Bible Commentaries
Ezra 4

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

Verses 1-24

In this chapter we have the story of the opposition of the Samaritans, and the consequent cessation of work on the Temple for a time. The historic chronology presents difficulties. The subject is not of vital importance. Perhaps, however, the simplest solution is that in the first five verses we have a general statement of the fact that this opposition continued from the reign of Cyrus to that of Darius; while in verses six to twenty-three there is a more detailed account of the opposition.

The one objection to this solution is that the names of the kings mentioned in verses six to twenty-three are not those given as reigning between Cyrus and Darius, but after Darius. Admitting this difficulty, it seems to me less than that presented by any other attempt to explain this passage, and it is quite unsafe to build any theory definitely on names which may be dynastic rather than personal. However, the principal interest of the chapter for us is the opposition and the forms it took. First was an attempt to induce Zerubbabel and those associated with him to admit into partnership such as were really enemies of the work. This being definitely refused, these enemies set themselves in every way to hinder the work, until at last they were successful in obtaining letters from the reigning monarch interdicting the work. Thus, for a long period the building of the house of God ceased, while building houses for the people went forward unchecked.

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Ezra 4". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.