Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;
Ezr 2:1-70. Number of the People That Turned.
1. children of the province—that is, Judea (Ezr 5:8), so called as being now reduced from an illustrious, independent, and powerful kingdom to an obscure, servile, tributary province of the Persian empire. This name is applied by the sacred historian to intimate that the Jewish exiles, though now released from captivity and allowed to return into their own land, were still the subjects of Cyrus, inhabiting a province dependent upon Persia.
came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city—either the city that had been occupied by his ancestors, or, as most parts of Judea were then either desolate or possessed by others, the city that was rebuilt and allotted to him now.
Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
2. Which came with Zerubbabel—He was the chief or leader of the first band of returning exiles. The names of other influential persons who were associated in the conducting of the caravans are also mentioned, being extracted probably from the Persian archives, in which the register was preserved: conspicuous in the number are Jeshua, the high priest, and Nehemiah.
The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
3. The children—This word, as used throughout this catalogue, means "posterity" or "descendants."
The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five.
5. children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five—The number is stated in Ne 7:10 to have been only six hundred fifty-two. It is probable that all mentioned as belonging to this family repaired to the general place of rendezvous, or had enrolled their names at first as intending to go; but in the interval of preparation, some died, others were prevented by sickness or insurmountable obstacles, so that ultimately no more than six hundred fifty-two came to Jerusalem.
The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five.
The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two.
The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three.
The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six.
The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six.
The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four.
The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three.
The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve.
The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three.
The children of Gibbar, ninety and five.
The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three.
The men of Netophah, fifty and six.
The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
23. The men of Anathoth—It is pleasant to see so many of this Jewish town returning. It was a city of the Levites; but the people spurned Jeremiah's warning and called forth against themselves one of his severest predictions (Jer 32:27-35). This prophecy was fulfilled in the Assyrian conquest. Anathoth was laid waste and continued a heap of ruins. But the people, having been brought during the captivity to a better state of mind, returned, and their city was rebuilt.
The children of Azmaveth, forty and two.
The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three.
The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.
The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
The children of Nebo, fifty and two.
The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six.
The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five.
The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.
The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
36-39. The priests—Each of their families was ranged under its prince or head, like those of the other tribes. It will be remembered that the whole body was divided into twenty-four courses, one of which, in rotation, discharged the sacerdotal duties every week, and each division was called after the name of its first prince or chief. It appears from this passage that only four of the courses of the priests returned from the Babylonish captivity; but these four courses were afterwards, as the families increased, divided into twenty-four, which were distinguished by the names of the original courses appointed by David [1Ch 23:6-13]. Hence we find the course of Abijah or Abia (1Ch 24:10) subsisting at the commencement of the Christian era (Lu 1:5).
The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.
The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.
The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,
The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,
The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
55. The children of Solomon's servants—either the strangers that monarch enlisted in the building of the temple, or those who lived in his palace, which was deemed a high honor.
The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
61, 62. the children of Barzillai—He preferred that name to that of his own family, deeming it a greater distinction to be connected with so noble a family, than to be of the house of Levi. But by this worldly ambition he forfeited the dignity and advantages of the priesthood.
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
63. Tirshatha—a title borne by the Persian governors of Judea (see also Ne 7:65-70; 8:9; 10:1). It is derived from the Persian torsh ("severe"), and is equivalent to "your severity," "your awfulness."
The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
64. The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore—This gross amount is twelve thousand more than the particular numbers given in the catalogue, when added together, come to. Reckoning up the smaller numbers, we shall find that they amount to 29,818 in this chapter, and to 31,089 in the parallel chapter of Nehemiah [see Ne 7:66-69]. Ezra also mentions four hundred ninety-four persons omitted by Nehemiah, and Nehemiah mentions 1765 not noticed by Ezra. If, therefore, Ezra's surplus be added to the sum in Nehemiah, and Nehemiah's surplus to the number in Ezra, they will both become 31,583. Subtracting this from 42,360, there will be a deficiency of 10,777. These are omitted because they did not belong to Judah and Benjamin, or to the priests, but to the other tribes. The servants and singers, male and female, are reckoned separately (Ezr 2:65), so that putting all these items together, the number of all who went with Zerubbabel amounted to fifty thousand, with eight thousand beasts of burden [Alting, quoted in Davidson's Hermeneutics].
Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:
68. some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord offered freely for the house of God, &c.—The sight of a place hallowed by the most endearing and sacred associations, but now lying in desolation and ruins, made the wellsprings of their piety and patriotism gush out afresh. Before taking any active measures for providing accommodation to themselves and their families, the chief among them raised a large sum by voluntary contributions towards the restoration of the temple.
They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
69. drams of gold—rather, "darics," a Persian coin (see on 1Ch 29:7).
priests' garments—(compare Ne 7:70). This—in the circumstances—was a very appropriate gift. In general, it may be remarked that presents of garments, or of any other usable commodities, however singular it may seem to us, is in harmony with the established notions and customs of the East.
So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.