Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ezra 6:3

In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: ‘Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained, its height being 60 cubits and its width 60 cubits;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church and State;   Cyrus;   House;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Liberality;   Persia;   Rulers;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Cyrus;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Cities;   Foundation;   Kings;   Temple, the Second;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Haggai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Aram;   Ezra;   Media;   Persia;   Temple;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Decrees;   Zechariah, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Cyrus;   Temple, the Second;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ezra, the Book of;   Medes;   Persia;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Decree;   Israel, History of;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Zechariah, Book of;   Zerubbabel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Darius;   Nehemiah, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dari'us;   Temple, the;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Cy'rus;   Medes, Me'dia;   Per'sia;   Temple;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jerusalem;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chronicles, Books of;   Cyrus;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Holy of Holies;   Temple, the Second;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The height thereof threescore cubits - This was much larger than the temple of Solomon. This was sixty cubits high, and sixty cubits broad; whereas Solomon's was only twenty cubits broad, and thirty cubits high.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ezra-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

It is difficult to reconcile the dimentions here with expressions in Zechariah Zechariah 4:10, Haggai Haggai 2:3, and even Ezra Ezra 3:12, which imply that the second temple was smaller than the first (compare 1 Kings 6:2). Perhaps the dimensions here are those which Cyrus required the Jews not to exceed.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ezra-6.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the first year of Cyrus the king; the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be builded,.... See Ezra 1:1,

the place where they offered sacrifices; to God in times past, ever since it was built by Solomon:

and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; so as to bear and support the building erected on them, as the word signifies:

the height thereof sixty cubits; which were thirty more than the height of Solomon's temple, 1 Kings 6:2 though sixty less than the height of the porch, which was one hundred and twenty, 2 Chronicles 3:4 and which some take to be the height of the whole house; and hence it may be observed what Herod saidF25Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 15. c. 11. sect. 1. , that the temple then in being wanted sixty cubits in height of that of Solomon's:

and the breadth thereof sixty cubits; whereas the breadth of Solomon's temple was but twenty, 1 Kings 6:2, but since it cannot reasonably be thought that the breadth should be equal to the height, and so very disproportionate to Solomon's temple; many learned men understand this of the extension of it as to length, which exactly agrees with the length of the former temple, 1 Kings 6:2.

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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 6:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ezra-6.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;

Cubits — Those proportions differ from those of Solomon's temple, which was but thirty cubits high, only the porch was a hundred and twenty cubits high, and but twenty cubits in breadth. Either therefore Solomon's cubits were sacred cubits, which were larger than the other, and these but common cubits. Or, the sixty cubits of height are meant only for the porch. And the word rendered breadth, may be rendered the extension or the length of it; it being improbable that the king should give orders about the breadth, and none about the length of it.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ezra-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezra 6:3 In the first year of Cyrus the king [the same] Cyrus the king made a decree [concerning] the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof threescore cubits;

Ver. 3. The height thereof threescore cubits] Yet was it less than Solomon’s temple, Haggai 2:3, Ezra 3:12. Solomon’s cubits therefore were longer (likely) than these here mentioned.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezra-6.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He did not command them to make it so large, for he left the ordering of the proportions of the building to their skill and choice; but he restrained them that they should make it no larger, lest they should hereafter make use of it to other purposes against himself: but those proportions differ much from those of Solomon’s temple, which was but thirty cubits high, only the porch was one hundred and twenty cubits high, and but twenty cubits in breadth. Either therefore Solomon’s cubits were sacred cubits, which were larger than the other, and these were but common cubits; or the sixty cubits of height are meant only of the porch, which he would not have to be so high and magnificent as that of Solomon’s was, lest they should be puffed up with it, and by degrees arrive at their former height and insolence. And the word rendered

breadth, may be, and is by some, rendered more generally, the extension, or amplitude, or the length of it; it being improbable that the king should give orders about the breadth, and none about the length of it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ezra-6.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Be strongly laid — Gesenius and Furst render, be erected, or set up.

Height’ breadth’ threescore cubits — These proportions differ from those of Solomon’s temple, the height of which was thirty cubits, and its breadth twenty, while only its length was threescore, or sixty cubits. See 1 Kings 6:2. But we need not suppose that this record of Cyrus contained the exact measures which were followed in the rebuilding of the temple. Even had he commanded that the building be made of this size, it does not follow that the Jews were careful to observe this part of his orders. Or it may be these numbers are faulty, having been taken down from the indistinct remembrance or careless copying of some Persian scribe, for this record has the appearance of being not a copy of Cyrus’s proclamation to the Jews, but a document prepared by the royal scribe or recorder as a part of the chronicles or annals of Cyrus, to be deposited among the archives of the empire. At any rate, these numbers are not an authoritative guide to estimate the size of the second temple.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ezra-6.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ezra 6:3. The height thereof threescore cubits — These proportions differ from those of Solomon’s temple, which was but thirty cubits high, only the porch was a hundred and twenty cubits high, and but twenty cubits in breadth. Either therefore Solomon’s cubits were sacred cubits, which were larger than the other, and these but common cubits; or, the sixty cubits of height are meant only for the porch. And the word rendered breadth, should be rendered the extension or the length of it; it being improbable that the king should give orders about the breadth, and none about the length of it.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ezra-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ezra-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

first. year of Cyrus. Compare Ezra 1:1.

offered. Chaldee. deba"h. Same as Hebrew. zebach. App-43.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ezra-6.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Strongly laid.—“Thy foundation shall be laid” (Isaiah 44:28). The decree adds a word that signifies “with sufficient support.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ezra-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
the first year
1:1-4; 5:13-15; 2 Chronicles 36:22,23
the place
Deuteronomy 12:5,6,11-14; 2 Chronicles 2:6; Psalms 122:4
the height
1 Kings 6:2,3; 2 Chronicles 3:3,4; Ezekiel 41:13-15; Revelation 21:16
Reciprocal: Ezra 3:7 - according;  Ezra 4:3 - king Cyrus;  Ezra 5:15 - let the house;  Ezra 5:17 - a decree;  Isaiah 44:28 - saying;  Isaiah 60:10 - their kings;  Jeremiah 30:18 - the palace;  Daniel 10:1 - Cyrus

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ezra 6:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ezra-6.html.