Ezra 5:14
And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;
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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." 13. Cyrus the king … made a decree—The Jews were perfectly warranted according to the principles of the Persian government to proceed with the building in virtue of Cyrus' edict. For everywhere a public decree is considered as remaining in force until it is revoked but the "laws of the Medes and Persians changed not" [Da 6:8, 12, 15]. No text from Poole on this verse. Of which, and of what is said concerning them, and particularly of the delivery of them to Sheshbazzar, whom Cyrus made governor of Judah, and ordered him to carry them to Jerusalem, and build the temple there, and put them in it, see Ezra 1:7. And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was {f} Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;

(f) Read Ezr 1:8.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. And the vessels also of gold and silver] R.V. And the gold and silver vessels. See note on Ezra 1:7-11.

into the temple of Babylon] See note on Ezra 1:7, ‘the house of his gods’, i.e. the great temple at Babylon, which Nebuchadnezzar had restored.

Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor] Literally ‘pekhah’. In Ezra 1:8, Sheshbazzar is called ‘prince of Judah’. In Haggai 1:1 &c. Zerubbabel is called ‘pekhah’. For the identification see note on Ezra 1:8.Verse 14. - The vessels also of gold and silver. See Ezra 1:7-11. On the great importance attached to these vessels, see the comment on Ezra 1:7. So long as they remained at Babylon they were a tangible evidence of the conquest, a glory to the Babylonians, and a disgrace to the Jews. Their retention was a perpetual desecration. Their restoration by Cyrus was an act at once of piety and of kindliness. On the temple of Babylon, out of which Cyrus took them, see the comment on Ezra 1:7. In Ezra 5:6-17 follows the letter which the royal officials sent to the king. Ezra 5:6 and Ezra 5:7 form the introduction to this document, and correspond with Ezra 5:8-11 in Ezra 4. Copy of the letter (comp. Ezra 4:11) which Tatnai, etc., sent. The senders of the letter are, besides Tatnai, Shethar-Boznai and his companions the Apharsachites, the same called Ezra 4:9 the Apharsathchites, who perhaps, as a race specially devoted to the Persian king, took a prominent position among the settlers in Syria, and may have formed the royal garrison. After this general announcement of the letter, follows the more precise statement: They sent the matter to him; and in it was written, To King Darius, much peace. פּתגּן here is not command, but matter; see above. כלּא, its totality, is unconnected with, yet dependent on שׁלמא: peace in all things, in every respect. The letter itself begins with a simple representation of the state of affairs (Ezra 5:8): "We went into the province of Judaea, to the house of the great God (for so might Persian officials speak of the God of Israel, after what they had learned from the elders of Judah of the edict of Cyrus), and it is being built with freestone, and timber is laid in the walls; and this work is being diligently carried on, and is prospering under their hands." The placing of wood in the walls refers to building beams into the wall for flooring; for the building was not so far advanced as to make it possible that this should be said of covering the walls with wainscotting. The word אספּרנא here, and Ezra 6:8, Ezra 6:12-13; Ezra 7:17, Ezra 7:21, Ezra 7:26, is of Aryan origin, and is explained by Haug in Ew. Janro. v. p. 154, from the Old-Persian us-parna, to mean: carefully or exactly finished-a meaning which suits all these passages.
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