Ezra 8:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there.

New Living Translation
I assembled the exiles at the Ahava Canal, and we camped there for three days while I went over the lists of the people and the priests who had arrived. I found that not one Levite had volunteered to come along.

English Standard Version
I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi.

New American Standard Bible
Now I assembled them at the river that runs to Ahava, where we camped for three days; and when I observed the people and the priests, I did not find any Levites there.

King James Bible
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I gathered them at the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I searched among the people and priests, but found no Levites there.

International Standard Version
I gathered them together at the river that flows toward Ahava, where we camped three days. Afterwards, I examined the people and the priests, but found no descendants of Levi there.

NET Bible
I had them assemble at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I observed that the people and the priests were present, but I found no Levites there.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I had this group gather by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I noticed laypeople and priests there, but I didn't find any Levites.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we encamped three days, and having searched among the people and the priests, I did not find there any of the sons of Levi.

King James 2000 Bible
And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

American King James Version
And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there stayed we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

American Standard Version
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I gathered them together to the river, which runneth down to Ahava, and we stayed there three days: and I sought among the people and among the priests for the sons of Levi, and found none there.

Darby Bible Translation
And I gathered them together at the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days; and I surveyed the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there.

English Revised Version
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I assembled them at the river that runneth to Ahava; and there we abode in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

World English Bible
I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

Young's Literal Translation
And I gather them unto the river that is going unto Ahava, and we encamp there three days; and I consider about the people, and about the priests, and of the sons of Levi I have found none there;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:1-20 Ezra assembles the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah. God raised up the spirits of a small remnant to accompany him. What a pity that good men should omit a good work, for want of being spoken to!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. -

I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava. The "river that runneth to Ahava" is now generally identified with the Is of Herodotus (1:179), a small stream flowing into the Euphrates from the east, at a point where stood a city of the same name, distant (according to Herodotus) eight days' journey from Babylon. The city appears to be mentioned under the slightly variant forms of Ava (עַוָּא) and Ivah (עִוָּה) in the Second Book of Kings (2 Kings 17:24; 19:13). It is called Aia, or Aba, by the LXX.; Ihi in the Talmud; Aei by Isidore of Charax. The modern name is Hit. The town has always been one of some importance in connection with the bitumen springs of the neighbourhood. Ezra s reason for selecting the place as a halting-point seems to have been the fact that many Jews were settled in the district (see ver. 17). We abode in tents. A large caravan, like Ezra's, even when it reached a town, would pitch its tents outside, and remain in them rather than scatter itself among the khans and caravanserais. The phrase is therefore to be understood literally. I viewed the people. Rather, "I looked among the people" - I looked to see whether there were any Levites or no. ("Quaesivi in populo et in sacerdotibus de filiis Levi. - Vulg.) And found there none of the sons of Levi. It is difficult to account for the fact; but there seems certainly to have been a special disinclination to return to Jerusalem on the part of the Levites. Only seventy-four went up with Zerubbabel, when the priests who returned were 4289 (Ezra 2:36-40); and now there was not a single one in the whole of Ezra's band. Did the jealous spirit of Korah (Numbers 16:8-10) still animate the great body of the tribe?

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava,.... From whence also the river bore the same name; or that from the river, see Ezra 8:21, and may be the same with Adiabene, a country in Assyria, which had its name from the river Adiava:

and there abode we in tents three days; or pitched their camp; this was the place of their rendezvous:

and I viewed the people and the priests; mustered them, took the number of them, and what tribe and families they were of:

and found there none of the sons of Levi; excepting the priests.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Ezr 8:15-20. He Sends to Iddo for Ministers for the Temple Service.

15. I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava—This river has not been ascertained. It is probable that the Ahava was one of the streams or numerous canals of Mesopotamia communicating with the Euphrates [Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature]. But it was certainly in Babylonia on the banks of that stream; and perhaps the place appointed for general rendezvous was in the neighborhood of a town of the same name. The emigrants encamped there for three days, according to Oriental custom, while the preparations for the departure were being completed and Ezra was arranging the order of the caravan.

I … found there none of the sons of Levi—that is, the ordinary Levites. Notwithstanding the privilege of exemption from all taxes granted to persons engaged in the temple service, none of the Levitical tribes were induced to join the settlement in Jerusalem; and it was even not without difficulty Ezra persuaded some of the priestly families to accompany him.

Ezra 8:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
Ezra Sends for Levites
15Now I assembled them at the river that runs to Ahava, where we camped for three days; and when I observed the people and the priests, I did not find any Levites there. 16So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, teachers.…
Cross References
Ezra 7:7
Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

Ezra 8:2
of the descendants of Phinehas, Gershom; of the descendants of Ithamar, Daniel; of the descendants of David, Hattush

Ezra 8:14
of the descendants of Bigvai, Uthai and Zakkur, and with them 70 men.

Ezra 8:16
So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning,

Ezra 8:21
There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

Ezra 8:31
On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.
Treasury of Scripture

And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there stayed we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

the river that runneth (Ahava is supposed to be the river Adiava, which, with the Diava, is said by Ammianus to have given name to Adiabene, a province of Assyria, through which they flowed into the Tigris. These rivers were also called respectively, Anzabas and Zabas, the Caprus and Lycus of Ptolemy; the former of which he places, at its source, in long.

Ezra 8:6 Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.

Ezra 8:36 And they delivered the king's commissions to the king's lieutenants, …

Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, we wept, when we …

Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in …

Ezekiel 3:15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelled by …

Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where …

Ahava

Ezra 8:21,31 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might …

abode. Heb. pitched. and found

Ezra 8:2 Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: …

Ezra 7:7,24 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, …

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