Ezra 2
Clarke's Commentary
An account of those who returned from Babylon, vv. 1-35. The children of the priests who returned, Ezra 2:36-39. Of the Levites, Ezra 2:40. Of the singers, Ezra 2:41. Of the porters, Ezra 2:42. Of the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, vv. 43-58. Others who could not find out their registers, Ezra 2:59-62. The number of the whole congregation, Ezra 2:63, Ezra 2:64. Of their servants, maids, and singers, Ezra 2:65. Their horses and mules, Ezra 2:66. Their camels and asses, Ezra 2:67. The offerings of the chief men when they came to Jerusalem, Ezra 2:68, Ezra 2:69. The priests, Levites, singers, porters, and Nethinim, betake themselves to their respective cities, Ezra 2:70.

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;
These are the children of the province - That is, of Judea; once a kingdom, and a flourishing nation; now a province, subdued, tributary, and ruined! Behold the goodness and severity of God! Some think Babylon is meant by the province; and that the children of the province means those Jews who were born in Babylon. But the first is most likely to be the meaning, for thus we find Judea styled, Ezra 5:8. Besides, the province is contradistinguished from Babylon even in this first verse, The children of the province - that had been carried away unto Babylon.

Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
Which came with Zerubbabel - There are many difficulties in this table of names; but as we have no less than three copies of it, that contained here from Ezra 2:1-67, a second in Nehemiah 7:6-69, and a third in 1 Esdras 5:7-43, on a careful examination they will be found to correct each other. The versions also, and the Variae Lectiones of Kennicott and De Rossi, do much toward harmonizing the names.

Though the sum total at the end of each of these enumerations is equal, namely 42,360, yet the particulars reckoned up make in Ezra only 29,818, and in Nehemiah 31,089. We find that Nehemiah mentions 1765 persons which are not in Ezra, and Ezra has 494 not mentioned by Nehemiah. Mr. Alting thinks that this circumstance, which appears to render all hope of reconciling them impossible, is precisely the very point by which they can be reconciled; for if we add Ezra's surplus to the sum in Nehemiah, and the surplus of Nehemiah to the number in Ezra, the numbers will be equal.

Thus: -

The number in Ezra 29,818 Surplus in Nehemiah 1,765 Sum total 31,583

The number in Nehemiah 31,089 The surplus in Ezra 494 Sum total 31,583

If we subtract this sum 31,583 from 42,360, we shall have a deficiency of 10,777 from the numbers as summed up in the text; and these are not named here, either because their registers were not found, or they were not of Judah and Benjamin, the tribes particularly concerned, but of the other Israelitish tribes; see Ezra 2:36.

The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
The children of Parosh - Where the word children is found in this table, prefixed to the name of a man, it signifies the descendants of that person, as from Ezra 2:3-21. Where it is found prefixed to a place, town, etc., it signifies the inhabitants of that place, as from Ezra 2:21-35.

The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five.
The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.
The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five.
The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two.
The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three.
The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six.
The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six.
The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four.
The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three.
The children of Jorah, an hundred and twelve.
The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three.
The children of Gibbar, ninety and five.
The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and three.
The children of Beth-lehem - The inhabitants: see before.

The men of Netophah, fifty and six.
The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
The children of Azmaveth, forty and two.
The children of Kirjatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three.
The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.
The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and two.
The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
The children of Nebo, fifty and two.
The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and six.
The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five.
The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono - These were cities in the tribe of Benjamin; see on 1 Chronicles 8:12 (note).

The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.
The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
The priests - The preceding list takes in the census of Judah and Benjamin.

The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four.
The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight.
The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine.
The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,
The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,
The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan,
The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,
The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,
The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,
The children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim,
The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Thamah,
The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda,
The children of Solomon's servants - The Nethinim, and others appointed to do the meaner services of the holy house.

The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami.
All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two.
And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
The Tirshatha - This is generally supposed to be Nehemiah, or the person who was the commandant; see Nehemiah 8:9; Nehemiah 10:1, for the word appears to be the name of an office. The Vulgate and Septuagint write it Atershatha, the Syriac and Arabic render it the princes of Judah. Some suppose the word to be Persian, but nothing like it of the same import occurs in that language at present. If, as Castel supposed, it signifies austerity, or that fear which is unpressed by the authority of a governor, it may come from ters, Fear, or tersh, Acid, the former from tarsidan, to Fear or Dread.

Should not eat of the most holy things - There was a high priest then, but no Urim and Thummim, these having been lost in the captivity.

The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.
Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five;
Their horses - seven hundred, etc. - They went into captivity, stripped of every thing; they now return from it, abounding in the most substantial riches, viz., horses 736, or, according to Esdras, 7036; mules, 245; camels, 435; asses, 6720; besides gold, and silver, and rich stuffs. See below.

Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.
And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place:
They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.
Threescore and one thousand drams of gold - דרכמונים darkemonim, drakmons or darics; a Persian coin, always of gold, and worth about 1. 5s., not less than 76,250 sterling in gold.

Five thousand pounds of silver - מנים manim, manehs or minas. As a weight, the maneh was 100 shekels; as a coin, 60 shekels in value, or about 9.; 5000 of these manehs therefore will amount to 45,000, making in the whole a sum of about 120,000; and in this are not included the 100 garments for priests.

Thus we find that God, in the midst of judgment, remembered mercy, and gave them favor in the land of their captivity.

So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
Dwelt in their cities - They all went to those cities which belonged originally to their respective families.

Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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