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EZRA CHAPTER 7
Ezra’s genealogy, Ezra 7:1-5.
The priests, Levites, and Ezra go up to Jerusalem, Ezra 7:6-10.
The gracious commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra, Ezra 7:1-26.
Ezra blesseth God for his favour to his people, Ezra 7:27,Ezra 7:28.
Artaxerxes; the same of whom he speaks Ezra 6:14. The son of Seraiah, i.e. his grandson. Here are divers persons omitted for brevity sake, which may be supplied out of 1 Chronicles 6:0; 1 Chronicles 7:0; 1 Chronicles 8:0; 1 Chronicles 9:0.
Ezra went up from Babylon, with the king’s consent and commission.
A ready scribe, i.e. a learned and expert doctor; for in that sense the word scribe is oft used, as Jeremiah 8:8; Matthew 7:29; Matthew 17:10; Matthew 23:2,Matthew 23:13; Mark 12:28, compared with Matthew 22:35,Matthew 22:36.
According to the hand of the Lord his God upon him, i.e. by the grace and favour of God so disposing the heart of the king.
This is here related in the general, but how he procured this is particularly related hereafter.
Ezra had prepared his heart, or, directed, &c., i.e. he had set his mind and affections upon it, and made it his chief design and business.
To seek the law, i.e. to search and find out the true sense and meaning of it, and thence to learn what sins or errors were to be reformed, and what duties were to be performed.
And to teach in Israel. The order of things in this verse is very observable; first he endeavours to understand God’s law and word, and that not for curiosity or ostentation, but in order to practice; next he conscientiously practiseth what he did understand, which made his doctrine much more effectual; and then he earnestly desires and labours to instruct and edify others, that they also might know and do it.
A scribe of the words of the commandments, the phrase seems emphatical, noting that he explained both the words and the things; for the Jews in the land of their captivity had in a great measure lost both their language, and the knowledge of God’s commands, and therefore Ezra and his companions instruct them in both; of which see more on Nehemiah 8:8.
His seven counsellors; his chief nobles and officers of state, of whom see also Esther 1:10,Esther 1:14.
To inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, i.e. to make inquiry into all abuses and deviations from your law, and to redress them.
Which is in thine hand; which is now and always in thy hand, being the matter of thy daily study and exercise; which thou now carriest along with thee, the interpretation whereof belongeth unto thee.
That thou canst find, i.e. procure, as that word is used, Genesis 6:8; Genesis 26:12; Psalms 84:3; Psalms 119:162; Proverbs 1:13; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 3:13. Whatsoever thou canst get of my subjects by way of free gift.
The free-will-offering of the people, to wit, of Israel.
For the house of thy God; towards the reparation, or adorning, or completing of it. See Poole "Ezra 6:14".
Because it was but of mean price, and of very common and necessary use in all their sacrifices, Leviticus 2:13; Mark 9:49.
For the omission of any part of his worship occasioned by my neglect. This danger and duty he discerned, partly by natural light, and principally by the information of Ezra, Ezra 8:22, who had the king’s ear and heart.
The wisdom of thy God that is in thine hand, i.e. which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears in the works of thy hand. Wisdom is sometimes ascribed to the hands, as Psalms 78:72. See my Latin Synopsis on Genesis 48:14. Or, by the wisdom of God, he means the law of God, which was said to be in his hand, Ezra 7:14.
The law of thy God, and the law of the king, to wit, concerning these matters. Or, which law of God is by this my sanction now become my law also, to which I expect their punctual and ready obedience. For as far the civil laws of the empire, Ezra neither was skilful in them, nor was intrusted with the execution of them, which was committed to other hands.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ezra 7". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/