Ezra 7

Ezra's Arrival

1 After these events, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra- Seraiah's son, Azariah's son, Hilkiah's son,
2 Shallum's son, Zadok's son, Ahitub's son,
3 Amariah's son, Azariah's son, Meraioth's son,
4 Zerahiah's son, Uzzi's son, Bukki's son,
5 Abishua's son, Phinehas's son, Eleazar's son, Aaron the chief priest's son
6 -came up from Babylon. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he requested[a] because the hand of the Lord his God was on him.
7 Some of the Israelites, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants accompanied [him] to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8 Ezra[b] came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, during the seventh year of the king.
9 He began the journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month and arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month. The gracious hand of his God was on him,
10 because Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey [it], and teach [its] statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Letter from Artaxerxes

11 This is the text of the letter King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest and scribe, an expert in matters of the Lord's commandments and statutes for Israel:[c]
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings,[d] to Ezra the priest, an expert in the law of the God of heaven: Greetings [to you].
13 I issue a decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including their priests and Levites, who want to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.
14 You are sent by the king and his seven counselors to evaluate Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your possession.
15 [You are] also to bring the silver and gold the king and his counselors have willingly given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem,
16 and all the silver and gold you receive throughout the province of Babylon, together with the freewill offerings given by the people and the priests to the house of their God in Jerusalem.
17 Then, you are to buy with this money as many bulls, rams, and lambs as needed, along with their grain and drink offerings, and offer them on the altar at the house of your God in Jerusalem.[e]
18 You may do whatever seems best to you and your brothers with the rest of the silver and gold, according to the will of your God.
19 You must deliver to the God of Jerusalem all the articles given to you for the service of the house of your God.
20 You may use the royal treasury to pay for anything else you have to supply [to meet] the needs of the house of your God.
21 I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers in the region west of the Euphrates River: Whatever Ezra the priest and expert in the law of the God of heaven asks of you must be provided promptly,
22 up to 7,500 pounds[f] of silver, 500 bushels[g] of wheat, 550 gallons[h] of wine, 550 gallons[i] of oil, and salt without limit.[j]
23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven must be done diligently for the house of the God of heaven, so that wrath will not fall on the realm of the king and his sons.
24 Be advised that tribute, duty, and land tax must not be imposed on any priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, temple servants, or [other] servants of this house of God.[k]
25 And you, Ezra, according to[l] God's wisdom that you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to judge all the people in the region west of the Euphrates who know the laws of your God and to teach anyone who does not know [them].
26 Anyone who does not keep the law of your God and the law of the king, let a fair judgment be executed against him, whether death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.
27 Praise the Lord God of our fathers, who has put it into the king's mind to glorify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem,[m]
28 and who has shown favor to me before the king, his counselors, and all his powerful officers. So I took courage because I was strengthened by the Lord my God,[n] and I gathered Israelite leaders to return with me.

Ezra 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Ezra goes up to Jerusalem. (1-10) The commission to Ezra. (11-26) Ezra blesses God for his favour. (27,28)

Verses 1-10 Ezra went from Babylon to Jerusalem, for the good of his country. The king was kind to him; he granted all his requests, whatever Ezra desired to enable him to serve his country. When he went, many went with him; he obtained favour from his king, by the Divine favour. Every creature is that to us, which God makes it to be. We must see the hand of God in the events that befal us, and acknowledge him with thankfulness.

Verses 11-26 The liberality of heathen kings to support the worship of God, reproached the conduct of many kings of Judah, and will rise up in judgment against the covetousness of wealthy professed Christians, who will not promote the cause of God. But the weapons of Christian ministers are not carnal. Faithful preaching, holy lives, fervent prayers, and patient suffering when called to it, are the means to bring men into obedience to Christ.

Verses 27-28 Two things Ezra blessed God for: 1. For his commission. If any good appear in our hearts, or in the hearts of others, we must own that God put it there, and bless him; it is he that worketh in us, both to will and to do that which is good. 2. For his encouragement: God has extended mercy to me. Ezra was a man of courage, yet he ascribed this not to his own heart, but to God's hand. If God give us his hand, we are bold and cheerful; if he withdraw it, we are weak as water. Whatever we are enabled to do for God and those around us, God must have all the glory.

Footnotes 14

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZRA 7

In this chapter we have the lineage and character of Ezra described, Ezr 7:1-6, his expedition to Jerusalem, and of many others with him, Ezr 7:7-10, a copy of the commission King Artaxerxes gave him to execute, Ezr 7:11-26, and his thankfulness, Ezr 7:27,28.

and the dedication of it, and keeping the passover:

\\in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia\\; in the seventh year of his reign, Ezr 7:7,8, who is the same with Darius in the preceding chapter; so Jarchi and Aben Ezra; \\See Gill on "Ezr 6:14"\\.

\\Ezra the son of Seraiah\\; the high priest slain by Nebuchadnezzar Jer 52:24,27, this Ezra was a younger son of his, brother to Josedech, and uncle to Joshua, who were high priests in succession; his pedigree is carried in the ascending line up to Aaron, in this and the four following verses; only six generations, for brevity sake, are omitted, between Azariah and Meraioth, which may be supplied from 1Ch 6:7-10, \\See Gill on "1Ch 6:3\\. 20133-950205-1547-Ezr7.2

Ezra 7 Commentaries