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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Ezra 4



Verse 1

adversaries. The Samaritans (Ezra 4:10). See note on 2 Kings 17:24, 2 Kings 17:26.

children = sons.

the temple. The walls and gates already built by Nehemiah. See Structures (pp. 616, 617), and notes on Nehemiah 1:21, Jeremiah 25:11. See special note at end of 2 Chronicles 36:21.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

Verse 2

Zerubbabel. See note on Ezra 3:2.

chief = heads.

we seek your God. A priest had been sent to these Samaritans (2 Kings 17:28-33).

we do sacrifice unto Him. Hebrew text = "although we have not been sacrificing". Some codices, and two early printed editions, with Septuagint and Syriac, add "unto Him".

Esar-haddon. The son and successor of Sennacherib (see notes on 2 Kings 19:37, and 2 Chronicles 33:11).

Assur = Assyria.

Verse 3

Jeshua. See note on Ezra 3:2.

Israel. See note on Ezra 2:2 and 1 Kings 12:17.

as = according as.

Verse 4

troubled them in = terrified them from.

Verse 5

Cyrus. The son of Astyages and Esther. See App-57.

Darius: i.e. Darius Hystaspis (see App-57, App-58). "Darius" being only an appellative (= the maintainer), needs "Hystaspis" to be added, to identify him; as Astyages, when called Darius, needs the addition of "the Mede". See App-58, and notes on p. 618.

Verse 6

Ahasuerus = the venerable king. See App-57, and p. 618. An appellative, used here of Cyrus (Ezra 4:5), or retrospectively of Astyages; or, this verse may he retrospective, and should he in parenthesis.

Verse 7

Artaxerxes = the great king. Used here of the Cyrus of Ezra 4:3. See App-57, and p. 618. Ezra 4:7-23 may also be retrospective of Nehemiah 2:20, Nehemiah 6:5,

companions = colleagues or associates.

the Syrian tongue: i.e. in Aramaic characters as well as in the Aramaic language. Compare Esther 1:22; Esther 8:9, where "writing" (Hebrew. kathab, to grave) is the same word as in this book.

Verse 8

Rehum. From here to Ezra 6:18 is in Syriac, which was like the French of today. Compare 2 Kings 18:26. From Ezra 6:19 -- Ezra 7:11 is Hebrew; and Syriac again from Ezra 7:12-27; then Hebrew.

the chancellor = the master of judgments or decrees.

the scribe: or secretary.

in this sort = after this manner.

Verse 9

Dinaites. Probably from a Persian city. Apharsathchites. A Medo-Persian tribe.

Tarpelites. Probably from east of Elymais.

Apharsites. Of Persian origin.

Archevites. From Babylonia. Compare Genesis 10:10.

Susanchites. From the Persian province or city of Shushan, the capital of Elam.

Dehavites = the Dahae of Herodotus (i. 125).

Elamites. From a province of Persia.

Verse 10

nations = peoples.

Asnapper = Assur-bani-pal, or Sardanapalus, the only Assyrian king who got into Elam, or held Shushan (now Susa) its capital.

on this side = beyond, on the west side: regarded from the east side of the Euphrates.

at such a time. This may refer to the date of the letter; or be rendered, as in Revised Version, "and so forth".

Verse 11

men. Chaldee. "enosh. See App-14.

Verse 12

Jews. Nehemiah, Hanani, and friends. Occurs eight times in Ezra, viz. Ezra 4:12, Ezra 4:23; Ezra 5:1, Ezra 5:5; Ezra 6:7, Ezra 6:7, Ezra 6:8, Ezra 6:14. The name by which they were known to Gentiles, because the majority belonged to Judah.

set up the walls. Quite true; for Nehemiah"s work had long preceded this. And note that, when Nehemiah"s work was done (Ezra 7:4) and the houses built, the house of God was still lying waste (Haggai 1:1-4). The Temple not mentioned here.

Verse 14

we have maintenance = the salt of the palace is our salt. See note on Numbers 18:19.

Verse 17

answer. Chaldee. pithgam = an order or decree. A Persian word. Occurs only here and Ezra 5:5, Ezra 5:11; Ezra 6:11. Daniel 3:16; Daniel 4:17.

Verse 19

I commanded = I made a decree.

made insurrection. Chaldee lifted itself up.

Verse 20

mighty kings. Such as David and Solomon.

Verse 21

commandment = decree.

Verse 23

by force. Chaldee by arm; "arm" being put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the force put forth by it.

Verse 24

GOD. Chaldee. "elaha" (ha, emphatic), singular, same as Hebrew Eloah. App-4.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ezra 4:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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