K p 1. Darius. Search made. q 2-5. Decree found (Cyrus). p 6,7. Darius. Forbearance ordered. q 6-12. Decree made. (Darius).
1 Then Darius (Hystaspis) the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. (See 5:13)
2 And there was found at Achmetha (= Ecbatana, the capital of ancient Media), in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:
3 "In the first year of Cyrus (Cp. 1:1) the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits (a cubit = 17 to 21 inches U.S. [based on the distance between the tip of the middle finger and the elbow of the king at the time), and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
4 Layers (as in 1 Kings 6:36) of great stones, three; and a row of timber, one (i.e. one row): and let the expenses be given out of the king's treasuries:
5 And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which was at Jerusalem, and brought to Babylon, be restored, and brought again to the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God."
6 "Now therefore, Tatnai, pasha beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your coleagues the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from that place:
7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews (see 4:12) and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.
8 Moreover I make a decree (this is a new decree of Darius Hystaspis) what you shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given to these strong men, that they be not hindered.
9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven (see 2 Chron. 36:23), wheat, salt, strong red wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:
10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors (see Lev. 1:9) to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. (A similar strong threat in the inscription of Darius on the Behistũn rock. Cp Dan. 3:29)
12 And the God that has caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter [this decree] and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed."
13 Then Tatnai, pasha on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.
14 And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built, and finished it, according to the decree of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius Hystaspis, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. (Marks the important fact that 3 kings, at various times, were concerned in the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The last named was the 1st in order. Artaxerxes was Astyages [the father of Cyrus], the same as in Neh. 2:1)
15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar (the 12th month. Our Feb.), which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
F2 r 16. Feast of Dedication. "Kept with joy." s 17. The People. Their offerings. t 18. The priests. Set. u 19. The passover kept. t 20. The priests. Purified. s 21. The People. Their purification. r 22. Feast of passover. "Kept with joy."
16 And the sons of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the sons of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy. (It is precise, no man can alter or change it)
17 And brought near at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel (see 1 Kings 12:17. Note the number 12), twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God (no longer in effect, but it is a type), which is at Jerusalem; according to the writing in the book of Moses. (i.e. the Pentateuch. Num. 3:6-10)
20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the sons of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21 And the sons of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land (non-believers, because Christ was pure. Thus the separation), to seek the LORD God (Yehovah Elohim) of Israel, did eat,
22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy (see v.16): for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. (God changed the mind of Darius to help the children of Israel in the work of the house of God. Who teaches Christian T.V. stations how to broadcast? unbelievers. God used heathens to build and strengthen His own house. Honesty is the best policy, they respect that. The business world takes millions of dollars and you know most are corrupt. Use to your advantage for good what is given you. Yes, we should be watchmen and keep up with world events. Yes, we should exercise our right to vote. But, why would we worry about the problems of the world when God is in control?)