The Story of Ezra

Chapter 5

Zerubbabel and Jeshua, incited by Haggai and Zechariah, set forward the building of the temple, 1, 2. Tatnai and Shethar-boznai are not able to hinder the Jews, 3-5. Their letter to Darius against the Jews, 6-17.

1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even to them. 2 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem. And with them were the prophets of God helping them.

3 At the same time Tatnai, governor on this side of the river, Shethar-boznai, and their companions, came to them and said thus to them: "Who has commanded you to build this house and to make up this wall?" 4 Then we told them, after this manner, what were the names of the men who were making this building. 5 But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they could not cause them to cease, until the matter came to Darius. And then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.

6 This is the copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side of the river, Shethar-boznai, and his companions the Apharsachites, who were on this side of the river, sent to Darius the king. 7 They sent a letter to him, in which was written as follows: "To Darius the king: All peace. 8 May it be known to the king, that we went into the province of Judea to the house of the great God, which is being built with great stones and timber is laid in the walls. And this work proceeds rapidly and prospers in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders, and said thus to them: 'Who commanded you to build this house and to erect these walls?' 10 We asked their names also, to inform you, so that we might write the names of the men who were the chief of them. 11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was erected these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and set up. 12 But because our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon. 13 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. 14 And also the vessels of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought them into the temple of Babylon, Cyrus the king took those out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to someone whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor, 15 And said to him, "Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be built in its place." 16 Then the same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God which is in Jerusalem. And since that time even until now it has been in building, and yet it is not finished.' 17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure-house, which is there at Babylon, whether it is that a decree was made by Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem. And let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezra, Chapter 5[➚]


[v.1a] - From The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: "These are the same Haggai and Zechariah, whose writings we have among the twelve minor prophets." Reference, Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1.

[v.1b] - "Zechariah the son of Iddo" - Zechariah was the grandson of Iddo (Zechariah 1:1). Often, ancestors are referred to as fathers, and descendants are referred to as sons.