corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezra 10

 

 

Verses 1-44


The Foreign Wives are Divorced

3. According to the law] see Deuteronomy 24:1-2, which required a bill of divorcement.

5. The chief priests] RV 'the chiefs of the priests': see 2 Chronicles 36:14.

6. Johanan] If the Eliashib meant is the contemporary of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:4, Nehemiah 13:7) and Johanan was really his grandson (not his son, see Nehemiah 12:22), he must have lived a long while after Ezra, and consequently the description of the chamber, here alluded to, as the chamber of Johanan applies not to the time of Ezra, but to that of the compiler of the book. But it is possible that another Johanan is intended.

8. Forfeited] lit. 'placed under the ban.' Goods that were 'banned' were brought into the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:19). For the authority under which these proceedings were undertaken see Ezra 7:26.

9. The ninth month] i.e. Chisleu (=Nov.-Dec.). In Palestine rain falls regularly in December, and on this occasion was perhaps heavier than usual.

13. We are many, etc.] better, 'we have greatly transgressed.'

14. Let now our rulers.. stand] i.e. as a committee to see into the question of the divorces.

15. Were employed about] RV 'stood up against.' The opposition was not really strong.

16, 17. The tenth month.. the first] i.e. Tebeth (=Dec.-Jan.) and Nisan (=Mar.-Apr.).

18. Of the guilty there were 17 priests, 10 Levites, singers and porters, and 86 laymen, making a total of 113.

25. Of Israel] i.e. of the laity, as contrasted with the priests and Levites.

44. Some of them, etc.] The text is obscure and perhaps corrupt: the LXX renders 'and had begotten children by them'; whilst 1 Esdras 9:36 has 'and they put them away with their children.' The harsh measures here described were adopted by Ezra and his supporters owing to the necessity of preserving the distinctive faith of their race from being contaminated by, and finally lost in, the heathendom that surrounded it. A small and feeble community, deprived of national independence, was peculiarly exposed to external influences; and Ezra might well fear that the proneness to idolatry from which his countrymen had been purified by the exile might revive, if marriage alliances were permitted with the neighbouring peoples, whose women, in the words of Malachi (Malachi 2:11), were 'the daughters of a strange god.' Nothing further is related of Ezra himself after this attempt to prevent mixed marriages until his reappearance in company with Nehemiah in 444 (Nehemiah 8:1); and nothing is known for certain respecting the condition of affairs in Judæa between the last events here recorded and the arrival of Nehemiah at Jerusalem, as narrated in Nehemiah 2. But one section of this book (Ezra 4:6-23) shows that in the reign of Artaxerxes an endeavour was made to rebuild the fortifications of the city by a body of Jews who had recently arrived there (Ezra 10:12), and it is natural to connect this body with those who accompanied Ezra. The offence given to the peoples with whom intermarriage had lately been prohibited would render it desirable to secure the safety of the reforming party and it may well have been to them that the scheme for surrounding the place with a wall was due. As has been seen, it was frustrated through information being sent respecting it to the Persian authorities; and if Ezra was in any way thought to be responsible for it, it is easily intelligible that his influence was in consequence impaired, and he himself forced into the obscurity in which the history leaves him.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezra 10:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/ezra-10.html. 1909.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology