month, whereof this was the most over. They took little more than half a year for eminent; otherwise it is not probable that they would preparing the ground and materials; so much were neglect the day of atonement, which was so solemnly their hearts upon the work. And Jeshua, and their enjoined, (Lev. xxiii. 27–29,) and was so exceeding | brethren the priests and Lerites, &c.—Then the suitable to their present condition.

work of God is likely to go on well when magistrates, Verse 5. And afterward offered the continual | ministers, and people are zealously affected toward burnt-offering--The morning and evening sacrifice. | it, and agree in their places to promote it. It was The law required much, but they offered more; for God that gave them one heart for this service, and though they had little wealth, they had much zeal. || it promised a happy issue. Happy they that bring with them out of the furnace Verse 9. Then stood Jeshua with his sonsThis of affliction such a holy heat as this!

person was not the high-priest, so called, but a Levite, Verse 6. To offer burnt-offerings—And the other || of whom see chap. ii. 40. To set forward the worksacrifices which were to be offered with them upon | men—To encourage them to a cheerful and vigorous that first day of the seventh month, which was the prosecution of the work. feast of trumpets. Burnt-offerings are often put for Verse 10. To praise the LordThe priests, with all sacrifices, and the meaning of these two verses the trumpets appointed by Moses, and the Levites, is, that the holy rites of sacrificing were restored, with cymbals appointed by David, made up a concert and continued ever after, in their several seasons, on of praise at the laying of the foundation of the the new moons, and other festival solemnities. temple, to assist the singing of that everlasting hymn

Verse 7. Meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of which will never be out of date, and for which our Zidon and Tyre-The inhabitants of those towns tongues should never be out of tune, the burden of wanted provisions more than money, as appears by Psalm cxxxvi. Whatever our condition is, let it be the history of Solomon's building, 1 Kings v. 10. owned that God is good ; and whatever fails, that To bring cedar-trees from Lebanon—Tyre and his mercy fails not.

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The foundation of the temple

EZRA.

is laid with great joy.

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B. C. 535.

B. C. 535.

11 4 And they sang together by || had seen the first house, when the A. M. 3469.

course in praising and giving thanks foundation of this house was laid beunto the LORD; " because he is good, s for his fore their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all many shouted aloud for joy: the people shouted with a great shout, when they || 13 So that the people could not discern the praised the Lord, because the foundation of the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the house of the LORD was laid.

weeping of the people: for the people shouted 12 · But many of the priests and Levites, and with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that off.

9 Exod. xv. 21; 2 Chron. vii. 3; Neh. xii. 24.

I Chron. xvi. 34 ; || Psa. cxxxvi. 1.-s 1 Chron. xvi. 41 ; Jer. xxxiii. 11.- Hag. ii. 3.

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Verses 11, 12. And they sang together by course one. But the occasion of their grief was not only - That is, answered one another alternately. And this, that the materials and ornaments of the second all the people shouted with a great shout— The temple were even as nothing in comparison with people were very differently affected upon this occa- the first, (Hag. ii. 3,) but that the ark of the covesion. Those that had only known the misery of | nant, and the mercy-seat which was upon it, the having no temple at all, praised the Lord with shouts | holy fire upon the altar, the Urim and Thummim, the of joy when they saw the foundation of this laid, for spirit of prophecy, the Shechinah or divine presence, to them this was as lise from the dead. But many | the five great things for which the former temple that had seen the first house-Which divers of them was so renowned, were lost and gone, and never to had, because it had not been destroyed quite sixty | be recovered to this other. This was a just matter years ago, and who remembered the glory of that || of lamentation to those who had seen these singular temple, wept with a loud voice—“Not only because tokens of the divine favour in the former temple, this temple was likely to prove far inferior to that of and a discouragement of their proceeding with the Solomon, as to its outward structure, but because it | building of the present; and therefore the Prophet was to want those extraordinary marks of the divine Haggai was sent to inform them that all these wants favour wherewith the other temple was honoured. || and defects should be abundantly repaired by the Both the temples, without all doubt, were of the coming of the Messiah, the true Shechinah of the same dimensions; but here was the sad difference || Divine Majesty, in the time of the second temple: which drew tears from the eyes of the elders, that || (chap. ii. 7-9:) I will shake all nations, and the in all appearance there were no hopes that the poor | desire of all nations shall come ; and I will fill this beginnings of the latter temple would ever be raised || house with glory: the glory of this latter house shall to the grandeur and magnificence of the former, || be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of since the one had been built by the wisest and hosts.”—Dodd. richest king, and constantly adorned by some one Verse 13. So that the people could not discern, &c. or other of his posterity; the other now begun by a - The mixture of sorrow and joy here is a represmall company of exiles just returned from their sentation of this world. In heaven all are singing captivity: the one in a time of profound peace and and none sighing; in hell all are wailing and none the greatest opulence; the other in a time of com- | rejoicing : but here on earth we can scarce discern mon calamity and distress: the one finished with the the shouts of joy from the noise of the weeping; let us most costly stones and timber, wrought with exquisite | learn to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep art, and overlaid with vast quantities of gold; the other with them that weep. Meantime, let us ourselves to be raised out of no better materials than what rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though could be dug from the ruinous foundation of the old || we wept not.

CHAPTER IV. The adversaries, not being allowed to build with them, endeavour to hinder the work, 1-5. They falsely accuse them to Ar

taxerxes, 6–16. Who thereupon orders the work to be stopped, 17-22. It is stopped, 23, 24. 1. M: 3469. NOW when the adversaries of Ju- || children of the captivity builded the tem- 4. : 36.

dah and Benjamin heard that the ple unto the LORD God of Israel;

a Verses 7, 9.

1 Heb. the sons of the transportation.

NOTES ON CHAPTER IV.

patched up that mongrel religion of which we had Verse 1. Now when the adversaries of Judah, &c. an account 2 Kings xvii. 33, where it is said, They - The Samaritans, the relics of the ten tribes, and feared the Lord, and served their own gods. They foreigners that had joined themselves to them, and I are called the people of the land, verse 4. Thus,

The adversaries endeavour

CHAPTER IV.

to prevent the building.

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B C. 678.

B. C. 534.

2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, 4 Then the people of the land A. M. 3470.

and to the chief of the fathers, and weakened the hands of the people of said unto them, Let us build with you; for Judah, and troubled them in building, we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sa- 5 And hired counsellors against them, to fruscrifice unto him since the days of Esar-had- trate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of don king of Assur, whịch brought us up Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of hither.

Persia. 3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest 6 And in the reign of 2 Ahasuerus, B. C. 529. of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto in the beginning of his reign, wrote them, • Ye have nothing to do with us to build they unto him an accusation against the ina house unto our God; but we ourselves toge- || habitants of Judah and Jerusalem. ther will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as 7 And in the days of Artaxerxes B. C. 522.

King Cyrus the king of Persia hath com- wrote 3 Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, manded us.

and the rest of their companions unto Arta

62 Kings xvii. 24, 32 ; xix. 37; Verse 10.— Neh. ii. 20.

Chap. i. 1,3.

e Chap. iii. 3. Heb. Ahashverosh. - Or, the peace.

• Heb. societies.

the worst enemies that Judah and Benjamin had gers, though they especially had an eye to that, but were those that said they were Jews, and were not. they urge what they knew would have greater

Verse 2. They came to Zerubbabel, fc., and said, weight with them, the king's commission, which was Let us build with youHearing that the temple directed to themselves only. In doing good we have was in building, they were presently aware that it need of the wisdom of the serpent, as well as of the would be a fatal blow to their superstition, and innocence of the dove. therefore set themselves to oppose it. But as they Verse 4. But the people of the landHebrew, had not power to do it openly and by force, they | of that land ; namely, the Samaritans, the present endeavoured to do it secretly and by wiles. They inhabitants of that province. Weakened the hands offer their service to build with them, but only that of the people of Judah-As they could not divert by this conjunction with them they might pry into them from the work, they endeavoured to discourage their counsels, find some matter of accusation against them in it, by persuading them it was in vain to atthem, and thereby retard the work, while they tempt it, and that they would never be able to finish pretended to further it. For we seek your God, as what they had begun. And troubled them in buildye doThis was false; for though they sought the ing-Laying all the impediments they could in their same God, they did not seek him only, nor seek him way; by false reports and slanders; by threatenin the way he had appointed, as the true Jews did.ings; and by preventing materials or provisions And we do sacrifice unto him since the days of from coming to them; or by enticing away their Esar-haddon—Son of Sennacherib, and after him workmen, and other means described afterward. king of Assyria, who brought or sent these persons Verse 5. And hired counsellors against themthither, either, Ist, in the days of Shalmaneser, who Bribed some of the king's council, in order that by reigned in Assyria but eight years before Esar- | their artifices, and interests in his court, they might haddon, and so Esar-haddon might be one of his give some stop to the work, and frustrate the purpose commanders, and the man by whom that colony was of the Jews. All the days of Cyrus king of Persia sent; or, 2d, in the reign of Esar-haddon, who sent a - For though Cyrus still favoured the Jews, yet he second colony to strengthen the first.

was then diverted by his wars, and his son Cambyses Verse 3. Ye have nothing to do with us- - The was left his viceroy, who was a wicked prince, and chief of the fathers were soon aware that they | an enemy to the Jews. Even until the reign of meant them no kindness, whatever they might pre- Darius—The son of Hystaspis, who, having killed tend, but really designed to do them an injury; and the magi, (that, after Cambyses, had possessed therefore, (though they had need enough of help, themselves of the kingdom,) was made kirg; and if it had been such as they could confide in,) they marrying Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, and loving told them plainly they could not accept it, nor unite her very much, confirmed the decree of Cyrus, and with them, as being of another nation and religion, followed his steps, that he might stand the safer and therefore not concerned in Cyrus's grant, which himself. was confined to the Israelites. But we ourselves Verse 6. In the reign of Ahasuerus-A common will build-For you are none of those with whom name of divers kings of Persia. This Ahasuerus we dare hold communion. Thus we ought to take | was probably Smerdis, one of the magi who seized heed with whom we go partners, and on whose hand the kingdom after Cambyses. Wrote they unto him we lean. While we trust God with an absolute con- || an accusation against Judah and Jerusalem-Imfidence, we must trust men with a prudent caution. porting that they intended to set up for themselves, They do not plead to them the law of their God, and not to depend upon the king of Persia. which sorbade them to mingle themselves with stran- Verse 7. In the days of Arta.cerxes, &c.— The

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