Matthew Poole's Commentary
These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.Ezra’s companions who returned from Babylon, Ezra 8:1-14. He sendeth to Iddo for Levites to be ministers for the temple, Ezra 8:15-20. He keepeth a fast at Ahava, Ezra 8:21-23. He committeth the treasures to the custody of the priests, Ezra 8:24-30. From Ahava they come to Jerusalem, Ezra 8:31,32. The treasure is weighed in the temple, Ezra 8:33-35. The commission is delivered to the adversaries, and they further the house of God, Ezra 8:36.
No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.Of the sons of Pharosh, i.e. one of the sons of Pharosh; whereby he is differenced from the other Shechaniah, Ezra 8:5.
By genealogy of the males: though the males only be expressed here, and in the succeeding verses, yet it is more than probable they carried the women along with them, as they did carry little ones as it is expressed here, Ezra 8:21.
Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.The son of Jahaziel; either his only son, or the most eminent of his sons, and therefore so called here.
Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.No text from Poole on this verse.
Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.No text from Poole on this verse.
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.The river that runneth to Ahava; or,
the river of Ahava, as it is called, Ezra 8:21,31. By comparing of these places, it seems that Ahava was the name both of the river, and of the town or place by which it ran. Either this was that river which other writers call Adiava, which runs to Assyria, which thence is called Adiabene; or some other river running into Euphrates.
None of the sons of Levi, to wit, who were simple Levites, and not priests. And therefore the Levites, mentioned Ezra 7:7, by anticipation, were not yet come to him.
Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.Then sent I for Eliezer to come to me, and go along with me to Jerusalem. Men of understanding; who seem to have had more knowledge than pious zeal for God and his house and solemn worship, which was confined to Jerusalem.
And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.I sent them with commandment; which he might do, partly by virtue of that authority which he had over them by his priesthood; and partly by that authority which he either had received or could easily procure from the king to that purpose.
Iddo the chief; the head of the rest, either by ecclesiastical order or government, which the Persian kings allowed to the Jews; or by some grant or commission from the king.
At the place Casiphia; not a place near the Caspian Lake, as some guess from the likeness of the names; for that was at too great a distance for his present purpose; but some other place not far from Ahava, where he knew that there was a college or considerable company of Levites together.
And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;No text from Poole on this verse.
And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;No text from Poole on this verse.
Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.The Gibeonites, who were devoted to this service by Joshua and the princes of his time, Joshua 9:21, and are said to be appointed by David and his princes, because they were confirmed by them in their former office, and more particularly applied to the several services of the temple; though this be not distinctly related in 1 Chronicles 24 1Ch 25 1Ch 26, because his business there was to give an account only of the new constitutions and alterations made by David in those matters.
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.A right way, i.e. a safe and prosperous journey; or such a way and course as might be best for us.
For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.No text from Poole on this verse.
So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.He gave us some assurance of his gracious answer to our request.
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,Or, and
Sherebiah, & c., who were the Levites mentioned Ezra 8:18, who were jointly intrusted together with the priests with the charge of carrying these things carefully and safely. The particle and is oft understood.
And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellers, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:No text from Poole on this verse.
I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;No text from Poole on this verse.
Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.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.
And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.No text from Poole on this verse.
Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.No text from Poole on this verse.
So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.No text from Poole on this verse.
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.To wit, in the direct way; whereby it may be conjectured, that God directed them to fetch a little compass, and to go a more uncouth and unsuspected way, as they had begged of God, Ezra 8:21.
And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.No text from Poole on this verse.
Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;No text from Poole on this verse.
By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.No text from Poole on this verse.
Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.Which were come out of the captivity, to wit, these new comers, whom God had safely conducted hither.
And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.In the adorning and furnishing of it with these vessels and other conveniences; and in promoting God’s worship and service therein.