Ezra 8:26
I even weighed to their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;
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Ezra 8:26-27. Six hundred and fifty talents of silver — Making, at f375 sterling to the talent, f243,750 sterling. And silver vessels a hundred talents — Making near f40,000 sterling. And of gold (probably in coin) a hundred talents — Which at f4,500 per talent, make f450,000 sterling. Also twenty basins of gold of a thousand drachms — About f1,000 sterling value. And two vessels of fine copper — As valuable as gold.8:24-30 Do we expect that God should, by his providence, keep that which belongs to us, let us, by his grace, keep that which belongs to him. Let God's honour and interest be our care; and then we may expect that our lives and comforts will be his.What "enemy" menaced Ezra, and on what account, is wholly uncertain (compare Ezra 8:31). Perhaps robber-tribes, Arab or Syrian, were his opponents. 24-32. Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests … and weighed unto them the silver, &c.—The custody of the contributions and of the sacred vessels was, during the journey, committed to twelve of the chief priests, who, with the assistance of ten of their brethren, were to watch closely over them by the way, and deliver them into the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. The treasures in silver and gold, according to the value of the Babylonian talent, amounted to about £515,000 sterling. No text from Poole on this verse. I even weighed unto their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver,.... Which, according to Scheuchzer (a) amount to 975,000 imperials, and, of our money, 2,229,450 pounds sterling: and silver vessels one hundred talents; which came to 35,300 pounds, or 50,000 imperials; according to Jarchi, there were one hundred vessels, and every vessel weighed a talent, and so Aben Ezra, which, with Brerewood (b), was three hundred and seventy five pounds:

and of gold one hundred talents; which, according to Scheuchzer (c), were equal to 1,222,000 ducats of gold; the value of gold now is above 14 and a 3d to the value of silver, by which may be judged the difference between one hundred talents of gold and one hundred talents of silver; according to David de Pomis (d), there were two sorts of talents; common talents, which weighed sixty pounds, and the talent of the sanctuary, which weighed double to that.

(a) Physica Sacra, vol. 4. p. 651. (b) De Pond. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4. (c) Ut supra. (Physica Sacra, vol. 4. p. 651.) (d) Tzemach David, fol. 57. 3.

I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty {h} talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;

(h) Read 1Ki 9:14.

26. unto their hand] R.V. into their hand. Cf. note on Ezra 1:8.

The enormous value of these gifts is startling. The suspicion that the figures have been exaggerated by copyists is not unnatural.

six hundred and fifty talents of silver] A talent of silver being reckoned as worth £375, this means a sum approaching to a quarter of a million sterling, £243,750.

silver vessels an hundred talents] i.e. worth a 100 talents = £37,500.

and of gold an hundred talents] R.V. omits ‘and’. A gold talent was worth about £6,750; 100 talents would then = £675,000.Verse 26. - Six hundred and fifty talents of silver, according to Mr. Peele's estimate of the talent, would be nearly a quarter of a million of our money. The annual revenue of Persia was about three and a half millions (Herod., 3:95). Of gold an hundred talents. Rather more than a million of our money. With respect to the Nethinim, whom David and the princes (of Israel) had given for the service of the Levites (i.e., made servants of the temple, to perform the lowest offices for the Levites), comp. Joshua 9:21 and Ezra 2:43. "They all were distinguished by name," i.e., were men of note; comp. remarks on 1 Chronicles 12:31.
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