English Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
King James Bible
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
American Standard Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.
English Revised Version
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Webster's Bible Translation
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Ezra 8:21 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Account of the journey. - Ezra 8:15 The assembling of the expedition. When the Israelites who were about to return to Jerusalem had assembled, and were ready for starting, Ezra perceived that there were no Levites among them. He then sent for certain chief men among them, and by means of the influence of Iddo, the chief at the place Casiphia, induced a number of Levites and Nethinim to determine on joining the expedition (Ezra 8:15). He then proclaimed a fast at the place of meeting, for the purpose of supplicating God to grant them a prosperous journey (Ezra 8:21).
The travellers assembled at the river Ahava, where they encamped three days. In Ezra 8:15 the river is designated אל־אהוא הבּא, i.e., either which comes (flows) towards Ahava, or flows into Ahava; in Ezra 8:21 it is more briefly called אהוא נהר, and in Ezra 8:31 אהוא נהר, which may mean the river of Ahava, of the region or district called Ahava, or, after the analogy of פּרת נהר, merely the river of the name of Ahava. It is doubtful which of these meanings is correct, the name Ahava being still unexplained. Comp. the various conjectures in A. G. F. Schirmer, observationes exeg. crit. in libr. Esdrae, Vratisl. 1820, p. 28ff. The connection points to a place or district in the neighbourhood of Babylon; hence Bertheau is inclined to regard Ahava as a tributary or canal of the Euphrates, flowing through a place, perhaps only a field or open space, of the same name, in the immediate neighbourhood of Babylon; while Ewald supposes it may be the river somewhat to the west or south of Euphrates, called by the Greeks Pallacopas, whose situation would suit the context, and whose name might arise from אהוא פלג, the river Ahwa or Aba. The lxx gives the name Εὐί; in 1 Esdr. 8:40 and 61 we find Θερά, evidently a false reading. Josephus says quite generally, εἰς τὸ πέραν τοῦ Εύφράτου. - When Ezra, during the three days' encampment at this place, directed his attention to the people and the priests (ב הבין, to give heed, Nehemiah 13:7; Daniel 9:23, and elsewhere), he found no Levites among those who had assembled. Ezra 8:16 He then sent several chief men to Iddo, the chief man in the place Casiphia, to beg him and his brethren to bring him servants for the house of God. The lxx translates ל אשׁלחה, "I sent to (or for) Eliezer," etc., which would mean to fetch them: "that I might then send them to Iddo." The Vulgate, on the other hand, and many expositors, understand ל as nota accus., like 2 Chronicles 17:7, which is simpler. Of the nine men here designated as ראשׁים, the names of Eliezer, Shemaiah, Jarib, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam occur again in Ezra 10:15, Ezra 10:18-31, though we cannot certainly infer the identify of those who bear them. The appellation ראשׁים does not determine whether they belonged to the priesthood or laity. The two remaining are called מבינים, teachers; comp. Nehemiah 8:7, Nehemiah 8:9; 1 Chronicles 15:22; 1 Chronicles 25:8, and elsewhere. Although this word is, in the passages cited, used of Levites, yet we cannot suppose those here named to have been teaching Levites, because, according to Ezra 8:16, there were as yet no Levites amongst the assemblage; hence, too, they could not be teachers properly so called, but only men of wisdom and understanding. The Chethiv ואוצאה must be read ואוצאה: I sent them to (על, according to later usage, for אל); the Keri is ואצוּה, I despatched, sent them. Both readings suit the sense. The place Casiphia is entirely unknown, but cannot have been far from the river Ahava. Caspia, the region of the Caspian Sea, is out of the question, being far too remote. "I put words in their mouth to speak to Iddo," i.e., I told them exactly what they should say to Iddo; comp. 2 Samuel 14:3, 2 Samuel 14:19. The words אדּו אחיו הנּתוּנים give no intelligible meaning; for אהיו we must, with the Vulgate, 1 Esdras, and others, read ואחיו: to Iddo and his brethren, the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia. This would seem to say that Iddo was one of the Nethinim. Such an inference is not, however, a necessary one; for the expression may also, like "Zadok the (high) priest and his brethren, the (ordinary) priests," 1 Chronicles 16:39, be understood to mean that Iddo, the chief man of that place, was a Levite, and that the Nethinim were, as a lower order of temple servants, called brethren of Iddo the Levite. The circumstance that not only Nethinim, but also Levites, were induced by Iddo to join the expedition (Ezra 8:8), requires us thus to understand the words. אל לבית משׁרתים, servants for the house of God, are Levites and Nethinim, the upper and lower orders of the temple ministers. From Ezra 8:17 it appears that both Levites and Nethinim had settled in the place Casiphia, and that Iddo, as the chief man of the place, held an influential position among them. No further inferences, however, concerning their settlement and employment can be drawn from this circumstance.
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"And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.
It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever.
For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people.
1 Samuel 7:6
So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the LORD and fasted on that day and said there, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.
2 Chronicles 20:3
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi.
Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.
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