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Bible Commentaries

The Biblical Illustrator
Ezra 5

 

 

Verse 1

Ezra 5:1; Ezra 5:9

Then the prophets, Haggai.

The great work resumed

The best commentary on these verses is the first chapter of Haggai.

I. The inciters to the west.

1. Want of interest in the work is implied.

2. Obligation to perform the work is implied.

3. Exhortations to resume the work were given.

II. The leaders in the work. “Then rose up Zerubbabel,” etc.

1. They resumed the work readily.

2. They led the work appropriately. “Those that are in places of dignity and power, ought with their dignity to put honour upon and with their power to put life into every good work.”

3. They led work influentially. The example of those who occupy high stations is--

III. The helpers in the work. “The prophets.” They assisted by their--

1. Exhortations to vigorous prosecution of the work.

2. Assurances of the presence of God with them.

3. Promises of future blessings from God to them.

IV. The great first cause of the work. “ The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel,” etc. “All holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed” from Him. “I will build My Church,” said our Lord to Peter. All the inspiration, wisdom, etc., of the under-builders come from him. Learn--

1. The insidious nature of worldliness.

2. The value of faithful ministers.

3. The solemn obligation of men in eminent stations. (William Jones.)

Hebrew prophets in unfavourable times

The Hebrew prophets came when the circumstances of society were least favourable. Like painters arising to adorn a dingy city, like poets singing of summer in the winter of discontent, like flowers in the wilderness, like wells in the desert, they brought life and strength and gladness to the helpless and despondent, because they came from God. The literary form of their work reflected the civilisation of their day, but there was on it a light that never shone on sea or shore, and this they knew to be the light of God. We never find a true religious revival springing from the spirit of the age. Such a revival always begins in one or two choice souls--in a Moses, a Samuel, a John the Baptist, a St. Bernard, a Jonathan-Edwards, a Wesley, a Newman. (W. F. Adeney, M. A.)


Verse 1

Ezra 5:1; Ezra 5:9

Then the prophets, Haggai.

The great work resumed

The best commentary on these verses is the first chapter of Haggai.

I. The inciters to the west.

1. Want of interest in the work is implied.

2. Obligation to perform the work is implied.

3. Exhortations to resume the work were given.

II. The leaders in the work. “Then rose up Zerubbabel,” etc.

1. They resumed the work readily.

2. They led the work appropriately. “Those that are in places of dignity and power, ought with their dignity to put honour upon and with their power to put life into every good work.”

3. They led work influentially. The example of those who occupy high stations is--

III. The helpers in the work. “The prophets.” They assisted by their--

1. Exhortations to vigorous prosecution of the work.

2. Assurances of the presence of God with them.

3. Promises of future blessings from God to them.

IV. The great first cause of the work. “ The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel,” etc. “All holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed” from Him. “I will build My Church,” said our Lord to Peter. All the inspiration, wisdom, etc., of the under-builders come from him. Learn--

1. The insidious nature of worldliness.

2. The value of faithful ministers.

3. The solemn obligation of men in eminent stations. (William Jones.)

Hebrew prophets in unfavourable times

The Hebrew prophets came when the circumstances of society were least favourable. Like painters arising to adorn a dingy city, like poets singing of summer in the winter of discontent, like flowers in the wilderness, like wells in the desert, they brought life and strength and gladness to the helpless and despondent, because they came from God. The literary form of their work reflected the civilisation of their day, but there was on it a light that never shone on sea or shore, and this they knew to be the light of God. We never find a true religious revival springing from the spirit of the age. Such a revival always begins in one or two choice souls--in a Moses, a Samuel, a John the Baptist, a St. Bernard, a Jonathan-Edwards, a Wesley, a Newman. (W. F. Adeney, M. A.)


Verse 1-2

Verses 3-5

Ezra 5:3-5

At the same time came to them Tatntia.

The great work investigated and continued

The sacred work investigated by the secular authorities.

1. The nature of the investigation.

2. The spirit of the investigation.

The eye of the world is upon the work of the Church to-day. Let the members see to it that it shall be apparent to all unprejudiced persons that their work tends to promote truth and righteousness, purity and peace, piety and patriotism.

II. The sacred wore carried on through the divine blessing, “But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews,” etc. This suggests--

1. The Divine interest in the work.

2. The Divine oversight of the work.

3. The Divine inspiration of the workers.

4. The Divine protection of the workers. (William Jones.)


Verses 3-17

Verses 6-17

Ezra 5:6-17

The copy of the letter that Tatnai.

The letter of the king concerning the work

This letter has three chief divisions.

I. The inquisition of the Persian authorities.

II. The reply of the Jewish leaders. It presents the following aspects of the work. That it was--

1. Not a mere human enterprise, but a Divine commission.

2. Not an innovation, but a restoration.

3. Not in a spirit of presumption and pride, but of obedience and humility.

4. Not in opposition to, but in conformity with, royal authority.

5. Not political, but religious in its character.

III. The appeal of the Persian authorities to the king. Conclusion: Two things we may well admire and imitate.

1. The fairness of the Persian officials.

2. The faithfulness of the Jewish leaders. (William Jones.)

We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth.

The supremacy of God

Consider:

I. The universal supremacy of God.

1. Its ground.

2. Its extent.

II. The great obligation of men to obey Him. Our obedience should be--

1. Complete.

2. Perpetual.

3. Hearty.

4. Joyous.

III. The exalted privilege of men. When the service of God is rightly estimated, it is regarded as a glory and rejoiced in as a privilege. (William Jones.)

But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven.--

Arguments against sinning

In this verse we have three weighty reasons against abstaining from sin.

I. It provokes god. This will be more impressively realised if we reflect that He is a being of--

1. Infinite purity.

2. Infinite patience.

II. It deprives the sinner of his protection.

III. It strips the sinner of power to battle with his foes. Guilt robs a man of courage. The consciousness of right action in a righteous cause is the mightiest inspiration in conflict and the surest defence in peril. (William Jones.)
.


Verse 9

Ezra 5:1; Ezra 5:9

Then the prophets, Haggai.

The great work resumed

The best commentary on these verses is the first chapter of Haggai.

I. The inciters to the west.

1. Want of interest in the work is implied.

2. Obligation to perform the work is implied.

3. Exhortations to resume the work were given.

II. The leaders in the work. “Then rose up Zerubbabel,” etc.

1. They resumed the work readily.

2. They led the work appropriately. “Those that are in places of dignity and power, ought with their dignity to put honour upon and with their power to put life into every good work.”

3. They led work influentially. The example of those who occupy high stations is--

III. The helpers in the work. “The prophets.” They assisted by their--

1. Exhortations to vigorous prosecution of the work.

2. Assurances of the presence of God with them.

3. Promises of future blessings from God to them.

IV. The great first cause of the work. “ The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel,” etc. “All holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed” from Him. “I will build My Church,” said our Lord to Peter. All the inspiration, wisdom, etc., of the under-builders come from him. Learn--

1. The insidious nature of worldliness.

2. The value of faithful ministers.

3. The solemn obligation of men in eminent stations. (William Jones.)

Hebrew prophets in unfavourable times

The Hebrew prophets came when the circumstances of society were least favourable. Like painters arising to adorn a dingy city, like poets singing of summer in the winter of discontent, like flowers in the wilderness, like wells in the desert, they brought life and strength and gladness to the helpless and despondent, because they came from God. The literary form of their work reflected the civilisation of their day, but there was on it a light that never shone on sea or shore, and this they knew to be the light of God. We never find a true religious revival springing from the spirit of the age. Such a revival always begins in one or two choice souls--in a Moses, a Samuel, a John the Baptist, a St. Bernard, a Jonathan-Edwards, a Wesley, a Newman. (W. F. Adeney, M. A.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ezra 5:4". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ezra-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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