C W1 7:1-. Artaxerxes. Time. X1 v1 7:-1-6. Ezra. Journey. Hand of God. w1 7:7-. His companions. W2 7:-7. Artaxerxes. Date. X2 v2 7:8,9. Ezra. 7:-1-6. Ezra. Journey. Hand of God. w2 7:10. His purpose. W3 7:11-26. Artaxerxes. Decree. X3 v3 7:27,28. Ezra. Blessing. w3 7:-28. His companions. "Chief men." W4 8:1. Artaxerxes. Time. X4 W4 8:2-14. Companions of Ezra. v4 8:15-36. Ezra. Journey. Hand of God.
1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes (= the great king, i.e. Darius [Hystaspis]) king of Persia,
Ezra (= help. By this genealogy [vv.1-5], compared with 1 Chron. 6:15, Ezra was brother to Jehozadak and uncle to the high priest Joshua. Ezra was deported with Zedekiah) the descendant of Seraiah (slain at Riblah [2 Kings 18-21), the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,
3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,
5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:
6 This Ezra went up from Babylon (= confusion); and he was a skillful scribe in the law of Moses (He had done his homework. God works miracles even still to this day. But not side-shows. See Hag. 2:18-23), which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
7 And there went up some of the sons of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims (see 2:43), to Jerusalem,
in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
July 404 B.C.
8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
March 20th - July
9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach (This was the 1st duty of the priests. See Deut. 33:10.) in Israel statutes and judgments. (Judah contained representatives of the whole Nation)
W3 Y 11,12. Introduction. Z 13-25. The decree of Ezra. Y 26. Conclusion.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe (= a perfect scribe) of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
Z x 13. To companions. y 14-20. To Ezra. Supplies. x 21-24. To treasuries. y 25. To Ezra. Magistracy.
13 I make a decree (this decree [vv.12-26] is in Chaldee, not in Hebrew. An inscription is found at Susa commences with the same words. Cp. Dan. 2:37), that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests (i.e. Israel's priests) and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you.
y z 14-16. The kings money. a 17,18. For service. Offerings. a 19. For service. Vessels. z 20. The kings treasury.
14 Forasmuch as you are sent of the king, and of his seven counselors (cp. Est. 1:10,14), to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in your hand;
15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel (see 1 Kings 12:17), Whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
16 And all the silver and gold that ou can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
17 That you may buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18 And whatsoever shall seem good to you, and to your brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.
19 The vessels (see 1:1) also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver you before the God of Jerusalem.
20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.
21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
22 To an hundred talents of silver (1 talent = 75 U.S. pounds), and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine (1 bath = 5.8 U.S. Gallons), and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without measure.
23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be quickly done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?
24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.
25 And You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach you them that know them not.
26 And whosoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, or to banishment (or exclusion from the assembly. Chald. = to rooting out), or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
(These next 2 verses resume the Hebrew language.)
27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:
28 And has extended loving-kindness to me before the king, and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes.
And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel head men to go up with me.