The Story of Ezra

Chapter 7

Ezra goes up to Jerusalem, 1-10. The gracious commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra, 11-20. Ezra blesses God for this favor, 27, 28.

1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6 This Ezra went from Babylon, and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given, and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7 And there went some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinims to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For upon the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and judgments in Israel.

11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD and of his statutes to Israel: 12 "Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all those of the people of Israel and of his priests and Levites in my realm who are disposed of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14 Because you are sent by the king and by his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand, 15 And to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16 And all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the voluntary-offering of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem, 17 Therefore you may speedily buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their food-offerings and their drink-offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 And whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, do that according to the will of your God. 19 The vessels also that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver those before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatever more is needful for the house of your God, which you have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure-house.

21 "And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the river, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, it shall be done speedily, 22 To one hundred talents of silver, to one hundred measures of wheat, to one hundred baths of wine, to one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also, we inform you, that concerning any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom upon them.

25 "And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people who are beyond the river, even all those who know the laws of your God, and teach those who do not know them. 26 And whoever will not do the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, to banishment, to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment."

27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem, 28 And has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I assembled out of Israel chief men to go up with me.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezra, Chapter 7[➚]