Ezra 8:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled.

English Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.

New American Standard Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.

King James Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions.

International Standard Version
Then I called for a fast there at the Ahava River so we could humble ourselves before our God and seek from him an appropriate way for us and our little ones to live, and how we should guard our personal wealth,

NET Bible
I called for a fast there by the Ahava Canal, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our property.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I announced a fast there at the Ahava River so that we might humble ourselves in the presence of our God to ask him for a safe journey for ourselves, for our little ones, and for all our goods.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us and for our little ones and for all our substance.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our possessions.

American King James Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

American Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.

Darby Bible Translation
And I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

English Revised Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

World English Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Young's Literal Translation
And I proclaim there a fast, by the river Ahava, to afflict ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a right way for us, and for our infants, and for all our substance,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:21-23 Ezra procured Levites to go with him; but what will that avail, unless he have God with him? Those who seek God, are safe under the shadow of his wings, even in their greatest dangers; but those who forsake him, are always exposed. When entering upon any new state of life, our care should be, to bring none of the guilt of the sins of our former condition into it. When we are in any peril, let us be at peace with God, and then nothing can do us any real hurt. All our concerns about ourselves, our families, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty, by prayer to commit to God, and to leave the care of them with him. And, on some occasions, we should decline advantages which are within our reach, lest we should cause others to stumble, and so our God be dishonoured. Let us ask wisdom of God, that we may know how to use or to refuse lawful things. We shall be no losers by venturing, suffering, or giving up for the Lord's sake. Their prayers were answered, and the event declared it. Never have any that sought God in earnest, found that they sought him in vain. In times of difficulty and danger, to set a season apart for secret or for social prayer, is the best method for relief we can take.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - Then I proclaimed a fast there. The fight of the civil ruler to "proclaim a fast" was unquestioned among the Jews and Israelites. Jezebel proclaimed one in Ahab's name when she wished to impress the Jezreelites with the notion that a great crime had been committed. Jehoshaphat did the same when he was invaded by the Ammonites, Moabites, and Mehunim (2 Chronicles 20:1-3). A fast was proclaimed in the fifth year of Jehoiakim when the kingdom of Judah was menaced by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 36:9). Ezra therefore assumes that he may command one now, in connection with the perils of the coming journey. That we might afflict ourselves. The Jews were commanded to "afflict themselves" on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29), and understood that the affliction was to be mainly by fasting and abstaining from the bath. To ask of him a right way. Or "a direct road," i.e. a prosperous and unimpeded journey to Jerusalem. For us and our little ones. The colonists went up attended by their families.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava,.... After the messengers to Iddo were returned with those they brought with them:

that we might afflict ourselves before our God; humble themselves before him for their sins, confess them, and declare their repentance of them, and ask forgiveness for them:

to seek of him a right way for us; to take from thence towards Jerusalem, to be directed by him in it: either by a prophet, or by a vision in a dream, as Eben Ezra; or rather by the guidance of his providence; this they sought in prayer by the river side, where it had been usual with them, and since has been, to perform religious exercises, see Ezekiel 1:1, hence Tertullian (z) calls the prayers of the Jews "orationes littorales"; they sought not so much which was the shortest and easiest way for them to travel in, as which was the safest:

and for our little ones and for all our substance; for the safe conveyance of them; this shows, that though males only are numbered, as before, yet they had their wives and children with them; for little ones cannot be supposed without women to take care of them.

(z) Ad nationes, l. 1. c. 13. Vid. lib. de jejuniis, c. 16.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Ezr 8:21-36. A Fast Proclaimed.

21. Then I proclaimed a fast there—The dangers to travelling caravans from the Bedouin Arabs that prowl through the desert were in ancient times as great as they still are; and it seems that travellers usually sought the protection of a military escort. But Ezra had spoken so much to the king of the sufficiency of the divine care of His people that he would have blushed to apply for a guard of soldiers. Therefore he resolved that his followers should, by a solemn act of fasting and prayer, commit themselves to the Keeper of Israel. Their faith, considering the many and constant perils of a journey across the Bedouin regions, must have been great, and it was rewarded by the enjoyment of perfect safety during the whole way.

Ezra 8:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
Fasting for Protection
21Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."…
Cross References
Leviticus 16:29
"This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work--whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you--

Leviticus 16:31
It is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.

Leviticus 23:29
Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.

1 Samuel 7:6
When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

2 Chronicles 20:3
Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.

Ezra 8:15
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.

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.

Psalm 107:7
He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.

Isaiah 58:3
Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.

Isaiah 58:5
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?

Jonah 3:7
This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
Treasury of Scripture

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

I proclaimed

Judges 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and …

1 Samuel 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured …

2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed …

Joel 1:14 Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and …

Joel 2:12-18 Therefore also now, said the LORD, turn you even to me with all your …

Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and …

afflict ourselves

Leviticus 16:29,31 And this shall be a statute for ever to you: that in the seventh …

Leviticus 23:29 For whatever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same …

Isaiah 58:3,5 Why have we fasted, say they, and you see not? why have we afflicted …

Jeremiah 31:8,9 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them …

Jeremiah 50:4,5 In those days, and in that time, said the LORD, the children of Israel …

to seek

Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make …

Psalm 107:2-8 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the …

Psalm 143:8-10 Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning; for in you …

Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.

Isaiah 30:21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, …

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called …

Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead …

Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun …

Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in …

for our little ones

Numbers 14:3,31 And why has the LORD brought us to this land, to fall by the sword, …

Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you ordained strength …

Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: …

Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that …

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