Ezra 6:12
And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
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Ezra 6:12. The God that hath caused his name to dwell there — Who hath willed that a temple should be built there, called the temple or house of Jehovah. Destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter, &c. — Darius was touched with such a sense of the greatness of the God of the Jews, that he prays, that He who had all power in heaven and earth, and was King of kings, would not only punish all those kings who went about to obstruct this work, but destroy both them and their people. Though this temple was at length most justly destroyed by the righteous hand of God, yet perhaps the Romans, who were the instruments of that destruction, felt the effects of this curse. For that empire sensibly declined ever after, till it was wholly destroyed.

Here let us admire, how the divine providence overruleth every thing according to its purpose, to bring about all its wise designs. The great men, we here find, stood up against the poor and shattered remnant of Judah; they took counsel together how to oppress them, and keep them down. They laid their plans, exhibited their complaints against them, and thought to overturn them: but, quite contrary to their thoughts, the steps they took for this purpose operated the contrary way, and proved the means of exalting and raising those whom they intended to ruin to a higher pitch of power and pre-eminence. The king, whose governors these men were, and to whom, undoubtedly, they represented how much it was for his interest to put a stop to the rise of Judah, instead of hearkening to their complaints, as was natural, and acting accordingly, sent back a decree, not only forbidding them to molest the Jews in any way, but also granting them the most extraordinary privileges and encouragements, as to the greatest favourites. To what can we attribute this extraordinary behaviour in the king: but to an overruling providence? which ruleth even the hearts of kings, and turneth them as it seemeth best to his sovereign wisdom.

6:1-12 When God's time is come for fulfilling his gracious purposes concerning his church, he will raise up instruments to do it, from whom such good service was not expected. While our thoughts are directed to this event, we are led by Zechariah to fix our regard on a nobler, a spiritual building. The Lord Jesus Christ continues to lay one stone upon another: let us assist the great design. Difficulties delay the progress of this sacred edifice. Yet let not opposition discourage us, for in due season it will be completed to his abundant praise. He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.Destroy all - A similar malediction is found at the end of the great inscription of this same king Darius at Behistun: If anyone injures the tablet which he has set up, he prays that Ormazd will be their enemy, and that they may have no offspring, and that whatever they do, Ormazd may curse it for them.

To alter and to destroy this house - i. e., to alter the decree, and then proceed to destroy the house.

11, 12. whosoever shall alter this word—The warning was specially directed against the turbulent and fanatical Samaritans. The extremely favorable purport of this edict was no doubt owing in some measure to the influence of Cyrus, of whom Darius entertained a high admiration, and whose two daughters he had married. But it proceeded still more from the deep impressions made even on the idolatrous people of that country and that age, as to the being and providence of the God of Israel. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there,.... Whose name is not only called upon there, and that called by his name; but who grants his presence, and causes his Shechinah, or divine Majesty, to dwell there, as in Solomon's temple, which Darius had some knowledge of:

destroy all kings and people; let them be who they will, high or low:

that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God, which is at Jerusalem; this he said to deter from hindering the building of it now, and from attempting to destroy it hereafter:

I Darius have made a decree, let it be done with speed; be carried immediately into execution, especially with respect to the disbursement for the building of the temple, and for the sacrifices of it.

And the God that hath caused his name {e} to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

(e) Who has appointed that place to have his Name called on there.

12. And the God that hath caused his name, &c.] A Hebrew phrase (see Deuteronomy 12:11; 1 Kings 8:29; Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 7:12) introduced by the Jewish Compiler into his paraphrase of Darius’s decree.

destroy all kings and people] R.V. overthrow all kings and peoples. The word rendered ‘destroy’ here by the A.V. differs in the Aramaic from that rendered ‘destroy’ at the close of the verse. It is used in the Targum of 2 Kings 9:33 for the words ‘throw her down’, of Psalm 119:139 ‘my zeal hath consumed me’.

that shall put to their hand] R.V. put forth their hand.

to alter and to destroy this house] R.V. to alter the same, to destroy this house; i.e. alter the decree and to destroy the Temple. These words illustrate the latitude that should be given to the expression ‘alter’

with speed] R.V. with all diligence, cf. Ezra 6:8, and Ezra 5:8.

Ezra 6:12Finally, Darius adds the threat: "The God who has caused His name to dwell there, destroy every king and (every) people that shall stretch forth the hand to alter (this command), to destroy this house of God at Jerusalem." The expression, "the God who has caused His name to dwell there," is indeed specifically Israelitish (comp. Deuteronomy 12:11; Deuteronomy 14:23; Jeremiah 7:12; Nehemiah 1:9), and therefore undoubtedly originated with the Jewish historian; but the matter itself, the wish that God Himself would destroy him who should injure His temple, recalls the close of the inscription of Bisitun, wherein the judgments of Ahuramazda are imprecated upon him who should dare to injure the image and inscription, and his blessing invoked upon him who should respect them (Berth.).
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