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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 ESDRAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Library.  Prot. "house of the rolls, where the treasures were," &c. --- Babylon.  In the city, the search was fruitless: (Vatab.) but in the kingdom, the record was discovered.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Ecbatana.  Chal. achmetha, signifies "a jug, or chest."  C. --- "They found in the chest of the palace, under the inscription of Media."  Munster.  Pagnin. --- "And a roll was found (some add, in Amatha) in the city, in a chest, (or tower; Barei) and this memorial was written in it."  (Sept.)  Prot. style the place, "Achmetha."  H. --- Arab. "Athana."  Syr. "Ahmathane."  The memoirs of Cyrus had probably been conveyed to Ecbatana, which was built by Dejoces, the first king of the Medes, and greatly enlarged by his successor, Phraortes.  C. --- Province.  Media now only formed a province of the empire.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  And...foundations is not found in Sept. Syr. and Arab. but it is in Chald.  The temple was thus of larger dimensions than that of Solomon, which was only 30 cubits high, and 20 broad inside.  3 K. vi. 2.  The Rabbins assign 100 for each, (Tr. Middot. iv. 6.) speaking perhaps of the temple rebuilt by Herod, with still greater magnificence.  Josephus allows 100 in height, and 60 in breadth.  But the Scripture only speaks of 54 cubits breadeth, and 99 in length including the adjoining edifices.  C. --- Breadth, from the front to the end of the holy of holies, which we should call the length.  T. --- This temple was lower than Solomon's by one half, (2 Par. iii. 4.  M.) unless those 120 cubits refer only to a tower.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Unpolished, to correspond with the polished stones and cedar employed by Solomon.  3 K. vi. 36.  M. --- Prot. "great stones."  See C. v. 8. --- Charges.  It appears that the Jews furnished money and meat to pay for the wood.  C. i. 4. and iii. 7.  Some annual sum might be assigned by Cyrus, either for the building, or for the daily holocausts.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Placed formerly, before the destruction of the temple.  Prot. "and place them in the house of God."

 

Ver. 8.  Hindered.  Thus Darius trod in the footsteps, or perhaps exceeded the liberality of Cyrus.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Complaint.  Prot. "without fail," (H.) or "delay." Mont.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Nailed.  Prot. "hanged."  Sept. "covered with wounds, or fastened on it."  H. --- Some think that the criminal was to be scourged.  De Dieu. --- "Let him be hanged on the wood, which shall stand upright, after his house shall have been demolished."  Vatable. --- Such was the custom of the Persians.  Grot. --- Aman perished on the gallows, which he had erected in his own house for Mardocheus.  Est. vii. 9. --- Confiscated.  Prot. "be made a dunghill for this."  H.  Syr. &c. --- We find some examples of such a treatment.  4 K. x. 27.  Dan. iii. 5, and ix. 6.  The effects of those who were condemned to die, in Persia, were generally confiscated.  Est.iii. 13. and viii. 11. and ix. 14.

 

Ver. 14.  Artaxerxes, one of the seven who overturned the power of the magi; (Usher, A. 3483) or rather the king of Persia, who lived some time after this, and was very favourable to the Jews.  He sent Esdras (A. 3537) and Nehemias (A. 3550) with great powers into the country.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Adar, corresponding  with our Feb. and March.  M. --- In the latter month they celebrated the Passover, v. 19. --- Darius.  Hence twenty years had elapsed from the first foundation.  They might continue to embellish the temple other twenty-seven years, as the Jews assert; (Jo. ii. 20,) unless they speak of the repairs made by Herod, (Baronius.  T.) or exaggerate, (Grot.) being under a mistake.  Salien, A. 3537.

 

Ver. 17.  Goats, which had not left off sucking.  M.  Numb. vii. 87. --- Israel.  The Sam. Chronicles assert that the tribes returned, as the prophets had foretold, and the sacred history seems to suppose: (C.) which may be true of many, (H.) though the greatest part remained in captivity.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Moses.  Num. iii. 8.  David had perfected the plan, 1 Par. xxiii. &c.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  And.  Here the author resumes the Heb. language.  C. --- Captivity, from which they were released, v. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  One man, with zeal and unanimity; so that a second Phase was not to be celebrated.  2 Par. xxx. 3.

 

Ver. 21.  To them, becoming proselytes, and receiving circumcision.  Ex. xii. 48.

 

Ver. 22.  Assyria.  The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (C.) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately.  T.

 

 








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