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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ezra 2

Verse 1

The province - Judaea was no longer a kingdom, but a mere “province” of Persia. “The children of the province” are the Israelites who returned to Palestine, as distinct from those who remained in Babylonia and Persia.

Every one unto his city - That is, to the city whereto his forefathers had belonged. Of course, in the few cases where this was not known Ezra 2:59-62, the plan could not be carried out.

Two other copies of the following list have come down to us - one in Nehemiah 7:7-69, and the other in 1 Esdras 5:8-43. All seem to have been taken from the same original document, and to have suffered more or less from corruption. Where two out of the three agree, the reading should prevail over that of the third.

Verse 43

The Nethinims - The hieroduli or sacred slaves, “given” to the Levites to assist them in their work (see 1 Chronicles 9:2 note).

Verse 59

Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, were probably cities, or villages, of Babylonia, at which the Jews here spoken of had been settled. The first and third have been reasonably identified with the Thelme and Chiripha of Ptolemy. Of the rest, nothing is known at present.

Verse 63

The Tirshatha - i. e., Zerubbabel. See margin. The word is probably old Persian, though it does not occur in the cuneiform inscriptions. Some derive it from a root “to fear.” See the introduction to the Book of Ezra, first note.

A priest with Urim and with Thummim - See Exodus 28:30 note. According to the rabbinical writers, the second temple permanently lacked this glory of the first. Zerubbabel, it would seem by the present passage (compare Nehemiah 7:65), expected that the loss would be only temporary.

Verse 64

The sum total is given without any variation by Ezra, by Nehemiah (see the marginal reference), and by Esdras (1 Esdras 5:41), who adds, that in this reckoning only those of twelve years of age and upward were counted.

It is curious that the total 42,360, is so greatly in excess of the items. Ezra’s items make the number 29,818; Nehemiah’s 31,089, Esdras, 33,950. The original document was probably illegible in places, and the writers were forced to make omissions.

Verse 69

The numbers here and in Nehemiah (see the marginal reference) vary.

Verse 70

All Israel - That the Israelites of the ten tribes returned to Palestine with Zerubbabel is apparent:

(1) from 1 Chronicles 9:3;

(2) from the enumeration of twelve chiefs (Nehemiah 7:7; Nehemiah 1:0 Esd. 5:8); and

(3) from various expressions in Ezra Ezra 2:2, Ezra 2:59; Ezra 3:1.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezra 2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/ezra-2.html. 1870.