And that whoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ezra 10:8. That whosoever would not come, &c., all his substance should be forfeited — In the Hebrew it is devoted, which signifies that his goods were to be so forfeited as to become sacred to God, and so rendered incapable of being restored to the former owner, being put into the treasury of God’s house. And himself separated from the congregation, &c. — No longer counted a Hebrew, but looked upon as a Gentile, and excluded all communication with the Israelites: shut out from the church, and people, and house, and public worship of God: “excommunicated,” says Mr. Locke, “by which he was excluded from all society; was not permitted to come within four cubits of the altar till absolved upon repentance. After sixty days contumacy, the anathema or execration followed, which, however, was rescinded upon repentance: nevertheless, it was not allowable for any one to kill the person under such an anathema, but he might be supported in a tent or cottage entirely separated from all society.” See Dodd.Exodus 12:19; Numbers 19:20, etc.). The power assigned to Ezra is stated in Ezra 7:25-26.
according to the counsel of the princes, and of the elders; for though Ezra had a commission at large from the king of Persia, to inquire into and reform all abuses, he chose not to act of himself, but to have the opinion and consent of the senate of the nation; this he prudently did to avoid their envy, and that he might have less opposition, and better success:
his substance should be forfeited; or "devoted" (p) to sacred uses, to be put into the treasury of the temple, and used in the service of it, and therefore never to be returned:
and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away; into captivity, but now returned from it; that is, should be excommunicated from them as a church, and be no more reckoned of the body politic, or a freeman of Israel, and so deprived of all privileges both in church and state.And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. and that whosoever would not come] R.V. and that whosoever came not, i.e. whosoever failed (not, whosoever refused) to appear. The causes for non-appearance are not hinted at. All defaulters were to be treated as contumacious.
within three days] An expression which shows within what narrow limits the new community was established. The mention of Bethel (Ezra 2:28), Lod (Ezra 2:33), and Jericho (Ezra 2:34) as some of the most distant towns belonging to the Jews, shows that the requirement to be in Jerusalem within three days made no impossible demand upon the powers of an ordinarily active man.
according to the counsel of the princes and the elders] The real administrative body in Jerusalem. The representatives of the chief households and families. On the elders cf. Ezra 5:5.
all his substance should be forfeited] R.V. marg. Heb. devoted. A man’s substance is his possessions, ‘goods’. Cf. Ezra 1:4. The first part of the penalty was confiscation of property and the appropriation of the money, realized from its sale, by the Temple treasury. On ‘devotion’ (ḥerem) see Leviticus 27:28-29. In early times ‘devotion’ was tantamount to ‘destruction’ (cf. Exodus 22:20; Joshua 7:1-26, &c.; 1 Samuel 15:8; 1 Samuel 15:33).
and himself separated] The sentence of excommunication (see on Nehemiah 13:28). To be separated from the congregation was no mere decree of banishment. A man with such a sentence was to be outlawed and disowned by his own race. The community was a religious one. Its heaviest punishment was exclusion from its privileged ranks.
from the congregation of those that had been carried away] R.V. from the congregation of the captivity.Verse 8. - Within three days. The limits of Judaea at this time appear to have been Bethel on the north, Beersheba on the south, Jericho on the east, and the Mediterranean upon the west. As the frontier was nowhere much more than forty miles from Jerusalem, three days from the day that they heard the proclamation would be sufficient time to allow all the able-bodied men to reach the capital. Forfeited. Literally, "devoted," i.e. confiscated to the temple treasury. Separated from the congregation. i.e. excommunicated. Ezra 2:7; Ezra 8:7), is a different person from the descendant of Zattu, mentioned Ezra 8:5; nor is Jehiel identical with the individual whose name occurs in Ezra 10:26. ונּשׁב, and have brought home strange wives. הושׁיב, to cause to dwell (in one's house), said in Ezra 10:10, Ezra 10:14, Ezra 10:17, Ezra 10:18, and Nehemiah 13:23, Nehemiah 13:27, of bringing a wife home. Shecaniah founds his hope for Israel in this trespass upon the circumstance, that they bind themselves by a solemn covenant before God to put away this scandal from the congregation, and to act in conformity with the law. To make a covenant with our God, i.e., to bind themselves by an oath with respect to God, comp. 2 Chronicles 29:10. הוציא, to put away - the opposite of הושׁיב. All the wives are, according to the context, all the strange women (Ezra 10:2), and that which is born of them, their children. Instead of אדני בּעצת, according to the counsel of the Lord, De Wette, Bertheau, and others, following the paraphrase in the lxx and 1 Esdras, read אדני, according to the counsel of my lord, i.e., of Ezra. But this paraphrase being of no critical authority, there is no sufficient reason for the alteration. For Shecaniah to call Ezra my lord sounds strange, since usually this title was only given by servants to their master, or subjects to their sovereign, and Shecaniah afterwards addresses him simply as thou. Besides, Ezra had given no advice at all in this matter, and still less had he come to any resolution about it with the God-fearing members of the community. יעשׂה after the preceding נכרת־בּרית, we will make a covenant, must be taken as hortative: and let it be done according to the law. בּ חרד, caring for with trembling.
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