Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations

Ezra 5



Zerubbabel, being encouraged by Haggai and Zechariah the prophets, setteth forward the work, Ezra 5:1 Ezra 5:2.

Their adversaries oppose them again, Ezra 5:3-5.

Their letter to Darius concerning this matter, Ezra 5:6-17.

Verse 1

Zechariah the son of Iddo, i.e. Iddo’s grandchild; for he was the son of Berechiah. In the name of the God of Israel; commanding them from God to return to the work of building the temple, with promise of his favour and assistance.

Verse 2

Encouraging the people to work by their presence, and assurance of success.

Verse 3

Tatuai and Shethar-boznai; not Rehum and Shimshai &c., who were either dead, or removed from their offices by the new emperor Darius, as is very usual.

Verse 4

Then said we; either,

1. We Tatnai and Shethar-boznai. And so this is an additional and more express inquiry concerning the names of the builders. And this sense is favoured by comparing Ezra 5:9,Ezra 5:10, where the same questions here severally made, Ezra 5:3,Ezra 5:4, are in like manner distinguished. And so the sacred writer speaks this in their person; such variation of persons being frequent in the Hebrew language, as the learned know. Or,

2. We Jews; and so the translation must be a little varied, and the words read without an interrogation, thus, Then we told them accordingly (i.e. according to what they asked)

what were the names of the men that made this building, i.e. who were the chief undertakers and encouragers of this work; for although the Hebrew particle mah, rendered what, seems always to be used interrogatively, yet the Chaldee particle man, here rendered what, is used otherwise, as is manifest from Daniel 4:17.

Verse 5

They could not cause them to cease; because God overruled their hearts and hands, that they did not hinder them by force, as they could have done.

Verse 6

The Apharsachites; a people so called, sent hither as a colony. As the other people, mentioned Ezra 4:9 they seem to have had a greater power with Rehum and Shimshai that with these new officers, who made choice of other companions.

Which were on this side the river, whereby they are distinguished from those of their brethren who yet continued in their native country beyond the river, and were not transplanted hither.

Verse 8

The great God; whom the Jews account the great God, the God of gods, esteeming all others to be but little and false gods.

Verse 16

Even until now; allowing for some interruptions.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ezra 5". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.