Bible Commentaries
Ezra 7

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-28

  1. Intro:
    1. The Returns:
      1. Trip #1 49,897 people return [Zerubbabel leads, 538bc] [purpose rebuild temple]
      2. Trip #2 1,754 return [Ezra is in] (80 yrs. later) [purpose to rebuild the people]
      3. Trip #3 Nehemiah leads (14 yrs. later) [purpose to rebuild the wall]
    2. Ezra A godly patriotic Jew. His name means Help.
      1. He was a devoted student of the Scriptures.
      2. He helped to restore the Law to the nation.
      3. He was a man of prayer (8:21-23).
      4. He was greatly burdened for the spiritual welfare of his people (9:3,4).
      5. He does not come on the scene till now in chapter 7.
  2. PREPARATIONS (7:1-10) [vs.1-10 gives an overview of the next chapters]
    1. (1) King Artaxerxes permitted Ezra to return to Jerusalem to assist the people in their spiritual needs.
    2. (1-5) Why the need for Ezra’s genealogy here? To prove he was a priest from the family of Aaron (17th gen.)
    3. It took 4 months for this long journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.
    4. (10) Here’s a life verse for us: Study it. Live it. Teach it.
      1. Martin Luther gave qualities and virtues of a good preacher: Able to teach in a right and orderly way. A good head. A good voice. A good memory. Knows when to stop. Is sure of his material and is diligent. Stakes body and life, goods and honor on it. Suffers himself to be vexed and flayed by everyone. Study it - He prepared his heart to seek/study the Law of the Lord, meaning he made it his purpose to know, then live, then teach the Scriptures.
      2. Of course it was possible for a scribe to simply stockpile info. Ezra made it his purpose to go beyond that.
        1. Next, he didn’t only crave it for himself but for the others.
      3. What was it to physically return to Israel’s land & not spiritually return to Israel’s God?
    5. Live it - Do it – listen to the contrast Jesus gives (Mt.23:3) Therefore whatever they (Pharisees) tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
    6. Teach it - so many excuses…But I don’t know if I have the gift of teaching. We were all told to go make disciples, were we not?
      1. I think every Christian has the call to teach the fallen world about the savior & the saved world about walking with Him.
    7. When God needs an instrument, He will come to men/women of Ezra’s spirit. Are you of this spirit?
      1. Which of these 3 areas do you need to work on? [studying/living/teaching?]
    8. So far, what do we learn about Ezra here?
  3. PERMISSION (7:11-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12-26) This is written in Aramaic.
      1. Why change to Aramaic? - That’s what they spoke there.
      2. Chaldea = name of a district of so. Babylonia present day Iraq. They spoke & wrote Aramaic there because of the Assyrian domination there about 3 cent. Earlier.
        1. Noah’s boy Shem, has Aram, who becomes the Arameans living in Assyria (Syria).
    2. (12) note: king of kings :0
    3. (13) Any Jew could go up w/Ezra.
    4. (15,16) They got to take a large freewill offering from Babylon to assist in the work of the Lord.
      1. Prov.16:11 When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
    5. (20-22) They were even given an expense account from Darius.
      1. Eph.3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
      2. Hear are Daniels prayers & tears being answered. Read 9:16-19 msg
    6. (22) Salt was without limit.
      1. Lev.2:13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.
      2. Note everything else in the vs. was meted out w/exactness, except the salt.
        1. Salt becomes a great example of Gods divine grace to our soul.
        2. The vinegar & gall of life are given to us w/such exactness, but the salt of graceno measure seems to be made. Spurgeon
    7. (23) Diligently - Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer. William Booth
    8. (25,26) Ezra’s task was to establish order & religious worship in the land.
      1. Understand there had been 57 years between the completion of the temple & the arrival of Ezra. (Book of Esther took place during that time)
      2. So, unfortunately the people had lapsed into sin.
        1. That makes Esther’s story even more interesting, that God saves the Jews from extinction at a time they were not walking with Him.
      3. It was Ezra’s job to bring them back to the Lord.
      4. Remember James’ admonition as he closes out his book w/Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
    9. (26) Here is the balanced life for the Christian…obedience to God & Country.
      1. No separation of church & state (6:8). Tax exempt status (7:24).
  4. PRAISE (7:27,28)
    1. ​​​​​​​Ezra’s doxology shows just how appreciative he was to the Lord for answering his prayers.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezra 7". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.