Ezra 6

What did Darius do in compliance with the request of the letter, and what was the result ? v. 1—5.

Would it not have saved those pious Jews a great deal of trouble if they had had the precaution to take a copy of the decree when it was first issued?

Is it most prudent that in our dealings with mankind we should make every thing secure by written instruments?

What command was herewith given to the governor, and what additional decree did the king issue?

Did he give evidence of having some knowledge of the true God, and of the value of his favor?

What penalties and imprecations were attached to the decree?

Is this decree an exemplification of the way in which "the earth helps the woman?" Rev. 12. 16.

What was the effect of Darius' decree both upon the governor's party, and upon the Jews? v.13, 14.

Ought the gospel-prophets, or expounders of the scriptures, and other Christians, to have each their appropriate sphere, in the great work of evangelizing the world? N. B. It may be seriously questioned whether at the present day there is altogether a wise distribution of Christian effort in the churches—whether pastors and teachers are not so generally enlisted in the secular departments of action, as to be unduly withdrawn from the devout study of the word, in its inexhaustible riches, and from the application of its truths to their people. We believe the rearing of the gospel-temple ought to be conducted very much on. the plan that we are now considering.

At what time was the house finished? N. B. Chronologists have made it very apparent that this decree of Darius was published in Judea just seventy years after the destruction of the Temple by the Chaldeans.

Have we any intimation that the Jews during this period kept annual fasts on account of the ruin of the city and temple? Zech. 7. 1—7.

With what emotions was the house dedicated, who officiated, and what solemnities were observed on the occasion? v. 16—18.

At what time did they celebrate the passover, and with what careful preparations beforehand?

Does the benefit of divine ordinances depend greatly upon the frame of mind in which we approach them?

Were there any proselytes from the surrounding nations who united with them in this festival? v. 21

How long did they keep the feast of unleavened, bread?

To what source did they attribute all their mercies? Prov. 21. 1.

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