These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.Punctuate as follows:
Ezra 8:2. ... of the sons of David, Hattush of the sons of Shechaniah.
Ezra 8:3. Of the sons of Pharosh, Zechariah ....
Hattush, the descendant of David, was the grandson of Shechaniah (see marginal reference).
Most of these names Ezra 8:2-14 occur also as those of heads of families in the list of the Jews who returned with Zerubbabel Ezra 2:3-15. The Septuagint and Syriac versions supply omissions in Ezra 8:5, Ezra 8:10.
Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.
Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.
Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.
And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.
Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.
And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.
And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.
Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.Ahava was both a town and a river Ezra 8:21. The modern name of the place is Hit. It is famous for its bitumen springs, and is situated on the Euphrates, at a distance of about 80 miles from Babylon, toward the northwest.
None of the sons of Levi - The Levites appear to have been disinclined to return to Jerusalem (see Ezra 3:8 note).
Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.Casiphia - Its situation is wholly unknown; but it cannot have been far from Ahava.
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; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;And Sherebiah - Either a name has fallen out before the words "a man of understanding," or the "and" here has crept into the text by accident. Sherebiah appears among the most earnest of the Levites under Nehemiah (see the marginal references).
And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;
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.
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
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 unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.What "enemy" menaced Ezra, and on what account, is wholly uncertain (compare Ezra 8:31). Perhaps robber-tribes, Arab or Syrian, were his opponents.
So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,
And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellers, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:
I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents;
Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.Twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams - Not of a thousand drams (i. e., darics) each, but worth altogether a thousand darics. As the value of the daric was about 22 shillings of British money, each basin, or saucer, would have been worth (apart from the fashioning) 55 British pounds.
Of fine copper - The word translated "fine," which occurs here only, is thought to mean either "yellow" or "glittering" (see the margin). Probably the vessels were of orichalcum, an amalgam which was either brass or something nearly approaching to brass, but which was very rarely produced in the ancient world, and, when produced, was regarded as highly valuable.
And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.
Watch ye, and keep them, until ye 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.
So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.The Jews with Ezra left Babylon on the first day of the first month Ezra 7:9. They reached Ahava in nine days, and, having remained there three Ezra 8:15, quitted it, and resumed their journey on the twelfth. They reached Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month Ezra 7:9, four months after the departure from Babylon.
And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels 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;
By number and by weight of every one: and all the weight was written at that time.
Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.Compare the marginal reference. The idea of offerings for all Israel pervades in this case the entire sacrifice, with the exception of the lambs, whose number (77) is unique, and has not been accounted for.
And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.The kings commissions - i. e., the orders issued to all governors of provinces near Judaea by Artaxerxes, given in Ezra 7:21-24.
The kings lieutenants - literally, "the king's satraps." The word is used in its strict sense, referring to the chief rulers of Persian provinces, from which the "governors" or rulers of smaller districts are distinguished.