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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezra 6

 

 

Verses 1-12

Ezra 6:1-12. The King's Reply according his Permission tor the Building to be Continued.

Ezra 6:1. a decree: the actual decree does not begin until Ezra 6:8.

Ezra 6:2. Achmetha: cf. Tobit 3:7; i.e. Ecbatana, in Media, the summer residence of the Persian kings.—a roll: in this case more probably a cylindrical clay tablet inscribed with cuneiform characters; but the fact that a "roll" is mentioned shows that the Jews of Ezra's time were unfamiliar with that form of writing.

Ezra 6:3-5. This purports to be a copy of Cyrus' decree (cf. Ezra 1:1-11); it is, however, not a transcript of this, but contains the gist of the original coloured by the Chronicler; the text is not in good order.

Ezra 6:6 f. The formal injunction to the governor to permit the building to proceed. The abrupt commencement "Now therefore" suggests that some intervening matter in Darius' reply has been left out, presumably because the Chronicler did not consider it important.—be ye far from thence: i.e. keep away from there, namely, where the building was going on; there was to be no interference with the Jews; the more friendly feeling which had sprung up would not be known of in Persia.

Ezra 6:8-12. The decree of Darius. Here again it is abundantly clear that this is no transcript, but merely the general drift of the decree embellished according to the Chronicler's ideas.


Verses 13-18

Ezra 6:13-18. The Carrying out of the Decree; the Temple Completed and Dedicated.

Ezra 6:14. This cannot be in its original form; the success of the building is ascribed both to the commandment of God and to the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes; this is not the way of a Jewish writer. One can, of course, by doing violence to the thought of the verse, explain it by saying that the promulgating of the decrees was according to the will of God; but this is pressing a meaning into the text which is not really there. We have here probably material culled from two sources. Further, the mention of Artaxerxes shows that a gloss has been added by a later copyist, who was thinking of the later benevolent attitude of this king in the matter of the building of the walls, and thoughtlessly mentioned him here.

Ezra 6:15. Adar: the twelfth month = March approximately.—the sixth year: 516 B.C.


Verses 19-22

Ezra 6:19-22. The Celebration of the Passover.—Hebrew is resumed here.

Ezra 6:19. the fourteenth day of the first month: cf. Exodus 12:6-20. The leading part taken by the Levites here is not in accordance with earlier practice; this had, however, been gradually modified (see Exodus 12:6, 2 Chronicles 30:17; 2 Chronicles 35:10-14).

Ezra 6:21. all such . . . the land: i.e. the descendants of those who had not gone into captivity, but had remained in the land.

Ezra 6:22. the king of Assyria: one expects "the king of Persia," but cf. Nehemiah 13:6, where Artaxerxes is called the king of Babylon; cf. Ezra 7:6.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezra 6:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezra-6.html. 1919.

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