Ezra 7:16
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Which is in Jerusalem.—The repetition of this and similar phrases is after the manner of the literature of this period; but here, as in some other places, it implies deep reverence.

7:11-26 The liberality of heathen kings to support the worship of God, reproached the conduct of many kings of Judah, and will rise up in judgment against the covetousness of wealthy professed Christians, who will not promote the cause of God. But the weapons of Christian ministers are not carnal. Faithful preaching, holy lives, fervent prayers, and patient suffering when called to it, are the means to bring men into obedience to Christ.Seven counselors - Herodotus relates that there were seven families pre-eminent in Persia, those of the seven conspirators against the Pseudo-Smerdis (Ezra 4:7 note); and it is reasonable to suppose that the heads of these families formed the special council of the king; the "Achaemenidae," or royal family, being represented by the head of the branch next in succession to that of the reigning monarch (see the marginal reference). 14. sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors—This was the fixed number of the privy council of the kings of Persia (Es 1:10, 14). The document describes, with great clearness and precision, the nature of Ezra's commission and the extent of power and prerogatives with which he was invested. It gave him authority, in the first place, to organize the colony in Judea and institute a regular government, according to the laws of the Hebrew people, and by magistrates and rulers of their own nation (Ezr 7:25, 26), with power to punish offenders by fines, imprisonment, exile, or death, according to the degree of their criminality. Secondly, he was empowered to carry a large donation in money, partly from the royal treasury and partly raised by voluntary contributions among his countrymen, to create a fund out of which to make suitable provision for maintaining the regular worship of God in Jerusalem (Ezr 7:16, 17). Thirdly, the Persian officers in Syria were commanded to afford him every assistance by gifts of money within a certain specified limit, in carrying out the objects of his patriotic mission (Ezr 7:21). That thou canst find, i.e. procure, as that word is used, Genesis 6:8 26:12 Psalm 84:3 119:162 Proverbs 1:13 2:5 3:13. Whatsoever thou canst get of my subjects by way of free gift.

The free-will-offering of the people, to wit, of Israel.

And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon,.... Not that he might take it wherever he found it, whether the owners of it were willing he should have it or not; but whatever was freely offered by them, as Jarchi, that he was allowed to take, whatever he could get in that way:

with the freewill offering of the people; of the people of the Jews, who thought fit to continue in the province:

and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; those freewill offerings, whether of the natives of Babylon, or of any of the Jewish nation, for the service of the temple at Jerusalem, he had leave and a commission to carry with him.

And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. (ii) The gifts of the king’s subjects in Babylon, (iii) freewill offerings of Jewish priests and people.

that thou canst find] R.V. that thou shalt find. Permission is granted to Ezra to ask for contributions from the people of the province of Babylon. Many would be ready to assist the Jews who had lived among them for a hundred and thirty years.

province of Babylon] Cf. Daniel 2:48-49; Daniel 3:1, &c. On ‘the province of the Medes’ see Ezra 6:2, ‘the province of Judah’ Ezra 5:8.

with the freewill offering] i.e. along with, over and above, the voluntary contributions of their Jewish countrymen.

Verse 16. - All the silver and gold that thou canst find. Rather, "that thou canst obtain" - "all that thou canst get my other subjects to give thee." Compare the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra 1:4, 6). Ezra 7:16"To carry the silver and gold which the king and his counsellors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is at Jerusalem, and all the silver and gold which thou shalt obtain in all the province of Babylon, with the free-will offering of the people and the priests, willingly offering for the house of their God at Jerusalem." Three kinds of offerings for the temple are here spoken of: 1st, the gifts of the king and his counsellors for the service of the God of Israel; 2nd, the gold and the silver that Ezra should obtain in the province of Babylon, i.e., by the collection which he was consequently empowered to make among the non-Israelite population of Babylon; 3rd, the free-will offerings of his fellow-countrymen. התנדּבוּת is an abstract formed from the infin. Hithpael: the freely given. The participle מתנדּבין (not in the stat. emph. i.e., without an article) is but slightly connected, in the sense of, if they, or what they, may freely offer.
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