They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)According to the custom—It is necessary here to read Deuteronomy 16, Leviticus 23, Numbers 29 The intention obviously is to lay stress on the provision made for an entire renewal of the Mosaic economy of service, as appears in the next verse.Ezra 3:4. They kept also the feast of tabernacles — This seems to be mentioned for all the solemnities of the month, whereof this was the most eminent; otherwise it is not probable that they would neglect the day of atonement, which was so solemnly enjoined, (Leviticus 23:27-29,) and was so exceeding suitable to their present condition.
4, 6. They kept also the feast of tabernacles … From the first day of the seventh month—They revived at that time the daily oblation, and it was on the fifteenth day of that month the feast of tabernacles was held.The feast of tabernacles seems to be mentioned synecdochically for all the solemnities of this month, whereof this was the most eminent and most lasting. Otherwise it is not probable that they would neglect the day of atonement, which was so severely enjoined, Leviticus 23:27-29, and was so exceeding suitable to their present condition: See Poole "Ezra 3:6".
The daily burnt-offerings, Heb. burnt-offerings day by day, i.e. every day of that feast they offered as many sacrifices as were prescribed; of which see Numbers 29:13, &c. Leviticus 23:34 this began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month:
and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; for on all the eight days of the feast there was a certain number of sacrifices fixed for every day; and exactly according to the law concerning them did they offer them at this time; see Numbers 29:12.They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4–7. The Feast of Tabernacles
4. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written] The manner of keeping the feast of tabernacles is described in Leviticus 23:34-42; Deuteronomy 16:13-15.
It was the autumn or vintage feast, the most joyous of all the great annual festivals. It commemorated the wanderings in the Desert. It would henceforth commemorate also the return from the Exile.
At this festival Solomon dedicated his Temple, 1 Kings 8:65; and with this festival was connected the reading of the Law by Ezra under Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8:14-16).
‘As it is written’, a shorter phrase for that which occurs in Ezra 3:2. Cf. 2 Chronicles 30:5; 2 Chronicles 30:18.
by number, according to the custom, R.V. ordinance] The words in the original are clearly a reference to the passage in Numbers 29. where the sacrifices for the feast of tabernacles are detailed, i.e. 13 young bullocks &c. on the first day, 12 &c. on the second, 11 &c. on the third, and so on. It is to be regretted that the same English words ‘according to their number, after the ordinance’, which occur as a kind of refrain in that chapter (Numbers 29:18; Numbers 29:21; Numbers 29:24; Numbers 29:27; Numbers 29:30; Numbers 29:33; Numbers 29:37), were not either exactly reproduced here by the R.V., or altered there to ‘by their number, according to ordinance’. The attention of the reader would then have been drawn to the echo given by this phrase to the phraseology of the Pentateuch.
(Yet another rendering of the same phrase appears 1 Chronicles 23:31 ‘in number according to ordinance’.)
as the duty of every day required] because the number of the sacrifices altered every day during the Feast of Tabernacles. Literally, ‘the thing of the day in its day’: the same phrase is rendered ‘every day a portion’, 2 Kings 25:30; Jeremiah 52:34 : ‘as every day’s work required’, 1 Chronicles 16:37.Verse 4. - As it is written. According to the mode of celebration prescribed in the law; i.e. for seven consecutive days, from the fifteenth to the twenty-second of Tisri, with burnt offerings every day, and a holy convocation on the first day and the last, and a "dwelling in tents" during the whole period (see Leviticus 23:31-42). The daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom. The offerings for each day of the festival are carefully laid down in Numbers 29:13-38. We must understand that all the particulars there enjoined were carefully observed. PERMANENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DAILY SACRIFICE, THE SET FEASTS, AND THE OFFERING OF FREE-WILL OFFERINGS (vers. 5, 6). Having set up the altar, and celebrated the particular festival which the revolving year happened to have brought round, and which it would have been wrong to neglect, the exiles re-established permanently three things: -
1. The daily sacrifice;
2. The celebration of the new moons and other regular feasts; and
3. The practice of allowing the people to bring offerings whenever they pleased, to be offered on the great altar by the priest or priests in attendance.
The first of these was for atonement; the second for public thanksgiving and acknowledgment of God's mercies; the third for private devotion, the payment of vows, and the like. Nehemiah 7:70-73. - Some of the heads of houses, when they came to the house of Jahve, i.e., arrived at the site of the temple, brought free-will offerings (התנדּב; comp. 1 Chronicles 29:5) to set it up in its place (העמיד, to set up, i.e., to rebuild; identical in meaning both here and Ezra 9:9 with הקים). After their ability (כּכוחם; comp. 1 Chronicles 29:2) they gave unto the treasure of the work, i.e., of restoring the temple and its services, 61,000 darics of gold equals 68,625, and 5000 mina of silver, above 30,000, and 100 priests' garments. The account of these contributions is more accurately given in Nehemiah 7:70-72, according to which some of the heads of houses gave unto the work (מקצת as Daniel 1:2 and elsewhere); the Tirshatha gave to the treasure 1000 darics of gold, 50 sacrificial vessels (see on Exodus 27:3), 30 priests' garments, and 500 ... This last statement is defective; for the two Numbers 30 and 500 must not be combined into 530, as in this case the hundreds would have stood first. The objects enumerated were named before 500, and are omitted through a clerical error, מנים וכסף "and silver (500) mina." And some of the heads of houses (others than the Tirshatha) gave of gold 20,000 darics, of silver, 2200 mina; and that which the rest of the people gave was-gold, 20,000 darics, silver, 2000 mina, and 67 priests' garments. According to this statement, the Tirshatha, the heads of houses, and the rest of the people, gave together 41,000 darics in gold, 4200 mina in silver, 97 priests' garments, and 30 golden vessels. In Ezra the vessels are omitted; and instead of the 30 + 67 equals 97 priests' garments, they are stated in round numbers to have been 100. The two other differences have arisen from textual errors. Instead of 61,000 darics, it is evident that we must read with Nehemiah, 41,000 (1000 + 20,000 + 20,000); and in addition to the 2200 and 2000 mina, reckon, according to Nehemiah 7:70, 500 more, in all 4700, for which in the text of Ezra we have the round sum of 5000. The account of the return of the first band of exiles concludes at Ezra 2:70, and the narrative proceeds to the subsequent final statement: "So the priests, etc ... .dwelt in their cities." העם וּמן, those of the people, are the men of the people of Israel of Ezra 2:2, the laity as distinguished from the priests, Levites, etc. In Nehemiah the words are transposed, so that העם מן stand after the Levitical door-keepers and singers. Bertheau thinks this position more appropriate; but we cannot but judge otherwise. The placing of the people, i.e., the laity of Israel, between the consecrated servants of the temple (the priests and their Levitical assistants in the sacrificial service) and the singers and door-keepers, seems to us quite consistent; while, on the other hand, the naming of the שׁוערים before the משׁררים in Nehemiah seems inappropriate, because the performance of the choral service of the temple was a higher office than the guardianship of the doors. Neither can we regard Bertheau's view, that בּעריהם, which in the present verse follows והנּתינים, should be erased, as a correct one. The word forms a perfectly appropriate close to the sentence beginning with ויּשׁבוּ; and the sentence following, "And all Israel were in their cities," forms a well-rounded close to the account; while, on the contrary, the summing up of the different divisions by the words כל־ישׂראל in Nehemiah, after the enumeration of those divisions, has a rather heavy effect.
(Note: In 1 Esdr. 5:46, this verse, freely carrying out the texts of Ezra and Nehemiah, with regard also to Nehemiah 12:27-30, runs thus: "And so dwelt the priests, and the Levites, and the people, in Jerusalem and in the country, the singers also and the porters, and all Israel in their villages.")
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