Ezra 7:25
And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach you them that know them not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) All such as know.—The firman, or king’s commission, returning directly to Ezra, makes him supreme in the province over the Jewish population.

And teach ye them that know them not.—That is, those Jews who had comparatively forsaken the law. Here he has absolute authority in religion.

Ezra 7:25. After the wisdom of thy God in thy hand — That is, which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears in the works of thy hand. Wisdom is sometimes ascribed to the hand, as Psalm 78:72. Or, by the wisdom of God, he means the law of God, which was said to be in his hand, Ezra 7:14. Set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people, &c. — All the Jews on that side of the river. All such as know the laws of thy God — All that professed the Jewish religion were to be under the jurisdiction of these judges; which intimates that they were exempt from the jurisdiction of heathen magistrates. It was a great favour to the Jews to have such magistrates of themselves, and especially of Ezra’s nomination. And teach ye them that know them not — They were to instruct in the laws of God those that were ignorant of them, whether Jews or others, which implies that he had no objection to their making proselytes to the Jewish religion.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 decree of Artaxerxes was more favorable to the Jews than those of all previous Persian monarchs. We hear of a similar exemption of ecclesiastics from tribute, only to a less extent, under the Seleucidae.

Ministers - The rare word here used, which in Daniel has the sense of "worshippers," appears to designate in this place the lowest class of persons employed in the service of the temple.

22-24. an hundred talents of silver—£22,000 according to the rate of the silver talent of Babylon. Fourthly, Artaxerxes gave his royal sanction in the establishment of the divine law, which exempted priests and Levites from taxation or tribute and confirmed to them the exclusive right to officiate in the sacred services of the sanctuary. And, finally, in the expression of the king's desire for the divine blessing upon the king and his government (Ezr 7:23), we see the strong persuasion which pervaded the Persian court, and had been produced by the captivity of the Hebrew people, as to the being and directing providence of the God they worshipped. It will be observed, however, that the commission related exclusively to the rebuilding of the temple—not of the walls. The Samaritans (Ezr 4:20-22) had succeeded in alarming the Persian court by their representations of the danger to the empire of fortifying a city notorious for the turbulent character of its inhabitants and the prowess of its kings. The wisdom of thy God that is in thine hand, i.e. which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears in the works of thy hand. Wisdom is sometimes ascribed to the hands, as Psalm 78:72. See my Latin Synopsis on Genesis 48:14. Or, by the wisdom of God, he means the law of God, which was said to be in his hand, Ezra 7:14. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand,.... Which he had a large share of from the Lord, and could readily make use of to good purpose; and this may be meant of the law of God made with the highest wisdom, and to know and observe which is an instance of wisdom in men, Deuteronomy 4:6,

set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; such as God, in his great wisdom, directed to in his wise law to be appointed over the people, to judge righteous judgment; to inform them in all matters of controversy that might arise among them, and decide them according to it; and lead them into a greater and better knowledge of it, Deuteronomy 16:18. Jarchi takes the word for "set" to be a comparative, and the sense to be, that the wisdom of Ezra was greater than the judges that judged the people, than them that knew the law:

and teach ye them that know them not; such people that were ignorant thereof; though the above writer interprets this of ignorant judges,"the judge that knows not to judge, make him know judgment to do it.''

And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, {o} set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.

(o) He gave Ezra full authority to restore all things according to the word of God, and to punish them who resisted and would not obey.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. Ezra again addressed, empowered to appoint judges for Jews in the country W. of the Euphrates and to inflict penalties for the violation of the law.

after the wisdom of God, that is in thine hand] cf. Ezra 7:14, ‘the law of by God which is in thy hand’. Law in its obligation, wisdom in its spirit.

magistrates and judges] The former is the same word as the ‘Judges’ (Shôphetim) of the book so called. The two words, if capable of distinction, represent administrative and judicial functions.

all such as know the laws of thy God] No authority save over those of Israelite race or Jewish religion. But this commission gave Ezra and the community at Jerusalem the right to exercise special powers over all countrymen in Syria, Phœnicia and Palestine.

and teach ye them that know them not] R.V. and teach ye him that knoweth them not. The injunction, expressed in the plural, seems to include the leaders of the Jews along with Ezra, with special reference to the ‘magistrates and judges’ to be appointed. The primary intention of this sentence is to ensure instruction in the Law for those Jews. Who by living among the heathen had grown to neglect or to forget the obligations of their religion. It does not amount to a command ‘to proselytize’, but would, no doubt, include the instruction of proselytes, and grant general permission to teach the Jewish religion.Verse 25. - And thou, Ezra. This conclusion would be by itself sufficient to remove the document out of the ordinary category of "decrees" or "edicts," and to render it, what it is called in ver. 11, nish-tevan, "a letter." After the wisdom of thy God, that is in thy hand. i.e. "that is in thy possession." Set magistrates and judges. Both the words used are derived from roots signifying "to judge," and it is difficult to draw any distinction between them. The one translated "magistrates" is that which gives its title to the Book of "Judges." Which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God. The latter clause is probably intended to be limitative of the former, and to consign to Ezra's government only the Jewish portion of the population, in which, however, are to be reckoned the proselytes (see comment on Ezra 6:21). And teach ye them that know them not. As the other inhabitants of Syria were not Zoroastrians, but idolaters, Ezra was given free permission to spread his religion among them. The gold and silver vessels, moreover, which, according to Ezra 8:25-27, the king and his counsellors, and the princes and all Israel, presented for the service of the house of God, he is to deliver before the God at Jerusalem (an abbreviated expression for the God whose dwelling is at Jerusalem). The noun פּלחן, only here and in the Targums, in the Syriac פּוּלחן, the service, corresponds with the Hebrew עבורה. שׁלם in the Aphel, to complete, to make full, then to deliver entirely, to consign.
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