Ezra 2

CHAPTER II

An account of those who returned from Babylon, 1-35.

The children of the priests who returned, 36-39.

Of the Levites, 40.

Of the singers, 41.

Of the porters, 42.

Of the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, 43-58.

Others who could not find out their registers, 59-62.

The number of the whole congregation, 63, 64.

Of their servants, maids, and singers, 65.

Their horses and mules, 66.

Their camels and asses, 67.

The offerings of the chief men when they came to Jerusalem,

68, 69.

The priests, Levites, singers, porters, and Nethinim, betake

themselves to their respective cities, 70.

NOTES ON CHAP. II

Verse 1. These are the children of the province] That is, of

Judea; once a kingdom, and a flourishing nation; now a

province, subdued, tributary, and ruined! Behold the goodness and

severity of God! Some think Babylon is meant by the province; and

that the children of the province means those Jews who were born

in Babylon. But the first is most likely to be the meaning, for

thus we find Judea styled, Ezr 5:8. Besides, the

province is contradistinguished from Babylon even in this first

verse, The children of the province-that had been carried away

unto Babylon.

Verse 2. Which came with Zerubbabel] There are many difficulties

in this table of names; but as we have no less than three copies

of it, that contained here from Ezr 2:1-67, a

second in Ne 7:6-69, and a

third in 1Esdras 5:7-43, on a careful examination they will be

found to correct each other. The versions also, and the Variae

Lectiones of Kennicott and De Rossi, do much toward harmonizing

the names.

Though the sum total at the end of each of these enumerations is

equal, namely 42,360, yet the particulars reckoned up make in Ezra

only 29,818, and in Nehemiah 31,089. We find that Nehemiah

mentions 1765 persons which are not in Ezra, and Ezra has 494 not

mentioned by Nehemiah. Mr. Alting thinks that this circumstance,

which appears to render all hope of reconciling them impossible,

is precisely the very point by which they can be reconciled; for

if we add Ezra's surplus to the sum in Nehemiah, and the surplus

of Nehemiah to the number in Ezra, the numbers will be equal.

Thus:-The number in Ezra.......... 29,818

Surplus in Nehemiah............... 1,765

______

Sum total............ 31,583

The number in Nehemiah............ 31,089

The surplus in Ezra............... 494

______

Sum total............ 31,583

If we subtract this sum 31,583 from 42,360, we shall have a

deficiency of 10,777 from the numbers as summed up in the text;

and these are not named here, either because their registers were

not found, or they were not of Judah and Benjamin, the tribes

particularly concerned, but of the other Israelitish tribes; see

Ezr 2:36.

Verse 3. The children of Parosh] Where the word children is

found in this table, prefixed to the name of a man, it signifies

the descendants of that person, as from Ezr 2:3-21. Where it is

found prefixed to a place, town, &c., it signifies the inhabitants

of that place, as from Ezr 2:21-35.

Verse 21. The children of Beth-lehem] The inhabitants: see

before.

Verse 33. The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono] These were cities

in the tribe of Benjamin; see on 1Ch 8:12.

Verse 36. The priests] The preceding list takes in the census of

Judah and Benjamin.

Verse 55. The children of Solomon's servants] The Nethinim, and

others appointed to do the meaner services of the holy house.

Verse 63. The Tirshatha] This is generally supposed to be

Nehemiah, or the person who was the commandant; see Ne 8:9; 10:1,

for the word appears to be the name of an office. The Vulgate and

Septuagint write it Atershatha, the Syriac and Arabic render

it the princes of Judah. Some suppose the word to be Persian, but

nothing like it of the same import occurs in that language at

present. If, as Castel supposed, it signifies austerity, or that

fear which is unpressed by the authority of a governor, it may

come from [Persian] ters, FEAR, or [Persian] tersh, ACID, the

former from [Persian] tarsidan, to FEAR or DREAD.

Should not eat of the most holy things] There was a high priest

then, but no Urim and Thummim, these having been lost in the

captivity.

Verse 66. Their horses-seven hundred, &c.] They went into

captivity, stripped of every thing; they now return from it,

abounding in the most substantial riches, viz., horses 736, or,

according to Esdras, 7036; mules, 245; camels, 435; asses, 6720;

besides gold, and silver, and rich stuffs. See below.

Verse 69. Threescore and one thousand drams of gold]

darkemonim, drakmons or darics; a Persian coin, always of gold,

and worth about 1. 5s., not less than 76,250 sterling in gold.

Five thousand pounds of silver] manim, manehs or minas.

As a weight, the maneh was 100 shekels; as a coin, 60 shekels in

value, or about 9.; 5000 of these manehs therefore will amount to

45,000, making in the whole a sum of about 120,000; and in this

are not included the 100 garments for priests.

Thus we find that God, in the midst of judgment, remembered

mercy, and gave them favour in the land of their captivity.

Verse 70. Dwelt in their cities] They all went to those cities

which belonged originally to their respective families.

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