And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) They gave their hands.—The four members of the high priest’s family were peculiarly dealt with. They gave their distinct pledge, and offered each a special trespass offering. It is one among a multitude of similar tokens of authenticity in the history; and inventor would have given some reason for the peculiarity.
(22) Pashur.—Comparing Ezra 2:36-39, we find that all the priestly families that returned with Zerub-babel were implicated in the national offence.
(25) Of Israel.—Of the laity eighty-six are mentioned, belonging to ten races which returned with Zerubbabel.
(34) Bani.—Probably this should be some other name, as Bani occurs before. The peculiarly large number of the representatives of his race suggests that there is some confusion in the present text.
(44) All these had taken strange wives.—Though the numbers are not summed up and distributed, it is evident that this closing sentence is emphatic. Ezra ends his history with a catalogue of the delinquents—strong testimony to the importance he attached to the reformation. The last words—literally, and there were of them wives who had brought forth children—tend in the same direction. Not even this pathetic fact restrained the thoroughness of the excision. But the Book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:23 seq.) will show that it was thorough only for a time.Ezra 10:18-19. Among the sons of the priests there were found, &c. — No wonder the people broke the law, when so many of those who were supposed to understand it best, namely, the priests, yea, some of the sons of the high-priest, set them such a foul example of lust and levity. And they gave their hands — They covenanted or swore by giving their hands, which was the usual ceremony in such cases, to put away their strange wives, and avoid such offences in future. Offered a ram of the flock for their trespass — Hereby confessing their guilt, and the desert of it, humbly suing for pardon, and taking the prescribed way of obtaining it, by bringing the trespass-offering appointed in the law, Leviticus 6:6. All those named to the end of Ezra 10:22, were priests, who, being deep in this guilt, and public persons, imboldened others to go fearlessly into the same sin.Ezra 2.
18. among the sons of the priests—From the names of so many men of rank appearing in the following list, some idea may be formed of the great and complicated difficulties attending the reformatory work.
of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak; who was the high priest; and perhaps for this fault of his, in not restraining his sons from such unlawful marriages, is he represented in filthy garments, Zechariah 3:3,And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. that had taken strange wives] R.V. that had married strange women: the R.V. puts a colon after ‘women’, and a comma after ‘brethren’. The ‘Jeshua the son of Jozadak’ here mentioned is clearly the High-priest, the contemporary of Zerubbabel. In chap. Ezra 2:36 we have mention of ‘the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three’. It is to the house of Jedaiah that these four priests belonged; for in that passage as in this, the houses of Immer, Harim and Pashur are mentioned immediately afterwards. Whether Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah were grandsons or only kinsmen of Jeshua the son of Jozadak we are not told.
18–44. The List of those who ‘had married strange women’
The record of the names was probably one of the documents officially preserved. The publicity of such a list was in itself a punishment to the offenders and a warning to others.
As in chap. 2, the list falls into the three groups of Priests, Levites, and Israel (or Laity), i.e. 17 Priests, 10 Levites, 86 ‘of Israel’—113 in all.Verse 18. - Joshua the son of Jozadak is, undoubtedly, the high priest of chs. 3. and 5. Four members of his family had committed the sin (compare Nehemiah 13:28). Ezra 10:4, Nehemiah 13:13; 2 Samuel 18:11. But - they further remark, Ezra 10:13 - the people are many, - i.e., the assemblage is very large to be able to deal immediately with the several cases; and it is (now) the time of the heavy rains, and there is no power to stand without, - i.e., at the present season we are not able to remain in the open air until the business is discharged; neither is this the work of one day, or of two, for we have transgressed much in this matter, - i.e., one or two days will not suffice to investigate and decide upon all cases, because very many have broken the law in this respect.
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