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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezra 6

Verses 1-22


Completion and Dedication of the Temple

This chapter relates the authorisation of the construction of the Temple, and the completion of the work.

2. Achmetha] i.e. Ecbatana in Media.

3. Threescore cubits, etc.] The dimensions here given, which considerably exceed those of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:2), perhaps marked the limits beyond which the builders were not to go.

4. With three rows, etc.] cp. 1 Kings 6:36, which suggests that these materials were used in the construction of the Court, not of the edifice, of the Temple. Out. of the king’s house] i.e. from the king’s resources: cp. 1 Kings 7:20.

6. Now therefore, etc.] At this v. the decree of Darius begins.

7. The governor of the Jews] i.e. Zerubbabel (Sheshbazzar), who was subordinate to Tatnai (Ezra 5:3).

10. Sacrifices of sweet savours] cp. Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18.

12. To alter] i.e. the decree.

14. Artaxerxes] The Temple was really completed in the reign of Darius (Ezra 6:15), but Artaxerxes (464-424 b.c.) bestowed treasure upon it (see Ezra 7).

15. Adar] February-March.

The sixth year] i.e. 516 b.c. The Temple, which was begun for the second time in the second year of Darius, 520 b.c. (Haggai 1:14-15), had taken more than four years to finish. No complete description of it is forthcoming, but some information respecting it can be derived from allusions. If the measurements given in the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6:3) were actually adopted, it must have been larger than that of Solomon (1 Kings 6:2), but otherwise it was much inferior to it (Ezra 3:12; Haggai 2:3). Like the earlier structure, it consisted of a Holy of Holies and a Holy Place, before each of which hung a vail (1 Maccabees 4:51); whilst it had in front of it more than one court (1 Maccabees 4:38, 1 Maccabees 4:48). The Holy of Holies was empty (the ark being lost); but the Holy Place contained the golden altar of incense, the candlestick, and the table of shewbread, together with various vessels (1 Maccabees 1:22). In one of the courts was the altar of burntoffering, constructed of ’whole stones’ (1 Maccabees 4:47); and round the Temple building there were chambers, for the use of the priests and the storage of provisions (Ezra 8:29; Ezra 10:6; Nehemiah 10:34; Nehemiah 13:5; Nehemiah 1 Maccabees 4:38).

17. Twelve he goats] The number (see Numbers 7:37) was representative of the twelve tribes of Israel, though only a few of them had returned from their exile and were present at the festival.

20. For the priests, etc.] better, ’for the priests had purified themselves, and the Levites, as one man, were all of them pure.’ Killed the passover for all] i.e. the Levites, who in Hezekiah’s time killed the passover lambs only for such as were not clean, now killed them for all alike, both priests and laity.

21. All such as had separated, etc.] cp. Ezra 10:11; Nehemiah 10:28. The allusion is to the Israelites left in the country when the flower of the population was removed by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, who had become contaminated by the surrounding heathen, but now detached themselves from them.

22. The king of Assyria] i.e. Darius, whose predecessors had conquered Babylon, the mistress of Assyria.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezra 6". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/ezra-6.html. 1909.