Ezra 7

In whose reign did Ezra with a considerable company come up to Jerusalem? N. B. This was seventy-nine years after the decree of Cyrus, and fifty-nine after the finishing of the Temple as related in the preceding chapter. The Artaxerxes here mentioned is pretty clearly proved by learned historians to be the same with Ahasuerus who married Esther.

From whom was Ezra descended?

What other account have we of this Seraiah? 2 Kings 25. 18—21. N. B. As his death occurred upwards of one hundred and thirty years before this, it is probable that Ezra was his grandson instead of his son, and consequently the brother of Joshua the High Priest, 1 Chron. 5. 14, 14. Grand sons are frequently called sons in the Scriptures.

What was Ezra's character ? v. 6. 10.

In what sense is the word "scribe" to be understood both here and elsewhere? N. B. Not so much a copyer or transcriber of the law, as a skilful expounder of it; for we find those who are at one time called "scribes" in the New Testament, elsewhere called " lawyers," i. e. teachers of the law. Even gospel-ministers are termed "scribes well instructed unto the kingdom of heaven." In addition to being conversant with all points of the law, Ezra has the honor of having settled the canon of scripture extant in his day and delivered it down in its present perfect condition to the church in after ages, and by his invaluable labors in this respect his reputation among the Jews is next to that of Moses, and no lover of the Bible can fail greatly to reverence his memory to the end of time.

How long was he employed in his journey?

From whom did he receive a commission, and what was the purport of it ? v. 13—26.

Is this a most noble document to have emanated from a heathen king?

Who is supposed to have been instrumental in procuring it? N. B. It is conjectured that this, as well as Nehemiah's subsequent commission, were obtained by the agency of Esther, the great patroness of her people.

How does Ezra give utterance to the pious sentiments of his heart on this occasion?

Are occasional devout ejaculations both in conversation and our writings very proper when sincere and unaffected?

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