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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ezra 6

Verse 1

Library. Protestants, "house of the rolls, where the treasures were," &c. --- Babylon. In the city, the search was fruitless: (Vatable) but in the kingdom, the record was discovered. (Menochius)

Verse 2

Ecbatana. Chaldean achmetha, signifies "a jug, or chest." (Calmet) --- "They found in the chest of the palace, under the inscription of Media." (Munster) (Pagnin) --- "And a roll was found (some add, in Amatha ) in the city, in a chest, (or tower; Greek: Barei ) and this memorial was written in it." (Septuagint) Protestants style the place, "Achmetha." (Haydock) --- Arabic, "Athana." Syriac, "Ahmathane." The memoirs of Cyrus had probably been conveyed to Ecbatana, which was built by Dejoces, the first king of the Medes, and greatly enlarged by his successor, Phraortes. (Calmet) --- Province. Media now only formed a province of the empire. (Tirinus)

Verse 3

And....foundations is not found in Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic, but it is in Chaldean. The temple was thus of larger dimensions than that of Solomon, which was only 30 cubits high, and 20 broad inside, 3 Kings vi. 2. The Rabbins assign 100 for each, (Tr. Middot. iv. 6.) speaking perhaps of the temple rebuilt by Herod, with still greater magnificence. Josephus allows 100 in height, and 60 in breadth. But the Scripture only speaks of 54 cubits breadeth, and 99 in length including the adjoining edifices. (Calmet) --- Breadth, from the front to the end of the holy of holies, which we should call the length. (Tirinus) --- This temple was lower than Solomon's by one half, (2 Paralipomenon iii. 4.; Menochius) unless those 120 cubits refer only to a tower. (Haydock)

Verse 4

Unpolished, to correspond with the polished stones and cedar employed by Solomon, 3 Kings vi. 36. (Menochius) --- Protestants, "great stones." See chap. v. 8. --- Charges. It appears that the Jews furnished money and meat to pay for the wood, chap. i. 4., and iii. 7. Some annual sum might be assigned by Cyrus, either for the building, or for the daily holocausts. (Calmet)

Verse 5

Placed formerly, before the destruction of the temple. Protestants, "and place them in the house of God."

Verse 8

Hindered. Thus Darius trod in the footsteps, or perhaps exceeded the liberality of Cyrus. (Haydock)

Verse 9

Complaint. Protestants, "without fail," (Haydock) or "delay." (Montanus) (Calmet)

Verse 11

Nailed. Protestants, "hanged." Septuagint, "covered with wounds, or fastened on it." (Haydock) --- Some think that the criminal was to be scourged. (De Dieu) --- "Let him be hanged on the wood, which shall stand upright, after his house shall have been demolished." (Vatable) --- Such was the custom of the Persians. (Grotius) --- Aman perished on the gallows, which he had erected in his own house for Mardocheus, Esther vii. 9. --- Confiscated. Protestants, "be made a dunghill for this." (Haydock) (Syriac, &c.) --- We find some examples of such a treatment, 4 Kings x. 27., and Daniel iii. 5., and ix. 6. The effects of those who were condemned to die, in Persia, were generally confiscated, Esther iii. 13., and viii. 11., and ix. 14.

Verse 14

Artaxerxes, one of the seven who overturned the power of the magi; (Usher, the year of the world 3483) or rather the king of Persia, who lived some time after this, and was very favourable to the Jews. He sent Esdras (the year of the world 3537) and Nehemias (the year of the world 3550) with great powers into the country. (Calmet)

Verse 15

Adar, corresponding with our February and March. (Menochius) --- In the latter month they celebrated the Passover, ver. 19. --- Darius. Hence twenty years had elapsed from the first foundation. They might continue to embellish the temple other twenty-seven years, as the Jews assert; (John ii. 20,) unless they speak of the repairs made by Herod, (Baronius; Tirinus) or exaggerate, (Grotius) being under a mistake. (Salien, the year of the world 3537.)

Verse 17


Goats, which had not left off sucking. (Menochius) (Numbers vii. 87.) --- Israel. The Samaritan Chronicles assert that the tribes returned, as the prophets had foretold, and the sacred history seems to suppose: (Calmet) which may be true of many, (Haydock) though the greatest part remained in captivity. (Calmet)

Verse 18

Moses. (Numbers iii. 8.) David had perfected the plan, 1 Paralipomenon xxiii., &c. (Haydock)

Verse 19

And. Here the author resumes the Hebrew language. (Calmet) --- Captivity, from which they were released, ver. 17. (Haydock)

Verse 20

One man, with zeal and unanimity; so that a second Phase was not to be celebrated, 2 Paralipomenon xxx. 3.

Verse 21

To them, becoming proselytes, and receiving circumcision, Exodus xii. 48.

Verse 22

Assyria. The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (Calmet) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately. (Tirinus)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ezra 6". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.