Ezra 5:10
We asked their names also, to certify you, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
5:3-17 While employed in God's work, we are under his special protection; his eye is upon us for good. This should keep us to our duty, and encourage us therein, when difficulties are ever so discouraging. The elders of the Jews gave the Samaritans an account of their proceedings. Let us learn hence, with meekness and fear, to give a reason of the hope that is in us; let us rightly understand, and then readily declare, what we do in God's service, and why we do it. And while in this world, we always shall have to confess, that our sins have provoked the wrath of God. All our sufferings spring from thence, and all our comforts from his unmerited mercy. However the work may seem to be hindered, yet the Lord Jesus Christ is carrying it on, his people are growing unto a holy temple in the Lord, for a habitation of God through the Spirit.Great stones - literally, as in the margin; i. e., stones so large that they were rolled along, not carried. Others translate "polished stones." 8. the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones—literally, "stones of rolling"; that is, stones of such extraordinary size that they could not be carried—they had to be rolled or dragged along the ground. No text from Poole on this verse. We asked their names also,.... The names of the elders, those that set men about this work:

to certify that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them; take the names of them in writing, that they might with certainty acquaint the king who they were, and that if it was necessary they might be called to an account for what they were doing.

We asked their names also, to certify thee, that we might write the names of the men that were the chief of them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. We asked their names] R.V. we asked them their names. So the Aramaic. For the names of the Elders, cf. Ezra 2:2.

the chief of them] R.V. at the head of them. Literally ‘at or in the heads of them’. The R.V. renders as if the word was in the singular; cf. 2 Chronicles 20:27, ‘Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them’, (lit. at their head). But the rendering ‘that were their heads’ would be equally correct, and would account for the use of the plural.Then told we them after this manner (כּנמא, Ezra 4:8), what were the names of the men who were building this building. From אמרנא, we said, it is obvious that the author of this account was an eye-witness of, and sharer in, the work of building. These is not a shadow of reason for altering אמרנא into אמרוּ, or into the participle אמרין (Ew., Berth., and others); the εἴποσαν of the lxx being no critical authority for so doing. The answer in Ezra 5:4 seems not to correspond with the question in Ezra 5:3. The royal officials asked, Who had commanded them to build? The Jews told them the names of those who had undertaken and were conducting the building. But this incongruity between the question and answer is merely caused by the fact that the discussion is reported only by a short extract restricted to the principal subjects. We learn that this is the case from the contents of the letter sent by the officials to the king. According to these, the royal functionary inquired not merely concerning the author of the command to build, but asked also the names of those who were undertaking the work (comp. Ezra 5:9 and Ezra 5:10); while the rulers of the Jews gave a circumstantial answer to both questions (Ezra 5:11-15).
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