Ezra 7:28
And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellers, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28) And hath extended mercy unto me.—The honour done to himself before the council of Persia he ascribes to the mercy of God. Once more we have an anticipation of the journey, with a parenthesis intervening.

Ezra 7:28. And hath extended mercy to me, &c. — The king, in the honour he did Ezra, we may suppose, had an eye to his merits, and preferred him because he judged him to be an intelligent, dis-interested, and upright man: but he himself ascribes his elevation purely to God’s mercy. And I was strengthened — Endowed with courage and ability to undertake the services; as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me — To direct and support me. If God gives us his hand, we are bold and cheerful, if he withdraws it, we are weak as water. Whatever service we are enabled to do for God and our generation, God must have all the glory of it.

7:27,28 Two things Ezra blessed God for: 1. For his commission. If any good appear in our hearts, or in the hearts of others, we must own that God put it there, and bless him; it is he that worketh in us, both to will and to do that which is good. 2. For his encouragement: God has extended mercy to me. Ezra was a man of courage, yet he ascribed this not to his own heart, but to God's hand. If God give us his hand, we are bold and cheerful; if he withdraw it, we are weak as water. Whatever we are enabled to do for God and those around us, God must have all the glory.An abrupt transition from the words of Artaxerxes to those of Ezra. Compare a similar abrupt change in Ezra 6:6. The language alters at the same time from Chaldee to Hebrew, continuing henceforth to be Hebrew until the close of the book. Ezr 7:27, 28. Ezra Blesses God for This Favor.

27. Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers—This devout thanksgiving is in unison with the whole character of Ezra, who discerns the hand of God in every event, and is always ready to express a pious acknowledgment for the divine goodness.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And hath extended mercy unto me, before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes,.... Before Artaxerxes, his seven counsellors, Ezra 7:14 and the nobles of his realm, in being appointed by them to carry their freewill offerings to Jerusalem, and the king's commands to his treasurers, with leave to take as many of the Jews with him as were willing to go:

and I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; animated to undertake this work, and execute this commission, being under the influence of divine favour and protection:

and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me; he went about in the several parts where Israelites dwelt, and persuaded some of the principal men among them to go along with him to Jerusalem, showing them the king's decree, which gave them leave; and their names and numbers are described in the next chapter.

And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
28. hath extended mercy unto me] First usage of the 1st person, which continues to close of chap. 9. ‘Hath extended mercy’, cf. Ezra 9:9; Genesis 39:21.

his counsellers] see on Ezra 7:14.

as the hand … was upon] R.V. according to the hand: see on Ezra 7:6.

out of Israel] i.e. of the laity, cf. Ezra 2:2.

chief men] literally, ‘heads’, cf. Ezra 5:10.

Verse 28. - Hath extended mercy unto me before the king. i.e. "hath given me favour in the king's sight" - "hath made him graciously disposed towards me" (see ver. 6). And his counsellors and... princes. Compare the comment on ver. 14. The "counsellors" and "princes" are the same persons.



Ezra 7:28This royal commission granted to the Jews all they could possibly desire from the heathen governors of the country, for the establishment and furtherance of their civil and religious polity. By granting these privileges, Artaxerxes was not only treading in the footsteps of Cyrus and Darius Hystaspes, but even going beyond these princes in granting to the Jews a jurisdiction of their own. Without a magistrate who was one of themselves, the Jewish community could not well prosper in their own land; for the social and religious life of Israel were so closely connected, that heathen magistrates, however well-intentioned, were incapable of exercising a beneficial influence upon the welfare of the Jews. Hence Ezra, having thus reported the royal commission, adds a thanksgiving to God for having put such a thing into the king's heart, namely, to beautify the house of the Lord, and for having granted him favour before the king and his counsellors. The sentence הטּה ועלי הטּה e is a continuation of the preceding infinitive sentence in the tempus finit. ל before כּל־שׂרי is the ל comprehensive. Ezra names the beautifying of the house of God as the occasion of his thanksgiving, not only because this formed the chief matter of the royal favour, but also because the re-establishment of divine worship was the re-establishment of the moral and religious life of the community. "And I felt myself strengthened, and gathered together (so that I gathered together) the heads of Israel to go up with me (to Jerusalem)." Ezra assembled the heads, i.e., of houses, as fellow-travellers, because their decision would be a rule for the families at the head of which they stood. With their heads, the several races and families determined to return to the land of their fathers.
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