Ezra Chapter One
New King James Version (NKJV)
Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
YLT And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, at the completion of the word of Jehovah from the mouth of Jeremiah, hath Jehovah waked up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he causeth an intimation to pass over into all his kingdom, and also in writing, saying,
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia
Not in the first of his reign over Persia, for he had been many years king over that, and now had all the kingdoms of the earth given him, ( Ezra 1:2 ) , but over Babylon, and the dominions belonging to it, which commenced with Darius upon the taking of Babylon; he reigned in all thirty years, as Cicero F7 from a Persian writer relates; or twenty nine, according to Herodotus F8; but in what year this was is not certain; Africanus F9, has proved, from various historians, that it was the first year of the fifty fifth Olympiad, perhaps about the twentieth of Cyrus's Persian government F11; (See Gill on Daniel 10:1),
that the word of the Lord, by the mouth of Jeremiah, might be
which foretold that the Jews should return from their captivity at the end of seventy years, which fell on the first of Cyrus, reckoning from the fourth of Jehoiakim, and the first of Nebuchadnezzar, see ( Jeremiah 25:1 Jeremiah 25:11 Jeremiah 25:12 ) ( 29:10 ) .
The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia;
who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and even of the kings of the earth, and can turn them as he pleases; he wrought upon him, put it into his heart, enlightened his mind, showed him what was right, and his duty to do, and pressed him to the performance of it; so that he could not be easy until he had done it, and he was made thoroughly willing, and even eager to do it:
that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom,
and put it also in writing; gave it in writing to his heralds to read and proclaim throughout all his dominions:
Ezra 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.
YLT `Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, All kingdoms of the earth hath Jehovah, God of the heavens, given to me, and He hath laid a charge on me to build to Him a house in Jerusalem, that [is] in Judah;
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia
Of whom, and this edict of his, Isaiah prophesied two hundred years before he was born, ( Isaiah 44:28 )
the Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth;
many he had conquered before he took Babylon, and then the whole Babylonian monarchy fell into his hands. Herodotus F12 says, he ruled over all Asia; Xenophon F13 reckons up many nations that were under his government, Medes and Hyrcanians, Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappadocians, both the Phrygians, Carians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, Bactrians, Indians, Cilicians, Sacae or Scythians, Paphlagonians, Megadinians, and many other nations, the Greeks inhabiting Asia, and the Cyprians, and Egyptians; and elsewhere he says F14, the borders of his kingdom were, to the east the Red sea, to the north the Euxine Pontus, to the west Cyprus and Egypt, and to the south Ethiopia. And the possession of these kingdoms Cyrus ascribes, not to his own martial courage and skill, but to the providence and disposal of the God of heaven, which he seems to have had some notion of:
and he hath charged me to build an house at Jerusalem, which is in
in the prophecy of Isaiah, which, according to Josephus F15, he had seen and read, and believed it to be a charge upon him, and a command unto him to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem; however, to give leave for the rebuilding of it, and to encourage to it, and assist in it; an Arabic writer says F16, that Cyrus married a sister of Zerubbabel, and that it was at her request that the Jews had leave to return; which is merely fabulous.
F12 Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 130. So Sallust, Bell. Catalin. p. 2.
F13 Cyropaedia, l. 1. in principio.
F14 L. 8. c. 48.
F15 Antiqu. l. 11. c. 1. sect. 1, 2.
F16 Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 5. p. 82.
Ezra 1:3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem.
YLT who [is] among you of all His people? His God is with him, and he doth go up to Jerusalem, that [is] in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah, God of Israel -- He [is] God -- that [is] in Jerusalem.
Who is there among you of all his people?
&c.] The people of God, the Israelites, as well of the ten tribes, as of the two of Judah and Benjamin; for this edict was published throughout all his dominions, where were the one as well as the other:
his God be with him;
to incline his heart to go, to protect him in his journey, and succeed and prosper him in what he goes about:
and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the
of the Lord God of Israel, he is the God;
the one only living and true God:
which is in Jerusalem;
who has been in former times, and is to be worshipped there; though Aben Ezra says, this is to be connected with "the house of the Lord"; as if the sense was, to build the house, that was in Jerusalem, or to be built there; and so our version connects them, putting those words into a parenthesis, "he is God"; but this is contrary to the accents.
Ezra 1:4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
YLT `And every one who is left, of any of the places where he [is] a sojourner, assist him do the men of his place with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, along with a free-will offering for the house of God, that [is] in Jerusalem.'
And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth
Is left behind, and cannot go up through poverty, not having a sufficiency to bear his charges in his journey to Jerusalem:
let the men of his place keep him with silver, and with gold, and
with goods, and with beasts;
with money to bear the expenses of his journey, with goods to furnish his house, or trade with, when he came to Judea, and with cattle to carry him, and his goods, and to till the ground with, when he came thither; and the men exhorted to this are either the Gentiles that dwelt in the cities where these poor Jews were, or the richer Jews, who chose as yet not to go up until they saw how things would succeed; and are therefore called upon to assist their brethren who had a will, but not ability:
besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in
which they freely gave, and sent by them for the rebuilding of the temple.
Ezra 1:5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
YLT And heads of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin rise, and the priests and the Levites, even every one whose spirit God hath waked, to go up to build the house of Jehovah, that [is] in Jerusalem;
Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin,
&c.] Princes of these tribes, and heads of families in them, and of some other tribes too, though chiefly of these, as appears from ( 1 Chronicles 9:3 ) ,
and the priests and the Levites:
whose presence was necessary both to direct in the building of the temple, and to animate to it, and to set the vessels in their proper places; and particularly to assist in the setting up of the altar, and to offer sacrifices on it, which was the first thing done when come to Jerusalem, ( Ezra 3:2 Ezra 3:3 )
with all them whose spirit God raised to go up, to build the house
of the Lord, which is in Jerusalem;
God, who "works" in men "both to will and to do", wrought powerfully by his Spirit on their hearts, inclined their minds, and made them willing to go up, and set about this work; and such a divine, powerful, and efficacious operation upon them, was necessary to engage them in it, since the embarrassments, difficulties, discouragements, and objections, were many: some of them were well settled, and had contracted a pleasing acquaintance with many of their neighbours, and indeed to most of them it was their native place; and as for Judea and Jerusalem, they knew nothing of but what their fathers had told them; the way to it unknown, long, and dangerous, at least fatiguing and troublesome to their wives and children; and Judea and Jerusalem desolate and in ruins, and in the hands of enemies, from whom they had reason to expect trouble.
Ezra 1:6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.
YLT and all those round about them have strengthened [them] with their hands, with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, apart from all that hath been offered willingly.
And all they that were about them
Their neighbours, the Chaldeans:
strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with
goods, and with beasts, and with precious things;
which they either did of themselves at their own motion, or by the direction and example of Cyrus, ( Ezra 1:4 ) and perhaps many of them to ingratiate themselves into the favour of their new monarch:
besides all that was willingly offered:
by the rich Jews, who thought fit, at least for the present, to remain in Babylon.
Ezra 1:7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods;
YLT And the king Cyrus hath brought out the vessels of the house of Jehovah that Nebuchadnezzar hath brought out of Jerusalem, and putteth them in the house of his gods;
And Cyrus brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord,
&c.] Or ordered them to be brought forth:
which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem;
out of the temple there, when he took it and burnt it:
Ezra 1:8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
YLT yea, Cyrus king of Persia bringeth them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbereth them to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
Even these did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of
Mithredath the treasurer
Or Mithridates, a name common with the Persians, from their god Mithras, the sun they worshipped:
and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar prince of Judah;
delivered them by tale to him; who, according to the Jewish rabbins, as Jarchi says, was Daniel, who was so called, because he stood in six tribulations; but it does not appear that Daniel went up to Jerusalem with the captivity, as this man did, but remained at Babylon; rather, with Aben Ezra, it is best by him to understand Zerubbabel, who did go up, and was the prince of Judah; and Cyrus, in his letter F17 to the governors of Syria, expressly says, that he delivered the vessels to Zerubbabel, the prince of the Jews. He had two names, Sheshbazzar, which signifies he rejoiced in tribulation, and Zerubbabel, which signifies either the seed of Babylon, being born there, or dispersed, or a stranger there, as others.
F17 Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 11. c. 1. sect. 3.
Ezra 1:9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives,
YLT And this [is] their number: dishes of gold thirty, dishes of silver a thousand, knives nine and twenty,
And this is the number of them
Of the vessels delivered, as follows:
thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver;
these, according to Ben Melech, were vessels in which water was put to wash hands in; but rather they were, as Aben Ezra observes from the Jerusalem Talmud F18, vessels in which they gathered the blood of lambs and bullocks slain for sacrifices:
nine and twenty knives;
which, because the handles of them were of gold or silver, were valuable, and might be very large knives, and what the priests used in slaying and cutting up the sacrifices.
F18 T. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 41. 1.
Ezra 1:10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles.
YLT basins of gold thirty, basins of silver (seconds) four hundred and ten, other vessels a thousand.
Thirty basins of gold
Cups or dishes with covers, as the word seems to signify; but, according to Jarchi and Aben Ezra, they were vessels in which the blood of sacrifices was received, and out of which it was sprinkled on the altar:
silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten;
perhaps lesser than the other, however not so valuable, being of silver; in the Apocrypha:
``And this was the number of them; A thousand golden cups, and a thousand of silver, censers of silver twenty nine, vials of gold thirty, and of silver two thousand four hundred and ten, and a thousand other vessels.'' (1 Esdras 2:13)
the number is 2410; and in the letter of Cyrus, before referred to, it is 2400:
and other vessels a thousand;
which are not particularly mentioned; Junius and Tremellius render the words,
other vessels by thousands,
there being near 3000 that are not described.
Ezra 1:11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.
YLT All the vessels of gold and of silver [are] five thousand and four hundred; the whole hath Sheshbazzar brought up with the going up of the removal from Babylon to Jerusalem.
All the vessels of gold, and of silver, were five thousand and
Those that are mentioned make no more than 2499, which Aben Ezra thinks were the larger vessels; but this general sum takes in great and small, as in ( 2 Chronicles 36:18 ) in the letter of Cyrus, before mentioned, these vessels are more particularly described, and their several numbers given, which together amount to the exact number in the text, 5400; the apocryphal Ezra makes them 5469:
all these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity,
that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem:
of whom there is a large and particular account in the following chapter.
──《John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible》