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The leaders that returned, ver. 1, 2.
The people, ver. 3 - 35
The priests, Levites and retainers to the temple, ver. 36 - 63.
The sum total and their substance, ver. 64 - 67.
Their offerings, ver. 68 - 70.
1: The province - Of Judah, called a province, (Ezr 5:8).
And he calls it thus emphatically to mind himself and his brethren of
that sad change which their sins had made among them, that from an
illustrious, independent, and formidable kingdom, were fallen to be
an obscure, servile, and contemptible province, first under the
Chaldeans, and now under the Persians.
2: Who came, &c. - This catalogue, differs in some names and numbers
from that (Ne 7:6-64), which might be because several names were given
to the same persons; and because of the many changes which might happen
in the same families between the time of the first making of this catalogue
by Ezra, and the making it anew so many years after.
3: The children - The posterity, as that word is constantly taken in
this catalogue. Of Parosh - That descend either from Parosh, or from
that family whereof Parosh was the chief. And so for the rest.
5: Seven hundred, &c. - In (Ne 7:10), they were only six hundred
and fifty two, it seems seven hundred and seventy five marched out of
Babylon, but some of them died, others were hindered by sickness,
or other casualties, and so there came only six hundred and fifty two
to Jerusalem. And the like is to be said in the like differences:
which it suffices to hint once for all.
21: Beth - lehem - And so these were the remainders of the inhabitants
of that city. (And the like may be said of the two following names,
Netophah and Anathoth, or others of the like nature.) So little was
Beth - lehem among the thousands of Judah! Yet thence must the Messiah
39: Harim - The head of one of the twenty four courses which David
appointed, (1Ch 24:8), of all which courses, some observe here are
not above four or five that returned. There is another Harim mentioned
above, ver.(32), but that was no priest, as this was ver.(36).
43: Nethinims - Persons devoted to the inferior services of the
priests and Levites. Commonly supposed to be the Gibeonites, given,
(so their name signifies) by Joshua first, and again by David, when
Saul had expelled them, to the priests and Levites, for those
55: Servants - Who had lived in Solomon's family, and after his
death, called themselves and their families by that name, esteeming
it a great honour that they had been servants to so great a prince.
62: Genealogy - The Jews were generally very exact in their
genealogies from their own choice and interest, that they might preserve
the distinctions of the several tribes and families, which was necessary
both to make out their titles to offices or inheritances, and to govern
themselves thereby in the matter of marriages, and from the special
providence of God, that so it might be certainly known of what tribe and
family the Messiah was born.
63: Tirshatha - The governor, Zerubbabel.
With Urim, &c. - That this point which could not be found out by human
skill, might be determined by Divine direction. Hereby it appears that
the Urim and Thummim were lost in the destruction of the city and
temple, tho' the Jews fed themselves with hopes of recovering them,
but in vain. And by the want of that oracle, they were taught to expect
the great oracle, the Messiah.
64: The whole, &c. - The particular sums here recited, come only to
twenty and nine thousand eight hundred and eighteen. Unto whom are added
in this total sum twelve thousand five hundred and forty two. Which,
either were of the other tribes beside Judah and Benjamin: or were
such as were supposed to be Israelites, but could not prove their
pedigree by their genealogies.
65: Women - For women as well as men were employed in this exercise
in the temple - service.
68: The house - That is, to the ruins of the house; or to the place
were it stood.
69: Sixty one thousand drams - Sixty one thousand drams of gold
amount to something more than so many pounds of our money. So bishop
Cumberland, who likewise supposes five thousand pounds of silver,
to be about thirty seven thousand pounds sterling.
70: And all Israel in their cities - And they dwelt in peace, in
perfect harmony, a blessed presage of their settlement, as their
discord in the latter times of that state, was of their ruin.