Ezra 4:8
Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Rehum the chancellor.The lord of judgment, the counsellor of the Persian king, a conventional title of the civil governor.

Shimshai the scribe—The royal secretary.

Ezra 4:8-9. Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter, &c. — These two, as it was their office, put into writing, or drew up, a letter, agreeable to what had been resolved on in a council of the great men, or governors, mentioned in the foregoing verse. The Dinaites, &c. — These nine nations came out of Assyria, Persia, Media, Susiana, and other provinces of that vast empire; who, with one consent, joined in this letter or petition.

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.The chancellor - literally, "Lord of judgment;" the title, apparently, of the Persian governor of the Samaritan province. Every Persian governor was accompanied to his province by a "royal scribe" or "secretary," who had a separate and independent authority. Ezr 4:7-24. Letter to Artaxerxes.

7. in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, &c.—The three officers named are supposed to have been deputy governors appointed by the king of Persia over all the provinces subject to his empire west of the Euphrates.

the Syrian tongue—or Aramæan language, called sometimes in our version, Chaldee. This was made use of by the Persians in their decrees and communications relative to the Jews (compare 2Ki 18:26; Isa 36:11). The object of their letter was to press upon the royal notice the inexpediency and danger of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They labored hard to prejudice the king's mind against that measure.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort. This means the same letter as before; which, according to Jarchi, was sent in the name of Mithredath Tabeel and his company, was endited by Rehum, master of words or sense, and written by Shimshai the scribe, whom he makes to be a son of Haman (i); but it was written rather in all their names.

(i) So Midrash Esther, fol. 85. 3.

Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. At this verse begins the first long section (Ezra 4:8 to Ezra 6:18) written in the Aramaic language (see Introd.), which the Compiler has probably extracted bodily from Aramaic records.

Ezra 4:8 introduces briefly the description of the letter of accusation against the Jews sent by Rehum and Shimshai.

Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe] Rehum was probably the chief official of the Samaritan community. The name is considered by some to be of Persian origin, and a contraction of some longer Persian name, e.g. Rheomithres, which is found in Arrian. It appears also in Jewish lists (see Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 3:17; Nehemiah 10:25), but that need not exclude its foreign origin.

the chancellor] Literally ‘the lord of judgement’. Sayce suggests ‘lord of official intelligence’, the Aramaic word for ‘judgement’ being practically identical with the Assyrian word ‘dhem’, used of the official reports sent to the king by provincial rulers. Here the title apparently belongs to the chief officer of the district.

In the LXX., Syr. and Vulg. the title not being understood appears as a proper name; 1Es 2:16 makes the same error ‘Rathumus and Beeltethmus’.

Shimshai] Perhaps the same name as the Persian ‘Sisamnes’.

the scribe] i.e. the governor’s secretary. Each governor of a Persian province was attended by this official (Herod. III. 128), who acted as a check upon the governor as well as for administrative purposes.

Verse 8. - Rehum the chancellor. Literally, "the lord of judgment." It may be conjectured that Rehum was the sub-satrap (ὑποσατράπης, Xen.), of the province of Samaria. And Shimshai the scribe. Or "secretary." Herodotus tells us that in every Persian province the governor had a secretary attached to him, who was appointed by the crown, and acted as a check upon his nominal master (Herod., 3:128). The position assigned to Shim-shai in this chapter (see especially vers. 9, 17, 23) is such as might be expected under these circumstances. Ezra 4:8The writers of the letter are designated by titles which show them to have been among the higher functionaries of Artachshasta. Rehum is called טעם בּעל, dominus consilii v. decreti, by others consiliarius, royal counsellor, probably the title of the Persian civil governor (erroneously taken for a proper name in lxx, Syr., Arab.); Shimshai, ספרא, the Hebrew סופר, scribe, secretary. כּנמא is interpreted by Rashi and Aben Ezra by כּאשׁר נאמר, as we shall say; נמא is in the Talmud frequently an abbreviation of נאמר or נימר, of like signification with לאמר: as follows.
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