| 1 ¶ 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.
2 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:
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 offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
4 With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house:
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, 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.
6 Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence:
7 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.
|3 - Height Double that of the Temple of Solomon. It was to be three times as wide 1ki0602. The dimensions might have been altered. In any case it was a disappointment to many hg0203, ezr0312.|
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, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that
they be not hindered.
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, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:
.10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
11 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.
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. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
|8 - I make a decree Darius added his own decree to the one from Cyrus ezr0107 and he gave the Jews even more.|
¶ Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and
their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so
they did speedily.
.14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and 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.
.15 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.
16 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,
- Tatnai ... Shetharboznai See on ezr0503,6.
14 - Elders ... builded and prospered Haggai had urged the people to believe in their God who owned all (hg0208). Also zec0809.
14 - Commandment Notice that the divine order was performed by three successive kings yet it was one work.
And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks,
two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel,
twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.
|17 - Tribes of Israel Also as in v16. The new Jerusalem was to be considered as for all the tribes, not for only Judah. (ez0270, ez0301, ez0403, ez0501).|
author returns to the Hebrew language and continues to 7:11. Aramaic (similar
to Hebrew) was the language of the Persian government.
.19 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.
.20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,
.22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
- Kept the passover The people hadn't forgotten. This occasion
was a special one. The temple had been dedicated. It was a time of revival.
Other special Passover feasts are described in 2ch30,
22 - Feast of unleavened This feast was joyful because the King of Assyria (or Persia) had favored them. This was probably Darius who had called himself, "King of Babylon." He was king of the Persian Empire "which now included the possessions, and had surpassed the glory, of Assyria. The favorable disposition which Darius had evinced towards the Jews secured them peace and prosperity and the privileges of their own religion during the rest of his reign. The religious joy that so remarkably characterized the celebration of this feast, was testified by expressions of lively gratitude to God, whose overruling power and converting grace had produced so marvellous a change in the hearts of the mighty potentates, and disposed them, pagans though they were, to aid the cause and provide for the worship of the true God." (JFB)