Ezra 8:36
And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.
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(36) And they delivered the king’s commissions.—First came sacrifices of burnt offering to God (Ezra 8:35); then, having rendered to God the things which were God’s, they render to Cæsar the things of Cæsar. They delivered the king’s commission, or firman, to the lieutenants or satraps in military authority, and to the governors, or pechahs, or pashas, in civil authority under them. The firman was of course accepted and acted upon: they furthered the people.”

Ezra 8:36. They delivered the king’s commissions to the lieutenants, and they furthered the people — Even the enemies of the Jews became their friends, yielded to Ezra’s commission, and, instead of hindering the people of God, furthered them, purely out of complaisance to the king. When he appeared moderate, they all coveted to appear so too. And the house of God — The completion of which they furthered, adorning and furnishing it with these vessels and other conveniences, and promoting God’s worship and service therein.

8:31-36 Enemies laid wait for the Jews, but God protected them. Even the common perils of journeys, call us to go out with prayer, and to return with praise and thanksgiving. But what shall we render when the Lord has led us safely through the pilgrimage of life, through the gloomy vale of death, out of the reach of all our enemies, into everlasting happiness! Among their sacrifices they had a sin-offering. The atonement sweetens and secures every mercy to us, which will not be truly comfortable, unless sin be taken away, and our peace made with God. Then had the church rest. The expressions here used, direct us to the deliverance of sinners from spiritual bondage, and their pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem, under the care and protection of their God and Saviour.The kings commissions - i. e., the orders issued to all governors of provinces near Judaea by Artaxerxes, given in Ezra 7:21-24.

The kings lieutenants - literally, "the king's satraps." The word is used in its strict sense, referring to the chief rulers of Persian provinces, from which the "governors" or rulers of smaller districts are distinguished.

33-36. Now on the fourth day was the silver … weighed in the house of our God—The first three days after their arrival in Jerusalem were undoubtedly given to repose; on the next, the treasures were weighed and handed over to the custody of the officiating priests of the temple. The returned exiles offered burnt offerings, and Ezra delivered the royal commission to the satraps and inferior magistrates; while the Levitical portion of them lent all the assistance they could in performing the additional work which the arrival of so many new worshippers occasioned. In the adorning and furnishing of it with these vessels and other conveniences; and in promoting God’s worship and service therein.

And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river,.... The governors of the provinces of Syria, Palestine, and Judea, which were on that side of Euphrates the land of Israel was:

and they furthered the people, and the house of God; or "lifted them up" (i), eased them of all burdens, and freed them from all impediments, and assisted them and furnished them with everything, as the decree of Artaxerxes enjoined them; and provided everything as they required for ornamenting the temple, and for the sacrifices of it; all which is to be understood of the king's lieutenants and governors, who obeyed his commands.

(i) "elevaverunt", V. L. Piscator; "exaltaverunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "sublevarunt", Junius & Tremellius.

And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.
36. the king’s commissions] i.e. especially those mentioned in Ezra 7:21-22; Ezra 7:24 which would concern the provincial administration, by requisitioning for supplies and by exemption from taxation.

The word rendered “commissions” occurs elsewhere in the O.T. only in the Aramaic sections, e.g. = ‘law’ Ezra 7:12; Ezra 7:14; Ezra 7:21; Ezra 7:25-26; Daniel 2:9; Daniel 6:5; Daniel 6:8; Daniel 6:12; “decree” Daniel 2:13; Daniel 2:15.

the king’s lieutenants] R.V. the king’s satraps. A Persian word found in Esther 3:12; Esther 8:9; Esther 9:3, and in Daniel 3:2-3; Daniel 3:27; Daniel 6:2-4; Daniel 6:7-8. In Hebrew it is transliterated as “akhashdarpan”.

In the Persian inscriptions ‘khshatrapava’ occurs frequently as “governor of a district”. It is probably the same as our satrap, which is derived from the Greek (σατράπης).

The LXX. rendering (διοικηταῖς) reminds us of the original extensive area implied by the word ‘diocese’.

and to the governors] The ‘governor’ or ‘pekhah’, cf. Tatnai Ezra 5:3-4 and Zerubbabel Ezra 6:7; Haggai 1:1 &c. (LXX. ἐπάρχοις).

The ‘satrap’ was governor of a province; the ‘pekhah’ administered the affairs of a petty kingdom or a small district.

on this side the river] R.V. beyond the river. See note on Ezra 4:10.

and they furthered the people &c.] The word “furthered” is the same in Hebr. as that rendered “help” in Ezra 1:4; it conveniently reproduces the ‘zeugma’ of the Hebrew construction, by which the same verb is used of assistance to the people and of decoration for the Temple.

The LXX. ἐδόξασαν, Vulg. elevaverunt, give common but here in appropriate renderings.

The royal decree turned the scale in favour of the Jews. Officials now aided them. Foreign countries ceased to be neutral.

Verse 36. - And they delivered the king's commissions. Parts of Ezra's firman concerned vitally the other provincial governors, and had of necessity to be communicated to them. Such were the provisoes concerning Ezra's power of drawing upon the provincial treasuries for corn, wine, oil, salt, and money (Ezra 7:22, 23), and concerning the exemption of all ranks of the Jewish sacred order from taxation of any kind whatsoever (ibid. ver. 24). Unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors. The word translated "lieutenants" is that which corresponds to the Persian term "satrap," and designates the highest class of the Persian provincial governors. That translated "governor" is the term which has been already applied by Ezra to Tatnai (Ezra 5:3, 4) and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:7). It denotes a lower grade of official. They furthered the people. The satraps and lower officials, on being made acquainted with the king's wishes, readily complied with them, and became supporters and favourers of the Jewish people.

Ezra 8:36Hereupon the royal decrees (the commission, Ezra 7:12-26) were delivered to the satraps of the king, and to the governors on this side the river; and they furthered the people and the house of God, as Artaxerxes had commanded in his edict, Ezra 7:20-24. On אחשׁדּרפּנים and פּחוות, see rem. on Daniel 3:2. The satraps were the military chiefs of the province, the פּחוות, the heads of the civil government. נשּׂא, to lift up, to support, like Ezra 1:4.
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