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An account of Ezra and his expedition to Jerusalem, ver. 1 - 10.
The commission which Artaxerxes gave him, ver. 11 - 26.
His thankfulness to God for it, ver. 27, 28.
1: Artaxerxes - The same of whom he speaks, (Ezr 6:14).
The son - His grand - son. Here are divers persons omitted for brevity
sake, which may be supplied out of (1Ch 6:1-11).
Ezra was not himself the high priest; but he was nearly related to him.
6: Went - With the king's consent and commission. Scribe - A
learned and expert doctor. The Jews say, he collected and collated all
the copies of the law, and published an accurate edition of it, with all
the books that were given by Divine inspiration, and so made up the canon
of the Old Testament. Moses in Egypt, and Ezra in Babylon,
were wonderfully fitted for eminent service to the church.
According, &c. - By the favour of God so disposing the heart of the king.
10: To teach - The order of things in this verse is very observable;
first he endeavours to understand God's law and word, and that not for
curiosity or ostentation, but in order to practice: next he consciously
practises what he did understand, which made his doctrine much more
effectual: and then he earnestly desires and labours to instruct others,
that they also might know and do it.
11: Words - The phrase seems emphatical, noting that he explained
both the words and the things: for the Jews in the land of their
captivity had in a great measure lost both the language, and the knowledge
of God's commands, and therefore Ezra and his companions instructed them
14: According, &c. - To make inquiry into all abuses and deviations
from your law, and to redress them. Which - Which is now and always in
thine hand, being the matter of thy daily study.
16: Find - Procure, as that word is used, (Ge 6:8,26:12,Ps 84:3).
Whatsoever thou canst get of my subjects by way
of free gift. The people - Of Israel.
25: The wisdom - Which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears
in the works of thy hand. All that professed the Jewish religion, were
to be under the jurisdiction of these judges.
26: Let judgment - What could David himself, as king, have done
more, for the honour of God, and the furtherance of religion?
27: Blessed, &c. - Ezra cannot proceed in his story, without
inserting this thankful acknowledgment of God's goodness to him
and the people.
28: As the hand, &c. - If God gives us his hand, we are bold and
chearful: if he withdraws it, we are weak as water. Whatever service
we are enabled to do for God and our generation, God must have all the
glory of it.