Ezra 10:17
And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.
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10:15-44 The best reformers can but do their endeavour; when the Redeemer himself shall come to Zion, he shall effectually turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And when sin is repented of and forsaken, God will forgive it; but the blood of Christ, our Sin-offering, is the only atonement which takes away our guilt. No seeming repentance or amendment will benefit those who reject Him, for self-dependence proves them still unhumbled. All the names written in the book of life, are those of penitent sinners, not of self-righteous persons, who think they have no need of repentance.The business occupied the commission full two months. In some cases, it may be presumed, they had to summon persons before them who did not wish to part with their foreign wives; in all, they had to assure themselves that the wives were foreign; finally, they had in every case where they decreed a divorce to make out the "writing of divorcement" Ezra 10:3. 10-17. Ezra the priest stood up, and said—Having fully represented the enormity of their sin and urged them to dissolve their unlawful connections, he was gratified by receiving a prompt acknowledgment of the justice of his reproof and a promise of compliance with his recommendation. But as the weather was ungenial and the defaulters were too numerous to be passed in review at one time, it was resolved that a commission should be appointed to examine into the whole matter. These commissioners, assisted by the judges and elders of the respective cities, made a minute investigation into every case, and after three months' labor completely removed all traces of the abuse. Doubtless, an adequate provision was made for the repudiated wives and children, according to the means and circumstances of the husbands. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives,.... Finished their inquiry and examination of them:

by the first day of the first month; the month Nisan, answering to part of March and April; so that they were three months about this work.

And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.
17. And they made an end with all the men, &c.] The Hebrew runs ‘And they made an end with the whole (business), i.e. the men that had, &c.’ The English rendering expresses the meaning. But the wording of the present Hebrew text can hardly be correct, and there is some ground for the conjecture that the words’ the men that had married strange wives ‘found their way into the text from a heading or a marginal gloss.

that had taken strange wives] R.V. that had married strange women.

by the first day of the first month] The investigation had lasted precisely three months. It lasted until the 1st of Nisan, having been continued throughout the months of Tebeth, Shebat (Zechariah 1:7) and Adar (Ezra 6:15).

Verse 17. - They made an end with all the men. They ran through the whole list of those who were accused of having taken strange wives, and adjudicated on every case, by the first day of the first month, Nisan, corresponding nearly with our April. Deducting Sabbaths, the number of days in the three months would be seventy-five or seventy-six; but it is of course possible that the court did not sit continuously. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO HAD MARRIED THE STRANGE WIVES (vers. 18-44). Aware of the danger that the nation might relapse into the sin which he was seeking to root out, Ezra punishes the wrong-doers by placing their names on record, that others might fear to do the like. He assigns the first place in his catalogue of offenders to the priests, doubtless because in them the sin was greatest; they, as the special custodians of the Law, were most bound to have observed the Law. Next to the priests he puts the Levites, on the same principle, because of their semi-sacerdotal character. He then concludes with the laymen, arranged under their several families. By the list of laymen it appears that ten only out of some thirty-six lay families were implicated in the sin. Three of the four priestly families, on the other hand, and even the near-kindred of the high priest, were among the guilty. It is remarkable that it is Ezra, a priest, and one by many accused of over-sacerdotalism, who gives this testimony against his own order. Ezra 10:17And they made an end with all, with respect to the men who had brought home strange wives. בּכּל (with the article) cannot be so connected with אנשׁים, from which it is separated by the accentuation of the latter, as to admit of the repetition, as by older expositors, of the preposition בּ before אנשׁים: with all, namely, with the men. Still less can בּכּל, as Bertheau thinks, be taken in the sense of "in every place," and אנשׁים connected as an accusative with ויכלּוּ: they finished in every place the men (!); for כּלּה with an accusative of the person signifies to annihilate, to make an end of, while ב כּלּה means to finish, to make an end with, comp. Genesis 44:12. If, as the accentuation requires, we take בּכּל independently, אנשׁים can only be an accusative of more exact definition: in respect of the men (אנשׁים being without the article, because words which define it follow). As this gives a suitable meaning, it seems unnecessary to alter the punctuation and read בּכל־אנשׁים, or with Ewald, 290, c, note 1, to regard אנשׁים בּכּל as a singular combination. - Till the first day of the first month (of the next year), therefore in three months, their sittings having begun, according to Ezra 10:13, on the first day of the tenth month. - The account of this transaction closes with -

The list of the men who had taken strange wives, vv. 18-44; among whom were priests (Ezra 10:18-22), Levites (Ezra 10:23, Ezra 10:24), and Israelites, i.e., laymen (vv. 25-43).

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