Ezra 8:21
New International Version
There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

New Living Translation
And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled.

English Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.

Berean Study Bible
And there by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

New American Standard Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us, our dependents, and all our possessions.

Contemporary English Version
Beside the Ahava River, I asked the people to go without eating and to pray. We humbled ourselves and asked God to bring us and our children safely to Jerusalem with all of our possessions.

Good News Translation
There by the Ahava Canal I gave orders for us all to fast and humble ourselves before our God and to ask him to lead us on our journey and protect us and our children and all our possessions.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions.

International Standard Version
Then I called for a fast there at the Ahava River so we could humble ourselves before our God and seek from him an appropriate way for us and our little ones to live, and how we should guard our personal wealth,

NET Bible
I called for a fast there by the Ahava Canal, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our property.

New Heart English Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I announced a fast there at the Ahava River so that we might humble ourselves in the presence of our God to ask him for a safe journey for ourselves, for our little ones, and for all our goods.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of Him a straight way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

New American Standard 1977
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our possessions.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I proclaimed there a fast, at the river Aue, that we should humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our children, and for all our property.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.

Darby Bible Translation
And I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

English Revised Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river 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.

World English Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Young's Literal Translation
And I proclaim there a fast, by the river Ahava, to afflict ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a right way for us, and for our infants, and for all our substance,
Study Bible
Fasting for Protection
21And there by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to ask the king for an escort of soldiers and horsemen to protect us from our enemies on the road, since we had told him, “The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek Him, but His great anger is against all who forsake Him.”…
Cross References
Leviticus 16:29
This is to be a permanent statute for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work--whether the native or the foreigner who resides among you--

Leviticus 16:31
It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.

Leviticus 23:29
If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people.

1 Samuel 7:6
When they had gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted, and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.

2 Chronicles 20:3
Jehoshaphat was alarmed and set his face to seek the LORD. And he proclaimed a fast throughout Judah.

Ezra 8:15
Now I assembled these exiles at the canal that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And when I searched among the people and priests, I found no Levites there.

Ezra 8:31
On the twelfth day of the first month, we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem, and the hand of our God was upon us to protect us from the hands of the enemies and bandits along the way.

Psalm 107:7
He led them on a straight path to reach a city where they could live.

Isaiah 58:3
"Why have we fasted, and You have not seen? Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?" "Behold, on the day of your fast, you do as you please, and you oppress all your workers.

Isaiah 58:5
Is this the fast I have chosen, a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Jonah 3:7
Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let no man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink.

Treasury of Scripture

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.

I proclaimed

Judges 20:26
Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

1 Samuel 7:6
And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.

2 Chronicles 20:3
And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

afflict ourselves

Leviticus 16:29,31
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: …

Leviticus 23:29
For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

Isaiah 58:3,5
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours…

to seek

Psalm 5:8
Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Psalm 107:2-8
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; …

Psalm 143:8-10
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee…

for our little ones

Numbers 14:3,31
And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? …

Psalm 8:2
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Mark 10:13-16
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them







Lexicon
And there by
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the Ahava
אַהֲוָ֔א (’a·hă·wā)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 163: Ahava -- a place and a stream in Babylon

Canal,
הַנָּהָ֣ר (han·nā·hār)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5104: A stream, prosperity

I proclaimed
וָאֶקְרָ֨א (wā·’eq·rā)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7121: To call, proclaim, read

a fast,
צוֹם֙ (ṣō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6685: Fasting, a fast

so that we might humble
לְהִתְעַנּ֖וֹת (lə·hiṯ·‘an·nō·wṯ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Hitpael - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 6031: To be bowed down or afflicted

ourselves before
לִפְנֵ֣י (lip̄·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

our God
אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ (’ĕ·lō·hê·nū)
Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

and ask Him for
לְבַקֵּ֤שׁ (lə·ḇaq·qêš)
Preposition-l | Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 1245: To search out, to strive after

a safe
יְשָׁרָ֔ה (yə·šā·rāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3477: Straight, right

journey for us
דֶּ֣רֶךְ (de·reḵ)
Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

and our children,
וּלְטַפֵּ֖נוּ (ū·lə·ṭap·pê·nū)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 2945: A family

with all
וּלְכָל־ (ū·lə·ḵāl-)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

our possessions.
רְכוּשֵֽׁנוּ׃ (rə·ḵū·šê·nū)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 7399: Property, goods
(21) To seek of him a right way for us.--The wilderness was now before them, and an enemy, indefinitely referred to, was in the way: probably desert tribes, always lying in wait for unprotected caravans.

Our little ones.--An intimation that whole households went up.

Our substance.--Chiefly the treasures for the Temple, though the term signifies cattle and other goods, with an undertone of abundance.

Verse 21. - Then I proclaimed a fast there. The fight of the civil ruler to "proclaim a fast" was unquestioned among the Jews and Israelites. Jezebel proclaimed one in Ahab's name when she wished to impress the Jezreelites with the notion that a great crime had been committed. Jehoshaphat did the same when he was invaded by the Ammonites, Moabites, and Mehunim (2 Chronicles 20:1-3). A fast was proclaimed in the fifth year of Jehoiakim when the kingdom of Judah was menaced by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 36:9). Ezra therefore assumes that he may command one now, in connection with the perils of the coming journey. That we might afflict ourselves. The Jews were commanded to "afflict themselves" on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29), and understood that the affliction was to be mainly by fasting and abstaining from the bath. To ask of him a right way. Or "a direct road," i.e. a prosperous and unimpeded journey to Jerusalem. For us and our little ones. The colonists went up attended by their families. 8:21-23 Ezra procured Levites to go with him; but what will that avail, unless he have God with him? Those who seek God, are safe under the shadow of his wings, even in their greatest dangers; but those who forsake him, are always exposed. When entering upon any new state of life, our care should be, to bring none of the guilt of the sins of our former condition into it. When we are in any peril, let us be at peace with God, and then nothing can do us any real hurt. All our concerns about ourselves, our families, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty, by prayer to commit to God, and to leave the care of them with him. And, on some occasions, we should decline advantages which are within our reach, lest we should cause others to stumble, and so our God be dishonoured. Let us ask wisdom of God, that we may know how to use or to refuse lawful things. We shall be no losers by venturing, suffering, or giving up for the Lord's sake. Their prayers were answered, and the event declared it. Never have any that sought God in earnest, found that they sought him in vain. In times of difficulty and danger, to set a season apart for secret or for social prayer, is the best method for relief we can take.
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