Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ezra 6:11

And I issued a decree that any man who violates this edict, a timber shall be drawn from his house and he shall be impaled on it and his house shall be made a refuse heap on account of this.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church and State;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Liberality;   Rulers;   Scofield Reference Index - Separation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Hanging;   Nation, the;   Punishments;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;   Temple, the Second;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Haggai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Aram;   Ezra;   Haggai;   Persia;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Temple, the Second;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Darius;   Dung;   Ezra, the Book of;   Persia;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Cross, Crucifixion;   High Priest;   Zerubbabel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beam;   Crucifixion;   Darius;   Nehemiah, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dari'us;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Persia;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Per'sia;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jerusalem;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dung;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let timber be pulled down - Whether this refers to the punishment of hanging and gibbeting of whipping at a post, or of empaling, is not quite clear. In China they tie culprits to posts; and the executioner cuts them open while alive, takes out their bowels, etc. Empaling, thrusting a sharp stake through the body till it comes out at the side of the neck, or hanging, seems to be intended here.

Let his house be made a dunghill - Let it be reduced to ruins, and never more used, except for the most sordid and unclean purposes.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ezra-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Being set up, let him be hanged thereon - Rather, “let him be lifted up and crucified upon it.” Crucifixion was the most common form of capital punishment among the Persians.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ezra-6.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

CRUCIFIXION WAS SET AS THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATORS

"Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this: and the God that hath caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples that shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence."

There are two parts of this penalty: (1) the crufixion of the offender, and (2) an invocation that the God of heaven would also execute divine justice upon him.

"The extremely favorable impact of Darius' decree upon the temple project was no doubt due, in part, to the influence of Cyrus, two of whose daughters Darius had married; but it also came, no doubt, from the deep impressions made upon the idolatrous peoples of that age with regard to the being and providence of the God of Israel."[14]

"Let him be hanged thereon" (Ezra 6:11). This, of course, was crucifixion, a punishment widely used by the Persians. "Keil cites a word from Herodotus as saying that Darius impaled 3,000 Babylonians when he took their city. Therefore, this was no idle threat."[15] Cook added that, "Crucifixion was the most common form of punishment among the Persians."[16]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ezra-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word,.... Act contrary to this command, will not obey it, but as much as in him lies changes and revokes it:

let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him, be hanged thereon; that is, let a beam be taken from it, and a gallows or gibbet made of it, and hang him on it:

and let his house be made a dunghill for this; be pulled down, and never rebuilt more; see Gill on Daniel 2:2; see Gill on Daniel 2:9.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ezra-6.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezra 6:11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.

Ver. 11. Let timber be pulled down from his house] 1. Let his house be pulled down for a penalty. The Popish Council of Toulouse called together against the Albigenses (those ancient Protestants) made this cruel constitution, We decree that that house, wherein is found a heretic, be pulled down to the ground. 2. Let that timber be set up for a gibbet, and let him be hanged thereon Chaldee, destroyed. Compare that of the apostle, 1 Corinthians 3:17, If any man destroy the temple of God (which temple ye are), him shall God destroy; and let those look to it who turn it into a den of thieves, into a brothel house, slaughter house, pest house of noisome lusts, qui podicem ex ore faciunt, by their unsavoury speeches, and spoil themselves worse than by tumbling in an out house.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezra-6.html. 1865-1868.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Let him be hanged thereon — Or, fastened thereon, that is, crucified, or impaled, a mode of execution common among many ancient nations.

See note on Esther 2:23.

Let his house be made a dunghill — A proverbial saying, indicating that the houses were to be reduced to ruinous heaps, and made receptacles for all manner of filth.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ezra-6.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ezra-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

alter. A similar strong threat in the inscription of Darius on the Behistun rock (App-57). Compare Daniel 3:29.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ezra-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.

Whosoever shall alter this word. The warning was specially directed against the turbulent and fanatical Samaritans. The extremely favourable purport of this edict, which was issued about 16 or 17 years after that of Cyrus, was no doubt owing in some measure to the influence of Cyrus, of whom Darius entertained a high admiration, and whose two daughters he had married. But it proceeded still more from the deep impressions made even on the idolatrous people of that country and that age, as to the Being and Providence of the God of Israel.

It may tend to throw additional light and illustration on the motives that influenced Darius, to mention what is asserted by Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 11: ch. 3:, secs. 1-9), that Darius, who was warmly attached to the Jews, had made a vow that if ever he became king, as he had a legitimate claim to that dignity, he would restore the sacred vessels and rebuild the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem; that Zerubbabel, who had been his familiar friend in private life, on learning of Darius' elevation to the throne, set out expressly to remind the king of his vow, and obtained from his majesty the most liberal grants. He sent letters to those rulers who were in Syria and Phoenicia, to cut down and carry cedar trees from Lebanon to Jerusalem, and to assist him in building the city. He further commanded all captives to be made free; no king's taxes to be levied upon the Jews; no tribute to be exacted upon any land they should possess; and fifty talents to be given for the building of the temple, and in connection with those acts which had for their object to restore the services of the temple.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ezra-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Alter this word seems to mean “violate this command,” since the alteration of a decree was a thing unheard of.

Hanged is literally crucified. Among the Persians crucifixion was generally the nailing of a body to a cross after decapitation; among the Assyrians it was transfixion or impalement. Here the “being set up” refers of course to the man, and not to the beam.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ezra-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.
whosoever
7:26
timber
Esther 5:4; 7:10
hanged
Chal. destroyed. his house.
2 Kings 9:37; 10:27; Daniel 2:5; 3:29
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 21:6 - hang;  Daniel 3:28 - and have

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ezra 6:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ezra-6.html.