Ver. 1. Things, sixty-eight years after the journey of Zorobabel. C.
--- Salien adds ten years more. H.
--- Artaxerxes Longimanus. M. T.
--- Son, or great grandson of Saraias, who had been slain 121 years. Esdras was still living, in the days of Nehemias. Many persons are omitted in this genealogy. The immediate descendants of Azarias may be found, 1 Par. vi. Similarity of names has occasioned many mistakes. 3 Esd. viii. reckons only eleven persons between Aaron and Esdras; and 4 Esd. i. has eighteen; whereas here we behold sixteen generations, and 1 Par. twenty-two. C.
Ver. 5. Beginning of the Jewish republic.
Ver. 6. Went up, a second time. 2 Esd. xii. 1. W.
--- Ready. Heb. mahir, "diligent," &c. H.
--- Scribe, not so much noted for his skill in writing fast, or drawing up deeds, as for his knowledge of the divine law. C.
--- The gospel sometimes gives the title of scribe to the doctors of the law. Matt. xxii. 35, with Mark xii. 28. It is peculiarly due to Esdras, who gave a correct copy of the Scriptures, and wrote them in a different character, leaving the ancient one to the Samaritans, that the people might be less connected. Bellarm. De Verb. xx. 1, citing (T.) the most learned Fathers and Jewish writers. C. Diss.
--- The author of 4 Esdras (xiv. 19,) intimates that the sacred books had been all destroyed, and were dictated again to Esdras by the Holy Spirit. But this book is not of sufficient authority to establish so dangerous an opinion; (H.) which is refuted by the whole context of the Bible, in which we see that the law was never forgotten. C. Diss. D.
--- As Esdras was inspired, what additions he might make, must be accounted divine and authentic. C.
--- Hand; protection, (Delrio, adag. 217,) or inspiration. M.
--- God can incline the heart of the king, (Prov. xxi.) to accomplish his decrees. H.
Ver. 9. Month. Thus four entire months were spent on the journey, as they did not go the shortest way, and had much baggage, &c. C.
Ver. 10. Heart. Thinking continually (M.) how he might keep the law himself, and direct others. H.
--- It would be well if all would thus teach by example, like Jesus Christ, who began to do and then to teach. H.
--- Judgment. Both these terms express the same thing. M.
Ver. 11. Of the edict, is a farther explanation of the letter. H.
Ver. 12. Kings. This title was placed on the tomb of Cyrus, (Strabo xv.) and denoted a very powerful king. Artaxerxes had many tributaries in Media, Sidon, &c. The kings of Assyria had before assumed such pompous titles. Osee viii. 10. C.
--- The most learned, comes later in the original Chald. H.
--- "The priest, scribe of the law,...perfection, (health and happiness, (C.) or consummate in learning, &c. H.) as at present." C.
--- Gemir uceheneth, "perfection (Castel. Lexic.) even now." C. iv. 10. Prot. "perfect peace, and at such a time." H.
Ver. 14. Counsellors. Interpreters of the laws. Joseph. xi. 6.
--- The number seems to have been established at the courts of the Assyrian and Chaldee monarchs. Tob. xii. 15. We find their names, Est. i. 10. 14. The history of this queen happened in the reign of Darius Hystaspes. C.
--- Hand. By this he was to pass sentence, v. 25. H.
--- The Jews were authorized to follow their own laws (C.) under the Persian dominion, v. 26. T.
Ver. 16. Babylon, which the Chaldees may freely give. M.
Ver. 20. By me. Heb. "to spend, take it out of the king's treasure-house." Sept. adds, "and from me."
Ver. 22. Salt was used in all the sacrifices. Lev. ii. 13. In 3 Esd. no mention is made of oil or salt; but we read, "and all other things in abundance."
Ver. 24. Nathinites. 3 Esd. "sacred slaves." H.
--- Artaxerxes confirms the immunities granted by the law of God, (Num. iii. 6. 12,) by the kings of Egypt, (Gen. xlvii. 22,) and by all nations to the ministers of religion. C.
Ver. 25. River. 3 Esd. "In all Syria and Phenicia." H.
--- Hitherto, it seems, the royal judges had decided all affairs of consequence, which required any public chastisement.
Ver. 26. Banishment. Heb. lit. "eradication" by death or exile, (C.) or by being cut off from all society. C. x. 8. De Dieu.
--- Sept. "correction." H.
Ver. 27. Blessed. Here the author beings to write again in Heb. and in the following verse, Esdras speaks in person. C.