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Ezra 4:2

Ezra 4:2

Then they came to Zerubbabel, and the chief of the fathers,
&c.] These they addressed, as knowing that if they could not prevail with them, they could never succeed in their design; and these were no doubt the principal of the Samaritans that applied:

and said unto them, let us build with you;
that is, the temple, they proposed to join with them, and assist them in it; which proposal at first sight might seem very agreeable and welcome, and would have been so had they been sincere, but they were not; they hoped, by getting among them, to have sown discord among them, and disunited them; and so by these or other means to have retarded the building; or if it went forward, that they might have a claim to it as theirs, at least as to set up their own idols in a part of it; the reasons they gave follow:

for we seek your God as ye do;
which was false, for they did not worship him alone, but with idols, nor in the same manner as the Jews did:

and we do sacrifice unto him;
but even that could not recommend them to the Jews, since they ought not to sacrifice, even to the Lord himself, but at Jerusalem: there is a various reading here; the textual reading is, "we do not sacrifice"; that is, to idols; the marginal reading is, "we sacrifice to him", which we follow; Aben Ezra takes in both, perhaps most rightly; "we do not sacrifice to any other, but to him"; which was also false:

since the days of Esarhaddon, king of Assur, who brought us up hither;
to Samaria, from Babylon, and other places; see ( 2 Kings 17:24 ) .

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