Ezra 6:6
Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be you far from there:
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(6) Now therefore, Tatnai.—Here there is an abrupt transition to the decree of Darius itself, the terms of which were either drawn up by Jewish help, or are freely rendered into the national phraseology by the historian.

Be ye far from thence.—That is, keep aloof from any kind of interference.

Ezra 6:6-7. Be ye far from thence — Come not near Jerusalem to give the Jews any hinderance or disturbance. Let the work of the house of God alone — The manner of expression intimates that he knew they had an inclination to hinder it. Thus was the wrath of the enemy made to praise God, and the remainder thereof did he restrain.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.This verse gives the words of the decree of Darius, which was grounded upon, and probably recited, the decree of Cyrus. 2. Achmetha—long supposed to be the capital of Greater Media (the Ecbatana of classical, the Hamadan of modern times), [is] at the foot of the Elwund range of hills, where, for its coolness and salubrity, Cyrus and his successors on the Persian throne established their summer residence. There was another city, however, of this name, the Ecbatana of Atropatene, and the most ancient capital of northern Media, and recently identified by Colonel Rawlinson in the remarkable ruins of Takht-i-Soleiman. Yet as everything tends to show the attachment of Cyrus to his native city, the Atropatenian Ecbatana, rather than to the stronger capital of Greater Media, Colonel Rawlinson is inclined to think that he deposited there, in his fortress, the famous decree relating to the Jews, along with the other records and treasures of his empire [Nineveh and Persepolis]. i.e. From hindering or discouraging the work. Now therefore Tatnai, governor beyond the river,.... The river Euphrates, that side of it towards the land of Israel; Josephus (z) calls this man master of the horse:

Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far from thence; keep at a distance from the Jews, and give them no disturbance, nor interrupt them in their work of building of the temple, but mind your own business and government.

(z) Ibid. (Antiqu.) l. 11. c. 4. sect. 7.

Now therefore, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye far {c} from thence:

(c) Meddle not with them neither hinder them.

6. The decree of Darius; the prohibition, no interference.

Tatnai … Shethar-boznai, &c.] R.V. Tattenai … Shethar-bozenai. See Ezra 5:3. Observe the sudden change into the direct address to the governor. Darius’s decree is attached to the copy of Cyrus’s decree, without any prefatory words to mark the transition or to call attention to Darius’s action. The composition of the Compiler or of the document, which he cites, is rough and inartistic; but the meaning of the passage and its connexion with the context cannot be mistaken.

your companions] R.V. margin. Aram. their. This occurrence of the 3rd pers. pronoun in the original indicates perhaps that the writer transcribed the 3rd pers. pronoun, and omitted to alter it so as to suit his own version.

be ye far from thence] i.e. keep aloof from Jerusalem, and do not interfere with the work.Verse 6. - Now therefore, Tatnai. It is hardly to be supposed that Darius was as abrupt as this. Apparently the author has not thought it necessary to put on record the whole royal letter; but only the most essential parts of it - the recitation of the decree of Cyrus, and the further decree of Darius himself. The address of the letter, the opening words, and the passage by which the two main portions were linked together, are either omitted or greatly abbreviated. Be ye far from thence. Keep away from the Jews - do not go near them to trouble them. After thus representing the state of affairs, the royal officials request Darius to cause a search to be made among the archives of the kingdom, as to whether a decree made by Cyrus for the erection of the temple at Jerusalem was to be found therein, and then to communicate to them his decision concerning the matter. "And if it seem good to the king, let search be made in the king's treasure-house there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king." על טב הן, like the Hebrew על טּוב אם, Esther 1:19, for which in older Hebrew לו טּוב, Deuteronomy 23:17, or בּעינים טוב, Genesis 19:8; Judges 10:15, and elsewhere, is used. גּזיּא בּית, house of the treasure, more definitely called, Ezra 6:1, house of the rolls, where also the royal treasures were deposited. Hence it is obvious that important documents and writings were preserved in the royal treasury. תּמּה, there, is explained by "which at Babylon." רעוּת, chald. voluntas, comp. Ezra 7:18. Concerning the behaviour of these officials Brentius well remarks: vides differentiam inter calumniatores et bonos ac probos viros. Una eademque causa erat aedificii templi, unus idemque populus Judaeorum; attamen hujus populi causa aliter refertur ab impiis calumniatoribus, aliter a bonis viris.
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