Ezra 8:5
Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
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(5) The son of Janaziel.—Obviously a name is omitted. The LXX. have, “of the sons of Zattu, Shechaniah,” before Jahaziel.

8:1-20 Ezra assembles the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah. God raised up the spirits of a small remnant to accompany him. What a pity that good men should omit a good work, for want of being spoken to!Punctuate as follows:

Ezra 8:2. ... of the sons of David, Hattush of the sons of Shechaniah.

Ezra 8:3. Of the sons of Pharosh, Zechariah ....

Hattush, the descendant of David, was the grandson of Shechaniah (see marginal reference).

Most of these names Ezra 8:2-14 occur also as those of heads of families in the list of the Jews who returned with Zerubbabel Ezra 2:3-15. The Septuagint and Syriac versions supply omissions in Ezra 8:5, Ezra 8:10.


Ezr 8:1-14. Ezra's Companions from Babylon.

1. this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon—The number given here amounts to 1754. But this is the register of adult males only, and as there were women and children also (Ezr 8:21), the whole caravan may be considered as comprising between six thousand and seven thousand.

The son of Jahaziel; either his only son, or the most eminent of his sons, and therefore so called here. Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh,.... Who is so described, to distinguish him from another Shechaniah, Ezra 8:5,

Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy, of the males an hundred and fifty; males only were reckoned, not women and children; though that there were such that went up is clear from Ezra 8:21, from hence to the end of Ezra 8:14 an account is given of the number of the males that went up with Ezra, who were chiefly, if not altogether, sons of those that went up with Zerubbabel; such of them as were left there behind, and now returned, at least a great number of them, see Ezra 2:1, it is particularly remarked of the sons of Adonikam, Ezra 8:13, that they were the last of them; not that they were the last that came in to go with Ezra, or were backward and dilatory, but the last with respect to the first of his sons that were gone before, and seem with them to be the whole of his family; the number of all that went up under their respective heads amounts to 1496.

Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.
5. The Hebrew text gives Shechaniah as the house, but fails to give the name of its representative. ‘Shecaniah’ does not occur in the other lists as the name of a house. The text of 1 Esdr. has ‘of the sons of Zathoe, Shechenias the son of Jezelus’ (1Es 8:32). ‘Zathoe’ is the same as Zattu (Ezra 2:8). This name has most probably accidentally dropped out. We should therefore read “Of the sons of Zattu, Shechaniah the son of Jahaziel’, i.e. Shechaniah is the representative of the house of Zattu: so also the LXX. (ἀπὸ υἱῶν Ζαθόης Σεχενίας νἱὸς Ἀζιήλ).Verse 5. - A name has fallen out either between "Shechaniah" and "the son of Jahaziel," or between "of the sons" and "of Shechaniah." The Septuagint has, "Of the sons of Zattu, Shechaniah, the son of Jahaziel." Zattu is mentioned in Ezra 2:8. This royal commission granted to the Jews all they could possibly desire from the heathen governors of the country, for the establishment and furtherance of their civil and religious polity. By granting these privileges, Artaxerxes was not only treading in the footsteps of Cyrus and Darius Hystaspes, but even going beyond these princes in granting to the Jews a jurisdiction of their own. Without a magistrate who was one of themselves, the Jewish community could not well prosper in their own land; for the social and religious life of Israel were so closely connected, that heathen magistrates, however well-intentioned, were incapable of exercising a beneficial influence upon the welfare of the Jews. Hence Ezra, having thus reported the royal commission, adds a thanksgiving to God for having put such a thing into the king's heart, namely, to beautify the house of the Lord, and for having granted him favour before the king and his counsellors. The sentence הטּה ועלי הטּה e is a continuation of the preceding infinitive sentence in the tempus finit. ל before כּל־שׂרי is the ל comprehensive. Ezra names the beautifying of the house of God as the occasion of his thanksgiving, not only because this formed the chief matter of the royal favour, but also because the re-establishment of divine worship was the re-establishment of the moral and religious life of the community. "And I felt myself strengthened, and gathered together (so that I gathered together) the heads of Israel to go up with me (to Jerusalem)." Ezra assembled the heads, i.e., of houses, as fellow-travellers, because their decision would be a rule for the families at the head of which they stood. With their heads, the several races and families determined to return to the land of their fathers.
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