The Story of Ezra

Chapter 8

The companions of Ezra, who returned from Babylon, 1-14. He sends to Iddo for ministers for the temple, 15-20. He keeps a fast, 21-23. He commits the treasures to the custody of the priests, 24-30. From Ahava they come to Jerusalem, 31, 32. The treasure is weighed in the temple, 33-35. The commission is delivered, 36.

1 These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. 2 Of the sons of Phinehas: Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar: Daniel. Of the sons of David: Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh: Zechariah, and with him were one hundred and fifty reckoned by genealogy of the males. 4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab: Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males. 5 Of the sons of Shechaniah: the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males. 6 Of the sons also of Adin: Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males. 7 Of the sons of Elam: Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males. 8 Of the sons of Shephatiah: Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him eighty males. 9 Of the sons of Joab: Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 Of the sons of Shelomith: the son of Josiphiah, and with him one hundred and sixty males. 11 Of the sons of Bebai: Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males. 12 Of the sons of Azgad: Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him one hundred and ten males. 13 And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these: Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them sixty males. 14 Of the sons also of Bigvai: Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

15 And I assembled them at the river that runs to Ahava, and there we stayed in tents three days. And I viewed the people and the priests and found none of the sons of Levi there. 16 Then I sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, for Elnathan, for Jarib, for Elnathan, for Nathan, for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men, and also for Joiarib and for Elnathan, men of understanding. 17 And I sent them with commandment to Iddo the chief in Casiphia, and I told them what they should say to Iddo and to his brothers the Nethinims in Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel: Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen men. 19 And they also brought Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty men, 20 And also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims. All of them were expressed by name.

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the Ahava River, so that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek from him a right way for us, for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek him, but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him." 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this. And he was entreated by us.

24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them. 25 And I weighed to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, his counselors, his lords, and all Israel present there had offered. 26 I even weighed to their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels one hundred talents; and of gold one hundred talents, 27 And also twenty basins of gold, of one thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, "You are holy to the LORD. The vessels are also holy. And the silver and the gold are a voluntary-offering to the LORD God of your fathers. 29 Watch and keep them, until you weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites and chief of the fathers of Israel at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD." 30 So the priests and the Levites took the weight of the silver, the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

31 Then we departed from the Ahava River on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from those who lay in wait by the way. 32 And we came to Jerusalem and stayed there three days.

33 Now on the fourth day the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites. 34 Everything was accounted for and weighed, and all the weight was written at that time.

35 Also, the children of those who had been carried away, who had come out of the captivity, offered burnt-offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin-offering. All this was a burnt-offering to the LORD. 36 And they delivered the king's commissions to the king's lieutenants and to the governors on this side of the river, and they furthered the people and the house of God.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezra, Chapter 8[➚]