Ezra 2:7
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
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2:1-35 An account was kept of the families that came up out of captivity. See how sin lowers a nation, which righteousness would exalt!The province - Judaea was no longer a kingdom, but a mere "province" of Persia. "The children of the province" are the Israelites who returned to Palestine, as distinct from those who remained in Babylonia and Persia.

Every one unto his city - That is, to the city whereto his forefathers had belonged. Of course, in the few cases where this was not known Ezra 2:59-62, the plan could not be carried out.

Two other copies of the following list have come down to us - one in Nehemiah 7:7-69, and the other in 1 Esdras 5:8-43. All seem to have been taken from the same original document, and to have suffered more or less from corruption. Where two out of the three agree, the reading should prevail over that of the third.

5. children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five—The number is stated in Ne 7:10 to have been only six hundred fifty-two. It is probable that all mentioned as belonging to this family repaired to the general place of rendezvous, or had enrolled their names at first as intending to go; but in the interval of preparation, some died, others were prevented by sickness or insurmountable obstacles, so that ultimately no more than six hundred fifty-two came to Jerusalem. No text from Poole on this verse. The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred and seventy two. From hence, to the end of Ezra 2:35, a list is given of the captives that returned, described by the families they were of, their ancestors from whence they sprung, or the towns and cities to which they originally belonged, and by their numbers; otherwise nothing more of them is known. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
7. Elam] Some would identify with the Elam mentioned 1 Chronicles 8:24—a Benjamite.The title. - "These are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of the carrying away (i.e., of those which had been carried away), whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, every one to his city." In Nehemiah 7:6 לבבל is omitted, through an error of transcription caused by the preceding בּבל; and וליהוּדה stands instead of ויהוּדה, which does not, however, affect the sense. המּדינה is the province whose capital was Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:3), i.e., the province of Judaea as a district of the Persian empire; so Ezra 5:8; Nehemiah 1:2. The Chethiv נבוכדנצור is similar to the form Nebucadrezor, Jeremiah 49:28, and is nearer to the Babylonian form of this name than the usual biblical forms Nebucadnezzar or Nebucadrezzar. For further remarks on the various forms of this name, see on Daniel 1:1. They returned "each to his city," i.e., to the city in which he or his ancestors had dwelt before the captivity. Bertheau, on the contrary, thinks that, "though in the allotment of dwelling-places some respect would certainly be had to the former abode of tribes and families, yet the meaning cannot be that every one returned to the locality where his forefathers had dwelt: first, because it is certain (?) that all memorial of the connection of tribes and families was frequently obliterated, comp. below, Nehemiah 7:61-64; and then, because a small portion only of the former southern kingdom being assigned to the returned community, the descendants of dwellers in those towns which lay without the boundaries of the new state could not return to the cities of their ancestors." True, however, as this may be, the city of each man cannot mean that "which the authorities, in arranging the affairs of the community, assigned to individuals as their domicile, and of which they were reckoned inhabitants in the lists then drawn up for the sake of levying taxes," etc. (Bertheau). This would by no means be expressed by the words, "they returned each to his own city." We may, on the contrary, correctly say that the words hold good potiori, i.e., they are used without regard to exceptions induced by the above-named circumstance. אשׁר־בּאוּ, Ezra 2:2, corresponds with the העלים of Ezra 2:1; hence in Nehemiah 7:7 we find also the participle בּאים. They came with Zerubbabel, etc., that is, under their conduct and leadership. Zerubbabel (Ζοροβάβελ, זרבּבל or זרוּבבל, probably abbreviated from בּבל זרוּע, in Babylonia satus seu genitus) the son of Shealtiel was a descendant of the captive king Jehoiachin (see on 1 Chronicles 3:17), and was probably on account of this descent made leader of the expedition, and royal governor of the new settlement, by Cyrus. Jeshua (ישׁוּע, the subsequently abbreviated form of the name Jehoshua or Joshua, which is used Nehemiah 8:17 also for Joshua the son of Nun, the contemporary of Moses) the son of Josedech (Hagg. Jos 1:1), and the grandson of Seraiah the high priest, who was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, was the first high priest of the restored community; see on 1 Chronicles 6:15. Besides those of Zerubbabel and Joshua, nine (or in Nehemiah more correctly ten) names, probably of heads of families, but of whom nothing further is known, are placed here. 1. Nehemiah, to be distinguished from the well-known Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah, Nehemiah 1:1; 2. Seraiah, instead of which we have in Nehemiah 7:7 Azariah; 3. Reeliah, in Nehemiah, Raamiah; 4. Nahamani in Nehemiah, Εὐηνέος in 1 Esdras 5:8, omitted in the text of Ezra; 5. Mordecai, not the Mordecai of the book of Esther (Esther 2:5.); 6. Bilshan; 7. Mispar, in Nehemiah Mispereth; 8. Bigvai; 9. Rehum, in 1 Esdras Ροΐ́μος; 10. Baanah. These ten, or reckoning Zerubbabel and Joshua, twelve men, are evidently intended, as leaders of the returning nation, to represent the new community as the successor of the twelve tribes of Israel. This is also unmistakeably shown by the designation, the people of Israel, in the special title, and by the offering of twelve sin-offerings, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, at the dedication of the new temple, Ezra 6:16. The genealogical relation, however, of these twelve representatives to the twelve tribes cannot be ascertained, inasmuch as we are told nothing of the descent of the last ten. Of these ten names, one meets indeed with that of Seraiah, Nehemiah 10:3; of Bigvai, in the mention of the sons of Bigvai, Ezra 8:14; of Rehum, Nehemiah 3:17; Nehemiah 12:3; and of Baanah, Nehemiah 10:28; but there is nothing to make the identity of these persons probable. Even in case they were all of them descended from members of the former kingdom of Judah, this is no certain proof that they all belonged also to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, since even in the reign of Rehoboam pious Israelites of the ten tribes emigrated thither, and both at and after the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes, many Israelites might have taken refuge and settled in Judah. The last words, Ezra 2:2, "The number of the men of the people of Israel," contain the special title of the first division of the following list, with which the titles in Ezra 2:36, Ezra 2:40, Ezra 2:43, and Ezra 2:55 correspond. They are called the people of Israel, not the people of Judah, because those who returned represented the entire covenant people.
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