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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Ezra 8

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verses 2-3

Punctuate as follows:

Ezra 8:2. ... of the sons of David, Hattush of the sons of Shechaniah.

Ezra 8:3. Of the sons of Pharosh, Zechariah ....

Hattush, the descendant of David, was the grandson of Shechaniah (see marginal reference).

Most of these names Ezra 8:2-14 occur also as those of heads of families in the list of the Jews who returned with Zerubbabel Ezra 2:3-15. The Septuagint and Syriac versions supply omissions in Ezra 8:5, Ezra 8:10.

Verse 15

Ahava was both a town and a river Ezra 8:21. The modern name of the place is Hit. It is famous for its bitumen springs, and is situated on the Euphrates, at a distance of about 80 miles from Babylon, toward the northwest.

None of the sons of Levi - The Levites appear to have been disinclined to return to Jerusalem (see Ezra 3:8 note).

Verse 17

Casiphia - Its situation is wholly unknown; but it cannot have been far from Ahava.

Verse 18

And Sherebiah - Either a name has fallen out before the words “a man of understanding,” or the “and” here has crept into the text by accident. Sherebiah appears among the most earnest of the Levites under Nehemiah (see the marginal references).

Verse 22

What “enemy” menaced Ezra, and on what account, is wholly uncertain (compare Ezra 8:31). Perhaps robber-tribes, Arab or Syrian, were his opponents.

Verse 27

Twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams - Not of a thousand drams (i. e., darics) each, but worth altogether a thousand darics. As the value of the daric was about 22 shillings of British money, each basin, or saucer, would have been worth (apart from the fashioning) 55 British pounds.

Of fine copper - The word translated “fine,” which occurs here only, is thought to mean either “yellow” or “glittering” (see the margin). Probably the vessels were of orichalcum, an amalgam which was either brass or something nearly approaching to brass, but which was very rarely produced in the ancient world, and, when produced, was regarded as highly valuable.

Verse 31

The Jews with Ezra left Babylon on the first day of the first month Ezra 7:9. They reached Ahava in nine days, and, having remained there three Ezra 8:15, quitted it, and resumed their journey on the twelfth. They reached Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month Ezra 7:9, four months after the departure from Babylon.

Verse 35

Compare the marginal reference. The idea of offerings for all Israel pervades in this case the entire sacrifice, with the exception of the lambs, whose number (77) is unique, and has not been accounted for.

Verse 36

The kings commissions - i. e., the orders issued to all governors of provinces near Judaea by Artaxerxes, given in Ezra 7:21-24.

The kings lieutenants - literally, “the king’s satraps.” The word is used in its strict sense, referring to the chief rulers of Persian provinces, from which the “governors” or rulers of smaller districts are distinguished.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezra 8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/ezra-8.html. 1870.
 
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