Ezra 2:66
Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
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2:64-70 Let none complain of the needful expenses of their religion. Seek first the kingdom of God, his favour and his glory, then will all other things be added unto them. Their offerings were nothing, compared with the offerings of the princes in David's time; yet, being according to their ability, were as acceptable to God. The Lord will carry us through all undertakings entered on according to his will, with an aim to his glory, and dependence on his assistance. Those who, at the call of the gospel, renounce sin and return to the Lord, shall be guarded and guided through all perils of the way, and arrive safely at the mansions provided in the holy city of God.The sum total is given without any variation by Ezra, by Nehemiah (see the marginal reference), and by Esdras (1 Esdras 5:41), who adds, that in this reckoning only those of twelve years of age and upward were counted.

It is curious that the total 42,360, is so greatly in excess of the items. Ezra's items make the number 29,818; Nehemiah's 31,089, Esdras, 33,950. The original document was probably illegible in places, and the writers were forced to make omissions.

64. The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore—This gross amount is twelve thousand more than the particular numbers given in the catalogue, when added together, come to. Reckoning up the smaller numbers, we shall find that they amount to 29,818 in this chapter, and to 31,089 in the parallel chapter of Nehemiah [see Ne 7:66-69]. Ezra also mentions four hundred ninety-four persons omitted by Nehemiah, and Nehemiah mentions 1765 not noticed by Ezra. If, therefore, Ezra's surplus be added to the sum in Nehemiah, and Nehemiah's surplus to the number in Ezra, they will both become 31,583. Subtracting this from 42,360, there will be a deficiency of 10,777. These are omitted because they did not belong to Judah and Benjamin, or to the priests, but to the other tribes. The servants and singers, male and female, are reckoned separately (Ezr 2:65), so that putting all these items together, the number of all who went with Zerubbabel amounted to fifty thousand, with eight thousand beasts of burden [Alting, quoted in Davidson's Hermeneutics]. No text from Poole on this verse. So that the far greatest part of them must walk on foot, since these can be thought to be little more than sufficient to carry their goods or baggage; some copies of the Vulgate Latin read six hundred and thirty six horses (c).

(c) Ed. of Sixtus V. and the Lovain in James's Contrariety of Popish Bibles, p. 295.

Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
66. horses] The number mentioned here (736) appears in 1Es 5:43 as 7036, a fair sample of the way in which figures could easily undergo alteration by accident or intention.

Before this time we do not find mention of the use of the horse among the Israelites for peaceful purposes. Hitherto the horse had been used for war and for pomp. The considerable number here mentioned is another proof of the presence of considerable wealth. The horse was the possession of the rich and well armed.

mules] About one-third the number of the horses. During the monarchy the mule is the royal animal (1 Kings 1:33; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Kings 1:44). The mule was scarce and precious like the horse (1 Kings 18:5). To be carried by a mule is classed with being carried by a horse or on a litter or in a chariot (Isaiah 66:20). They were not bred in Palestine. Solomon imported them (1 Kings 10:25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). The mules here mentioned were probably ridden by the richest class. In the O.T. we do not read of the mule carrying loads.Those who went up with, but could not prove that they pertained to, the nation of Israel. Comp. Nehemiah 7:61 and Nehemiah 7:62. - Three such families are named, consisting of 652, or according to Nehemiah of 642, persons. These went up, with those who returned, from Tel-melah (Salthill) and Tel-harsa (Thicket or Forest Hill), names of Babylonian districts or regions, the situations of which cannot be ascertained. The words also which follow, אמּר אדּן כּרוּב, are obscure, but are certainly not the names of individuals, the persons who went up not being specified till Ezra 2:60. The words are names of places, but it is uncertain whether the three are used to express one or three places. In favour of the notion that they designate but one locality, may be alleged that in Ezra 2:60 only three races are named, which would then correspond with the districts named in Ezra 2:59 : Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, and Cherub-Addan-Immer; a race from each district joining those who went up to Jerusalem. The three last words, however, may also designate three places in close proximity, in which one of the races of Ezra 2:60 might be dwelling. These could not show their father's house and their seed, i.e., genealogy, whether they were of Israel. הם, as well as the suffixes of זרעם and בּית־אבותם, refers to the persons named in Ezra 2:60. They could not show that the houses of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, after which they were called, belonged to Israel, nor that they themselves were of Israelitish origin. Cler. well remarks: Judaicam religionem dudum sequebantur, quam ob rem se Judaeos censebant; quamvis non possent genealogicas ullas tabulas ostendere, ex quibus constaret, ex Hebraeis oriundos esse. One of these names, Nekoda, Ezra 2:48, occurring among those of the Nethinim, Bertheau conjectures that while the sons of Nekoda here spoken of claimed to belong to Israel, the objection was made that they might belong to the sons of Nekoda mentioned Ezra 2:48, and ought therefore to be reckoned among the Nethinim. Similar objections may have been made to the two other houses. Although they could not prove their Israelite origin, they were permitted to go up to Jerusalem with the rest, the rights of citizenship alone being for the present withheld. Hence we meet with none of these names either in the enumeration of the heads and houses of the people, Nehemiah 10:15-28, or in the list Ezra 10:25-43.
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