William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Ezra 6:1 - 6:22

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William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Ezra 6:1 - 6:22

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Ezra Chapter 6

"Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written: - In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded" (Ezr_6:1-3). That was enough for Darius; so accordingly he says "Now therefore, Tatnai governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence." He gave them a rebuke, "Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place." And so far from listening to their adversaries he puts honour upon them - makes fresh commands, carrying out still more fully what had been already proclaimed in the first year of Cyrus. "Also, I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there, destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have made a decree; let it be done with speed."

Thus the adversaries were completely refuted, and stopped in their evil work, and the house of God received - I will not say an impulse, but - its completion; for the beautiful fact, as we have already seen, is that the Jews had faith to resume the building of the house before they got this fresh decree. "And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered [not through the commandment of the king, but they prospered] through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo: and they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." For now that God had given them power, God also controlled all the powers to be now in their favour. "And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy."