Ezra 5:9
Then asked we those elders, and said to them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls?
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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. Then asked we those elders,.... The elders of the province of Judea; the chief men of it:

who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls? see Ezra 5:3.

Then asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who commanded you to build this house, and to make up these walls?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Who commanded …, and to make up] R.V. Who gave … a decree, … and to finish. Cf. on Ezra 5:3.

these walls] R.V. ‘this wall’ as in Ezra 5:3.When the building was recommenced, the governor on this side Euphrates, and other royal officials, evidently informed of the undertaking by the adversaries of the Jews, made their appearance for the purpose of investigating matters on the spot. עליהון אתּה, came to them, to the two above-named rulers of the community at Jerusalem. Tatnai (lxx Θανθαναΐ́) was פּחה, viceroy, in the provinces west of Euphrates, i.e., as correctly expanded in 1 Esdras, of Syria and Phoenicia, to which Judaea with its Pecha Zerubbabel was subordinate. With him came Shethar-Boznai, perhaps his secretary, and their companions, their subordinates. The royal officials inquired: "Who has commanded you to build this house, and to finish this wall?" The form לבנא here and Ezra 5:13 is remarkable, the infinitive in Chaldee being not בנא, butמבנא; compare Ezra 5:2, Ezra 5:17, and Ezra 6:8. Norzi has both times לבּנא, as through the Dagesh forte were compensating for an omitted .מ אשּׁרנא which occurs only here and Ezra 5:9, is variously explained. The Vulgate, the Syriac, and also the Rabbins, translate: these walls. This meaning best answers to the context, and is also linguistically the most correct. It can hardly, however, be derived (Gesenius) from אשׁר, but rather from אשׁן, in Chaldee אשׁוּן, firm, strong-walls as the strength or firmness of the building. The form אשּׁרנא has arisen from אשׁנּא, and is analogous to the form בּשׁנה.

(Note: The interpretations of the lxx, τὴν χορηγίαν ταύτην, meaning these building materials, and of 1 Esdr. 6:4, τὴν στέγην ταύτην καὶ τὰ ἄλλα πάντα, this roof and all besides, for which Bertheau decides, without considering that שׁכלל may mean to complete, and not to prepare for anything, are but conjectures.)

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