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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Ezra 6

Verses 1-22

Chapter 6

So Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and there was the record written: In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height of it [would be ninety feet], and the breadth of it [ninety feet]; with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: so let the expenses be given out of the king's house: and let the golden and silver vessels which were in the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, let them be restored again to the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place. Now therefore, Tatnai, the governor beyond the river ( Ezra 6:1-6 ),

Now he searched. He found this in the record, so he writes back to Tatnai and he said,

[You and] your companions: Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye 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 taxes that you'll collect on that side of the river, and the expenses be given to these men, that they may not be hindered ( Ezra 6:6-8 ).

So these guys were trying to stop them, but instead they were ordered to give part of the taxes to them to help them.

And that which they may need, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for their burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, let it be given them everyday without fail: that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and for his sons. 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 ( Ezra 6:9-11 ).

In other words, anybody tries to hinder them, tear down his house and take the timbers of his house, make a gallows and hang the guy on the gallows. Now you remember in the book of Esther how Haman sought to destroy the people of God and he was hanged on a gallows that he had built in his backyard. So hanging was a form of capital punishment during that period of time. But rather than thwarting now the building of God, Darius, no doubt because of Daniel's influence, ordered that they help them, that they give them expense monies, that they give them animal to sacrifice and pray for Darius the king as they are praying there before God.

let it be done with speed. And so the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah. And they built, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius. And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, they offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem. And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. And the children 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, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, and they kept the feast of unleavened bread for seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel ( Ezra 6:12 , Ezra 6:14-22 ). "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezra 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezra-6.html. 2014.