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Bible Commentaries

F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary
Ezra 6

 

 

Verses 1-22

THE ORIGINAL DECREE of Cyrus having been discovered, it was found to be more full in its details and more favourable to the Jews than their adversaries had imagined. It demanded not only that they be left unhindered, but rather actively helped in their work, and be supplied with things needed; and that all who set themselves to hinder or destroy should themselves be destroyed and their houses made a dunghill.

So it came to pass that the house was built in the course of a good many years, for it was not finished until the sixth year of Darius, as verse Ezra 6:15 tells us. When completed there was a season of much joy, sacrifices were offered and the Passover was observed, as recorded in the closing verses of chapter 6. Two things marked the people, which we shall do well to note. First, the Passover was eaten not only by the children of Israel, who had come out of captivity, but also by 'all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel'. We learn from Jeremiah 52:16, that when the great captivity took place, 'certain of the poor of the land' were left unremoved, that they might be husbandmen and carry on cultivation. Some of these, or their descendants, cleansed themselves from evils in which they had become involved, and joined in this time of revival and blessing, and so could take part in the feast of unleavened bread.

A second thing, which points in the same direction, we see in an earlier verse. They rightly discerned that, in view of the sad and sinful history of the nation a sin offering was necessary, if they were solemnly to place themselves thus before the God of their fathers; but this they offered in twelve he goats, 'according to the number of the tribes of Israel, though the mass of those who had come out of captivity were of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

By this time five or six centuries had elapsed since the rending of the nation and the secession of the ten tribes under Jeroboam, but the returned remnant recognized that God had called the whole nation out of Egypt, that the division that had ensued was their failure and not God's purpose, and that God never swerves from His original thought and call. Hence they still had all twelve tribes on their hearts. Though they were but a remnant, they held to God's thought and purpose for the whole nation.

This has a very distinct voice to us today. The divisions of Christendom are multiplied, but if saints are found, bearing a remnant character, in keeping with what we are seeing in the book of Ezra, they must ever keep in view the whole Church of God, and not become wrapped up in themselves, as though others did not count before God. Every available Israelite, who was clean, by having separated himself from the filthiness of the surrounding heathen, was to benefit by the sacrifices offered, and participate in the feasts of the Passover and of Unleavened Bread.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hole, Frank Binford. "Commentary on Ezra 6:4". "F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbh/ezra-6.html. 1947.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
the Third Week after Epiphany
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