NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Ezra 3:1--6:22

Context
The Altar is Rebuilt

3:1 When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites 1  were living 2  in their 3  towns, the people assembled 4  in 5  Jerusalem. 6  3:2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak 7  and his priestly colleagues 8  and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his colleagues 9  started to build 10  the altar of the God of Israel so they could offer burnt offerings on it as required by 11  the law of Moses the man of God. 3:3 They established the altar on its foundations, even though they were in terror of the local peoples, 12  and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and the evening offerings. 3:4 They observed the Festival of Temporary Shelters 13  as required 14  and offered the proper number of 15  daily burnt offerings according to the requirement for each day. 3:5 Afterward they offered the continual burnt offerings and those for the new moons and those for all the holy assemblies of the Lord and all those that were being voluntarily offered to the Lord. 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. However, the Lord’s temple was not at that time established. 16 

Preparations for Rebuilding the Temple

3:7 So they provided money 17  for the masons and carpenters, and food, beverages, and olive oil for the people of Sidon 18  and Tyre, 19  so that they would bring cedar timber from Lebanon to the seaport 20  at Joppa, in accord with the edict of King Cyrus of Persia. 3:8 In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, 21  in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work, 22  along with the rest of their associates, 23  the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed 24  the Levites who were at least twenty years old 25  to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple. 3:9 So Jeshua appointed both his sons and his relatives, 26  Kadmiel and his sons (the sons of Yehudah 27 ), to take charge of the workers in the temple of God, along with the sons of Henadad, their sons, and their relatives 28  the Levites. 3:10 When the builders established the Lord’s temple, the priests, ceremonially attired and with their clarions, 29  and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with their cymbals, stood to praise the Lord according to the instructions left by 30  King David of Israel. 31  3:11 With antiphonal response they sang, 32  praising and glorifying the Lord:

“For he is good;

his loyal love toward Israel is forever.”

All the people gave a loud 33  shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established. 3:12 Many of the priests, the Levites, and the leaders 34  – older people who had seen with their own eyes the former temple while it was still established 35  – were weeping loudly, 36  and many others raised their voice in a joyous shout. 3:13 People were unable to tell the difference between the sound of joyous shouting and the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people were shouting so loudly 37  that the sound was heard a long way off.

Opposition to the Building Efforts

4:1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned that the former exiles 38  were building a temple for the Lord God of Israel, 4:2 they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 39  and said to them, “Let us help you build, 40  for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 41  from the time 42  of King Esarhaddon 43  of Assyria, who brought us here.” 44  4:3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the leaders of Israel said to them, “You have no right 45  to help us build the temple of our God. We will build it by ourselves for the Lord God of Israel, just as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us.” 4:4 Then the local people 46  began to discourage 47  the people of Judah and to dishearten them from building. 4:5 They were hiring advisers to oppose them, so as to frustrate their plans, throughout the time 48  of King Cyrus of Persia until the reign of King Darius 49  of Persia. 50 

Official Complaints Are Lodged Against the Jews

4:6 51 At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus 52  they filed an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 53  4:7 And during the reign 54  of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, 55  Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their colleagues 56  wrote to King Artaxerxes 57  of Persia. This letter 58  was first written in Aramaic but then translated.

[Aramaic:] 59 

4:8 Rehum the commander 60  and Shimshai the scribe 61  wrote a letter concerning 62  Jerusalem to King Artaxerxes as follows: 4:9 From 63  Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues – the judges, the rulers, the officials, the secretaries, the Erechites, the Babylonians, the people of Susa (that is, 64  the Elamites), 4:10 and the rest of nations whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal 65  deported and settled in the cities 66  of Samaria and other places in Trans-Euphrates. 67  4:11 (This is a copy of the letter they sent to him:)

“To King Artaxerxes, 68  from your servants in 69  Trans-Euphrates: 4:12 Now 70  let the king be aware that the Jews who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and odious city. 71  They are completing its walls and repairing its foundations. 4:13 Let the king also be aware that if this city is built and its walls are completed, no more tax, custom, or toll will be paid, and the royal treasury 72  will suffer loss. 4:14 In light of the fact that we are loyal to the king, 73  and since it does not seem appropriate to us that the king should sustain damage, 74  we are sending the king this information 75  4:15 so that he may initiate a search of the records 76  of his predecessors 77  and discover in those records 78  that this city is rebellious 79  and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 80  from long ago. 81  It is for this very reason that this city was destroyed. 4:16 We therefore are informing the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, you will not retain control 82  of this portion of Trans-Euphrates.”

4:17 The king sent the following response:

“To Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and other parts of Trans-Euphrates: Greetings! 83  4:18 The letter you sent to us has been translated and read in my presence. 4:19 So I gave orders, 84  and it was determined 85  that this city from long ago has been engaging in insurrection against kings. It has continually engaged in 86  rebellion and revolt. 4:20 Powerful kings have been over Jerusalem who ruled throughout the entire Trans-Euphrates 87  and who were the beneficiaries of 88  tribute, custom, and toll. 4:21 Now give orders that these men cease their work and that this city not be rebuilt until such time as I so instruct. 89  4:22 Exercise appropriate caution so that there is no negligence in this matter. Why should danger increase to the point that kings sustain damage?”

4:23 Then, as soon as the copy of the letter from King Artaxerxes was read in the presence of Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their colleagues, they proceeded promptly to the Jews in Jerusalem 90  and stopped them with threat of armed force. 91 

4:24 So the work on the temple of God in Jerusalem came to a halt. It remained halted until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia. 92 

Tattenai Appeals to Darius

5:1 Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son 93  of Iddo 94  prophesied concerning the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem 95  in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 5:2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak began 96  to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, supporting them.

5:3 At that time Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues came to them and asked, “Who gave you authority 97  to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?” 98  5:4 They 99  also asked them, “What are the names of the men who are building this edifice?” 5:5 But God was watching over 100  the elders of Judah, and they were not stopped 101  until a report could be dispatched 102  to Darius and a letter could be sent back concerning this.

5:6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and his colleagues who were the officials of Trans-Euphrates sent to King Darius. 5:7 The report they sent to him was written as follows: 103 

“To King Darius: All greetings! 104  5:8 Let it be known to the king that we have gone to the province of Judah, to the temple of the great God. It is being built with large stones, 105  and timbers are being placed in the walls. This work is being done with all diligence and is prospering in their hands. 5:9 We inquired of those elders, asking them, ‘Who gave you the authority to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?’ 5:10 We also inquired of their names in order to inform you, so that we might write the names of the men who were their leaders. 5:11 They responded to us in the following way: ‘We are servants of the God of heaven and earth. We are rebuilding the temple which was previously built many years ago. A great king 106  of Israel built it and completed it. 5:12 But after our ancestors 107  angered the God of heaven, he delivered them into the hands 108  of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and exiled the people to Babylon. 109  5:13 But in the first year of King Cyrus of Babylon, 110  King Cyrus enacted a decree to rebuild this temple of God. 5:14 Even the gold and silver vessels of the temple of God that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and had brought to the palace 111  of Babylon – even those things King Cyrus brought from the palace of Babylon and presented 112  to a man by the name of Sheshbazzar whom he had appointed as governor. 5:15 He said to him, “Take these vessels and go deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt in its proper location.” 113  5:16 Then this Sheshbazzar went and laid the foundations of the temple of God in Jerusalem. From that time to the present moment 114  it has been in the process of being rebuilt, although it is not yet finished.’

5:17 “Now if the king is so inclined, 115  let a search be conducted in the royal archives 116  there in Babylon in order to determine whether King Cyrus did in fact issue orders for this temple of God to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us a decision concerning this matter.”

Darius Issues a Decree

6:1 So Darius the king issued orders, and they searched in the archives 117  of the treasury which were deposited there in Babylon. 6:2 A scroll was found in the citadel 118  of Ecbatana which is in the province of Media, and it was inscribed as follows:

“Memorandum: 6:3 In the first year of his reign, 119  King Cyrus gave orders concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: 120  ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are offered. Let its foundations be set in place. 121  Its height is to be ninety feet and its width ninety 122  feet, 123  6:4 with three layers of large stones 124  and one 125  layer of timber. The expense is to be subsidized 126  by the royal treasury. 127  6:5 Furthermore let the gold and silver vessels of the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar brought from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon, be returned and brought to their proper place in the temple in Jerusalem. Let them be deposited in the temple of God.’

6:6 “Now Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and their colleagues, the officials of Trans-Euphrates – all of you stay far away from there! 6:7 Leave the work on this temple of God alone. 128  Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this temple of God in its proper place.

6:8 “I also hereby issue orders as to what you are to do with those elders of the Jews in order to rebuild this temple of God. From the royal treasury, from the taxes of Trans-Euphrates the complete costs are to be given to these men, so that there may be no interruption of the work. 129  6:9 Whatever is needed – whether oxen or rams or lambs or burnt offerings for the God of heaven or wheat or salt or wine or oil, as required by 130  the priests who are in Jerusalem – must be given to them daily without any neglect, 6:10 so that they may be offering incense to the God of heaven and may be praying for the good fortune of the king and his family. 131 

6:11 “I hereby give orders that if anyone changes this directive a beam is to be pulled out from his house and he is to be raised up and impaled 132  on it, and his house is to be reduced 133  to a rubbish heap 134  for this indiscretion. 135  6:12 May God who makes his name to reside there overthrow any king or nation 136  who reaches out 137  to cause such change so as to destroy this temple of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have given orders. Let them be carried out with precision!”

The Temple Is Finally Dedicated

6:13 Then Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues acted accordingly – with precision, just as Darius the king had given instructions. 138  6:14 The elders of the Jews continued building and prospering, while at the same time 139  Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo continued prophesying. They built and brought it to completion by the command of the God of Israel and by the command of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 6:15 They finished this temple on the third day of the month Adar, which is the sixth 140  year of the reign of King Darius.

6:16 The people 141  of Israel – the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the exiles 142  – observed the dedication of this temple of God with joy. 6:17 For the dedication of this temple of God they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve male goats for the sin of all Israel, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 6:18 They appointed the priests by their divisions and the Levites by their divisions over the worship of God at Jerusalem, 143  in accord with 144  the book of Moses. 6:19 145  The exiles 146  observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6:20 The priests and the Levites had purified themselves, every last one, 147  and they all were ceremonially pure. They sacrificed the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their colleagues 148  the priests, and for themselves. 6:21 The Israelites who were returning from the exile ate it, along with all those who had joined them 149  in separating themselves from the uncleanness of the nations of the land to seek the Lord God of Israel. 6:22 They observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, for the Lord had given them joy and had changed the opinion 150  of the king of Assyria 151  toward them, so that he assisted 152  them in the work on the temple of God, the God of Israel.

1 tn Heb “the sons of Israel.”

2 tn The word “living” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied. Some translations supply “settled” (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT).

3 tc The translation reads with some medieval Hebrew MSS and ancient versions בְּעָרֵיהֶם (bearehem, “in their towns”), rather than the reading בֶּעָרִים (bearim, “in the towns”) found in the MT. Cf. Neh 7:72 HT [7:73 ET].

4 tn The Hebrew text adds the phrase “like one man.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “to.”

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 sn Jozadak (also in 3:8) is a variant spelling of Jehozadak.

8 tn Heb “his brothers the priests.”

9 tn Heb “his brothers.”

10 tn Heb “arose and built.”

11 tn Heb “written in.” Cf. v. 4.

12 tn Heb “the peoples of the lands.”

13 tn The Hebrew phrase אֶת חַג־הַסֻּכּוֹת (’et khag-hassukot, “festival of huts” [or “shelters”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is probably better than the traditional “tabernacles” in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. The nature of the celebration during this feast as a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt suggests that a translation like “temporary shelters” is more appropriate.

14 tn Heb “according to what is written.”

15 tn Heb “by number.”

16 tn Or “the foundation of the LORD’s temple was not yet laid.

17 tn Heb “silver.”

18 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

19 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

20 tn Heb “to the sea”

21 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

22 tn Heb “began”; the phrase “the work” is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

23 tn Heb “their brothers.”

24 tn Heb “stood.”

25 tn Heb “from twenty years and upward.”

26 tn Heb “brothers.”

27 sn The name יְהוּדָה (Yehudah; cf. KJV, ASV, NASB “Judah”) is probably a variant of Hodaviah (see Ezra 2:40; cf. NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

28 tn Heb “brothers.”

29 sn This was a long, straight, metallic instrument used for signal calls, rather than the traditional ram’s horn (both instruments are typically translated “trumpet” by English versions).

30 tn Heb “according to the hands of.”

31 sn See Ps 107:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1. Cf. 2 Chr 5:13; 7:3; 20:21.

32 tn Heb “they answered.”

33 tn Heb “great.”

34 tn Heb “the heads of the fathers.”

35 sn The temple had been destroyed some fifty years earlier by the Babylonians in 586 b.c.

36 tn Heb “with a great voice.”

37 tn Heb “a great shout.”

38 tn Heb “the sons of the exile.”

39 tn Heb “the heads of the fathers.” So also in v. 3.

40 tn Heb “Let us build with you.”

41 tc The translation reads with the Qere, a Qumran MS, the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Arabic version וְלוֹ (vÿlo, “and him”) rather than the Kethib of the MT, וְלֹא (vÿlo’, “and not”).

42 tn Heb “days.”

43 sn Esarhaddon was king of Assyria ca. 681-669 b.c.

44 sn The Assyrian policy had been to resettle Samaria with peoples from other areas (cf. 2 Kgs 17:24-34). These immigrants acknowledged Yahweh as well as other deities in some cases. The Jews who returned from the Exile regarded them with suspicion and were not hospitable to their offer of help in rebuilding the temple.

45 tn Heb “not to you and to us.”

46 tn Heb “the people of the land.” Elsewhere this expression sometimes has a negative connotation, referring to a lay population that was less zealous for Judaism than it should have been. Here, however, it seems to refer to the resident population of the area without any negative connotation.

47 tn Heb “were making slack the hands of.”

48 tn Heb “all the days of.”

49 sn Darius ruled Persia ca. 522-486 B.C.

50 sn The purpose of the opening verses of this chapter is to summarize why the Jews returning from the exile were unable to complete the rebuilding of the temple more quickly than they did. The delay was due not to disinterest on their part but to the repeated obstacles that had been placed in their path by determined foes.

51 sn The chronological problems of Ezra 4:6-24 are well known and have been the subject of extensive discussion since ancient times. Both v. 5 and v. 24 describe the reign of Darius I Hystaspes, who ruled Persia ca. 522–486 b.c. and in whose time the rebuilt temple was finished. The material in between is from later times (v. 16 describes the rebuilding of the walls, not the temple), and so appear to be a digression. Even recognizing this, there are still questions, such as why Cambyses (530-522 b.c.) is not mentioned at all, and why events from the time of Xerxes (486-465 b.c.) and Artaxerxes (464-423 b.c.) are included here if the author was discussing opposition to the building of the temple, which was finished in 516 b.c. Theories to explain these difficulties are too numerous to mention here, but have existed since ancient times: Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, rearranged the account to put Cambyses before Xerxes and replacing Artaxerxes with Xerxes (for further discussion of Josephus’ rearrangement see L. L. Grabbe, “Josephus and the Reconstruction of the Judean Restoration” JBL 106 [1987]: 231-46). In brief, it seems best to view the author’s primary concern here as thematic (the theme of opposition to the Jewish resettlement in Jerusalem, including the rebuilding of the temple and restoration of Jerusalem’s walls) rather than purely chronological. In the previous verses the author had shown how the Jews had rejected an offer of assistance from surrounding peoples and how these people in turn harassed them. The inserted account shows how, in light of the unremitting opposition the Jews experienced (even extending down to more recent times), this refusal of help had been fully justified. Some of the documents the author employed show how this opposition continued even after the temple was rebuilt. (The failure to mention Cambyses may simply mean the author had no documents available from that period.) For detailed discussion of the difficulties presented by the passage and the various theories advanced to explain them, see H. G. M. Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah (WBC), 56-60.

52 sn Ahasuerus, otherwise known as Xerxes I, ruled ca. 486-464 b.c.

53 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

54 tn Heb “And in the days.”

55 tn The LXX understands this word as a prepositional phrase (“in peace”) rather than as a proper name (“Bishlam”). Taken this way it would suggest that Mithredath was “in agreement with” the contents of Tabeel’s letter. Some scholars regard the word in the MT to be a corruption of either “in Jerusalem” (i.e., “in the matter of Jerusalem”) or “in the name of Jerusalem.” The translation adopted above follows the traditional understanding of the word as a name.

56 tc The translation reads the plural with the Qere rather than the singular found in the MT Kethib.

57 sn Artaxerxes I ruled in Persia from ca. 465–425 b.c.

58 tc It is preferable to delete the MT’s וּכְתָב (ukhÿtav) here.

59 sn The double reference in v. 7 to the Aramaic language is difficult. It would not make sense to say that the letter was written in Aramaic and then translated into Aramaic. Some interpreters understand the verse to mean that the letter was written in the Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language, but this does not seem to give sufficient attention to the participle “translated” at the end of the verse. The second reference to Aramaic in the verse is more probably a gloss that calls attention to the fact that the following verses retain the Aramaic language of the letter in its original linguistic form. A similar reference to Aramaic occurs in Dan 2:4b, where the language of that book shifts from Hebrew to Aramaic. Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12-26 are written in Aramaic, whereas the rest of the book is written in Hebrew.

60 tn Aram “lord of the command.” So also in vv. 9, 17.

61 sn Like Rehum, Shimshai was apparently a fairly high-ranking official charged with overseeing Persian interests in this part of the empire. His title was “scribe” or “secretary,” but in a more elevated political sense than that word sometimes has elsewhere. American governmental titles such as “Secretary of State” perhaps provide an analogy in that the word “secretary” can have a broad range of meaning.

62 tn Or perhaps “against.”

63 tn Aram “then.” What follows in v. 9 seems to be the preface of the letter, serving to identify the senders of the letter. The word “from” is not in the Aramaic text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

64 tn For the qere of the MT (דֶּהָיֵא, dehaye’, a proper name) it seems better to retain the Kethib דִּהוּא (dihu’, “that is”). See F. Rosenthal, Grammar, 25, §35; E. Vogt, Lexicon linguae aramaicae, 36.

65 tn Aram “Osnappar” (so ASV, NASB, NRSV), another name for Ashurbanipal.

sn Ashurbanipal succeeded his father Esarhaddon as king of Assyria in 669 B.C. Around 645 B.C. he sacked the city of Susa, capital of Elam, and apparently some of these people were exiled to Samaria and other places.

66 tc The translation reads with the ancient versions the plural בְּקֻרְיַהּ (bÿquryah, “in the cities”) rather than the singular (“in the city”) of the MT.

67 tn Aram “beyond the river.” In Ezra this term is a technical designation for the region west of the Euphrates river.

68 tn The Masoretic accents indicate that the phrase “to Artaxerxes the king” goes with what precedes and that the letter begins with the words “from your servants.” But it seems better to understand the letter to begin by identifying the addressee.

69 tn Aram “men of.”

70 tn The MT takes this word with the latter part of v. 11, but in English style it fits better with v. 12.

71 sn Management of the provinces that were distantly removed from the capital was difficult, and insurrection in such places was a perennial problem. The language used in this report about Jerusalem (i.e., “rebellious,” “odious”) is intentionally inflammatory. It is calculated to draw immediate attention to the perceived problem.

72 tn Aram “the treasury of kings.” The plural “kings” is Hebrew, not Aramaic. If the plural is intended in a numerical sense the reference is not just to Artaxerxes but to his successors as well. Some scholars understand this to be the plural of majesty, referring to Artaxerxes. See F. C. Fensham, Ezra and Nehemiah (NICOT), 74.

73 tn Aram “we eat the salt of the palace.”

74 tn Aram “the dishonor of the king is not fitting for us to see.”

75 tn Aram “and we have made known.”

76 tn Aram “the book of the minutes.”

77 tn Aram “of your fathers.”

78 tn Aram “discover…and learn.” For stylistic reasons this has been translated as a single concept.

79 tn Aram “is a rebellious city.”

80 tn Aram “revolts they are making in its midst.”

81 tn Aram “from olden days.” So also in v. 19.

82 tn Aram “will not be to you.”

83 tn Aram “peace.”

84 tn Aram “from me was placed a decree.”

85 tn Aram “and they searched and found.”

86 tn Aram “are being done.”

87 sn The statement that prior Jewish kings ruled over the entire Trans-Euphrates is an overstatement. Not even in the days of David and Solomon did the kingdom of Israel extend its borders to such an extent.

88 tn Aram “were being given to them.”

89 tn Aram “until a command is issued from me.”

90 tn Aram “to Jerusalem against the Jews.”

91 tn Aram “by force and power,” a hendiadys.

92 sn Darius I Hystaspes ruled Persia ca. 522–486 b.c.

93 tn Aram “son.” According to Zech 1:1 he was actually the grandson of Iddo.

94 tn Aram “and Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo the prophet.”

95 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

96 tn Aram “arose and began.” For stylistic reasons this has been translated as a single concept.

97 tn Aram “who placed to you a command?” So also v. 9.

98 tn The exact meaning of the Aramaic word אֻשַּׁרְנָא (’ussarna’) here and in v. 9 is uncertain (BDB 1083 s.v.). The LXX and Vulgate understand it to mean “wall.” Here it is used in collocation with בַּיְתָא (bayta’, “house” as the temple of God), while in 5:3, 9 it is used in parallelism with this term. It might be related to the Assyrian noun ashurru (“wall”) or ashru (“sanctuary”; so BDB). F. Rosenthal, who translates the word “furnishings,” thinks that it probably enters Aramaic from Persian (Grammar, 62-63, §189).

99 tc The translation reads with one medieval Hebrew MS, the LXX, and the Syriac Peshitta אֲמַרוּ (’amaru, “they said”) rather than the reading אֲמַרְנָא (’amarna’, “we said”) of the MT.

100 tn Aram “the eye of their God was on.” The idiom describes the attentive care that one exercises in behalf of the object of his concern.

101 tn Aram “they did not stop them.”

102 tn Aram “[could] go.” On this form see F. Rosenthal, Grammar, 58, §169.

103 tn Aram “and it was written in its midst.”

104 tn Aram “all peace.”

105 tn Aram “stones of rolling.” The reference is apparently to stones too large to carry.

106 sn This great king of Israel would, of course, be Solomon.

107 tn Aram “fathers.”

108 tn Aram “hand” (singular).

109 sn A reference to the catastrophic events of 586 b.c.

110 sn Cyrus was actually a Persian king, but when he conquered Babylon in 539 b.c. he apparently appropriated to himself the additional title “king of Babylon.” The Syriac Peshitta substitutes “Persia” for “Babylon” here, but this is probably a hyper-correction.

111 tn Or “temple.”

112 tn Aram “they were given.”

113 tn Aram “upon its place.”

114 tn Aram “from then and until now.”

115 tn Aram “if upon the king it is good.”

116 tn Aram “the house of the treasures of the king.”

117 tn Aram “the house of the archives.”

118 tc The translation reads בִירְתָא (birta’, citadel”) rather than the reading בְּבִירְתָא (bÿvireta’, “in the citadel”) found in the MT. The MT probably experienced dittography here.

119 tn Aram “In the first year of Cyrus the king.”

120 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

121 tn Aram “raised”; or perhaps “retained” (so NASB; cf. NLT), referring to the original foundations of Solomon’s temple.

122 tc The Syriac Peshitta reads “twenty cubits” here, a measurement probably derived from dimensions given elsewhere for Solomon’s temple. According to 1 Kgs 6:2 the dimensions of the Solomonic temple were as follows: length, 60 cubits; width, 20 cubits; height, 30 cubits. Since one would expect the dimensions cited in Ezra 6:3 to correspond to those of Solomon’s temple, it is odd that no dimension for length is provided. The Syriac has apparently harmonized the width dimension provided here (“twenty cubits”) to that given in 1 Kgs 6:2.

123 tn Aram “Its height sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits.” The standard cubit in the OT is assumed by most authorities to be about eighteen inches (45 cm) long.

124 tn Aram “stones of rolling.”

125 tc The translation follows the LXX reading חַד (khad, “one”) rather than the MT חֲדַת (khadat, “new”). If the MT reading “new” is understood to mean freshly cut timber that has not yet been seasoned it would seem to be an odd choice for construction material.

126 tn Aram “let be given.”

127 tn Aram “house.”

128 tc For the MT reading “the work on this temple of God” the LXX reads “the servant of the Lord Zurababel” [= Zerubbabel].

129 tn The words “of the work” are not in the Aramaic, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

130 tn Aram “according to the word of.”

131 tn Aram “for the life of the king and his sons.”

132 sn The practice referred to in v. 11 has been understood in various ways: hanging (cf. 1 Esd 6:32 and KJV); flogging (cf. NEB, NLT); impalement (BDB 1091 s.v. זְקַף; HALOT 1914 s.v. מחא hitpe; cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV). The latter seems the most likely.

133 tn Aram “made.”

134 tn Aram “a dunghill.”

135 tn Aram “for this.”

136 tn Aram “people.”

137 tn Aram “who sends forth his hand.”

138 tn Aram “sent.”

139 tn Aram “in” or “by,” in the sense of accompaniment.

140 sn The sixth year of the reign of Darius would be ca. 516 B.C.

141 tn Aram “sons of.”

142 tn Aram “sons of the exile.”

143 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

144 tn Aram “according to the writing of.”

145 sn At this point the language of the book reverts from Aramaic (4:8–6:18) back to Hebrew. Aramaic will again be used in Ezra 7:12-26.

146 tn Heb “the sons of the exile.” So also in v. 20.

147 tn Heb “as one.” The expression is best understood as referring to the unity shown by the religious leaders in preparing themselves for the observance of Passover. On the meaning of the Hebrew phrase see DCH 1:182 s.v. אֶחָד 3b. See also HALOT 30 s.v. אֶחָד 5.

148 tn Heb “brothers.”

149 tn Heb “who had separated from the uncleanness of the nations of the land to them.”

150 tn Heb “heart.”

151 sn The expression “king of Assyria” is anachronistic, since Assyria fell in 612 b.c., long before the events of this chapter. Perhaps the expression is intended subtly to contrast earlier kings of Assyria who were hostile toward Israel with this Persian king who showed them favor.

152 tn Heb “to strengthen their hands.”



TIP #23: Use the Download Page to copy the NET Bible to your desktop or favorite Bible Software. [ALL]
created in 0.35 seconds
powered by bible.org