|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-10 Ezra went from Babylon to Jerusalem, for the good of his country. The king was kind to him; he granted all his requests, whatever Ezra desired to enable him to serve his country. When he went, many went with him; he obtained favour from his king, by the Divine favour. Every creature is that to us, which God makes it to be. We must see the hand of God in the events that befal us, and acknowledge him with thankfulness.
Verse 10. - For Ezra had prepared his heart, etc. God's favour towards Ezra, and the prosperous issue of his journey, were the consequences of his having set his heart on learning God's will, and doing it, and teaching it to others. To seek the law is to aim at obtaining a complete knowledge of it. To teach statutes and judgments is to inculcate both the ceremonial and the moral precepts. Ezra appears as a teacher of righteousness in Ezra 10:10, 11, and again in Nehemiah 8:2-18
CHAPTER 7:11-28 THE DECREE OF ARTAXERXES WITH RESPECT TO EZRA (vers. 11-26). The present decree was of the nature of a firman granted to an individual. It embodied, in the first place, a certain number of provisions which were temporary. Of this character were -
1. the permission accorded to all Persian subjects of Israelite descent to accompany Ezra to Jerusalem (ver. 13);
2. the commission to Ezra to convey to Jerusalem certain offerings made by the king and his chief courtiers to the God of Israel (vers. 15, 19);
3. the permission given him to convey to Jerusalem the free-will offerings of Jews and others resident in Babylonia (ver. 16);
4. permission to Ezra to draw on the royal treasury to the amount of a hundred talents of silver, a hundred measures of wheat, a hundred "baths" of wine, a hundred "baths" of oil, and salt to any amount (ver. 22); and,
5. an indefinite commission to "inquire" (ver. 14). Besides these temporary enactments, the decree contained certain provisions of a more permanent nature.
1. Ezra was invested with the chief authority over the whole district "beyond the river," and was commissioned to appoint all the subordinate "magistrates and judges" (ver. 25).
2. He was authorised to enforce his decisions by the penalties of imprisonment, confiscation of goods, banishment, and even death itself (ver. 26).
3. An exemption from taxation of every kind was granted to all grades of the sacerdotal order - to the priests, the Levites, the singers, the porters, the Nethinim, and the lowest grade of "ministers" - to all, in fact, who were engaged in the performance of any sacred function connected with the temple (ver. 24). This last provision was absolutely permanent, and probably continued in force down to the close of the empire.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord,.... To attain to the knowledge of it, that he might be master of it, and expert in it, and know what was not to be done, and what to be done; he had set his heart upon this, bent his studies this way, and taken a great deal of pains in searching into it, in reading of it, and meditating on it:
and to do it; he was not only concerned to get the theory of it, but to put it in practice, to exercise himself in it, that it might be habitual to him; and the rather, as his view and intentions were not merely for the sake of himself, but
to teach in Israel statutes and judgments: and therefore it was not only necessary that he should have a large and competent knowledge of the laws, moral, ceremonial, and civil, but that he should act according to them himself, that so by his example, as well as by his instructions, he might teach the people.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
7:10 To teach - The order of things in this verse is very observable; first he endeavours to understand God's law and word, and that not for curiosity or ostentation, but in order to practice: next he consciously practises what he did understand, which made his doctrine much more effectual: and then he earnestly desires and labours to instruct others, that they also might know and do it.
Ezra 7:10 Parallel Commentaries
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