Ezra 6:12
And the God that has caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezra 6:12. The God that hath caused his name to dwell there — Who hath willed that a temple should be built there, called the temple or house of Jehovah. Destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter, &c. — Darius was touched with such a sense of the greatness of the God of the Jews, that he prays, that He who had all power in heaven and earth, and was King of kings, would not only punish all those kings who went about to obstruct this work, but destroy both them and their people. Though this temple was at length most justly destroyed by the righteous hand of God, yet perhaps the Romans, who were the instruments of that destruction, felt the effects of this curse. For that empire sensibly declined ever after, till it was wholly destroyed.

Here let us admire, how the divine providence overruleth every thing according to its purpose, to bring about all its wise designs. The great men, we here find, stood up against the poor and shattered remnant of Judah; they took counsel together how to oppress them, and keep them down. They laid their plans, exhibited their complaints against them, and thought to overturn them: but, quite contrary to their thoughts, the steps they took for this purpose operated the contrary way, and proved the means of exalting and raising those whom they intended to ruin to a higher pitch of power and pre-eminence. The king, whose governors these men were, and to whom, undoubtedly, they represented how much it was for his interest to put a stop to the rise of Judah, instead of hearkening to their complaints, as was natural, and acting accordingly, sent back a decree, not only forbidding them to molest the Jews in any way, but also granting them the most extraordinary privileges and encouragements, as to the greatest favourites. To what can we attribute this extraordinary behaviour in the king: but to an overruling providence? which ruleth even the hearts of kings, and turneth them as it seemeth best to his sovereign wisdom.6:1-12 When God's time is come for fulfilling his gracious purposes concerning his church, he will raise up instruments to do it, from whom such good service was not expected. While our thoughts are directed to this event, we are led by Zechariah to fix our regard on a nobler, a spiritual building. The Lord Jesus Christ continues to lay one stone upon another: let us assist the great design. Difficulties delay the progress of this sacred edifice. Yet let not opposition discourage us, for in due season it will be completed to his abundant praise. He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.Destroy all - A similar malediction is found at the end of the great inscription of this same king Darius at Behistun: If anyone injures the tablet which he has set up, he prays that Ormazd will be their enemy, and that they may have no offspring, and that whatever they do, Ormazd may curse it for them.

To alter and to destroy this house - i. e., to alter the decree, and then proceed to destroy the house.

11, 12. whosoever shall alter this word—The warning was specially directed against the turbulent and fanatical Samaritans. The extremely favorable purport of this edict was no doubt owing in some measure to the influence of Cyrus, of whom Darius entertained a high admiration, and whose two daughters he had married. But it proceeded still more from the deep impressions made even on the idolatrous people of that country and that age, as to the being and providence of the God of Israel. No text from Poole on this verse. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there,.... Whose name is not only called upon there, and that called by his name; but who grants his presence, and causes his Shechinah, or divine Majesty, to dwell there, as in Solomon's temple, which Darius had some knowledge of:

destroy all kings and people; let them be who they will, high or low:

that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God, which is at Jerusalem; this he said to deter from hindering the building of it now, and from attempting to destroy it hereafter:

I Darius have made a decree, let it be done with speed; be carried immediately into execution, especially with respect to the disbursement for the building of the temple, and for the sacrifices of it.

And the God that hath caused his name {e} to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.

(e) Who has appointed that place to have his Name called on there.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. And the God that hath caused his name, &c.] A Hebrew phrase (see Deuteronomy 12:11; 1 Kings 8:29; Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 7:12) introduced by the Jewish Compiler into his paraphrase of Darius’s decree.

destroy all kings and people] R.V. overthrow all kings and peoples. The word rendered ‘destroy’ here by the A.V. differs in the Aramaic from that rendered ‘destroy’ at the close of the verse. It is used in the Targum of 2 Kings 9:33 for the words ‘throw her down’, of Psalm 119:139 ‘my zeal hath consumed me’.

that shall put to their hand] R.V. put forth their hand.

to alter and to destroy this house] R.V. to alter the same, to destroy this house; i.e. alter the decree and to destroy the Temple. These words illustrate the latitude that should be given to the expression ‘alter’

with speed] R.V. with all diligence, cf. Ezra 6:8, and Ezra 5:8.Acting upon the discovered edict, Darius warned the governor and royal officials on this side the Euphrates, not to hinder the building of the house of God at Jerusalem. On the contrary, they were to promote it by furnishing what was necessary for the work, and paying the expenses of the building out of the royal revenues to the elders of the Jews (Ezra 6:6-8). They were also to provide for the worship of God in this temple such animals as the priests should require for sacrifice (Ezra 6:9, Ezra 6:10), under pain of severe punishment for transgressing this command as also for any injury done to the temple (Ezra 6:11, Ezra 6:12). This decree was undoubtedly communicated to the governor in the form of a written answer to his inquiries (Ezra 6:13). Without, however, expressly stating this to be the case, as Ezra 6:1 and Ezra 4:17 would lead us to expect, the historian gives us in Ezra 6:6. the actual contents of the royal edict, and that in the form of a direct injunction to the governor and his associates on this side the river: "Now Tatnai, governor, ... be ye far from thence." The suffix וּכנותהון, and their associates, is indeed unsuitable to the form of an address, of which Tatnai and Shethar-Boznai are the subjects; the narrator, however, in using it, had in mind the title or introduction of the royal letter. On this matter, comp. Ezra 5:6. רחק and רחיק, to be far from, figuratively to keep from anything, e.g., from good, Psalm 53:2. מן־תּמּה, from thence, from Jerusalem; in other words, trouble yourselves no longer, as, according to Ezra 5:3, you have done about what is being done there.
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