Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Athersatha. Hebrew hatirshatha. Protestants, "the tirshatha," cup-bearer, or governor, highly (Haydock) "privileged" and honoured by Artaxerxes. (Worthington) --- Hebrew, "And over those who were sealed, (Calmet; Septuagint; or who sealed the deed. Haydock) Nehemias, the cup-bearer." Esdras, Eliasib, &c., were also princes. (Calmet) --- It is not easy to account for the omission of their names. (Menochius) --- They may be designated by different titles. An aristocracy, mixed with oligarchy, was the present form of government. The advice of the ancients, and of the people, was taken. (Calmet) --- Hachelai, is less properly styled Helchias; (chap. i. 1.) where the Septuagint read Chelchias, or Achalia, (Hebrew chacala) as well as here.
Priests. All, at least after Nehemias. (Haydock)
Pharos. Many of these are mentioned as returning from Babylon, chap. vii. 8, 11, &c.
Lands. Idolaters, (Haydock) namely, the proselytes. (Menochius) --- Daughters. These did not all subscribe in person, but by the hands of the intelligent, and chief men, (ver. 29.) or, (Calmet) as the Septuagint seem to understand, these went through the different ranks of the people, and received their oaths. (Estius) (Menochius)
Understand. Hebrew mebin, "the teachers," or Levites, 1 Esdras viii. 16. (Menochius) --- Promising. Hebrew, "clave to their brethren;" and they promised with a curse to transgressors, and with an oath to walk, &c. (Haydock)
And. In all covenants, the articles which have been chiefly broken, are specified. (Worthington)
Holy day. The contrary practice is therefore sinful. (Haydock) --- Year. Not cultivating the land, Leviticus xxv. 4. --- Hand. No debts were to be demanded, Deuteronomy xv. 1. (Menochius)
Third part. About 9d., (Haydock) on account of the poverty of the people. (Calmet) --- They afterwards paid half a sicle, or 1s. 2d., conformably to the law, Exodus xxx. 13., and Matthew xvii. 23. (Haydock) --- Before the captivity, the kings of Juda provided sacrifices, (2 Paralipomenon xxxi. 3.) and after, the Persian monarchs supplied what was requisite, in favour of Zorababel and Esdras, chap. vi. 8., and vii. 21. But these grants had been recalled, or were not well executed.
Wood. The Nathinites had performed this office till the captivity. But not their numbers were too small. (Calmet) --- The people therefore brought the wood. The Levites, with the Nathinites, carried it into the temple, and the priests laid it upon the altars; all being regulated by lots. (Lyranus) --- Hence the feast called Xylophoria, was instituted about the month of August, as we may gather from Josephus. The Rabbins say that the priests cut the wood, from March till the 15th of July.
Every tree, of seven species; the pear, apple, fig, apricot, olive, palm, and vine trees; besides wheat, legumes, &c. (Calmet) --- For three years the fruit was deemed unclean, Leviticus xix. 23. (Menochius)
Meats. Hebrew, "paste," Numbers xv. 20., (Calmet) and xxiii. 17. --- Ground, or the produce. (Menochius)
With. To observe that all is done according to the law, Numbers xviii. 26. (Calmet)