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The Building of the Temple Recommenced
This chapter gives an account of a renewed attempt to rebuild the Temple, and recites a letter from the Persian officials in Judæa to the Persian court to enquire whether the Jews had leave to proceed with the work.
1. Then the prophets] The hostility of their neighbours (Ezra 4:4-5), coupled with disastrous seasons (Haggai 1:10-11; Haggai 2:17), had so discouraged the people that they said ’The time is not come for the Lord’s house to be built’ (Haggai 1:2). Out of this despondency they were roused by two prophets, whose presence amongst them must of itself have convinced them that the Spirit of the Lord was once more with them.
Haggai] The prophecies of Haggai were all delivered in the second year of Darius. In them he upbraided the people for bunding substantial houses for themselves whilst neglecting the House of God; attributed to such neglect the prevalent scarcity, which was God’s judgment upon them; and when the work was once again taken in hand by Zerubbabel, predicted that the glory of the second Temple would exceed that of the first.
Zechariah] The prophecies of Zechariah (who was really son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo) were delivered at intervals between the second and fourth years of Darius. In them he consoled his countrymen for their afflictions, denounced (God’s wrath upon the nations who had oppressed Jerusalem, encouraged with hopes of a great future both Zerubbabel and Joshua in their work of rebuilding the Temple, and exhorted the people to truth, justice, and mercy.
In the name.. even unto them] RM ’in the name of the God of Israel which was upon them’: cp. Jeremiah 14:9 (which is lit. ’thy name is called upon us’).
2. Began to build] It had really been begun sixteen years before (Ezra 3:8.), but the work having been suspended, it had to be recommenced.
3. Tatnai] perhaps the satrap of all the Persian possessions W. of the Euphrates (the ’river’).
4. Said we] better, with the LXX, ’said they.’
5. They could not cause them to cease] Tatnai could not venture to arrest a work which was alleged to have the sanction of Cyrus (Ezra 5:13), though he cautiously sent to Persia to have the statement verified. Till the matter came, etc.] RV ’till the matter should come to Darius, and then answer should be returned.’
13. Cyrus the king of Babylon] The king of Persia included Babylon within his dominions: cp. Nehemiah 13:6.
14. Sheshbazzar] i.e. Zerubbabel: see on Nehemiah 1:8.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezra 5". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27