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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Ezra 5

 

 

Verses 1-22

The temple completed (5:1-6:22)

Having given examples of anti-Jewish activity from another era, the writer returns to the time of Zerubbabel. Because of opposition from their enemies, the Jews did no work on the temple for about sixteen years. Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah began to stir up the people to get them working on the building once more (5:1-2).

Some local people must have objected to the renewed activity, and soon a group of officials arrived at the scene to question the legality of the building program (3-5). But the provincial governor investigated the matter fairly. He noted the Jews' claim that they had received royal permission, and sent a full report to King Darius to see whether the Jews' story was true (6-17).

A search of the official records showed that the Jews' claim was true (6:1-5). Darius therefore had no hesitation in giving permission for the work to continue. In addition he guaranteed protection for the workers, and ordered the provincial officials to provide the Jews with money and materials at the government's expense. He wanted to ensure that the building was completed according to plan, and that the Jews had enough animals and produce to reestablish the temple rituals satisfactorily (6-12).

Four years later the temple was completed and dedicated. The offerings that the people made were on behalf of all twelve tribes of Israel, for the pre-exilic division between north and south no longer existed (13-18).

A few weeks after the dedication ceremony, the people celebrated the first of the annual festivals in their new temple. This was the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Among those who gathered for the festival were local Jews who had not been part of the Babylonian exile and who had mixed with other people of the region. They were allowed to join in the festival provided they separated themselves from the mixed religion of the surrounding people (19-22).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezra 5:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ezra-5.html. 2005.

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