Ezra 7:17
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
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(17) Buy speedily.—Provide first of all for the sacrificial ceremonial. Every sacrifice had its own meat-offerings and drink-offerings (Numbers 15). These phrases in the commission of course Ezra dictated.

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.Seven counselors - Herodotus relates that there were seven families pre-eminent in Persia, those of the seven conspirators against the Pseudo-Smerdis (Ezra 4:7 note); and it is reasonable to suppose that the heads of these families formed the special council of the king; the "Achaemenidae," or royal family, being represented by the head of the branch next in succession to that of the reigning monarch (see the marginal reference). 14. sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors—This was the fixed number of the privy council of the kings of Persia (Es 1:10, 14). The document describes, with great clearness and precision, the nature of Ezra's commission and the extent of power and prerogatives with which he was invested. It gave him authority, in the first place, to organize the colony in Judea and institute a regular government, according to the laws of the Hebrew people, and by magistrates and rulers of their own nation (Ezr 7:25, 26), with power to punish offenders by fines, imprisonment, exile, or death, according to the degree of their criminality. Secondly, he was empowered to carry a large donation in money, partly from the royal treasury and partly raised by voluntary contributions among his countrymen, to create a fund out of which to make suitable provision for maintaining the regular worship of God in Jerusalem (Ezr 7:16, 17). Thirdly, the Persian officers in Syria were commanded to afford him every assistance by gifts of money within a certain specified limit, in carrying out the objects of his patriotic mission (Ezr 7:21). No text from Poole on this verse.

That thou mayest buy speedily with this money,.... Thus freely contributed by one and another:

bullocks, rams, lambs; which were for burnt offerings:

with their meat offerings, and their drink offerings; which always went along with the burnt offerings, according to the law of Moses; and which the king seemed to have a right knowledge of, being, no doubt, instructed by Ezra, or some other Jew in his court:

and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem; the altar of burnt offering in the temple there.

That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
17. Purpose of the gifts and offerings: (i) sacrifices.

that thou mayest buy speedily] R.V. therefore thou shalt buy with all diligence; ‘therefore’, i.e. because of the gifts received from the crown, the Babylonians and the Jews.

‘with all diligence’, see note on Ezra 5:8. The sacrifices here mentioned, as in Ezra 6:9-10, consist of burnt offerings (bullocks, rams, lambs), with their accompanying ‘meal’ and ‘drink-offerings’, Numbers 15:1-16.

meat offerings] R.V. meal offerings (i.e. ‘Minkhah’, as always in R.V.).

Verse 17. - That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, etc. The primary application of the money sent by Ezra was to be the maintenance of the Jewish ritual in its full splendour (compare the decree of Darius, Ezra 6:9, 10). The residue was, however, to be employed in any way that Ezra, acting under Divine guidance, might direct (see below, ver. 18). Apparently, this residue was actually employed on beautifying the temple (see ver. 27). Ezra 7:17The application of these contributions. דּנה כּל־קבל, for this very reason, sc. because furnished by the king and his counsellors, and by the heathen and Israelite inhabitants of Babylon, thou shalt diligently buy with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat-offerings and their drink-offerings (the meat and drink offerings pertaining by the law, Numbers 15:1, etc., to the sacrifices), and offer them upon the altar ... The Pael תּקרב instead of the Aphel, Ezra 6:10, Ezra 6:17. The distribution and collection were thus chiefly destined for the support of public worship, but were larger and more abundant than was necessary for this purpose. Hence the further injunction, Ezra 7:18 : "And whatsoever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren to do with the rest of the gold and the silver, that do after the will of your God," i.e., according to the precept of the law in which the will of God is expressed. "Thy brethren" are the priests, to whom was committed the care of the temple and its worship.
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