Ezra 7:13
I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you.
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7:11-26 The liberality of heathen kings to support the worship of God, reproached the conduct of many kings of Judah, and will rise up in judgment against the covetousness of wealthy professed Christians, who will not promote the cause of God. But the weapons of Christian ministers are not carnal. Faithful preaching, holy lives, fervent prayers, and patient suffering when called to it, are the means to bring men into obedience to Christ.The title, "king of kings," is assumed by almost all the persian monarchs in their inscriptions.

Perfect peace - "Peace" is not in the original, and the word translated "perfect" occurs only in this place. Some prefer to take it as an adjective descriptive of Ezra (see margin); others (Septuagint) as the opening word of the first paragraph of the letter, and give it the meaning, "it is completed."

12. Artaxerxes, king of kings—That title might have been assumed as, with literal truth, applicable to him, since many of the tributary princes of his empire still retained the name and authority of kings. But it was a probably a mere Orientalism, denoting a great and powerful prince, as the heaven of heavens signified the highest heaven, and vanity of vanities, the greatest vanity. This vainglorious title was assumed by the kings of Assyria, from whom it passed to the sovereigns of Persia.

unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven—The appointment of Ezra to this influential mission was of the highest importance to the Hebrew people, as a large proportion of them were become, in a great measure, strangers both to the language and the institutions of their forefathers.

No text from Poole on this verse. I make a decree,.... Which, according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, when signed, might not be changed, Daniel 6:8,

that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm; who remained there, and took not the benefit of the edict of Cyrus, which gave them leave to go; but neglecting the opportunity, it seems as if they could not now go out of the realm without a fresh grant, which is hereby given:

which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee; this decree did not oblige them to go whether they would or not; for they might, notwithstanding this, continue if they pleased; it only gave them leave to make use of the present opportunity of going along with Ezra, if they chose it.

I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill {g} to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

(g) Who still remained in Babylon and had not returned with Zerubbabel.

13. Permission to Jews to return with Ezra to Jerusalem.

I make a decree] The same phrase as in Ezra 4:19, Ezra 6:8; Ezra 6:11.

all they of the people of Israel] Cf. Cyrus’s decree Ezra 1:3 ‘Whosoever there is among all his people’. Here, by the side of ‘the priests and Levites’, the expression, as in Ezra 7:27, should be compared with Ezra 2:2.

of his priests] R.V. their priests, i.e. the priests of the people.Verse 13. - All they of the people of Israel. The decree of Artaxerxes is as wide in its terms as the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra 1:3), and gives permission not to the Jews only, but to all Israelites of whatever tribe, to accompany Ezra to Jerusalem. That Israelites of all the tribes actually went up to Jerusalem on the occasion seems indicated by the "twelve bullocks for all Israel," which those who returned with Ezra offered on their arrival to the "God of Israel" (see Ezra 8:35). With Ezra went up a number of Israelites, priests, and Levites. מן partitive: a part of the whole. That they went up with Ezra appears from the context, and is expressly stated both in the royal edict (Ezra 7:13) and in the further description of the expedition (Ezra 7:28, Ezra 8:1). They went up in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, and reached Jerusalem in the fifth month of that year. - In Ezra 7:8 Ezra is again, as in Ezra 7:6, the subject of the sentence; the intervening seventh verse being really only in apposition with Ezra 7:6. - In Ezra 7:9 the time occupied by the journey is more precisely defined; כּי is explanatory. Namely, on the first day of the first month, he had appointed the journey from Babylon, etc. The Keri יסד הוּא can only mean, ipsum erat fundamentum profectionis, as J. H. Mich. after R. Sal. explains it, for יסד is pointed as the construct state. The departure of the expedition from the place of meeting occurred, according to Ezra 8:31, on the twelfth day of the first month. Since, however, they encamped three days there, making the final preparations for their journey, eleven days might easily elapse between the period when the whole caravan had assembled, and the day of actual departure. The Keri offers no appropriate signification; for since הוּא can only be taken for the subject, and הם יסד for the predicate, the sentence would contain an anacoluthon. To translate הוּא by ipsum cannot be justified by the usages of the language, for there is no such emphasis on יסד as to cause הוּא to be regarded as an emphatic reference to the following noun. יסד must be pointed יסד or יסּד, as the third pers. perf. Kal or Piel, meaning to arrange, to appoint, and הוּא referred to Ezra. On הטּובה אלהיו כּיד, comp. Ezra 7:6. The hand of his God graciously arranged for him, for he had prepared his heart to seek and to do the law of Jahve, i.e., to make the law of God his rule of action. לבבו הכין, like 2 Chronicles 12:14; 2 Chronicles 19:3; 2 Chronicles 30:19. To teach in Israel statutes and judgments, as both are prescribed in the law of God.
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