Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ezra 6:1 - 6:12

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ezra 6:1 - 6:12

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The Favorable Decree of Darius

v. 1. Then Darius the king made a decree, he issued an edict or command for this special occasion, and search was made in the house of the rolls, in the royal archives, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon, where all official records and state papers were kept.

v. 2. And there was found at Achmetha
, the ancient capital of Northern Media and a favorite place of residence with Cyrus, in the palace, that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, apparently one of parchment, which the ancient Persians seem to have used, though it is certain that the Assyrians used tablets and cylinders of baked clay, and therein was a record thus written:

v. 3. 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, the place where they, the Jews, offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid
, capable of supporting the great and heavy structure resting upon them; the height thereof threescore cubits and the breadth thereof threescore cubits, the measurements being given in a general manner to conform to those of Solomon's Temple,

v. 4. with three rows of great stones
, the two side-walls and the rear wall being laid up in hewn stones, and a row of new timber, of which the front wall was constructed; and let the expenses be given out of the king's house, from the royal revenues of the Persian empire, in the territory west of the Euphrates;

v. 5. and also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the Temple which is at Jerusalem and brought unto Babylon,
2Ch_36:7-18, be restored, and brought again unto the Temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God. This was the edict of Cyrus as found in the records. To this Darius added his own comments and commands.

v. 6. Now, therefore, Tatnal, governor beyond the river,
satrap of the entire territory extending from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea, Shethar-boznai, and your companions, the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence, they should in no way interfere with the building of the Temple nor lay any hindrances in the way of the Jews;

v. 7. let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews,
Zerubbabel, who had been designated deputy for the province of Judea alone, Ezr_1:8, and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.

v. 8. Moreover, I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river,
of the revenue in taxes and other duties in the entire satrapy under the jurisdiction of Tatnai, forthwith expenses be given unto these men that they be not hindered, the special payments out of the king's treasury were not to be discontinued until the work had been completed.

v. 9. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks and rams and lambs for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil,
various animals and materials being mentioned without exhausting the list, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail,

v. 10. that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors unto the God of heaven,
well-pleasing to Him,and pray for the life of the king and of his sons. This was said, not merely out of deference to, and admiration of, Cyrus, who was the father-in-law of Darius, but in recognition of the true God, the Lord of heaven, with whom Darius had become acquainted through the work of Daniel.

v. 11. Also I have made a decree,
hereby proclaimed,that whosoever shall alter this word, by setting aside the command it contained, let timber be pulled down from his house, some great rafter or beam, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon, either by being impaled or by being crucified; and let his house be made a dunghill for this, torn down and changed into a public sewer, for an everlasting disgrace upon his name.

v. 12. 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,
the Temple should be inviolate forever. I, Darius, have made a decree; let it be done with speed. So the formal and solemn edict went forth which protected the Jews in the building of their Temple. God has His servants also among the kings and the mighty ones of the earth, who obey Him and further the cause of His kingdom.