Ezra 4:21
Give you now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built, until another commandment shall be given from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezra 4:21. Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease — Thus he suffered himself to be imposed upon by their fraud and falsehood, and took no care to examine the allegations of their petition concerning what the Jews were now doing; but took all they had asserted for matter of fact, and therefore was very ready to gratify them with an order of council to stay proceedings. Until another commandment shall be given — So that, it appears, however, he kept his ears open to further information; which if he should receive, different from theirs, he might give other orders. 4:6-24 It is an old slander, that the prosperity of the church would be hurtful to kings and princes. Nothing can be more false, for true godliness teaches us to honour and obey our sovereign. But where the command of God requires one thing and the law of the land another, we must obey God rather than man, and patiently submit to the consequences. All who love the gospel should avoid all appearance of evil, lest they should encourage the adversaries of the church. The world is ever ready to believe any accusation against the people of God, and refuses to listen to them. The king suffered himself to be imposed upon by these frauds and falsehoods. Princes see and hear with other men's eyes and ears, and judge things as represented to them, which are often done falsely. But God's judgment is just; he sees things as they are.Mighty kings ... - If this reference can scarcely have been to David or Solomon (see marginal reference), of whom neither the Babylonian nor the Assyrian archives would be likely to have had any account - it would probably be to Menahem 2 Kings 15:16 and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:6-7; 2 Chronicles 35:18). 14. we have maintenance from the king's palace—literally, "we are salted with the salt of the palace." "Eating a prince's salt" is an Oriental phrase, equivalent to "receiving maintenance from him." No text from Poole on this verse. Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease,.... From building:

and that this city be not builded until another commandment shall be given from me; he might suspect that this case, in all its circumstances, was not truly stated, and that hereafter he might see reason to recede from the present orders he gave; and the rather, as by searching, and perhaps on his own knowledge, must have observed, that his father Cyrus had shown favour to the Jews, and had not only set them at liberty, but had encouraged them to rebuild their temple; which might be what they were about, and was the case, and nothing else, except their houses to dwell in.

Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. Give ye now commandment) R.V. Make ye now a decree. Cf. 19. The Samaritan officials clearly held some authority over the whole adjoining territory.

and that this city be not builded] See notes on Ezra 4:12-13. The king’s alarm lest a strong city should be made of Jerusalem agrees rather with the time of Nehemiah than with that of Zerubbabel. The naval victories of the Greeks had rendered the Persian coast frontier peculiarly vulnerable.

until another commandment shall be given from me] R.V. until a decree shall be made by me. The A.V. by introducing the word ‘another’ produced a needless ambiguity. The original has ‘the decree’, i.e. the permission to build.Verse 21. - Until another commandment shall be given. It can scarcely be supposed that the Pseudo-Smerdis had any intention of issuing "another commandment;" but, since "the laws of the Medes and Persians," as a general rule, "altered not" (Esther 1:19; Daniel 6:15), it may well be that the clause before us was one inserted as a matter of form in most decrees, to prevent them from being irrevocable. "That search may be made in the book of the chronicles of thy fathers, so shalt thou find in the book of the Chronicles that this city has been a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and countries, and that they have from of old stirred up sedition within it, on which account this city was (also) destroyed." יבקּר is used impersonally: let one seek, let search be made. דּכרניּא ספר, book of records, is the public royal chronicle in which the chief events of the history of the realm were recorded, called Esther 6:1 the book of the records of daily events. Thy fathers are the predecessors of the king, i.e., his predecessors in government; therefore not merely the Median and Persian, but the Chaldean and Assyrian kings, to whose dominions the Persian monarchs had succeeded. אשׁתּדּוּר, a verbal noun from the Ithpeal of שׁדר, rebellion. עלמא יומת מן, from the days of eternity, i.e., from time immemorial. יומת is in the constructive state, plural, formed from the singular יומא. This form occurs only here and Ezra 4:19, but is analogous with the Hebrew poetical form ימות for ימים.
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