|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:64-70 Let none complain of the needful expenses of their religion. Seek first the kingdom of God, his favour and his glory, then will all other things be added unto them. Their offerings were nothing, compared with the offerings of the princes in David's time; yet, being according to their ability, were as acceptable to God. The Lord will carry us through all undertakings entered on according to his will, with an aim to his glory, and dependence on his assistance. Those who, at the call of the gospel, renounce sin and return to the Lord, shall be guarded and guided through all perils of the way, and arrive safely at the mansions provided in the holy city of God.
Verse 69. - After their ability. As each was able; the richer more, the poorer less. Threescore and one thousand drams of gold. The word translated "dram" is darkemon, which appears to be the Hebrew representative of the Persian word which the Greeks rendered by dareikos, or "daric." This was a gold coin, stamped with the figure of a Persian king, wearing his crown, and armed with a bow and arrow. According to the most exact computation, each such coin contained somewhat more pure gold than an English guinea, and was worth £1 1s. 10.5d. of our money. The 61,000 darics would therefore have been equal to £66,718 15s. Five thousand pounds of silver. The word translated "pound" is maneh, an equivalent of the Greek tuna and the Latin mind. In Greece the silver mind was worth a little more than £4 of our money. The value of the Hebrew silver munch is uncertain, but probably was not very different from the Greek. Thus the sum contributed in silver may be estimated at above £20,000, and the entire contribution at nearly £90,000. It must be noted, however, that Nehemiah's estimate (Nehemiah 7:71, 72) is less. One hundred priests' garments. Nehemiah says ninety-seven (ibid. vers. 70, 72), whence we may conclude that Ezra uses a round number.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the world threescore and one thousand drachms of gold,.... These "darcemons or darics" were a Persian coin; one of which, according to Brerewood (k), was of the value of fifteen shillings of our money, and so this quantity of them amounted to 45,750 pounds; but according to Bishop Cumberland (l) they were of the value of twenty shillings and four pence of our money, and so came to upwards of 61,000 pounds; these everyone, according to his ability, put into the common stock or treasury for the work of building the temple; the Vulgate Latin (m) reads 40,000:
and five thousand pounds of silver; and an Hebrew "mina", or pound, being of our money seven pounds, ten shillings, according to Brerewood (n), amounted to 31,250 pounds: but others (o), reckoning a drachm of gold at ten shillings, and a mina or pound of silver at nine pounds, make the whole to amount only to 75,500 pounds of our money:
and one hundred priests' garments; which, as they were laid up among treasures, so were necessary for the service of the temple.
(k) De Pret. & Ponder. Vet. Num. ch. iii. v. (l) Scripture Weights & Measures, ch. 4. p. 115. (m) Sixtus V. Lovain & MSS. in James ut supra. (Contrariety of Popish Bibles, p. 295) (n) Ut supra, (De Pret. & Ponder. Vet. Num.) ch. iv. v. (o) Universal History, vol. 10. p. 183, marg.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
69. drams of gold—rather, "darics," a Persian coin (see on 1Ch 29:7).
priests' garments—(compare Ne 7:70). This—in the circumstances—was a very appropriate gift. In general, it may be remarked that presents of garments, or of any other usable commodities, however singular it may seem to us, is in harmony with the established notions and customs of the East.
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