Ezra 1:7
Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;
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1:5-11 The same God that raised up the spirit of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to the Jews, raised up their spirits to take the benefit. The temptation was to some to stay in Babylon; but some feared not to return, and they were those whose spirits God raised, by his Spirit and grace. Whatever good we do, is owing to the grace of God. Our spirits naturally bow down to this earth and the things of it; if they move upward in any good affections or good actions, it is God who raises them. The calls and offers of the gospel are like the proclamation of Cyrus. Those bound under the power of sin, may be made free by Jesus Christ. Whosoever will, by repentance and faith, return to God, Jesus Christ has opened the way for him, and raises him out of the slavery of sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Many that hear this joyful sound, choose to sit still in Babylon, are in love with their sins, and will not venture upon a holy life; but some break through all discouragements, whatever it cost them; they are those whose spirit God has raised above the world and the flesh, whom he has made willing. Thus will the heavenly Canaan be filled, though many perish in Babylon; and the gospel offer will not have been made in vain. The bringing back the Jews from captivity, represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.The house of his gods - Rather, "of his god" Daniel 1:2, i. e., Merodach, "his lord" (see 2 Chronicles 36:7 note). Ezr 1:7-11. Cyrus Restores the Vessels.

7. Cyrus … brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord—Though it is said (2Ki 24:13) that these were cut in pieces, that would not be done to the large and magnificent vases; and, if they had been divided, the parts could be reunited. But it may be doubted whether the Hebrew word rendered cut in pieces, does not signify merely cut off, that is, from further use in the temple.

Object. These are said to have been cut in pieces, 2 Kings 24:13; how then are they here returned?

Answ. That Hebrew word used 2 Kings 24:13, signifies not so properly to

cut in pieces as to

cut off, as from the use of the word, Deu 25:12 2 Samuel 4:12 2 Kings 18:16 Jeremiah 9:26. And these vessels, when they were taken away from the temple, might very well be said to be cut off from it, because they had for so long time been so constantly, and as it were inseparably, united to it, and kept in it. In like manner,

the meat-offering and drink-offering are said to be cut off from the house of the Lord, Joel 1:9. And it is very improbable that they should deface and cut in pieces these magnificent vessels, which they could so easily transport whole to Babylon. Although, if some of the larger of them had been cut into two or more parts, yet the parts of them might be delivered to the Jews, who could, without great difficulty, restore them to their former unity and form. And Cyrus brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord,.... Or ordered them to be brought forth:

which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem; out of the temple there, when he took it and burnt it:

and had put them in the house of his gods; in the temple of Belus at Babylon, see 2 Chronicles 36:7, by which means they were providentially preserved.

Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;
7. Also Cyrus the king] i.e. the Jews were assisted not only by private individuals their neighbours, but by the example of the king himself.

the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth &c.] This refers especially to the capture of Jerusalem in 598, when Jehoiachin, his household and 10,000 of the better classes were carried off to Babylon. 2 Kings 24:13 ‘And he (i.e. Nebuchadnezzar) carried out thence (i.e. from Jerusalem) all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord’. It may be noticed that in the original the expression ‘carried out’ in the passage just cited and so translated in A.V. and R.V. is identical with the ‘brought forth’ in this verse.

At the final destruction of Jerusalem (586) eleven or twelve years later, by Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar’s general, the remainder of the valuables contained in the house of the Lord were ‘taken away’ to Babylon, 2 Kings 25:14-15.

The passage in Daniel 1:1-2, which attributes to the third year (606) of Jehoiakim’s reign a siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the capture of Jehoiakim, and the removal to Babylon of some of the sacred vessels, is chronologically incorrect. (1) The victory of Carchemish on the Euphrates was not won by Nebuchadnezzar till the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605). (2) According to 2 Kings 24:1 Jehoiakim, who had been tributary to the king of Egypt, did not become tributary to Nebuchadnezzar until after that battle, and, having remained so for three years only, then rebelled. This rebellion led to Nebuchadnezzar’s siege and capture of Jerusalem in Jehoiachin’s brief reign of three months. All that can be said is that we have in Daniel 1:1-2, a certain chronological error, but that it is conceivable that when Nebuchadnezzar ‘came up’ (2 Kings 24:1) and Jehoiakim submitted, a siege may have preceded capitulation, and a carrying off to Babylon both of prisoners and of some vessels of the Lord may have taken place in 602 or 601. Of this we have no certain confirmation, and it is more probable that the passage in Daniel 1:1 may be a heading containing inaccurate historical statements or late tradition prefixed by a scribe to the narrative of Daniel.

in the house of his gods] So A.V. and R.V. The original is ‘in the house of his Elohim’. ‘Elohim’ may be rendered either as ‘God’ or ‘gods’ according as the context requires. The student will observe that in Daniel 1:2 the same phrase ‘the house of his Elohim’ is rendered both by A.V. and R.V. ‘the house of his god’. Nebuchadnezzar was a polytheist. But had the stress here rested upon the plurality of his gods, we should have expected ‘in the houses of his gods’. The rendering ‘in the house of his god’ appears preferable, both on account of the singular ‘house’ and, especially, on account of Nebuchadnezzar’s devotion to one god, Merodach, to whom he paid greater honour than to any of the other deities of the Babylonian pantheon. The Temple of E-sagila in honour of Merodach was restored by Nebuchadnezzar with unrivalled splendour. The passage in 2 Chronicles 36:7 ‘Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon’, helps to confirm the rendering ‘in the house of his god’. The other passages relating to the sacred vessels are Jeremiah 27:16; Jeremiah 28:6; Jeremiah 52:18; Daniel 5:23; Bar 1:8.Verse 7. - The vessels. Probably all that he could find, yet scarcely all that had been taken away, since many of these were of bronze (2 Kings 25:14), and the restored vessels seem to have been, all of them, either of gold or silver (see ver. 11). Which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth. The carrying off of sacred vessels, as well as images, from temples is often represented in the Assyrian sculptures. It was a practice even of the Romans, and is commemorated on the Pillar of Titus, where the seven-branched candlestick of the Jewish temple is represented as borne in triumph by Roman soldiers. And had put them in the house of his gods. Elohayv, which is the form used in the text, can only mean "his god," not his gods. Nebuchadnezzar represents himself, in his inscriptions generally, as a special devotee of a single Babylonian god, Merodach, whose temple, called by the Greeks that of Bel, is no doubt here intended (comp. Daniel 1:2). In the first year of his rule over Babylon, Cyrus king of Persia proclaimed throughout his whole kingdom, both by voice and writing, that the God of heaven had commanded him to build His temple at Jerusalem, and called upon the Jews living in exile to return to Jerusalem, and to build there the house of the God of Israel. At the same time, he exhorted all his subjects to facilitate by gifts the journey of the Jews dwelling in their midst, and to assist by free-will offerings the building of the temple (Ezra 1:1-4). In consequence of this royal decree, those Jews whose spirit God had raised up prepared for their return, and received from their neighbours gifts and free-will offerings (Ezra 1:5 and Ezra 1:6). Cyrus, moreover, delivered to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah, the vessels of the temple which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Ezra 1:1

The edict of Cyrus. - Ezra 1:1 The opening word, "and in the first year," etc., is to be explained by the circumstance that what is here recorded forms also, in 2 Chronicles 36:22 and 2 Chronicles 36:23, the conclusion of the history of the kingdom of Judah at its destruction by the Chaldeans, and is transferred thence to the beginning of the history of the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus. כּורשׁ is the Hebraized form of the ancient Persian Kurus, as Κῦρος, Cyrus, is called upon the monuments, and is perhaps connected with the Indian title Kuru; see Delitzsch on Isaiah 44:28. The first year of Cyrus is the first year of his rule over Babylon and the Babylonian empire.

(Note: Duplex fuit initium, Cyri Persarum regis; prius Persicum, idque antiquius, posterius Babylonicum. de quo Hesdras; quia dum Cyrus in Perside tantum regnaret, regnum ejus ad Judaeos, qui in Babylonia erant, nihil adtinuit. - Cleric. ad Esr. 1:1.)

פּרס - in the better editions, such as that of Norzi and J. H. Mich., with Pathach under ר, and only pointed פּרס with a graver pause, as with Silluk, 4:3, in the cuneiform inscriptions Praa - signifies in biblical phraseology the Persian empire; comp. Daniel 5:28; Daniel 6:9, etc. לכלות, that the word of Jahve might come to an end. כּלה, to be completed, 2 Chronicles 29:34. The word of the Lord is completed when its fulfilment takes place; hence in the Vulg. ut compleretur, i.e., למלּאות, 2 Chronicles 36:21. Here, however, כּלות is more appropriate, because the notion of the lapse or termination of the seventy years predominates. The statement of the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11, etc., Jeremiah 29:10; comp. 2 Chronicles 36:21) concerning the desolation and servitude of Judah is here intended. These seventy years commenced with the first taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, when Daniel and other youths of the seed-royal were carried to Babylon (Daniel 1:1-2) in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim; see the explanation of Daniel 1:1. This year was the year 606 b.c.; hence the seventy years terminate in 536 b.c., the first year of the sole rule of Cyrus over the Babylonian empire. Then "Jahve stirred up the spirit of Coresh," i.e., moved him, made him willing; comp. with this expression, 1 Chronicles 5:26 and Haggai 1:14. ויּעבר־קול, "he caused a voice to go forth," i.e., he proclaimed by heralds; comp. Exodus 36:6; 2 Chronicles 30:5, etc. With this is zeugmatically combined the subsequent בּמכתּב וגם, so that the general notion of proclaiming has to be taken from יעבר קול, and supplied before these words. The sense is: he proclaimed throughout his whole realm by heralds, and also by written edicts.

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