English Standard Version
But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.
King James Bible
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
American Standard Version
And now for a little moment grace hath been showed from Jehovah our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
And now as a little, and for a moment has our prayer been made before the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant, and give us a pin in his holy place, and that our God would enlighten our eyes, and would give us a little life in our bondage.
English Revised Version
And now for a little moment grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
Webster's Bible Translation
And now for a little space grace hath been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
Ezra 9:8 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Information given of the intermingling of Israel with the heathen nations of the land by marriage (Ezra 9:1-4), and Ezra's prayer and confession (Ezra 9:5-15). - Ezra 9:1, Ezra 9:2. "When this was done, the princes came to me, and said, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, do not separate themselves from the people of the lands, according to their abominations, (even) of the Canaanites; ... for they have taken (wives) of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, and the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of the lands." What now follows is placed in close chronological sequence with what precedes by the formula אלּה וּככלּות, at the time of the completion of these things; comp. 2 Chronicles 31:1; 2 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 7:1. אלּה are the things related Ezra 8:33-36. Of these the delivery of the gifts took place on the fourth day after Ezra's arrival at Jerusalem, i.e., on the fourth or fifth day of the first month (comp. Ezra 8:32, etc., with Ezra 7:9). The sacrifices (Ezra 8:35) would undoubtedly be offered immediately; and the royal orders would be transmitted to the satraps and governors (Ezra 8:36) very soon after. As soon, then, as Ezra received intelligence concerning the illegal marriages, he took the matter in hand, so that all related (Ezra 9:3-10) occurred on one day. The first assemblage of the people with relation to this business was not, however, held till the twentieth day of the ninth month (Ezra 10:9); while on the calling of this meeting, appearance thereat was prescribed within three days, thus leaving apparently an interval of nine whole months between Ezra 8 and Ezra 9:1-15. Hence Bertheau conjectures that the first proclamation of this assembly encountered opposition, because certain influential personages were averse to the further prosecution of this matter (Ezra 10:15). But though Ezra 10:4-7 does not inform us what period elapsed between the adoption of Shecaniah's proposal to Ezra, and the proclamation for assembling the people at Jerusalem, the narrative does not give the impression that this proclamation was delayed for months through the opposition it met with. Besides, Ezra may have received the information concerning the unlawful marriages, not during the month of his arrival at Jerusalem, but some months later. We are not told whether it was given immediately, or soon after the completion of the matters mentioned Ezra 8:33-36. The delivery of the royal commands to the satraps and governors (Ezra 8:36) may have occupied weeks or months, the question being not merely to transmit the king's decrees to the said officials, but to come to such an understanding with them as might secure their favour and goodwill in assisting the newly established community, and supporting the house of God. The last sentence (Ezra 8:36), "And they furthered the people and the house of God," plainly shows that such an understanding with the royal functionaries was effected, by transactions which must have preceded what is related Ezra 9:1-15.
This matter having been arranged, and Ezra being now about to enter upon the execution of his commission to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of his God (Ezra 7:12), he received information of the illegal marriages. While he was in the temple, the princes (השּׂרים, the princes, are those who give the information, the article being used e.g., like that in הפּליט, Genesis 14:13) came to him, saying: The people (viz., Israel, the priests, and the Levites; the three classes of the Israelite community) do not separate themselves from the people of the lands; comp. Ezra 6:21. כּתעבתיהם, with respect to their abominations, i.e., as Israel should have done with respect to the abominations of these people. The ל to לכּנעני might be regarded as introducing the enumeration of the different nations, and corresponding with מעמּי; it is, however, more likely that it is used merely as a periphrasis for the genitive, and subordinates the names to תּעבתיהם: their, i.e., the Canaanites', etc., abominations, the suffix relating, as e.g., at Ezra 3:12 and elsewhere, to the names following. Give Canaanitish races are here named, as in Exodus 13:5, with this difference, that the Perizzites are here substituted for the Hivites, while in Exodus 3:8; Exodus 23:23, both are enumerated, making six; to these are added in Deuteronomy 7:1 the Girgashites, making, generally speaking, seven nations. Ammonites, Moabites, and Egyptians are here cited besides the Canaanitish races. The non-severance of the Israelites from these nations consisted, according to Ezra 9:2, in the fact of their having contracted marriages with them. In the law, indeed (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3), only marriages with Canaanitish women were forbidden; but the reason of this prohibition, viz., that Israel might not be seduced by them to idolatry, made its extension to Moabites, Ammonites, and Egyptians necessary under existing circumstances, if an effectual check was to be put to the relapse into heathenism of the Israelitish community, now but just gathered out again from among the Gentiles. For during the captivity idolaters of all nations had settled in the depopulated country, and mingled with the remnant of the Israelites left there. By "the people of the lands," however, we are not to understand, with J. H. Michaelis, remnants of the races subjugated by Nebuchadnezzar and carried to Babylon, - who were now, after seventy years, returning, as well as the Jews, to their native lands under Cyrus; in support of which view Mich. incorrectly refers to Jeremiah 25:9, etc. - but those portions, both of the ancient Canaanitish races and of the Moabites and Ammonites, who, escaping the sentence of captivity, remained in the land. נשׂאוּ is naturally completed by נשׁים from the context; comp. Ezra 10:44; 2 Chronicles 11:21, and other passages. The subject of התערבוּ is the collective הקּדשׁ זרע, the holy seed, i.e., the members of the nation called to holiness (Exodus 19:5). The appellation is taken from Isaiah 6:13, where the remnant of the covenant people, preserved in the midst of judgments, and purified thereby, is called a holy seed. The second part of Ezra 9:2 contains an explanatory accessory clause: and the hand of the princes and rulers hath been first in this unfaithfulness (מעל, comp. Leviticus 5:15), i.e., the princes were the first to transgress; on the figurative expression, comp. Deuteronomy 13:10. סגנים is an Old-Persian word naturalized in Hebrew, signifying commander, prefect; but its etymology is not as yet satisfactorily ascertained: see Delitzsch on Isaiah 41:25.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
little space. Heb. moment. grace hath
a nail. or a pin. i.e. a constant and sure abode
in his holy place
And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this,
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.
When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,
And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house.
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