Ezra 7:26
And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
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(26) Let judgment be executed speedily upon him.—Hence civil authority is added to religious. All these powers were usually entrusted to the provincial administrators, with more or less of reservation, by the Persians. But it is obvious that their combination in the one person of this servant of Tehovah demanded express statement.

Ezra 7:26. Whosoever will not do the law of thy God, &c. — They were not allowed to make new laws, but were to see the law of God duly executed, (which is here made the law of the king,) and therefore were intrusted with the sword, that they might be a terror to evil-doers. What could Jehoshaphat, or Hezekiah, or David himself, as king, have done more for the honour of God and the furtherance of 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.Banishment - literally, as in the margin. Separation from the congregation is probably intended (compare Ezra 10:8). 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 law of thy God, and the law of the king, to wit, concerning these matters. Or, which law of God is by this my sanction now become my law also, to which I expect their punctual and ready obedience. For as far the civil laws of the empire, Ezra neither was skilful in them, nor was intrusted with the execution of them, which was committed to other hands. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king,.... Either the judge who delays judgment, or does not execute it according to the law of God, and of the king; or the people, that do not obey the law of God in matters of religion, and the law of the king in civil things, Judea being now a province of the Persian empire; though some think the law of the king only refers to this law or decree of the king, which gave the Jews power to execute their own laws:

let judgment be executed speedily upon him; immediately, without delay, according to the nature of his crime:

whether it be unto death; if guilty of a capital crime, deserving death, let him be put to death:

or to banishment; from his native country to a foreign distant land:

or to rooting out (y), as the word signifies; an utter extirpation of him and his family, a destroying him root and branch; or, as Jarchi expresses it, a rooting him out of the world, his seed and family:

or to confiscation of goods; to payment of mulcts and fines:

or to imprisonment; for such a term of time; all according to the breach of what law he may be guilty of; thus far the king's decree.

(y) "ad eradicationem ejus", Pagninus, Montanus; "ad eradicationem", Tigurine version, Vatablus, De Dieu, Michaelis.

And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
26. Penalty for Contumacy.

whosoever will not do] i.e. whoever of the Israelite race or of those that had attached themselves to the Jewish religion.

speedily] R.V. with all diligence.

death … banishment … confiscation … imprisonment] The king hands over to Ezra plenary powers of punishment.

banishment] R.V. marg. Aram. rooting out. LXX. παιδεία. Vulg. ‘exilium’. ‘Banishment’ is probably the meaning of the word, coming as it does between ‘death’ and ‘confiscation’. Some explain it of ‘excommunication’ or separation ‘from the congregation’.

It is not to be supposed that Ezra’s commission superseded the official governors of the satrapy. Rather his powers (1) to appoint judges (2) to instruct, (3) to inflict penalties, were given him to secure the strengthening of the religious organization based on the Law, which it was his object to make permanent and universal for his countrymen.Verse 26. - Finally, to Ezra is intrusted distinctly the civil government of the Jewish people, with power to fine, imprison, banish, or put to death offenders, as he may think right. These powers were always intrusted by the Persians to the civil administrators of provinces, who were autocrats within their respective territories, and responsible to the king alone for the exercise of their authority. EZRA'S THANKSGIVING ON RECEIPT OF ARTAXERXES' LETTER (Ezra 7:27, 28). With an abruptness that may appear strange, but which has many parallels in the works of Oriental writers, Ezra passes without a word of explanation from Artaxerxes' letter to his own thanksgiving upon the receipt of it. Compare the interjectional prayers of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:4; Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 6:9, 14, etc.). Ezra is to defray the expenses of all other things necessary for the temple from the royal treasury, on which account a royal order is despatched to the treasurer on this side the river. "And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to give" (i.e., whatever necessary expenses shall be incurred which cannot be determined beforehand), and for which the gifts and contributions already furnished to Ezra shall not suffice, he is to give, i.e., to defray, out of the house of the king's treasures, i.e., the royal treasury. For this purpose Artaxerxes commands all the treasures on this side the river, that whatsoever Ezra shall require of them shall be immediately done. אנה is an emphatic repetition of the pronoun, as in Daniel 7:15, and frequently in Hebrew.
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