Ezra 7:12

12 "Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now

Ezra 7:12 Meaning and Commentary

Ezra 7:12

Artaxerxes, king of kings
Having many kings and kingdoms subject and tributary to him; for this was not merely a proud haughty title which the eastern kings F16 assumed, particularly the Persians; for after Cyrus they were so in fact, who took this title also, and had it put on his sepulchral monument,

``Here I lie, Cyrus, king of kings F17;''

this title was given to Grecian kings, particularly Agamemnon is called king of kings F18, he being general at the siege of Troy, under whom the rest of the kings fought; if this was Darius Hystaspis, of him Cyrus dreamed that he had wings on his shoulders, with one he covered Asia, and with the other Europe F19:

unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven;
of which titles see ( Ezra 7:11 ) :

perfect [peace], and at such a time;
the word "perfect" belongs to Ezra's title as a scribe, signifying that he was a most learned and complete scribe or teacher of the law of God; "peace" is not in the text, and the phrase "at such a time" respects the date of the letter, though not expressed, or is only an "et cetera", (See Gill on Ezra 4:10).


F16 See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 16, 137. & vol. 11. p. 7, 8. margin, & p. 66.
F17 Strabo, Geograph. l. 15. p. 502.
F18 Vell. Patercul. Hist. Roman. l. 1. in initio.
F19 Herodot. Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 209.

Ezra 7:12 In-Context

10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.
11 This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to the priest Ezra, the scribe, a scholar of the text of the commandments of the Lord and his statutes for Israel:
12 "Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now
13 I decree that any of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom who freely offers to go to Jerusalem may go with you.
14 For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to make inquiries about Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand,

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Syr Vg 1 Esdras 8.9: Aram [Perfect]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.