Ezra 9:7
Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezra 9:7-8. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass — We are not purged from the guilt of our fathers’ sins, but we are still feeling the sad effects of them; yea, and are repeating the same sins. And now for a little space grace hath been showed — It is but a little while since God hath delivered us, and yet we are already returned to our sin and folly. Or, we have enjoyed this favour but a little while, now we are sinning it away, and shortening our own happiness. To leave us a remnant to escape — That by his favour many of us should escape out of captivity; whom he calls but a remnant, because the greatest part of the Israelitish nation was yet in captivity. To give us a nail — Some kind of settlement; whereas before we were tossed and removed from place to place as our masters pleased. It is a metaphor from tents, which are fastened by cords and nails, or pins. In his holy place — In this holy land, as the land of Judah is called, Zechariah 2:12. Or, in Jerusalem, called the holy city, (Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18; Daniel 10:24,) which is peculiarly mentioned, because of the temple, which was the nail that fastened their tents, and gave them some hopes of continuing in their land. That our God may lighten our eyes — That he might revive and comfort our hearts. For, as darkness is often put for a state of sorrow and affliction, so light is put for joy and comfort. And give us a little reviving in our bondage — For we are not quite delivered, being even here in subjection to our former lords.

9:5-15 The sacrifice, especially the evening sacrifice, was a type of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the evening of the world, was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Ezra's address is a penitent confession of sin, the sin of his people. But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though their sins reach to the heavens, God's mercy is in the heavens. Ezra, speaking of sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is as necessary in true repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as much amazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more we think of sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to me sinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer or saddler presage of ruin, than turning to sin, after great judgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the church of God, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord's patience, and brought destruction upon himself. What then must be the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent has nothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleads most powerfully for him.Very similar in tone to this are the confessions of Nehemiah Neh 9:29-35 and of Daniel (see the marginal references). The captivity had done its work by deeply convincing of sin the Jewish nation that had previously been so proud and self-righteous. Ezr 9:5-15. Prays to God.

5-15. I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God—The burden of his prayer, which was dictated by a deep sense of the emergency, was that he was overwhelmed at the flagrant enormity of this sin, and the bold impiety of continuing in it after having, as a people, so recently experienced the heavy marks of the divine displeasure. God had begun to show returning favor to Israel by the restoration of some. But this only aggravated their sin, that, so soon after their re-establishment in their native land, they openly violated the express and repeated precepts which commanded them to extirpate the Canaanites. Such conduct, he exclaimed, could issue only in drawing down some great punishment from offended Heaven and ensuring the destruction of the small remnant of us that is left, unless, by the help of divine grace, we repent and bring forth the fruits of repentance in an immediate and thorough reformation.

We have been in a great trespass unto this day: we are not purged from the guilt and filth of our fathers’ sins, but we are still feeling the sad effects of their sins in the continuing captivity of a great number of our brethren; and we are still repeating the same sins.

Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day,.... The sins they were guilty of had been long continued in, which was an aggravation of them:

and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands; the ten tribes and their king into the hand of the king of Assyria, the kings of Judah, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, into the hands of the king of Babylon, with the priests and people:

to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil; some were slain with the sword, others carried captive, and the houses of them all plundered and spoiled:

and to confusion of face, as it is this day; being filled with shame when they reflected on their sins, the cause of those evils; and besides, the captivity of the ten tribes continued, and of many others, which exposed them to shame among their neighbours.

Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. The record of Israelite history, i.e. sin and its retribution. But for their sin, the Israelites would have had a far different history.

Since the days of our fathers] The exact phrase hardly occurs elsewhere except Malachi 3:7 ‘From the days of your fathers ye have turned aside from mine ordinances’. The context there seems to show that, though the expression is purposely indefinite, it points back to the time when the Law was first given, and is equivalent to saying ‘from the first beginnings of the Israelite people’.

have we been in a great trespass] R.V. we have been exceedingly guilty. Marg. Heb. in great guiltiness. See note on Ezra 9:6.

we, our kings, and our priests] i.e. the nation, with its civil and sacred chiefs. Cf. the fuller category Nehemiah 9:32 ‘Our kings … our princes … our priests … our prophets … our fathers’.

the kings of the lands] With special reference to ‘the kings of Assyria’ (Nehemiah 9:32) and Babylon.

sword … captivity … spoil (R.V. spoiling) … confusion of face] Life, freedom, property, honour: items of the penalty. ‘Confusion of face’, lit. shame of face, i.e. dishonour. Cf. Daniel 9:7-8 ‘Unto us confusion of face, as it is this day’, ‘To us belongeth confusion of face’. 2 Chronicles 32:21 ‘So he returned with shame of face’. ‘Spoiling’: a late Hebrew word, occurring also in Esther 9:10; Esther 9:15-16; Daniel 11:24; Daniel 11:33; 2 Chronicles 14:14; 2 Chronicles 25:13; 2 Chronicles 28:14.

as it is this day] cf. Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 9:10; Deuteronomy 6:24; Jeremiah 44:22.

Verse 7. - Since the days of our fathers. The historical sketches in Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:6-35) and the Acts (Acts 7:2-53) show that this phrase might be taken in a very wide sense, and be regarded as including the "fathers" of the nation who came out of Egypt; but perhaps Ezra has rather in his mind the series of idolatries belonging to the kingly period, and extending from Solomon to Zedekiah. We, our kings, and our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands. Menahem into the hand of Pul, Pekah of Tiglath-Pileser, Hoshea of Shalmaneser or Sargon, Manasseh of Esarhaddon, Josiah of Pharaoh-Necho, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, of Nebuchadnezzar. That the priests had their full share in the calamities of the captivity appears from 2 Kings 25:18; Jeremiah 52:24; Ezekiel 1:1-3. And to confusion of face. i.e. To disgrace and shame (compare Psalm 44:13-15). Ezra 9:7"Since the days of our fathers, have we, our kings, our priests, been delivered into the hands of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to shame of face." The words from בּחרב onwards serve to explain what is meant by being delivered into the hand of strange kings. On the expression פּנים בּשׁת, comp. Daniel 9:7, etc., 2 Chronicles 32:21. הזּה כּהיּום, as it is this day, as is to-day the case; see remarks on Daniel 9:7. The thought is: We are still sorely suffering for our sins, by being yet under the yoke of foreign sovereigns.
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