Ezra 4:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated.

King James Bible
And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

American Standard Version
And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian character , and set forth in the Syrian tongue .

Douay-Rheims Bible
And in the days of Artaxerxes, Beselam, Mithridates, and Thabeel, and the rest that were in the council wrote to Artaxerxes king of the Persians : and the letter of accusation was written in Syriac, and was read in the Syrian tongue.

English Revised Version
And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian character, and set forth in the Syrian tongue.

Webster's Bible Translation
And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions to Artaxerxes king of Persia, and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian language, and interpreted in the Syrian language.

Ezra 4:7 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The adversaries of the Jews prevent the building of the temple till the reign of Darius (Ezra 4:1, Ezra 4:2). When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the community which had returned from captivity were beginning to rebuild the temple, they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chiefs of the people, and desired to take part in this work, because they also sacrificed to the God of Israel. These adversaries were, according to Ezra 4:2, the people whom Esarhaddon king of Assyria had settled in the neighbourhood of Benjamin and Judah. If we compare with this verse the information (2 Kings 17:24) that the kings of Assyria brought men from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria, and that they took possession of the depopulated kingdom of the ten tribes, and dwelt therein; then these adversaries of Judah and Benjamin are the inhabitants of the former kingdom of Israel, who were called Samaritans after the central-point of their settlement. הגּולה בּני, sons of the captivity (Ezra 6:19, etc., Ezra 8:35; Ezra 10:7, Ezra 10:16), also shortly into הגּולה, e.g., Ezra 1:11, are the Israelites returned from the Babylonian captivity, who composed the new community in Judah and Jerusalem. Those who returned with Zerubbabel, and took possession of the dwelling-places of their ancestors, being, exclusive of priests and Levites, chiefly members of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, are called, especially when named in distinction from the other inhabitants of the land, Judah and Benjamin. The adversaries give the reason of their request to share in the building of the temple in the words: "For we seek your God as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, which brought us up hither." The words זבחים אנחנוּ ולא are variously explained. Older expositors take the Chethiv ולא as a negative, and make זבחים to mean the offering of sacrifices to idols, both because לא is a negative, and also because the assertion that they had sacrificed to Jahve would not have pleased the Jews, quia deficiente templo non debuerint sacrificare; and sacrifices not offered in Jerusalem were regarded as equivalent to sacrifices to idols. They might, moreover, fitly strengthen their case by the remark: "Since the days of Esarhaddon we offer no sacrifices to idols." On the other hand, however, it is arbitrary to understand זבח, without any further definition, of sacrificing to idols; and the statement, "We already sacrifice to the God of Israel," contains undoubtedly a far stronger reason for granting their request than the circumstance that they do not sacrifice to idols. Hence we incline, with older translators (lxx, Syr., Vulg., 1 Esdras), to regard לא as an unusual form of לו, occurring in several places (see on Exodus 21:8), the latter being also substituted in the present instance as Keri. The position also of לא before אנחנוּ points the same way, for the negative would certainly have stood with the verb. On Esarhaddon, see remarks on 2 Kings 19:37 and Isaiah 37:38.

Ezra 4:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A.M.

3482. B.C.

522. Artaxerxes (This Artaxerxes was one of the Magi, who usurped the throne after the death of Cambyses, for seven months, feigning himself to be Smerdis, brother of Cambyses: he is called Oropoestus by Justin, Smerdis by Herodotus, Mardus by AEschylus, and Sphendatates by Ctesias.)

Bishlam. or, in peace. companions. Heb. societies

Ezra 4:9,17 Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites...

Ezra 5:6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai and his companions the Apharsachites...

the Syrian tongue (That is, probably, both the language and character were Syrian or Chaldaic; and therefore, from the

8th verse of this chapter, to ch.

Ezra 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which has put such a thing as this in the king's heart...

, the original is not Hebrew, but Chaldee, in those parts which consist of letters, decrees, etc., originally written in that language.)

2 Kings 18:26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, to Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray you, to your servants in the Syrian language...

Isaiah 36:11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah to Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray you, to your servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it...

Daniel 2:4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell your servants the dream...

Cross References
2 Kings 18:26
Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

Ezra 4:1
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel,

Ezra 4:8
Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:

Ezra 8:36
They also delivered the king's commissions to the king's satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and they aided the people and the house of God.

Isaiah 36:11
Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

Daniel 2:4
Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation."

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