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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



2 ESDRAS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  That day, is often used for an indefinite time.  H. --- It is not probable that all this happened when the walls were dedicated.  After that event, Nehemias rather went to court, and remained there about ten years.  During his absence, many abuses crept in, which he endeavoured to remedy, (v. 7.) perhaps on the solemn day of tabernacles, when the law had been read. --- Ever, (Deut. xxiii. 3.) so as to marry.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Stranger.  Heb. hereb, "mixture," (H.) infidel women and their offspring.

 

Ver. 4.  Over this things, &c.  Or, he was faulty in this thing, or in this kind.  Ch. --- He was the source of all this evil.  Heb. "and before this Eliasib," &c.  It is probable that he was a different person from the high priest, (Usher) who had married his grandson to the daughter of Sanaballat, the intimate friend of Tobias.  C. --- The latter was a persecutor, and prefigured heretics, as Nehemias did our Saviour, who drove traffickers out of the temple.  V. Bede in Esd.  L. iii. 19.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  He.  Eliasib, or Tobias.  The original  is also ambiguous.  Eliasib probably permitted Tobias to furnish himself apartments in the temple, where, by law, he was not allowed to enter.  Hence the priests, being deprived of their support, were forced to retire.  C. --- Tobias rented the apartments, and was steward of the priests' revenues.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Days.  Prefixed (C. ii. 6.) I asked.  Heb. "was required to attend by the king," for about ten years.  After which period, I returned and found such disorders.  Some believe that Nehemias had been at Babylon, a long while before the 32d year of the king.

 

Ver. 8.  And I.  Nehemias acted as governor, and performed the duty which the high priest neglected.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Storehouses, which had been profaned by the presence of a pagan.  M. --- Sacrifice.  Heb. mincha, "offerings of flour, fruits, and liquors," which were kept in the storehouses, as well as frankincense.  Eliasib had caused these things to be removed, to make place for Tobias.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Country.  Heb. "field," that he might cultivate it, (H.) and get food.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Pleaded.  Accusing them of treachery, in not opposing the wicked attempt. --- Have we.  He placed himself in the number of the guilty, in order to soften the reproach.  Sept. &c.  C. --- "Why is the house of God forsaken?"  Prot.

 

Ver. 14.  And his.  Heb. "its offices," and for the good of the sacred ministers.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Treading.  Syr. and Arab. "travelling."

 

Ver. 16.  Tyrians.  Who had established themselves there, for the sake of commerce, though the chosen people ought to have kept them at a great distance, for fear of seduction.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Fathers.  Though warned by Jeremias, xvii. 21.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  At rest.  People travelling no longer.  C. --- Heb. "shaded, or in the dark."  Before Friday night on, the sabbath commenced, and then the gates were shut.  H. --- On the.  Heb. "before the sabbath."  M.

 

Ver. 21.  On you.  To punish you, (C.) for thus endeavouring to tempt the people.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Gates.  The Levites would more conscientiously discharge their duty, (M.) and restrain the people, so that they might keep the day holy.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Azotus.  In the country of the Philistines.

 

Ver. 24.  Half.  In the same family, some spoke the Philistine (Vatable) or Phenician language: others the Hebrew; which, though it resembled the other very much, was still sufficiently distinct to be noticed.  The children might also speak a jargon, composed of both languages.  It is probable that, at this time, many of the common people spoke the Chaldee language, so that it was necessary to interpret pure Hebrew to them.  C. viii. 8.

 

Ver. 25.  Curse, or excommunicated them, (C.) the guilty parents.  H. --- Shaved.  Heb. and Sept. "plucked off their hair," by the roots, for greater torment.  Sometimes quicklime was then sprinkled on the head, (C.) as adulterers were treated at Athens.  Schol. Aristoph. --- King Artaxerxes changed this punishment, and ordered that his officers should be forbidden to wear the tiara instead.  Domitian caused the hair and beard of Apollonius to be shaven.  Philost. iii. 14.  C. --- That they.  Heb. "Ye shall not," &c.

 

Ver. 27.  Also be.  Heb. "hearken unto you;" (Prot.  H.) or "Have ye not heard the evils which fell upon our fathers (C.) for doing all?" &c.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  One.  Manasses, brother of Jaddus.  Joseph. xi. 8. --- Sanaballet, noted for his enmity towards the Jews.  C. vi. 1.  He obtained leave of Alexander to build the famous temple on Garizim, for this son-in-law.  He must have been 150 yeas old when Alexander laid siege to Tyre, A. 3672.  Esdras and Nehemias were noted for their great age.  Yet some would suppose that there were tow of the name of Sanaballet; and Josephus says that the one in question was appointed governor of Samaria by Darius, the last king of the Persians.  This opinion is adopted by Usher, A. 3972.  T.  &c. --- But there is still a difficulty to know whether it be necessary.  C. --- From me.  In revenge he set up an opposition altar.  H. --- He had contracted a marriage, which was unlawful for all, and entailed degradation upon priests.

 

Ver. 31.  Wood.  Conformably to the regulations mentioned, C. x. 34.  C. --- Good.  A just man may confidently beg for a reward.  W. --- Amen, is not found in Heb. &c.  The Holy Spirit records the praises of Nehemias.  Eccli. xlix. 15.  His political and moral virtues must ever assign him an exalted rank among the true Israelites.  Like Jesus Christ, he rebuilt Jerusalem, reformed the nation, was the mediator of a new covenant, defended the rights of the priesthood and of all the people.  C.

 

 








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