Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As you have said, so must we do.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ezra 7:9).
The street - Rather, "the court," the "broad," "spacious, place" (compare the 2 Chronicles 29:4 note).
as thou host said, so must we do; being convinced of their sin, they saw it was a duty incumbent on them to put away their strange wives, and that there was a necessity of it, to avert the wrath of God from them.Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Then all the congregation, &c.] The deliberations are not recorded. The substance of their decision is here paraphrased. The method of its expression was probably by unanimous acclamation. We can hardly suppose that there was free discussion. The princes debated and harangued the multitude: the multitude listened and expressed disapproval or approbation by cries and shouting.
with a loud voice] Cf. Ezra 3:12; 2 Samuel 15:23.
As thou hast said, so must we do] R.V. As thou hast said concerning us, so must we do. R.V. marg. ‘As thou hast said, so it behoveth us to do’. Literally the clause runs ‘According to thy word (or words) upon us to do’. It is a disputed point whether ‘upon us’ is to be taken with what precedes or with what follows, i.e. ‘according to thy word respecting us, it is necessary to do’ or ‘according to thy word, it falls upon us to do’. (a) The rendering of the R.V. text is that of the Vulgate ‘juxta verbum tuum ad nos, sic fiat’, and is supported by the traditional Jewish interpretation supplied by the Hebrew accents. The sentence is then clearly greatly condensed, and although the construction of the verb ‘to do’ is very harsh, the meaning is clear. (b) As however the rest of the people’s reply shows no symptom of such compression, the alternative explanation of the rendering in the margin seems preferable. The use of the preposition ‘upon’, with a sense of ‘duty’ or ‘obligation’ occurred in Ezra 10:4. Cf. Nehemiah 13:13; 2 Samuel 18:11. The people then accept the responsibility in which their assent involves them.
12–14. The resolution of the general assembly epitomised. A general assent to Ezra’s proposal. The time of the year and the magnitude of the task make it necessary to appoint a commission to carry it into execution.Ezra 9:4). Johanan the son of Eliashib cannot actually be Johanan ben Eliashib (Nehemiah 12:23) the high priest, however natural it may be to understand by the chamber of Johanan one of the chambers in the out-buildings of the temple, called after the name of some well-known individual. For the high priest Eliashib was a contemporary of Nehemiah, and the high priest Johanan was not the son, but, according to the definite statement, Nehemiah 12:10, the grandson, of Eliashib, and the son of Joiada (the correct reading of Nehemiah 12:11 being: Joiada begat Johanan and Jonathan). Now a chamber of the temple could not in Ezra's time have been as yet called after a grandson of Eliashib the contemporary of Nehemiah;
(Note: This would not, indeed, be impossible, because, as we shall subsequently show (in our Introduction to the book of Nehemiah, 2), Eliashib's grandson Johanan might be already ten years of age at the time of the transaction in question; so that his grandfather, the high priest Eliashib, might have called a chamber of the temple after the name of his grandson. This view is not, however, a very probable one.)
and both Johanan and Eliashib being names which frequently occur (comp. Ezra 10:24, Ezra 10:27, Ezra 10:36), and one of the twenty-four orders of priests being called after the latter (1 Chronicles 24:12), we, with Ewald (Gesch. iv. p. 228), regard the Johanan ben Eliashib here mentioned as an individual of whom nothing further is known-perhaps a priest descended from the Eliashib of 1 Chronicles 24:12, and who possessed in the new temple a chamber called by his name. For there is not the slightest reason to suppose, with Bertheau, that a subsequent name of this chamber is used in this narrative, because the narrator desired to state the locality in a manner which should be intelligible to his contemporaries. Cler. and Berth. desire, after 1 Esdr. 9:1((καὶ αὐλισθεὶς ἐκεῖ), to change שׁם ויּלך into שׁם ויּלן: and he passed the night there without eating bread or drinking water. But the lxx having καὶ ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖ, and the repetition of the same word being, moreover, by no means infrequent, comp. e.g., ויּקם in Ezra 10:5, Ezra 10:6, and finally שׁם repeatedly standing for thither, e.g., 1 Samuel 2:14 (שׁם הבּאים), there are no adequate grounds for an alteration of the text. The paraphrase of 1 Esdr. arises merely from the connection, and is devoid of critical value. To eat no bread, etc., means to fast: comp. Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9.
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