Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ezra 8:31

Then we journeyed from the river Ahava on the twelfth of the first month to go to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahava;   Levites;   Liberality;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Battle of Life;   Caravans;   Enemies;   Israel;   Protection, Divine;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Enemies;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahava;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ambush;   Ezra, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahava;   Ezra;   Johanan;   Theras;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahava ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ahava;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Lay;   Theras;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahava;   Arabia;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ahava;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Jews with Ezra left Babylon on the first day of the first month Ezra 7:9. They reached Ahava in nine days, and, having remained there three Ezra 8:15, quitted it, and resumed their journey on the twelfth. They reached Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month Ezra 7:9, four months after the departure from Babylon.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ezra-8.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE JOURNEY COMPLETED AND THE TREASURES WERE WEIGHED BEFORE THE TEMPLE CUSTODIANS

"Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the lier-in-wait by the way. And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. And on the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Merimoth the son of Uriah the priest (and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas: and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Bennuni, the Levites) - the whole by number and by weight: and all the weight was written at that time."

"After four months of traveling (Ezra 7:9), they came to Jerusalem; the fact of their having been unmolested on the way (Ezra 7:31) vindicated their faith in God's protection; and the treasures were weighed in with the proper temple authorities, indicating that none had been misappropriated."[16]

"We departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the month" (Ezra 8:31). Williamson seemed perplexed by the fact that, "Whereas in Ezra 7:9 the departure date was the first day of the month; here the actual date is, given as the twelfth day of the month (so stated as to leave the impression that these dates are in some manner contradictory)."[17] Once more we find that a careful reading of the Bible completely clears up what some critics view as a contradiction. Read the text:

On the first day of the first month began (Ezra) to go up from Babylon (Ezra 7:9).

"Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month" (Ezra 8:31).

It does not take a genius to understand that on the first day of the month they left Babylon, and on the twelfth day of the month they left the river Ahava. Some of the scholars are mixed up on this because they have erroneously interpreted "the river Ahava" as being one of the canals in Babylon. (See the comment of Herodotus on this as given in my comment on Ezra 8:15, above.)

"And we ... abode there three days" (Ezra 8:32). This is a reference to the three-days' rest which they enjoyed after their arrival in Jerusalem. No doubt they needed it, because the journey had hasted four months and was attended by many dangers and anxieties. "Like Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:11), Ezra was content with a three days' rest, before getting on with the business at hand."[18]

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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 8:31". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ezra-8.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then we departed from the river of Ahava, on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem,.... The month Nisan, answering to part of March and part of April; this was two days before the passover began:

and the hand of our God was upon us; guiding, directing, and protecting them by his providence:

and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way; either by intimidating them, that they dared not attack them, or by directing them to take a different road, whereby they escaped them, see Ezra 8:22.

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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 8:31". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ezra-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in k wait by the way.

(k) This declared that their journey was full of danger and yet God delivered them according to their prayer.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ezra-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month — Computing from the time of their setting out to the period of their arrival, they occupied about four months on the way. Their health and security were marvelous during so long a journey. The pilgrim-caravans of the present day perform long journeys through the wildest deserts of the East under the protection of a firman from the Porte, and an escort of soldiers. But for a large body, composed as that of Ezra - of some thousands of men, women, and children, unaccustomed to travel, undisciplined to order, and without military strength, and with so large an amount of treasure tempting the cupidity of the marauding, plundering tribes of the desert - to accomplish a journey so long and so arduous in perfect safety, is one of the most astonishing events recorded in history. Nothing but the vigilant care of a superintending Providence could have brought them securely to their destination.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ezra-8.html. 1871-8.

Scofield's Reference Notes

first month

i.e. April.

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Ezra 8:31". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/ezra-8.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

Ver. 31. And of such as lay in wait by the way] Enemies they had not a few, (when was it otherwise?) but some that purposely waylaid them; but were defeated by a gracious providence. So were the Manichees, who lay in wait for Austin; and those that pursued Jewel, about the beginning of Queen Mary’s reign, as he was going from Oxford to London. Both these had been caught, and made a prey to their enemies, but that they lost their way. What saith the prophet? As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem (like as when the young are in danger of the kite, the bird flies to save them); defending also, he will deliver it, and passing over, he will preserve it.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezra-8.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Was not this journey a type of the gospel pilgrimage - long, and dangerous, exposed to the dens of lions, and the mountains of leopards? And is not the hand of our God upon us, to deliver us from every foe? Precious Jesus! how art thou going before thy people, and protecting them continually!

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/ezra-8.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To wit, in the direct way; whereby it may be conjectured, that God directed them to fetch a little compass, and to go a more uncouth and unsuspected way, as they had begged of God, Ezra 8:21.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ezra-8.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Ezra 8:31

‘Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem, and the hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and those who lie-in-wait by the way.’

They left the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the month. The intention to leave earlier was possibly because of the approaching Passover, which they would celebrate as a family festival en route. The first month may well have been chosen in order to parallel the flight from Egypt. And during their journey, which would be almost a thousand miles, they were aware that the hand of God was upon them. Given that their journey took around four months, they would have had to travel at about nine miles a day which was good going for such a mixed caravan. But the Persian network of roads made it quite feasible.

‘The hand of our God was on us.’ In Ezra 8:22 Ezra had informed the king that ‘the hand of Israel’s God was upon all who those who seek Him’. In Ezra 8:17 he had declared that they had obtained a response from the Levites as a result of the fact that ‘the hand of Israel’s God was upon them’. Now he reveals that they had a safe journey because ‘the hand of Israel’s God was upon them’. This would again tie in with the idea that this passage was written as a report to the king.

‘He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and those who lie-in-wait by the way.’ We do not know whether the deliverance came as a result of beating off attacks, or by way of no attacks. But either way God was triumphant. For ‘the enemy’ compare ‘the enemy in the way’ (Ezra 8:22). We have here a reminder of the dangers of travel in those days. There were those who lay in wait, ever ready to take advantage of a weak moment, and as we know the caravan was a rich prize.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ezra-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE JOURNEY AND ARRIVAL AT JERUSALEM, Ezra 8:31-36.

31.On the twelfth day — They began to gather at Ahava on the first day, (Ezra 7:9,) but the fast and other events mentioned above (Ezra 8:15-30) occupied ten or eleven days.

The hand of our God was upon us — Providence favoured us, and delivered us from all enemies and dangers.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ezra-8.html. 1874-1909.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

We departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month. Computing from the time of their setting out to the period of their arrival, they occupied about four months on the way. Their health and security were marvelous during so long a journey. The pilgrim-caravans of the present day perform long journeys through the wildest deserts of the East under the protection of a firman from the Porte, and an escort of soldiers. But for a large body-composed, as that of Ezra, of some thousands of men, women, and children, unaccustomed to travel, undisciplined to order, and without military strength, and with so large an amount of treasure tempting the cupidity of the marauding, plundering tribes of the deserts-to accomplish journey so long and so arduous in perfect safety, is one of the most astonishing events recorded in history. Nothing but the vigilant care of a superintending Providence could have brought them securely to their destination.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ezra-8.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(31) The hand of our God was upon us.—This sums up the history of the journey.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ezra-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.
the river of Ahava
15,21
the hand
22; 7:9,28; Job 5:19-24; Psalms 91:9-14; Isaiah 41:10-14; Acts 25:3; 26:22
and he delivered
Ezra and his company had now entered upon a journey of several hundred miles through the desert, which they were nearly four months in completing, encumbered with families and possessions, and carrying large treasures with them, which would invite the attempts of the Arabian hordes, and others, that infested that neighbourhood; yet, having declared to the king, "that the hand of God was upon all them for good that seek him, and that his power and wrath were against all them that forsook him," (ver. 22,) he determined to travel without a guard, except that of the Almighty, being ashamed to ask any other, after his former avowed confidence in Him! Having, therefore, humbled themselves before the Lord, and besought his guidance and protection, he was intreated by them, their enemies were restrained or disabled, and they arrived unmolested at Jerusalem.
Reciprocal: Ezra 7:6 - according to;  Ezra 8:17 - Casiphia;  Ezra 8:23 - and he was entreated;  Psalm 121:8 - thy going out;  Psalm 137:1 - the rivers;  Isaiah 66:14 - the hand;  Hosea 6:9 - as troops;  Acts 20:3 - the Jews

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ezra 8:31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ezra-8.html.