Ezra 8:27
Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) A thousand drams.Darics, and therefore the whole worth rather more than a thousand guineas.

Fine copper.—Probably the Roman Orichalcum, a metal very highly valued.

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.Twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams - Not of a thousand drams (i. e., darics) each, but worth altogether a thousand darics. As the value of the daric was about 22 shillings of British money, each basin, or saucer, would have been worth (apart from the fashioning) 55 British pounds.

Of fine copper - The word translated "fine," which occurs here only, is thought to mean either "yellow" or "glittering" (see the margin). Probably the vessels were of orichalcum, an amalgam which was either brass or something nearly approaching to brass, but which was very rarely produced in the ancient world, and, when produced, was regarded as highly valuable.

27. two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold—Almost all commentators agree in maintaining that the vessels referred to were not made of copper, but of an alloy capable of taking on a bright polish, which we think highly probable, as copper was then in common use among the Babylonians, and would not be as precious as gold. This alloy, much esteemed among the Jews, was composed of gold and other metals, which took on a high polish and was not subject to tarnish [Noyes]. Heb. desirable as gold; not that it was of equal price and worth with it, but for its incomparable excellency in its kind, and for its great rarity, for which cause there were only two vessels of that sort.

Also twenty basins of gold, of a thousand drams,.... Which were upwards of 1000 pounds of our money; for Bishop Cumberland says (e), the Persian "daric", "drachma", or "drachm", weighed twenty shillings and four pence; and, according to Dr. Bernard, it exceeded one of our guineas by two grains; see Gill on 1 Chronicles 29:7.

and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold; which perhaps is the same with the Indian or Persian brass Aristotle (f) speaks of, which is so bright and pure, and free from rust, that it cannot be known by its colour from gold, and that there are among the cups of Darius such as cannot be discerned whether they are brass or gold but by the smell: the Syriac version interprets it by Corinthian brass, which was a mixture of gold, silver, and copper, made when Corinth was burnt, and which is exceeding valuable; of which Pliny (g) makes three sorts, very precious, and of which he says, it is in value next to, and even before silver, and almost before gold; but this sort of brass was not as yet in being: Kimchi (h) interprets the word here of its colour, being next to the colour of gold.

(e) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 115. (f) De Mirabilibus, p. 704, vol. 1.((g) Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 1, 2.((h) Sepher Shorash. rad.

Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand {i} drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.

(i) Read Ezr 2:69.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. also twenty basons of gold] R.V. and twenty bowls of gold: ‘bowl’ as in Ezra 1:10.

of a thousand drams] R.V. of a thousand darics. About £1 each: see on Ezra 2:69.

The total specified values then are about

£243,750 + £37,500 + £675,000 + £1,000 = £957,250,

or nearly a million of our money.

fine copper] R.V. fine bright brass. The Hebrew word (Muçhâbh) occurs only here. LXX. στίλβοντος. Some have suggested ‘orichalchum’, a variety of brass.

1Es 8:57, ‘And twelve (not ‘two’) vessels of brass even of fine brass, glittering like gold’.

precious] a rare word in the Hebrew, occurring also in Genesis 27:15, ‘goodly raiment’; 2 Chronicles 20:25; Daniel 11:38; Daniel 11:43, ‘precious things’ (cf. Daniel 10:3, ‘pleasant bread’ or bread of preciousness), applied metaphorically to Daniel himself ‘greatly beloved’ (lit. a man of precious things), Daniel 9:23; Daniel 10:11; Daniel 10:19.

Verse 27. - Twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams (see comment on Ezra 2:69). The "basons" would be worth about £55 each. Fine copper, precious as gold. The metal intended is probably that known to the Romans as orichalchum, which is generally believed to have been brass, but which may have been a more complicated amalgam. Being rarely, and perhaps only accidentally, produced, this metal was highly valued. Ezra 8:27To these chief priests and Levites Ezra weighed the silver and the gold and the vessels; שׁקל, to weigh, i.e., to deliver by weight. In the Chethiv אשׁקולה the O sound is maintained, and consequently the Keri is pointed -. On the other hand, in Ezra 8:26 the וּ is dropped, and the form pointed with -, though many MSS, followed by J. H. Michaelis, have ו- here also. אל בּית תּרוּמת is in apposition with the before-named objects: the gold, the silver, and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God, which the king, his councillors ... had offered; comp. Ezra 7:15-16, Ezra 7:19. In ההרימוּ the article represents the relative pronoun; see on 1 Chronicles 26:28. הנּמצאים, all Israelites who were found, met with, in Babylon, and were not going with them to Jerusalem; comp. 1 Chronicles 29:17; 2 Chronicles 5:11. ידם על, like יד על, Ezra 1:8, to their hand, i.e., handed over to their keeping. The gifts amounted to: six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels one hundred in talents, i.e., one hundred talents in value, one hundred talents of gold, and twenty covered basins of gold (comp. Ezra 1:10) one thousand dariks in value, and two brazen vessels of fine golden brilliancy, precious as gold. מצהב is an abstract noun, formed from the participle Hophal of צהב, to glitter like gold, and constructed as a feminine. The word, with its adjective, either depends upon נחשׁט, in the stat. construct., or stands in apposition thereto, and is not, as a participle Hophal, used adjectively and combined with נחשׁט, for then the two adjectives מצהב and טובה would not be in different genders. חמוּדות, like חמוּדות כּלי, 2 Chronicles 20:25.
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