Ezra 4:22
Take heed now that you fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
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Ezra 4:22. Take heed now that ye fail not, &c. — Let not a thing, which may be of such ill consequence, grow to a head, whereby others may be excited to follow the example, and rebel against the king.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. Take heed now that ye fail not to do this,.... To put his orders into execution, and at once, without any loss of time, oblige the Jews to desist from rebuilding the walls of their city, which he was told they were doing, though a great falsehood:

why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? of him and his successors, to be deprived of their toll, tribute, and customs, and to have insurrections, mutinies, and rebellions, in the dominions belonging to them.

Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
22. Take heed now that ye fail not to do this] R.V. And take heed that ye be not slack herein. The king does not anticipate their disobedience, but warns against remissness or dilatoriness on the part of officials. The decrees of the Government were apparently not always executed with promptness in Syria even in the days of Artaxerxes. This fault is said to be not wholly eradicated yet.

why should damage &c.] The king’s fears had been excited by the possibility of political complications and the weakening of his Western frontier. These apprehensions are intelligible in the light of the events of the great Persian War during the reign of Xerxes. Otherwise they seem exaggerated and insincere, as if the Samaritan letter had been accompanied by some substantial arguments which had won the king’s appreciation.After thus casting suspicion upon the Jews as a seditious people, their adversaries bring the accusation, already raised at the beginning of the letter, to a climax, by saying that if Jerusalem is rebuilt and fortified, the king will lose his supremacy over the lands on this side the river. דּנה לקבל, on this account, for this reason, that the present inhabitants of the fortified city Jerusalem are like its former inhabitants, thou wilt have no portion west of Euphrates, i.e., thou wilt have nothing more to do with the countries on this side the river-wilt forfeit thy sway over these districts.
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