Ezra 5:7
They sent a letter to him, wherein was written thus; To Darius the king, all peace.
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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.Apharsachites, like Apharsites, and Apharsathchites Ezra 4:9, are thought by some to be forms of the word "Persians," which is applied here generally to the foreign settlers in Samaria. (Others identify the first and the third names with the "Paretaceni," a people on the Medo-Persian border.) 5-17. But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, &c.—The unusual presence, the imposing suite, the authoritative enquiries of the satrap appeared formidable, and might have produced a paralyzing influence or led to disastrous consequences, if he had been a partial and corrupt judge or actuated by unfriendly feelings towards the Jewish cause. The historian, therefore, with characteristic piety, throws in this parenthetical verse to intimate that God averted the threatening cloud and procured favor for the elders or leaders of the Jews, that they were not interrupted in their proceedings till communications with the court should be made and received. Not a word was uttered to dispirit the Jews or afford cause of triumph to their opponents. Matters were to go on till contrary orders arrived from Babylon. After surveying the work in progress, he inquired: first, by what authority this national temple was undertaken; and, secondly, the names of the principal promoters and directors of the undertaking. To these two heads of enquiry the Jews returned ready and distinct replies. Then having learned that it originated in a decree of Cyrus, who had not only released the Jewish exiles from captivity and permitted them to return to their own land for the express purpose of rebuilding the house of God, but, by an act of royal grace, had restored to them the sacred vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had carried off as trophies from the former temple, Tatnai transmitted all this information in an official report to his imperial master, accompanying it with a recommendatory suggestion that search should be made among the national archives at Babylon for the original decree of Cyrus, that the truth of the Jews' statement might be verified. The whole conduct of Tatnai, as well as the general tone of his despatch, is marked by a sound discretion and prudent moderation, free from any party bias, and evincing a desire only to do his duty. In all respects he appears in favorable contrast with his predecessor, Rehum (Ezr 4:9). No text from Poole on this verse. They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus,.... Or this was the inscription of it:

unto Darius the king, all peace; wishing him all kind of happiness and prosperity.

They sent a letter unto him, wherein was written thus; Unto Darius the king, all peace.
7. a letter] In Ezra 5:6 called in the Aramaic ‘iggarta’ (cf. ἀγγαρεύω), here ‘pithgama’ (cf. Ezra 4:17), the more official designation.

all peace] Literally ‘peace, the completeness or entirety’. The two words in apposition. ‘Peace in every respect.’ "The prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel upon them." חתנבּי without א, which this word occasionally loses in Hebrew also, comp. 1 Samuel 10:6, 1 Samuel 10:13; Jeremiah 26:9. The epithet נביּאה added to the name of Haggai serves to distinguish him from others of the same name, and as well as הנּביא, Hagg. Hag 1:1, Haggai 1:3, Haggai 1:12, and elsewhere, is used instead of the name of his father; hence, after Zechariah is named, the prophets, as designating the position of both, can follow. על־יהוּדיא, they prophesied to (not against) the Jews; על as in Ezekiel 37:4, equals אל, Ezekiel 37:9; Ezekiel 36:1. The Jews in Judah and Jerusalem, in contradistinction to Jews dwelling elsewhere, especially to those who had remained in Babylon. עליהון belongs to אלהּ בּשׁם, in the name of God, who was upon them, who was come upon them, had manifested Himself to them. Comp. Jeremiah 15:16.
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