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Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford; 


Late Master of University College, Durham: 


Sometime Professor oj Theological Encyclopcedia and Symbolics, 
Union Theological Seminary, New York. 



Genesis (Dr. Skinner), Numbers (Dr. Gray), Deuteronomy (Dr. Driver), Judges (Dr. Moore), 
1. and II. Samuel (Dr. H. P. Smith), Chronicles (Dr. Curtis), Ezra and Nehemiah 
(Dr. Batten), Esther (Dr. Paton), Psalms, Two Vols. (Dr. Briggs), Proverbs (Dr. Toy), 
Isaiah, chaps, i.-xxvll. (Dr. Gray), Ecclesiastes (Dr. Barton), Amos and Hosea (Dr. 
Harper), Hicah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah and Joel (Dr. J. M. P. 
Smith, Dr. W. H. Ward, and Dr. J. A. Bewer), Haggai, Zechariah, Malachl and Jonah 
(Dr. H. G. Mitchell, Dr. 3. M. P. Smith, and Dr. J. A. Bewer), S. Matthew (Willoughby 
O. Allen), S. Mark (Dr. Gould), S. Luke (Dr. Plunimer), Romans (Dr. Sanday), 1st 
Corinthians (The Bishop of Exeter and Dr. Plumnier), Ephesians and Colossians (Dr. 
Abbott), Philippians and Philemon (Dr. Vincent), Thessalonians (Prof. Frame), S. 
Peter and S. Jude (Dr. Bigg), The Johannine Epistles (A. B. Brooke). 

The following other Volumes are in course of preparation : — 



Ruth, Song of Songs 
and Lamentations 

Isaiah, chs. 28-66. 




A. R. S. Kennedy, D.D., Professor of Hebrew, University of Edinburgh. 

J. F. Stbnnino, M.A., Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford ; and the late 
H. A. White, M.A., Fellow of New College, Oxford. 

Gborqe Adam Smith, D.D., LL.D., Principal of Aberdeen University. 

Francis Brown, D.D., Litt.D., LL.D., Professor of Hebrew and Cognate 
Languages, Union Theological Seminary, New York. 

C. A. Brioos, D.D., Professor of Theological Bncyclopsedia and Symbolics, 
Union Theological Seminary, New York. 

G. Buchanan Gray, D.D., Mansfield College, Oxford ; and A. 8. Pkake, 
D.D., University of Manchester. 

A. F. KiRKPATRiCK, D.D., Dean of Ely. 

G. A. CooKB, D.D.', Fellow of Oriel College, and C. F. Burnby, D.Litt., 

Fellow and Lecturer in Hebrew, St. John's College, Oxford. 
John P. Peters, D.D., late Professor of Hebrew, P. E. Divinity 

School, Philadelphia, now Rector of St. Michael's Church, New York. 


Synopsis of the W. Sanday, D.D., LL.D., Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, and 

Four Gospels. Canon of Christ Church, Oxford ; and W. C. Allen, M.A., Principal 

of Egerton Hall. 
John. John Henry Bernard, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick and Lecturer in Divinity, 

University of Dublin. 
Acts. C. H. Turner, M.A., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford; and H. N. 

Bate, M.A., late Fellow and Dean of Divinity in Magdalen College, 

Oxford, now Vicar of St. Stephen's, Hampstead, and Examining 

Chaplain to the Bishop of London. 

2nd Corinthians. The Right Rev. Arch. Robertson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Exeter; and 

Alfred Pbummer, M.A., D.D., formerly Master of University 
College, Durham. 

Galatlans. Ernest D. Borton, D.D., Professor of New Testament Literature, 

University of Chicago. 

The Pastoral Epistles. Walter Lock, D.D., Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis, Oxford. 

Hebrews. James Moffatt, D.D., Professor in Mansfield College, Oxford. 

James. James H. Ropes, D.D., Bussey Professor of New Testament Criticism in 

Harvard University. 
Revelation. Robert H. Charles, D.D., D.Litt., Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, 

Grinfleld Lecturer on the Septuagint and Speaker's Lecturer in 

Biblical Studies. 

Oth0r engagements will be announced shortly. 

To rn ny A T) 17 ss george street, Edinburgh. 


The International Critical Commentary 









I'^X^ V 







Printed by 
Morrison & Gibb Limited, 









ONE of the editors of the International Critical Commen- 
tary, the Rev. Professor Charles A. Briggs, D.D., D.Litt., 
died while this volume was going through the press. I 
was fortunate in having the benefit of his editorial supervision 
of the manuscript and of a part of the proof. So the work was 
well under way when the message came that he was too ill to 
read proof any longer and that I must assume full responsi- 
bihty. I have done my best that his illness should result in no 
loss to this work. 

In the death of Dr. Briggs, American Biblical scholarship has 
lost one of its ablest and most widely known representatives. 
He was called upon to suffer much for his convictions, and he 
did suffer bravely. Nor did he suffer in vain. He had the sat- 
isfaction of justification in the end; for the views which aroused 
so much opposition have met with general acceptance. Dr. 
Briggs was really conservative; he formed his opinions slowly 
and deliberately; but once they were formed, he would yield 
them only to new evidence. I am glad to have this opportunity 
to express my appreciation of the character and attainments of 
Dr. Briggs and the great privilege I have enjoyed in frequent 
friendly association with him. 

The preparation of this volume has occupied my available 
time for several years. I should have despaired of finishing 
what proved to be a far bigger task than I ever anticipated 
save for my return, two years ago, to the professorial office so 
that my summers were really free for work. The task proved 
unexpectedly big, for I discovered early in my studies that 
Ezra-Nehemiah bristled with hard problems which had not 
really been solved. Many have ignored them altogether; oth- 
ers have reached conclusions without adequately recognising 


and weighing all the available evidence. There was, therefore, 
a great deal of pioneer work to be done, and I have laboured 
perseveringly in the hope of making some contribution to our 
scanty knowledge of the important Persian period of Jewish 
history and to our understanding of Biblical books which have 
suffered from neglect. 

Nevertheless, I confess that I am heavily indebted to scholars 
who have laboured in this field, even to some from whose conclu- 
sions I dissent. The references show at least a list of liabilities. 
But there is another debt, and a larger one, which cannot be 
exhibited in references, and which I desire to put on record here, 
and that is the obligation to the three teachers under whom it 
was my privilege to study years ago, and who awakened in me 
an absorbing interest in the study of the Old Testament. In 
the order of my acquaintance with them, the three are: Pro- 
fessor David G. Lyon, of Harvard University; the Rev. Dr. 
John P. Peters, formerly professor in the Philadelphia Divinity 
School; and the late Dr. William R. Harper, president of the 
University of Chicago. 

The General Theological Seminary, 
New York, June 2S, 1913. 






§ I. The Original Form of the Books i 

§ 2. The Date 2 

§ 3. The Contents of the Books . 3 

§ 4. The Chronological Order 4 

§ 5. The Two Editions of Ezra-Nehemiah .... 6 

§ 6. I Esdras 6 

§ 7. The Semitic Text 13 

8. The Sources 14 

9. The Samaritan Opposition 24JJ 

§ 10. The Date of Ezra's Mission 28 

§ 11. The History of the Persian Period 30 

£71 12. Chapter and Verse Divisions 52^ 

Q,§ 13. Literature 52J3 


Ezra i 55 

Ezra 2'-" 71 

Ezra 2''"'-4' 103 

EzRA4^*M"-.' 128 

Ezra 6"-" '^ 151 

EzRA4*-* 155 

EzRA4'-24a 160 

Nehemiah I, 2 182 

Nehemiah 3»-'- 206 

Nehemiah 333-4'^ 224 

Nehemiah 5 237 

Nehemiah 6 249 

Nehemiah 7'-' » 262 

Nehemiah ii 266 



Nehemiah i2i-2« 275 

Nehemiah i2"-43 279 

Nehemiah 12"-" 283 

Nehemiah 13 286 

Ezra 7-10 303 

Nehemiah 8-10 352 

INDEX 381 



ARV. = American Revised Ver- 
AV. = Authorised Version. 

BD. = Baer and Delitzsch, He- 
brew text. 

Chr. = The Chronicler, author 
of Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. 

E. = Memoirs of Ezra. 

Esd. = The Greek text known 
as I Esdras. 

Esd.B-AorL = The Vatican, Alexan- 
drian, or Lucian text 
of the same. The let- 
ters standing alone re- 
fer to the same texts. 

3 Esd. = The Latin text of i Es- 

EV^ = English Versions. 

(S = Greek Septuagint Ver- 

sion. In Ezr.-Ne. this 
always means 2 Esdras 
as distinguished from 
I Esdras. 

(S^ = The Alexandrine text. 

(gB = Vatican text of Swete. 

C5^ = The Sinaitic text. 

^^ = The Lucian text; ed. La- 


1^ = Hebrew consonantal text. 

3 = Latin Version of Jerome. 

J = Judaic sources of the 


Kt. = Knhib, the Hebrew text 

as written. 


= The Massoretic pointed 



= Memoirs of Nehemiah. 


= The New Testament. 


= The Old Testament. 


= The priestly sources of 

the Hexateuch. 


= Q«re. the Hebrew text as 



= The Redactor, or editor. 


= The Revised Version. 


= The margin of the Re- 

vised Version. 

U = The Vulgate Version. 

Vrss. = Versions, usually an- 




Am. = Amos. 

Apocr. = Apocrypha, Apocry- 

I, 2 Ch. = I, 2 Chronicles. 

Dn. = Daniel. 

Dt. = Deuteronomy. 

Est. = Esther. 

Ex. = Exodus. 

Ez. = Ezekiel. 

Ezr. = Ezra. 

Gn. = Genesis. 

Hg. = Haggai. 

Is. = early parts of Isaiah. 


= Jeremiah 


= John. 


= Joel. 


= Joshua. 


= Judges. 

I, 2 K. = I, 2 Kings. 
Lv. = Leviticus. 

1 , 2 Mac. = 1,2 Maccabees. 
Mai. = Malachi. 


= Nahum. 


= Nehemiah. 


= Numbers. 

Ps. = Psalms. 

I, 2 S. =1,2 Samuel. 


= exilic parts of Isaiah. 


= Zechariah. 


= postexilic parts of Isaiah. 


= Zephaniah. 



= Hebrew and English 


= Introduction to Litera- 

Lexicon of the OT., 

ture of OT. 

edited by F. Brown, 


= B. Duhm. 

S. R. Driver, C. A. 



= Encyclopaedia Biblica. 


= Bertholet, Esra u. Ne- 


= Ezra Studies (Torrey). 



= H. Ewald. 


= Bertheau-Ryssel, Esra, 

Nek u. Esther. 


= Gesenius, Heb. Lex. ed. 


= Psalms, ICC. 



= K. Budde. 


= his Heb. Gram. ed. 


= T. K. Cheyne. 


= Curtis, Chron. ICC. 


= International Critical 


= Hastings' Dictionary of 

the Bible. 


= Journal of Biblical Lit- 


= Friederic Delitzsch. 







= Jerome. 

= FI. Josephus. 



= Kosters, Wiederher- 

= A. Kuenen. 

= P. de Lagarde. 

= Marti, Bib-Aram. Gram. 

= 'M.eyex,Entstehung. 

PSBA. = Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch. 

Ryle = Ezr.-Neh. Camb. Bible. 
RS. = W. Robertson Smith. 

Sachau = Aram. Pap. u. Ost. aus 

Sieg. = 

Sm. = 




Seisenberger, Esd. Neh. 

u. Est. 
Siegfried, Esr., Neh. u. 

R. Smend. 
B. Stade, Bib, Theol. des 

Strack, Gram, d BiU.- 


We. = J. Wellhausen. 

ZAW. = Zettschrift f. alttest. 

ZMG. = Z. d. deutsch. Morgen- 

Idnd. Gesellschaft. 
ZPV. = Z. d. deutsch. Pal. Ve- 



= abbreviation. 


= chapter, chapters. 


= accusative. 


= chronological. 

ace. cog. 

= cognate ace. 

cod., codd. = codex, codices. 

ace. to 

= according to. 


= confer, compare. 


= active. 


= cognate. 


= adjective. 


= commentary, commen 


= adverb. 



= (XTca^ XeydiAevov, word or 


= conjunction. 

phrase used once. 


= consecutive. 


= apposition. 


= construct. 


= Arabic. 


= .\ramaic. 


= dele, strike out. 


= article. 


= Deuteronomic. 


= Assyrian. 


= dittography. 


= dubious, doubtful. 


= Babylon, Babylonian. 


= duplicate. 


= Benjamin, Benjamite. 

B. Aram 

. = Biblical Aramaic. 


= elsewhere. 


= emphasis, emphatic. 


= circa, about; also ctan, 


= especially. 



= equivalent. 



et al. 

= and others, esp. associ- 


= object. 


op. cit. 

= work quoted. 

et pass. 

= et passim, and here and 


= opposite, as opposed to 


or contrasted with. 


= except. 


= exilic. 


= person. 


= feminine. 


= papyrus. 


= figurative. 

= feminine plural. 


= parallel with. 
= particle. 


= frequentative. 


= passive. 

= Persia, Persian, 


= feminine singular. 


= perfect. 


= gentilic. 


= Piel of verb. 


= gloss, glossator. 


= plural. 


= Greek. 


= postexilic. 


= priest, priests. 


= Hebrew. 


= predicate. 


= Hiphil of verb. 


= pre-exilic. 


= Hithpael of verb. 


= preposition. 


= probable, probably. 


= ibidem, in the same 


= pronoun. 



= participle. 

i. e. 

= id est, that is. 


= Pual of verb. 


= imperfect. 


= imperative. 


= question. 


= infinitive. 

q. V. 

= qiwd vide. 


= introduction. 


= read. 


= Jerusalem. 


= relative. 


= jussive. 


= line. 


= Samaria, Samaritans. 


= Levite, Levites. 


= suffix, suffixes. 


= literal, literally. 


= singular. 


= followed by. 


= masculine. 


= status, state, stative. 


= meaning. 


= subject. 


= masculine plural. 


= substantive. 


= masculine singular. 

5. V. 

= sub voce. 


= syllable. 


= noun. 


= synonymous. 

n. p. 

= proper name. 

n. pr. loc. = proper noun of place. | 


= times (following a num- 


= Nethinim. 



= Niphal of verb. 


= transfer. 



trans. = transitive, 
txt. err. = textual error. 

v., vv. = verse, verses. 

V. = vide, see. 

vb. = verb. 

V. i. = vide infra, see below. 

V. s. = vide supra, see above. 


prefixed indicates all passages 

parallel, of words or clauses 

chiefly synonymous, 
equivalent, equals. 

+ plus denotes that other passages 
might be cited. 

" = sign of abbreviation in He- 
brew words. 


Art. = Artaxerxes I Longi- 


= Nehemiah. 



= Sanballat. 

Art. n. = Artaxerxes II Mnemon. 


= Sheshbazzar 

Cy. = Cyrus. 


= Tobiah. 

Dar. = Darius I. 


= Zerubbabel. 

Jes. = Jeshua or Joshua. 



Biblical passages are cited according to the verses of the Hebrew text. 

Numerals raised above the line (i) after numerals designating chapters 
indicate verses (Gn. 6'); (2) after proper names refer to sections of gram- 
mars or pages of books (Ges.^^''). 



The books of Ezr. and Ne. were originally one, and ought 
really to be so combined now. The evidence of this is over- 
whelming. j_Two points suffice for a demonstration: (i) The 
story of Ezr. is partly in one book, Ezr. 7-10, and partly in 
the other, Ne. 'j'">-8^\* In i Esd. these two parts are united 
in a single book. (2) At the end of each book of the OT. there 
are certain Massoretic notes, giving the number of verses, the 
middle point in the volume or roll, etc. There are no such 
notes at the end of Ezr., and those at the end of Ne. cover both 
books, showing that the two constituted a single work when 
those notes were 

It is also generally agreed that Ezr.-Ne. originally was a 
part of the book of Ch., so that the whole work was a com- 
prehensive history of the Jews from Adam down to the end of 
the Persian period. 

It is true that in the Heb. Bible our books precede Ch., though 
the right order is found in CS. [The order in the Heb. canon is naturally 
illogical, and is prob. due to the fact that Ezr.-Ne. was accepted 
as canonical before Ch. The fact is that Ch. was under a great 
deal of suspicion. It was a book parall. the earlier histories long es- 
tablished as authorities, and differing from them so much that the 
presence of the new work created difficulties. Ezr.-Ne., on the other 
hand, contained the only account of the important Pers. period. A 
part of the large work of Ch. was, therefore, severed from the rest, and 
naturally just that part dealing with the otherwise unknown period, 
and of which there was no dup., and this part was accepted. Later the 
rest of the work found its place at the very end of the canon. 

The order in 05 really does not contravene this conclusion, for the 
Ok. translators made a new arrangement of the canon on a literary basis, 

•The grounds for this limitation are given below in the treatment of the history under 
the reign of Art. II. 
t See further my art. " Ezr.-Ne.," in DB. i.'^'K 
I I 



putting all the historical books together. When the transposition was 
made on this basis, Ch. was put before Ezr.-Ne. from chron. consid- 

When the disjuncture was made, there appears to have been an acci- 
dent, for the severed parts overlap, Ezr. ii-'" being identical with 2 
Ch. 36" '■. The latter ends in the middle of a sentence " and let him go 
up," and in the middle of Cy.'s decree. The simplest explanation of 
the strange fact is that a copyist who was working on the book of Ch. 
had as his exemplar one of the older editions containing the whole orig- 
inal Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. He got beyond the point of division before he 
noted his mistake, and this slip has been perpetuated down to the 
present day. Howorth explains differently (PSBA. igoi,^. 

It is indisputable that Ch. and Ezr.-Ne. come from the same hand. 
There is no book in the OT. which has more marked peculiarities than 
Ch. These cover both literary features, favourite words and expres- 
sions, peculiar style, etc. (for a list of which, see Curt.'), and also 
historical features, for the Chr. had his own way of looking at the 
history, and his theory colours his work so markedly that it is often 
quite valueless to the student of history. There is scarcely one of these 
peculiarities that is not found also in Ezr.-Ne. Evidence of the original 
unity is furnished from Esd., which contains two whole c. of Ch. 
(2 Ch. 35, 36) and then goes on directly to Ezra, without the duplica- 
tion found in Heb. Further evidence is given by Curt. Intr. § «. 

§ 2, THE DATE. 

It is difficult to deal satisfactorily with this problem, for Ezr.- 
Ne. is a composite work and contains sources from different 
periods, flf the decree of Cyrus in Ezr. i is original, this is the 
earliest portion and belongs to 538 B.C. Ezr. 4^-2^'' is made up 
chiefly of two letters which belong to the reign of Artaxerxes, 
and before his 20th year, therefore is dated somewhere in the 
period 464-444 B.cTj But the letters are imbedded in a nar- 
rative, and it is impossible to say when the compilation of the 
letters was made, except that it was before the Chronicler's time. 
\_The Memoirs of Nehemiah were apparently written soon after 
his second administration, certainly not later than the end of 
the reign of Artaxerxes, 424 b.c77 As for the date of the whole 
work, Ch,-Ezr.-Ne., it is unnecessary to duplicate the excellent 
work of Curtis {v. Intr. §'). CertainljTour books go down to the 
Greek age, and it is quite impossible 10 place the work earlier 


than 300 B.C. We can with a good deal of confidence name 
the third century B.C. as the time of the Chronicler, but cannot 
be more exact.T 


Ezra I. The return of exiles under Sheshbazzar bringing the 
sacred vessels of the temple and having permission to rebuild 
the temple. 

2^-^'. A list of residents of the province of Judah. 

2 ^"-43. The Hebrew story of the rebuilding of the temple un- 
der the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. 

4^-®. A fragment, descriptive of the opposition of the Gentile 
neighbours of the Jews. 

47-24 a (Aram.). The complaint to Artaxerxes and his order 
to stop the building operations. 

424b_5i8 (Aram.). The Aramaic version of the history of the 
rebuilding of the temple; parallel to 2^-4'. 

519-22^ The keeping of the Passover. 

7-10. The principal part of Ezra's history, containing the 
letter of Artaxerxes 7^2-26 (Aram.), a description of the gather- 
ing of his caravan, the discovery of the marriages with for- 
eigners, and the dissolution of these marriages. 

Nehemiah i, 2. Nehemiah learns of the sad plight of Jeru- 
salem, obtains leave of absence from Artaxerxes, goes up to 
Jerusalem with a caravan, makes an inspection of the walls, 
and appeals successfully to the people to start the restoration 
of the walls. 

31-^2. A list of the forces engaged in the rebuilding of the walls 
and the portion restored by each body. 

333-4" (EV^. 4I-23). The efforts of Sanballat, Tobiah, and 
others to prevent the restoration of the walls. 

5. The distress of the impoverished Jews and Nehemiah's 
measures for their relief. 

6^-7 ^ Further efforts of Sanballat and his associates to wreck 
Nehemiah's projects; the completion of the walls, and the care 
for the protection of the city. 


7«-". A duplicate of Ezr. 2^-«'. 

8^-^^ Resumption of the history of Ezra, describing the prom- 
ulgation of the law. 

3i3-i8_ The observance of the Feast of Booths. 

9. The prayer of the Levites. 

10^-2^ A list of names on a sealed record. 

jo29-4o_ Measures taken to maintain a pure race and to sup- 
port the worship of the temple. 

II. The drafting of a population for Jerusalem, a list of those 
who dwelt in the holy city, and a record of the towns of Judah 
and Benjamin. A sequel to 7^ 

121-26. Lists of priests and Levites of the various parts of the 
Persian period. 

i2"-«. The dedication of the walls. 

12**-". Provision for the support of the temple officers. 

13. The reforms instituted in Nehemiah's second administra- 


The material has come down to us in an order that is often 
, very puzzling. As the result of successive editings, the ma- 
terial is very badly arranged. For the most part, however, it 
is possible to restore the sections to a proper chronological 

[with a single exception Ezr. 1-4"" is in its true order. C. i belongs 
to the time of Cy.; 2'|^4' to the reign of Dar.; 4*-' to Xerxes, and 4'-!<a 
to Art.; 21-" is one of the late passages in the books, at least as late as 
Ezr. To the reign of Art. belongs also all of the Ne. narrative, viz., 
Ne. 1-7', exc. c. 3'-'^, which is late, 11 12"-" and 137I There is left in 
the book of Ezr. three sections, 424b_6i8 Qi^-n and 7-10. Ca^*^-6^« be- 
longs to the time of Dar. and should directly follow 2"^45, the Heb. 
version of the same story, the place it practically has in Esd., where 
it follows 4». ; It is a story apparently late in its origin and not of very 
great value. ""Torrey holds that 4 '-6" was incorporated bodily by the 
Chr. (ES."0> a^od that the temple was chiefly in mind in the complaint 
of the Sam. But his reasoning is not convincing (v. 4")- The two 
passages 4'-'*" and 4"b-6" really have little in common. The latter 
passage was removed from its proper position because the former was 
wrongly interpreted. It was a comparatively late addition, for its in- 


sertion worked havoc with some of the earlier material. An editor had 
the Heb. story of the rebuilding of the temple (2'»-4'), followed by 
the correspondence with Art. about the rebuilding of the city; the 
Aram, story differed somewhat from the Heb.; the editor incorporated 
this version and made it the basis of his history. He then proceeded 
to modify the Heb. story to make it an unsuccessful attempt at rebuild- 
ing the temple, and found in 4'-"^ a cause of f allure./^ The original 
sequence was, therefore, i 2'»-4' 4"b_6i8 ^t-na^ Where 6"-" belongs, 
it is hard to say. By its subject it connects with another fragment 
(Ne. 8"-"), or it may be very early {v. comm.). 7-10 belongs to a 
period after Neh.jj 

Another possibility cannot be ignored. We note that Ezr. i belongs 
to the time of Cy., 2"-4' to that of Dar., 4<-« to that of Xerxes,* 
and 4'-"» to that of Art. The last-named passage leads right up to 
the work of Neh., which is also in the time of Art. Now between Ezr. 
4"" and Ne. i we have, first, the story of Ezra (7-10), which should 
follow Neh.'s story; second {4.^*^-6^'^), a late and practically valueless 
document; and third (6i'-"), also prob. late, fit is, therefore, per- 
fectly possible that the original order was i a''^^", Ne. | The Aram, 
version of the temple-building story should have been put in directly 
after 4', as it practically is in Jos. But the compiler failed to see that 
the Aram, was but a dup., and thus the mischief was wrought. 

In Ne. it is easy to follow a correct order, as shown in the notes on the 
sections, so far as his own work is concerned. The order is i 2 3'*- 
yi II I227-U 31-32 ^ 13 and 10, which is a sequel to c. 13. There follows 
the story of Ezra's administration (Ezr. 7-10, Ne. 8'-")- The rest of 
the material cannot be dated, and must be grouped by subjects. The 
chron. order of the whole, so far as it can be determined, is as follows: 
p'(a) Ezr. i; (6) Ezr. 2"^4» 4">'-6i'; (c) Ezr. 4<-« 4'-"* Ne. i 2 3"-4>' \ 
^1-76 II i2S7-« 3i-«s5 13 10 12"-"; (d) Ezr. 7-10 Ne. 8'-" Ezr. 6"-" j 
Ne."8"-»«; (e) Ne. 9 121-M 7'-" = Ezr. 2'-«3, and perhaps Ne. ii'-". / 

That under (a) belongs to the reign of Cy., (b) to Dar., (c) to Art. 
(exc. 4*-«), {d) to Art. II, and (e) is uncertain, but prob. is to be 
dated in the same reign as (d), as it is either a part of Ezra's work or a 
natural consequence of what he had done. Ne. 9, however, as shown 
in the notes, bears evidences of the Gk. period, and may be one of the 
latest sections in the books. I 

In reading a historical book it is desirable to have the ma- 
terial in proper chronological order. To rearrange the whole of 
Ezr.-Ne. would be needlessly confusing; but it is deemed best 
in a few particulars to undo the mischief of R. Therefore in 

* At least that is certain of 4', and that suffices. 



the commentary I have joined Ezr. 7-10 to Ne. 8-10, and 
placed the whole after Ne. 13; and Ezr. 4*-"^*^ is transposed to 
follow Ezr. 6. The advantages are manifest: the two temple- 
building stories are brought together; the brief passage belong- 
ing to the time of Xerxes has its proper place; the Aramaic 
letters (Ezr. 4^-2^°) come just before Ne. i, to which they are 
an introduction; the whole story of Nehemiah's work comes in 
proper sequence; and Ezra's history is combined and placed 
where it probably belongs chronologically. 


Ezr.-Ne. is peculiar in that it has come down to us in two 
recensions, which at certain points differ from each other quite 
radically. It is true that something of the same condition is 
found in other OT. books. In S. there is a long section in 
Hebrew which was not originally in (5 (i S. 1712-31 ly^^ig^). 
There is a vast difference also between the Greek texts and the 
Hebrew in the books of Je. and Dn. In the case of Ezr.-Ne., 
however, the so-called ^ follows MT. very closely, but the 
so-called Apocryphal book of Esd. constitutes really a different 
edition of Ezr.-Ne. 

In the Apocr. there are additional sections to some of the OT. 
books; thus, the Rest of Est.; Baruch is an addition to Je.; the Song 
of the Three Holy Children, the history of Susanna, and Bel and the 
Dragon are additions to Dn. But in all these there is nothing corre- 
sponding to any part of ^ ; the passages are additions pure and simple 
and found only in Gk. Esd., on the other hand, is merely a variant 
edition of a part of Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. For the most part, it is a faithful 
translation of ^, but with addition and subtraction and rearrangement. 
This book is of such vital importance to our work that a fuller discus- 
sion is essential, and it is well worthy of a section by itself. 

§ 6. I ESDRAS. 

In Greek this edition of the history, as the title Esd.^ shows, 
has the priority; the Greek translation of the whole of Ezr.-Ne. 
is known as 2 Esd. or Esd.'^ In Lagarde's edition of Codex Luci- 
anus this order is reversed, an evidence of an effort, manifested 


on every page of this nevertheless valuable text, to conform to 
the MT. more closely than other Greek texts. But the evidence 
is overwhelmingly in favour of the priority of Esd., and the ex- 
planation can only be, as I infer to be Torrey's conclusion too, 
that this edition was preferred. Indeed, Sir Henry Howorth 
has argued (of whose work more anon), that Esd. is the orig- 
inal Septuagint text, and that our Hebrew edition is really the 
Apocryphal book. 

The subjoined table will show the contents of this edition in com- 
parison with MT. 



C. I 


2 Ch. 35, 36 



Ezr. I 



" 4'-" 



not in MT. 



Ezr. 2i-4« 



" 5,6 



" 7-10 



Ne. 7 '^8'' 

It will be noted that there is one long addition (3*-S«). This is 
the only element in the book which ace. to other usage can be called 
Apocr., for the Apocr. comprises the books or sections of books which 
were known only in a Gk. original. This addition contains the story 
of the Three Youths, or Guardsmen of Dar. At the time of a great 
feast, the Three Guardsmen competed in a test of wisdom, to deter- 
mine which was strongest, wine, the king, or women. The third con- 
testant, who was the victor, is identified with Zer. in what is usually 
regarded as a gl. (4"), easily suggested by 5^, ace. to which Zer. spoke 
wise sentences before Dar. This statement may account for the plac- 
ing of this whole story as a prelude to the mission of Zer. By some 
rather mysterious process not made clear in the text, probably because 
of an addition here from a moral interest, Zer. switches off to prove that 
truth is stronger than either wine, kings, or women. Down to this 
point (4"), the story is a sort of a joke, and might belong to court 
jesters, but at the close the story is given a serious turn. 

At 4" we reach a new section, doubtless originally quite indepen- 
dent of the preceding. Torrey has sufficiently demonstrated this point 
(ES.""). Now we come to an important passage, fully discussed in 
the intr. to Ezr. 3, in which Zer. obtains a grant from the king, collects 
a company, and goes up from Pers. to Jerus. to rebuild the temple. 

To revert to the table, we note that Esd. contains two c. of Ch., all 
of Ezr. exc. a single v. (4*), but only a very small section of Ne. There 


is not a word about Neh.'s great work, nor is there anything of Ne. 
8"-io, which are almost universally, but incorrectly, as I shall try to 
show later, regarded as a part of the Ezra story. 

The rearrangement appears at two points. First, the Art. letters, 
Ezr. 4'-'^ = Esd. s''-'", are placed immediately after the story of Shes.'s 
return, and so between the reigns of Cy. and Dar., whence Jos. substi- 
tuted Cambyses for Art. in the letters, so that following this text as he 
did, his chronology is consistent. Second, a part of the Ezra story is 
removed from its familiar place in the middle of Ne. and joined directly 
to the part of Ezra's story contained in the book called by his name; 
i.e., Ne. 7'^8i2 follows Ezr. 7-10. 

The latter of these variant arrangements undoubtedly preserves the 
original order. If one could maintain that Ezra went to Jerus. in the 
7th year of Art., a date shown later to be impossible, it would still be 
out of the question for Ezra to begin publishing the law at least fifteen 
years later. Even if Ezra and Neh. were contemporaries, no historian 
would have severed the Ezra story by the insertion of a part of the Ne. 
narrative without adequate reason, and there is no reason at all here. 

But it is shown elsw. that the place of the Art. letters (Ezr. 4'-24i) in 
the Esd. text is not original. Indeed, their situation is more inconsistent 
in this text than in ^, for to say nothing of the putting of Art. before 
Dar., we have in this edition an account of the stopping of the building 
of the temple before that work had been begun. In this edition the 
passage stands as a bald interpolation. It has neither ancestry nor 
posterity, so that one may wonder whether it was an original part of the 
Esd. text at all. It may have been put in by a later hand because it 
was in the Heb. The striking result would be that the original Esd. 
edition of the history knows of no interference with the Jews in their 
efforts to rebuild the temple. 

There is reason to believe that when this Art. correspondence was 
placed directly after the reign of Cy., the name of the king was changed 
to Cambyses, and that it so stood in the Esd. text in the time of Jos., 
for that historian would not have been likely to change the name of a 
king, and that here he actually followed his source. If that is the case 
there are some interesting considerations to be noted. The author of 
Esd. was pretty well informed, and may easily have rebelled against 
placing an event of the reign of Art. before the building of the temple. 
This writer knew that the temple was built in the time of Dar. He 
knew that Art. did not precede Dar. Therefore he transposed the pas- 
sage and substituted the name Cambyses for Art. 

In MT. the name of Xerxes also appears before that of Dar, (Ezr. 
4O, but this name is not found in Esd. anywhere. In other words, 
Esd. knows of but one king between Cy. and Dar., and the author 
must have known that that was Cambyses. We might then infer that 
he was right, and follow many scholars in thus changing the name of 


the king. But it is apparent that the contents of the passage are in- 
consistent with its position, for it would give us an account of the 
interruption of the temple-building before the foundations were laid. 
While the position of the passage would fit the reign of Cambyses, its 
contents are inconsistent with that date. 

To return to the addition, one part of it (3 '-4*0) »is Torrey has shown 
(ES-^O) has nothing to do with Heb. history, but the rest (4''^S"') is, 
or at least contains, what we absolutely need as an explanation of the 
events described in Ezr. 3. To jump from Ezr. i to Ezr. 3 involves 
a wild flight, and in our text nothing intervenes but a list of names, 
which certainly does not seem to make a historical connection. Inci- 
dentally we have here a possible explanation of the insertion of the 
list of Ezr. 2. There was certainly a historical section between Ezr. i 
and 3. The Chr. or some later editor cut out the passage because it 
spoiled his theory of the delay in building the temple. The gap was 
supplied in MT. by the insertion of the strange list (2 '-«'). Later this 
list was put into the Esd. text, and as it is joined closely to Ezr. 3 
it was separated from Ezr. i, for it could not join at both ends in a 
text which preserved the lost material which was original between 
the two c. What this material was is fully stated in the intr. to 
Ezr. 3. Its great importance lies in the fact that it fixes the history 
related in Ezr. 2^11-4' as belonging to the reign of Dar. It is hard for 
me to understand how so accomplished a scholar as Torrey can insist 
that the events narrated here belong to the reign of Cy. It is no more 
reasonable to substitute Cy. for Dar. in this text than for Jos. to sub- 
stitute Cambyses for Art. in his account of the letters in 4'-"". The 
appeal is made to Esd. 5'* = Ezr. 4', where the Jews say they will 
build the temple as King Cy. commanded them (so Thackeray, DB. 
art. " 1 E^."). But surely there is no reason why Zer. in the time of 
Dar. should not appeal to the earlier decree of Cy. The edicts of 
Cy. were not invalidated by his death. 

Sir Henry Howorth has written many interesting articles about this 
book.* One of the points upon which he is most insistent is that 
Esd. is the original <&, while the Gk. 2 Esd., usually known as (&, is really 
Theodotion's translation. Much credit is due to this accomplished 
scholar for his persistent efforts to bring Esd. into the prominence it 
deserves. And yet I agree with Torrey that his main contention is of 
little value. His fundamental mistake is the underlying theory that 
there was an authoritative and standard Gk. translation of the OT. 
comparable to the AV. in English, a sort of official iextus recepttis. The 
fact is that i and 2 Esd. are quite independent translations of Semitic 
originals, but they are renderings of different editions, i Esd. had one 
Semitic text of which it is a free and idiomatic version; 2 Esd. is a 
slavishly literal rendering of our present MT. 

• Academy, 1893, Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archecology, 1901-9. 


It follows from this indisputable fact that Esd. is of vastly greater 
value to the OT. student than (5 and all the other Vrss. which de- 
pend upon it. Sir Henry's point is well taken in this respect. Few 
scholars have availed themselves of the treasures hidden away in this 
storehouse. As Howorth suggests, there has been too much of a ten- 
dency to make a fetish of MT. Even scholars are not dissociated en- 
tirely from the theory once held as essential to orthodoxy that the words 
and even the pointing of MT. are inspired. This comm. will show 
ample use of this important text by whose aid alone some of the grave 
problems have been solved. 

An interesting question about Esd. concerns its original form. Many 
scholars maintain that it is complete as it stands. Others, like Howorth 
and Torrey, insist that it is a fragment from the middle of the complete 
Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. The question is not of vital importance here, yet some 
consideration is necessary. In favour of the latter view, it is noted that 
Esd. ends with one word of Ne. 8", xal ^xtffuvTQ%6if)aav = isDNj. Torrey 
believes that the surviving fragment came from a Gk. not a Semitic 
MS., as Ne. 8" begins ^yyn dioi (ES.^O- In Cod.^ this v. is com- 
pleted, and I am convinced that we have here one of the many attempts 
to bring Esd. into conformity with MT. In other words, Esd. really 
ends the Ezra story with Ne. 8'=, and in my opinion that text never 
contained any more about Ezra. 

This conclusion is supported by the testimony of Jos. It is contended 
by Howorth and Torrey that Jos. uses Ne. 8" ^•. This does not seem to 
me to be the case. He does, indeed, refer to the Feast of Booths, but 
only as a note of time; for he makes it the occasion of the assembly 
in the 7th month at which the law was read as described in Ne. 8'-" = 
Esd. g"-« (Ant. xi, 5, 5). There is not a reference to anything related 
in Ne. 9, 10. Jos. knew nothing of any event in the story of Ezr. after 
the reading of the law. 

If Esd. is but a fragment of Ch.-Ezr.-Ne., it must have contained 
an account of Neh.'s work. Jos. deals with Neh. rather summarily (Ant. 
xi, 5, 6-8), whom, as well as Ezra, he places in the reign of Xerxes. 
His treatment is most full in that which corresponds to Ne. i, 2, though 
in this there are rather more than the usual number of glaring inac- 
curacies. He has a considerable account of the trouble Neh. encoun- 
tered from the enemy, a summary of Ne. 4, 6. He then proceeds with 
a brief account of the dedication of the walls as in Ne. i2"-«, and then 
takes up the peopling of the city as in Ne. 7'-'" ii> '•, and finally he 
describes the provisions for the pr. and Lev. (Ne. 13'°-").* Now the 
amazing fact is that Jos. shows a knowledge of every part of N. 
exc. c. s, and that he uses nothing else from the book of Ne. save S'-^', 
a part of Ezra's story. It is clear, therefore, that if Esd. ever went 

• This statement differs somewhat from Torrey's (ES."), but is, I believe, as accurate a 

determination as can be made with confidence. 


any further than it does now, the lost contents comprised N. and 
nothing else whatever. Jos. never could have picked out this story 
from our present text. In his treatment of the book of Ezr. he does 
not quote the lists of names, but he refers to them, showing that they 
were in the text he used, but in the use of the book of Ne. there is no 
hint of a list of names anywhere, not even of the wall-builders. 

In what form the memoirs were to which Jos. had access it is im- 
possible to say. These could hardly have survived as a separate pro- 
duction in his time; yet they were originally published in that form; 
and what we have includes all that Jos. knew. It is not unlikely that 
he used the same text for the whole Pers. period, and certainly he had 
these records in Gk.; therefore we may with a certain degree of prob- 
ability conclude that Esd. originally contained the unadulterated N. 
In that case the fragmentary hypothesis is the only tenable one. 

One other point, though, it is commonly known, needs mention. In 
his account of the return and the rebuilding of the temple, related in 
Ezr. 1-6, Jos. follows Esd., not MT. He puts 4"^- after c. i, and he 
incorporates the story of the Three Guardsmen. But he unmistakably 
puts the events described in 3'-4* in the reign of Dar., making 3'-" an 
actual completion of the temple (Anl. xi, 4, 2; see further under the 
reign of Dar.). He is quite consistent, making 5, 6 a sort of sequel to 
the preceding story, omitting entirely 4"b-5i. His date for 3'-4' is 
the only possible one to be derived from Esd., and his use of 3«-" = 
Esd. 5 "-65 shows that he had a better text than most of those which 
have come down to us. 

It is sometimes stated that Jos. goes beyond Esd. and shows a knowl- 
edge of 2 Esd. 05 {e. g., DB. i,'"). At the end of Shes.'s story, he 
does say that 42,462 came up at that time, as in Ezr. 2, but he uses 
this list fully where it stands in Esd. He gives an intr. to the Art. 
letters which is based on Ezr. 4'-5, but he uses that material again, 
and these are probably but patches. Jos. sometimes follows his sources 
so loosely that such usage hardly serves as an argument. The excep- 
tion is about enough to prove the rule. Jos. certainly does not make 
any use of our canonical Ezr.-Ne. 

Reference has been made to the numerous changes in Esd. to bring 
this edition into nearer agreement with MT. It is manifest that many 
of these changes have been made since the time of Jos., for in several 
important points he bears witness to another text than that which 
has come down to us. This is esp. the case in Ezr. 3«-". It is also 
probable that Cambyses was in the text of Esd. which Jos. used 
instead of Art. The cause of this revising is determinable to a high 
degree of probability. In the first place, it is well known that the 
tendency to correct the Gk. version on the basis of the Heb. is dis- 
coverable in every book of the OT. But there is a special reason why 
that correcting process should be marked in this particular boo!:. For 


this work existed in two quite different Vrss., and these were strug- 
gling for supremacy the one against the other. In the time of Jos. 
it is clear that Esd. was preferred among the Jews; for Jos. was in 
bad repute with his brethren because of his pro-Romanism, and he was 
politic enough to use the most popular sources for his history. 

Three centuries later this edition had lost caste. Jerome's attitude 
shows that plainly. He would not translate the story of the Three 
Youths. He insists that the proper discourses of Ezr. and Ne. are 
contained in a single volume, and that whatever is not contained in 
them is to be rejected (pref. to Ezr.). Confessedly he formed this 
opinion from his Heb. teachers, so that in his day — the preface was 
written a.d. 394 — Esd. had lost its former popularity. The advo- 
cates of this edition would not see it sink into disuse without a serious 
effort to save it. The chief count against it was its departure from the 
received text. Then began a process of editing to remove these de- 
partures as far as possible. In many of the texts the original is pretty 
well erased. But in Cod.^ the changes were often made simply by 
adding a translation of MT. to the original Esd., so that it is still 
possible in places to recover the primitive text. 

The Vrss. available for the textual criticism of Ezr.-Ne. are 
the same as those for Ch., a full and scholarly discussion of 
which is given by Curtis, Intr. §8, and need not be repeated 
here. The Vrss. really serve little purpose, with the single ex- 
ception of Esd., which has been fully treated above, and of 
which but a few more words are necessary from the point of 
view of textual criticism. 

It has been shown that Esd. is a translation of a Semitic text. Tor- 
rey has given pretty convincing evidence that the story of the Three 
Guardsmen is from an Aram, original (ES.^o s-). It has long been sus- 
pected that Esd. 51-' is from a Heb. source, and that is doubtless 
correct. But it is equally plain that Esd. is not a translation of the 
present MT. No translator would take such liberties as we find in 
that version. Those who rendered the Scriptures into Gk. were moved, 
as all other translators, to give a faithful version of the text before them, 
which they desired to make accessible to people who knew only the Gk. 
tongue. The conclusion is inevitable that there were two editions of 
this book in Semitic, of which the one finally adopted in the Heb. 
canon is the longer and the worse. On these two editions, see further 
ES.» ff- 

The most complete presentation of the apparatus for the textual 
criticism of our books is presented in ES. c. 4. Torrey greatly prefers 


Cod.^ to ^, and urges great caution in the use of ^. The caution is 
wise, and yet some of the most important aids to the correction of the 
text are hidden in that version. 


In places the text of Ezr.-Ne. is very well preserved. In 
>f. especially there is as a rule very little trouble once the 
nterpolations are recognised. But on the whole MT. is in 
decidedly bad shape. At times the confusion is so great that 
:he work of the critic is most difficult. In some places there 
-S a wholesale corruption of the text in the interest of the his- 
corical theory of the editor. 

The great majority of writers have accepted MT. and have 
5imply tried to make out of it the best they could. There is no 
reason, however, for confining ourselves to one text in a case 
in which we have good support for another and a better reading. 
In places the result is most surprising and important. Many of 
the critical theories of both the older and newer writers are de- 
pendent on the corrupt MT. A reconstruction of these theories 
is only possible in the light of a thorough-going criticism of the 
text. This needs to go much further than Guthe's in Haupt's 
SBOT. I myself worked for years on the supposition that there 
was an early and fruitless effort to rebuild the temple. But 
the discovery of the true text of Ezr. 3 compelled a radical 
change of opinion. 

The discovery of these corruptions, and in many places the 
recovery of the true text, has another important consequence. 
It proves beyond a doubt that there are original sources where 
previously a passage has been assigned wholly to Chr. If a 
text has been corrupted to make it suit a purpose, it is ob- 
vious that the text in its original form is not the work of R. 
In that way it is demonstrated that there are Hebrew sources 
in these books, and so the contributions of the Chronicler are 
correspondingly diminished. 



In the book of Ch. we find many sections of S. and K. in- 
serted almost verbatim. There is a claim further that the 
compiler used many other sources (see Curt. Intr.^^ '^•)- It is 
true that some scholars, as Torrey, deny that these sources were 
genuine, insisting that the Chronicler pretends to quote to add 
plausibility to his history (ES. c. 7). Our books were originally 
a part of the book of Ch., and we should expect the same 
method to have been pursued. And our expectations are re- 
alised, for it is possible to pick out some of the sources, even 
though we have no parallels for control as we have in S. and 
K. There is not, unfortunately, much agreement among schol- 
ars as to the limits of some of these sources. There is noth- 
ing then left for me but to give my conclusions, which are, 
however, based on many years' study of these books. The 
results will be seen to be decidedly conservative. 

(i) The Memoirs of Nehemiah = N. 

Beginning with a source about the presence of which there 
is no difference of opinion, there is certainly incorporated in the 
book which bears his name some [personal memoirs of Nehe- 
miah. These are all written in the first person, and the nar- 
rative is terse and vivid. The memoirs were written for the 
most part soon after the close of his first administration (v. 5^^). 
and as a historical source rank among the very best in OTr] 
Nehemiah knew how to accomplish results, even in the face of 
the gravest difficulties, and he also knew how to tell what he 
had done without waste of words. In some places N. has 
somewhat the character of a diary or journal. The brief pray- 
ers and imprecations scattered through the document make 
the impression of a narrative originally written for the author's 
eye alone. 

The agreement of scholars ceases, however, the moment we 
attempt to determine the limits of the memoirs. There is a 


minimum about which all are agreed, but the moment we step 
1 »eyond that boundary contention arises. 

[3'he vast majority of modern scholars set rather large limits to these 
memoirs. Berth. Sieg. Ryle, and Dr. practically agree that N. covers 
Ne. 1-7 12"-" 13^-". Berth, and Sieg. exc. i2"-3<>-^^-^\ but Sieg. 
adds ii"- and Dr. adds 15^-*. Torrey, on the other extreme, finds 
N. only in i^-a' a^'-^" 4^6^K All agree that 7'-" was not written by 
Neh., but the scholars who include this in N. suppose, wrongly I be- 
lieve, that it was incorporated in N. by Neh^ 

Pit seems certain that s^'^^ is not from N. It has none of the char- 
acteristics of that document, but is very like other lists in our books, 
and it is quite out of place where it stands, interrupting the narrative 
sadly (v. notes on Ne. 3). I have shown in the notes reasons which 
are sufBcient to reject 2'-'^] I can see no satisfactory evidence against 
2S3-38 618-19 yi-5a j^e-sia exc. v. "'. The last passage is not only writ- 
ten in the first p., but also has numerous characteristics of N. On 
the other hand,[l have ;io hesitation in rejecting is-na, the major por- 
tion of Neh.'s prayer, which is too close to a type to be composed by 
Neh. (v. notes), one point in which I go beyond Torrey, who only 
goes so far as to assume editorial revision. I believe it a piece of 
editorial composition.! [in the passage describing the dedication of the 
walls (12"-"), there arr unmistakable traces of N., e. g., in " f- "• ■""', 
but a story like this was too tempting to the Chr., and he has so em- 
belUshed it with interpolations to bring pr.. Lev., music, and sacri- 
fices into prominent place that Neh.'s own simple, straightforward 
story is buried beyond hope of recovery.) Torrey notes that 2"^ 3"^- 
41 *f- repeat one another rather awkwardly, an awkwardness much in- 
creased by the elimination of 3'-'2 (ES."«). That is quite true, and 
yet I doubt if any of the passages exc. possibly 3''-" can be legit- 
imately questioned. [The portions which are from N. are, therefore, 

jl-4 jllb_27 2"''"^'' •233_'T6a I'jB-Sl. I ^ 

(2) The Memoirs of Ezra = E, 

It has been the practically unanimous opinion of Biblical 
E:holars that another important and trustworthy source is 
f )und in E, This, it is claimed,/ includes Ezr. y^-S^* g^-^^; 
s ich, at all events, are the conclusioii of such competent schol- 
i rs as Driver, Ryle, Cornill, Kosters, Siegfried, and Bertholet. I 

Before discussing the matter further, it is necessary to reduce the 
space of the memoirs somewhat. pFirst, we must eliminate 8'-", the 


list of the heads of the fathers who went up with EzraJ There is noth- 
ing to suggest E. in the whole passage save the " with me " •'dj? in v. K 
The V. is disjointed and shows an editor's hands, for " from Bab." is 
connected with "went up," and we may infer that " with me " was in- 
serted from 7^', or else that we should read by a very slight change " with 
him." The passage is out of place here, as it gives a list of his company 
before Ezra makes his inspection (v. ^^). It would come better after 
7'", as 7>-"' summarises the whole story and commits other sins of 
anticipation. Yet it must be noted that the list is peculiar in the 
designation " males," andjn the silence about the temple ofificers so 
liberally supplied in 7'.iiCThe explanation about the Neth. in 8-° is 
suspicious; indeed, the whole v. is prob. an addition by the Chr. The 
same hand prob. produced vv. =« '• ^°- "• '=, for reasons given in the 
notes. Also giit-u are to be excluded, so that for E. we have j"'' 

315-19. 21-28. 28 f. 31 I. 38 gl-llB. 13-15^ thoUgh 8" IS dubTJ 

Now if these are genuine memoirs there can be no doubt of their histor- 
ical value. {But Torrey has for years maintained that the Ezra memoirs 
are a myth, insisting that the whole Ezra story is composed by the 
Chr., and in fact the character of Ezra was created by him, so that 
Ezr. 7-10 and Ne. 7'»-io are fiction pure and simple (ES."8-248j cf. Comp. 
14 ff. 67 ft.). A part of this radical opinion will be examined later. Here 
we are concerned with the memoirs only. Torrey's conclusion rests 
essentially on linguistic material. He gives a list of some thirty words 
from the parts which are assigned to E. and which he declares to be 
characteristic of the Chr. (cf. Comp.^' ^■). He goes so far as to declare 
deliberately, as the "result of a good deal of hard study," tha^' there 
is no portion of the whole work of Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. in which the Chr.'s 
literary peculiarities are more strongly marked, more abundant, more 
evenly and continuously distributed, and more easily recognisable than 
in the Heb. narrative of Ezr. 7-10 and Ne. 8-io"J (ES."i). 

The use of the first p. is easily explained by Torrey on the ground 
that the Chr. employed it in deliberate imitation of N. He cites 
other cases in which there is transition from the first p. to the third. 
Torrey has overlooked, so far as I recall, what might be a strong 
argument in support of his contention, viz., that in some places certain 
Vrss. have the third p. where MT. has the first, e. g., 8» '■ in Esd.^^, 
9>-' in Esd.^. 

But we note that\ the first p. occurs in Esd. where N. is not found, 
and where it may never have existed. The Ezra story may have been 
once published quite independently of that of Neh. Then again it is 
inconceivable that the Chr. should have written by far the major part 
of the Ezra story in the third p., and then employed the first in such a 
limited part. That is esp. the case as these passages in the first p. 
are precisely those which raise no suspicion on the ground of credibilityTj 

But the most decisive argument is the relation of the various parts 


of the narrative to each other. Lit is incredible that Ezr. 7-10 was all 
written by the same person, the Chr. or any one else whatsoever. In 
7'» Ezra's whole company arrives in Jerus., and the members of the 
company are enumerated in 8^-^*, while in 7-' and its direct sequel, 8'', 
Ezra is beginning to gather a caravan at Ahava. Then, in the letter 
of Art., Ezra is clothed with enormous powers, but in the actual record 
of his deeds he never once calls upon any authority but the law. The 
difference in this respect between Ezra and Neh. is very marked. Neh. 
acts as governor and uses his authority, but Ezra can only appeal to 
the people to obey the law. Surely a single author would have aimed 
at greater consistencyj 

■ It has been conceded by several scholars, esp. since the publica- 
tion of Torrey's Composition (1896), that E. has been worked over a 
great deal, and that the numerous marks of the Chr. which Torrey 
has pointed out are due to his revision. {But Torrey in his later 
work (ES. 1910) asserts that the Chr. does not revise his material, 
that he either incorporates bodily or composes entirely. Torrey cites i A*^^ 
as an instance the parallel N. which he says the Chr. has practically yy^-v^**^^ ^'^ t 
not revised J ^^ -^-Xa/^-^ ^ 

My own studies constrain me to dissent from this contention. As ,VJb^"^*^^ 
a matter of fact, I am persuaded that the Chr. revised his material '^sy'^ 

pretty freely whenever it suited his purpose to do so. I may cite r>"' ^ 
as an impressive instance his change from Yahweh to Satan as the 
tempter of David (i Ch. 2i» = 2 S. 24'). (See further evidence in 
Curt. Zw/r .'-!<• "). But the testimony of our own books is decisive. 
The Chr. has liberally revised Ezr. 3 to make it square with his theory 
of the deferred building of the temple. In fact, his hand is visible 
almost everywhere. 

It is true, however, that [N. has been tampered with comparatively 
littleT] But that fact is eloquent in its description of the Chr.'s method. 
The building of the wall was of so little interest that in one recension 
the whole story may have been omitted. jBut when the Chr. came to 
Neh.'s story of the dedication of the walls, he was in a field in which he 
was perfectly at home, and on a subject in which he had a profound 
interest. He revised the story, which certainly existed in N. until there 
are only dim traces of the original, while the work of his own hand is to 
be seen all throughTJ 

Now Torrey is right in asserting that Ezra was the Chr.'s hero.; The 
editor found the work of a kindred spirit in E. That document pre- 
sented material with which he was familiar and on which he had very 
pronounced opinions. But Ezra lived more than a century before the 
Chr. In the meanwhile, many changes had taken place. The Chr. was 
almost forced to bring Ezra's work down to date, as he does David's. 
He could hardly use such a source without revision. I Otherwise there 
would have been a historical development in religion, and such a 



phenomenon was abhorrent to him. Therefore, Torrey's list does not 
seem to me at all decisive, even if we grant its validity, as we must 
in part. 

As a matter of fact,[the Chr. has revised even N. considerably. He 
puts a suitable prayer in the cup-bearer's mouth (i '-"»); he furnishes 
the leader with letters which he seemed to think Neh. had overlooked 
(27-9aj but V. notes); he provided a systematic account of the method 
of building the wall, and as Neh. had afforded nothing to work on he 
had to make it himself, unless, indeed, he found it ready from some 
other hand, just as he elaborates Ezra's work; by the twist of a sen- 
tence he changes the purpose of Neh.'s assembly and makes him dis- 
cover a then non-existent record of names (7^); and finally in c. 13, 
where Neh. approaches closely to the editor's own field, the Chr.'s 
hand has crept in so conspicuously that Torrey gives him the credit 
of the whole.l 

There is one more argument for the existence of E., which is entirely 
subjective, and yet which is of very great force to one who feels it. 
Every time I study Ezr. 7-10, I feel afresh the fact that two voices 
speak in the various sections. The whole story as told in E. seems 
so simple and natural and unaffected, and so lacking in the pomposity 
which attaches to Ezra where the Chr. uses a free hand, that it bespeaks 
its own genuineness. The very details of the gathering at Ahava 
are just the things the Chr. would never think of composing, as we. 
may see from the summary way in which he actually deals with the 
journey (7'-"), in which he is careful to present abundant names and 
dates, but no personal history at all. 

Torrey's arguments have failed to convince those who have been 
diligent students of the story of Ezra, and with all regard to his un- 
doubted scholarship and industry, I find myself among the number 
who must still take the Ezra story seriously. 

(3) The Aramaic Documents. 

There are three sections of the book of Ezr. which are writ- 
ten in AramaicJ^i) The correspondence with Artaxerxes, 4^-2^». 

(2) The history of the rebuilding of the temple, Ezr. 424^-618, 

(3) The edict of Artaxerxes authorising Ezra's mission, 7i2-26_ 
As 6^^-'^'^ is a late insertion and 7^-^° is the Chronicler's introduc- 
tion to Ezr., we have practically a long continuous section in 
Aramaic, 4^-7^®. It may be, therefore, that before the Chron- 
icler there was an Aramaic history of this period, which he used 
to a limited extentTj If there was such a source, it must have 


consisted mainly of official documents with a minimum of intro- 
duction and comment. 

^he first two of these pieces are alike in one respect, that 
while the bulk of the material consists of the letters, there are 
introductory and other notes also written in Aramaic. In the 
case of the third, however, there is nothing in Aramaic save 
the letter, the brief introduction (7") being written in Hebrew. 
The Chronicler, therefore, does not get his material for (i) 
and (2) at first hand. Before his time the letters had been pub- 
lished with the various notes before and after the epistles. The 
third he may have quoted at first hand; at all events, if there 
ever had been any notes on the letter, the Chronicler left them 
out entirelyj 

Mey, is the stoutest modern defender of these Aram, documents 
(Ew/.'-'O- He emends the text of Ezr. 4", reading "the despatch was 
written in Pers. and translated into Aram.," so that originally there 
was here one of the polylingual inscriptions which abounded in the 
Pers. empire. This argument would be stronger if there were nothing 
but the letters. As a matter of fact, there are the compiler's com- 
ments. Mey. would hardly contend that these, too, were written in 
Pers. and translated into Aram. Besides it is shown in the notes that 
Mey.'s interpretation of 4' is more than doubtful. Mey. claims to find 
a considerable list of Pers. words in the documents, and thus rein- 
forces his belief in Pers. originals and in the authenticity of the letters. 
But it does not seem possible to group the documents and formulate 
a single conclusion which will cover them all. They must be treated 

(i)rrhere can be no doubt that the Chr. incorporated the Art. 
correspondence in 4''-^*^ and did not compose it, for he misunderstood 
its tenor. Further, there is no good reason whatever to question its 
genuineness. It describes just the conditions necessary to explain 
Neh.'s work/ as I have shown in the intr. to the passage, where also 
Kost.'s arguments against its authenticity are examined in detail. 
Further, the charge of a tendency to exalt the Jews, and to exult 
over the Sam. (ES.i^Oj certainly does not apply here, for in this source 
the Sam. triumph over the Jews, and leave Jerus. in the worst state 
it had known since 586, a state which nearly broke Neh.'s heart when 
he heard of it. 

(2) I have myself repeatedly called this the Aram, version of the 
temple-building story. In reality ,rit is better described as the corre- 
spondence with Dar. about the reljuilding of the temple. \ There is 



very little in the whole narrative except the story of what the Sam. 
rulers did when they heard of the operation at Jerus. and the Pers. king's 
action on their report. But the Chr. certainly was not the author of 
the piece. The prominence of the prophets in 51 '■, which Mey., with 
strange obtuseness, assigns to the Chr., could never have come from his 
hand. He makes the pr. prominent even in building the walls, Ne. 3, 
while the temple-construction is supported chiefly by the prophets. 
Even Torrey, who regards the source as worthless historically, admits 
that it is quoted by the Chr. 

It is a favourite theory of modern scholars that this document has 
been freely edited, and that there is an original and authentic sub- 
stratum. Torrey really jeers at this conclusion, saying of a quota- 
tion from Dr.^""': "The documents are not genuine, but in substance 
are thoroughly trustworthy" (ES.'"). Now, as a matter of fact, the 
text of this document has been liberally edited and is decidedly cor- 
rupt in some places, as I have shown in the notes. It can hardly be 
supposed that a Jewish R. would modify such material without a cer- 
tain tendency creeping in. And the fact that he modified his material 
shows that he had something to modify. 

tiThe bare outline of the narrative is as follows : Under the inspiration 
of the prophets the Jews begin the rebuilding of the temple in the 2d 
year of Dar. Tattenai, the governor of the Syrian province, and others 
go to Jerus. to see what authority the Jews had for building a temple 
and who were the leaders in the movement. They report to Dar. by 
letter the claim of the authority of Cy., and ask for instructions. Dar. 
orders a search of the archives and finds the original decree of Cy., 
which is quoted, not in Dar.'s letter, but in the narrative portion. The 
king confirms the decree of his predecessor and orders his officials not 
to interfere^ 

Now in all this there is no note of improbability. The Jews in Ele- 
phantine could not rebuild their temple without authority of the Pers. 
officials, and surely Tattenai would have been remiss had he taken no 
steps under the circumstances. [[The temple was certainly rebuilt in 
the reign of Dar., and that task could hardly have been accomplished 
without his knowledge and sanctionTl 

The most serious difficulty is the inconsistency with the story in 
Esd. 4«2 f- that Zer. came to Jerus. in the reign of Dar. carrying with him 
permission to rebuild the temple, and the silence of Hg. and Zc. about 
interference from any source whatever. There is further the state- 
ment in Ezr. 4^-^ that the Sam. desired to aid the Jews in building, and 
there is in that story no note of any opposition. We are compelled to 
choose between two contradictory stories, and I have no hesitation 
in accepting the Heb. story as correct. 

The fact is that this story is inconsistent with itself. In 5* the 
temple is begun under Zer., but in 5'« the building has been going on 


ever since the time of Shes. in the ist year of Cy. and was still incom- 
plete. Now this last passage is the basis of the Chr.'s construction 
of all his material of the period, Ezr. i-6. In accord with this theory he 
makes c. 3 but a futile beginning of the work, and by leaving out dates 
would make it appear that Zer.'s work was done in the time of Cy. 
It is very likely, as Torrey contends, that he regarded this Dar. as 
Dar. II (423-404), and so the time spent on building the temple was 
a very long one indeed, certainly more than a century. The Chr., in 
other words, had a very misleading source here, but he fell into the 
trap, and made a mess of his good material accordingly. 

Kost. has tried to solve the problem of the contradictory statements 
by assuming that there are, in fact, two original stories which have been 
woven together and worked over by the Chr. or an earlier compiler. This 
dissection leaves in one part. A, 51-1" 6^-^^ (exc. "^, which with "->« he 
ascribes to the Chr.), and in the other, B, 5"-" 6^- ^-^ (WiedJ^ «■). But the 
grave difficulties of this piece cannot be solved in this way. There are 
no linguistic or other marks to support such an arbitrary analysis. 
The fact is that the whole piece is Jewish to the core. Tattenai and 
his fellows, in their letter to the Pers. king, really plead the cause of the 
Jews, and Dar. goes even beyond Cy. in his generosity toward the 

Torrey holds now that 4'-6'5 was incorporated bodily by the Chr., 
though he formerly held that 4^* was the Chr.'s connecting link (ES.'^" '•; 
cf. Comp. ' ff-)- I S'™ unable to follow Torrey in his change of opinion. 
Had one author written the whole piece, he would hardly have been 
entirely silent in two whole c. about the important letters in 4'-", and 
Tattenai could hardly have been ignorant of Art.'s decree. Doubt- 
less "Artaxerxes" was inserted in 6" to make the two pieces go better 

And yet the piece in its original form was doubtless a sincere at- 
tempt of some devout Jew, living very long after the event, to describe 
the manner in which the temple was rebuilt. He was doubtless igno- 
rant of other sources, and could hardly have been familiar with official 
documents or he would not have put such a pathetic Jewish plea as 
5'-" into the letter of a Pers. official. The passage is eloquent of the 
tribulations of the poor Jews, and doubtless the writer expressed some 
true sentiments, however ill-informed he was of the history. 

(3) Concerning Art.'s grant to Ezr. 712-25 little need be said. In the 
notes on the passage, I have shown that the letter as a whole is appar- 
ently incompatible with Ezra's work so far as we know it. VWe are 
forced to conclude that if Ezra had any authority from Art. it must 
have been what is contained in the first part of the letter (vv. 12-20)^ and 
the rest is an amplification by one who exaggerated Ezra's mission 
more than even the Chr. did. J 

But there is no sufficient reason to doubt that the Chr. really found it 


as a source. The fact that he composed an intr. in Heb. (7") confirms 
that opinion. Moreover, the Chr. would not have composed a letter 
giving Ezra powers which even the Chr. himself never permits him 
to use. 

An effort has been made to fix the date of the composition of these 
Aram, documents from the language. Torrey has given considerable 
attention to this matter (ES.'^i-i"), and reaches a very positive opinion. 
He asserts that the Aram, of Dn. is exactly the same as that of our 
documents, and Dn. is assigned to the Gk. period. The whole of these 
sources are placed in the second and third centuries b.c. from linguis- 
tic considerations. This result is confirmed by the discovery of the 
Aram, papyri in Egypt, which belong to the fifth century b.c. An 
examination of some of these papyri is made, and the conclusion 
reached that their language is much earlier than that of the docu- 
ments in Ezr. 

Other scholars have held different opinions. Sachau, in his earliest 
work, Drei. Aram. Pap. 1907, asserted that the Aram, of the papyri 
was identical with that of the Biblical documents, and he has said 
nothing to the contrary in his latest and largest contribution, Aram. 
Pap. u. Ost. 191 1. Sayce and Cowley maintained essentially the 
same position. My own somewhat meagre examination of the papyri 
makes me feel that their language and expressions are very hke the 
B. Aram. 

Torrey has pointed out some clear differences in usage, but he may 
have drawn too big a conclusion from his premises. The papyri were 
never copied, but are preserved in their original form, while our docu- 
ments were copied hundreds of times, and are found in living books. 
It would be almost inevitable, therefore, that a certain modernisation 
would result. The archaic relative n, e. g., would easily become the 
common n. Then again we must admit that the language of peo- 
ple of the same blood, but living long apart, tends to differ. Lowell 
showed that many Americanisms were simply survivals of the language 
of Shakespeare. The Jews in Elephantine were doubtless the suc- 
cessors of those who migrated to that land soon after the fall of Jerus., 
586 B.C. The Jews who wrote these stories had prob. come from 
Bab., certainly not from Egypt. The two bodies of Jews had lived 
apart for more than a century before these documents could have been 
written. There seems no adequate grounds for denying that these 
records may belong to the fifth century, even if it is to be confessed that 
there is little evidence to support that date. Then again it is shown 
in the critical notes that many peculiar words are common to the two 
sources and are used in precisely the same way. 


(4) The Hebrew Sources. 

It is held by some modern scholars that all of our books, save 
the parts enumerated above, viz., N., E., and the Aramaic 
documents, were composed by the Chronicler. That conten- 
tion cannot be maintained unless we adopt the old device, 
worked so liberally in the criticism of the Pentateuch, and fall 
back on a Chronicler, Chronicler^, Chronicler 2, and so on as 
far as necessary. An adequate textual criticism makes impos- 
sible the verdict that the Chronicler wrote all of these books, 
outside of the sources previously considered. 

It is agreed, however, that the Chr. is the compiler of the booiss in their 
present form. He could not then be the author of Ezr, 2"'-4', for, as 
shown in detail in the notes, this piece has been subjected to such sweep- 
ing revision that its original purport is quite lost. The Chr. did the 
rewriting to make the stubborn piece fit his theory of the history, and 
therefore he had before him an original Heb. story of the rebuilding 
of the temple by Zer. and Jes., which harmonises perfectly with the in- 
formation we have in Kg. and Zc. 

It seems further necessary to analyse Ezr. i. Every time I read the 
chapter I feel strongly that it is not all from the same hand, f A part 
of it is smooth and simple, esp. when correction is made in the text, 
and a part of it rough and disjointed. The part which I venture to. 
assign to a Heb. source, used by the Chr., is vv. i-<- ^ f- "i". These vv. 
make a complete and consistent story in themselves, and the other 
vv. have all the earmarks of tiie embellishments which the Chr. loved 
to interject iiito his narrative. ; 

Whether the Chr. is the author of the Ezra story in Ezr. 10, Nc. 8 is 
difficult to determine. It is possible that he had some memoirs which 
he rewrote. It is certainly possible that he composed the whole, esp. 
as the Ezra story so far as we know ends with Ne. 8'^ « is. 

In Ne. 10, which, contrary to the usual opinion, has nothing what- 
ever to do with Ezra, we have a piece quite out of place, and for that 
reason it was prob. in existence before the Chr. He would hardly 
have composed a passage so out of harmony with its setting; but in 
his method of editing and compiling he might easily have used it as 
he did because he wanted to make it tell a different story from what 
it does. An agreement of the people to do certain specific things is 
ridiculous after the law had been given and the people were sworn to 
obey it. Personal agreements have nothing to do with a code like 
that in the Pentateuch. 


(5) The Lists. 

There is little left but the lists of names. These occupy a 
liberal spaceCEzr. 2 (= Ne. 76-") g^-" 10^8-43 j^e. 3I-32 102-28 
jj4-36 12^-16 are practically nothing else. These lists are by 
many scholars confidently attributed to the ChroniclerJ Now, 
that the Chronicler was fond of such lists is beyond a doubt. 
The way he sets forth the history down to David (i Ch. 1-9) 
is sufficient evidence. [Jle was an expert in genealogies. But 
it does not follow that he composed all the lists, j 

Lists of names were common in the postex. period, and now we have 
long lists of Jewish names from Egypt (Sachau, Tafeln,"-^"). It is hard 
to believe that any one person composed all of these lists, for while there 
are striking resemblances, there are also many differences; note esp. 
the peculiar use of " males " in the list of Ezra's company (Ezr. 8'-"). 
LJt is, at all events, highly prob. that the Chr. merely incorporated 
lists which he found to his hand?/ 

\_3^he real work, of the Chr. in these books consists, therefore, of edit- 
ing and compiling. There is not a great deal which can be proved 
to come from his pen; and yet there is very little that he has not 
retouched ace. to his own ideas."^ The work of compilation was badly 
done, but fortunately there is enough guidance for the revision of the 
Chr.'s blundering work and for bringing the various parts into their 
right relations. 


The restoration of Jerusalem was greatly hindered by the 
interference of other peoples who were living as neighbours to 
the Jews. And yet the real extent and character of this oppo- 
sition has been greatly misunderstood, owing largely to the 
confusion of the text wrought by the compiler. The fact is 
that save in one brief and obscure passage (Ezr. 4^-^) there is 
no hint of an attempt of any one to place obstacles in the way 
of the Jews until the time of Artaxerxes. 

The corrupt passage in Ezr. 3', when properly corrected (v. notes), 
shows an entirely friendly disposition on the part of the Jews' neigh- 
bours. In Ezr. 4'-» the Sam., so far from desiring to impede the build- 


ing of the temple, sincerely offer their aid in the work. Even if we 
accept Ezr. 5/., there is still no opposition. Tattenai and his asso- 
ciates betray no hostility and accept the statement of the leaders that 
they had authority from Cy. and did not attempt to secure a cessation 
of the building operations, but distinctly allowed them to continue 
(5<), while their report and inquiry went to the Pers, court. 

There is, indeed, the perplexing passage Ezr. 4^-8 which I have placed 
in the time of Xerxes, but it is too obscure and tmcertain to throw much 
light on our problem. At most it is a very vague and general state- 
ment about some opposition from foreigners. Vv. *■ « might be from 
the Chr.'s hand, but that would leave v. = in rather a sorry state, for it 
is inconceivable that the Chr. should have written that much and no 
more about the reign of Xerxes. 

When we come to the reign of Art. there is plenty of material to show 
that this hostility was very marked. The sources of our information 
are two, and both unquestionably authentic : the Art. correspondence 
(Ezr. 4'-"a) and N. The complainants against the Jews in the former 
document were certainly the Sam. They describe themselves as the 
colonists whom Asnappar — certainly some Assyrian king — had brought 
to Sam. The hostility of these people is apparent. They came to 
Jerus. on no mission of friendliness or inquiry, but, on the contrary, 
point out to the king that the accomplishment of the Jews' purpose 
spells disaster to the Pers. dominions in the west. Their intense oppo- 
sition was due to the fact that the Jews in their time were engaged in 
the building of the walls, the same cause that provoked the fierce 
enmity toward Neh. 

While the Jews were engaged in restoring the temple, there was no 
trouble with their neighbours, but the moment they attack the walls, 
opposition breaks out. Naturally, for the building of the temple had y/ 

no political significance. The Pers. officials kept their hands off as 
long as the Jews were deahng with purely religious institutions. But 
a city enclosed by a wall created another situation, for a walled city 
could cause any amount of trouble to the officers of the satrapy of 
which it was a part. 

This consideration confirms the interpretation of this passage (Ezr. 
4'*f-)- Torrey puts a strange construction on the complaint, alleging 
that Rehum et al. mention the building of the city rather than the 
temple in order to reinforce their plea for interference, the complain- 
ants thus making a false report of the actual conditions. As there is 
otherwise not a shred of evidence of any opposition to the building of 
the temple, and as the Sam. used every possible effort to prevent the 
building of the walls, the right interpretation of this passage is fixed 
beyond reasonable doubt. 

Neh.'s story of the building of the walls is contained in Ne. a'"-" 3"- 
4" 6>-7»". As a matter of fact, these sections, comprising almost all of 


/ n- 


N. save the story of his leave of absence and his reforms, have as their 
true subject the efforts of the enemy to stop Neh.'s operations. 

Three men stand out as the leaders of this opposition, Sanb. the 
Horonite, To. the Ammonite slave, and Geshem (or Gashmu) the 
Arabian. In every case exc. 6", where To. is prob. a gl., Sanb. stands 
first, and while in some sections Geshem is not named (2'" 4'), and in 
another To. fails (6^), Sanb. always occurs, twice alone (3" 60- It is 
worth our while to try to discover who this arch-enemy of Neh. was. 

Torrey thinks we have a choice between two, one of whom is named 
by Jos. as the governor of Sam. at the time of the Sam. schism (Ant. 
xi, 8) about 335 b.c. If Neh.'s date were the reign of Art. II, 404-358 
B.C., then in 384, when Neh. would come to Jerus. fifty years before, 
Sanb. might have been a young man, provided he was sufficiently aged 
at the time in which Jos. places him. But this date for Neh. is out of 
the question, and as we have the person in exactly the period required 
we need waste no time in vague possibilities. 

In Pap. I from Elephantine, 1.=', we find " Delaiah and Shelemaiah 
the sons of Sanb. the governor of Sam." The correspondents assert 
that they had sent a letter to these men, detailing all the information 
contained in the letter to Bagohi about the temple in Jeb. Sachau 
believes that Sanb. was still living, though Buhl asserts that he was 
certainly dead (Aram. Pap.*^-). Sachau's argument is convincing, al- 
though the point is immaterial. It suffices to assume, however, that 
Sanb. was an old man, and that his sons had succeeded him, or were the 
real administrators of the governorship. As this was in 407 B.C., thirty- 
seven years earlier, 444 B.C., the date of Neh., Sanb. would have been 
about thirty-five, in the very prime of life. This is undoubtedly the 
enemy of Neh. 

As his sons both bear Jewish names, Sachau argues that Sanb., in 
spite of his Bab. name, was a Hebrew. With this position Torrey is 
agreed, but deems it probable that the name is Heb. as well as the 
man (ES.^"- =30). 

Neh. never calls him the governor of Sam., but still that oflSce is quite 
consistent with other statements in the memoirs. Sanb. appears sup- 
ported by the "army of Sam." (Ne. 3'<), which Torrey 'regards as a 
note by the Chr. (ES.^^e)^ ^^t ^e admits that Sanb. comes forth with an 
army in a suitable place (4^). The rendezvous proposed by Sanb. in 
the plain of Ono (6^) was, roughly, midway between Jerus. and Sam. 
It is quite impossible, were Sanb. a private citizen, that he should act 
with such a high hand toward a governor of Judah, an appointee of 
the Pers. king. Neh., however, never gives him other designation 
than "the Horonite," explained by Torrey as marking his contempt. 
Winckler, followed cautiously by Berth., connects the appellative with 
Horonaim (Is. 15=) in Moab, and makes Sanb. a Horonite sheik. The 
Elephantine letters dispose of that contention, and wc must connect 


the term with Beth-horon, a town on the border of Sam. (Jos. i6'- »; 
cf. Montgomery, Samaritans,^^), of which place Sanb. might be a na- 
tive and still governor of Sam. In what respect the appellative con- 
tained a note of contempt in Neh.'s time is not known. 

The letter shows that the Jewish colonists in Elephantine looked upon 
the sons of Sanb. as friends who would be likely to assist their plea 
for the rebuilding of the temple in their garrison. This could not have 
been very long after Neh.'s second administration, and may seem to 
raise a doubt about the above identification. As a matter of fact, our 
sources show that, violently as Sanb. and others struggled against the 
rebuilding of the walls, and consequently against Neh. as the leader 
of that great work, there were friendly relations maintained by these 
foes with some prominent persons in Jerus. Jehohanan, the high 
priest in 407, or one of his brothers, had married a daughter of Sanb. 
(Ne. 13"); correspondence was conducted between To. and the nobles 
of Judah (6^') ; and these were allied to him by marriage and agree- 
ments; Sanb. was able to hire a prophet to mislead the governor (6'0» 
Neh.'s troubles were, in fact, greatly augmented by the disaffection 
of some of the leaders in Jerus. Again the Jewish colonists in Jeb 
show that they are not very well informed about affairs in the world 
outside, and they may have been ignorant of Sanb.'s intrigues against 
their fellow-Israelite. Finally, Sanb.'s sons, with their good Heb. 
names, may not have shared their father's hostility, esp. at a time 
when the wall had long been an accomplished fact. 

To account for this hostiUty there is no need to go back to the 
repulse of the Sam.'s offer to aid in building the temple (Ezr. 4'-'), 
still less to the later bitter feud between the Sam. and the Jews. As 
Montgomery has pointed out in his able work on the Sam. Q'^), the 
opposition was political, not religious. In the time of Neh. the rela- 
tions of the Sam. toward the Jews was exactly what the relations of 
the northern kingdom, the predecessors of the Sam., had always been 
to the kingdom of Judah. The exile, with the colonising and the 
return, had not materially altered the conditions. The Sam. and 
Jews could no more be one people than Ephraim and Judah could long 
be one state. As shown above, the rival people picked no quarrel 
with their southern neighbours as long as they were using their efforts 
to build up their ecclesiastical institutions. The temple would not 
interfere with the political supremacy of the north. But the building 
of the walls was another matter. Once let Jerus. be made impreg- 
nable again, as it had been in the days of old, and the balance of power 
would be almost certain to move from the north to the south. The 
Sam. would have been blind, indeed, had they not seen the significance 
of the movement, and foolish, indeed, if they had not used every pos- 
sible means to prevent it. 

Their first attempt succeeded. They frightened the weak Art. and 


cowed the Jews who under some unknown inspiration and leadership 
had started the work. Their second attempt failed, and the cause of 
their failure was the presence of a personality against whom their 
utmost struggles were in vain. 


It has been assumed in the preceding pages that Ezra belongs 
to a later period than Nehemiah. That conclusion seems to 
me inevitable. It is true that the editor of the books thought 
otherwise. His placing of Ezr. 7-10 before Ne. i shows that 
the Artaxerxes who authorised Ezra's administration was, in 
his view, the same as the Artaxerxes who appointed Nehemiah 
to be governor of Judah, and his placing of the promulgation 
of the law by Ezra (Ne, S^-^^) in the midst of Nehemiah's rule 
shows his belief that they were contemporaries. Further to 
support his view, he has introduced Nehemiah in the story of 
the reading of the law (Ne, 8^), He also drags Ezra's name 
into the story of the dedication of the walls (Ne. 12^^), but it is 
a manifest gloss. In spite of the dissimilarity of their work, 
these two leaders could not be contemporaries. 

For Art. would scarcely send two men to Judah at the same time, 
both clothed with similar powers. It would be strange, were Ezra such 
a prominent figure in Jerus., that there is no genuine reference to him 
in Neh.'s story. Neh. in his second administration was the first to 
discover mixed marriages and to apply a sharp remedy. Such a con- 
dition would not arise naturally after the wholesale dissolution as de- 
scribed in Ezr. 9 /. Neh.'s reforms, as narrated in c. 13, would be 
strange after Ezra, but are very natural before his time. It is incon- 
ceivable that the Lev. should be driven to work in the fields directly 
after Ezra's mission, or even possibly while it lasted. The measures 
Neh. took for the support of the temple show that his action could not 
have been preceded by the rule of a scribe-priest with ample authority 
to enforce the law. Moreover, the Jerus. of Neh.'s time was a deso- 
lation, without walls or houses or people (7^). Ezra's whole career 
is spent in the holy city, and there appears to have been plenty of 
houses and people in his time. 

There is the evidence of Esd. which connects Ne. 7'^8'^ directly 
with Ezr. 10, thus bringing the Ezra story together. There is nothing 
about Neh.'s work in this the earliest edition of our books. Jos. has a 
section dealing with Neh.'s administration (Ant. xi, 5, 6-8). Before 


he takes up the story of Neh. he describes the death of Ezra at an ad- 
vanced age {ib. § 5). Jos. follows Esd. as his authority, so that the 
testimony is emphatic on this negative point — that Ezra and Neh. '•< 
were not contemporaries. Further Jos. says that both Ezra and Neh. 
flourished in the reign of Xerxes (485-464), and he relates that the 
death of Joakim the high pr. took place at about the same time as 
that of Ezra. Now Joakim was the son of Jes. (Ne. 12'°), and he might 
have ruled in the time of Xerxes, but he could hardly survive till the 
reign of Art. As Jos. followed his sources pretty closely, it is perfectly 
possible that the date of Ezra in the original text of Esd. was the reign 
of Xerxes, and that Art. is one of the many modifications in that text 
based on MT. As the version of Esd. lost favour largely owing to 
Jer.'s great influence {cf. ES."), there was an evident effort to re- 
cover its lost prestige by eliminating its variations from MT. Such 
a date for Ezra is not impossible, esp. when the scope of his mission 
is properly limited. He must be separated from Neh. by a consider- 
able space of time. 

Such evidence as we have in our sources, however, points to the 
conclusion that Ezra followed Neh. To that evidence we now turn. 

In Ezra's prayer he refers to God's grace as manifested before his 
time, and among other evidences cites "the giving of a wall [in Judah 
and] in Jerus." (Ezr. 9'). As shown in the notes, the reference can >< 
only be to the wall built by Neh. We are told that Ezra went into 
the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib to spend the night (Ezr. 
10^). The succession of high pr. in Ne. 12" shows that Jehohanan 
is identical with Jonathan (12") and that he was the grandson of 
Eliashib (so Sta. Gesch. ii,"'). Now as Eliashib was a contempo- 
rary of Neh., Ezra is two generations later, or exactly where he be- 
longs, in the reign of Art. II. Neh.'s administration began in 444, 
and Ezra's in 397 or later. Finally in Ne. 1226 we have the order " Neh. 
the governor and Ezra the pr., the scribe," and these are not contem- 
poraries, but belong to successive periods. It does not help, there- 
fore, to correct the text of Ezr. 7', as proposed by We. (Ge^c/f."''°), 
reading 27th instead of 7th. Indeed, that would make matters worse, 
for as Neh. was governor of Judah from the 20th to the 3 2d years of 
Art., we should then have Ezra coming up in the very midst of Neh.'s 
rule. It is certainly simpler to suppose that the reference is to Art. II. 

These considerations fix the date of Neh. as that of the reign of 
Art. I (Longimanus), 464-424. Torrey insists that "the tradition rep- 
resented by the Aram, document and the Chr." places Neh.'s work in 
the reign of Art. II (Mnemon), 404-358 B.C., and says that we have 
no means of determining which Art. was the benefactor of Neh. 
(Comp.'\ ES."0. This conclusion comes from taking Chr.'s arrange- 
ment too seriously. Ezra could hardly have been later than Art. II, 
and I have shown that he followed Neh. Moreover, Neh. must have 



been familiar with Pers. history. He could hardly have held high 
place at the court without knowing the succession of the Pers. kings. 
If his benefactor had been preceded shortly before by a king of the 
same name, he would in all probability have taken pains to specify 
the later Art., as Jos. does, tou i^XXou ApTot^ipyou {Ant. Ed. Niese, 
iiij^f-, quoted by Sachau,'). 

This date has received strong confirmation from the Eleph. pap. 
Jehohanan was high pr. at Jerus. in 407 B.C. As he was the grand- 
son of Eliashib, a contemporary of Neh. (v. s.), Neh. must have 
preceded this time. This argument has been elaborated by Sachau 
('*•)• Another notice from the same letter supports the conclusion. 
Sanb.'s sons were prominent men in Sam. at the date given above, 
407 B.C. As this person is to be identified with Neh.'s persistent 
foe, Sanb., if still living, must have been a fairly old man, so that 
his prime of life would exactly coincide with the date of Neh. Arnold 
has added confirmation of this date from the presence of a Hananijah, 
as a high Pers. official in Egypt, and who was probably the same as 
Hanani, the brother of Neh. (JBL. 1912,"'). 

Taking all the evidence there is no longer room for the slightest doubt 
that the protector of Neh. was Art. Longimanus. In his later work 
Torrey now admits the probability of this date, but he will go no 
further (ES.>"- 2=«- ^''). 


Outside of some prophetic passages and Psalms, which can- 
not always be positively dated, our books contain all the infor- 
mation we have about the historical events of the important 
Persian period, 538-332 B.C., and so slightly more than two 
centuries. If every word of Ezr.-Ne. were authentic, our 
knowledge would be meagre, for we have practically nothing 
until we reach the reign of Darius I, 521-485, and but a brief 
note, which yields little information, from the reign of the 
famous Xerxes, 485-464. From the completion of the temple, 
about 515 B.C., until the advent of Nehemiah, 444 B.C., there is 
a long period, nearly three-quarters of a century, about the 
history of which we have but slight knowledge. 

A characteristic of our books is that they give us information about 
a very few specific events, each of which occupies but a short time, and 
then a great gap is left. Thus Ezr. 3-6 (exc. 4*--*) contains the story 
of the rebuilding of the temple, Ne. 1-6 the story of the building of the 


walls, Ezr. 7-10 the dissolution of mixed marriages. And there is no 
attempt to tell what happened in the intervals. 

Since Kost.'s arraignment, however, there has been a tendency to 
discredit a large part of the scanty material contained in our books, 
so that for some scholars the Pers. period is essentially a blank. Those 
who hold this position regret the state of affairs. Thus Torrey says 
finely : " We are in the direst need of information as to the history of 
the Jews in the Pers. period, and every scrap of material that promises 
help ought to be treasured and put to use. But no extremity of need 
can outweigh the obligation to follow the evidence" (ES.'"). With 
this statement every one will heartily agree. It is far better to have 
no knowledge of the period than false knowledge. It is necessary to 
be on one's guard lest the wish should be father to the thought. But 
it is equally necessary to be on one's guard in another direction, and 
after years of studying these books, I am convinced that some students 
have used insufl&cient caution. Some portions of these books must 
be rejected as historical sources, but in the process of rejection it is 
easy to throw away the good with the bad. I am convinced that 
some of the poverty of information which Torrey laments is due to an 
indiscriminate criticism in which authentic sources have gone by the 

The method is a very simple one. A passage shows certain notes of 
the Chr.; it is immediately ascribed to him as a whole; it is a fundamen- 
tal principle that the Chr. never wrote history correctly, but is really 
a novelist, and all his work is worthless. As N., pruned to the last 
degree, is all that escaped his hand, barring some late and romantic 
Aram, documents, pretty nearly all of our sources are cast aside. The 
case does not seem to me so desperate by any means. Much of the 
material frequently labelled Chr. was not his composition, and even 
when it is there is no reason to distrust it on that ground alone. The 
Chr. could, indeed, make sad havoc of history, when a favourite theory 
was to be supported, as that all the temple ritual goes back to David; 
but in the Pers. period there is much in regard to which he had no 
theory that would control his writing of history. 

The Chr.'s theory of the history of the period may be stated briefly 
thus. He puts all the events described in Ezr. 1-4= in the reign of 
Cy. The statement in 4' that the builders were frustrated " all the days 
of Cy., king of Persia, even until the reign of Dar., king of Persia," 
proves that conclusively. That he supposed Art. to have reigned be- 
tween Cy. and Dar. is the only possible construction to be placed on 
the position of the Art. letters in 4''-^*. The Chr. then held that Cy. 
allowed the Jews to go from Bab. and that the large company described 
in 2>-" actually returned to Judah as a result. He held that they 
built the altar and started to build the temple, but their efforts were 
checked by the opposition of the neighbouring foreigners, and finally 



stopped by the decree of Art. The building was resumed under the 
urging of the prophets Hg. and Zc. in the 2d year of Dar., and by 
this king's approval carried on to completion in that king's 6th year. 

Now the above is often accepted as the actual course of events, 
as they are described in Ezr. 1-6. As a matter of fact, the sources are 
not consistent with any such theory. The Chr. did, indeed, modify 
his sources, but he was an indifferent editor, and did not eliminate all 
the traces of a vastly different story. His theory would require the 
once widely accepted identification of Shes. with Zer., an identification 
flatly contradicted in the Aram, document, where Zer. built the temple 
of which Shes. had laid the foundations long before (s")- Moreover, 
it is Zer., not Shes., who comes up from captivity (2^), and it is he who 
made the abortive attempt to rebuild the temple (3^-"), and it was he 
whose work was interfered with by the foreigners (4^-^). Moreover, 
the passage in 4^-^* has nothing to do with the building of the temple. 

Again, the Chr. makes Ezra come to Jcrus. in the 7th year of the 
same Art. in the 20th year of whose reign Neh. appeared in Judah, and 
the latter came while the former was in the midst of his labours. Here 
again the sources used by the Chr. do not bear out his theory, as shown 
in § 10. 

It is possible to reconstruct the history on the basis of the sources 
used by the Chr., for, as indicated above, all the traces of the true 
course of events were not obliterated by his sometimes extensive re- 
vision. In parts this work has been done by others, though in some 
respects incompletely. But there does not exist to my knowledge 
any satisfactory reconstruction of the period covered by Ezr. 1-6, and 
this is the part in which my results show the greatest divergence from 
the conclusions of other students. 

The history can best be considered under four periods, indi- 
cated by the reigns of the Persian kings. 

(i) The Reign of Cyrus — 559-529 B.C. 

There is a wide departure at the outset from current opinion 
in the limitations set for the material bearing on this reign (for 
further demonstration, v. i. on the reign of Darius). As a mat- 
ter of fact, all that our books tell us about this period is con- 
tained in Ezr. i. Stripped of the Chronicler's embellishments, 
vv. ^- ^- ®-"'', which really furnish no historical information, 
we learn from w. ^■*- '' '• "'', that in the ist year of Cyrus's 


rule in Babylonia he issued a decree* authorising the Jewish 
exiles to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. He 
restored the sacred vessels which Nebuchadrezzar had taken 
from the temple, giving them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of 
Judah, by whom, in company with a caravan of returning ex- 
iles, they were carried to Jerusalem. 

In this section we come to the crux of the historical problem. One 
of the most startling of the results of Kost.'s criticism was his assertion 
that there was no return of the Jews from the Bab. exile until the time 
of Ezra. The only arguments necessary to consider here are two, 
the fact that the temple was first begun under Dar., and the silence of 
Hg. and Zc. {Wied.^* ^■). Kost. makes a fundamental mistake from 
his misinterpretation of Ezr. 3. He begins with evidence from the 
prophets just named that the temple was begun in the time of Dar. 
As Ezr. 38-" is held to assert that the building was started under Cy., 
this passage is unhistorical. Then he proceeds to demolish Ezr. 3'-', 
and c. I goes down in the ruin. Now we shall return to this point 
later, but here it suffices to repeat the conclusion demonstrated later, 
that Ezr. 3 describes events in the reign of Dar., not of Cy. 

Then Kost. argues that if more than 40,000 exiles had returned in 
the time of Cy., as stated in Ezr. 2, Hg. and Zc. must have contained 
some reference to this stupendous movement, which was but a few 
years before their time. In the first place, Ezr. 2 does not profess 
to give a list of those who returned with Shes. in the reign of Cy., but 
of those who came up with Zer. and others in the time of Dar. It is 
only in Ne. 7^ that this record is designated as a list of those " who came 
up at first," presumably with Shes., and therefore this prefatory note 
contradicts the statements in the list itself. Kost. seems never to have 
noted the evidenco of Esd., in which text it is sufficiently plain that 
Ezr. 2 is an interpolation, and really belongs to a late period, and where 
the date of Dar. is fLxed by the place in which the list is interpolated. 
We have absolutely no hint even as to the number who came up from 
Bab. with either Shes. or Zer. The whole number of both companies 
may have comprised but a few hundred persons. 

In view of these considerations, the silence of the two prophets of 
the period is unimportant. If a few hundred people had come from 
exile, their presence would not be the matter of supreme moment. 
The prophets were concerned with the task of arousing the people to 
restore the temple, not with the birthplace of their audiences. There 

• We may note the wise caution of Kue., and realise that even the rejection of the authen- 
ticity of either form of Cy.'s decree (Ezr. i'-* 6'-') does not prove that there was no return 
of the Jews at this time (Abh.'^^). 



is a tradition going back to Dorotheus, Epiphanius, and others that 
Hg. was born in Bab. {Hg. in ICC.^')- Mitchell assumes that Zc. 
came from Bab., with his father Iddo {op. cU.^', and see note on Nc. 
ii24). If these prophets were themselves returned exiles, it is natural 
that they should not refer to the return of others. The fact is that 
these prophets really tell a somewhat different story from that extracted 
by Kost. 

That story is found the moment we search for the occasion of these 
prophetic utterances. Why was it that just in this 2d year of Dar. 
these prophets were led to appeal to the people to build the house 
of Yahweh ? The temple had already been in ruins for nearly seventy 
years. On Kost.'s theory the work of rebuilding might just as well 
have started earlier. There must have been some movement at this 
particular period which made the prophets feel that the moment for 
action had come. 

The prophecies are full of the idea of a new era. Yahweh says: "I 
am returned to Jerus. with mercies" (Zc. i"). A revival of prosperity 
is to mark the new era. The advent of Zer. as the governor of Judah 
best explains the new conditions which led the prophets to perceive 
the God-given opportunity. This person bulks large in the utter- 
ances of both prophets. He was a capable man, he had authority to 
act, and he was quick to respond to the inspiration of the men of God. 
Without a return from exile it is hard to find any impulse to start this 

Without presupposing the return of most of those who resided in 
Jerus., it is difficult to explain the plea of the people that the time had 
not yet come for Yahweh's house to be built (Hg. i^). On what ground 
should people say that who had lived undisturbed in Judah all their 
lives? If the leading figures had returned recently from Bab., their 
objection could be well sustained. Even David did not feel the incon- 
gruity of Yahweh's dwelling in curtains until he himself had erected 
his own house. These men from a foreign country could naturally 
plead that they needed time for the establishment of their own affairs 
before undertaking such a stupendous task as the erection of the 

According to i Ch. 3'^ ^- both Shes. and Zer. were descendants of 
Jeconiah or Jehoiachin, who was taken to Bab. as prisoner, Shes. 
(= Shenazzur) being his son, and Zer. his grandnephew or his grand- 
son. Both of these men have Bab. names and, therefore, both were in 
all probability born in Bab. 

The return of exiles in the timeof Cy. is certainly not improbable in 
itself. By the help of some of the people of the land, disaffected Bab., 
and possibly foreign colonists, Cy. made short work of Nabonidus 
and effected an easy conquest of his empire. His own realms then 
extended from northern India to the border of Egypt (X^T.'"). Cy. 


was a Zoroastrian, and the seeming devotion to Marduk in his inscrip- 
tion was contributed for political effect (Jastrow, Rclig. Ar. and Bab.*^). 
The policy by which he proposed to rule these vast new dominions is 
clearly shown in his own words. On the cylinder inscription he wrote: 
"The cities across the Tigris whose sites had been established from 
former times, the gods who live within them, I returned to their places 
and caused them to dwell in a perpetual habitation. All of their 
inhabitants I collected and restored to their dwelling places, and the 
gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus, to the anger of the lord 
of the gods, had brought into Bab. at the command of Marduk the great 
lord, in peace in their own shrines I made them dwell, in the habitation 
dear to their heart. May all the gods whom I brought into their own 
cities daily before Bel and Nebo pray for a long life for me, may they 
speak a gracious word for me" (Prince's translation in Mene Mene 
Tckel Upharsin, 1893). In l.^' there is a passage which Prince renders: 
"I caused their troubles to cease," but which Sayce translates: "I 
delivered their prisoners" {H.C.M.^"^). Rogers renders: "I cleared 
out their ruins" (Ctm. Par.^^^). 

This passage leaves no reason for doubt that (i) any foreign people 
colonised in Bab. could easily have gained permission to return to their 
own land; (2) that any such people could have obtained authority to 
rebuild any sanctuaries destroyed by the Bab.; and (3) that any 
sacred objects plundered from the captured people, and resting as 
trophies in the temple at Bab., would have been freely given back by 
Cy. Hammurabi similarly orders the return of certain Elamite god- 
desses to the shrines from which they had been taken (Clay, Light 
fro7n Babel,^^"). The Elephantine documents present remarkable evi- 
dence of the favour of the Pers. kings toward the Jews. In the let- 
ter to Bagohi the writers says that when Cambyses came into Egypt 
the temples of the Egyptian gods were all torn down, but that to the 
temple of Jaho no damage was done. If, therefore, the events nar- 
rated in Ezr. i are not historical, the passage was certainly written 
by one well acquainted with the policy of Cy., and he took great pains 
to avoid a single note of improbability {v. Barton, Semitic Origins, 

154. 310)_ 

Long before Cy. approached the empire of Nabonidus, but after his 
conquests foreshadowed the fall of Bab. (Rogers, Cun. Par."''), a 
Heb. prophet arose among the Jewish exiles. The whole burden of 
his message is the release from captivity and the restoration of Jerus. 
He discerned clearly the character and policy of Cy., and exalts him 
as the divinely appointed deliverer of the people of Yahweh (Is. 44-*- 
45'). His glowing utterances continue until the conqueror enters 
Bab., at which time he pours out his fervent appeal: "Go ye forth 
from Bab., flee ye from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare 
ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth : say ye, Yahweh has 


redeemed his servant Jacob" {ib. 482°). This fine prophecy is too 
well known to need any elaboration. Long ago I showed that we 
could follow the prophet through the period of Cy.'s approach to the 
actual return to Jerus. {The Hist. Movement Traceable in Is. 40-66, in 
Afid. Rev. Aug. 1888). It is true that some scholars, apparently 
possessed with a zeal to bring all the OT. writings down to later and 
later dates, have removed this prophecy to a period subsequent to the 
reign of Cy. (c. g., Kent, in Makers and Teachers of Jiidaistn,'^^'). 
One of Kent's arguments is that the prophet is concerned primarily 
with Jerus. This does not seem to me true of c. 40-48, but if it were, 
it is only necessary to say that on this ground one could prove that 
Ez. spoke in Jerus., for the holy city was the constant centre of his 
interest. Without any prejudice against a late date as such, the 
transfer seems to me to take the prophecy away from the only good 
historical background that was ever found for it. It may be suspected 
that the prophecy was pushed out of its true place because of the grave 
doubts entertained about the favour shown to the Jews by Cy. Kost., 
however, in his work admits the high expectations of Is.^ but contents 
himself with saying that his hopes were never realised. 

Other prophets expressed their confidence in the return from exile 
and the restoration of Jerus. One of the most beautiful sections of 
Je. (30-33), belonging to the time when the hopes of Judah were all 
centred in the future, the present period being one of disaster, show 
the prophet's confidence that the overthrow of the state was tempo- 
rary; we note, esp. 32'"-", where the restoration of the state is as- 
sociated with a return from exile. A large section of Ez. (40-48), 
the product of the prophet's older years, and worked out among the 
exiles in southern Bab., is a new constitution for the revived state. 
Prophets in all ages have visions that are never realised, but at all 
events it may be confidently said that there was nothing to prevent 
the fulfilment of these prophetic hopes. 

The literature of the exile is abundant, and naturally sounds many 
notes. But there is one strain running through it with singular per- 
sistency, a lamentation over the necessity of a sojourn in a foreign 
land and a longing for the turning again of the captivity. It is impos- 
sible to read such a touching lyric as Ps. 137 without the conviction 
that there were Jews in Bab. who would not stay there a single day 
once the road to Jerus. were free. If there was no return of Jews in 
the time of Cy., that fact is one of the most stubbornly inexplicable 
of all the events in Ileb. history. 

Yet Kost. has done a real service in forcing the students of the Bible 
to take a truer view of postex. Israel. The men who restored Jerus. 
were not wholly nor even chiefly those who had been born on a foreign 
soil. The depopulation of Judah by Nebuchadrezzar was no more 
complete than that of Sam. by Sargon. Thousands of the leading 


citizens had been carried away in the two great deportations of 597 
and 586 B.C. But more thousands were left, enough to form a sort of 
state under Gedaliah (Je. 40-44); and even after the large migration 
to Egypt, described in the c. cited, the foundation of the colony at 
Elephantine, from which in recent days such interesting information 
has come to light, Jews were still abundant in every part of Judah 
exc. the ancient capital. The people who came in from the Judean 
towns to help Neh. build the walls, and doubtless the same class who 
were the chief helpers of Zer. and Jes. in building the temple, were 
mainly those who had been born and reared on the soil of the God of 
their fathers. 

The real problem of this period is the apparent paucity of numbers 
of the returned exiles. If the Chr. conceived Ezr. 2 to be a list of those 
who returned in response to Cy.'s decree, he shows that he was awake 
to the actual possibilities. Yet there would be a natural reluctance 
to leave Bab. after so many years' sojourn there. The Jews have 
always been good emigrants and are alive to business opportunities. 
Bab. was a more prosperous country than Judah, and the commercial 
chances greater there. In our day the lack of zeal to go back to Pales- 
tine halts the Zionistic movement. People who had established them- 
selves securely would naturally be loath to tear up the roots and start 
all over again in an impoverished land and to build again on the ruins 
of a city long lying in a state of desolation. 

The real need of Judah was not an increase of people, but 
competent and aggressive leadership. The best people had 
been carried into exile; witness among other things the prophecy 
of the good and bad figs (Je. 24). From the land of exile must 
come those who would arouse the sluggish spirits of the native 
Judeans. Sheshbazzar, Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, Nehemiah and 
Ezra, and probably Haggai and Zechariah, were the products 
of Jewish blood and Babylonian enterprise, and their pres- 
ence in Jerusalem counted for more than 40,000 ordinary men 
who may, indeed, have returned from exile, but in the course 
of the two centuries of Persian rule, not in one great company. 

(2) The Reign of Darius I Hystaspis — 521-485 B.C. 

What Sheshbazzar and the small body of Jews who came up 
with him did, we do not know. In the Chronicler's use of his 
sources, he has destroyed any information that he may have 


had. There is a late tradition that Sheshbazzar began the tem- 
ple (Ezr. 5"), but that statement is inconsistent with other good 
evidence and must be discredited. It is not difficult to con- 
jecture the conditions though. Even later it required great 
efforts to induce the people to undertake the stupendous task of 
setting up a sanctuary worthy to stand on the site of the splen- 
did edifice erected by Solomon. Sheshbazzar may have sincerely 
striven to carry out the mandate of Cyrus, who was concerned 
to have every native god in his new dominions properly housed, 
and if he had been so fortunate as to have more than 40,000 who 
had come to Judah inspired by the same high purpose, and espe- 
cially a royal grant of all the funds necessary, as magnanimously 
accorded by a late but badly informed Aramaic writer (Ezr. 6"*), 
his task would have been easy. Alas, Sheshbazzar came back 
with royal blood in his veins, but with few people and with no 
other resources for the great work than a few temple vessels, 
and with such meagre funds as the Jewish exiles had seen fit to 
contribute. The people who did come with him were not the 
rich — they are never the first to emigrate — but the poor, and 
they would necessarily be compelled to devote their attention 
to the pressing problem of keeping the wolf from the door. 

In the time of Darius conditions were changed. There was 
a new governor in Judah, there was a high priest sure to be 
dominated by a zeal for the temple; above all, there were at 
least two active prophets, and very likely there was a consid- 
erable company of returned exiles. The apathy of the native- 
born population could now be removed, and the great work 
could be undertaken with every prospect of success. 

It is expedient at this point to gather up the evidence that Ezr. 3'-4* 
belongs to the reign of Dar., and not to that of Cy., a point at which 
my study has led me to diverge from the current opinion. 

In the first place, the witness of Jos. is clear beyond a question. 
Referring to the procuring of lumber from the Sidonians (Ezr. 3'), he 
says " that was what Cy. had commanded at first, and what was now 
done at the command of Dar." (Ant. xi, 4, i). He speaks of the work 
beginning in the 2d year of the coming of Zer. and his company to 
Jerus., and adds that it was finished sooner than any one would have 
expected. He then tells the story of the disappointment of the older 


people (Ezr. 3"), but this was after the completion of the building. 
In the account of the interview with the Sam. (Ezr. 41-3), he makes 
Zer. and the others say they had been appointed to build that temple 
at first by Cy. and now by Dar. {Ant. xi, 4, 3). In other words, Jos. 
gives a clear and consistent account of the actual history of the period 
and the only one that meets all the conditions. 

Now, as well known, and shown above in § 6, Jos. follows Esd., not 
MT. It is clear that he put the only possible construction upon his 
source. It must be remembered, too, that Jos. had that text before the 
extensive modification to conform to MT. Those who insist that Esd. 
547-71 (= Ezr. 3 '-43) is dated in the reign of Cy. in that version seem 
to me to be led astray by a theory. Under any circumstances we must 
judge by the large indications and not by a single doubtful phrase. 
The arrangement of the material in Esd. leaves no doubt about the 
editor's position. In that version the reign of Cy. is separated from 
the reign of Dar. by the presence of the Art. letters (Esd. 2'«-3o = Ezr. 
4'-"). This passage ends with the statement that "the building of the 
temple in Jerus. ceased until the second year of the reign of Dar., king 
of the Pers.," showing conclusively the idea that the events described 
in the letter belonged to the period between Cy. and Dar. Then 
immediately we come to the story of the Three Guardsmen, with its 
sequel in the expedition of Zer. (Esd. 3 '-5°), which is certainly dated in 
the reign of Dar., and that is followed by a list of those who came up 
with Zer. and other leaders (5'-" = Ezr. 2^-"); and then the story of 
the rebuilding of the altar and of the temple (5"-" = Ezr. 3'-4')- 
Those who insist that in Esd. the last-named passage is put in the 
reign of Cy. are required to assume that the compiler goes back to 
Cy. after taking up in turn the reigns of Art. and Dar. ■ The appeal 
to 5" "• is really vain, for the passage closes with the words, "they 
were hindered from building for two years until the reign of Dar." This 
is mere patchwork to connect with the dup. account which foUcws, 
but even so, two years will never carry us back from Dar. to Cy., for 
their reigns are separated, not by that of Art., as this text has it, but 
by the seven years of the reign of Cambyses. 

Even the Heb. text, in spite of all its editing to make it tell a differ- 
ent story, lends itself but poorly to the theory that 3^-4' belongs to the 
reign of Cy. Zer. and Jes. were unquestionably the temple-builders, 
and they belong to the reign of Dar. Now Ezr. 2, on the face of it, 
has no word about Cy. or Shes., but purports to be a list of those who 
came up with Zer. et al. The only date in the whole passage, other 
than of the month, is " in the second year of their coming to Jerus." (3'), 
and to assume that that means Shes.'s return is purely gratuitous and 
plainly contradictory to Ezr. 2 2. Then in the whole passage there is 
not a word about any halt in the building of the temple, for I have 
shown in the notes on the passage that Ezr. 4^-= is from a different 


source, and has nothing to do with 4'-'. The Sam. show no purpose 
of interfering in this passage any more than they do in Hg. and Zc., 
where any serious interruption is excluded. 

Fortunately we have a final witness whose testimony is decisive. 
No one can rd. Ezr. 3'-" without recognising the deep corruption. 
It has been my good fortune to recover the original on the basis of 
Esd., by which it is made unmistakable that we have here an account 
of the building of the temple, and not merely an abortive attempt that 
was soon halted {v. comm.). 

It is plain, therefore, that our material for the reign of Dar. is Ezr. 
2"i-4' 42<b_6i8^ to which must be added the important fragment found 
in Esd. 4^^S', and it is possible now to give a clear account of the 
events as they actually happened, without being trammelled by the 
theory of the Chr. 

The first step was the restoration of the altar on its ancient 
site (Ezr. 3^''^), even this small undertaking being accomplished 
by the aid of friendly foreigners, perhaps Samaritans {v. cor- 
rected text of Ezr. 3^). 

Now Kost. rejects this passage, and makes merry over the notion 
that the Jews had offered no sacrifices from 586 to 520 {Wied.^^), 
apparently one of the chief grounds for its rejection. But the passage 
implies only that the altar had never been restored. Kost. seems to 
think that sacrifices had never been offered upon any other altar. He 
evidently forgot the ancient shrines scattered all over the land, which 
Josiah had tried so hard to wipe out, but which persisted none the less. 

The erection of the altar by the temple site in Jerusalem, the 
resumption of the regular sacrifices there, the observance of 
one of the great festivals, all tended to kindle the enthusiasm of 
the people whose fathers had worshipped at Jerusalem. But 
all this was terribly incomplete without a suitable sanctuary, 
making possible the residence and work of the priesthood, and 
soon the people were ready to respond to the prophet's call, and 
the foundations of the new temple were laid on the 24th day 
of the 9th month of the 2d year of Darius, 520 B.C. (Hg. i^ 2^^). 

The Jews had accepted the aid of foreigners in the setting 
up of the altar, and now the Samaritans proffer assistance in 
the larger task of rebuilding the temple (Ezr. 4^-^). But they 
couple their request with a claim to be essentially the same peo- 


pie and to have the same religion. Had their aid been accepted, 
it would have carried with it a sort of recognition of this claim. 
Now there was doubtless a good deal of looseness in the relig- 
ious practices of even the Judeans, who were inclined to mingle 
pretty freely with their foreign neighbours, certainly to the ex- 
tent of intermarriage, and it is difficult to go much further with- 
out complete amalgamation. Jeshua the high priest may have 
been especially anxious to see the temple restored as an effect- 
ive move toward the preservation of a pure religion and conse- 
quently a pure blood. He could hardly look with favour upon 
as mixed a population as the Samaritans certainly were, and 
doubtless it was largely owing to his influence that the offer 
was declined. 

It is stated in Ezr. 6'^ that the temple was completed in the 6th year 
of Dar., 516 B.C., that is, this building was put up in four years. Even 
allowing, as we must on the best of evidence, for the comparative 
meanness of this building (Ezr. 3>2 Hg. 2'), considering the force and 
resources of the people, this is a surprisingly short time. Now Solomon 
had no lack of either men or money, and yet it required seven years 
to put up his temple (i K. 6"'-). As I have shown, the Aram, account 
of the rebuilding of the temple in Ezr. 5-6 is not very trustworthy. 
At several points it is certainly wrong, and yet this single statement is 
all that we have to support that date. Ezr. 6i'-" is quite generally 
regarded as the work of the Chr. The mention of Art. in 6'^ is certainly 
his doing. He is very fond of specific dates, and 61^ has probably no 
other basis than his own opinion as to the length of time required. 
We have no trustworthy knowledge then, and it is safe to assume that 
it took considerably more than four years to put up the temple. 

This is all the information we have from the reign of Dar. The long 
story in Esd. 3-5* is inserted because it prepares the way for the de- 
scription of the building of the temple. The restoration of this build- 
ing was the great achievement of the reign of Dar. and of the govern- 
orship of Zer., and we do not know what else happened in the long 

(3) The Reign of Artaxerxes I Longimanus — ^464-424 B.C. 

This is the golden age of the period of the restoration. The 
greatest achievements of the Persian period fall in this reign. 
We have here a fuller story than for any other part of the two 


centuries of the Persian dominion of Judah. And yet the 
whole reduces itself to pretty much one single subject, the 
enclosing of the city of Jerusalem with walls. 

There is a wide gap in the history before this event. The temple 
had been finished certainly before 500 B.C. For more than fifty years 
after that the records are silent, save for the obscure Ezr. 4*-^, which 
creates more darkness than light. During the closing years of the 
reign of Dar. the Jews would not be able to go much further than they 
had. They were a poor people, and the erection of the temple must 
have drained their resources, so that a period of recuperation was 

The inactivity during the reign of Xerxes must be due in part to the 
exhaustion of the people, and in part to his unfriendliness toward the 
Jews. The fact that at the beginning of his reign, Bishlam, Mithre- 
dates, and Tabeel, apparently Pers. officials, lodged an accusation with 
this king against "the inhabitants of Judah and Jerus." (Ezr. 4O, would 
tend to prevent Xerxes from doing anything in their favour. The 
book of Est. has its setting in this period, and it tells a wonderful story 
of the prominence which certain Jews attained at the court of Xerxes. 
But to say nothing of the romantic character of the story, the scene 
is laid in the Pers. capital, and even Mordecai in his exalted station 
never does anything to serve the interests of his brethren in Judah. 
Moreover, the book reveals an inveterate hostility to the Jews on the 
part of the Pers. officials. It may be, if my surmise is right regarding 
Ezr. 4^-'', that the completion of the temple and the re-establishment 
of the cult in Jerus. had provoked the hostility of the foreign peoples 
in the province, and that enmity would be a decided check upon any 
further achievements. 

But the condition described in the vv. named above creates an urgent 
demand for the great enterprise of the Pers. period. The vv. certainly 
connect better with the building of the walls than with the building of 
the temple. In ancient times a city without walls was no city at all. 
A handful of people could walk into Jerus., with its few houses and 
sparse population, and do what they listed with temple, pr., and peo- 
ple. Jerus. could not possibly maintain its place, or advance to a po- 
sition worthy of its temple, and of its being the religious centre of the 
Jewish world, unless it was enclosed with walls. 

In the early part of the reign of Art. a new and large caravan of 
exiles had come back to Jerus. (Ezr. 4"), and, seeing the situation of 
afifairs, immediately set to work to build the walls. The fact that it is 
primarily these returned exiles who are found at work on the walls, 
for Rehum et al. name no others, shows that there must have been a 
large body. That conclusion is confirmed by the disastrous conse- 


quences which the complainants fear should the walls be completed. 
The fact that Rehum et al. took the matter seriously indicates plainly 
that there must have been a large number at work. We may contrast 
their attitude to the sneers of Sanb. and To. at the notion that the 
feeble Jews under Neh. could rebuild the walls (Ne. 3" '• EV. 4^ '•). 

Rehum, Shimshai, and others at once write a letter to Art., relating 
their discovery of the operations at Jerus., and warning the king that 
once the walls are up his peaceful rule of the Judean province will 
be at an end. The authors of the letter show exactly the same hos- 
tility to the Jews that we find in 4* '. They are no mere investigators 
like Tattenai ei al., but have a definite purpose to keep down the Jews, 
so that they will continue easy prey. They were all the more alarmed 
as they perceived the large size of the company of workmen who were 
evidently preparing to make Jerus. their permanent abode. Perhaps 
just because of the large numbers found in the city, they were con- 
strained to appeal to the Pers. king rather than attempt to act for 

Art. indorsed the charge, finding on the historical records confirma- 
tion as to the rebellious character of the people, and ordered the work 
to come to an end. Backed by this royal edict, and in view of the pos- 
sible opposition of the large number of Jews, supported by a consider- 
able armed force (v. on 4^^), the complainants go to Jerus. and exceed 
at least the letter of their instruction by destroying the work already 
completed. And judging from the ample force of workmen and the 
considerable time which had elapsed, the major portion of the work 
may have been finished, so that it could easily be said of their depre- 
dations: "The walls of the city are breached and its gates burned with 
fire" (Ne. i'). For if Neh. completed the walls in fifty-two days, as 
said in Ne. 6^^, there could have been little left to build after work 
which may have continued for a much longer time than fifty-two days. 
The destruction of the work already done was necessary. It would 
have been vain merely to serve an injunction on the Jews, as that 
would leave open the possibility of completing the walls secretly. 

Soon after this, certainly within twenty years, Neh. comes to Jerus. 
with an appointment as governor of Judah, and with permission to 
build the city of his fathers' sepulchres (Ne. 2^. His commission 
seems to have been purposely left somewhat vague; it is quite certain 
that he said nothing specifically about the city walls. 

Neh. is thoroughly familiar with the abortive attempt to build the walls 
which had been made a few years before, and in his own plans provides 
against the causes of failure. In the first place, he carefully screens 
his main purpose until the time for action has come. At the first 
appearance of the enemy, they only know that he has come " to seek 
good for the sons of Israel" (2'"). In the second place, he makes no 
move until he has completed his arrangements so that the work can be 


done quickly. If another appeal is made to Art., by the time a reply 
comes no force that can be collected in Sam. will be able to undo his 
undertaking. Very likely the remainder of the earlier unsuccessful 
enterprise facilitated his work, for there may have been some sections 
undisturbed or but partly demolished by Rehum and his army. 

In the third place, he came to Jerus. backed by an armed guard, so 
that a force mustered from the peoples of the lands would not be a 
serious menace at any time. Ezra was content to take his caravan 
across the desert without military escort, trusting in the protection of 
the Most High (Ezr. 8-^^); but Neh. did not trust the gracious in- 
fluence of his God upon the enemies of his people, and was glad to be 
supplied with a guard (2=), which, it is safe to assume, was as large as 
he could possibly secure. Apart from that he seems to have carried 
from Pers., or secured elsw., a liberal supply of weapons, so that at the 
proper moment he could convert his whole force of workmen into a 
well-equipped army (4'-")' 

In the fourth place, contrary to the Chr.'s idea as revealed in c. 3, 
Neh. did not attempt to erect the gates^ until the last stone was laid 
in the walls (6^ 7'). The wooden gates of the city, ace. to c. 3 ten 
in number, were the most vulnerable parts of its defences. An enemy 
might easily slip up at night with a torch and undo in a moment 
the labour of days. The gates were of little use, save as a check, exc. 
as they were guarded by troops, a guard established by Neh. as soon 
as the gates were in place (7'^). While the people were at work on 
the walls, the guarding of all the gates would be impossible, and so 
that part of the work was deferred until the last, so that it would 
never be possible to say of his work " that its gates had been burned 
with fire." 

These considerations are sufficient to show why Nehemiah 
succeeded where others had failed, and that in spite of the fact 
that from the moment he set foot in Jerusalem until the last 
gate was built, locked, and guarded, the enemies of his people 
had been persistent, numerous, active, and resourceful. Despite 
all their efforts, by scorn, cajolery, open war, secret intrigue, 
and black treachery, they failed, because they were over- 
matched in the struggle by their great opponent, Nehemiah the 
son of Hachaliah. 

The only other achievement of Neh.'s first period as governor of 
Judah, barring the measures to procure a population for Jerus. (ii*^-)r 
was the relief of the distress of the poor people who had been ground 
down by their richer and more powerful neighbours (c. 5). The pas- 


sage is of great importance in the light it throws upon the social con- 
ditions of Judah in the period 444-432 B.C., and for the welcome addi- 
tion to our Isnowledge of the character of Neh. He was not for an 
instant deaf to the cries of distress, and he was generous in his own 
contributions for their relief. He constantly used his personal funds 
to redeem his brethren who had been sold into slavery. If Neh. 
was a eunuch, as is quite possible, he had probably entered the ser- 
vice of the Pers. king as a poor slave, and in the later days of his power 
and wealth did not forget his early suffering, and was keenly sympa- 
thetic toward others in like situation. Further, he served without 
salary. He knew that the people were poor; he had learned that his 
predecessors, who may have been Pers. since the time of Zer., had 
borne hardly upon the people by their exactions. 

It is usually said that Nehemiah's second administration be- 
gan in 432 B.C. That statement is incorrect. Nehemiah says 
plainly that he was governor of Judah for twelve years, from the 
20th to the 32d year of Artaxerxes (5"), and that in the latter 
year he returned to the king (13O, so that 432 was the end of 
his first administration. 

All the evidence we have for the date of the second period is the 
scrap in 13' '•, "and at the end of days I asked [leave of absence] from 
the king and I came to Jerus." But the te::t is much at fault, as the 
notes show, and in his memoirs there is no hint about the time when 
he returned to Jerus. But it must have been later than 432; for in his 
absence several grievous wrongs had developed: To. had been given 
a residence in one of the temple chambers (i3'-'); the Lev. had been 
compelled to give up their ministrations in the sanctuary and scatter 
into the country to earn a living (13'""); a general disregard of the 
Sabbath had grown up, so that work in the fields and traffic at Jerus. 
went on unquestioned and unhindered (i3'^-"); marriages had been 
contracted with the Philistines, and the speech was becoming corrupt 
(13"-"); one of the members of the high pr.'s family had married 
the daughter of Sanb. the Horonite (13='-"'). All these things pre- 
suppose that Neh.'s absence from Jerus. was a protracted one. That 
is most probable from other considerations. Neh. never lost the 
favour of the king, and it is doubtful whether Art. would have per- 
mitted another immediate absence. Indeed, it seems clear that Neh.'s 
second visit to Jerus. was occasioned, like the first, by unfavourable 
reports of conditions in the holy city. The brief way in which he 
describes the big wrongs and the summary methods by which he sets 
them right, all point to his coming to Judah with a definite purpose 
in his mind. It is probable that Neh. secured his second leave of ab- 


sence by relating to the king the evil conditions about which he had 
heard and his desire to remedy them. 

But if we lack a iertninus a quo we are more fortunate in the recent 
discovery of data which provide a reliable terminus ad quent. For the 
letter from the Jewish garrison at Elephantine was addressed "to 
Bagohi the governor of Judah" (mini pna ^nua), the very same title 
which Neh. applies to himself (5"). The date of this letter is 407 B.C., 
and therefore Neh.'s rule came to an end before that. Bagohi was 
ruler in the time of Dar. II, 423-404, and prob. by his appoint- 
ment. Now Art., the patron of Neh., died in 424 B.C. As Neh.'s 
second appointment must have come from him, at least the beginning 
of the second administration must have preceded that date. An inter- 
val of five or si.x years must have separated the two administrations, 
and therefore the second leave must fall very near the end of the 
period of Art. The material we have indicates that the second ad- 
ministration was very short; prob. it came to an abrupt end by the 
death of the king. Certainly the events described in 136-81 fall between 
432 and 424 B.C., and most likely close to the latter date. 

The historicity of the second administration of Neh. depends upon 
the conclusion reached above that 136-31 is a genuine part of N., though 
in a less pure form than c, 1-6. Those who, like Torrey, assign c. 13 
to the Chr. must needs begin and end Neh.'s mission with the build- 
ing of the walls. Torrey's chief point against the passage, outside of 
the language, is that the Neh. here " is simply Ezra {i. c, the Chr.), 
under another name" (ES.^"). There is, indeed, enough resemblance 
to lend colour to such a view. But the differences are too marked to 
make it tenable. The basis for the objection to foreign marriages is 
very far removed from that in Ezr. 9 /. To suppose one person to be 
the author of both passages seems to me impossible. Then the ani- 
mus against To. and Sanb. is certainly characteristic of Neh. Again, 
the methods by which wrong conditions are set right are absolutely 
at variance with all that we know of Ezra. Ezra does, indeed, pluck . 
out hair, but from his own head (Ezr. 9=); Neh. also plucks out hair, 
but from the head of the wrong-doers (i3^0- It is impossible to think 
of Ezra saying to the traders: "if you do it again, I will lay my hand 
upon you" (13"). If the Chr. wrote this passage with Ezra in his mind, 
I should say that he made Ezra act throughout in a manner perfectly 
characteristic of Neh. 

Further, it is inconceivable that the Chr. should abruptly have changed 
to the first p. in v. «. He had been travelling along very well in the 
third so far. If he lent colour to the story by the adoption of the first 
p., why did he not employ it throughout and thus make the whole 
narrative probable? Surely the Chr. did not intend to leave Ne. 8-i3« 
open to suspicion, and then suddenly put the closing section in such a 
form that we must accept it alone as genuine. He must have con- 


sidered his own writing just as good as Neh.'s. Moreover, why should 
the Chr. invent such a pitiably incomplete story of a second adminis- 
tration ? 

It is apparent that the section of N. found in 13'-" was not a sep- 
arate composition, but a part of the story found in 1-6. And yet a 
section is lacking, for 13^ presupposes information which we do not 
possess, i. c, the occasion of Neh.'s return to Jerus.; 13'-^ suggests 
what the material was like. Just as Neh. had heard of the bad con- 
dition of the people and of the walls (i'), that report being the occasion 
of his first visit, so now there had been brought to him reports of other 
evil conditions which stir him to make a second appeal to the king 
and a second journey to Jerus. Unfortunately the memoirs have been 
condensed in some respects — a passage must have fallen out between 
vv. • and ' — and expanded in others, as best accorded with the edi- 
tor's views. 

(4) The Reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon — 404-358 B.C. 

We have seen good reason to place the mission of Ezra after 
that of Nehemiah {v. s. § 10), but the grounds for fixing the 
date more closely are very slender. We have apparently no 
authority save that of the Chronicler for the name of any Per- 
sian king in connection with Ezra, and whatever may be said in 
his favour as a historian, he certainly is not to be trusted on 
questions of chronology. Ezra himself alludes to his royal 
benefactor simply as " the king," and Artaxerxes is only men- 
tioned in the Chronicler's introduction, Ezr. 7^- ^, and in the 
Aramaic document. The latter is certainly not authentic in 
its present form, and may be wholly an invention. At the 
same time 7^^ requires some antecedent, and there may have 
been in the genuine E. the original decree, of which we have 
only an amazing elaboration. Certainly we dare not follow 
Kosters and give Ezra's date as 398 B.C., for "the 7th year" 
is entirely untrustworthy. And yet the conclusions reached 
above as to the interval between the two leaders would sug- 
gest that Ezra's work was done in the first quarter of the fourth 

For the history of Ezra we have two sources, his own memoirs, 
^57 f. 315-19. 21-25. 28 f. 31 f. 36 gi-ua. i3-i5j and the rcst of Ezr. 7-10, and Ne. 
gi-iiorn^ partly if not wholly due to the Chr. 


We turn first to sure ground in E. As said above, 7" shows that we 
are forced to begin in medlas res. E. must have contained some ac- 
count of the favour of the king, a parallel to Ne. 2'^-^. The outburst 
of praise is due to the fact that the Pers. king had given Ezra permis- 
sion to go up to Jerus. at the head of a caravan. That is exactly what 
we have in the beginning of the decree, 7", and therefore we cannot 
deny the possibility that there is a germ of an original element here, 
of which element more anon. 

Ezra's story is very unlike Neh.'s. He loves graphic details, and 
spends much of his space on such points as the gathering and compo- 
sition of his company, the measures taken for a safe journey, the cus- 
tody of the treasures intrusted to him — that is all that we find in the 
authentic portions of c. 8. Upon his arrival in Jerus. we have infor- 
mation in E. merely of the report of the mixed marriages, of his dis- 
tress over these tidings, and of his prayer — for that is all there is in c. 9. 

How much dependence is to be placed on the rest of the story about 
Ezra is certainly open to question. We have, at all events, a note to 
guide us, even though it is somewhat indefinite. In praising God for 
the favour of the king, he states what that favour consists in, viz., 
"to glorify the house of God which is in Jerus." (7"). The word 
"glorify" is found clsw. only in Is. 55= 6o'- «• " and is used there of the 
temple twice; it is, indeed, somewhat vague, and yet these words must 
provide the key to Ezra's mission. It is consistent with this key 
that when Ezra inspected his company at Ahava and found neither 
pr. nor sons of Levi {v. on 8")> be kept his caravan in camp until he 
had brought from Casiphia a sufficient number of "ministers for the 
house of God" (8'0- Another leading subject in this part of E. is the 
proper safeguarding of the large treasures which Ezra had collected 
for the temple. In other words, all of E. in c. 8 supports absolutely 
the conclusion that Ezra's whole mission was designed to carry out the 
king's purpose "to glorify the house of God which is in Jerus." 

Now if we examine the Aram, document containing the decree, we 
find a part of it in harmony with this key. The pr. and Lev. were 
expressly authorised to return with Ezra; he was directed to take to 
Jerus. the offerings made by the king and his officers and by others 
(presumably Jews), which had been given for the purpose of glorifying 
the house of God; and was given instructions to use these funds for 
the purchase of supplies required for the temple ritual. Therefore 
this part of the decree 712-20^ barring a few obvious amplifications, is 
perfectly consistent with the main purpose of Ezra, and if it is not 
original, but a production of the Chr., then this strange historian for 
once composed a work more than usually in harmony with its setting. 
If this part of the decree is authentic, then of course the date of Ezra 
is fixed in the reign of an Art., and that could only be Art. II. 

The rest of the story of Ezra must be judged by its consistency with 


this central theme. Now the Lev., whom Ezra was at such pains to 
bring with him, are employed in other ways than in the ministrations 
at the temple, and therefore the passage Ne. y^-gn is open to grave 
suspicion, while the later portions of that c, the account of the Feast 
of Booths (8"-") is in better state. 

It may seem that Ezr. 9, which is mostly from E., would have to be 
rejected on these grounds. But a closer inspection establishes a good 
connection. When Ezra learned that a large number of people, in- 
cluding pr. and Lev., had intermarried with foreigners, he could see 
that his plan to glorify the house of God would be hopeless. To main- 
tain the temple ritual with proper dignity requires a people of pure 
blood, for the amalgamating people will result in an amalgamating 
religion. This intermarriage must be checked before any glorifying 
of the temple is possible. The sequel to Ezra's lament (Ezr. 10) is 
not from his hand, but in the main it tells a true story. There are 
striking features which suggest another pen than the Chr.'s. Surely 
something must have happened after Ezra's prayer, and there is no 
improbability in the divorce story in its main features. 

If Ezra had anything to do with the establishment of the law — and 
our sources for this event are really scanty and poor — this part of his 
work could have come about only as the conditions he discovered con- 
strained him to turn aside from his main purpose. Sta. emphasises 
the fact that according to our sources Ezra was the possessor of the 
law, not its author (Gesch. ii,""- °- '). When he learned of the mixed 
marriages and had taken appropriate measures to break them up, he 
might well have felt that the people must conform to the law in all 
respects before there was any hope of making the temple worship the 
central interest in Jewish life and religion. But it must be remem- 
bered that at most Ezra's connection with the law was slight and 
incidental. Our idea of Ezra's part in the law must depend largely 
upon our opinion of the credibility of the decree (7" ^■). 

The c. dealing with the reading of the law (Ne. 8) has caused much 
discussion, chiefly as to its proper place. Kost. is confident that 
it must follow Ne. 10. He argues that in c. 8 a new law is intro- 
duced, and the only new law must be the pr. code. He analyses 
c. 9, 10 and finds no reference to this code. In this way he thinks he 
finds a suitable place for the troublesome list, 7'-", for after Ne. 9, 10 
the people felt the need of organisation, and a list was made of those 
in the newly organised community. As he deems the list closely 
bound with c. 8, he places the whole section, 7«-8'', as the direct sequel 
to Ne. 9, 10 CMK^ei."-")- 

Torrey with equal confidence places this section, 7'*-8", between 
Ezr. 8 and 9. He gives the following reasons for the transposition 
(ES.""f): (i) To quote his own words: "here is a clear and consist- 
ent story, the only clear and consistent story dealing with Ezra that 



has ever been told by any one." (2) "The dates given in such pro- 
fusion throughout the narrative are now all intelligible for the first 
time." (3) He sees an incongruity between c. 8 and the c. following, 
finding nothing to account for the sackcloth and ashes in 9', but deem- 
ing Ezr. 10, which he thinks lacks a conclusion, good grounds for the 
mourning. (4) "Ezra makes his journey to Jerus. in order to teach 
and administer the law, but it is not until 13 years after his arrival 
that he first presents it to the people." (5) Another point on which 
much stress is laid is that in the present arrangement the divorce of 
the foreign wives (Ezr. 9 /.) was effected according to the law, and that 
before the law was made known. 

Formidable as the array of arguments is, it is not convincing. I 
make a few comments, (i) It is not possible to make any clear and 
consistent story out of Ezr. 7-10 and Ne. 8-10, for the latter c, out- 
side of c. 8, never contain Ezra's name, and there is no reason for con- 
necting them with Ezra at all. If the Chr. had written them as a part 
of his Ezra story, Ezra being his great hero — a point emphasised by 
Torrey — he would not have omitted his name in that long passage. 
(2) Many of the dates are too indefinite to enable us to make a chron. 
sequence that is convincing. (3) Ezr. 9 is certainly not very closely 
connected with Ezr. 8. But after c. 8 we must advance to some report 
of the first thing Ezra did after establishing himself in Jerus. There 
is no reason why he should have done one thing more than another. 
As for the grounds for the sackcloth and ashes of Ne. 9', it seems to 
be a poor sequel to Ezr. 10". After the compliance with Ezra's plea 
and the putting away of the foreign wives in accordance with the 
law, it would be more natural to expect a period of rejoicing, such as 
we have in Ne. 8'-", than a scene of humiliation as described in Ne. 
9. It would be vain to comply with the law, if the result were only 
sackcloth and ashes. (4) In E. the law is never mentioned, but his 
appeal is general to the commandments of God (Ezr. g'"- ")• As shown 
above in his own description of the purpose of his mission, the estab- 
lishment of the law has but a dub. place. (5) This point is not well 
taken. The Hebrews were always averse to foreign marriages. Abra- 
ham makes his servant swear that he would get a wife for Isaac from 
his own people (Gn. 24 J); Samson's parents are disturbed at the 
plea of the hero for a Philistine wife (Ju. 14'); and finally the prohi- 
bition of foreign marriages is in "the little book of the covenant" and in 
Dt. only (Ex. 34" Dt. 7'), pre-ex. laws. Since there was a temple of 
Jaho in Jeb., contrary to the Deut. law, Sachau argues that this law 
could not exist in 407 B.C. Others have given a different interpretation 
of the surprising fact. But in any case there is no doubt of the pre-ex. 
ban upon marriage with foreigners. It is really absurd to suppose 
that the Jews must wait upon Ezra's reading of the law to learn that 
such marriages were forbidden. 


It is necessary now to consider Torrey's radical theory that 
Ezra is wholly a creation of the Chronicler; in other words, that 
Ezra is not a historical personage, but a character of fiction. 

Torrey's arguments are based largely upon the language of the 
Chr., which he deems esp. abundant in the Ezra story. Again, he 
urges that Ezra "was a man precisely like the Chr. himself: interested 
very noticeably in the Lev., and esp. the class of singers; deeply 
concerned at all times with the details of the cult and with the eccle- 
siastical organisation in Jerus.; armed with lists of names giving the 
genealogy and official standing of those who constituted the true 
church: with his heart set on teaching and enforcing the neglected 
law of Moses throughout the land; and — most important of all — 
zealous for the exclusion of the 'people of the land,' the condemnation 
of mixed marriages, and the preservation of the pure blood of Israel! 
There is not a garment in all Ezra's wardrobe that does not fit the 
Chr. exactly" (ES.'«). 

A large part of this description does not fit the Ezra we know in 
the memoirs, e. g., there is not a single reference to singers in E.; there 
is not a word about the law; there is no genealogical or other list of 
names. The criticism is decidedly indiscriminate. 

Further, no person would contend that in all the period from 400 
down to his own time, the Chr. was the only person interested supremely 
in the matters enumerated in the passage quoted above. Ezra was 
a kindred spirit to the Chr. — and there must have been many such be- 
fore the Chr.'s time — and the Chr. by his revisions and additions has 
doubtless made Ezra more kindred to himself than he really was. 

Another reason urged by Torrey is the silence of Sirach (Cow^."'). 
Sirach writing apparently c. 180 B.C., composed a long passage (c. 
44-50) in praise of the great men of the Jewish nation. Of those 
in our period, Zer. and his associate Jes., and Neh. are accorded brief 
1 mention (49"-")) but Ezra's name is not found. This seems to me the 
' *• weightiest of Torrey's arguments. It is certain that Ezra did not 
have the place in the Jewish church in the time of Sirach that the Chr. 
would have liked. But it is certain that there was never an edition of 
the book of Ch. (including Ezr.-Ne.) which did not contain the story 
of Ezra, though there may have been an edition silent about Neh. 
The book of Ch. may be pretty late, but it is not as late as Sirach. 
To give no other reason here, the author of the hymn had these records 
for Zer. Jes. and Neh., and therefore he must have had them for Ezra. 
Why he made no mention of Ezra's name, it is impossible to learn. 
He left out other names, e. g., Shes., and he omitted Ezra for some good 
reason, possibly because he was not in as deep sympathy with the 
ruthless proceedings described in Ezr. 10 as the Chr. was. 



If Sirach was silent, other writers made up for the defect by the 
exaltation of the priest-scribe. In several prophetic lists, e. g., Ira^n. 
Ag. Her. 1. xxx. ii, Ezra appears in the list of prophets in place of 
Mai. {v. Nestle, ZAW. igo;,"^- 


It is unfortunate that in several books of the OT. the EV^. 
follow B and in places have a different arrangement of chapters 
from those in MT. It is necessary in a critical commentary to 
follow the original text. Fortunately there is but one section 
in Ne. where the confusion exists, and there is none in Ezr. 
The appended table will serve as an adequate guide. The 
English division is really the better, as it conforms to sub- 
ject matter. 

MT. Eng. 

in, Z2, IV, I 

34 2 

35 3 

36 4 

37 5 

38 6 
IV, I 7 

2 8 

The only other variation is in Ne. 10, where MT. io» = Eng. 9", 
10' = 10', etc., the number of the vv. in EV^. throughout the c. being 
one less than that of MT. 


As there is a comprehensive bibliography in Curt, covering^ 
much the same ground, for the most part only special works 
on Ezr.-Ne. are named here. 


Rabbi Saadiah, Ezr. and Neh. ed. by H. J. Mathews, 1882. E. 
Bertheau, Die Biicher, Esra, Nech. u. Ester, 2d ed. by V. Ryssel, 1887. 
S. Oettli u. J. Meinhold, Die Gesch. Hagiographen, 1889. H. E. 
Ryle, Ezr. and Neh. in Camb. Bib. 1893. W. F. Adeney, Ezr.-Neh.- 
Est. Exp. Bible, 1893. H. Guthe and L. W. Batten, Ezr. and Neh. 
in SBOT. 1901. ]\I. Seisenberger, Die Biicher Esd., Neh. u. Est. in 













' 8 























Kurzgef. wissensch. Com. z. d. H. S. des A. T. 1901. D. C. Siegfried, 
Esr., Nell. u. Est. in Ilandkom. des A. T. 1901. A. Bertholet, Die 
Backer Esr. u. Nch. in Kurzer Handkom. des A. T. 1902. G. Holscher, 
H. S. A. T. 1910. 


Kleinert, On the Origin, Elements and Antiquity of the Books of Ezr. 
and Nek. 1832. R. Smend, Die Listen d. Biicher Esr. u. Neh. 1881. 
A. H. Sayce, Int. to Ezr. Neh. and Est. 1885. J. Imbert, Le Temple 
Reconstruit par Zoroh. 1889. G. Rawlinson, Ezr. and Neh. {Men of the 
Bible), 1890. P. H. Hunter, After the Exile, 1890. A. van Hoonacker, 
Neh. et Esd. 1890; Zoroh. et le Second Temple, 1892; Noiivelles Ettides siir 
la Restaur. Juive, 1896. W. H. Kosters, Die Wiedcrherstellung Israels 
in der persischen Period (from the Dutch Ilerstcl van Israel in het. 
Pcrzische Tijdoak), by A. Basedow, 1895. E. Meyer, Die Entstehung 
des Judcnthums, 1896. Bertholet, Die Stellung der Israeliten u. d. 
Jiiden z. d. Fremden, 1896. E. Sellin, Scrubbabel, 1898; Studien z. 
Entstehiingsgeschichtc der jiid. Gemeinde, 1901. T. K. Cheyne, Jewish 
Religious Life After the Exile, 1898. J. Geissler, Die liter. Beziehungen 
der Esra Memoiren, 1899. Rosenzweig, Einl. in d. Biicher Esr. u. 
Neh. J. Nikel, Die Wicderher stellung d. jiid. Gemeinwesens nach d. 
habyl. Exit, 1900. C. Holzhey, Die Biicher Ezr. u. Neh. 1902. S. 
Gelbhaus, Esra u. seine reformatorischen Bestrebungen, 1903. J. Fischer, 
Die Chron. Frage in d. Biichern Esr.-Neh. 1903. J. Theis, Gesch. u. 
lilerarkritik Fragen in Esr. 1-6 (in Nikel's Alttest. Abhandl. 11, 5), 
1910. C. C. Torrey, Comp. and Hist. Value of Esr.-Neh. {Beihefte zur 
ZAW.), 1896; Ezra Studies, 1910. Apparatus for Text. Crii. of Chr.- 
Ezr.-Neh. (Harper Studies). 


H. Winckler, "Die Zeit der Herstellung Judas " ; "Nehcmias Reform." 
Alt. Forsch. II, ii, i; "Die Zeit v. Ezras Ankunft in Jerus." ib. II, ii, 
2; "Die doppelte Darstellung in Ezr.-Neh." ib. II, iii, 2. E. Schrader, 
".Die Dauer d. zweiten Tempclbaues," Stud. u. Krit. 1867. E. Nestle, 
"Marginalien u. Materilien," "-31^ 1893; Real-Ency.^ V. J. Wellhau- 
sen, "Die Ruckkehr d. Juden a. d. Babyl. Exil," G. G. N. 1895. 
T. F. Wright, "Nehemiah's Night Ride," JBL. 1896; "The Stairs 
of the City of David," ib. 1897. C. C. Torrey, "Old Testament 
Notes," JBL. 1897. W. J. Moulton, "tjber die tjberlieferung u. d. 
text-krit. Werth des dritten Esrabuchs," ZAW. 1899,209-253^ i90o,i-'<. 
Fraenkel, "Zum Buch Ezra," ZAW. 1899. T. K. Cheyne, "From 
Isaiah to Ezra," AJT. 1901; "The Times of Neh. and Ezra," Bib. 
World, 1899. H. Howorth, PSBA. 1901, 1902. H. G. Mitchell, "The 
Wall of Jerus. Ace. to the Book of Neh." JBL. 1903. L. W. Batten, 


"Ezr.-Neh."; " Ezr."; " Neh." Hast. DB. Kosters, "Ezr -Neh." EB. 
J. V. Prasek, "Kambysesu. d. Uberlieferungd. Altertums"; "Zur Chro- 
nologic des Kyros," Forsch. z. Gcs. d. Alt. L. W. Batten, " Israel of 
the Post-exilic Period," Horn. Rev. April, 1913. 


A. Kuenen, Gesammelte Abhandhmgen,''^^-^^^, 1894. B. Stade, Bibl. 
Theologie des ^.Z'."'-^^', 1905. Addis, Ezra and the Issue of the Law, 
Documents of the Hexateuch, II,!'' ^- Robertson, Poetry and Religion 
of the Psalms, c. 5. Marquart, Fundamente israel. u. jiid. Geschichle, 
1896. C. F. Kent, Israel's Hist, and Biog. Narratives,^^^-^^*, 19 10. 

Biblical Aramaic. 

Powell, The Supposed Hebraisms in Biblical Aramaic, 1907. S. 
Baer, Chaldaismi Biblici Adumbratio, in the Baer-Delitzsch ed. of 
MT. vol. Dn.-Ezr.-Ne.''"'-'^. H. L. Strack, Grammatik des B. Aram.*, 
1905. K. Marti, Kurzgef. Gram, der B.-Aram. Sprache, 1896. E. 
Kautzsch, Grammatik des B. Aram. 1884. Sachau, Aramdische Papyri 
niid Ostraka aus Elephantine, 1911. C. R. Brown, An Aramaic Method, 
1884. Schulthess, Miscellen zum Bibl. Aram. ZAW. 1902,1" «• 

Some Important Dates. 


559-521 Cyrus. 
521-485 Darius I Hystaspis. 
520 Rebuilding of the temple. 
485-464 Xerxes. 

464-424 Artaxerxes I Longimanus. 
444-432 Nehemiah governor of Judah. 
424-404 Darius II Nothus. 
404-359 Artaxerxes II Mnemon. 
Mission of Ezra. 



Bab. was conquered by Cy. in 539 B.C. In that country he found 
many colonies of foreigners who had been brought there as prisoners 
of war in accordance with the As. and Bab. policy of transplanting con- 
quered peoples. Cy. reversed this policy, and allowed all such peoples 
to return to their homes. In the city of Bab. Cy. found also many 
sacred images and other objects from foreign temples, brought there 
as trophies, or by Nabonidus for protection (c/. Is. 46* '•). The new 
king directed all these images to be taken back to their native shrines. 
This policy was designed to effect the pacification of the peoples he 
conquered. Indeed, he appeared in Bab. as a redeemer rather than a 
conqueror. In accordance with this general programme we have the 
statement that a special decree was issued in favour of the Jews (v. 
Inlr. § "• 0- Vv. »-<• ' '• "i' are from a Heb. source, the rest by the Chr. 
{hilr. § 8- "). 

1-4. The decree of Cyrus. — In the first year of his reign 
in Babylon we are told that Cyrus set forth an edict, allowing 
all captive Jews to return to Jerusalem, directing them to re- 
build the house of their God, and enjoining their Jewish neigh- 
bours who remained behind to strengthen their hands with 
gifts to be used for the temple, and probably ordering the res- 
toration to the returning pilgrims of the sacred vessels which 
had been taken from the temple in 586. 

1. And in the first year of Cyrus\. Cyrus had ascended the 
throne in 559 B.C. His first year is put here twenty years 
later, either because the Chronicler only knew of Cyrus as 
ruler of Babylonia, or because the previous years of his reign are 
deemed unimportant in connection with Jewish history. Cyrus 
entered Babylon in the late autumn of 539 B.C., and this decree 
may, therefore, fall in the year 538. Cyrus, like his successor 
Darius, was a descendant of Achaemenes and was, therefore, 
an Aryan and a Zoroastrian. However much of a monotheist 


he may have been in Ansan, he was very liberal in his attitude 
toward the gods of other peoples. — King of Persia]. The great 
Persian empire did not reach its full height of power until the 
time of Darius, and this title, therefore, has been regarded as a 
mark of the Chronicler's hand. This contention is invalid, for 
in the inscription of Nabonidus, 546 B.C., the same title is em- 
ployed. — To fulfil the word of Yahweh]. Here we have a con- 
ception of history which abounds in the Gospels, especially in 
Matthew. The idea of the evangelist is that the acts of Jesus 
are determined by the predictions which have been made long 
before. The true conception from the Hebrew point of view 
is that God controlled both the messages of the prophets and 
the actions of kings, and therefore the king is led to fulfil the 
prediction. In the pre-exilic period the apologetic appeal is 
based on the works of God; in our period this new element is 
introduced. The exiled Jews are aroused to a new faith in God 
because things happen as the prophets have foretold. This 
idea is brought out prominently in Is. 48, a passage belonging 
to this very time. "The restoration was the last special proof 
and sign that God was a factor in the life of the Hebrew peo- 
ple under the old dispensation" (Simon, Bible as Theocratic 
Liter ature,^^). — From the mouth of Jeremiah]. In 2 Ch. 36^2 we 
have "by the mouth," but without any difference of meaning. 
By places the emphasis on the prophet as a mere instrument of 

In 2 Ch. 36=1 there is a reference to the fulfilment of another Jeremian 
prophecy that the exile would last seventy years (Je. 29'"; v. Curt.). 
This passage is sometimes loosely interpreted as referring to the same 
thing; but that is incorrect. The prediction refers to the moving of 
Cy. to issue his decree in favour of the Jews. Je. contains no passage 
referring to such an event, but the required prophecy is found in Is.' 
(v. 41- '■ -^ 44-' 45')- This prophet ascribes Cy.'s victories to Yahweh, 
using language very similar to Cy.'s own, only that in the latter Mar- 
duk is the moving spirit (r/. Cy.'s Inscription, Rogers, Cwi. Paral,^^"). 
In Is. Cy. is called Yahweh's shepherd, having responsible care of 
his people, and even by the Messianic title "his anointed." This 
prophet certainly had great expectations from Cy., and he watches his 
conquering career with keen anticipations of good for his own people. 
Jos. regards Is. as the prophet who influenced Cy., saying that Cy. rd. 

EZRA I 57 

the book written by Is. one hundred and forty years before the temple 
was destroyed (Anliq. xi, i, 2). " Je.," therefore, is either a txt. err., 
or else this anonymous prophecy (Is. 40-66) was attributed to that 
prophet instead of to Is. (:;. Duhm, JcrM). Berth, and Ryle refer 
the passage to Je., but wrongly. If a txt. err., it is an early one, for 
it is reproduced in all the Vrss. Prob. it is explained from the ref- 
erence to Je. properly in the preceding v. of Ch., this name being 
repeated instead of the correct one. 

Yahweh moved the spirit], (See v. ^) This expression shows 

the more refined theological ideas of the later times. The 

prophet makes Yahweh address Cjrus directly. Now we find 

a spirit in man which may be influenced to action by Yahweh, 

and henceforward that is the method by which God's will 

is accomplished among men. Cf. Nehemiah's expression "my 

God had put in my heart" = moved my spirit (Ne. 2^2) — ^j;^ 

he issued a proclamation], literally, caused a voice to go through. 

The words suggest a herald rather than a written document, 

and the heraldic method is not improbable here, though the 

words might refer to a decree, especially if it were read by the 

tieralds. — In his whole kingdom]. The empire of Cyrus em- 

Draced regions where there were no Jews. The Hebrews were 

ipparently settled in districts and were pretty well localised. 

The writer seems to have ignored any realm of Cyrus except his 

atest conquest. The edict would naturally be sent only to the 

[ewish colonies in Babylonia. — And also in writing]. These 

Yords imply that the proclamation was oral, and are intended 

:o show that the Chronicler had a written source for his version 

)f the edict. — Saying], better as j allows. The literal transla- 

ion mars the Scriptures sadly, recurring hundreds of times, and 

proving a stumbling-block in reading aloud. — 2. All the king- 

loms of the world]. With the conquest of Babylon, all its de- 

)endencies fell to Cyrus, and his became a vast empire, extend- 

ng from Elam on the east to the Mediterranean on the west. 

This did not cover all the countries of the world, but the exag- 

;eration is more natural for Cyrus than for a Jewish writer, for 

)n the cylinder inscription he calls himself "the king of the four 

[uarters of the earth," i. e., of the whole world. — Has Yahweh 


given me]. Here we have the reflection of the prophetic utter- 
ance in Is. 45^ ^^ In his own inscription Cyrus attributes his 
conquest of Babylon to Marduk, its chief deity. But he may 
have become acquainted with the prophecies above referred to, 
and then in an edict to the Jews given their God credit for 
his victories. Such credit would please the Jews, as the aid 
of Marduk was certainly claimed to placate the Babylonians. 
— The God of heaven] is an expression not found in pre-exilic 
writings. The common terms are God of Israel, of hosts, or of 
our fathers.* Nehemiah, however, regularly uses the expres- 
sion (i* '• 2*- 20). In a magic bowl from Babylonia of about 
500 B.C. "Lord of heaven and earth" occurs.f The term "God 
of heaven" is found in the Eleph. pap. Marti regards the ex- 
pression as the equivalent of the ''high God," or "God of the 
height," in Mi. 6^ and thinks it portrays the transcendence of 
God (Dodekapropheton,-^^). The expression was never com- 
mon among the Hebrews. Stade explains it as an adaptation 
to the religious terms of the governing peoples {BT?"^'^). 

To build a house for him in Jerusalem]. In Is. 44^^ we have 
a prediction that Cyrus would direct the rebuilding of Jeru- 
salem and of the temple. If Cyrus had been made famihar 
with this prophecy, as Josephus says, he might easily see in it 
the commission to which he here refers. The Chronicler knew 
that the temple was not built by Cyrus or in his lifetime; it is, 
therefore, difficult to see why he should have invented a state- 
ment contrary to fact. The truth is that the Chronicler tried 
to make it appear that the temple was begun under Cyrus, and 
was compelled to misconstrue his material in justification of his 
theory. — A Jewish writer would not have deemed it necessary 
to say Jerusalem which is in Judah unless he were endeavouring 
to give colour to an imitation decree, a device in which the Jews 
were not expert. It appears from the terms of the edict that 
the interest of Cyrus was not in the freedom of the Jews, but 
in the building of the temple to the God to whom he here as- 

* It is a curious fact, mention of which has not been observed by the present writer, that 
in Ch. " God of Israel" is used with great regularity up to II 7", and after that almost in- 
variably " God of (our) fathers." 

t J. A. Mont^nmcry, Mus. Jour. U. P. Dec. igio. ... 

EZRA I 59 

cribes his wonderful victories. The release of the captives was 
incidental to the main purpose. — 3. In MT. this verse is cor- 
rupt, so that the sense has been changed. — Among you] indicates 
that the edict is addressed to the whole people of Cyrus's realm; 
but the edict primarily concerns all his (Yahweh's) people. As 
the text stands, the edict enjoins all Jews to return to Jerusalem 
to build the temple; whereas in v. ^ it is stated that those only 
went up whose heart was stirred by Yahweh. With hints found 
in the Vrss. it is possible to reconstruct the text, obtaining a 
terse and lucid statement which might well be a part of a royal 
decree. The restored text gives: whoever wills of all the people 
of Yahweh the God of Israel, he is the God who dwells in Jerusalem, 
now let him go up to Jerusalem and build the house of Yahweh 
his God. 

The statement that Yahweh is the God who dwells in Jerus. is nat- 
ural in this text. Cy. found many gods in Bab. who had been brought 
there from other places, and whose devotees were distressed by their 
removal. He sent all these gods back to their ancient shrines. To 
him Yahweh seemed much like the other deities. Further, according 
to this text, Cy. did not command all Jews to return; but he permitted 
those to go back who desired, and thus the decree is in harmony with 
the statement of v. K The amended text shows clearly that Cy.'s main 
object was the rebuilding of the temple. 

4. The next subject in the decree is the provision of funds for 
building the temple. The implication of the text is that the 
Babylonian neighbours of the returning Jews were called upon 
for contributions. All that survive covers the whole body of 
Jews in Babylonia, and as they are to be supported by the men 
of his place these can be no other than the Babylonians. Cyrus 
did all in his power to placate the conquered peoples, and he 
was too politic to demand from them subscriptions to build a 
temple for the despised Jews. If we accept this text we are 
forced to admit a powerful Jewish colouring. With the help of 
Esdras we are enabled to reconstruct the passage (v.") thus: 
and all that dwell in the places, let them support him. This nat- 
urally means that the Jews, who dwell in the districts from 
which certain exiles are departing, shall send by their hands 


gifts for the temple. The wealthiest people would be most 
likely to remain for commercial reasons, and they are the ones 
able to contribute most, — With silver and gold, goods and cattle, 
besides the free-will offerings for the house of God] implies dona- 
tions for the caravan of pilgrims as well as for the temple. We 
might well wonder whether Cyrus would be concerned about 
the people. The last clause is different in Esd., and with other 
things added by vows for the temple of the Lord, implying that 
all the gifts were for the temple. Goods and cattle is probably 
a gloss. — Which is in Jerusalem] is the translation of (B, but 
Esd. has who, requiring God as antecedent instead of house. 
It is not possible to differentiate in Hebrew. The rendering 
which tends to discredit the decree, as Cyrus would not order a 
temple built and in the next sentence imply that it was already 
built. The rendering of Esd. harmonises best with the ex- 
pression in V. ', he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 

The edict of Cyrus. — ^There is another version of this edict in 6'-', 
claiming to be a copy of an original found at Ecbatana. The two 
Vrss. differ materially. In the Aram, version there is nothing about 
Yahweh's aid in Cy.'s conquests, the permission to return to Jerus., or 
the contributions; but plans are prescribed for the new temple, the 
cost is to be borne by the royal treasury, and the return of the sacred 
vessels is expressly enjoined. 

Both Vrss. profess to be original, but one or both must be wrong. 
Few defend the Heb. version, though Dr., Ryle, ei al. accept the sub- 
stance, admitting a marked Jewish colouring. Mey. accepts the Aram, 
as authentic, and deems the Heb. a product of the Chr. It is difficult 
to understand why the Chr. should incorporate an authentic edict, and 
then himself compose one so at variance with his source, though he 
might easily insert two different forms which he found in the docu- 
ments he used. Mey. starts with the hypothesis that all the letters 
and edicts in Ezr. are Aram. Vrss. of the Pers. originals {v. i. on 4'). 
This position has been widely accepted, apparently without much 
critical sifting. Torrey has shown its weakness (ES."* ^■); indeed, it 
seems to rest on little more foundation than bare assumption. We 
are, therefore, really driven to purely internal evidence. From this 
point of view the Aram, edict does not commend itself. For Cy. would 
not be chiefly concerned with the dimensions of the temple, and the 
figures given are altogether improbable. Nor would he be likely to 
order the expenses paid out of the royal treasury. Certainly the best 
evidence we have, in Hg. and Zc, indicates that the cost was borne 

EZRA I 6l 

by the Jews themselves. Indeed, the long delay was accounted for on 
the ground of the people's inability in material things (Hg. i^ '■). 

In the Heb. edict, on the other hand, there is no note of improba- 
bility, save in the matter of Bab. contributors, and here the Chr. ap- 
parently retouched the passage to suit himself {v. s.). The original 
very likely enjoined the Jews who remained in Bab. to send contribu- 
tions by those who returned. Yet few scholars have any good to say 
of this version. Sieg. remarks that it shows itself to be a forgery, since 
it is given in the Heb. tongue, and since it is dominated by Jewish re- 
ligious .ideas. Against this it may be remarked that the Chr. would 
scarcely incorporate the Pers. or Bab. original. Moreover, since the 
edict was for the benefit of the Jews, it may have been originally issued 
in Heb. As to the Jewish conceptions, they do not seem to be any 
more marked than we should expect. To pacify the Bab., Cy. writes 
in his inscription with pronounced Bab. religious ideas; why should he 
not do the same thing for the Jews ? 

It is difficult to think that the Chr. composed the edict at all. Save 
in V. * it does not seem to have any of his peculiar characteristics. If 
he had invented it, he certainly would have followed his Aram, source 
in c. 6, to which he could have had no earthly objection. To be con- 
sistent with his policy Cy. must have allowed the Jews to return and 
to rebuild their temple and to take back any treasures which had been 
taken from it. Nikel notes that '"may his God be with him' has a 
genuine Bab. tinge" (P5."). The Chr. would not have said " he is the 
God wliois. in Jerus.," nor would he have explained that Jerus. was in 
Judah; and he never calls Yahweh " the God of heaven." It is very 
doubtful if he would have exalted Cy. as this document does. On 
the whole, then, there seems to be ample reason for asserting that Cy. 
did give the Jews permission to return and to rebuild the temple. The 
emended text which I have proposed confirms the belief that we may 
have an authentic document here. It is true that Hg. and Zc. make 
no reference to this decree, and it would have served their purpose 
well; but they were speaking a score of years later, and were con- 
cerned more with the will of God than with the will of a dead king. 

1. The conj. i, with which the book begins, is explained by the 
original connection of Ezr. with Ch. (Berth. Sieg.). But Ex. Lv. 
Nu. Jos. Ju. I and 2 S. i and 2 K. Ruth, Est. 2 Ch. and Ne. (dis- 
regarding the title) also begin with 1. It seems to be the rule to be- 
gin a Heb. narrative with the conj.— ruB-] st. cstr. before a prep. (cf. 
Ges.^ »»). — -.y-na] Pers. KuruS, Bab. KuraS, whence Rawlinson would 
point B'113. — We must rd. n^h^\] since naT is the obj. The mng. to 
fulfil a prediction is not found elsw., but the context requires that sense 
here; cf. 2 Ch. 36", where nisSn'? has the same mng. — ''fls] 2 Ch. 36" 
has 1D3, preferred by Guthe, Torrey, d al. Esd. lv aT6[iaTt, but (6 
supports MT. Both forms are common, but iflo is better when utter- 


ance is implied (so Ryle). — nn T'^'h], only in late writers, v. », Hg. 
I'* I Ch. 5" 2 Ch. 21"; but vb. alone has same mng. in Is. 412- ^^ 45", 
all referring to Cy., and influencing our author (cf. Mar. Jes. on 41"). 
— Sip— layi] lit. he caused a voice to pass over, an oral proclamation, 
Ex. 36" (P); cf. " he caused a trumpet to pass over," i. e., to be blown, 
Lv. 25'. That is the sense here as we note from the added attd also 
in writing. In 2 Ch. 30^ the term is used where runners carry letters 
from Hezekiah. — anoDi] would mean here in a ivrilten for^n, as (S'- 
(in 2 Ch. 36") lv Xoyotq ypa9ii<;, but this sense is not found elsw. 
As the words are unnecessary and as -\'Cith goes back to the proclama- 
tion we suspect a gl. 

2. •'S pj pidSdo] Obj. first for emph. Ges.^ ^^- '• Esd. i[>.k dv^Set^sv 
^acikia, 3 Esd. me constiluit regent, RV. "hath made me king," better 
proclaimed me king. After Esd. i'<- " = 2 Ch. 361- * this expression 
would represent iJDiSDn, lacking S3 and |nj. The mng. is not the same, 
as this text would be based on a phophecy, and MT. on the result 
of a conquest. Esd. shows a text more closely associated with the 
prophecies in Is.'. — a''Dcn inSx r\^r\<\ Esd. x6pio<; [+ h ^s.h(^', xiiptoq'^] 
ToiJ 'Iapa:QX xipto? 6 ucptffToq. This suggests onn inSx as in Mi. 6'. 
Guthe follows this text, but it may well be a Jewish amplification — 
«ini]. The use of the pron. emphasises the fact of Yahweh's directing 
Cy. to build the house. — ''S;? "^ps] usually means to bring upon, or visit 
upon, i. e., punishment; there are, however, several passages, mostly 
late, in which the sense required here is found, i. e., assigned to me. 
Esd. renders ia-fi^L-qyiv y.ot, he has given me a sign, prob. by the word 
of his prophet, showing again a closer dependence upon Is.''; laifitJLTjvev, 
however, usually represents P'\^, shout. In Is. 44^5 Cy. is called 'J?i, 
and in view of the close relationship of that passage to our text, it is 
tempting to propose here ■'J-'yin, he has made me shepherd. 

3. This V. Is obscure and difEcult. D33 barely admits of interpre- 
tation. The sf. in 1DJ? and vnSs refer, one to Yahweh and the other to 
••D, a dub. construction; the phrase may his God he with him is in an 
awkward place; the Chr. has nini for '•ni; the last clause is superfluous 
where it stands; and which is in Judah is tautologous after v. K Turn- 
ing to the Vrss. we find in modern editions of (S that the first clause is 
an interrogative. Who is there among you of all his people ? For "tii (5 has 
xal ecTat; Syi is avoel^rfiz-zaf.^^, ava^^QTO)^. (&^ ends with nStyniS. ■*• 
lacks nini after n^i, (S^ adds \i.ii' auToiJ at end of v. In Esd. we find 
utJLwv for DD3 instead of ev ufAiv as 05. vn?N appears as xuptoq auxou in 
^, showing an original nin>; in ^ x6ptoi; is repeated; in ^ we have 
x6pto<; without the pron. following. The last clause is rendered oixb? 
h vLugioq, h xaxaaxifjvciaa? ev 'lepouaaXi^yi. This clause is lacking in ^, 
but most of it appears earlier in the v, ^ is quite divergent in the 
first part thus: t{<; oijv IgtIv u^jlcov ex tou eOvou? osuxoO o<; -lupoOufJielTat 
ToiJ TcopeuOijvat; goTU 6 xupto? iJiei;' ai-rou 6 xaiaaxTjvwaai; ev 'lepou- 

EZRA I 63 

:s(xkri\L, xal iva^iq x. t. X. Here we note a part, ouv (^^ et . , . oOv), 
really necessary to the sense, and the verbs icpoOuiAslTat and xa-raa- 
XT]V(oaa<;, which are not in Heb. 3 Esd. has also a peculiar and brief 
text, viz., si quis est ex genere vestro, Dominus ipsius ascendat cum 
CO in Jerus. Among you is lacking, but there is a faint reflection 
in the your people instead of his. The superfluous which is in Judah 
fails here as in Esd.^^, which appears in ^ only as an adj. t-?)v 'louSafav. 
The commentators mostly ignore the difficulty, though Berth, after 
Guthe favours restoration of lupoOufAetTat as making the permit less 
general, and regards the last clause as "'an intentional imitation of the 
style of the foreign king." Guthe regards the last words as a gl., 
noting their change of place in Esd.'-. He wrongly says in (S^ also, 
for (S^ has the clause in same place as MT. with {jlet' aOxou added. 
For •rcpoeutJi.elTat -coO ■3copsu6^vat Guthe proposes noSS aijnnn (or aijn"'), 
and xpoOuiieuTat invariably represents 3^Jn^; but unless one dis- 
regards MT. altogether, it is impossible to extract this word. We 
have not far to go, however, to find a word closer to the text, for "ina 
suits the sense, and might easily be corrupted to asa. idjj is obviously 
impossible, but the moment we make the necessary changes of "'n'> to 
ni,T>, it follows that we must rd. 'D^J, or possibly oy. In the first case 
we have only the common change of ' to 1; in the latter i was attached 
to the vb. when nin^ was changed to "'.T' {v. 05, cited above), and was 
moved back to the n. If the pi. was original the mng. was prac- 
tically tribes or clans. Perhaps there was enough discord among the 
Bab. Jews to make Cy. think that many peoples worshipped Yahweh. 
Then to get a suitable text we must presume that two lines were 
transposed: rd. people of Y. the G. of Is., he is the God who dwells 
in Jerus., a change supported by Esd.'^. This clause then bears no 
marks of a gl., nor of an attempt to imitate Cy., but is a necessary 
definition to be exact in an edict. "iCN is corrected after Esd. to pen. 
mini3 -icx is prob. an accidental repetition from the preceding v.; it 
is certainly unnecessary here, vn'?^ fits admirably after nini no. 
The whole v. then I would restore thus: mSn nini oy-SsD inb pS ^a 

It is granted that this result requires considerable changes, but the 
Vrss. show that correction is necessary. As frequently happens in 
these books, ^ preserves some original features, which, as usual, are 
obscured by corrections to conform to MT., corrections fortunately 
mostly by addition, so that the original may still be picked out. — 
4. This V. is not much clearer. The involvement is so great that 
translation is almost impossible. Moreover, the Vrss. again show de- 
partures which can hardly be due to the freedom of a translator, and 
the Gk. renderings elsw. in these books show close fidelity to their 
original. (B proper shows mostly the surviving MT. But Esd.^ has 
some good, material. That text has oaot xaxi xdxoui; ofxoudt 


^OYjOefTuaov aixy zpoOufAEbOwaav tw xupftp ev tw t6tcw aiTou Iv xpuafy 
X. T. X. 3 Esd. qiiolquot ergo circa loca habitant adjuvent cos qui sunt 
in loco ipso. We note that the perplexing ifa'j is lacking and that 
nj becomes the leading vb.; in this respect ^^ agree, 'S':x is lack- 
ing while laipc has a new connection. A new vb. is introduced. This 
may represent iDip33 niniS •ui.jn-'i inNa'3> niD\-iD3 d^'i^h-Sdi. This is 
a vast improvement over MT. and shows an earlier and better text. 
It is prob. not original, but is more primitive than MT. In the 
list of gifts (S'- has Swpwv for n^njn, xoO exouafou''^. tri0"\3i = dv S6ae- 
aiv [leG' YxTCwv xoel xttjvwv in Esd., so 3 Esd. This would, perhaps, be 
nsnai ca-i-aj? fi3-\n. Guthe corrects !i'i3"i to V2'\, but ignores S6aeatv. 
naijH-ay is in Cl^ [xsTd: Swpwv = on-ij-ay, and more fully in Esd. auv 
tocq aXXoti; Totq xax' euxa? icpoaTeGettAivot?. This is found in 3 Esd. 
too, and may be a priestly amplification, though it more likely shows 
a different text, t^n is rendered in (& with oinSxn as antecedent, but 
in Esd. with n''3. With the emendations proposed above, based on 
Esd., the edict as a whole runs thus: All the kingdoms of the world has 
Yahweh the God of heaven given me, and he has charged me to build him 
a house in Jems, which is in Jtidah : therefore whoever wills of all the 
people of Yahweh the God of Israel, he is the God whose abode is in Jerus., 
now let him go tip and build the house of Yahweh his God. And all that 
dwell in the places let them support him, and make free-will offerings to 
Yahweh, with silver and gold and with the free-will offerings for the house 
of God who is in Jerus. 

If the above be the original form, many of the objections urged against 
the edict are removed, although the emendations were not made with 
that end in view. Esd.'- certainly had no such purpose. It appears 
that the decree was not issued to the whole Bab. nation, but only to 
the Jews. Cy. would hardly proclaim to the Bab. that his conquests 
were due to Yahweh and thus contradict his inscription. But he 
might have said this to the Jews. Moreover, the Jewish element in 
Bab. fifty years after the fall of Jerus. must have been comparatively 
insignificant. There would be no use of a national proclamation to 
authorise their release. 

iNU'jn] might easily mean those who are left behind, i. e., in Bab. {cf. 
Ex. 10^8 Nu. ii^o); but it means also those who survive, a rannant, being 
equivalent to nnx'^ {cf. Ne. i^*). — "^j] always refers to a temporary 
rather than a permanent residence and shows that the Jews regarded 
their stay in exile as transient. — inxiyj^] from /;// or carry the mng. 
support or assist is naturally derived, a sense found also in 8'' Est. 9' 
I K. 9". — •.^'loi] is a very comprehensive term covering personal prop- 
erty of any kind, including cattle. It is rather a general term for an 
edict. What it is intended to comprise here it is impossible to say. 
The word occurs only in P and other late sources, and is prob. a loan- 
word from Bab. rukuSu. It occurs curiously 5 t. in Gn. 14, the story 
of Abraham's campaign against the kings of the East. 

EZRA I 65 

5-11. Gifts for the temple. — The decree having been issued, 
the next step is to put it into efifect, and this is immediately 
undertaken. The people prepare to depart; contributions are 
secured; and the sacred vessels, of which the temple had been 
plundered a half century before, are returned by Cyrus. 

In a part of this passage at least the Chr.'s hand is manifest. The 
vv. which come from his hand/- «• «-"=', really add nothing in the way 
of historical information. 

5. And arose to go up]. Dip is often used as here in a sense 
like prepared. Three classes are mentioned, the chiefs, the 
priests, and the Levites, the last two being separate classes as 
in P, no longer identical as in Dt. — The heads of the fathers], 
i. e., the chiefs of the clans, an expression occurring frequently 
in P and the Chronicler (BDB.). Fathers in these passages 
has the sense of family or clan. It is an abbreviation of "house 
of the fathers," which naturally means family. — Of Judah and 
Benjamin]. These two tribes are named as the elements out of 
which postexilic Israel is composed {cf. 4^ Ne. 11^). In other 
books we find the same combination (i K. 12^3 i Ch. 12^'' 2 Ch. 
11^2). In the last-named passage we have the definite state- 
ment that Benjamin as well as Judah adhered to Rehoboam 
after the revolt of the northern tribes. The boundary between 
the two kingdoms was never very sharply defined, and as Jeru- 
salem was on the Benjamite border, it would be natural that 
this tribe should for the most part cast in its fortunes with the 
south. There were, therefore, Benjamites as well as Judeans 
in Babylonia. — All whose spirit God stirred up]. This is inter- 
preted in exactly opposite senses. B.-Rys. finds a fourth class 
of Jews, as if it read "and all others whose spirit God stirred 
jp." But that implies that the leaders alone went of their 
)wn accord, and others only as they were moved of God. 
The Chronicler shows in c. :2 that his primary interest is in the 
eaders, lay and ecclesiastical. It is, therefore, better to con- 
-true the clause as a case of apposition limiting the preceding, 
o that the sense is that not all the chiefs, priests, and Levites 
eft Babylonia, but only those whom God moved to go up to 


build the temple (so Sieg.). In v. ^ it was Yahweh who stirred 
the spirit of Cyrus; here God moves the people. The former 
name may be due to the influence of Is.^; the latter is the 
Chronicler's usual term. The Chronicler says "house of Yah- 
weh," but that is a technical term.* 

6. And all their neighbors], equivalent to the men of his place 
in V.'*, and referring to the Jews whose spirit was not moved 
to go to Jerusalem. The use of all indicates that every neigh- 
bour of the returning exiles made an offering for the temple. 
— Strengthened their hands], literally, put strength in their hands, 
is a common expression in Hebrew for "encourage," Ju. g^* 
Is. 35' Ezr. 6^^ Ne. 2^^ 6^. There is no other case where it refers 
to material support, and yet that would be the most natural 
meaning. The list of gifts should be exactly the same as in 
v. ■*. Here we have vessels of silver, choice things, a new element, 
and a different expression for the free-will offerings. We have 
seen evidence of textual errors in v. ^ and there may be more 
of it here. Vessels, which is not found in v. ^, is certainly an er- 
ror creeping in from v. ''. — 7. Now King Cyrus had brought out]. 
The unusual order, subject preceding verb, brings out the fact 
of an attendant circumstance rather than a chronological se- 
quence. The delivery of the temple vessels did not necessarily 
follow the gathering of a caravan and the collection of sub- 
scriptions, but may have been coincident with the issue of the 
decree. Indeed, in the Aramaic version (6^) the surrender of 
these vessels was a part of Cyrus's original order. — Vessels]. ''73 
means vessels or implements. The list shows that both are 
meant here. English has no single word to cover both suita- 
bly, though utensils approximates the requirement. Nebuchad- 
rezzar had plundered the temple each time he captured Jerusa- 
lem, in 598 B.C. (2 K. 2413) and 586 B.C. {ib. 25" ^■). — And 
placed them in the house of his God], as trophies of victory and as 
tokens of the superiority of his god. Similarly the ark had been 
placed in the temple of Dagon (i S. 5^). The temple in Jerusa- 
lem probably had such treasures from the shrines of conquered 

•G. A. Smith notes that in Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. "Sion" is not found, but the phrase "house 
of God which is in Jerus." occurs often to describe the temple site {Jer, i, '-"'). 

EZRA I 67 

nations. "The things which David his father had dedicated" 
(2 Ch. 51), which were put in the temple by Solomon, were doubt- 
less booty from David's wars. In Esd. we have in his house 
of idols, showing the narrower Jewish conception of the Baby- 
lonian temple. — 8. By the hand of Mithredath the treasurer], 
Mithredath, or, as it is better known in the Greek form, 
Mithredates, is a Persian name. In the time of Xerxes there 
was a Persian oj0&cer of Syria bearing this name (4^. He must 
have been the treasurer of the temple, since he is intrusted with 
the disposition of the property of the sanctuary. — And he counted 
them]. The subject must be "Mithredath," though a strict con- 
struction would require "Cyrus." The verb has a pregnant 
sense, the full meaning being, he counted them as he delivered them 
to Sheshbazzar. 

Shes. has often been identified with Zer. The motive was largely 
apologetic, and yet there is this textual evidence, that in the Aram", 
document (5"-") Shes. is said to have laid the foundation of the tem- 
ple, whereas in later parts of this book as well as in Hg. and Zc, Zer. is 
the temple-builder. Again, it may be urged that Shes. disappears 
completely after c. i, and in c. 3 Zer. appears as leader without any 
intr. On the other hand, the Aram, document describes the work of 
Zer. and speaks of Shes. as an earlier leader, as he undoubtedly was. 
The fact is that there is a gap between c. i and c. 3. Indeed, the his- 
tory in these books is not continuous, but fragmentary, as evidenced 
by the fact that there is no hint about the death of any of the leaders, 
nor even of the close of their rule. 

9 f . According to our text the list of utensils comprises 30 
golden vessels, 1,000 silver vessels, 29 censers, 30 golden howls, 410 
silver howls, 1,000 other utensils, 2,499 i^ ^,11, a surprisingly large 
Qumber, yet in v. " the total is given as 5,400, the sort of dis- 
crepancy commonly found in such lists. 

In Esd. we find a larger total, 5,469, and the itemised figures agree 
with this, the only consistent text, and therefore accepted by Nikel. 
But the agreement of the total with the separate items may be artificial. 
There is a list of articles taken from the temple in 586 B.C. (2 K. 25" f), 
but no numbers are given. Some of the words used here do not occur 
elsw., and it is difficult to identify the objects confidently. Doubtless 
the Solomonic temple contained many votive offerings of gold and 
silver which were of little use. 


11. The whole Sheshhazzar took up]. He was not only the 
receiver of the temple treasures, but the leader of an expedition, 
known as the golah, which went from Babylon to Jerusalem. 
— Golah properly means exile, but it has also a figurative sense, 
a company of exiles, and that is the meaning here. It is used 
constantly in these books as a national name (Kue. Ahh.'^^'^ *•)> 
and that use is responsible for the erroneous idea that the post- 
exilic community was made up entirely of those who had come 
from Babylonia. 

The c. ends abruptly and the story is incomplete. Torrey professes 
to have restored the missing section (ES.^'> ^■). As a matter of fact, the 
recovered material serves far better as an intr. to c. 3, and is fully dis- 
cussed in that connection. Pretty nearly all the stories in these books 
end abruptly. 

5. ni3Nn ^i^Ni] is a technical term occurring often in P and Ch. The 
full but less frequent form (see Dn. on Ex. 6"- ") is "nh t\''2 ''^, heads of 
the fathers^ house, and therefore chiefs of clans. — SdS] The prep, is ex- 
plained by Haupt as an emph. part, like the Ar. and Bab. use (Johns 
Hopkins circulars, XIII, No. 114, Ges.^"'). Such a foreign influence 
is unlikely in Ch. and a nearer explanation is possible since the writer 
may have been influenced by the h with min\ Torrey explains in 
sense of "namely," calling it a characteristic of Ch. (ES.'". n. 1). The 
clause is rel., na'N being omitted as it frequently is (c/. Dav. Syn. 
1 144 r 6), — 6. aina''3D] properly means surrounding places, but in both 
m. and f. there are cases where surrounding people is the true sense, m. 
Ps. 76»2 898 Je. 48"- "; f., Ps. 44" Ez. 16" 2?>-* Dn. 9". — anno] the only 
case where a prep, is used in this phrase, though Lv. 25" is very similar, 
but this is the sole instance where material support is meant. Torrey 
regards it as a mere copyist's error. — IDd 1S33] cannot be right; vessels 
would be appropriate below in connection with the temple, and this 
list must originally have agreed exactly with that in v. *. Esd. reads 
lv TOotv ev dpYupfw = 1D33 Sd3, putting S3 in app. with the rest of 
V. This text is accepted by Guthe, Kittel, et al. The mng. would 
then be: supported them with everything [named in the above decree, 
viz.] with silver, etc. — tno-ia] Esd. 2' Yxirotq = r^n. — nuijcni] Esd.^^ 
xal eux°''? <^(; xXefffTan; -JcoXXwv (Lv h vouq T^yipOiQ, Esd.^ euxat? xX. wv 
i^Y^pOtj h voO? eueo?. na*? has been rd. as 33^ not a'lS as Guthe sug- 
gests. Torrey calls Guthe's change indispensable (ES.'^'' °- "). The 
passage is pretty corrupt, but the sense of this text is good, with the 
numerous votive ojjerings of many whose heart was stirred. — 7. N^sirr] (S 
IXa^ev, Esd. [xe-nQYayev^ [Ae-ui^veYxe^S both texts testifying to a different 
word from 8<''Sini. — Guthe and Kittel suggest ■con on basis of Esd. 

EZRA I 69 

Torrey with greater probability proposes Nnn. — 8. Before I'-H'] (S^ 
has eSwxev, Esd. xap^Suxev, and Sieg. accordingly adds Djn^i. In 
32s. ss y,Q have T"-*?]? hp'iff, a better expression, but our text may be in- 
terpreted as a pregnant expression, and (6 may be only an effort at 
clearness. The equiv. of T"-*?]; occurs in Tell-Amarna Tablet No. 72. 
nu has same sense in Gn. 32". — ijtjn] C| did not understand the word 
and transliterates as a n. p., TaagapiQvou^ Tctg^ap-qyoij^, yavl^a^pafou^; 
Esd. Ttp eautoS yal^oqjuXaxc. (S is apparently influenced by Bab. form 
ganzabaru (Peisert, ZAW. xvii,'^')- The word occurs elsw. only in B. 
Aram. 7^1; it is 'Originally Pers., though occurring also in Bab. (see 
Mey. Ent^*, and other references in Ges.). 

9. •'Sti-UN] occurs only in this v. The mng. and derivation are both 
unknown {v. Sta. Hcb. G. § 2"' *). (5 has <!^uY.ifig)Zc,^^, a word not elsw. 
found in (&. The mng. winecoolers, or cool places, is impossible here. 
Esd. reads axovSsta. This is 05's word for nityp, Ex. 25" 371* Nu. 4' i Ch. 
28^^ which means some vessel for holding liquid, and in those cases 
was made of gold; flagon may therefore be the right mng. Torrey de- 
rives "iS*i3iJX from Gk. xpaTitjp, bowl. — D'flSnn] a. X. The mng. usually 
given here is knives, based on derivation from iVn, but iSn does not 
have the assumed mng. of bore {v. Moore's Ju. on $^^), and the primary 
office of a knife is to cut not to bore. In the Talmud moiSn means 
knives. Esd. has Oufoxat dtpYupat, silver pans, ©utaxig is the regular Gk. 
rendering of 1^, which is in the list of vessels carried from the temple 
in 586 (2 K. 25"), and elsw. of temple vessels. Torrey proposes DinpSn 
" snuffers." — 10. niss] elsw. only in i Ch. 28", but 6 t. in this v. and 
Ezr. 8"; the mng. is plainly bowl. — D':u'd] RV. of a second sort is im- 
possible, since no other silver bowls are mentioned. Guthe leaves a 
blank in his text, but Esd. confirms the suspicion that the word is a 
corrupted numeral, Esd. has 2,410(3,410'^). These silver bowls would 
naturally be very numerous, and therefore D'^d'^vX should prob. be sub- 
stituted. Torrey reads a"'jo diaSn, but there is no other case of the 
dual D^sSs with a numeral. — 11. *? — S] like As. lu — In = both — and (v. 
Ges.^""). — n'?ijn . . San] Esd. iv-qyix^ri S^ uxb Sa^xavaaaipou afxa 
•zolq iv. "z^jq alx^cik(,ial(xq. So Guthe emends in part to oa'nD DiSi;;n. 
The mng. is the same, but Esd.'s expression is better, these were carried 
from Bab. to Jerus. by Shes. together with those from the captivity. Esd.^- 
has a different reading of whole v. : to: Ss luavTa axeuT] X9^^^ ^"'■^ ipYupa 
exotJifaOTj uxb X. T. X. There is no total number mentioned, and so a 
little more emph. is laid on the transportation. This puts us on the 
track of what the original text of Esd. must have been, since ^•^ be- 
gins to; Se xtivTa axeurj Ixo[j.(ct6tj and then adds gold and silver and a 
number. Having done this another vb. must be introduced, as avrjv^x^^- 
Esd. then originally had merely all the vessels were carried from Bab. 
to Jems, by Shes. and those from the captivity. 

Sites. I'- " s^*' "'"t- The Heb. form of the name is always the same 



->X3B'U'. But the Vrss. show great diversity. It has Sassabasar in 
Ezr., and Salmanasarus in Esd. (& has these forms: (i) Bayaaap'^ 
5", (2) Sappayap'^ 5'*, (3) Sa^ctvaaap^ i^ {^ lacks the name in i")i 
(4) SaPaaapTf]?'- always in Ezr., (5) Sa^avaaaotpoq'^ Esd. 6", (6) Saaa- 
paXaaaapo?^ always in Esd., (7) Saaa^aaaapoi;^ always in Ezr., (8) 
2ava[i.aaao(po(;^ Esd. 2", (9) Sajjuzvotaaapoq'^ Esd. 2'<, (10) Sava^aaaapo?^ 
Esd. 6i" •*■ always in Esd. 

It is clear that (i) and (2) are the same, sar being in one case initial, 
in the other final; and that (8) and (9) are the same, the (jl and v being 
transposed. In fact, the forms (3), (8), (9), (10) are easily reducible 
to one, and that should prob. be SavccPaaaapoq. It will be noted also 
that ^^H. have only two forms, one in Ezr., the other in Esd. By 
transposition of letters these texts agree with the Heb. in Ezr., i. e., 
Sassabasar, but they disagree in Esd. It is generally held that the 
name is Bab., and may be SamaS-bil-uzur or Sin-bal-uzur (v. Sc\h'ie,DB. 
art. "Shes." KAT.'- ^m). The question is therefore one of reading aot? 
as Shemcsh, or aav for Sin. It is difficult to identify Sin-bal-uzur with 
ixact:', therefore the former would be preferable; but if Shes. is the 
same person as Shenazzar, then the latter is better, and both Heb. 
names are a corruption of i??Jp, represented in several forms of Gk. 
of which No. 10 is the most original. 

Shes. has been regarded as a Jew, as a Pers., as identical with Zer., 
with Shenazzar, and as an independent personage. Schroeder held 
that he was a Pers. officer, sent to secure the safety of the caravan 
{cf. B.-Rys. Kue. Abh.^^^). He was almost certainly a Jew. Bab. 
names were often given to Jewish children in Bab. (cf. Clay, Light fr. 
Babcl,*'>', Daiches, Jews in Bab.). Cy. would not have sent a Pers. 
in charge of the sacred vessels, for his policy was to pacify, not to 
irritate. The Chr. would not call a foreigner "prince of Judah," a 
distinctive Heb. title often applied to kings. 

The identification with Zer. rests on his having credit for laying the 
foundations of the temple (5'°), a ta^sk really performed by Zer. (Zc. 
4'); on the titis "governor" (5")> which really belonged to Zer.; and 
on his appointment by Cy. Zer. is called "governor of Judah" only 
in Hg. !»• " 22- 2". Cy. prob. appointed Shes. as governor because he 
was already a Judean prince, and therefore his rule would please the 

With far better reason Shes. is identified with Shenazzar (i Ch. 31'), 
a son of the captive king Jehoiachin, and the uncle of Zer. (Mey. 
ZAW. xviii,3«, Winckler, KAT.^- "-^). In that case he must have been 
about sixty years of age in 539, and by 520 would naturally have 
given place to his nephew. Both rulers would therefore hold office by 
virtue of their royal descent (Torrey rejects this identification, ES."'). 
a^-'i is a general term, one who is exalted, and therefore applicable 
to any high oflQcer. It is used rarely before Ez. The term is applied 

EZRA 2 ^-"9 71 

to Solomon (i K. 11"), to Zedekiah (Ez. 7"), to a future Davidic king 
{ib. 34'* et pass.), and to foreign princes {ib. 26"; Smith, Jer. i,"', 
BDB.). The Chr. applies the term to tribal chiefs. The most that 
we can infer from its use is that Shes. was the natural chief of Judah. 
It is diflBcult to think of any one holding such a place who was not of 
the house of David. The statement of the release of Jehoiachin in 
561 by Evil-Merodach and his restoration to the royal state becomes 
significant in this connection (c/. Mey. £«/."'•). 

Winckler maintains that Shes. continued his rule through the reign 
of Cambyses (529-522), and that the opposition of the foreigners in 
Ezr. 4*-' was directed against him, as he regards Cambyses, not Xerxes, 
as the right name of the king (KATJ'^^'^-). Kue. holds that he is 
the Tirshatha of Ezr. 2", and that he was superior in authority to 
Zer. and Jes. {Abh.'^"-^). The fact is that Shes. appears without intr. 
and disappears without notice. Our sources contain no account of 
his work other than the bare mention here, for Ezr. 5" is certainly 


The passage falls into the following divisions: (i) A census 
of the people of Israel, w. ^-^ = Nc^-^" = Esd. 5^-^^ (2) A 
list of laity who could not show their stock, and of priests who 
could not prove their official status, vv. ^'^-^^ = Ne."-^^ = Esd. 
^36-40^ (3) The total figures of the census and the number of 
slaves and animals, w. ^*-" = Ne.""-''' = Esd. s'^^ f-. (4) A list 
of contributions, vv. «» f- = Ne.^" ^- = Esd. 5«-''\ 

There are really but three separate parts to the passage, for (i) and 
(3) belong together, and the other two sections are independent. The 
figures in (3) seem to be the totals of those catalogued in (i). In (2) 
there is a figure given for the laity, which is prob. a gl., as there is no 
figure for the suspended pr. (4) is the only section which in part is 
duplicated in Esd.. for Esd. does not contain Ne. 7'-". It is the part 
which has been most liberally edited to make it a suitable preface in 
the one place to the temple-building, in the other to the assembly for 
reading the law. The passage seems to be more original in Ne., though 
Ezr.^8 seems to be an original part of the temple-building story, and 
this was probably amplified from Ne. 

Ace. to Ne. 75 this list is a record of "those who came up at the first," 
and it is assumed that this means the company of Shes. But "at the 
first" is very vague, since Neh. wrote a hundred years later than Shes. 


Neh. proposed to secure an enrolment with a view to securing residents 
for the newly fortified Jerus. In the note on 7' it is shown that the 
text is in error here; so Sm. (Listen) and many others. Manifestly a 
record of a caravan a century before his time would have been of no 
use for his purpose. Therefore the passage cannot be original in that 
place, but Kue. regards the list as older than Ne. (Abh.'^^''). Then the 
narrative runs right on into the time of Ezra (8'). It is evident that 
the Chr. uses the list as a record of those who came with Zer. and Jes., a 
disposition still clearer in the text of Esd.; indeed, in that version no 
other connection is possible. But such an accounting for this list is 
untenable. For (i) when we compare with other companies, the num- 
bers are suspiciously large. (2) The place-names suggest a time when 
the people were already settled in Judah (cf. Ne. 11" ^■). (3) The 
term " sons of the province " in v. > presupposes a time when Syria was 
a regularly instituted satrapy of the Pers. empire. (4) The suspension 
of pr. from the holy office (v. «-) could scarcely precede the building 
of the temple. (5) It is prob. that Nch. or Ezra ordered this suspen- 
sion (v."). (6) The interpolated v. '^ shows that the original was 
later than the building of the temple. (7) The term "all the congre- 
gation" (v. **), a term inappropriate to a caravan, suggests a census of 
the whole nation, (v. further We. Isr. Jud. Ge^.i"). If we accept Tor- 
rey's view of Esd. 4^'-S^ {v. Intr. to c. 3), it is plain that further criti- 
cism is necessary; Esd. 5* begins "and these are the names of the 
men who went up," but the only names found are those of Jes. and 
Zer.; 5' virtually repeats the statement, showing that while the Esd. 
text originally had a list, this is not the original list, but a substitute 
prob. from a later Heb. source. Moreover, Ezr. 31 (or 2") seems to me 
to join directly to Esd. 5«, though Torrey sees no difficulty in the pres- 
ent arrangement. 

It is easy to dismiss the matter as a mere invention of the Chr., Tor- 
rey saying that it was "deliberately repeated by him (to add as much 
as possible to its importance) " (ES."'). Against this view, see Berth.'. 
The mere catalogue of names does, indeed, seem like the Chr.; but 
many others cared for genealogies besides the oft-abused Chr. and there 
are integral parts of the c. which are not due to his pen. There are 
some positive results which may be deemed reasonable. Ne. certainly 
contained a list of those who took up residence in the newly walled 
city, bare of inhabitants (Ne. 11). Esd. shows clearly that it originally 
had a list of those who came up with Zer. Lists are required, there- 
fore, in both places. 

There are many lists of names in these books, but the one before us 
is the most comprehensive of all. The largest of all the caravans of 
returning exiles may have been that which came with Zer. But on 
the face of it this list is a record of those who came up with a number of 
different leaders (v. 0- It appears to be an attempt to gather a com- 

EZRA 2 1-^9 73 

prehensive list of all who had come to Judah from the time of Zer. to 
the time of Ezra. Indeed, what may be the original title of the list, 
"the number of the men of the people of Israel" (v. ^^) would suggest 
that the list is a census of all the Israelites in Judah, for Mey.'s inter- 
pretation of the term Israel as meaning those who came back from 
captivity is exceedingly doubtful (Eni.^^^- °- ^). The leaders are grouped 
together, and so are the chief men who composed the various caravans. 
It was probably made up in the time of Ezra, and may have stood as a 
part of the Ezra documents. Certainly the unrelated passage. No. 2, 
above, fits his age. The earliest notice of any attempt to make a line 
of cleavage between Israel and its neighbours was in Neh.'s second 
administration (Ne. 12^3 ff.)_ There is no indication of a concern about 
the purity of the priesthood before Ezra's time. The whole list may, 
therefore, stand in its true place in connection with Ne. 8, in spite of 
the evidence of Esd. to the contrary. 

Now it was the theory of the Chr. that postex. Israel was made up 
exclusively of those who had returned from captivity. He therefore 
must have a large number of returning exiles at the beginning, cer- 
tainly before the building of the temple, at which task none but pure 
Israelites must have a hand (Ezr. 41-'). Therefore he takes the largest 
list found in any of his documents and substitutes it for the brief list 
of those who had come up with Zer. When he interjected the reading 
of the law into the history of Neh., he took the whole document Ne. 
7^8'=. By changing the purpose of Neh.'s assembly 7=", and adding 
7"', he secured a suitable connection. 

What value the list may have is hard to say. There was an interest 
in such records in the postex. period, prob. growing out of the effort 
to separate Israel from "the peoples of the lands." From that point 
of view the section w. "-«' may be quite appropriate in its place. 
Allowing for corruption this may be an authentic census of Israel in 
the latter part of the Pers. period. 

The numbers in the lists. — The numbers vary greatly in the two Vrss. 
In the list of laity Ezr. and Ne. differ in half the cases, and there is 
not a single figure in which all the texts agree. On the other hand, 
there is but little variation in the lists of temple officers, pr. Lev. etc., 
suggesting a later text for that part. There is virtual agreement in 
the grand total, 42,360, but we could scarcely hold with Seis. that the 
agreement proves the figure to be correct. That total is far in excess 
of the sum of the various figures scattered through the lists and from 
which it presumably is derived. This has been explained by Guthe as 
due to the loss of a number of individual data; but it is easier to sup- 
pose errors in the numbers than loss from the lists of such large numbers 
as would be necessary to make the totals agree. Mey, supposes that 
the numbers were not originally written in alphabetic characters, but 
in cipher like the Phoenician {EnL"'^). The variation is a good illus- 


tratjon of the extent of textual corruption in the OT., though it is 
likely that numbers have suffered more than words. It is a curious 
fact that if we take the maximum number in each case, and add the 
3,005 in Esd. 5'^ (^), we get a total of 43,761, not far from the correct 
figure. But no conclusion can safely be drawn from this fact, as there 
may have been an attempt to make the text consistent. 

The variations in the names is explained by Seis. as due to three 
reasons: (i) Jews who had enrolled to return with Zer. changed their 
minds and remained behind, while others may have joined the cara- 
van on the way; (2) many may have died on account of hardships of 
the journey; (3) and minors may have been enrolled in one list and not 
in another (Esd.-Ne.-E. in loc). These reasons presuppose a fidelity 
in the records which is scarcely borne out by the evidence. The 
variations are not greater than in other cases of deuterographs, and 
are to be explained as txt. err., sometimes made intentionally, more 
often accidentally. The real interest is in the numbers, not in the 
names, for names of living individuals are few. The people are grouped 
by clans, towns, offices, and the importance lies in the number of 
each group. Sm. calls attention to the fact that in this list the laity 
stand first, while in other lists the temple ofiacers take precedence 
{Listen, ^^). He is in error to a degree, for in the strikingly similar 
list in Ne. 11 = i Ch. 9, the laity are named first. Sm. explains the 
precedence of the laity as due to the fact that in the first century after 
the return the laity had the upper hand. He notes the invariable 
naming of Zer. before Jer., and the absence of the high pr. in N. and E. 

1-2" = Ne. l^""" Esd. 5'^-. The introduction to the list. 
— 1. And these are the sons of the province who came up from the 
captivity of the golah] shows a double limitation, the census 
covering residents of the Persian province of Judah, but who 
had been in Babylon. Sons of the province points to a period 
when the country was well settled. The terms suggest an 
effort to procure a Hst of Judeans who had come from the exile, 
in distinction from those who had always lived in Judah. There 
is no indication of a list of a caravan. — Each to his city] shows 
that the pilgrims were already scattered over the country. — 
2. Who came with]. There follow eleven names, twelve in Ne., 
usually regarded as a body of elders having supreme authority 
at the time (Sta. Gesch. ii,i°«; Kue. Abh.^; Sm. Listen,^''). It 
is claimed that hints of such an official body are found in 5* 
6^- ^\ It is more likely that these men were the leaders of the 

EZRA 2^-^^ 75 

various caravans of returning exiles which kept coming to 
Judah throughout the Persian period {v. crit. n. on 2^). Nehe- 
miah would then be the well-known wall-builder. 

1. njncn >j2] cf. Ps. 149=, "sons of Zion," Ez. 23", "sons of Bab- 
ylon," though text is dub. njnn is applied in Est. 38 t. to the Pers. 
province, and it might here mean the district in Bab. whence the 
exiles had come. But in Ne. i' it certainly means Judah, and it has 
the same mng. here. — nSvin n-^] is redundant and is found only in 
parall., Ne. 7'; elsw. ^3a> alone is used in the same sense. In the 
earlier books "'32' means "prisoners," but in Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. it has the ab- 
stract sense. In 8'= we have "the captivity the sons of the exile"; 
nSun 1J2 may be a gl., or ''J3 may have dropped out of our text. — ^22^] 
lacking in Ne. but found in all texts of Esd. The omission in Ne. 
was prob. accidental on account of the preceding S3 3. The error is 
early, as the Vrss. testify. The word means Babylonia, the country, 
not Babylon, the city. — min'''?i] as Ne.« is the more correct form. — 2. 
1N3 "iii'N]. Ne.' a''S3n a difference shown also in (B. Esd., however, 
has ol eXOovre?, supporting Ne. ^ lacks the expression in Ne. Ezr. 
has II names, Ne. 12, Esd.^ 13, Matcpap being added; ^^ in Ne. has 14, 
adding "Eapa and Maaipap. Ezra's name properly belongs in the list; 
the latter may be a repetition of iadd. — yr^^^] is regarded as a late form 
of 3?ia'in'>, ini becoming v and v becoming ~l(f. Gray,""). In the con- 
temporary Hg. and Zc. this name appears as ya'ini, from which it 
would appear that the shortened name was later than this period and 
may be due to the influence of (&, which usually renders: Tijaout; = 
y^y\ — nnc] Ne.' nnr;?. Esd. 5' Ztxpxbc;^ SapafoqK Since 'Agaioq^ 
is an evident error for llapocixq^^, the Vrss. offer no real help. Both 
are common names. Scraiah was the name of Ezra's father. He might 
be the one intended here. In that case we should infer that Ezra 
came up with his father. — niS;?n] Ne. n>D>n. 'Pe^Xfia^ (in Ne.) gives 
slight support to Ezr. Neither name occurs elsw. After this Ne. has 
a name "ijcnj which E. lacks. The name is supported by Esd. 'Evi^vtoi; 
and even in Ezr. Nefidcvi^. This person is not mentioned elsw. — ''3-n2. 
This can scarcely refer to Est.'s kinsman, and the name does not occur 
otherwise. — isor] Ne. niDDs. The Vrss. support their texts exc. that 
Esd. ('Aayapdcao?) suggests the latter form, and this is accepted by 
Guthe. Marquart suggests Aspadat, a Pers. name {SBOT.'^^). Nei- 
ther name occurs elsw. — ''IJ3] (5 BaYoua, BaYoutat^, BczYouai^, Baxouat, 
Baxoei'^. The name may have been !^^'iJ3, but that form does not 
help in its explanation. Halevy reads: iij-ox, rejected by Gray (Pr. 
N.-^), and really without any support. — 3im] Ne. oinj Esd.^' PoeitAoq, 
Naou[ji^'. The former is a well-known name in the postex. period, the 
latter does not occur elsw. 


a^-SS = Ne. 7'"-^' Esd. 5^-^\ The list of the laity.— 

These are enumerated under two classes: (i) under the head 
of the clan, the people being designated as sons of Parosh, etc.; 
(2) under the name of the town in which they lived, these 
being designated as men of Bethlehem, etc. Wherever these 
designations are confused a textual error may be regarded as 
responsible. There is less of such confusion in Ne. than in Ezr. 

We note that we have: (i) a long list of personal names, '-'» or '-i» 
if the Gibeon of Ne. is the correct reading; (2) a considerable list of 
place-names, ^ (ori9).29j (2) a short list of personal names, "'-'2; (4) 
place-names, =''•; (5) and a single personal name, 's. There are two 
cases where the order in Ne. differs from that in Ezr., vv. "• *'. It 
is very prob. that in its original form all the personal names stood first, 
with the place-names following, and Guthe has so arranged them in 
his text. Otherwise we should have to explain the list as a growth, 
names being added at the end and so causing the disarrangement in 
the order. 

Esd. here shows wide divergence from MT. Esd.^ agrees through- 
out with MT. so far as the names are concerned, but ^^ lacks Hashum, 
v. 1^ Gibbar, v. ^o, Ai, v.^\ Nebo, v. 29, the other Elam, v.", and 
Harim, v. ^K On the other hand, ^■*- contain the following names 
not found in MT. v. " KeCkdcv xal 'AZyiz&q (npryi nS^yp) 'Ai;apou (nj? 
Ne. lo's) v. i«, 'Avvefc QAyvlocq^), (n>Jjn Ne. lo^^), 'Agi6[i. (ann v. '^j; 
V. ", BatTTfjpou?; v. =°, ol x«5taaat xal 'A^jLtiratot. It will appear, there- 
fore, that Esd. follows Heb. in vv. J-^^- "-="'• ^'-'s, but in the rest leaves 
out some names and introduces others, and curiously the number lack- 
ing and the number added, counting combined names, is the same (six). 
Four of the six added names stand between Ater of Hezekiah and Besai 
(after v. ")> while four of the lacking Heb. names are virtually continu- 
ous. This is the place where Ezr. and Ne. have a different order. Fol- 
lowing Guthe's identifications we get easily a new and prob. place-name, 
the men of Keilah and Azekah sixty-seven, and two new clan-names,. 
Azziir and Hananiah. Bacu-rjpou? is certainly a place-name; Guthe 
reads nrc? and substitutes this for Gibbar, v. 2°; but Esd. has the in- 
credible number, 3,005, while Gibbar has but 95. A more prob. expla- 
nation is found in i Ch. 2" "nj-n>a ^as* inn. The first word is a name 
in Ne. (= Jorah v. ")• The meaningless Gibbar may be a corrup- 
tion of Beth-Giddar, which in Ne. becomes the well-known but 
unsuitable Gibeon. Beth-Giddar is in Judah and would be a proper 
locality to connect with Bethlehem; in fact, these two places are 
connected in i. Ch. 2". Each name is preceded by '>J3 or "'tfjx. Here 
again there is considerable diversity in use. In Ezr. we find sons exc. 

EZRA 2i-«' 77 

before Netophah, Anathoth, Michmas, Bethel, and Ai; but in ® before 
the last three only. In Ne. we find men before the names Bethlehem 
to Nebo, with which (S agrees exc. in having "men" before the other 
Elam, and ^^ having "sons" before Bethlehem, Netophah, Anathoth, 
and Azmaweth, these places not occurring in ^. Esd.^-^ agree with 
Ne., since o? ex = ''B'jk, but ^ has "sons" exc. in two places, with 
Michmash and with Bethel and Ai, and here we find d'vSpeq, a word 
not occurring in ^^. It is safe to conclude that it was intended to use 
"sons" before personal names, and "men" before place-names, but 
that there was doubt about some of the names. The system in Ne. 
is nearly correct, "sons" being used for "men" before some place- 
names at the end on account of the disarrangement of the list. It 
will appear below (on the place-names) that there are some doubtful 

The personal names. — There are 24 such names, though Jes. and Joab 
are not given as heads of clans, and Senaah is very uncertain. There 
are other groups of personal names in our books: (i) Ezra's company 
©f returning exiles (Ezr. 8); (2) the list of those who divorced their 
foreign wives (Ezr. 10); (3) the builders of the wall (Ne. 3); and (4) 
those who subscribed to the covenant (Ne. 10). List (i) contains the 
clan-names, and then the individuals belonging to the clan. Of the 
12 clans there are but 2, Shekaniah= and Shelomithi", which are not 
found in our list. But in list (4), a record of clan-names only, less than 
half are found in our list. There are but 2 clans found in all the 
lists, Parosh and Pahath-Moab, and these have the largest numbers 
attached; 4 are found in three lists, while but i, Arah, occurs only in 
one list. Reference should here be made to the valuable tables in 
Sm.'s Die Listen, and to the glossary at the end of Berth. 's comm. 

The place-names. — Of the 20 place-names in MT., 14 are well known, 
being found in pre-ex. records (or 15 if we include Gibeon as in Ne.). 
Of the others, Azmaweth is dub., for it may be a personal name. Lod, 
Hadid, and Ono are place-names in Ne. 11'^ '• and located in Benj. 
Hadid does not occur elsw. Ono and Lod are named as BenJ. towns 
in I Ch. 812, and the same Ono may be intended in Ne. 6^. In regard 
to Nebo there is much doubt. We know a mountain and city of that 
name in Moab, but that situation is unsuitable. We find the "sons 
of Nebo" in Ezr. lo" among those divorced, but, contrary to BDB., 
it is a personal name. We note further that in Ezr. "men of" (v. ") 
changes to "sons" at this point, after which we have personal names. 
Therefore Nebo may be a personal name here. Otherwise we may 
regard the text as slightly in error and identify with Nob, a Benj. city 
(Is. io« Ne. II"), There are thus several names concerning which 
we cannot positively determine whether they are personal or geograph- 
ical. These are Magbish, Ilarim, Senaah, Azmaweth, and Nebo. 

In Ne. ii»6-36 there is an important geographical list of the places in 


Judah and Benj. inhabited at the time that record was made. We find 
there 17 Judean towns, not one of which is found in our hsts. On the 
other hand, there are 15 Benj. places, and of these 10 are in this hst, 
and of these 9 are continuous. As our list is later than that in Ne., 
it would appear that the localities on the north of Jerus. remained 
stationary, while those on the south changed almost completely with 
the course of time. The Judean towns of our list are all near Jerus.; 
some of them in Ne. 11 are more remote; it would appear, therefore, 
that the pilgrims for the most part settled near Jerus., or else that the 
census taken did not cover much ground. There are several place-names 
in the hst of temple-builders (Ne. 3), and, strange to say, Jericho is the 
only name that is common, though Keilah is found in Ne. 3 in agree- 
ment with Esd. 

Mey. explains the separation of these people designated by towns 
from those indicated by clans on the theory that these are the poor 
people (£n;."2)j who were not reckoned by families. The conclusion 
seems to me fanciful. In other lists the people are grouped by towns 
to distinguish them from the Jerusalemites {v. esp. Ne. 11); the same 
course is followed here. 

2**. The number of the men of the people of Israel] is a heading 
for the lists which follow. The word number expresses the idea 
shown in most of the table that the interest is not in the names, 
but in the figures. Except in the case of some of the temple 
officers, the names of living individuals are not given. — 3. The 
sons of Parosh] meaning the members of the clan of which Parosh 
was the head. It was a large body, having 2,172 individuals. 
The clan appears often in Ezr.-Ne. 8^ lo'^^ Ne. 3^^ lo^^ — 5. 
The sons of Arah, 775], Ne. 652. — 6. The scheme of the list 
fails here, MT. reading, the sons of Pahath-Moab: of the sons of 
Jeshua, Joab, 2,812]. Ne." reads Jeshua and Jodb. The text 
is corrupt, as the departure from the mechanical system of the 
list shows (u. i.). — 7. Elam is well known as the country over 
which Cyrus ruled. The name recurs in v. ^^ with the distin- 
guishing adjective other; otherwise the verses are the same. 
This is a case of accidental repetition, and "other" was added 
to cover up the error. — Zattu] lo^^ Ne. lo^^; 945 Ne. 845. — 9. 
Zakkai] only here, but he may be the same as Zabbai Ne. 3^" 
(so Qr.). — 10. Bani] Ne.^^ Binnui. Both forms recur; indeed, 
there are numerous forms from the root T\12. 642 Ne. 648. — 
12. Asgad] 8^2 Ne. lo^^ explained by Gray as containing the 

EZRA 2 1-^5 79 

name of the deity Gad — Gad is mighty. He regards the 
name as proof of the worship of this deity during the exile 
{Pr. iV."*). But these chiefs may have lived long before the 
exile, as the list deals with their posterity. Gad may, therefore, 
be David's prophet (i S. 22^), or the tribe across the Jordan, 
representatives of which may have been in the postexilic com- 
munity. — 14. Bigvai] is also the name of one of the leaders, 
v. 2; also 8^ Ne. 10". — 16. The sons of Ater of Hezekiah] cf. Ne. 
10^*, where Hezekiah follows Ater as a separate name. It is 
possible that Ater was a descendant of King Hezekiah. — 18. 
Jorah] Ne.'^* Hariph. — 20. Gibbar] Ne.^^ Gibeon, a place-name. 
Probably the correct form is Beth-Giddar (v. s.). — 22. Neto- 
phah] the home of two of David's heroes (2 S. 23^*). Identified 
with Beit Nettif at the entrance to the vale of Elah (DB.). Ne. 
groups the Bethlehemites and Netophites together with 188 
for the two; the figures in Ezr. are 123 and 56, 179 in all. — 
23. Analhoth] was but three miles from Jerusalem, and was 
Jeremiah's home. — 24. Azmaweth] Ne.^^ Beth-Azmaweth, a form 
found nowhere else. Azmaweth is a personal name (2 S. 12^^ 
I Ch. ii'3 12'), and a place-name in Ne. 12^9, the home of the 
singers near Jerusalem. As it is among the place-names, this 
town may be meant. — 29. The sons of Nebo] Ne.^^ the men of 
the other Nebo. The only known Nebo is the Reubenite town 
in Moab (Nu. ;^2^- ^^). From Ne. w,e infer that there was an- 
other place of this name. — 30. Magbish] lacking in Ne., and 
not mentioned elsewhere. — 32. Harim] means consecrated and 
is a good priestly name. — 35. Senaah] is the name of a wall- 
builder (Ne. 3^) and is probably personal (v. i.). 

2^. Sn-iii'i Dj; >cj}< idDd] (&^ dtvSpwv ol:ptO;jLb<; [ -f XccoG^] 'lapai^X, an 
evident transposition, as ^ has dptOiibq av. In Ne. (& has Maayap 
5vSpe(; uloO 'lapaiQX, Matipip SvBpei; Xaou 'lapai^X^. Esd. 5'^ has a 
different text twv xpoYiYoufJiivuv auTwv, dptOpibq iwv dxb toO eOvou<; 
xal ol •jcpoTTiYoutAEvot auTtiv. Here we have an equiv. of ani'i^N-i accepted 
by Guthe as a suitable ending of the list of the leaders of returning 
caravans, and a slightly diflerent heading for the following census. 
It would be in Heb. anv^xm [or mjcI D;?a "»i3DD and is less awkward 
than MT. 3 Esd. has a still different text, Emonia imus de principi- 
hus eorum. Et numerus a gentilibus eoruni ex praposUis eorum. Seis. 


holds that Israel is used advisedly rather than Judah, for the twelve 
leaders indicate representatives of all the tribes. There may have been 
men from the ten tribes in the later Judean province, but certainly the 
use of the name Israel does not even suggest such a conclusion. The 
Heb. phrase would make a good title for the list which follows, indicat- 
ing a census of the whole nation, such as was taken in David's time 
(2 S. 24). It is the Chr.'s theory that these all returned from caf>- 
tivity. — 5. D-'pas'i na'cn] units preceding tens shows txt. err. Rd. as 
Ne.i" Dijsyi D^'tfon. — 6. oxia nns] 8* lo'" Ne. 3" io>=. <S" has <J>aXap- 
(jLoxz^, Esd.^ 4>6aXsttJLwotP, but otherwise $aaG[jwo(4p as ^. The lexicons 
derive from nnD, a pit = pit of Moah; but governor of Moab is prefer- 
able (B.-Rys. Ryle), an interpretation supported by a dup. in ^: 4>aaO 
■fjYou[xivou Mwa^. The name is strange for a Heb. family. Seis. sup- 
poses it was borne by a Moabite family which had wandered into 
Judah as Ruth did. Ryle supposes the family to have been rulers of 
part of Moab, and the ofHcial has displaced the family name. B.-Rys. 
explained as a Judean ruler in Moab and held that nnij was a late sub- 
stitution for an older word of the same meaning. He cites i Ch. 4^*, 
where we find jnidS iSpa. The name might have been JXis-Sy3, and 
the change made to get rid of the offensive Baal, as Ish-baal was changed 
to Ish-bosheth. Ew. held that the name belonged to a governor of . 
Moab appointed by the Chaldeans, and who had later returned to 
Jerus. {Hist, v,^^), a view from which Sm. dissents. All that we can 
say surely is that an official title has become a common clan-name. 

asn yvi'i] It is held that Jes. was the head of one branch of hfs 
family and Joab the head of a smaller branch. In that case we should 
have the genealogy of Joab traced back through Jes. to an earlier 
Pahath-Moab. But Ne. reads Jes. and Joab; so (S^ and Esd., a ren- 
dering adopted by Guthe. There is no other case in the personal names 
where clans are grouped together or where genealogical information 
is added. The most prob. explanation is that a number has dropped 
out after Pahath-Moab, that Jes. has crept in by accident, and " the 
sons of Joab" is an independent clan. Otherwise we must regard of 
the sons of Jes.: /oa&asagl. — 10. 'ja] 05, Bavou, Bavout, Bavet, Bavaia, 
Bavaiou. Perhaps both Ezr. and Ne. ("iija) are corrupt. We might 
get 1103 " built," or n;33 " Yahweh has built," comparable to the Bab. 
Banlia. Names from this root are very common (». forms in Ne. 
io»< II" I Ch. 2").— 11. 133] is found in Bab. as Biba.— 16. There 
is a -|- in Esd.^'^ 5", the sons of Azcr, of Hezekiah, the sons of Keilan and 
Azetas, 67; the sons of Azarii, 432; the sons of Anneis, loi; the sons 
of Aroni. Twice a number is wanting, and once both " sons of" and a 
number fail. — 18. n-ir] Ne. inn ^^ has IwpiQs in Ezr. and Ne., but 
Esd.'^ reads Qpat, Esd.'^^ Apaetcpoupste, showing both names in a cor- 
rupt form. n-iii has rather the better support. — 20. i3j] may be an 
error for iiyaj, as Ne. Esd.^ has Fa^auv, and Gibbar is not found 

EZRA 2 ^-'59 8 1 

elsw. Gibeon is north of Jerus. The list begins with southern places 
and later gives those in the north; therefore, if Gibeon is right the v. is 
misplaced. — 21. In Ne. (S^^ lacks Bethlehem, Netophah, and Anathoth. 
— 24. niDi>:] is the correct pointing, as all the varied forms of (S end 
in iio)6. — 26. Esd. has + ol xa^tdtaai xal 'AyL(JLi'8toc (422). — 27. Dcoc] 
so Ne., but CDOD is the form in i S. 13^ ^- Is. 10=8 Ne. ii^*. 

29. i2j] + nnN in Ne., a form supported by ^ alone, the other Gk. 
texts following Ezr. Guthe holds that the sons of Nebo must be a clan, 
comparing Ne. lo^". The other Nebo of Ne. means another clan of the 
same name. As the number 52 is the same in both texts, Guthe 's 
contention is dub. — 30-32. Maghish, Elam, and Harim are usually 
treated as place-names (Sicg. Seis. B.-Rys.). The evidence points to 
personal names. Magbish, lacking in Ne., but supported by (&, docs 
not occur elsw., but as all the other places are well known, an unheard- 
of place would hardly be named here. There is a personal name cysJO 
in Ne. 10" which might be the same. We know of no Judean town 
named Elam, still less can we find two of that name. Harim recurs 
pass. v. =3 lo'i- " Ne. 3" 735.42 io«- =8 i2'6, and always is a person. 
Ha-ri-im-ma- is a personal name on the contract tablets (Clay, Mu- 
rashu Sons, x,^"). — 35. nxjD] Ne. 3' is deemed a place-name by many. 
The number in this group is 3,630, 3,930 in Ne., about one- twelfth of 
the whole. This big number could not belong to an unknown place, 
nor to an otherwise unknown clan. The number may, of course, be 
wrong, esp. as ^^ in Ne. has 930. In i Ch. 9" there is nxjon-ja a 
Benj., the same person as nijon-ji in Ne. 11' {v. Benz. and Curt, on 
I Ch. 9'). The art. is found in Ne. J. D, Michaelis explained as " the 
sons of the unloved wife" (nsijt?). Mey. notes (Is. 6015) Jerus. shall 
be no longer " abandoned and hated," but a pride and joy. He holds 
that "abandoned and hated" covers these people,' so that the name 
indicates neither a place nor a person, but a class, men without property, 
servants, and the like. But if Is. is cited, "the sons of the hated" 
would be a national name, covering all of despised Israel. In our lists 
personal or place names are required throughout. The pointing is 
attested by all Gk. texts. A personal name must be meant, and the 
same name is to be assumed in i Ch. 9' Ne. 11'. Guthe notes that in 
the Mishna nxjD is a Benj. clan. 

36-58. = Ne.^'^° Esd. 5'^■'^ The temple officers.— These 

are arranged in six groups: (i) Priests. (2) Levites. (3) Singers. 
(4) Porters. (5) Nethinim. (6) Sons of Solomon's servants. 

(i) The priests, vv. ^e-sa Ne."-" Esd.^^ f-. — The number of pr. is large, 

4,289, almost exactly one-tenth of the whole list, but as only four clans 

are named, we have an average of over a thousand to each clan. It is 

very likely that pr. would be interested above all others in the rebuild- 



ing of the temple, as that would be a necessary step in their restoiation 
to office. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to conceive of such a vast 
number returning at one time; and still more difficult to comprehend 
the delay in the rebuilding of the temple if more than 4,000 pr. were 
on the ground from the first. 

It is noteworthy that in the list of pr. Ezr. and Ne. agree in both 
names and numbers, and even (S offers no important variation. It is 
natural to infer from this harmony that the list belongs to a late date, 
a conclusion supported by the absence of any mention of these pr. 
in Jos. There are large lists of pr.' names found in other parts of 
our books (Ne. io> "f- 11*° ^- 121 ^■). The heads of the priestly houses 
here are the same as those in the list of divorced pr. (Ezr. lo^' "■), 
exc. that here we have " the sons of Jedaiah of the house of Jes." and 
in the other " the sons of Jes. the son of Jozadak"; and in the latter 
list Harira precedes Pashhur. Among the pr. who had taken foreign 
wives were all the families named in our list, and no others. There 
were four other priestly clans which came up with Ezra (8^ f •) : the sons 
of Phinehas, Ithamar, David, and Shecheniah. These would naturally 
not have foreign wives, being fresh arrivals, while those in our list must 
have been for some time in Judah. In Ne. i2i'^- we have the Chr.'s 
list of the priestly chiefs who came up with Zer. and Jes. and there we 
find 22, not one being identical with our list. It is worthy of note 
that Esd.i^ gives a total of 2,588 pr. as against 4,289 of MT. The large 
numbers and the few names may be due to the necessary grouping in 
large divisions, because pr. were, indeed, very plentiful when the list 
was made. Yet the number seems to be exaggerated. Smith con- 
siders the 1,500 of the pseudo-Aristeas the maximum for any period 
(7er. i,3" '•). 

We. notes that the first priestly clan appears to be composed of the 
descendants of Jes., the contemporary of Zer., and that the list, there- 
fore, belongs to a much later period than that of Cy. or Dar. (GGN. 
1895,"'); but Mey. questions, I think wrongly, the conclusion and 
the identification (En/.'"). 

Jedaiah] recurs in the other lists of priests, and also in i Ch. 
q'o 24^; in the last passage a priest of the second class. (S 
shows a great variety of forms, but the Hebrew pointing is cor- 
rect. — Of the house of Jeshua] means that the family of Jedaiah 
is traceable to an earlier Jeshua. — 37. Immer] recurs in the lists 
and in i Ch. g^"^ 24^. There was a priest of this name in Jere- 
miah's time (Je. 20^). The name has accidentally dropped 
from (6^ in Ne. 7'*''. — 38. Passhur] is the name of the priest who 
was the son of Immer and who put Jeremiah in the stocks Qe. 

EZRA 2^-89 83 

20). — 39. Harim] was found among the laity, v. '2; as the name 
means "consecrated," it is peculiarly appropriate for a priest. 
Mey. suggests that there might be lay elements in a priestly 
clan {Ent."'^), but we must not make too much out of a name. 

36. Esd.^ begins " the sons of pr.," but this is an error. ^^ contain 
an additional name, and a slightly different construction : the sons of 
Jeddon of the son of Jesus, for the sons of Sanabeis, 872 (A Anaseib, by 
metathesis). This does not aflford much help. It is barely possible that 
Esd.'s name is Sanb. and the omission from the lists would be due to 
hatred of Neh.'s bitter opponent. (& suggests another name : 'IsouSd;^, 
'leSSoua^ i. e., Jaddua (Ne. I2"-"), who was high pr. in the time 
of Alexander the Great {v. Mey.'^')- But Jaddua and Jedaiah are 
not necessarily the same, for 05 makes sad havoc of Heb. names. The 
question arises whether this Jes. is the high pr. and the companion of 
Zer. If so, We.'s contention is correct, that we are here far removed 
from the time in which Jes. lived (quoted by Mey. op. cit.). But Mey. 
says that that identification is by no means certain, since there was 
also a Levitical family named Jes. We. is probably right though, for 
there would be no reason for adding Jes.'s name unless it were well 
known. It is not imlikely that we should correct the text here on the 
basis of Ezr. lo'^ ff- Among those divorced were four priestly families, 
the sons of Jes. of Immer, of Harim, and of Passhur; the best result 
would be obtained by regarding no*? niyif as an explanatory gl. 

(2) The Levites, v. « Ne.« Esd.". — Two facts engage our attention 
in connection with this list, the small number of the Lev. and their 
separation into a distinct class from the pr. The paucity of this class 
in the restoration is usually explained on the ground of the unwilling- 
ness of the degraded Lev. to accept the humbler duties to which they 
were consigned in the postex. period. But there is not a hint of this 
feeling in our sources. When Ezra's company assembled at the river 
Ahava and a muster was taken, it was learned that there was not a 
Lev. in the whole assembly. By a diligent search through the coun- 
try Ezra secured 38 Lev. (8''f). It appears that the trouble was due 
to the fact that in this period there were not many Lev. apart from the 
priestly order. It seems clear that from the small numbers and from 
the character of the v., which is very broken, that we have here but a 
fragment of the original list of Lev. 

This is the first instance in our books where pr. and Lev. are reck- 
oned as distinct classes. It is not difficult, however, with the material 
at hand to trace the course of events which led to this distinction. In 
the early days Lev. like pr. and prophet indicated an oflSce rather than 
a tribe. There were plenty of pr. who were not Lev., but there were 


prob. no Lev. who were not pr. By the seventh century, as the book 
of Dt. shows, the non-Levitical pr. had disappeared or had been re- 
ceived into the order, for pr. and Lev. are syn. When Josiah central- 
ised the cult at Jerus. the pr. of the local shrines either came to Jerus. 
and acted in a subordinate capacity or were left without occupation 
and support. Ez. knows the identification, but he declares that only 
the sons of Zadok, who are nevertheless Lev., shall serve in the priest- 
hood (40" 44*0; S'll other Lev. are to do the humble offices at the 
sanctuary, tending the doors, butchering the sacrifices, and doing such 
other menial services as are required. At the end the Lev. are spoken 
of as a separate class (48" '■). 

It is apparent that now the Lev. is no longer a pr. in his own right. 
The priesthood had once embraced many who were not Lev., now the 
Lev. embrace many who are not pr. It would surely happen during 
the exile that these deposed Lev. would enter the secular life (c/. Ne. 
13"), with the result that when the exile was over but few of this order 
survived. In P this distinction is treated as if it had always existed, 
it being said that Moses gave the tribe of Levi unto Aaron that they 
might minister to the priesthood (Nu. 3«). Their duties in the later 
days were manifold and various; they killed the sacrificial animals; 
they served as doorkeepers and singers; they did duty as scribes (2 
Ch. 34") and as teachers (ib. 35' Ne. 8'- »); they went about begging 
money for the temple (2 Ch. 24^ i). 

40. MT. runs: the sons of Jes. and Kadmiel: of the sons of Hodaviah]. 
It would appear from this that there was but one Levitical guild, whose 
two branches, Jes. and Kadmiel, are represented in the return. But 
in 3' there are apparently three independent guilds, Jes. Kadmiel, 
Judah (= Hodaviah). Among the Lev. sealed we find Jes. Kadmiel, 
and Hodiah (Hodaviah); in Ne. 9^, another list of eight Lev. "who 
went up with Zer.," we find Jes. Kadmiel, and Judah; while in Ne. 
12" Jes. is given as the son of Kadmiel. (We have also Jes. the son of 
Azaniah, Ne. 10°). In other lists we find of these three only Jes. and 
Kadmiel (Ne. g*- ') or Jes. and Hodiah (Ne. S^. It is evident that 
there is much confusion in the lists of Lev., but it is prob. that our 
text should read : the sons of Jes. Kadmiel, Bani, and Hodaviah, so that 
this record names four small Levitical guilds. 3 Esd. has an extraor- 
dinary text : LevitcB filii Jesu in Caduhel et Baneis, et Screbias et Edias 
septuaginta quattuor; omnis numerus a duodecimo anno: iriginta millia 
qiiadrigenti sexaginta duo, filii et filice et iixores: omnis computaiis: qtiad- 
raginta millia diicenti quadraginta duo. No lack of Lev. ace. to this 

(3) The singers, v. *^ Ne. 7^^ Esd. 5". — These are treated as 
a distinct class like the Levites. There may have been such 


EZRA 21-'" 8^ 

a body in the pre-exilic age (OTJC.^^^). Their office would 
naturally be that of choristers in the temple service, and they 
played their own accompaniment (i Ch. 15^^); they were ap- 
pointed by the king for service in the temple and received reg- 
ular pay (Ne. ii'" '•)> their dwellings were in the environs of 
Jerusalem {ib. 1229); Nehemiah found them scattered in the 
fields on account of non-support (ib. 13^°). — The sons of Asaph] 
the only name, indicating but a single guild. To Asaph are 
ascribed a group of Psalms, 50, 73-83, and he may have been 
the head of a choir in the Persian period (cf. Br.^^'^'^^). 

(4) The porters, v. *2 Ne. 7^^ Esd. 5^8. — Sons of]. Wanting in 
Ne. and unnecessary. The porters or doorkeepers are usually 
mentioned with the singers, though their functions were dif- 
ferent. They must have been found wherever there was a 
sanctuary; Samuel was virtually the porter of the temple at 
Shiloh (i S. 3^^. According to Ne. 12^5 they were the guardians 
of the storehouses of the gates, but this must have been a 
special function. 

There are six names as heads of the guilds of porters. — 
Shallum] is a name given to many Hebrews. It is interesting 
to note that Maaseiah the son of Shallum was a keeper of the 
threshold in Jeremiah's time (Je. 35^). There were three such 
officers, and all were put to death at the fall of Jerus^em (ib. 
52^^ ^■). — Ater] occurs also as the head of a lay clan, v. ^^. We 
know nothing further about him. — Akkub] is named among the 
Levites who interpreted the law (Ne. 8^). — Haiita and Shobai] 
are not mentioned elsewhere. — The whole] i. e., the sum of all 
the guilds of porters is 139 (Ne. 138). From the words in Ps. 
84", "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God 
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness," the office must have 
been rather a humble one. Br. gives quite a dififerent render- 
ing (Ps. in loc). 

Singers and porters are mentioned many times in Ezr.-Ne. and in 
Ch., but rarely elsw. (singers not at all, and porters not in the sense of 
temple officers). The attempt has been made to show that in Ezr.-Ne. 
they are sharply differentiated from the Lev., while in Ch. they belong 
to that class {v. Baudissin, DB. iv,"^). Torrey, on the other hand, 


holds that there is no such distinction (Comp.^^ ' )• In most of the cases 
where they are named in Ezr.-Ne. they are distinguished from the Lev. 
as a class (Ezr. 2"> 7' Ne. lo^'- *" 13% the porters usually named first). 
But in Ne. 12" the Lev. were brought to Jerus. to sing at the dedication 
of the wall, though it is apparently said in la-i^ that the singers per- 
formed this office. In 131" the singers and Lev. are classed together as 
doing the same work and sharing the same hard fate. In i Ch. 9" 
certain singers are called heads of Lev. clans, and they are called the 
brethren of the Lev. ib. 151^. On the other hand, the singers and porters 
are distinguished from the Lev. in 2 Ch. 35*5 as sharply as in any 
place in Ezr.-Ne. The mention of these classes in our books is due 
chiefly to the Chr., and he knows nothing of a development in religion. 
In the pre-ex. temple, little as we know about its rites, we may be 
sure there were porters and prob. singers. But guilds like these would 
not be preserved intact during the exile. The origin of these classes 
must date from the second temple, and such functions as they per- 
formed would naturally fall to the Lev. The Chr. knows certain famous 
names belonging to these guilds, and he uses them wherever the oc- 
casion demands. In Ezr. 3'" Ne. 11" the Lev. are identified with the 
sons of Asaph. Singing and playing were certainly functions of the 
Lev. This list does not pretend to give the name of a singer of this 
period nor do we find such a list in our sources. The Lev. are frequently 
named also as doorkeepers (Ne. 12-5 13" i Ch. g^' 2 Ch. 8'< 23* 34"- "). 

41. Di-n2>nn] Esd.^ ulol Aaacp ol ySof. ^ Esd. filii sacredotum qui psal- 
Icbanl in teniplo, an explanatory gl. — 42. ''ja] del. as Ne., though 05^- in 
Ne. supports text of Ezr. (&^ is correct enough, ulol -rdiv xuXuv, reading 
Dnysrn, gales, instead of gatekeepers; this may be the original Ezr. text. 
Esd.^-'^ reads differently from MT., viz., the porters, 400; those oflshmacl, 
the sons of Lakoubalos, 1,000; the sons of Tobeis, all 139. The total has 
been made to agree with Heb. without reference to the other figures. 

In other lists of porters, Ne. ii^' has Akkub and Talmon; Ne. 12" 
MeshuUam (= Shallum), Talmon, and Akkub; i Ch. 9" Shallum, 
Akkub, Talmon, and Ahiman, Shallum being designated as the chief. 
Ahiman is apparently a misreading of aninx, their brothers, so that we 
have but three constant names, Shallum, Talmon, and Akkub. There- 
fore Atcr, Hatita, and Shobai are prob. later than the Chr. — Son] want-, 
ing in Ne., but supported by Gk. texts of Ezr. 

(5) The Nethinim, vv. ^3-54 Ne. 716-56 Esd. 529-32.— Noteworthy 
is the unusually long list of this class. There are 35 names in 
Ezr., Ne. having 3 less. But Esd. has a longer Ust, 38 names 
in ■^j 39 in ^; ^ agrees with MT. On this ground Guthe adds 
5 names to the list, making 40 in all. They are all given as 

EZRA 2^-S3 " ^7 

heads of clans, and we should expect a large number of indi- 
viduals. There were, however, but 392 of the Nethinim and 
sons of Solomon's servants combined, separate numbers not be- 
ing given. It is evident that these clans or guilds were very 
small, averaging about nine persons each. The Nethinim were 
subordinate temple officers, performing the humblest functions 
at the sanctuary. 

The name Neth. occurs but once elsw. than Ezr.-Nc. (i Ch. 9=), 
but many times in our books, Ezr. 2"- ". 70 77. 2* g"- ^ <*"' No. 32s- '» 
■Jit. 60. 73 lo^s ii3- 21 (*"'. Torrey holds that all these passages arc from 
the Chr. Of most of them that statement is true; when we find an insti- 
tution like this traced back to David (Ezr. S^"), it is good evidence of 
the hand of the Chr. But the reference to the house of the Neth. in Ne. 
3" is earlier than the Chr. and attests the existence of this body before 
his time. This house was prob. occupied by those who were on duty at 
the temple, the rest living in Ophel (Ne. 32= 11 21). The site of the house 
opposite the water gate has been supposed to connect them with the 
drawers of water (Jos. g-^) (Ryle, DB.), but that is fanciful. Ace. to 
Ezr. 82" they were given for the service of the Lev. They are gener- 
ally regarded as temple slaves (Schiirer, Jewish People, ii,'- =", BTJ"). 
They are called lep6SouXot by Jos. (Antiq. xi, 5, i and Esd.^*^). Kue. 
holds that they were mere foreigners held as slaves and finds a refer- 
ence to them in Zc. 1421, " and in that day there shall no more be a 
Canaanite in the house of Yahweh" (Einl. ii,^'"')- Mitchell supposes 
Canaanite to mean " trader" (Zc. ICC, so Mar. Dodekapr.). 

It is held that they were descendants of prisoners of war, as the 
Gibeonites were made hewers of wood and drawers of water (Jos. 9"), 
and support for this contention is found in the presence of foreign 
names in the list (Berth. OTJC.'^^). This view is scarcely tenable; 
for this term is applied to the Lev. in Esd. i', since l£p6Sou>.o[ standing 
there for the Lev. is given to the Neth. in 529. If they were foreign 
slaves we should scarcely have such a painstaking record of the names 
of their clans. They are usually named in connection with the other 
classes of temple officers, pr. Lev. singers, and porters; with pr. and 
Lev. alone in i Ch. 92, or with pr. Lev. and sons of Solomon's servants 
(Ne. II'). The leaders of this body were Siha and Gishpa (Ne. 1121), 
showing some sort of organisation. The identification of the Neth. 
with the Lev. as in Esd., along with the constant connection above 
mentioned, makes it highly probable that they were a branch of the 
Levitical body, which gradually disappeared in the later religious de- 
velopment. This view is supported by Nu. 3', where it is said that 
the Lev. were given to the pr. It is prob. that Nu. 3' has the name 


of the Neth. The text stands now iS r\-;:r\ □•'jinj aijinj, rendered in RV. 
" they are wholly given to him" (Aaron), a rendering accepted by Gray 
(Nu.). The repetition recurs in Nu. 8'«, but written defectively (a''jnj). 
We should, perhaps, rd. D>Jinj a^rnj "as Neth. are they given to him." 
Nu. i8« should then be rendered: "to you they are a gift, Yahweh's 
Neth., to do the work at the tent of meeting." 

An extraordinary thing about this list is the large number of names 
which are not found elsw. Of the 35 there are only 9 which recur. One 
of these, Siha, may be disregarded, as its repetition is in the same con- 
nection; two others are names of foreign kings, Rezin and Sisera; a 
fourth is otherwise found only of one of the sons of Solomon, Giddel; 
a fifth is corrupt, Meunim. Virtually we have a long list of peculiar 
names. It is highly prob. that"this list was not made up by the Chr., for 
he uses the same names over and over again. Another peculiarity of 
the list is the considerable number with the ending n-^, of which there 
are 14 (reading njdx, v. ", and taking Ne.'s forms). This apparently is 
due to an Aram, influence. Many of the names are explicable as Heb., 
but the list seems to have been written by one whose tongue was Aram. 

Che. has a characteristic interpretation: like Nathan, Nathanel, 
Nethanim is a disguise of Ethani. Ethan the Ezrahite was a Jewish 
Jerachmeelite, since bctte Neahol (i K. 4" 51') = bene Jerachncel {AJT. 
1901,^^8), Similarly he holds that for the sons of Solomon's servants 
(v. ^0 we should rd. hdSb' an^. ■>:2] " the people of Salmaean Arabia." 

Still the foreign element in the names is a serious difficulty. The fact 
is we have very little information about this class of officers. The 
designation in 3 Esd. sacerdoks servienles in templo would indicate that 
the Neth. were considered a branch of the pr. 

43. Siha] was one of the leaders of the Nethinim (Ne. ii^i). 
It is singular that the name of the other leader, Gispah, is not 
found in this list. — 46. Hanan] occurs in i Ch. ii'*^ as a warrior 
of David's time. The sons of Hanan (Bab. Xanand) had a 
chamber in the temple in Jeremiah's day (Je. 35^), and they may 
have performed similar functions to the later Nethinim. The 
name is also Levitical (Ne, 8^ lo*'^ 13^). — 47. Giddel] recurs as 
one of the servants of Solomon (v. ''^). — Rcaiah] also in i Ch. 
4^ (a Judahite) 5^ (a Reubenite). — 48. Rezin] is found else- 
where only as the name of the king of Aram, who joined Pekah 
against Ahaz (Is. 7O. — 49. Uzza] was the name of the man who 
was slain in moving the ark (2 S. 6^). — Pareah] ("lame") is 
found in i Ch. 4^^ and in Ne. 3" as the father of Joiada, one of 
the wall-builders. — 50. Meu7iim] is a gentilic noun (i Ch. 4^^ 

EZRA 21-69 gp 

2 Ch. 2oi 26O, a people in Arabia (Benz. Chr. KAT?' ^^^■) of 
whom it is held that these Nethinim are descendants; from 
this conclusion Taylor argues that the Nethinim were foreign 
slaves (DB.). But the names in this list are personal, and there 
can scarcely be two exceptions in the middle of the list. It is 
probable that a personal name is disguised under this form, but 
it is not possible to tell what it is. In Esd. we find Manei and 
Maani, but little dependence can be placed on its testimony. 
— Nephisim] is interpreted by Taylor {DB. iii,^!^'^) as "repre- 
sentatives of the race mentioned in Gn. 25^^"; in this passage 
N aphis (t^''Si) is given as a descendant of Ishmael (so i Ch. i^O, 
but apparently a different people is meant in i Ch. 5^^ There 
is no other mention of this people, and it is scarcely likely that 
their descendants would turn up in the postexilic period among 
a Levitical order. Moreover, a personal name is required here. 
— 53. Barkos] is unusually well attested by ^. There is a 
Babylonian name which closely corresponds, BarqUsu. — Sisera] 
also well attested by ^ (though ^ lacks it in Ezr. and ^ in Ne.), 
was the name of the king whose defeat is celebrated in the song 
of Deborah. On the name, see Moore, Ju. 4^, and PAOS. xix,i^°; 
Moore holds that Sisera was a Hittite. 

43. a-'rnjn]. We find the word without the article (Ezr. S^"), and in 
Nu. if my emendation is correct {v. s.). In one place we find the regular 
participial form D"'Jinj (Kt. Ezr. 8"), but the text is corrupt; 05 bears 
abundant testimony to the Heb. form, and it is therefore to be regarded 
as a n. formation from the root |nj. The idea of giving a person to 
the temple service is at least as old as Samuel; in Hannah's vow she 
says: "I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life." Samuel 
may therefore be regarded as one of the Neth. — nn^x] Ne. am but 11" 
as Ezr. (g Soueta^, Houaa^, SouSSaet^; Ne. i:r](x^\ SouXa^L; Esd. 
Horau'^^, SouSaei^. 01 suggests that the first syl. should be 1S; it is hard to 
tell about the rest. — Nsia'n] Ne. asvn ^^ in Ne. Aaqja, but ■*■ in Ne. and 
Esd. has Aaet9a (xfli^'n), but Ezr. is supported by (J5 Aoou^e. — 44. Dip] 
Ne. DiN"5 01^ always Kopsq = regular ptc. 0-11,1,^ has Ka3Yj<; (Ezr.) Kstpa 
(Ne.) KT)pa<; (Esd.); ^ has Kifjpaoc; (Ezr.). — snyio] Ne. xyD 05^ luatou, 
IwCTta (Esd.), ^ SwTjX (Ezr.), Aaouta'^, Stata-*-, laaouta** (Ne.), Soua, 
Souaa^ (Esd.). 05 therefore gives little support to either Heb. form. — • 
45. nja"?] Ne. nj^S (gi- Aogva. Other Gk. forms attest MT. Prob. 
Ne. is right, with its Aramaiscd ending. — najn] Nc. !<3Jn; latter prob. 


right. — 3ip>"] lacking in Ne., but found in Gk. exc. ^ and Esd.'-. The 
name is suspicious in the list, because of its recurrence elsw. {cf. v. "). — 
46. 3Jn] also lacking in Ne., though found in (& (exc. ^); it is prob. a 
repetition of fojn v. «. — 'h'ov] Ne. idS-^* CI'' (Ezr.) Sajjiaav; otherwise 
C5 supports Ne. Berth, cites ■'dS'iT as evidence of the foreign origin 
of the Neth. In NH the name "•nS"^- occurs (BDB.), corresponding to 
C5 SeXo([jt,et. Esd. 5" adds two names, Ouxoe, Kif]TaP, so (6^^ in Ne.". 
— 47. Sij] Esd. Kouot, KeOouoc^; otherwise ll^ is attested, though in Ne. 
the form Talrik occurs in ^k — 48. xiipj] cf. Bab. Niqudu. — 49. ''Dj] 
BotffspL, Beaaep (Esd.); otherwise ^ attests MT. — 50. hjdn] lacking 
in Ne. but supported by (1'*^^, AaevvocK Perhaps we should write 
8<JDN, "thorn bush" (cf. BDB.). — a^D'Dj] Qr. d^didj, Ne. s^db'isj] Qr. 
aiDiriDj. The form in Ne. is explained as a mixture of two variants; it 
is certainly a corrupt form, but the corruption is older than 05, where 
we have Ne^waotast'^^', Necpwaaecpt.'^. (^^ in Ezr. has Nacpewwv (jD'Sj), or 
perhaps since \i. and v final are often confused (dd^dj), which under the 
influence of a>jij?o has been pointed as a pi.; Esd. has Napstaei. It is 
not possible to tell what the original name was. — 52. niSsa] Ne.'< Kt. 
niSx3. There is much variation in 05, but most of the forms show that 
they rd. the last syl. niS. — aa^^n] (^ offers great variety: Ezr. ApTQffa"\ 
A^otaa'-; Ne. ASaaa(v) ("i being rd. as 1); Esd. AsSSa'', MeeSSa^, 
Baaaa'-. — Dipna] a south Ar. name (Euting), cf. Bab. Barkusu. The 
second element is regarded as the Edomite deity Kos {KAT."'^, Mu- 
rashu Sons, ix,". Gray, Pr. iV.^s). Hilprecht and Clay explain the first 
syl. as the deity Bir, but Gray with greater probability suggests bar, 

(6) The sons oj Solomon's servants, vv. ^^-^^ Ne. 76^ -co 533-35^ 
■ — This body is named elsewhere only in the corresponding 
passage in Ne. and in Ne. 11^. There is no other light on this 
class, and we have no sure indication of their origin or func- 
tions. As they are grouped so closely with the Nethinim, but 
one number being given for the two classes, it is probable that 
their office was much the same. 

There is no sufficient reason for Torrey's statement that this body is 
a subdivision of the Neth. {CotnpJ°); it would be more analagous to re- 
gard them as a subdivision of the Lev. They are grouped with the pr. 
Lev. and Neth. in Ne. ii^ as dwelling in their own cities. The Bible 
throws no further light on them. Torrey regards the name as evidence 
of the Chr.'s habit of tracing temple institutions back to the great kings 
who established the temple ritual (op. cil.). Baudissin notes that Sol- 
omon put the surviving Canaanites to forced service (i K. g^" f) and 
presumes this postex. body to be a survival from that time (Z?5, 

EZRA 2^-^^ 91 

iv,'*'>). Taylor also regards them as foreigners like the Neth., and for 
the same reason, viz., the presence of foreign names. All that we can 
say with any great degree of probability is that the "servants of Sol- 
omon" was an unimportant body of temple servants which grew up 
in the period of the second temple and then soon disappeared as a 
separate class. It is to be noted that the Neth. are often mentioned 
without them, and there is no ground for holding, as Taylor does, 
that in such cases they are included with the Neth. It is, however, 
prob. that they are mentioned in the Aram, section (Ez. 7-O, where 
after pr. Lev. singers, porters, and Neth. there is added "servants 
of the house of God." That may be another name for the servants 
of Solomon and would further define their office. There are but ten 
names in the list, and there is but one name found elsw. (Shephatiah) , 
and there is the same tendency to Aram, terminations that was noted 
in the case of the Neth. 

55. hdSs' "•n3>']. The Gk. translators were as much perplexed about 
this title as their modern followers. ^ gives here a partial translitera- 
tion, A^STjaeX; in V. " AceSrjaeXiJLa, but ^ hasA^ST]ff£X[ji.a: in this case 
the whole thing was taken as a n. p., for the translators did not see the 
name Solomon. This agrees with Peshito, which eliminates the office 
entirely. In other cases (5 gives SouXcov SaXcotiwov, or xafSwv 2. {^^ in 
Esd. 533.35), — ttiD] Ne. ""aiD ^ offers every variety of vocalisation Saiet 
(^ in Ezr.) = ^'^d, Souxei {^^ in Ne.) = ■'•^■id, and Scoxat (^ in Ezr. and '- 
always). The name is lacking in Esd.^^. — mflon] Ne. hidd. C5 sup- 
ports Ezr., for though ^^^ agree with Ne. in that passage, ^ has AaoyepeO, 
and a similar form is found in Ezr. and Esd. in all texts. — sins] Ne. 
Nnnfl supported by ^ in Ne. (S $aSoupa in Ezr. and ^ in each case 
= xnns. On the basis of this evidence any one of the three forms is 
possible: Pcrudah, Pereidah, or Pedurah.— 56. nSy^] Ne. i<^-;\ In Ezr. 
we find Iz-ci^oJ^, IsXa^, IsBXaa^; in Ne. IzXr^X^, leaTjX^^, leSaXoa^; in 
Esd. hirikstP, IsTfjXt^, leSXaa^. It is difficult to see what name could 
have been at the bottom of all these variants. — Sij] occurs elsw. only 
among the Neth., v. ■". CH^ has Saooott, Esd.^^ IsSaijX. As the re- 
currence of a single name is doubtful, prob. MT. has lost the original 
name which might have been ••id. 

57. niai3!y] (" Yahweh judges") is a good Heb. name, and well at- 
tested by d, though in Esd. we find Sa^ust'', SayuOt^. The name 
occurs as one of David's sons (2 S. 3^); one of the enemies of Jer. (Je. 
38'); one of the lay chiefs, v. ^; and of various other persons, i Ch. 
98 12^ 27" 2 Ch. 21= Ezr. 8' Ne. ii^ On account of the familiarity of 
this name, it is suspicious in this list.— D>3sn moD] (Ne. a"3 sn) " the 
binder of the gazelles" (BDB.). In spite of the peculiarity of the name 
and its anomalous character in this list, the Gk. texts afford no real help. 
Esd.'^A 5'* has eight additional names at this point, each preceded by 
\i\ol: SapwGst, Metcata?, Vac;, ASSou?, Sou^a?, Aysppa, BapwSet?, Saipav. 


These names were scarcely invented by a translator, but where he got 
them it is not possible to say. — "'Dn] Ne. poN. (5 supports Ezr.; ^ has 
A[j.eet in every case; ^^ H[xet (Ezr.) Hixet^j, (Esd.). Perhaps the original 
was van, changed in Ne. to the more familiar jinN. — 58. C5^ in Ezr. 
and Esd. has 372 instead of 392. ^ agrees with Heb. 

59-63. = Ne. 7^'"^^ Esd. 5^^-^°. A supplementary list of 
those whose genealogy could not be accurately traced. 

There is first a list of the laity, v. s", an appendix to vv. '-"; then of 
pr., v. ", an appendix to vv. '^-". As these pr. were unable to find a 
record of their genealogy, they were deprived of the emoluments of their 
office by order of the governor until a pr. should arise for the Urim and 
Thummim, that is, with the oracular apparatus and power. 

59. Now these are iJiose who went zip from Tel-Meleh, etc.]. It 
is assumed that the places are in Babylonia, but not one of 
them occurs elsewhere, and two are quite suspicious, Kerub and 
Immer. It is likely from the inability of these people to trace 
their connections, that they were from small places in Baby- 
Ionia, and our ignorance of the names, therefore, should not im- 
pugn their accuracy. — The house of their fathers and their stock 
whether they were of Israel]. The first words would imply that 
a very exact genealogy was required, but the following qualify- 
ing expression shows that the purpose was simply to determine 
the question of nationality. Meyer infers that these men had 
the position of proselytes {Ent.'^^). They may have come from 
the mixed marriages which figure in the history of the period 
(Ezr. 9/. Ne. 13). Smend recalls the nomadic Rechabites who 
had come into Jerusalem at the time of the siege (Je. 35), and 
thinks that these people may have lived in a distant part of 
Babylonia {Listen,"^). Stock or seed is used very frequently of 
descendants, rarely as here of ancestors. "Seed of Abraham" 
is often used in a national sense, being equivalent to Israel 
(Ps. 105^); and seed alone is apparently used with the same 
meaning in Est, 10^. That would give a good sense here, so 
that we might render their genealogy and their race. — 60. Since 
the heads of the clans are given, Delaiah, Tohiah, and Nekodah, 
the question must have been whether these chiefs were Israelites 
or not. Delaiah is a well-established Hebrew name (" Yahweh 

EZRA 2^-^^ 93 

has drawn"), and was borne by a priest of David's time (i Ch. . 
24^*), by one of the princes before whom Jeremiah was tried (Je. 
3612), and by a descendant of Zerubbabel (i Ch. 3^^; cf. Ne. 6"). 
The same may be said of Tobiah ("Yahweh is good"), though 
it was the name of one of Nehemiah's enemies, and he was an 
Ammonite. Nekodah is found elsewhere only among the Nethi- 
nim, V. *^. Ne. has 642 instead of 652 in Ezr, ; (^ agrees with Ezr. 
— 61. And of the sons of the priests]. With Ne. omit the sons of. 
Though Ezr. has some support, it is a faulty construction, and 
doubtless the error of a scribe. The names of three priests are 
given as belonging to this class, but the number is not given in. 
any text. Habaiah does not occur elsewhere. Hakkos occurs 
in Ne. 3*- ^i, as grandfather of one of the wall-builders. Bertho- 
let notes that this clan is deemed legitimate in Ne. 3^- ^i, whence 
he argues for the priority of this list {Es. Neh.^). Meyer iden- 
tifies Hakkos with a guild of Ezra's time (Ezr. 8^^ Ent.^''^). 
Without the article (Kos) it is given as the name of a Judean 
(i Ch. 4^). Barzillai is the name of a well-known Gileadite, 
mentioned further on in this verse, who was the benefactor of 
David when he fled from Absolom (2 S. 17^^ et pass.). 

A Barzillai is also mentioned in 2 S. 21' as the father of Michal's 
husband, but there are so many errors in the v. that this name may be 
wrong. The name is Aram. {v. Smith, Bud. on 2 S. 17"). This Bar- 
zillai, head of a priestly guild, had taken the name because he had mar- 
ried into the family of the famous Gileadite. Perhaps the name had 
been used first as what we call a nickname. It was given in mature 
life after the man was married. Seis. suggests that this daughter was 
an heiress and that the name was taken to secure the fortune. But he 
offers no proof to support the theory that the name must go with the 
fortune. Daughters, like sons, means the descendants of Barzillai. As 
Barzillai's son went to David's coxirt, the family became an important 
one, and such a tradition as we have here might long have persisted 
It surely is not the Chr.'s invention. The importance of the family 
is further shown by the husband's taking his name from its founder. 
The number of these pr. is not given; Jos., not satisfied to acknowledge 
the defect, says there were about 525 (Ant. xi, 3, 10). 

62. These sought their register among those that were reckoned 
by genealogy, but they were not found]. So ARV. But this is 


taking liberty with the text in an effort to get sense; even so, 
the result at the end is not satisfactory. BDB. renders: " These 
sought their writing, namely, the enrolled,'" i. e., " their genealog- 
ical record." But the text requires a slight correction and then 
we get good sense: These searched for their record, but their enrol- 
ment was not found. — And they were barred (literally, desecrated) 
from the priesthood], because they could find no record showing 
priestly descent. This is evidently a different matter from the 
question of nationality (v. ^^), for there is no question of race, 
but only of official standing. In his usual way of confusing 
things, the Chronicler has brought together here quite unre- 
lated matters, which probably belong to entirely different peri- 
ods, though both incidents seem to be authentic. — 63. And the 
governor said] (or perhaps "his Excellency"). The case was 
settled by a decree of the civil ruler, not by a high priest. Who 
the governor was we do not know; it is generally assumed to 
be Sheshbazzar,* but this thing happened long after Sheshbaz- 
zar's time. If the name had been known to the writer of the 
underlying original it would surely have been given here. Esd. 
5*° supplies the name Nehemiah, perhaps because this unusual 
word for governor is elsewhere applied to him (Ne. 8^ lo^); but 
Nehemiah seems to have concerned himself very little with the 
affairs of the priesthood. The conjecture of the Greek writer 
warns us that the identification is far from assured. — Unto them] 
cannot be right, unless we regard the construction as a loose 
one, changing to the indirect discourse; we should expect, ye 
shall not eat, instead of that they should not eat. But 05 supports 
the text as it is, and it may pass. — From the holy of holies]. But 
"holy of holies" means the inner part of the temple in the 
earlier literature, though in P and Ez. it applies also to sac- 
rificial food. Gray has shown that "holy" and "holy of 
holies" are used rather indifferently (iVw.222). Esd. 5^'^ has 
from the holy things. That is preferred by Kittel. — Until a 
priest stood for Urim and Thummim]. The meaning is clearly 
that the unrecorded priests must refrain from exercising their 
functions until there should be one qualified to give a divinely 

• E. S; Kue, Abh.»», Mey. £»/.'« ; but Zer. B.-Rys. 

EZRA 2^-^^ 95 

guided decision. The decision was to come from a priest using 
the Urim and Thummim. 

In I Mac. 4« a question about the stones of a defiled altar was post- 
poned "until the advent of a prophet to give an answer concerning 
them." The matter is not one of relative time, for both methods of 
divination were used, that is, by prophetic oracles and by pr. There 
was this difference, that the prophet always gave a reply supposed to 
be by direct divine enlightenment, while the pr. determined the question 
by some instrument as the ephod, or by Urim and Thummim. The 
last method is obscure, but apparently some way of casting the sacred 
lot is meant. One might naturally ask why this could not be done now, 
since pr. abounded. Mey. explains this difficulty by supposing that 
the art of casting the lot had been lost in the postex. community, and 
would be restored only by the advent of the Messianic rule (Ent.^^*, so 
Smith on i S. 14"). But such divination would be required during 
the exile as well as at other times, and it would be more natural to sup- 
pose that the Urim and Thummim, mng. some peculiar priestly appa- 
ratus, had been lost, prob. in the destruction of the temple. It must 
be confessed, however, that a strict construction of the words rather 
favours Mey.'s view, since the desideratum is "a pr. for the Urim and 
Thummim"; otherwise we should expect "until Urim and Thummim 
appear for the pr." It is possible that the loss was due to the absence 
of Lev. or their deterioration. From Dt. ^^^ it would appear that 
this method of divination was practised by the Lev., and with the dis- 
esteem of this guild the art may have been lost, at least so far as 
this early period in Judah is concerned. 

Berth, says the fact that there was no pr. capable of using this method 
of divination, but that it was expected that one might arise, points to 
the earliest stage in the new community where there was prob. no high 
pr. (so Sm. Listen,^''). The sacred lot was used, he says, in later times 
(cf. Jos. Ant. iii, 8, 9, Sirach 363), 

There is an elaborate treatment of Urim and Thummim in AJSL. 
16153 ff. by Muss-Arnolt. He identifies the divination by the ephod 
with that of the Urim and Thummim, and connects with the Bab. 
"tablets of destiny" and explains the words as derived from the Bab. 
u^tirti, "command," and tiimmii, "oracle." If a signification is to be 
invented, it would be well to seek something more appropriate, such 
as "favourable" and "unfavourable." On the use t). i. , 

59. hr] is As., "hill of ruins," and applied to mounds which are 
sites of ancient cities. As part of n. p. in OT. only in Tel-Abib (Ez. 
3"), a place in Bab. — ans] is the name of a spiritual being, common in 
pi., cherubim. As a n. pr. loc. it is dub. Esd. joins with the word 
following: ^apaaOaXav'', xspouPiSav'-. It might be a metathesis for 
133 (Ez. !>), identified by Hilprecht as a canal near Nippur, Kabaru 


(MurashuSons, ix,'^). — pn] Ne. pis ® HSav favours Ezr., though in Ne. 
^ has Hptov. — icn] Ne. idni is a common priestly name, but improb. 
as a Bab. n. pr. loc. — Kcrub, Addan and Immer] have been explained as 
n. p., the preceding n. pr. loc. being marked by the prefixed tel, which 
is not found with these three; but the n. p. are given in vv. «" f-, and 
could not belong here unless text is disarranged. Esd. 5" yields bet- 
ter results than MT.: their leaders were Charathalan and Allar. Guthe 
emends on this basis, thus: /row Tel-Meleh and from Tcl-Harsha : Kernb- 
Addan and Immer were their leaders. 'HyoutAsvoc; a^Toiv (Esd.) = a".rNi, 
and this could easily be corrupted to ii-y\r\, 3 Esd. shows same text: 
principes eorum. This reading suggests that the people described in 
vv. "-" constituted an independent caravan. — 60. (^^ has a fourth 
name, Boua. Esd.'^^ has but two names, Aaav, Basvav. 

61. Esd.'^-*- 5'« has an explanatory + these laid claim to the priest- 
hood, and did not obtain it. — non] Ne. n>2n a reading adopted by Baer 
but not by Kittel. (B gives various forms, among which are Ap(£)ta 
(^L in Ne.) and O^^eia", O^Sta^ (in Esd.) and QSouta^ (in Ezr. and 
Esd.). The variants make Heb. suspicious, but do not afford material 
for a restoration. — |*ipn] is unusually well attested in 05, the only sig- 
nificant variation being Ax^wi; (Esd.^), but there is doubt about the 
pointing, as we find Ax(x,)ou<; in Ezr. and in Ne.^ (/. e., I'lpn). — ^hn^] 
Esd. 5'' reads Jaddous (Jaddua) who took to wife Augia of the daughters 
of Phaezeldaius and he was called by his name, an evident confusion of a 
simple passage. The interesting point is the name of the wife. What 
havoc is made of names by metathesis is shown by ^: ZotppeXOet in 
the first occurrence, but Bept^eX>.aet in the second.— anc']. With Guthe 
rd. 1D•L^' as antecedent is Barzillai. — 62. Some correction of the text 
is required. Those who are enrolled by genealogy cannot be in app. 
with their register, and in fact there is no grammatical construction 
at all. 05 offers great variety; ^^ transliterates ol [j.£9ii>£ost[x; ^ ol 
YeveocXoYoOvTCi; (so in Ne.); Ne.'^-'^ has their writing of the caravan 
(or company). Esd. 5'" renders ev tw xaTa>vOYtcj[i.(o: Esd. yields: the 
genealogical writing of these being sought in the register, and not being 
found, they were restrained from their office. This makes good sense, but 
it shows merely a free handling of the same text. By a slight transpo- 
sition we can restore the text, putting the inf. before the ptc, and read- 
ing sg. as Ne.: nsdj Di^ninn nSi, these searched for their record, but their 
enrolment was not found. The ptc. O'lcnTicn does not occur elsw., and 
inf. is used regularly in late Heb. mng. genealogy or enrolment (Ne. 
75 I Ch. 4" 5' 76 et pass.). We then have a suitable subj. ior found. 
The rendering "they [the pr.] were not found" does not give the right 
idea, for the mng. is that the pedigrees could not be found. — iSsjii] 
means dcfde (ARV.™ "polluted from the priesthood"). But v.", 
which is a further statement about the case of these pr., shows that 
they were simply barred from service until a pr. arose with authority 

EZRA 2 '-69 gf 

to adjudicate the matter. Further we find the term used in Mai. 
I'- " (only other use of Pu.) where the defiling is not actual. There 
was no formal deposition or desecration from office, but only a sus- 
pension, i 
63. Kncnnn] is found elsw. in Ne. 7"- ea 8' lo^ in the last two pas- 
sages prob. interpolated. (S takes it as a n. p. 'AGepaaa, 'AaepaaOa, 
but Esd. $*" NatpLta? xal A-zQagicic,^, Neetxta? b xal AxapaaOai;^. The 
word is Pers., Tarsaia, but the exact definition is not clear. Moss 
regards it as referring to a royal commissioner {DB. iv,"' *>). Mey. 
holds that it is not the name of an office like governor, but rather a 
title, "his Excellency" (Em/."0 or "his Reverence," as Moss suggests. 
— ns'N] is here used as a simple conj. The word is little more than a 
mark of relation as inverted commas are a mark of a quotation; this 
is a common usage, the word being translatable by many different 
English conjs. — iVdki] Esd. 5" [Lezix^iv "share in." This text also ren- 
ders last part of v. a high priest [priest^] clothed with the manifesta- 
tion and the truth. — po] Ne.^^ pan a reading preferred by Kittel, but 
Esd. supports Ezr. Urim and Thummim are found here only without 
the art. The words are usually (Ex. aS^o Lv. 8* Dt. 2)3^), but not 
always (i S. 28^ Nu. 272') joined. The best explanation of the usage 
is found in the restored text of i S. 14", "and Saul said unto Yahweh 
the God of Israel, why dost thou not answer thy servant to-day: if 
this guilt be on me or on Jonathan my son, O Yahweh the God of Israel, 
give Urim, but if this guilt be on thy people Israel give Thummim." 
Urim and Thummim would then be two objects drawn out of some 
place by the pr., one mng. "yes" and the other "no." The usage was 
apparently early, and was quite unknown exc. historically in the 
postex. age (c/. Bud. on i S. 14", DB. and BDB., where other refer- 
ences are given). 

64-67 = Ne. 7''"'^ Esd. 5*'-'*\ The total figures of the 
census. — It appears that the Judeans had a large number of 
slaves, male and female, besides 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 
camels, and 6,120 asses. 

64. All the company together (literally, a5 one)]. The word TTIp 
means community, the sacred congregation, or company. It re- 
fers to an organised body and suggests a date later than Cyrus. 
The total is 42,360 or 42,308 (<S^ in Ne.). Esd. 5^^ contains a 
limiting clause, reading: The whole Israel from ten years and 
upward besides slaves and women (^): from twelve years besides 
male and female slaves (^^). The latter is the better text, and 
accepted by Guthe, for if slaves and women had been men- 


tioned we should have expected to find a further statement 
about women as well as about slaves. 65. And they had 245 
(200 in Ezr.) singers and songstresses]. These are not the tem- 
ple singers, for they have been alreadjnenumerated in v. ^S and 
women were excluded from the temple service. 

Therefore the reading nna' "songstresses" of the temple in Am. 8', 
though adopted by We., is scarcely possible. The form nmrD occurs 
only here, and the m. without the art. occurs elsw. only in 2 Ch. 20". 
All the C6 texts have the words, and therefore such an emendation as 
"bulls and cows" has no support. 

The true explanation is not far to seek. In 2 S. 19^^ where 
curiously Barzillai is the speaker, there is named among the 
pleasures of the court "the voice of singers and songstresses." 
In Eccl. 2* we have the same singers and songstresses mentioned 
among the various pleasures which Koheleth had sought. They 
were men and women employed by kings and nobles for enter- 
tainment. And they had, is lacking in Esd. and may be a gloss 
added here to serve as a connecting link. Siegfried argues that 
the number should be 245, as Ne. 7", so Zillessen, ZAW. 1904,"^. 
67. Four hundred and thirty-five camels] seems a large number 
for a company as poor as these exiles were. (B in Ne. mentions 
2,700 asses and omits the other animals altogether. The best 
Mss. of MT. lack the horses and mules of our text (v. Kittel and 
Berth.). The text has been changed to agree with Ezr. 

■ 64. nnxD]. In early Heb. inN C'ins is used to express joint action, 
e. g., "all the people rose as one man" (Ju. 20^). The text shows a late 
usage. The mng. required here is "combined," which in early Hcb. 
would be nn\ The word is unnecessary and is stricken out by Guthc. 
— 65. nn-ia'Ci ami^'n]. As these words are followed directly by the list 
of animals, it has been proposed to rd. nnai Dnw "bulls and cows." 
This is rejected by Ilalevy on the ground that these animals could 
not live in the journey across the desert {J A. Nov.-Dec. 1899,"')- 
We should prob. rd. as 2 S. i8'« 2 Ch. 35^* Eccl. 28nna'i an-^ as 
the same class of professional singers is meant. The writer has mis- 
taken the word to mean temple singers and modified it accordingly. 
Fischer argues for the early date of the list from the mention of these 
classes, for he says they would soon be scattered after the return so that 
a census would be impossible iChr. Fragen,^^). — 67. Dnnnn] must be 

EZRA 2^-89 9g 

rd. as we have their horses, etc., so <B^^ in Ezr., <S^ in both. <S>^ in 
Ne. mentions no other animals than the asses. — ni3i] "myriad," "ten 
thousand," is common in postex. Heb., but is not found earlier; for 
Kt. 13-) (Hos. 8") is better rd. as Qr. ''3^, though Harper accepts former 
(ICC). — ddiSdj] is preferable to d^'Sdj of Ne. 

This last part of the list (vv. "-«') offers peculiar difficulty to the 
interpreter. If we supposed the list to be early, we should be puzzled 
to know how this company of pilgrims got more than 7,000 slaves, 245 
singers for entertainment, and a large number of animals. The knowl- 
edge we have of this period all suggests a people few in number and poor 
in worldly goods. In Neh.'s time there were a few slaves, but these 
were Hebrews reduced to that condition by poverty. Neh. struggled 
hard against the system by which the poor were sold into slavery. 
After his rule ended, the system may have had a free hand, so that by 
Ezra's time there may have been 7,000 slaves in the Judean province. 

On the other hand, there is some reason for believing the list itself 
to be composite, a growth resulting from additions. The priestly part 
esp. bears traces of lateness in the close agreement of all the texts. 

68 f. = Ne. t^""' Esd. 5^^*-. A Ust of contributions.— As 

shown below, in Ne. the gifts come from the governor, the chiefs, 
and the people. Ne. says nothing about the temple, but only 
says the gifts are for the workers. Here the temple is the ob- 
ject for which the contributions are made. — 68. When they came 
to the house of Yahweh, which is in Jerusalem]. These words 
imply that the temple was already built, and would require us 
to date the passage later than 515. But the following expres- 
sion, to set it upon its site] implies just the contrary. We must 
regard the words as a later gloss. As we find first "house of 
Yahweh," then "house of God," we may suspect different hands 
in the gloss. — They made free-will offerings for the house of God], 
The purpose is plainly indicated by what follows, to set it upon 
its site, i. e., to rebuild it where it was, on the spot where Yah- 
weh had in ancient time placed his name. — 69. They gave ac- 
cording to their ability]. Even if we took the figures of the re- 
turned literally (v. ^*), the ability of these people would not 
explain the vast total of perhaps a half-million dollars {v. Mey. 
Ent.^^^ ^■). All the information drawn from the best sources 
shows that the restored community was poor. — To the treasury 
of the work], intended here to refer to the treasury of the build- 


ing fund. — Priests^ tunics]. The tunic was a long garment, 
something like a wrapper. It was worn by men and women. 

The same word is used for Joseph's famous coat (Gn. 37'), and for 
the robe of office which Is. declared Shebna would be required to take 
off (Is. 22"). On this garment, v. DB. i,=2<, Benz. Arch.^^^-, Now. 
Arch, i,"'- >". The pr.'s tunic was made of linen (Lv. 16^ and was 
embroidered (Ex. 28^). In shape it was like that worn by laymen. In 
Zc. 3' we have a picture of Jes. clothed in soiled garments, interpreted 
usually in a fig. sense (e. g., by Mar. and G. A. Smith); but Ew. re- 
ferred the vision to the investiture of the pr. in new robes which had 
just come from Bab. Modern interpreters have scarcely improved on 
Ew. In the postex. period pr.' garments would naturally be scarce 
and therefore suitable for gifts. 

68. laijnn] Esd. 5" eu'C^ayzo = mjnn though the Hithp. of mj is 
not found. Our preference for one or the other will depend upon 
our conception of the purpose of the gifts, whether for the rebuilding 
of the temple (Ezr.) or the maintenance of the service after the temple 
was built (Ne.). — nxix] means treasure, nsis ni3 Ne. 10", treasury, but 
D>2 is often omitted as here. — 69. noxSsn]. Mey. holds that this word 
means here worship (Gottesdienst) {Efti.^^^-"'-). The word applies to 
many kinds of work, but the term is always general. In i K 53" it is the 
work of temple-building, and that sense is meant by the Chr. here; in 2 
Ch. 29'* the work is killing animals preparatory to sacrifice; in Ne. it is 
used many times of the wall-building. When it means religious work 
it is usually qualified as "service of the house of our God" (Ne. 10"). 
The passages esp. cited by Mey. are Ne. 2^' 131", but in both cases the 
idea is "engaged in business," secular employment. The importance 
of the question lies in the fact that Mey. contends that this passage 
precedes the building of the temple. The character of the gifts shows 
that Mey. is right in one respect, though he is wrong in another. The 
pr.' garments and the bowls (Ne. 7") would serve for the worship, 
not for the rebuilding. These gifts show that the passage followed the 
rebuilding of the temple, though R. has made it seem otherwise in Ezr. 
— D"'JiC3Ti] <S ixval^ Spaxtxaq^K The authorities are divided, some con- 
necting with Pers. daric, others with Gk. drachma, itself of foreign 
origin (v. BDB. DB. iii,«i)- Sm. says that if this term is meant, 
the word must have been introduced later; but he is influenced by 
his belief that the list is really early (Listen,^^). — D'jd]. This is a Heb. 
weight used often in OT. The value in silver is c. $30. If we take the 
drachma instead of the daric, the total sum given, according to Ezr., is 
about $300,000; or taking the daric, about $450,000. The figures show 
the hand of the Chr., whose fondness for large numbers is apparent 
in all his work. — njnj] [lextovtiO Ne.^ xoOwvwO^^', xoOcovof Ezr.^ x''^'»>- 

EZRA 21-69 lOj 

va?^. ^ always has c-zbT.&q, which is also found in Esd. The word 
means tunic. It is here not a vestment to be worn only at religious 
exercises, but the garment worn all the time. 

68 f. Ezr. and Ne. differ widely, Ne. having a much fuller text, as 
may be seen from the following parallels (including Esd.) : 

Ne. Some of the heads of tlie fathers gave for the work. The Tirshatha 



Ne. gave to the treasury: gold, i,ooo darics, 50 bowls, 530 pr' 



Ne. tunics. And some of the heads of the fathers 
Ezr. And some of the heads of the fathers, when they came to the 

Esd. And some of the leaders according to their family, when 

they came to the 

' Ne. 
Ezr. house of Yahweh, which is in Jems, gave free-will offerings for 
Esd. temple of God, which is in Jerus. made a vow 


Ezr. the house of God, to set it upon its site. According to their ability 
Esd. to set the house upon its site, according to their 


Ne. gave ((§'' eOifjxav, placed) to the treasury of the work {(B^ 

Tou eTou?, yearly) : gold, 20,000 darics, and 
Ezr. they gave to the treasury of the work : gold, 61,000 darics, and 
Esd. arid to give to the holy treasury of the work : gold, 1,000 mince, and 

Ne. silver, 2,200 mince. And what the rest 

Ezr. silver, 5,000 mince, and 100 pr.' tunics. 
Esd. silver, 5,000 mince, and 100 prJ tunics. 

Ne. of the people gave was : gold, 20,000 darics, and silver, 2,000 mince 



Ne. {(&^^ lacks the passage so agreeing with Ezr.), and 67 pr.^ tunics. 



The longer text is very systematic : the gifts come from three sources, 
the governor, the chief, and the people, while in Ezr. they are all cred- 
ited to the chiefs. The table makes this clear: 









((S 30 (gL 33) 












(100 in (S^) 









Nowhere in this section do we find so great a discrepancy. Ne. 
contains two statements which are lacking in Ezr.: (i) 30 of the pr.' 
garments were given by the Tirshatha and the others by "the rest of 
the people," and (2) the chiefs and the people each gave 20,000 darics 
of gold. In Ezr. these contributions were expressly given for the re- 
building of the temple, which in Esd. was the result of a vow made 
after their arrival in Jerus., a statement irreconcilable with Hg. Ne. 
has not a word about the rebuilding of the temple, saying simply that 
the offerings were "for the work," and that they were paid into a 
treasury. Each text conforms to its setting, as Ezr. precedes the 
temple-building while in Ne. we are getting close to the promulgation 
of the law by Ezra. 

Ne. bears unmistakable signs of a composite origin, for we have the 
unusual nnsn itfXT nspci (Dn. 1= being the only parallel) in one place, 
V. ", and nijNn ^B'N-im as Ezr. in another, v. '"; in v. «» we have they 
gave for the work, in v. '" they gave to the treastiry of the work, and again 
he gave to the treasury, v. ". We find ni3"i >rTir, v. ", directly followed by 
N13T iT\'y, V. ". We notice further that the passage is very disjointed. 
The first statement, "some of the heads of the fathers gave for the 
work," V. »', is suspended without any conclusion, but it is repeated 
in V. '" with a suitable continuation. 

In Ezr. we find the clause about the purpose of the contributions 
pushed in between the subj. and the vb.: "and some of the heads of the 
fathers [when they came to the house of Yahweh which is in Jerus. 
made free-will offerings for the house of God to place it upon its site 
according to their ability] gave to the treasury of the work." In Ne. 
the subj. and vb. are directly joined, as they must be; therefore we 
may pronounce positively that the bracketed passage is an interpola- 
tion, inserted by the Chr. to make the statement agree with its context, 
and a part of the preparation for the rebuilding of the temple. The 
whole c. is therefore unquestionably later than the time of Zer. 

The text of Ne. has manifestly been edited to conform to Ezr., and 
yet it bears traces of greater originality. Mey. prefers it as it stands, 
*C6 has 30, and as the 500 follows the 30 in the text, it is an obvious error. 

EZRA 2™-4' 103 

an evidence of the insufficiency of the text criticism upon which con- 
clusions have been drawn (Etit.^^* '•). It is difficult to think that an 
editor would have systematically distributed the gifts among the three 
classes, the governor, the chiefs, and the rest of the people. If we 
eliminate the part that is common and two prob. glosses we get a sur- 
prisingly good text: and some of the heads of the fathers gave for the work 
[the Tirshatha gave into the treasury] 1,000 gold darks, 50 howls, [s]^o 
pr.' tunics. And the rest of the people gave 20,000 gold darics, 2,000 sil- 
ver mincB, and 67 pr.^ tunics. When the passage from Ezr. was pushed 
in, the clause bracketed was added of necessity. 05 evidently has some 
clew to the mystery when it rd. "to Neh." The figures are, of course, 
too large, but we cannot rely upon the text, and they are doubtless 
greatly exaggerated. 

The character of the gifts and the work indicate a date later than 
515. The time of Ezra is, on the whole, most suitable. Under his 
rule gifts for the temple would be sought diligently, and from the great- 
ness of his influence prob. large sums would be obtained. 


A section recovered. — In MT. the period of Cy. and Shcs. ends with 
c. I ; for c. 2 is mostly a mere table of names, and has nothing to do 
with that period; while c. 3 brings us to the time of Zer. and Dar. 
Moreover, c. 3 begins in medias res, "when the 7th month approached." 
In the original story some year must have been indicated. Then Zer., 
the builder of the temple, appears as leader without a word of intr. 
In Esd. we have quite a different story. There is a long narrative, 
3-5", to which there is nothing correspondent in MT. Here we have 
the tale of the Three Youths, contesting in wisdom before Dar., the 
victory of one who proves to be Zer., the promise of King Dar. to give 
him whatever he asks, the reminder of his vow to restore the vessels 
and to rebuild the city, and a liberal permit from the king to under- 
take these things, with a brief list of those who availed themselves of 
this privilege. 

Torrey has made the brilliant suggestion that we have imbedded in 
this story, a fragment of the Chr.'s original narrative (ES." ff- "s f). 
Torrey believes that the story of the Three Youths ends at 4*\ that 
4""""" """ are interpolations, so that the recovered narrative consists 
of 447b-56 462-26, Torrey has painstakingly retranslated the passage 
into Heb. and appended an English translation. But this acute scholar 
has by no means let the text stand, for he transfers the narrative bodily 
from the reign of Dar. to that of Cy., so that the passage becomes the 


sequel to c. i and the hero is Shes., though Zer. is named in 5'. This 
event is placed in the 2d year of Cy., and so in 3* we are dealing with 
the 7th month of that year. 

There are two difficulties in accepting this date. In our text, asp. 
in the better version of Esd., there is a statement that Shes. and a com- 
pany went from Bab. to Jerus., taking the temple vessels with them. 
This whole passage would be a mere amplification of that statement. 
A more serious difficulty is found in the fact, as shown in intr., that 
c. 3 does belong to the time of Dar. I believe, therefore, that Torrey's 
main premise is correct and that we have here a genuine section of the 
OT.; but it has nothing to do with c. i, though it is a necessary intr. 
to c. 3. In some way Zer., who is here given Davidic lineage, had won 
the favour of Dar., and so received authority to carry out the decree of 
Cy., which according to Esd. 4" he had already vowed to do. The 
date given is exactly what we need, agreeing with 4-K 

A suitable intr. of so conspicuous a figure as Zer. is too valuable to 
ignore. Therefore it seems wise to give a part of the Esd. story, fol- 
lowing in a measure Torrey's translation (ES."' f) 

C. 4. (47) Then King Dar.(0 arose and wroteC') letters for him to all 
the satraps and governors and captains and deputies to the effect that 
they should help along him and all with him who were going up to build 
Jerus. (') (48) And Dar.W wrote letters to all the governors in the 
province Beyond the River and to those in Lebanon to bring cedar 
timbers from Lebanon to Jerus. so that they might build the city with, 
them. (5) (49) And he wrote concerning freedom for all Jews who 
went up from his kingdom to Judah, that no ruler, deputy, governor, 
or satrap should enter their doors, (50) and that all the country which 
they possessed should be free from tribute; and that the EdomitesCO 
should give up the villages which they had wrested from the Judeans. 
(51) And for the building of the temple twenty talents of silverO should 
be paid annually until it was built; (52) and for offering daily upon the 
altar whole burnt sacrifices, as they had commandment to offer them, 
other ten talents annually. (53) And freedom should be given to all 
who had come from Bab. to build the city and to their children and to 
all the pr. , . . (57) And Dar.(8) sent away all the vessels which Cy. had 
brought out from Bab.; and everything which Cy. had said should be 
done, he commanded to be done, and to be sent to Jerus. (58) And 
when the youth came out [from the royal presence] he lifted his face 
to heaven in the direction of Jerus. and praised the king of heaven. . . . 
(61) And Zer. took the letters and('> went out and came to Bab. and 
told everything to his brethren. (62) And they praised the God of 
their fathers, because he had given them release and relief (63) to go 
up and build Jerus. and the temple that is called by his name. And 
for some days they kept a feast with musical instruments, drums, 
and cymbals, and all their brethren danced ('») and rejoiced. C. 6. (i) 

EZRA 2^0-4' 105 

Afterward heads of the fathers by tribes were chosen to go up, with 
their wives and sons and daughters and their men-servants and maid- 
servants and their cattle. (2) And Dar. sent with them a thousandC") 
horsemen to bring them safely to Jerus. (3) And they made(>2) . , . 
for them to go up with them. (4) And these are the names of the 
men who went up ace. to their families by tribes by their divisions; 
(5) the pr., the sons of Phineas the sons of Aaron, Jes. the son of 
Josedek the son of Saraios. Then aroseC") Zer. the son of Shealtiel of 
the house of David, of the family of Phares, of the tribe of Judah, (6) 
who spoke wise words to Dar. the king of Pers. in the 2d year of his 
reign, in the month Nisan the ist month. 

Notes. I. Torrey substitutes Cy. for Dar. to agree with his theory 
of the chronology; but the evidence in favour of the text seems to me 

2. "Arose and wrote" is a good evidence of a Heb. or Aram, origi- 
nal. It is true that a Jew might use the Hebraism, even if composing 
in Gk. 

3. The document bears evidence of a composite character, as we 
find references here to building the city as well as the temple. The 
temple rather than the city is meant in v. ^', as that was the purpose of 
the cedar timbers (c/. 3O. 

4. The name is found in ^ here and in v. ", and is correct. 

5. After 3 Esd. cum eis. The antecedent is cedar timbers. The 
whole construction is improved by this slight correction. 

6. ^ has Chaldeans, but all other texts Edomites. This is the 
earliest mention of the Edomite aggression upon Judah, and may be 
the occasion of some of the many fierce prophecies against this people. 

7. "Of silver" is found only in ^, but it is prob. right; at all events 
silver is more prob. than gold. 

8. See note 5. 

9. The name is found only in ^, but is right. 

10. The text is sadly confused, and I have attempted to restore 
order out of chaos by transposing a clause from 52 f-. Torrey tries to 
straighten the matter out by a smaller transposition and rendering: 
"and all their brethren, playing upon musical instruments, drums, and 
cymbals, sent them on their way as they went up," that is, the Jews 
who remained played music as the caravan proceeded on its way. This 
rendering seems to me to require some straining of the text. 

11. This number is doubtless an exaggeration, though some escort 
would be prob. Neh. had such a guard (2'), and Ezra implies that his 
dispensing with an escort was unusual (8"). 

12. I do not understand this passage. It seems clear that some- 
thing is omitted from the text, as I think it is a direct sequel to the 
provision of the guard. 


13. Seeing apii in the meaningless name Iwaxst^A seems to me one 
of Torrey's most brilliant suggestions. 

Vv. *-• presents a serious puzzle. The passage begins with an intr. 
to a list of names such as begins in v. ', but the only names which occur 
here are those of the leaders Jes. and Zer. The passage as a whole is 
senseless as it stands, note esp. v. ^^ after v. ■•. If wc place Torrey's 
discovered apM before Jes. we have an amplified parall. Ezr. 3^ It 
certainly improves the text greatly to substitute this clause for the 
briefer statement in Ezr. 323, then v. *■ ^^ serves as a heading for the 
genealogical list which follows. The added information about Zer. 
fits into the building story admirably. Moreover, the account of the 
migration in vv. '-' paves the way for the statement of the settlement 
in the province in Ezr. 2'°, cf. Ezr. 3=. 

The dates in the section 2 '"-4' arc somewhat hard to reconcile. In 
the first place, "seventh" month in 3> is an error which got into our 
text from the excerpted passage from Ne. The reconstructed text of 
32 fixes the ist month of the 2d year of Dar. as the date of building the 
altar, and so of the assembly described in 3'. In the same year in the 
6th month, as the text should be {cf. on 3'-'°), the foundation of the 
temple was laid. We thus have a consistent scheme, although the 
events described by this passage cover a much larger period than the 
text suggests. The date is recorded for the beginning but not for the 

2'° Ne. V = Esd. 5'*^. The settlement of the returned 
exiles in Judah. — We require the help of Esd. to get good 
sense out of this verse, which by the omission or substitution 
of one or two words is sadly confused. The original was: And 
the priests and the Levites and the singers and the porters and 
some of the people were living in Jerusalem and all Israel [were 
living] in their villages. The passage then becomes of great 
value in bearing witness to the conditions before the building 
of the temple. The temple officers naturally clung to the holy 
city, while all Israel (in contrast with the temple officers) sought 
a refuge and a livelihood in the towns of the province, for Jeru- 
salem was a desolation and ofifered no means of procuring a 

3'-^* = Esd. 5*^^\ The buildmg of the altar.— 1. When 
the seventh month was come]. This is the original date in Ne., 
but this assembly is fixed in the first month. The year is the 

EZRA 2^0-43 107 

second of Darius (Hg. i^^), not of the return under Cyrus. — 
The sons of Israel were in cities]. These words have no place 
here. Esd. has a fitting connection rendering, the sons of Israel 
being each occupied in his own affairs, meaning that when the 
assembly was called all the people were scattered over the 
country working for their bread. The words are probably 
accidentally repeated from the preceding verse. — The people]. 
Read with Ne. all the people; — as one man]. This may mean all 
together, or as Esd. with one accord, for a common purpose; — 
unto Jerusalem]. Ne. has a fuller text, unto the broad place 
which is before the water gate, to which (^ prefixes Jerusalem. 
Esd. brings the assembly to the temple: unto the broad place of 
the first porch towards the east. (The simpler text of Ezr. is 
preferable here.) But the temple was not yet built. 

At this point the deuterograph ends, each narrative now going its 
own way, Ezr. to the temple-building, and Ne. to the reading of the 

2. Joshua] (or Jeshua) is named the high priest, or the great 
priest. It is the same person mentioned in 2^, and he was a 
prominent figure in the temple-building and the restoration of 
the cult. 

He is the first high priest in the list going down to ihe time of 
Alexander the Great (Ne. 12" ^■). Jes. is named first here, but in 2' 
3' 4' 52 Ne. i2» and throughout Hg., Zer. stands first. It is interesting 
to note that in Hg. Zer. is evidently the more important of the two 
(v. esp. 2"-"), while in Zc. he is only mentioned in 4^-^° as the builder 
of the temple. Zer. is never given a title in Zc, while Hg. four times 
calls him "the governor of Judah." Zc. again never names his father, 
as Hg. does, though Zc. calls Jes. the son of Jehozadak. Jes. here 
comes before us for the first time in action. We know nothing about 
his forebears except the name of his father. He joined Zer. in a com- 
pany returning from Bab. (2= Nc. 12'), and it may have been the second 
large company. At all events, it was later than the return under Shes. 

And his brethren the priests]. Joshua is here put as one of the 
priests, while the contemporary Haggai calls him high priest. 
The Chronicler has not exalted the priesthood as much as we 


should expect according to those who credit that worthy with 
the production of the larger part of these books. — And they 
built the altar]* So David built the altar on the temple moun- 
tain long before the temple was erected (2 S. 24"). The pur- 
pose for which the altar was built is to ojfer sacrifices upon it]. 
The altar could be built in a very short time, and so the relig- 
ious exercises could begin without waiting for the temple, which 
it would take long to build. — The law of Moses] probably refers 
only to Dt. here, not to the priest code, nor to the complete 
Pentateuch. Dt.was attributed to Moses, and it makes abun- 
dant provision for the one altar and the sacrifices upon it. — 
Man of God] is a term applied to Moses, Dt, 33^ Jos. 14^ i Ch. 
23" 2 Ch. 30^"; to an angel, Ju. 13''; to Samuel, i S. 9®; to Elijah, 
I K. 17I8; to Elisha, 2 K. 4^; to David, 2 Ch. 8^^ Ne. 122*- 36; 
it is therefore a prophetic title. In the NT. it is applied to 
Timothy, the disciple of Paul, i Tim. 6" 2 Tim. ^^L 

3. This V. has been a sore puzzle to the interpreters. Sense cannot 
be extorted from the text as it stands. ARV. renders "and they set 
the altar upon its base; for fear was upon them because of the peoples 
of the countries, and they offered burnt-offerings thereon unto Jeho- 
vah, even burnt-offerings morning and evening." But in the critical 
part the Heb. runs, for in fear against them from the peoples of the lands. 
Much stress is laid upon the longer text in Esd. s^": And certain men 
gathered unto them out of tlie other nations of the land, atid they erected 
the altar upon its own place, because all the natiofis of the land were at 
enmity with them, and oppressed them; and they offered sacrifices accord- 
ing to the time, and burnt-offerings to the Lord both morning and evening 
(RV.). Various reconstructions of the text have been made on the 
basis of this evidence, but it really confuses matters worse than ever; 
for the hostile peoples here become the altar-builders; and "the peoples 
of the land" is unnecessarily repeated. Moreover, while the state- 
ments are amplified, there is nothing new exc. the hostile assembling 
of the enemy. Torrey tried a modification and rendered his emended 
text: "And some of the peoples of the land gathered themselves to- 
gether against them; and when they perceived that they were come 
with hostile purpose, they withstood them, and built the altar in its 
place," etc. {Comp. "). The point is, therefore, that the returned Israel- 
ites succeeded in building the altar in spite of the hostility of their 

* Jos. quotes Hecatsus's statement that the altar was 20 cubits square and 10 cubits high 
(Smith, 7er. ii,«»). 

EZRA 2^0-43 109 

neighbours. This emendation I formerly accepted {SBOT.^"); but it 
does not touch the real difficulties, which are two: (i) The altar was 
already built, v. =; no one has attempted to explain the repetition of the 
altar-building; the words are slightly different in Heb., it is true, ^VT^ 
for ijan, but the meaning is exactly the same. (2) There is great dif- 
ficulty in bringing in at this point the terror of the neighbours. In 
c. 4 these people come with a sincere and friendly proposition to join 
the Jews in rebuilding the temple. So forcible is this objection that 
following Ew. various attempts have been made to show that the 
passage means that these other peoples were in fear of the Jews, or of 
their God. To say nothing of the impossibility of extracting this 
mng. from any text whatever, the Jews were scarcely in a position to 
inspire much terror among the neighbouring peoples. 

There is one text of Esd. (Cod.^) which curiously has either been 
overlooked or misunderstood. And this text is on the whole the best 
Gk. version we have. Correcting this text on the basis of the corre- 
sponding passage of the same version in Ezr. and making other slight 
modifications, we get this striking result: for there were gathered unto 
them some from other nations of the land; and they were well disposed 
towards the altar, and they aided them, and they offered sacrifices at the 
proper season and hurnt-oferings to Yahweh morning and evening. Zc.'s 
vision (8") was based on past history. The other peoples in Pales- 
tine came forward and helped the feeble Jews in the rebuilding of the 
altar, and thus we can understand their coming forward at a later 
period (c. 4) to render similar assistance in the rebuilding of the tem- 
ple. As thus understood the fatal objections to our present text and 
all the reconstructions are removed, and we have a most welcome 
light on the early relation of the Jews to their neighbours. One result 
of the right understanding of the passage is indubitable evidence that 
we have here a good historical source. The Chr. has worked over the 
material until its sense was lost. But the evidence is important as 
showing that he had something to go on in this part of his story. On 
the oft-recurring "peoples of the land," v. on 4<. 

4. And they kept the Feast of Booths]. "Booths" is better 
than " tabernacles " of our versions. The latter term comes from 
05 through H, tabernaculum, which means tent. The booth was 
made of branches from the trees (Lv. 23''''). 

This feast was of Canaanite origin, as it was observed by the Shech- 
emites (Ju. g-''). In the earliest law, the code of the covenant, it is called 
the feast of the harvest, and it is to be kept at the end of the year (Ex. 
23"). Dt. prescribes seven days for the festival, but leaves the date 
as in the earlier code, making the important addition that the festival 


was to be kept at Jerus. In P we find the date fixed as the 15th day 
of the 7th month, the time is lengthened to eight days, and the whole 
character of the festival is changed. The joyful harvest feast becomes 
a solemn assembly for the offering of sacrifices to Yahweh (Lv. 23'^-'* 
Nu. 29>2-"). 

As it is written]. Esd. adds in the law. The rest of the verse, 
as Esd. shows, consists mostly of the Chronicler's amplification of 
a simple statement to make it harmonise with the feast as it 
was observed in his own time. There is no ground for the con- 
tention that the festival was kept in accordance with P (Chap- 
man, DB. iv,^^*^). The original said no more than that sac- 
rifices were offered according to the custom (not "ordinance," 
as RV.). Sacrifices were offered at this feast in pre-exilic days 
(i K. 8^ 12^2). — As the duty of every day required; literally, the re- 
quirement of each day in its day]. This is a gloss to make this 
celebration agree with Nu. 29^^-'*'', where detailed offerings are 
prescribed for each of the eight days. The Chronicler, how- 
ever, happily overlooked the fact that the text he worked over 
so carefully had not stated that the feast was observed on the 
15th day, and there is nothing to guarantee that it was kept in 
the 7th month. Kosters regards the whole verse as an interpo- 
lation {Wied.^°). b. And afterwards the continual burnt-offering]. 
This rule is first foimd in P (Ex. 29^8 ^■). Two yearling lambs 
were offered, one in the morning, the other at evening. It 
is the sacrifice called in v. ' the offerings of the morning and 
evening, and like that is due to the Chronicler. — And for the 
new moons] i. e., offerings for the feasts of the New Moon. This 
was an ancient festival, as we know from its observance by 
the prophets {cf. i S. 20^ 2 K. 4^^). On that day no business 
was transacted (Am. 8^). In the law it finds place only in P, 
where there are abundant regulations (Ex. 40-- ^^ Nu. 10^" 28"-^^ 
29^). — And for all the holy seasons of Yahweh]. The list of these 
is given in Lv. 23, Sabbath, Passover, Weeks, Trumpets, Atone- 
ment, Booths. The Sabbath and the New Moon were early 
festivals (2 K. 4"^^ Am. 8^). To these are added "the sacred 
seasons" in Is. i" as the general name for feasts other than New 
Moon and Sabbath. The passage, therefore, is in harmony 

EZRA 27<^43 III 

with pre-exilic usage. 5''-6. And of every one that willingly 
offered a free-will offering unto Yahweh. In 1^ this passage is 
without antecedent or consequent. As it stands we should 
have to translate and for every one, etc., a manifest absurdity. 
We get good sense by connecting with the following verse as 
in Esd., And every one who made a vow to Yahweh, from the new 
moon of the first month, he began to offer sacrifices to God. Vows 
had been made by the people, as for a safe journey back to 
Judah, for a prosperous year, but there had been no opportu- 
nity to pay these vows until the altar was set up. Now it was 
possible to discharge these obligations. That is, we have here 
underneath the confusion of the Chronicler a clear trace of the 
re-establishment of the religious life of the community, though 
on rather simple lines. 

The events described cover a period of several months, from the 
7th month of one year to the early part of the year following. As 
V. ' stands in Heb. it is a restrospective statement. The people began 
the routine of the regular offerings on the ist day of the 7th month. 
As that statement requires us to suppose that the assembly gathered, 
the altar was rebuilt, and offerings made all on one day, it is manifest 
that the chron. scheme is impracticable. 

70. A comparison of the three texts is enlightening here: 

Ne. And the pr. and the Lev. 

EzR. And the pr. and the Lev. and some of the people 

Esd. And the pr. and the Lev. and some of the people 

Ne. and the porters and the singers and some of the 

EzR. and the singers and the porters 

Esd. were living in Jerus. and in the country, hut the 

Ne. people and the Neth. and all Israel were living 

EzR. and the Ncth. 

Esd. singers and the porters and all Israel in 

Ne. in their cities 

EzR. in their cities, and all Israel in their'cities 

Esd. their villages. 

The Heb. texts are both impossible. Sense could be secured by 
omitting aj'n-pi, but then the statement would be pointless, as all the 
people would abide in the same place. If we turn to Esd. and per- 
ceive that %a\ Tfj %(!)?(? is a gl., prob. inserted from 1^ ann;'3 (3 Esd. ha3 
region in both places), we get excellent sense and the very statement 


necessary, as this v. goes back to Esd. 5'-% and describes the first step 
after reaching Judah. The pr. the Lev. and a few of the people set- 
tled in Jerus. ; the singers and the porters and the rest of Israel turned 
to the more promising life in and around the country villages. But 
it is not necessary to depart so far from MT. In Ne. v. " we note that 
nnnya is not repeated. If we substitute the necessary oStyno for 
D^jnjni we have a good text, and exc. for the transposition of singers 
and porters exactly what we have in Esd. 

in. 1. yJM] is used nowhere else of the coming of time; but as the 
Hiph. has this meaning we should prob. point yj^i as Is. 6'. — anya] Ne. 
onnya, so C5 ev x6Xeatv ocutuv. The phrase "the sons of Israel were 
in their villages" is of peculiar diflSculty here, as the passage is un- 
doubtedly connected closely with 2'° and the repetition is awkward. 
We might connect 2^° closely with Esd. 5'-° and presuppose a full 
break in a paragraph, or supply a word, the sons of Israel being still in 
their villages, i. c, up to the 7 th month the people had not come to 
Jerus. Esd., however, offers an alternative; in that text (5*") we find xal 
ovTwv Twv ultov TapdifjX exaaiou ev "uot? JSt'ocq. So 3 Esd., cumque essent 
jilii Israel unusquisque in siiis rebus, the sons of Israel each being occu- 
pied with his own ajffairs, i. e., with the gaining of a livelihood. This 
gives a satisfactory sense, and we must either adopt this reading, or 
suppose the clause to be an accidental repetition from 2'°. As the 
subj. of "gathered" is expressed, and as this clause really breaks the 
connection of the 7th month and the assembling of the people, the 
latter is preferable. In a MS. of (S (in Ne.) the coming of the 7th 
month follows the statement that the sons of Israel were in their cities. 
— 2. DpM] is sg., but following vb. is pi. The first vb. is sg. on account 
of close connection with yi»'\ — Saan:] is a Bab. name (v. my note in 
Poly. Bib. Ezr.-Neh.'^). Some, indeed, make it Heb. "^Ja^inr, "begotten 
in Bab." But it is now generally explained as ziru Babili, "seed of 
Bab." (Mey. Eni.'', Sieg. on 2^). In our sources and in Hg. he is called 
the son of Shealtiel, but in i Ch. 3", son of Pedaiah the grandson of 
King Jehoiakim. But Pedaiah had several brothers, among whom 
we find Shenazar (= Shes., v. s. on i^) and Shealtiel, the latter being 
Zer.'s uncle. Either the Chr. has confused the names, or Zer. was 
brought up by his uncle and thus became known as his son. — '?x''n'7Xtt']. 
In Hg. ii2- " 22 "h-y. (g SaXaOtTjX ("I have asked of God").— rnxi^] 
is difficult; (B^ lacks part of the v., i. e., the pr. and Zer. the son of 
Shealtiel and his brethren, but a copyist has jumped over the words 
on account of the repeated aSeXqjof. The word can only be used here 
in a general sense of the laity. In our books it has much the same mng. 
as Aram. mj3 "associates," men of the same class. — mm] meant in 
the earlier literature the oral word of Yahweh, esp. by the mouth of 
the prophet; it is there almost equiv. to teaching; here it has the later 
sense of the written law. 

EZRA 27''-4S TI3 

3. Rarely have we so much to choose from in determining a text, 
both from ancient Vrss. and from modern conjecture. All agree that 
MT. is impossible and there agreement ends. The basis of most efforts 
at restoration is Esd.^ iS'""), here rendered into Heb. for easy com- 
parison with MT. 

"'3>-'?3 i-D) OH'-Vj? nD"iN3 ■>3 iHjisD "?]? n3TDn •\rT^ y^Hn iD;'a Dni'73; ixapM 
.2•\•Jh^ nna"? [mSyi r^^^\>h v^^y^ n;7i33 Dinar ivh-;\ iS^m iptnn^i Y-\nn 

The underlined and the bracketed parts represent MT.; it appears 
thus that Esd. contains all of MT. with one significant additional 
clause at the beginning. This is virtually the text accepted by Guthe, 
but instead of clearing up the difficulty it only adds to the confusion. 
Torrey worked on somewhat freer lines, with this result, so far as it dif- 
fers from the above: iri""! iprnnii oniSjr na^Na 12 U'^an (Comp.^^). Torrey 
is obliged to translate his text with much freedom. Haupt says forcibly 
that on this reconstruction we should rd. oniSj; naisa ixa ^a {SBOT.'"). 
Various slight modifications have been proposed. Ryle omits prep. 
D before icy and so gets: "for the people of the countries were a terror 
to them." Van Hoonacker regards nnia as an Aram, word: "they 
established the altar upon its bases; for a hamah was found above, 
erected by the care of the peoples of the land" (Restaur.^**). In Jus- 
tification he says: "The cult had not been suppressed, but the altar 
where it had been celebrated was a sacrilegious altar." Zillessen 
proposed f^xn isj'a QinVN n^ix '•o {ZAW. i904,»"), but this lacks any 
textual support. 

The attempts to reconstruct the text on the basis of Esd. all work 
on the easier text of ■-. When we turn to ^ we note some significant 
variations. That text runs: xal extauv^%OT]aav auToIi; ex twv aXXtov 
lOvwv TTJt; frjq xal xaTwpOwOirjaav Ixl xh GuataaTTjptov Ixl Toij totou 
aixdiv • oTt Iv exQp<? i^tJav auiolq> auToO? ictivroc xx eOviQ tcI: 
i-zl xfiq YTJ? • xal dtv^cpepov Guat'aq xaxcl: xhv xacpbv xal oXoxauTwyLaxa 
z.'jpt'(p Tb icptoivbv xal ih SetXivdv. This «hould be rendered somewhat 
differently from the prevalent translations, thus: And there were gathered 
to them somefrotn all the other peoples of the land, and they were favorably 
disposed towards the altar [upon its place, for they were at enmity with 
them] so that all the peoples which were in the country helped them and 
they offered sacrifices according to the season, and hitrnt-ojferings to Yahiveh 
morning and evening. At the start aO-colg represents an^S;? in the sense 
of aniSx, so that the gathering is friendly not hostile (c/. Esd. 9O. 
From this text we cannot extort "they erected the altar on its base." 
The vb. xaTa)p6a)0T](jav represents '\'y^ in Mi. 7' Ps. iig'^s Pr. 2^- » 14", 
and followed by ex{ must be rendered as above. "Xxxhyn^aoy might 
mean overpowered, but followed by ace. we find it standing for "WJ in 
I Ch. 15=8 2 Ch. 14'". Putting into Heb. the parts not in brackets we 
have: •it'\Hr\ ••■cy Sa DnryM naian hn it^"1 onnNn ]>-ixn inyn dhiSn viapii 

.aijjSi ipa*? n^r]>H niSyi nya Dinar iS^m 


To demonstrate in the usual way how this grew out of our present 
text by slight changes here and there is beyond the critic's art; but to 
show how this statement was reduced to the confusion we now have is 
not so hard. The idea that the altar was built with the aid of the 
peoples in Palestine was intolerable to the people who had drunk deeply 
of the spirit of Ezra. By a few strokes of the pen that friendly aid 
has been changed to a fear. The text of Esd. has been corrected from 
MT. by putting in the new parts, but where they make no sense. ^ has 
worked over the passage and made it intelligible but entirely wrong. 
It is possible to put the substance of the passage in still closer con- 
formity to MT.: iSyi) onTyi narDn-Sx nciM nixixn <d;;d dhiSj? nnn inj 13. 
We might go a little further in our reconstruction, reading Kt. ':'>'m 
(supported by (S^^). Connecting then with v. ^ we get this clear sense: 
And Jes. . . . got ready and they built the altar of the God of Israel to 
offer burnt-oferings upon it . . . for there were gathered unto them some of 
the peoples of the lands, and they were well disposed towards the altar, and 
they helped them, and he [Jes.] offered upon it, etc. Comparing emended 
text (i) with MT. (2) we have: ^ ^^ 

.nini'? mS;; vSy Sj?"!! d.t-Sj; naron -lii'M nixiND ^djd ■Qrvhj^ nnn wan (») 
.mn^'? niVp vSy Sy^i injioD Sj? narnn iraii nis-\Nn icpn aniSj; nniso ^3 (*) 

This reconstruction is as near to the original as practicable to pre- 
serve the sense. The changes are not very great after the clauses are 
transposed. The rest of v., "offerings morning and evening," is a 
later gl.; for the original writer would not have repeated niS;?. More- 
over, this passage describes the first offering made upon the newly 
erected altar, whereas our text betrays the later point of view in bring- 
ing in the regular establishment. The daily offering is described in v. *, 

4. f\^'y\]. So we should rd. with all texts of (S; Esd. lacks n£3Dna 
and inra ni> lai. ^ further lacks ova Dv, having only a-jirca nSj?. Since 
"offerings" lacks a governing vb. it may be that the whole clause was 
lacking in the original text. At all events, the clumsy hand of the Chr. 
is apparent in the glosses. — 5. riSj:]. With 01 rd. pi. as in v. *. — nina^fS] 
a word added in Esd. 5". The Chr. is fond of combining sabbaths, 
new moons, and holy seasons (i Ch. 23" 2 Ch. 2' 8" 31' Ne. 10", so Ez. 
45")- — '^1'^'] is lacking in d"'^. It is better to om. the redundant 
DityipDH. Elsw. we find nint n>*in, Lv. 23 (4 1.) 2 Ch. 2', or o^ipiD alone. 
— Tion] is added by the Chr. to bring the passage up to date. The 
intr. of this word has made the passage quite ungrammatical, requiring 
the addition of "offerings" as in RV. As so often happens, Esd. pre- 
serves both the original and the substitution. — nanj aijnnn "jaSi] Esd. 5'* 
, %(x\ oaat eu^avTo euxi^v = Tij "njn'Vji a far better text. — v-\rh nn.s dvd 
^yiaa".!] Esd. aiub ttj? voutnrjvfa? tou xpcoxou [XTjvd? {^^ e^SdpLou) = ^C'lnn 
nnxn vyrh, a correction by the Chr. to agree with the idea of v. » that 
all these things happened in the 7th month. But as he has here the 
ist day of that month, his chronology is impossible. 

EZRA 270-43 115 

6''-4' is a pretty complete parallel to the Aram, story of the rebuild- 
ing of the temple, c. 5, 6. We have in both places the actual building, 
the appearance of the neighbouring peoples, and the dedication. The 
greatest divergence is in connection with the foreigners, for in one case 
the neighbours came with an offer of assistance, while in the other they 
came for investigation. There is a striking parallel in the fact that in 
both cases the Jews appealed to the edict of Cy. (4' 5"). The recon- 
structed text shows that the original was a true parallel. But the Chr. 
made sad havoc of his sources. He had a conviction, which may have 
been based on a tradition explaining the long delay in the restoration 
of the temple, that the interference of the enemy was effective for sev- 
eral years, and he has modified the sources accordingly. But such 
effective interference is unknown both in the contemporary prophets 
Hg. and Zc, and in the Aram, account, for 5^8 is surely a gl. by the Chr., 
since it would be strange for interference to begin after the work had 
gone on for fifteen years, and according to 5^ they began to build the 
house of God. 

As the Chr.'s editing is so conspicuous throughout, it is evident that 
before his time there was a Heb. account of the rebuilding of the tem- 
• pie. The Chr. could not be author and editor too, esp. since the ed- 
itor changed the whole significance of the story. The recognition of 
the original character of the passage disposes of Kost.'s assertion that 
vv. «-" are unhistorical. 

6''-10". The temple is rebuilt.— 6". Nffw the temple of 
Yahweh was not yet begun]. This begins a new section, yet 
EV^. separate from preceding only by a colon. The awkward 
paraphrase in our Vrss. — " the foundation of the temple of Je- 
hovah was not yet laid" — is unnecessary. The words describe 
the condition at the time indicated in w. ^-^*, and they lead us 
to expect another step, and we are not disappointed. — 7. And 
they paid money to the quarrymen and stonecutters]. 01^ reads, 
he paid, i. e., Zerubbabel. The workmen named here are not 
masons and carpenters as EV^, but the two classes of stone- 
workers: those who did the wood- work are named further on. 
These were men working in the quarries near the temple site, 
perhaps in the ruin-heaps of the old temple, and were paid 
wages. — And food and drink and oil to the Sidonians and to the 
Tyrians]. These were not paid in cash, but in subsistence. Ac- 
cording to 2 Ch. 2 3 Solomon agreed to give to the Phoenician car- 
penters who prepared the timber for the first temple wheat, bar- 


ley, wine, and oil; but in i K. 5'-^ only wheat and oil are named. 
The present builders are following the modus operandi of their 
famous predecessor, or this account is coloured by the Chroni- 
cler's version of the early event. The Phoenicians were famous 
for dressing timber (i K. 5-^). — To bring cedar timbers from the 
Lebanon unto the sea at Joppa]. This follows closely the Chron- 
icler's story also (2 Ch. 2^^). In i K. 5-'' the place where the 
timbers were delivered is not mentioned. Joppa is on the coast 
north-west of Jerusalem and is the natural port of entry. The 
Phoenicians were to bring the timbers down the coast, the Jews 
naturally being inexpert in that kind of service. Hg. probably 
refers to Lebanon in i^ (Mitchell, in loc.). Marti thinks refer- 
ence to the hills of Judah (Dodekapr.). — According to the per- 
mit of Cyrus, king of Persia, in their favor]. Happily para- 
phrased in H: "as Cyrus . . . had directed them." This would 
naturally imply that the grant of Cyrus referred to the securing 
of timber from the Lebanon, and royal sanction would be neces- 
sary, as that range was now under the control of Persia. 

In the decree of i'-^ nothing is said of timber, but in 6* this material 
is named, though only in connection with the specifications for build- 
ing. Therefore we are driven to a freer interpretation: Cy. authorised 
the construction of the temple, and that warrant carries with it by 
implication the right to procure the materials wherever they may be 
found. The implication is that we are still in the reign of Cy., though 
the words will permit a later date. The phrase may be a note by the 
Chr. to support his theory that these events fell in the reign of Cy. But 
it is permissible to suppose that the terms of Cy.'s decree would hold 
in the time of Dar. Another possibility is that the Chr. substituted 
Cy. for Dar. for the latter gave such a decree (cf. Esd. 4" and note at 
beginning of this c). Therefore we need not be disturbed by the state- 
ment that Cy. had not authority to give such a permit because Cam- 
byses was the first to control the west country (Justi, Gesch. Iran.*''*). 

8-10°. The text in part is scarcely intelligible; it runs (8) 
And in the 2d year of their coming to the house of God at 
Jerusalem, in the 2d month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and 
Jeshua the son of Jozadak and the rest of their brethren, the priests 
and the Levites, atid all who had come from the captivity to Jerusa- 
lem began — and they appointed the Levites from twenty years old 

- EZRA 2^0-43 117 

and upward to superintend the work of the house of Yahweh. (9) 
And Jeshua, his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons the 
sons of Judah, stood up with one accord to superintend the work- 
men at the house of God, the sons of Henadad, their sons and their 
brethren the Levites. (10) And the builders began the temple of 
Yahweh. In this text we notice a sentence that is never fin- 
ished, V. ^; Zerubbabel et al. began something, but we are not 
told what they began, or what the result was. We have two 
distinct statements about superintendence, in one place of the 
Levites, in the other of Jeshua. Finally we learn that the build- 
ers began or laid the foimdations of the temple, but it goes no 
further. Esd. shows duplication after MT., but it contains 
three clear statements: (i) Zerubbabel et al. laid the founda- 
tion of the temple in the 2d year of the return (or of Darius) ; 
(2) Jeshua and other Levites served as superintendents of the 
building (or as chief workmen) ; (3) the temple of Yahweh was 
building at this time, not merely the foundations, but the 
structure. So in 4^ the Samaritans heard that the Jews were 
building a temple. Torrey sees that Esd. has the true reading 
{Comp.^^), but he does not apparently recognise its full sig- 

The passage may be reconstructed with the help of Esd. so 
that it tells a surprising and clear story of the work on the tem- 
ple, advanced to completion, or certainly beyond anything sug- 
gested in MT. The revised text, which in its essential features 
is justified in the notes, is rendered thus: And in the 2d year 
of Darius, in the 6th month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel 
and Jeshua the son of Jozadak and their brethren, and the priests, 
the Levites, and all {others) who had come in from the captivity 
to Jerusalem began and laid the foundation of the house of God. 
On the ist day of the 2d month of the 2d year of their coming 
to Judah and Jerusalem, then they appointed the Levites of twenty 
years and upward for the work on the house of Yahweh; then arose 
Jeshua and Bani and Ahijah and Kadmiel, the sons of Hodaviah 
and the sons of Henadad their sons and their brothers, all the Le- 
vites doing the work on the house of God, and the builders were 
erecting the temple of Yahweh. 


Unto ike house of God in v. ' is a gl. of the Chr. showing his tendency 
to anachronism; the sequence to their coming is "to Jeru?." The im- 
portant date, the 2d year of Dar., is found in Esd.'^ and is doubtless 
correct. Virtually all interpreters have explained this note of time 
as being the 2d year of the return under Shes., 538 B.C. But neither 
Zer. nor Jes. was in that party, and it is certain that the temple was 
not begun at that time. We have here further the important fact 
indirectly disclosed that there was a large migration to Judah in the 
ist year of the reign of Dar., a fact inferred from Esd. 5'-«. The dates 
are given with the particularity characteristic of the time, as in Hg., 
first by the king's reign, and then by the sojourn in Jerus. That two 
dates were in the original is suggested by the separation of the year 
and month by several intervening words. The later law of P made 
thirty years (instead of the twenty years in text) the age for the Lev. 
to begin their holy service (Nu. 4'- =3. 30. 35^ but twenty-five years in 
8"). The Chr. has both thirty years (i Ch. 23^) and twenty {ib. v. =<). 
The passage may be due to the Chr.'s efforts to make history conform 
to law. In regard to Jes. and Bani, no reconstruction of the hopeless 
confusion inspires much confidence. But as "their sons and their 
brethren" (v. '), are comprehensive, we may suspect that in the bewil- 
dering mass of sons and brothers preceding we have corrupted proper 

Erecting is a contribution from Esd., but in spite of its significance 
it has generally been ignored by commentators. Yet it might have 
been inferred from the fact that those who had seen the old temple 
were disappointed at the new one, v. ". If nothing had been done 
but laying the foundation, such a comparison with the Solomonic tem- 
ple would have been impossible. It is true that the celebration (v. ") 
might have come after the foundations were laid, at least arguing from 
the modern ceremonious laying of corner-stones; but it would surely 
be more suitable at a time when the temple was well under way. The 
"builders" are identified with the Phoenicians (Berth, et al.), but that 
can scarcely be the case, for these were designated to prepare the ma- 
terials in the mountains, while the Jews themselves, or the hired work- 
men named in v. ^ did the building. The term is comprehensive, and 
covers all who were engaged in the big task. 

A vexing problem is the work of the Lev. The term n^xSn does mean 
"worship" (11. on 2"), and Mey. seems to insist that it has that sense 
throughout. But his contention ignores the use of the term in Hg. i'*, 
"they did the work on the house of Yahweh," where "work" certainly 
refers to the building operations. If the meaning "worship" were in- 
sisted on, we should have to regard a large part of this passage as an. 
addition by the Chr., who strove hard enough to make it fit his theory. 
There is no good reason though to doubt that the pr. and the Lev. did 
much of the building. Certain classes of skilled labourers were en- 

EZRA 270-43 119 

gaged in cutting timber and stones (v. ')■ But there was a vast amount 
of labour which pr. could do as well as laymen. In Ne. 3, pr. took a 
conspicuous part in the rebuilding of the wall. But there the Chr. has 
tried to obscure the correct meaning {v. i. 3*); and he has presumably 
done the same thing here. 

6''. ^Tr\]. As. ekallu, "palace" or "temple," prob. from Accadian 
e-gal, "big house." In Heb. it means "palace" or, oftener, "temple." 
As a rule, it stands alone for "temple," and is equiv. to nini n^2, which 
(S reads here olxo? xupt'ou. Subj. precedes vb. to mark a circumstantial 
clause {Har. Syn. § *'"). — iD''] means "lay a foundation" in i K 5", but 
"repair" or "restore" in 2 Ch. 24" Is. 44". The latter is completely 
parall. our passage: "saying to Jerus., thou shalt be rebuilt, and to the 
temple (reading as Kt. Sd-tiSi) thou shalt be restored." Laying the 
foundation as EV^ is not the idea of our passage; "begun" is the 
right sense, and that use is found, e. g., in Hg. 2^^ Zc. 4^ 8'. Esd. ren- 
ders <pxo36iXT]To, "built." — 7. aosn] means hewers. It signifies "stone- 
cutter" in I Ch. 22^, but that is a loose use. We find as obj. "copper" 
Dt. 8', "cisterns" Dt. 6" Ne. 9", "sepulchre" Is. 22'8, "wine-fat" Is. 
52. In I K. 52' (EV. 5'0 -\7\2 3sn = "digging stone in the mountain"; 
so here the proper mng. is "quarrymen." — a''8'in] = cutters of wood, 
metal, or stone, generally with a genitive to define exactly. In i 
Ch. 22" there is yyi px ■•trin, "cutters of stone and timber." The 
proper mng. here is not "carpenters," since those are named later, but 
"stonecutters," those who dressed the quarried stone. — idb'] Esd."^ 5 =5 
Xapa = nnnss', which might stand for whatever they pleased to ask. H 
cum gaiidio. Esd. 5" adds after Lebanon to transport it by rafts, a 
reflection of the older story, i K. 5". — a''] Esd. Xc[jLiva and so to the 
harbor of J op pa. — jviri] a. X. ^^'^ imx'^priaiy, yy(!i[t.ri<;^ (decree), Esd. 
Tb ■Kpda-zay^Lix -zh ypayiv, "the written order." H decrettim quod scriptiim 
erat. This may represent 3no3 dv^t (cf. Dn. 10"). The mng. of ]v&-) 
"permit" is established by the Vrss., the context and by the cog. 

8-lOa. The textual problem in this passage is one of the most dif- 
ficult in even this perplexing book. We note first that nsj*?, a favourite 
word of the Chr., is lacking in <&^ v. ' and in <S^^ v. »; as it is wanting in 
Esd.^'^, it may safely be discarded from the original. inxD v. " is not 
found in (&^^ and also should be omitted. But these minor details do 
not relieve the passage of its almost hopeless confusion. The Chr. 
might think that the establishment of Levitical duties was important 
enough for all the preliminary notice in v. ', but Zer. may have deemed 
the temple-building as a more vital matter. Esd. does make the work 
on the temple the prominent subj.; and his suggestion must be fol- 
lowed to extract order out of this chaos. The proposed text contains 
all that we have in Heb., but in a different order and with some addi- 


tions and variations. Any reconstruction must aim at good sense, and 
make the passage a connecting link between v. ' and c. 4. Combining 
the two texts where necessary, the following is proposed: nijcn njirai 
DiiSn Dijnsni oninxi pnsv-p yitrM Ss^nSNC-p Snair iSnn icirn cnna U'lm'? 
n^jiyn nja?*? ijtrn cinS nns ova Din'7Nn no-ns nOM oSa'n'''? "■aBTiD a^Nan-Soi 
-n'>3 n3}<'7D-'?jr nSym nj!:> ona';? pa DiiSn-n« nicyi D'7»'n>Si mini'? dnu"? 
DiiSn-Sa oninsi omja "njn >j3i nmn ^ja ^Nimpi d-'pni ijai yvi" inri m^' 
.mm Sain-nx Dijan uaii DinSxn niaa nax^Dn •'Z'y 

*Exl Aapefou is from Esd.^ 5". This year agrees with Hg. i'. — 'iftsri] 
both MT. and <S in all texts rd. ija'n. I have ventured to substitute 
"sixth" from Hg. i». It is not unlikely that the original author of 
this piece took his whole date from Hg., where we have: "in the 2d 
year of Dar. the king, in the 6th month, on the ist day of the month." 
— iSnn] a peculiar and impossible use of this vb. in MT., for it requires 
another dependent upon it. Esd. supplies the necessary sequence. A 
somewhat similar use is found in 2 Ch. 20" and Dt. 2^*: "begin, pos- 
sess." So here they began and laid the foundation, i. e., laid the foun- 
dation as the first step. — Esd.^-^ 5'^^ has a longer list of Levitical work- 
men, adding to those in Heb. ol ulol TiQaou 'HtAaSa^ouv, unless this 
stands for "njn ija, which I suspect to be the case. There is also EiXt- 
aSouv (= ini*?}*, "El judges"). It seems quite necessary to convert 
vnsi vja into n. p., for the final "their sons and their brothers" refers 
comprehensively to all the names in the list. — "'ja] occurs frequently in 
the Levitical lists. — The double date is explicable on the ground that 
we have two stages of the work. In the 6th month of the 2d year of 
Dar. the work of rebuilding began by laying the foundations. In the 
6th month, the work not progressing fast enough, the pr. and Lev. were 
set to the task. 

To go back to our reconstructed text once more, it will be noted 
that the main difference between MT. and Esd. is the clause -nx noil 
a^nhan rua. But MT. has 'n-n^a in v. «, where it does not belong, 
and it has nDii v. i", where uaii is required by the connection and by 
the Esd. text. I suspect that the required word is concealed in D^jan, 
where ol oJ>coS6[jLot of Esd. may be a correction. MT. first suffered 
from dropping out a clause bodily, easily explained on account of the 
repeated date, then the text was further modified to make what was 
left as reasonable as possible. 

Even in this reconstruction there is evidence of the Chr.'s amplifica- 
tion. Hg. addressed the temple-builders as Zer. Jes. and "all the peo- 
ple of the land," exactly what [we have here, though we have a great 
deal more. To reduce it to the Chr.'s source is a mere matter of con- 
jecture, but the following is a fairly safe hazard: "And in the 2d year 
of Dar. in the 6th month, Zer. the son of Shealtiel and Jes. the son of 
Jozadak, and all who had come to Jerus. from the captivity began and 
laid the foundations of the house of God. And in the ist day of the 

EZRA 2^0-43 121 

2d month of their coming to Jerus. they put the Lev. from twenty years 
and upward at the work of the house of God. And they were building 
the temple of Yahweh." 

The one point assured is that in this passage we have a description 
of the laying of the foundations and the partial completion of the build- 
ing. Jos. says specifically that the celebration described in 10*^-13 
occurred when "the temple was finished" {Ant. xi, 4, 2). 

10''-13. The celebration. — This passage originally contained 
an account of the dedication of the temple. — 10''. Not they 
"set the priests" (EV^), but the priests stood. Nor is it right 
to render "in their apparel," though supported by BDB. and 
Ges.'^, meaning in their vestments, but furnished with trum- 
pets. The trumpet or clarion is the straight trumpet (Br. 
p^ixxviii) in distinction from the crooked ram's horn. It is 
described as "a long, straight, slender metal tube with flaring 
end" (BDB. Benz. Arch.'^'^\ DB. iii,«2, where there is a cut 
from the arch of Titus). This was particularly the instru- 
ment of the priest (Ne. 10^) and was used to call an assembly 
(Ne. lo'^), to sound an alarm (2 Ch. 13^2. 14)^ ^jid. to celebrate 
any joyful occasion (i Ch. 16"). — The Levites the sons of Asaph]. 
In 2*^ the sons of Asaph are singers. The reference is to 
that part of the order of Levites whose office was to furnish 
music. Not all Levites were sons of Asaph, but that term 
includes the musical class. The use of this expression proba- 
bly shows a different source from 2*^ — With cymbals]. This is 
parallel with the preceding clause, a word being understood, 
i. e., the Levites furnished with cymbals. Cymbals only in Ch.- 
Ezr.-Ne. and 2 S. 6^ Ps. 150^, but in the Ps. a different Hebrew 
word is used. According to i Ch. 15^^ cymbals were made of 
brass. The cymbals were for the Levites or sons of Asaph as 
distinctly as the trumpet was for the priests. They are often 
coupled with psalteries and harps, and are used to accompany 
the singers. They seemed to have been esteemed for the loud 
noise they made (i Ch. 15^'). — After the order of David (literally, 
by the hands of David)]. This is a characteristic note of the 
Chronicler. He naturally ascribes the Levitical use of musical 
instruments to David (2 Ch. zg^^^). — 11. And they answered in 
their praise]. That is, they sang responsively. The words which 


follow are not, however, the praise song which was sung, but 
only the refrain which served as the response; therefore we 
might render: they praised with the response. It is difficult 
to think that a refrain which was so great a favourite with the 
Chronicler was quoted here in a mutilated form, therefore we 
should almost certainly read: 

Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; 
For his mercy is for everlasting. 

This chorus is found in Ps. io6^ 136^ i Ch. 16^* 2 Ch. 5" 7'. — 
Towards Israel] would then have to be regarded as a gloss added 
by one who did not see the poetical quotation and who deemed 
it necessary to point the application. In any case the connec- 
tion is awkward. Esd. felt the difficulty and rendered freely: 
for his goodness and glory are eternal towards all Israel. — Now all 
the people shouted with a great shout]. The unusual order, the 
subject preceding the verb, marks a concomitant circumstance. 
While the priests were blowing the trumpets and the Levites 
were playing the cymbals and singing, the mass of the people 
broke out with triumphant cries. — Because the house oj Yahweh 
was begun]. Better with Esd. because the house of Yahweh was 
building. The Jews were not wont to celebrate the beginning 
of a building operation, but its completion. 

Ace. to the text we have judged to be the most original (v. s.), the 
foundation had been laid some time before, and at this period the 
building was well under way. No great stress can be laid upon the 
event, however, for the hand of the Chr. is conspicuous, and he was a 
far better idealist than historian. It may be that Esd. preserves a note 
of an original story when it says, all the people blew the trumpets and 
shouted. The whole population participated, making the demonstra- 
tion more democratic than MT. suggests. 

12. Many of the priests and Levites]. Esd. here as in other 
places omits the conjunction and thus preserves the deutero- 
nomic expression the priests the Levites. This is an important 
reading, and it is quite possible that the sharp distinction be- 
tween priest and Levite belongs to a later period than the early 
post-exilic, and was put back into this period by the Chronicler. 
— The elders] in our text is in explanatory opposition with heads 

EZRA. 2''°-4^ 125 

of clans, but in (8^ it is separated by a conjunction and thus 
made a separate class. That is an error, for the elders are not 
here an oflScial body, but the old people of all classes. — Who 
had seen the former house], that is, the temple of Solomon which 
had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 587. 

RV. continues, "when the foundation of this house was laid before 
their eyes"; but this is a desperate expedient to extract sense from an 
unintelligible text. The Heb. will not yield that mng. by any possible 
straining. The words "when its foundations were laid" refer not to 
the new temple, but to the temple of Solomon! Manifestly no one liv- 
ing could have survived from Solomon's time, and the text is impossible. 
The next clause is no better: now the house in their eyes has no con- 
nection fore or aft. Hg. 2' throws important light on the passage both 
for interpretation and date: "Who is there surviving among you that 
saw this house in its former splendor? And what do you see it now? 
Is it not of small account in your eyes? " The prophet saw that some 
of the old people by making the invidious comparison were discouraging 
the builders {cf. Halevy, Rev. Sem. xv,"'). These words were spoken 
by Hg. when the work on the temple was well imder way. Kost. holds 
that the Chr. excerpted the passage from the prophet, changing terms 
to suit himself {Wied.^''). Esd. has a somewhat confused text, but 
it easily yields an intelligible mng.: Some of the pr. ei al., having seen 
the former house, came to this building with crying and great weeping. 
The idea is the same: the wailing was due to the comparative insignifi- 
cance of the temple that was now erecting. But that rendering pre- 
supposes a different text. Possibly the corruption was due to the 
misconception about the chronology. It might serve to make a slight 
change in the pointing and render: the old people who had seen the 
former house in its place, this was the house in their eyes. " This " refers 
to the old temple, and the mng. would be that in their conception 
that building was the proper temple, and the new and insignificant 
structure a cause for weeping rather than rejoicing. But the cor- 
ruption is prob. deeper. In v.^ our text yields no sense, it runs lit., 
many with a shout with joy to raise the voice. RV., "many shouted 
aloud for joy," is paraphrastic and unmindful of original text. The n. 
"shout" must be changed to a vb., as RV. in fact does. In contrast 
to the old people who were weeping, many (others) shouted joyfully, 
in order to make a noise so as to drown out the weeping. 

13. But the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful 
shouting from the sound of weeping]. Of the people follows in the 
text, but after (S^ it should be omitted; otherwise "people" 


would be used in this v. three times and in each case referring 
to a different group. The passage means that the efforts of 
the younger element were not successful in smothering the 
weeping of the old people. Esd. ^'^'^ reads: so that the people 
could not hear the sound of the trumpets on account of the weeping 
of the people. That makes very good sense and paves the way 
for the following clause, therefore (not for) the multitude trum- 
peted loudly so that it was heard afar], i. e., they redoubled their 
efforts to silence the wallers, so that the noise was heard at a 
great distance. On the whole, the celebration was decidedly 
unique. The priests blew the trumpets, the Levites played the 
cymbals and sang; the old people wept and the younger ones 
shouted joyfully and trumpeted loudly, so that the noise of the 
tumult of sounds carried to a great distance. 

lO^. Following C6 we should rd. ni^yi, a reading found in some Heb. 
Mss., as it is better to take pr. cl al. as subj. rather than obj. — D^a'^Sa 
nnsxnj] is to be rendered "equipped with clarions." tS'^S does mean 
put on clothing, but it is an easy transition to "furnish" or "equip." 
Esd.'^^ has [Jiexa (louatxcov y.a.\ aaXxtyywv, 3 Esd. hahcntes stolas cum 
tiibis. — ainSsDj] lacking in <&^. Esd. has Ijp-vzzc, ids. v.{i\x^(xk<x. This 
word is used only in Ch.-Ezr.-Ne. Another form is ai^sSs (2 S. 6= 
Ps. isoO- It is scarcely correct to say that one form is earlier than 
the other (BDB.), as the evidence is too scanty. — ni] Esd. 5" reads 
siXoyouvTsi; (nmnS) and connects S;? with hmi, praising according to 
David the king of Israel, unless, indeed, they rd. ni as a vb. in Qal with 
a sense assigned only to the Hiph. — 11. uj^m] Esd. e9wvT)ffav, 3 Esd. et 
cantabant canticun Domino. — "2x2 'd] Esd. 5^^ otc •?) xp^iJ't6tt](; auToO 
xal -fj So^a; also -jcavxl 'lapai^X = Snis'i-SdV. The passage is plainly a 
corruption of a favourite refrain found in Ps. 1061 1361 i Ch. 16" 2 Ch. 
5" ^\ i. c., non dSi>'V >3 aia-'j nin^'? nin. — ayn-S^i]. The subj. precedes 
vb. to mark the circumstantial clause. — iynn] C^b ^a-^jxatvov, ^ fjXaXa^av, 
Esd. lff(4XTctaav xal epoTjoav, 3 Esd. tuba cecinerunt et proclamerunt. — n3;nn] 
C6 cpm-tiv or ywv^^- = Sip. — noin] (gi^A OeixeXtwaet = ipin. But Esd. has 
eylpaet = a''pn, 3 Esd. in suscitatione. — 12. n>3n nr iiDo] Sieg. explains 
the sf. as anticipatory of n^3n, very dub. Ges.^ '^^ regards 'nn nr as 
a txt. err. for nin iran. Van Hoonacker dismisses the clause as an 
Aramaism (Zorob.^"^). On the basis of Esd., Guthe adjudges nnn a 
gl. to which Haupt adds nr (SBOT. in loc). But o?xoSo[i.V in Esd. 
may stand for no. The word surely wanting in Esd. is anijiya. It is 
prob. that Esd. understood iD'' here, as in previous cases, as having the 
sense of hj3. The rest of the passage also is quite different in Esd., xa'. 

EZRA 2™-4' 12$ 

•KoXXol 8tdk aaXirfyywv %od xapa [ASYdtXy] xfj qjMvfj, 3 Esd., c^ ?»?//// cum 
tuhis et gaudio magna. The obscurity of the texts is very great. There 
is a certain similarity in MT. to Hg. 2' and also to Esd. We may, 
however, extract possible sense by disregarding accents, omitting the 
sf., and treating nr as an enclitic: wlien litis house was building before 
their eyes. 

Yet that result is not entirely satisfactory. What we should expect 
is something like: "because the house now was mean in their eyes, they 
wept with a loud voice." It may be quite surely said that on^j^ya in- 
dicates that there preceded some words describing how the new build- 
ing appeared to those who compared it with the old. No present text 
suggests a suitable word. By substituting oj?dd in the sense of Ps. 
lo^" for nou we get the required sense as indicated above, but the 
emendation is purely conjectural. Another possibility is to let the text 
stand with a slight change of pointing, nbn, taking the n. in the sense 
of "base" or "place," and referring to the temple of Solomon. We 
should expect Vy rather than 3, it is true, but some demands will fail in 
this passage. We may compare Hg. 2', ^la'N-in niasa rt'ri n-i^n, "this 
house in its former glory." 11013 may be an error for naaa due to the 
Chr.'s insistence that the temple was not advanced beyond the foun- 
dations at this period. Hg. has ffo before dtv';2. We should get 
good sense, therefore, by reading who saw the former house in its glory, 
now the house was as nothing in their eyes. — doi] (B^^ ox^o?> other texts, 
•xoXXof. — nj;nn3] ^^^ Iv arjiAaolqc, 05'- ev dcXaXaYfAw. Esd. Sti ([le-rii'-) 
caXx^YY^v. But a vb. is required here. Heb. syntax has been freely 
manufactured to explain corrupt texts, but the strain is too great here. 
We should rd. a^jna as in v. ". Following Esd. many would rd. nnntyai, 
but that is due to a misunderstanding. The mng. is that in contrast 
to the loud wailing many others raised a cry of joy. — Sip onnV]. The 
Gk. translators were puzzled by this expression. In ^^ we find toO 
l<l>tbaan (pSiQV, ToO utJ^oOv T-fjv 9wvf)v^, Esd. [Lsy&Xfi zf) 9(i)v^. The inf. clause 
expresses purpose, and is not to be treated adverbially as RV. "aloud." 
— 13. ayn2] is lacking in (&^ and does not belong here (so Guthe). Esd. 
here offers a quite different text: wsts Tbv Xabv \xi} dx,ouetv twv aaXTcfyYuv 
[x-f)v 9G)vfjv^] Scd: tou xXau6[ tou Xaou. It is doubtful if this is any 
improvement. — ^d] must be taken in the sense of "therefore," and ay.T 
thus means the same ones that could not separate the joyful cries 
from the wailing. Esd. shows a different text : 6 yAp oxXo? ■^v 6 aaX- 
•rcl^wv tJLSYaXo)!; waxe [j,axp69£v ixoueaOat. (8^^ lacks ^^J^^^^) and rep- 
resents Snjn b^p2 ((pcovyj jisYciXy]), placing Sip in a different connection 
from Heb. 

4'-^ = Esd. 5^'-*^ The rejection of the Samaritans' ofifer. 
-The Samaritans heard of the building operations, and they 


came to Jerusalem with an offer of assistance on the ground 
that they were also worshippers of Yahweh. The offer was 
flatly rejected by Zerubbabel and the chiefs. 

This passage has nothing to do with vv. *-' with which it is invariably 
connected. The two sections show that broad difference in style which 
precludes common authorship. In one place the hostile party is called 
"enemies of Judah and Benjamin" (v.'), in another, "the people of 
the land" (v.''); the Jews are called "sons of the golah" in v.', but 
"people of Judah" in v. ^ The prevalent use of participles in vv. * '■ 
betrays a different hand. In vv. ^-^ we find "building," but there is 
no indication that the building of the temple is meant. There is noth- 
ing in c. 5 or in Hg. or Zc. to indicate any serious stoppage of the build- 
ing operations. The opposition of the nations is, in Briggs's opinion, 
well brought out in Ps. 4. 

The passage is obviously out of place. The proposal of the Sam. 
would naturally be made as soon as the temple was begun. It is 
tempting to transpose this section to follow 3'. The connection would 
then be all that can be desired. Vv. « ' • describes the laying of the foun- 
dations and the start of the structure. At this point the proposal of 
the Sam. would come in most appropriately. Then the statement 
"and the builders built the temple of Yahweh" (v.") has its proper 
place, while vv. i"''-" finds its best explanation as the dedication of the 
completed temple. The passage may have been transposed to suit the 
Chr.'s theory that the temple was only begun at this time, or to bring 
together in c. 4-6 all the stories of the interference of the foreigners. 

1. The enemies] are shown by their own statement in v. ^ to 
be the Samaritans. — The sons of the golah] or the captivity indi- 
cates the writer's theory that the temple was rebuilt by those 
who had come back from Babylonia. — Were building the tem- 
ple]. The Chronicler evidently overlooked those words, since 
he has doctored the text of c. 3 to exclude any work on the 
temple save laying the foundations. The words presuppose 
some progress on the structure itself. Esd. contains an elab- 
orate statement connecting this passage more closely with 3": 
and the enemies of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin hearing, 
came to ascertain what the sound of the trumpets [meant], and they 
perceived that those from the captivity were building the temple of 
the Lord, the God of Israel. If those enemies lived in Samaria, 
the noise made by the trumpets must have been loud indeed. 

EZRA 2 ^"-4^ 127 

But the Samaritans may have spread during the exile into the 
bounds of the later Judean province. The Hebrew is better, for 
the offer seems to have been deliberate, not on the spur of the 
moment, as the Esd. text implies. 1 

2. Zerubbabel] add and to Jeshua and the rest as in v.', a read- 
ing supported by several texts, and required by the sense, since 
the offer was rejected by the same ones to whom it was made. 
Associated with Zerubbabel and Jeshua, the prince and the 
priest in the government, were chiefs of clans, making a sort of 
informal assembly. — We will build with you] or let us build with 
you. Possibly these were the same people that had assisted 
at the erection of the altar (v. 3^). — For we seek your God as ye 
do] RV. According to early usage "seek" would mean to 
make inquiries of God by prophets or oracles. In Ch. it is 
used in what Driver calls a weakened sense (Intr.^^), seeking 
God in any religious way. Esd. renders "obey." These peo- 
ple acknowledge their foreign characters by saying ''your God." 
— To him we have offered sacrifices] MT. reads: We have not of- 
fered sacrifices. The purpose of the corruption is to show that 
the foreigners had obeyed the law and had not dared to sac- 
rifice, contrary to the law in any other place than Jerusalem. 
That would add strength to fheir plea, but it was hardly the 
truth. Since the time of Esarhaddon], referring to the story of 
their transportation from other Assyrian provinces to take the 
place of the deported people of the northern kingdom. They 
were led to seek Yahweh, because they were beset by wild beasts, 
in which they saw a punishment for their neglect of the local 
deity. They were taught the cult of Yahweh by an Israelitish 
priest who was sent back from exile for that purpose {v. 2 K. 

Esarhaddon was king of Assyria 681-668 B.C., and was the son of 
the famous Sennacherib and grandson of Sargon who captured Sam. 
in 722 B.C. The deportation of these particular people may have been 
delayed. According to 2 K. 17, Shalmanezer transported the colonists 
to Sam., and Jos. has that name here. In 4' Asnappar is supposed 
to be Assurbanipal, and Mey. would so rd. here. Torrey thinks the 
Chr. deliberately put the wrong name here to make the heathen origin 
of the Sam. more apparent (ES."'). We know almost nothing about 


conditions in Sam. after 722, and must draw conclusions cautiously 
(v. further, Smith 9TH.^">, Mar. Jes.'\ GAS. Jcr. ii,>si). 

3. For you and for us], "And for us" is wanting in E^d., 
and its omission gives force to the contrasting assertion, we 
alone will build. — As King Cyrus commanded us] referring to 
the edict in i^-^ {cf. 3"). The impetus for the building opera- 
tions is here derived from the royal order. It is possible to 
interpret the statement as the ground of the Jews' refusal of the 
Samaritan offer, King Cyrus ordered us (not you) to build this 
temple. The reason commonly urged is that the Jews would 
have no dealings with this mixed race, being solicitous for a 
pure people and a pure religion. Such a consideration would 
have had more force with Ezra than with Zerubbabel. The 
motive was probably political. The old feelings against the 
pecple of the north would be intensified by the addition of for- 
eign elements. (See Rogers, Hist. Bab. and Assy, ii,^^^) 

1. ni-] <g ol OXf^ffVTeq, Esd. 5" ol exOpof. Esd. adds t^? (fukfic, (nan), 
— So"in] (5 olxov, Esd. vaov. Esd. adds i^^wGoaav extYvwaat t{<; tj ^wvf) 
Twv aaXxffywv, mng. that the attention to the temple was attracted 
by the noise of the trumpets. — nSun] (5 iTCOixfaq = njnsn as 2>. Esd. 
ol ix, T^? alxixocXwalaq = os'D also in 2». — 2. S^ant]. We should add 
yvj^-Sxi in harmony with v. ', as Esd. and (&^, — aainSxS] (&^ tw 6e<p 
■{jlAwv, (S^ ev xq) Oeqi uiawv. MT. is right though; *? is found in this 
connection only in Ch. — n'^'i] as Qr. and all Vrss. we must rd. 
iSi. — pmDvs] elsw. only 2 K. 19" (= Is. 37'"'). As. Ahir-ah-iddina. 
Most of the Gk. texts make sad havoc of this name; thus we find 
AagaxaqjstO Esd.", NaxopSavK •*■ preserves correct form AaapaSSwv. 
— 3. 1X2'] is lacking in Esd. both here and in v. 2 (it is best omitted); 
@'- has a curious dup. in v. ^: Zer. and Jes. and the rest of the chiefs and 
to the chiefs of the clans. — ijSi] is lacking in Esd.^^. — nn^] (^ eiul -rb auxd. 
Esd. (xdvoc = "s^S, a better reading, since im means together and would 
rather imply the acceptance of the offer. But see BDB., s. v. — ■'nSx 
'7.STl^'''] ^^^ Tw 6e(T) ■Jjjxwv, Esd. t(J> xupty "cou 'Icrpai^X. 



In its present form this story cannot be authentic. We find in the 
letter to Dar. some incorrect information, esp. the statement that Shes. 
had begun the work. But as shown in the notes the text in that part 

EZRA 424b-6i8 , 129 

of the letter is very corrupt. I have been able to restore a suitable 
intr. to the letter of Dar. {p. 5« '■); but there is more lacking still. For 
Dar.'s orders are based upon the decree of Cy., to which there is no 
reference in the letter. The decree of Cy. is practically quoted in the 
letter to Dar., whereas its place should be in his reply. The decree 
in 6'-= has been amplified by a later hand, and a similar elaboration 
is found in the letter of Dar., esp. vv. » f- The story of the dedication 
(vv. •<-'') also excites suspicion in part. 

It seems plain that the underlying theory of this document is that 
the temple had been begun by Shes. and that the building had contin- 
ued for many years. There may have been some interruption, as 
4*< indicates, and with which 5" is not inconsistent, esp. if the ces- 
sation had only lasted for two years, as is stated in Esd. 5". This nar- 
rative is therefore the basis for the Chr.'s arrangement of his mate- 
rial in c. 1-6. He found this story, and not only used it, but made it 
the framework for his whole structure. Whether the text was freely 
amplified by him or whether that had already been done by another 
hand, it is not easy to determine. He was not the only Jew holding 
strong views about the temple and priesthood. 

The corresponding Heb. story knows nothing of an appeal to Dar., 
and yet it does not exclude it; for there is nothing to indicate what the 
Sam. did when their offer was rejected. This account, on the other 
hand, contains no hint of the tendered aid of the Sam, 

The narrative in brief is as follows: Under the influence of the 
prophets Hg. and Zc, Zer. and Jes. in the 2d year of Dar. begin the 
construction of the temple. At once the Pers. officers Tattenai and 
Shethar appear on the scene (4^'"'-sO' These officers write a letter 
to King Dar., relating their discovery of the Jews' building operations, 
the claim of the latter to authority from Cy., and asking for instruc- 
tions (s'-'O- A search is made by order of Dar,, and the original 
decree of Cy. is discovered (6'-6). Dar. thereupon replies to Tattenai 
el al., upholding the decree of Cy. and bestowing liberal gifts upon 
the Jews (6«-"). The temple is then finished in the 6th year of Dar., 
and dedicated with a festival accompanied by appropriate sacrifices 


It appears from the above outline that here, as in 4'-24a^ ^e have 
chiefly some correspondence with the Pers. court. But the proportion 
of narrative is very much greater than in 4' 'f-, as the letters occupy 
but half of the passage. There is a striking parallel between the two 
documents. In both cases the Jews are engaged in building, the 
Pers. officials write a report of the operations to the Pers. king, and the 
king sends an answer, though in one case the answer orders the build- 
ing stopped, and in the other allows it to go on with liberal support. 
But in 4'-2*a the attitude of the Pers. officials is hostile, while in this 
section it is neutral. In 4' "• the complainants put their own construc- 


tion upon the actions of the Jews, while in 4'^* ^- the Jews are invited 
to plead their cause, and their plea is forwarded to the Pers. court. 

424b_55 ^ Esd. 5'°-6^ The temple is begun. 

The text is in bad condition, esp. in the latter part of the section; we 
find a question without an answer, and an answer without a question. 
The letter to Dar. which follows, however, supplies the material that 
is lacking here. 

24**. And the cessation was until the second year of the reign 
of Darius the king of Persia]. Esd. 5"" has the more specific 
statement, and they were restrained from the building two years 
iintil the reign of Darius. It is possible that some attempt had 
been made to begin earUer, or it may be that these words are 
but an editorial attempt to connect c. 5 with the correspondence 
with Artaxerxes. — 1. Here we may confidently follow the text 
of Esd. : In the second year of the reign of Darius. This date ap- 
pears to be original, and it may be that it has been carried back 
from this place to 4^*''. — Prophesied Haggai the prophet and 
Zechariah the son of Iddo the prophet]. The text shows a de- 
pendence upon Hg. This prophet's father is never named, but 
he is called habitually "Haggai the prophet" (Hg. i^- ^^ 2^- 1"). 
According to Zc. i^ Zechariah was the grandson of Iddo, an 
instance of the untrustworthiness of our genealogies. — In the 
name of the God of Israel unto them]. ARV. inserts "prophesied 
they," but has a marginal alternative, "which was upon them." 
Torrey renders "which was over them." So 3 Esd., super cos. 
"In the name of the God of Israel" certainly is connected with 
"prophesy," either as it stands at the beginning of the verse, 
in which case "unto them" is an error (it is not found in H), 
or else we must supply the verb as ARV. By a slight change 
we might get "their God" for "unto them" (cf. Hg. i" "the 
house of Yahweh of hosts their God"). 

2. Zerubbabel comes before Jeshua here as Hg. i*, and con- 
trary to 3^^ where Jeshua precedes. — And began to build the house 
of God]. This statement makes it difficult to suppose that there 
had preceded any attempt to rebuild the temple. Torrey says 
that it is a characteristic redundant use of the Aramaic word 

EZRA 424^-518 12 1 

"begin" (ES.^*^). In Esd. 3^" he renders the same Greek word 
"proceeded." Still it would be extremely difficult to make the 
passage mean "resumed building." — Which is in Jerusalem], 
Cf. I* 4^*. — And with them were the prophets of God helping 
them]. It is generally assumed that Haggai and Zechariah are 
meant; but they were named in v. ^ of which this is not neces- 
arily a mere duplication. "Helping" may refer to material 
assistance, and the prophets are probably the members of the 
prophetic guilds which continued in post-exilic times {v. my 
Heb. Prop. c. 4). We note the prophetic tone in this story and 
the lack of prominence for the priests as in c. 3. The prophets 
may have shared in the actual manual labour. 

Z. At that time came unto them]. Work must have progressed 
for some time before the Persian officials could hear of it and 
appear on the scene. Tattenai or, as found in contract tablets, 
Ustani, v. i., the satrap of the province beyond the River] (Syria) 
the exact title found in the contract tablets, except that there 
we learn that Ustani was ruler of Babylonia as well as Syria. 
— Shethar-bozenai]. The real name was probably Shethar, as 
Est. i", and bozenai is the unknown or corrupted title of his 
office. Perhaps Shethar was the scribe, like Shimshai (4*), It 
is the custom in these documents to give both the name and 
the title of the writers. — Thus they said to them] i. e., thus they 
inqmred of them. — Who gave you an order to build this house] 
implying that the rebuilding of the temple could not be 
permitted without proper authorisation. That undoubtedly 
was a fact. There is a good illustration in the Eleph. pap. 
The Jewish colony there had had a temple, but it had been 
destroyed by their enemies; they wished to rebuild it, and so 
sent a long letter to Bagohi, governor of Judah, asking the 
necessary permission. This letter is dated the 17th year of 
Darius Nothus (408 B.C.), that is, a little more than a century 
later than our period. — And to finish this wall] is almost cer- 
tainly wrong; but it is not so easy to say what is surely right. 
The meaning of the word translated "wall" is not known. It 
may be that "foundation" is right {v. i.). The word is found 
in Eleph. Pap. i,", but the meaning is doubtful save that it 


refers to some part of the temple, and to something made of 
wood, as it was burnt. Sachau proposes here "establishment" 
{Pap. u. Ost.^'). 

In. vv. 1-' the text of Esd. is usually close to MT. But in vv. *'• 
the departure becomes very considerable. The peculiar rendering 
throws httle light on the text, which here has suffered severely appar- 
ently by the compiler's omissions. 

4. Then we said to them as follows]. But what they said is lack- 
ing. In Esd. the difficulty is relieved, for this phrase is wanting. 
In ^ we find a slight change, then they {the Persians] said these 
things to them [the Jews], i. e., inquired further. But that gives 
us two questions suitably introduced, while there is no answer 
to either one. ARV. cuts the knot by turning the second ques- 
tion into the missing answer to the first, though unhappily the 
reply has no relation whatever to the question. RV. and AV. 
more wisely render the text as it stands, though it does not 
make sense. But not to know is sometimes better than to 
know wrongly. In the letter which Tattenai sent to Darius we 
find the missing answer of the Jews (vv."-^*^), and it is a good 
answer, for here is related the history of the attempts at temple- 
building, which it is declared had been authorised by Cyrus. 
It may be that on account of the length of the reply, and to 
avoid repetition, the Chronicler left out the long answer here. 
— What are the names of the men who are building this building. 
The answer would naturally be Zerubbabel and Jeshua. The 
only name found in the letter, however, is Sheshbazzar, w. "• "■ 
— 5. And the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews], 
Elders is used for the leaders, the men called so often "heads 
of the fathers" {cf. i^. In (S we find captivity of Judah, also 
found in Esd., and giving a more suitable sense, for the divine 
favour was not limited to the leaders, but was extended to the 
whole people. If "elders" is right the meaning is that the 
reply to Tattenai had been so happily framed that he had no 
excuse for present interference. Esd. has a different text, and 
they had favour, there being an overseeing of the captivity from 
the Lord, the elders of the Judeans. — And they did not restrain 

EZRA 424b_5i8 I^^ 

them] i. e., from continuing the building. — Until a report should 
go to Darius, and then they would return an answer concerning 
this]. We have clear evidence of confusion. The last part is 
plainly an indirect reproduction of the verdict of the Persian 
officials. We must assume something like this: then they [the 
Persians] said to them [the Jews]* that they would not restrain them 
until a report should go to Darius, and then they would give them 
a reply about this. This would be a reply to the assertion of 
the Jews that they were building the temple under the express 
sanction of Cyrus, a sanction assumed by all parties to hold 
good. The real question, therefore, referred to Darius was 
whether there was any authorisation by Cyrus. The Jews 
evidently had not at hand a copy of the important document. 

1. ev 81 Ty SeuTlpy exet tyji; Aapefou ^aatXefac; is the reading of 
Esd., and is correct, for v."" is taken almost bodily from Hg. i» "in 
the 2d year of Dar. [prophesied] Hg. the prophet," etc. The date, the 
silence in regard to Hg.'s father, and the repetition of the prophetic 
title are sure marks of the source. The clause is much like 4^''. — .T'Nijj] 
(& lupocpTjTsfav, but Esd. Tupoy^Tac (so ^ in v. 2); rd. n»3_) in both cases. 
— hSn] 4- /.upfou (&^ Esd. — JiniVj?] (S Esd. ex' auToi?. In spite of this 
support the word has no connection. It may have been originally their 
God. — 2. jn::'] is explained as Pa. from kt^, used often with mng. 
"loosen." (& Esd. render i^p^avuo. — n>'D] only here in B. Aram., but it 
13 a good Heb. word mng. "support." Aid by taking part in the work 
is the sense here. — 3. Njnr-na] C5 ev auxtp "^y x,atpq) (xp<^vq) Esd.); lit., 
in it, the time, i. e., at that time. On the construction v. Kautzsch, § ". 
}2r is by some derived from old Pers. zrvan (Str.), but Zimmern traces 
it to As., simanu {KAT.^^"). The word occurs in late Heb. (Eccl. 31 
Est. 9"- '0- — ^^^] ^- Kautzsch, § ". — '•jnn] (5 Qocyccmi^, ©aGOavat^, Totv- 
Oavatoq^, Esd. StatwYji;, so Jos. Andreas says, "surely a Pers. name 
which has not been correctly transmitted." Mey. sees the correct form 
in Esd., and connects it with Thishinaja {Enl.^^). Meissner finds in 
contract tablets of the ist and 3d years of Dar., US-ta-an-ni pihai 
Bahili u ehir nari, "Ustani the satrap of Bab. and beyond the River," 
the very title and place of our text. He holds that we have here the 
same person and should correct our text and rd. "'jna'i (ZAW. 1897,'" '•, 
so KATj- "0. This is a very prob. identification. There is no suffi- 
cient reason for making this officer a Pers.; he may just as well have 

'This may be what was originally in the puzzh'ng clause in 4«, then we said to them as 
/allows, a clause accidentally transposed, and then changed in form. 


been a Bab., Aramean, or Sam. — nna] (5 'i-Kixpxoq^^ and Esd. czpavrjfhq^. 
— ''jTia nntf] 05 SaOap^ouI^avoc'^^, ©ap^oul^avatoq^ (first syl. lacking), SaG- 
pa^oui^avTji; Esd. Mey. accepts last form; buzanes, he says, is Pers. 
harzanes, and sheihar might be Pers. citra, but as a divine name is re- 
quired, he corrects the text to "'Jimnn = Mt6paPoul^avir]<;. In this he 
follows Andreas, who gives Iranian form Milhrahaiizana, "Mithra is the 
rescuer." Scheftclowitz connects with old Iran. Seihrahuzana. Winckler 
finds the word an ofiicial title {MVAG. 1897,=" '•). There is a Pers. 
oQicer named ina' in Esd. i*^, and as the text offers two words the 
conjecture is good that "ids' was the name and '•jria the title of his 
office. Mey. thinks he was subordinate to Ustani; he was a royal 
secretary like Shimshai (48). — njib'n] v. ^ ^•/iog-q'^Lm; ctt^y'*]'" Esd. It is 
a word of obscure origin and mng.; various Pers. and As. derivations 
have been proposed {v. Ges.^% BDB.). The various meanings proposed 
are "wall" (Mar. from As.), "sanctuary" (Haupt, As. ahu), "palace" 
(Marquart, Pers.), "breach" (Scheftclowitz, Pers.). It seems pretty 
clear that it is the same word (one or the other being a corrupt form) 
as n^'i^a 4»2 5'^ 6', the similarity of vocalisation being pointed out long 
ago by Kautzsch, § "^ In all cases the reference is to an initial stage in 
rebuilding either walls or edifice, something finished before the rest is 
begun. In v. " Shes. put in the foundation as the first step (similarly 
6'). In all these cases "foundation" makes the best sense, and may 
be provisionally adopted. Contrary to Berth, "sanctuary" does not 
seem to me to make good sense. It is admitted that the query, "who 
issued a decree to you to build this house and to finish this foundation?" 
reverses the natural order. At present there is no satisfactory solution. 
I suspect that the clause was added here by an editor to force a sort 
of agreement with 4'^, — 4. kjidx] 01 el'xoaav'^, elxov'^k Evidently the 
incomplete and disordered text was before the translators, and they, 
like EV^. made the best out of it they could. Esd. lacks v. " and thus 
connects the two questions as they may well be. — xjija] 05 Tu6Xtv, Esd. 
TauTK. — 5. r>^] <& ScpOaXtJLof, Esd. jagiw = Heb. in and prob. right text, 
corrupted here by similarity of sound, jn does not occur in B. Aram., 
but the vb. pn is found. p> also appears in Esd. as extaxoTCT)?. — ^DnnSx] 
Hebraism, Mar. corrects to iinnSx; apparently in Esd. as eaxoaav; Heb. 
Dn>'?N "unto them." — •'2-<^] (S atxpidtXuacv. 01 rd. the Heb. word ''?f. 
It is Pe. ptc. used as subst. (v. = 6-'- «■ " t), "elders" (Mar. § s'^). Esd. 
has a dup. adding "Kpzaf^dzepoi. — xnyts] is here used in the sense of 
"report," which Tattenai will send to Dar. — ini] on the form see 
Mar. § *2 ". CS has prob. a free rendering, dcxevexOir], Esd. axoCTifjtJLavO^vat. 
— Njint5'j] <S^^ persist in the rendering (popoXdyw, BtiTayiia'-. "Letter" 
is certainly unsuitable here; it is something which Tattenai et al. will 
bring back to the Jews after they hear from Dar., therefore "decision" 
or "order," as (&^-, really "answer." "B has a different text, btU the eye 
of their Cod was made over the elders of the Jews, and they were not able to 

EZRA 42^''-6i8 135 

restrain them. And it sufficed that the matter should be referred to Dar., 
and they would give adequate proof against that accusation, i. e., that they 
were building without authority. 

6-17 = Esd. 6^'". The report to Darius.— Vv. ^- """ (to 

Darius) is introductory by R. — 6. A copy] or perhaps trans- 
lation, V. on 4". The letter purports to be quoted exactly. 
His companions, because Tattenai is chief (v. Mey.'^)^ ^^he 
Apharsachiies, v. 4^. Torrey explains the word as equivalent 
to eparchs, Esd. similarly has "leaders" or "rulers." — 7. They 
sent a report to him and therein was written like this] is redundant, 
and lacking in Esd. together with the preceding unto Darius the 
king. — To Darius the king, all peace] ; the beginning of the letter. 
There is a textual error; for reconstruction v. i. — 8. To Judah 
the province]. Esd. adds, and to the city of Jerusalem; we dis- 
covered in the city of Jerusalem. "Province" refers to one of 
the districts of the Syrian satrapy, as in 2^. — To the house of 
the great God]. A strange statement for the Persian officials. 
Berth, compares Cyrus's calling Marduk "the great lord," but 
Cyrus thought he had conquered Babylon by Marduk's aid. 
— And it is building of great stones]. The text is literally, stone 
of rolling, i. e., "too big to carry"; but on basis of 01 we should 
probably substitute hewn or splendid (costly) {v. i.). Esd. has 
a suggestive variant: the elders of the Jews that are of the cap- 
tivity are building a great new house for the Lord of hewn and splen- 
did stones. — And timbers are being set in the walls]. So the pas- 
sage is understood by Meyer (Ent.^^) et al., but Sieg. insists that 
it means wainscotting placed on the walls as described in i K. 
6^^ Berth, thinks that "wainscotting" would suggest a prog- 
ress in building too advanced for this stage. The Aramaic 
word means tree or wood and might be used of "beams" or 
"boards." The older view "timbers" is preferable, for the 
wainscotting would scarcely be worth reporting to the king. 
The report aims to show that considerable progress has already 
been made, and that the work is pushed forward rapidly. — 
And it prospers in their hands] is redundant, and may be the 
Chronicler's amplification. Esd. has an addition, and it is being 
completed with all glory and diligence. — Then we asked these elders, 


thus we said to them] is surely not original. The second clause 
was apparently added from v.^; it is quite superfluous here. 
In its place Esd. has simply saying. The question is word for 
word that of v.'. ''These elders" has no antecedent in Ara- 
maic text, but Esd. supplies it in v. *. 

10. The second question is repeated indirectly: and also we 
asked of them their names]. Esd. amplifies: "we asked them for 
the register (ovo/xaroypacfytav) of the principal men." — To in- 
form thee and to write for thee the names of the men who are their 
chiefs], so we must read as ^ and Esd., changing the finite verb 
to the infinitive. It is to be noted that the letter contains in 
great detail the Jews' answer to the first question, but there 
is no mention of the names which are said to have been writ- 
ten. Evidently we have not the whole of the letter, but only 
that part which is material from the Jewish point of view. — 
11. And in this manner they answered tis]. The answer of the 
Jews is recited at great length, continuing through v. ^"^i it is 
apologetic in tone and is such a review of the history as the 
Jews were fond of making, containing a good deal of moral- 
ising; it might be the actual words spoken to Tattenai, but 
much of it would be quite immaterial to Darius, and would 
scarcely find a place in this letter unless the writers were kindly 
disposed toward the Jewish project. Now it is generally as- 
sumed that Tattenai et al. betrayed a hostile purpose, but that 
spirit can only be discovered by reading into this story the ideas 
of its parallel 4^ '^•. In the whole story there is not the slightest 
note of hostility, but on the contrary the zeal with which Da- 
rius's orders were executed (6") reveals a friendly purpose. — 
God of heaven and earth] is unusual. Esd. offers a more appro- 
priate phrase, the Lord who created the heavens and the earth (cf. 
Gn. i4"-22j where (^ has same words). — The great king of Israel] 
is, of course, Solomon; for another reading v. crit. note. — 12. 
Cf. 2 Ch. 36^^ '•. King of Babylon the Chaldean] is not very prob- 
able. Esd. has king of Babylon, king of the Chaldeans, the last 
title added by the Chronicler from 2 Ch. 36*^ = Esd. i^. — 
And this house he destroyed]. Esd. and they pulling down the 
house burned it. That agrees with the earlier history in 

EZRA 424b-6i8 1^7 

which it is said that the house was burned with fire (2 K. 
25^ 2 Ch. 36^' = Esd. i^^). — 13. Here the story reaches Ezr. 
I. Nothing is said about the permission to return from exile; 
but that was unnecessary, that not being the point at issue. — 
In the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon], exactly what we have 
in I* except that Babylon takes the place of Persia. Esd. gives 
more correctly in the first year that Cyrus ruled over the country 
of Babylon. The decree may be that in i^-* or that in 6^-^. In 
the second there is nothing about permission to return from 
Babylon, but had the decree contained that, it would not be 
necessary to quote it here. — 14. In regard to these vessels 
cf. i^ "• 6^ 2 K. 25" '^•. — Sheshbazzar whom he had appointed 
governor]. In i^ Sheshbazzar was called "prince of Judah," a 
title due to his Davidic descent; here only do we find notice of 
his appointment as governor by Cyrus. The title (pihat) is the 
same given to Zerubbabel in Hg. i^. It is the title of Tattenai 
also. — 15. In this verse we reach serious difficulty: And he 
said to him these vessels take up, go, deposit them, but it con- 
tinues in the temple which is in Jerusalem, and then in direct 
contradiction, and the house of God shall be built upon its place. 
^^^ solves apparently by omission (v. crit. note) but that is 
more easy than effective; Esd. has our text, so the confusion is 
very old. 

One may consult the comm. without getting much assistance. Ryle, 
Sieg. Berth, and Seis. have not a syl. on the passage. B.-Rys. offers 
this easy explanation: "Because this [the temple] is still destroyed it 
is added, and the house of God shall be built at its place . . . the sen- 
tence subjoined by 1 afterward explains the command to replace the 
vessels in the temple in this way; I speak of a temple, that is to say, 
the house of God or the temple shall be rebuilt." Exactness of state- 
ment is surely unnecessary for one who has that kind of an inter- 
preter. In the first place, that expression "temple which is in Jerus.," 
recurring frequently in our sources, is a mark of a late and careless 
hand, prob. the Chr. Again in this letter "house" or "house of God" 
is used for the temple at Jerus. 8 t., for in v. " the Gk. preserves the 
true reading, while "temple" (wsSain) is used for the sanctuary of Neb- 
uchadrezzar at Bab. It is prob., therefore, that "temple" is a later 
interpolation, the original reading being "store the vessels in Jerus." 
Cy. would not be apt to specify the place where they were to be put, 


and if he did he would not specify a place that did not exist. Another 
solution may be that the last clause is a later addition, esp. as the decree 
authorising the rebuilding of the temple has already been cited (v. "). 
It is, indeed, perfectly possible that the letter ended with v. " and that 
vv. '*-" were appended by a later writer who felt that important in- 
formation contained in i' "■ had been neglected. These vv. have really 
nothing to do with the question at issue, which was not the title to the 
temple vessels nor the disposition of them, but only the authority to 
rebuild the temple. 

16. Then the said Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation 
of the house of God which is in Jerusalem, and from that time until 
the present it has been building and is not finished]. It would be 
difficult to get more misstatements into a short space. In a 
contemporary record it is said positively that "the hands of 
Zerubbabel laid the foundations of this house" (Zc. 4^, cf. Ezr. 
3^"). The only correct statement in the passage is that the 
temple was still unfinished. — 17. And now, to come to the heart 
of the matter, if it seem good to the king], a polite expression, 
which curiously Esd. lacks here, but has it in 2^^ (Ezr. 4^^) in 
the complaint to Artaxerxes, where it is not found in MT. — 
Let search be made in the royal treasures], but correctly in 6^ in 
the library, so Esd. reads here in the royal libraries. The library 
Is located in Babylon, though the record was actually found 
at Ecbatana (6^). It is possible that these Jews, associating 
Cyrus with Babylon, expected the edict concerning the Baby- 
lonian exiles to be filed there. The object of the search is 
clearly stated, to find whether such a decree as the Jews claimed 
had ever been issued by Cyrus. It was a question of veracity 
merely. The Jews had made a statement, and the task was to 
ascertain whether the official records confirmed it. — And the 
pleasure of the king in this matter let him send unto us]. This 
implies that the king might or might not ratify the decree of 
Cyrus if it were found. In the rendering in Esd. this implica- 
tion is weakened : and if it is found that the house of the Lord in 
Jerusalem stands with the approval of Cyrus the king, and it 
seems good to our lord the king, let him signify unto us thereof. 
This is probably the right idea, for Darius would be likely to 
honour an edict of Cyrus. 

EZRA 424b-6l8 I^g 

6f. The text is in evident disorder here, as in 4'-". Ace. to MT. 
the letter begins with irr-nS (v. '). But in that case the letter does 
not contain the names of the complainants, the names being only in 
the intr. They are unnecessary there, since they have been given 
already in v. ', but are required in the letter itself as in the reply (60- 
Esd. has ivzlyQixqiov im<yzo\fjc; rjc. iypa^'sv Aotpeiy xal dxeaxstXav. Statv- 
VT)? 6 i'icapxo<; Supla? y-od <I>otv{x.T)<; otal 2a6paPoupt,dvT)<;\ o\ ffuvs-uatpot 
61 Iv 2up((}t xal 4>oiv{x-n •f)Y£lJi.6vsi; BaatXel Aapet'ci) x<z''ps'v "k&vioc yvwaTa 
X. T. X. MT. has nmjji 'jna ina^ mnj— uy rnp >jnn nSi yn xnijx p-j'no 
tPv-nS nij3 2>n3 .■^J^3> >niSy inSiv NSjno n^Sd cim-Sj? mnj lara ""i x^'ro-ns 

jjiT" nSd NnVa* ndSd. Esd. was plainly taken from this text, as shown by 
the underlined words. "EYpa<pev has no corresponding word until we 
reach 203. 'HYeiJ.6ve<; represents correctly nidd-(dx, cf. xptxat for Nijn in 
precisely similar connection in 4^ In 6' = Esd. 6^' we find Tot? iicoTexotY- 
liivotg . . . ■fjyeiAdCTtv. 'AxsaTstXav represents mSty not nhz'. The transla- 
tion of the plus in Aram, text runs: tmio Dar. the king they sent an answer 
unto him and therein was written as follows: "Unto the king" and "unto 
him" show a redundancy as 4". The pahath could hardly send an 
answer (the proper mng. of KDjns here as in v. ") to the king. Disre- 
garding for the moment the Sy made necessary by a false connection, 
restoring the original place of nSt:', and correcting a sf., we may ren- 
der: Dar. the king sent an answer unto them and therein was written as 
follows. Now when we turn to 6« we have an order of Dar. without 
the necessary words of intr. The superfluous sentence here makes a 
very suitable intr., and we may confidently restore them to their proper 
place, reading pv for Sy. Esd. has an intr., but not a very suitable 
one. V. on 6'. 

The text here, therefore, originally stood as follows : smjx ]iy\s (intr.) 

N''3D->flS nnijDi ■'JI13 ina-i mnj nay nna 'jrin (the letter) cim-'Tj? inStt* n 

nvh'if joSd cimS mnj— \3j;a n. Then to 6" we should transpose jnt* 

.nua a-Tia njnai niSy nSa* NDjno ndSd cim 

6. ]W-\b] <S^-*' StatrdtipTiCTt?, a word occurring only in 7", and Gn. 40', 
for Heb. V^i^s, "interpretation"; so here 05 understands "transla- 
tion"; cf. on 4", the original being in some other language, perhaps 
Bab. — 7. NDJns] (5 p^atv^*^, l>wa}- (so ^^ in v. ")• — ^^^ ^<oSs'] CS with 
exact literalness eEpifjvT] icaaa, Esd. with greater freedom X3"'ps'v (5<n'^"^') 
and connects nSs (xivxa) with v. ', xdvxa -yvwaTii I'aTrw. — 8. Nnjno nin^S] 
<8 TouSatav /topav, Esd. xfi>P°'V t^? 'louSafaq, Esd. has a -(- xal 'lepou- 
aaX-J)[JL T'Jjv xoXtv xaTsXi^oiiev tt^? a^xiJ-aXwafa? toCi? xpeoPuTdpouc; twv 
'louSafwv Iv 'lepouaaX-fjix -rfi x6Xet, showing a '3!i' rd. in two ways as 
in V. «. — 5<3n] is attributive of ndSn, but Esd. (olxov -uy xupfq) tilyav 
xatv6v) connects with rra, a more natural statement from foreigners. — 
SSj] 6* t, equivalent to the Heb. word and mng. "rolling." But C6i 
has lxXexToI(; (np' in Ez. 27")* Esd. ^ucnGiv xoXuieXdiv = Heb. n>tJ ps 


-\p\ In view of the forced mng. which must be given to hh^ we must 
accept the testimony of the Gk, and rd. either "hewn stones" or 
"splendid stones"; the latter is best supported, the former makes the 
best sense. Otherwise we might correct on basis of niSnj D-'jas, but 
'?'nj does not occur in B. Aram. — sSno] Dn. 5^ Kautzsch,''"', Mar. § ", 
cf. Heb. '?n3, As. ktdallu. <S xolxoiq, Esd. oYxotc;", xotxot<;^''. ^'^ read- 
ing is a blunder. — njiddn] C§> extSe^tov^^, dayaXax;^-, Esd. ItcI axouS^?. 
It is a word of frequent occurrence (6'- "• " 7"- "• 26) and connected 
with nay exc. in two cases (6' 7'')- Andreas derives from Iranian 
uspuru, late Pers. ispari, "completed." So the mng. assigned is "care- 
fully," "thoroughly." Mey. cites a stamp mark on the lion from 
Abydos, where he holds paoN has the mng. "precise" or "accurate" 
(£«/."■=«'•). The best sense here would be as CI "skilfully" or 
Esd. "rapidly." — nSso] <S euoSouxat^'^, xaxeuOuvEt'-, euoSotiyievov Esd. — 
9. n^jarS] in v, ' NjaS; this is the only place where the repeated ques- 
tion differs from the original in v. '. We should rd. here Nja*?, or 
prob. in both cases NjanS as in v. ', which is the normal form (Mar. 
§", Str., §"0- — lO" ^^A is difficult, the construction changing from 
inf. to impf. with n. (5 has ware ypitj^at [aot'^], apparently a correc- 
tion; Esd. xal yp&'^M aoi, and that is prob. the original form. — a-^] (5 
ivdnaxa, so Guthe reads nnav^j>, — anVi^Nia] js usually regarded as a 
Hebraism, but Torrey shows that it is good Aram. (ES.'")- — H- nonpa 
NJi] (& irpb to6tou, taking 'n as prep., Esd. liATcpoaGev. — at] Esd. [ls- 
yiXou xal eaxupoij. — n?7a!:'] ^ xaTTjp-ct'ffaxo auxbv aijToi<;, suggesting that 
the original rd. : and a great king hiiilt it for Israel and completed it for 
them. Thus we should better understand Skt^iS. — 12. iTJin] f but 
cf. Heb. TJ1, (8 xapwpYtCTav, Esd. xapaxfxpovTe? T^iJiapTov. — Nnoa] om. 
(8?^. XaXoatou^^, Esd. ^aatX^wq twv XaXSat'wv, after which we might 
emend Nnp? iSd. — 13. Saa n] lacking in 05^\ The difficulty of call- 
ing Cy. king of Bab. in this connection is obviated in ^ toO gaatXeuaav- 
To? (/.al) Twv Pa^uXwvfwv, and in Esd. p. xwpo((; Ba^. The better sense 
suggests that Esd. has the original text. The vb. '^Sd is not found 
in B. Aram., but it might well be. We should thus understand the 
repetition of Cy. — 14. psjn]. On the form, unassimilated, see Mar. § ^^. 
— NSainS] (S'^A rightly vo(6v (so Esd.), since in this letter it means the 
Bab. temple. — naiy nna n nstt"] can scarcely be right; (& 6ir)aaupo(puXax.c 
[i:y Ixl Toij OrjaaupoO] bracketed part not in ^. This may be a confu- 
sion of the offices of Mithredath and Shes. (i^). Esd. has ZopoPa^eX xal 
Sapavaaadipcp xqi exipxcp, an evidently harmonistic note, nac may be 
an accidental anticipation of nas' (so Str.) and its omission seems 
necessary. — 15. hSn] (& -Kiivzafi^, TauTaK hSn is Heb., the Aram, be- 
ing iVs and Mar. §" so reads. — Stn] v. Mar. § «», Baer, BD.". — nnx] 
is Haph. imv. from nnj Mar. § s', Kautzsch, § 's. On the peculiar com- 
bination of three imperatives, v. Kautzsch, § '>*. Maqqeph joins the 
words to show close connection, "go, place," expressing but a single 

EZRA 42''b-6i8 141 

idea. — xnnN] is used in same sense as Heb. n:i3D (3'). The word occurs 
in Elcph. Pap. in same connection, "on the place where it had stood 
before" (Sachau,^^- — 16. 3ni] is not to be explained as a Hebraism; 
it is used in Palestinian Aram, in the sense of "lay" and that is re- 
quired here (Schueltens, ZAW. i902,"2). — aS-.r] 01 sTeX^aOr], Esd. eXa^ev 
auT^Xetav; it is Pe. pass. ptc. — 17. nmjj n^a] CS"- '{a'C,o(fukat.v.imc„ Esd. 
Pt^Xto{puXa/.(oi(;; both represent rfa by qjuXaxtotq, one having "treasury" 
as MT., the other "library." But v. 6^. Prob. Esd. represents an in- 
terpretation, the annals being preserved in the royal treasury, a general 
storehouse, nnn and S33 n, videtur dclendiim esse (Str. '), cf. 6^, but 
as the edict was found at Ecbatana, S:333 in 6' must be stricken out. 
In this V. it is better to om. nnn which is lacking in CS^^, and which 
may have got here from 6'. (S^^, however, has a larger variant, run- 
ning: Tou PaatXew? ^aPuXwvo?; Esd. correctly Iv Toi(; ^aatXixot? ^tpXio- 
(juXaxt'ot? Tou xupfou (Kupou) [^aatX^wq dup.] xols ev ^a^uXwvt. — "TN" = 
Heb. vi, (S oxu? yvyq. 

6'"^ = Esd. 6'^"^ The decree of Cyrus is found at Ec- 
batana. — 1. Made a decree] is unnecessarily formal here; the 
reference is scarcely to a public proclamation, therefore gave an 
order is better. — In the library (literally, house of books) where 
the treasures were stored in Babylon]. This is fuller than house 
of treasures of 5^^. Probably the former passage should be cor- 
rected to agree with this (so Torrey). We should infer that the 
library or book-room was a part of a larger treasury. In Baby- 
lonia is either an addition, or was probably an error, for in 
Ecbatana as v. 2. A Jewish writer may have meant Babylonia 
to include Persia. — 2. Aitd there was found in Achmetha] i. e., 
Ecbatana, the capital of Media and the summer residence of 
the Persian kings; it was captured by Cyrus in 550 B.C. It has 
been identified by Jackson with modern Hamadam {Persia 
Past and Present,^'"-). — In the castle which is in the province of 
Media]. The exact spot where the record was found is de- 
scribed; it appears that the library was a part of the treasury 
and that a part of the royal residence, — A certain roll, and thus 
it ivas written therein]. "Roll" apparently shows a Hebrew 
colouring, for there can be little doubt that these records were 
all made on the now familiar clay tablets. — Memorandum] is 
interpreted rightly by Mey. as a sort of title to the document 
which follows. — 3. The record of Cyrus is now quoted: In 


the first year of King Cyrus]. It is quite unlikely that Cyrus 
would call 539 (or 538) his ist year. It would be all right if 
put as Esd. 2^^ (Heb. 5^'), in the first year that Cyrus was king 
of Babylonia. R. may have changed the year to agree with i^ 
— The place of sacrificing sacrifices] may be construed as in ap- 
position with "house of God." The following clause is unin- 
telligible: "let the foundations thereof be strongly laid," as 
ARV. cannot be made out of the text, and has poor support 
in the Vrss. Esd. combines with the preceding clause and 
renders: house of the Lord where they continually offer sacrifices 
by fire. This is the simplest and only intelligible text. — 7/5 
height sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits]. But its length 
is not mentioned. It is certain that we have an omission here. 
The obscure and corrupt clause must have given the length of 
the building, for Cyrus would not have given two dimensions 
and left out the third. The dimensions of Solomon's temple 
were: 60 cubits in length, 20 in breadth, and 30 in height (i 
K. 6^). So that the new temple was six times as big as the old 
one. These figures are wrong, for the new temple was much 
smaller than the old one (3^^ Hg. 2^). — 4. Three layers of hewn 
stone and one layer of timber] continuing the description of the 
building specifications. "One" is the correct reading, though 
the text has "new"; "new" is in ARV. and without even a 
marginal alternative; RV."" is correct. It is difficult to under- 
stand this method of building. According to i K. 6^^ 7^^ Sol- 
omon built the inner court of the temple and the outer court 
of his palace with three courses of hewn stone and one course of 
cedar beams. Delitzsch supposed that the rows or layers were 
vertical, but that has little to commend it, and it fails to explain 
an unintelligible method of building. The similarity to i K. 
6^^ would suggest that the statement is due to R. rather than to 
Cyrus. — The outlay shall be given from the house of the king]. 
Esd. Cyrus the king. In v. ^ we have "from the property of 
the king," and that more appropriate expression should be read 
here. As the temple was not begun in the time of Cyrus, this 
grant was naturally inoperative. — 5. This verse begins exactly 
like 5" and it agrees in substance with s"''- ", but not in words. 

EZRA 42<''-6»8 143 

It appears that both passages were originally the same, but now 
both are in part corrupt. But one is supposed to be a state- 
ment of the Jews in 520 B.C., and the other a copy of a decree 
of Cyrus in 538. The identity of language shows that both 
passages are not authentic. One may be original and the other 
made up from it. 

V. ^^ is even more corrupt than 5". It is true that 5" '• casts the 
decree partly into narrative form, while this purports to quote directly. 
My own belief is that both passages are late interpolations to make 
the decree agree with i' f^-, and that they represent a growth. They 
are quite unnecessary and really drag in an extraneous element into 
the question at issue, which was not the title to temple vessels, but the 
building of the temple. It is instructive to compare the decree of 
Cy. with the quoted statement of the Jews in 5"-". 

"■I N1JXD n^i (s'O ^'J^*^ ^^"^ ^'^''** ^''^ 5" 

•\■n•'^ ii3'>nn'' '?3aS Sa-'ni aSB'n''3 n 6^ 

mriN-':';* Kj3n> khSn ni3i a'^'^i'n^a •'t N^D>n3 515 
nhVn n-aa nnni mnsS aStrno-n nSdtiS 6^ 

In each version there is an omission of a practically complete section. 
In one case the lacking passage is Cy. the king brought them out from the 
temple of Bah. to Shes. by name, whom he had appointed governor, and he 
said to him, take these vessels, go place. By omitting this the sense is not 
impaired, but rather improved. In the other passage the lacking sec- 
tion has the dub. phrase where sacrifices are offered, etc., the state- 
ment about the dimensions of the temple, and about pa3Tnent from the 
royal funds. The decree loses nothing by this omission. 

That the passages are dependent is made clear by the most cursory 
inspection. The report made by Tattenai and the decree of Cy. after- 
ward discovered at Ecbatana could not have accidentally agreed to 
such an extent as we find here. The dififerences even in words arc very 
few. The extra clause in 5" n ^Sa^nS is possibly added on the basis of 


I'; 13TI1 and juinni are only accidental variations. The final clause in 
6= is absolutely unintelligible, and its resemblance to the clear state- 
ment of 515 is so close that the former is manifestly a corruption of the 
latter. The awkward nnm curiously has a parallel in 5", where it cor- 
responds to inii. 

Rendering the passage now and making certain selections we have: 
In the first year of Cy. the king of Bab., Cy. the king made a decree that 
the house of God should be built, and that the vessels of the house of God, 
both gold atui silver, which Nebuchadnezzar carried away from the temple 
in Jerus. and brought to Bab. should be restored to the temple in Jerus. ; 
and the house of God shall be built upon its site. The last clause is super- 
fluous. It might originally have been "let therefore the house of God 
be built upon its site." Or this clause may be the comment of the 
complainants, "and (now) the house of God is building upon its site." 

This is prob. all that was in the original decree. It is certainly suf- 
ficient that Cy. should have authorised the building of the temple and 
the restoration of the sacred vessels. In i^-^ there is no mention of the 
vessels, but the statement that they were returned (i' '•) indicates that 
they may well have been covered by the decree. The added material 
in 6*, to the effect that support was to come from the king, has its 
parallel in i<, where the aid was to come from the Jews, and it may 
have crept in from 6'. But the comparison certainly increases our 
distrust of the Jewish apologia in 5iib-i6. We are constrained to pro- 
nounce against the authenticity of that passage. 

1. NncD n^a] <g pt^XtoO^gxat?, Esd. as in 5" PtpXtoipuXaxfot?. Esd.^ 
has ^accXtxtoti; ^t^. — 2. Nncnx] old Pers. Haugmatana, Bab. Agmatanic. 
(& om. ^, AiAotOa^, Expaxavoc^^^^''-. — xm^aa] f 05^^ has a dup. ev x6Xet 
Iv TTJ pipst, Esd.^ pipet only. Bdcpt? is found in Jos. 'Ev x6Xet is a gl., 
explaining a word unknown to all the Gk. translators. The corre- 
sponding Heb. niia occurs many times in late Heb., esp. in Est., cf. 
Ne. I" 28 72. It is from As. birtu, the common word for "fortress" or 
"citadel" (Mar.^o). It here means the castle in which the king lives. 
— NHjna nca] lacking (&^^ and rejected by Berth. — nSjc] is pure Heb. 
and only here in B. Aram. (S has xe<paX(<;, which represents hSjd in 
Ez. 2' 3>- 23 Ps. 40'. As it is followed by \}.ia., and so = c. i, it can 
only be a marginal reference to the other decree of Cy. in Ezr. i. — 
njnon] can scarcely be different from p3i, 4^=; (& uxdtAVTjtxa. — 3. no 
nhSn] after (6 -rcepl o'c'/.oij we should prefix S. ^^ shows a dup., add- 
ing kpoLi. Or we may follow Esd. and om. Nnn. ^^ lacks Njan^ N.T'a, 
so that the decree concerned only sacrifices and vessels, and not the 
rebuilding. — inN] is suspended in air as completely as nho. (& has 
t6xou connected apparently with irspf understood. — ''IJ'k] dl^^ I'xapixa, 
which does not occur elsw. in 05, but in Aq. Th. Sym. in Job 2o« = 
K'i? a. X.— rSaiDD] t C5 e0T]xev^A, 116^x0)^. The sense of Heb. Sao will 

EZRA 42<'^-6" 145 

not fit; the traditional "raised" has no authority. 05 scarcely makes 
sense, "and let the foundation be laid," but ^ adds, a foundation of a 
cubit. Haupt suggests that *nv^« = Heb. na»N, "fire offering," and cf. 
As. zahalu, so "and bring in his fire offerings." He compares Esd. oxou 
dxtOuouatv Sti icupb? evSe>.e%ou<;, where they continually offer sacrifices by 
fire; but those who quote this overlook the fact that it is the only 
mention of the sacrifices in Esd., that is, this text lacks V^^X in'^Ni == 
8t(i xupoq, pSaiDD = evSiXs/oO? = Heb. T'nn. The corruption seems 
quite hopeless, the Vrss. having as much difficulty and reaching as 
many conclusions as modern scholars. — pnty-nviD] lacking in CS"^ 
Esd."^^; ^ has e^ (pnty). It is most prob. that the original passage gave 
the missing dimension of the temple. I venture to make the conjec- 
ture that the original text was Timt O'^iyy hnd pcN hdiki. — 4. V:22-m] is 
generally derived from the As. nadbaku, which means "mountain slope," 
but Zimmem says this remains questionable (Mar.", Mey.^«). The 
mng. "course" is quite certain; CS S6fjLot. — hhi\ lacking in (5^, xpa- 
"zixiU^^, V. on 5'. — >'n] Esd. adds ^Yx^pfou, which represents miN in 
Ex. 12" Lv. i82« 2422 Nu. is^s; in Ps. 37" pj?n mrx, "a native tree"; 
hence here native wood to distinguish it from the wood brought from 
Lebanon. The native and cheaper wood would serve to build into 
the walls. — mn] f 05, zl<^^, xatvdiv eva'-^^''-, a dup. reading both mn, 
"new," and in "one." The latter is correct. — xnpsj] v. « f from root 
pm, cf. 5'*, "what is brought out," "outlay." <& Saxivt), which oc- 
curs only in Apocr. — ."113] but in v. ' more appropriately "iDdj. — 5. ''Jnc] 
but in 5" n N'jxD. — nSd'h] rd. with <& Nn>2, as in 5". — sn'7X . . . Sa^m], 
To this point our text follows 5" verbatim except as noted above. 
Here we have a summarising of 5" ''-". ^'^ has only exl t6xou It^Otq lv 
oiy.(p Tou Geou, i. e., it lacks all but Nn'?!< piaa nnm mnx'?, ^l follows MT., 
but with manifest corruptions. Esd.'^'^ supports a shorter text: ixo- 
xaTaaTaO^vac eS<; "cbv olxov Tbv lv Isp. o5 ^v xet[jieva and adds a dup. 
reading, 8x6)1; Te6ii Ixec; ^ has only the double reading at the end. 
Mar. suggests a restoration thus : prnnx"? pnnnii oSa'nia n NSD>n'7 pavinM 
K.nSs noa; but this source used '?3'>n only of the temple of Bab. — ■ 
mnxS] is surely connected with nnns-'?;; as 5'^; it is impossible here. 
Indeed, the passage is hopelessly corrupt. 

6-12 = Esd. 6''"". The reply of Darius.— 6. As shown 
above on 5^ the introduction to Darius's letter has been trans- 
posed. (Torrey notes a lacuna between w. ^ ^""^ ^, ES.^^*). 
This section should begin: Then Darius the king sent an answer 
unto him, and therein was written as follows. — Be ye far from 
thence] is not a striking command. Esd. keep away from the place 
is stronger. — 7. Let the work of this house of God alone], forbid- 


ding any kind of interference. Esd. names Zerubbabel here as 
"the servant of the Lord and governor of Judah." 3 Esd. 
lacks the whole verse. — 8. The king further commands that, 
the decree of Cyrus be executed by providing the money for the 
building operations out of the royal tribute collected in the 
Syrian province. That we have no evidence of any such help 
for the Jews does not disprove the authenticity of this order; 
for it was one thing for the king to give such an order, but quite 
another matter to get the satrap of a distant province to carry 
it out. In Esd., however, the satrap is enjoined to help in the 
work of rebuilding, but the payments out of the tribute are 
only for sacrificial purposes. — 9. And whatever is necessary]. 
There follows in apposition the list of articles to be furnished: 
young bullocks, rams, and sheep for burnt-offerings to the God 
of heaven (v. on i^, where this expression occurs in a Persian 
decree), and wheat, salt, wine, and oil as required by the priest. 
The latter list provides for the minchah, or meal-offering, which 
was made of fine flour, moistened with oil and salted (Lv. 2^-"). 
Wine was required for the daily drink-offering (Ex. 29^°). — Day 
by day without fail] implies that this provision was for the daily 
offering, and while we might suspect that the Persian officials 
would not be concerned about such details, still it is possible 
that this is a reflection of a Jewish priestly influence at the Per- 
sian court. — 10. That they may offer pleasing sacrifices]. "Sac- 
rifices of sweet savor" (ARV.) is scarcely justifiable, an error 
as old as ^. The root idea is "rest," therefore "pleasing" or 
perhaps "propitiating." — And pray for the life of the king aftd of 
his sons]. This explains the motive of the grant for sacrifices. 
The sacrifice would be pleasing to God and incline him favour- 
ably toward the offerer. The Persian king was not averse to 
the good offices of other gods than his own. This expression 
is surely a sign of the Persian point of view. Sachau compares 
this with "the sons of the royal house" in Eleph. Pap.^°. 

11. Any man that alters this command]; "frustrate" (BDB.) 
is scarcely justifiable; the idea is not to punish the one who 
interferes with the execution of the decree, but the one who 
would venture to change its terms. Berth, interprets in the 

EZRA 424b-6l8 14 y 

sense of "transgress" or "violate." The punishment will be 
twofold; the culprit will be impaled on a beam or stake pulled 
from his own house, and the house will be made a ruin. The 
impalement was a Semitic method of execution, and, as Sieg. 
says, to be distinguished from the Roman crucifixion. Sieg. 
claims that impalement existed among the Hebrews, citing 
Nu. 25^ 2 S. 21^- ^. BDB. says correctly that the method of 
execution was uncertain. Herod, testifies to the custom among 
the Assyrians (iii,^^^). The words may be rendered, "let him 
be lifted up and stuck upon it" (the beam). The punishment 
has quite a different turn in Esd. 6^^, let a team he pulled from 
his own house, and let him he hung thereon, and his property shall 
become the king's. That has a more modern and less Oriental 
note. — 12. This verse has been generally discredited. Esd. 
has the original text, if we may judge by inherent fitness, thus: 
and the Lord, whose name is called there, shall annihilate all kings 
and the nation who stretches forth his hand to hinder or to harm that 
house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. The writer has in mind 
the petty neighbours of Judah, who had shown marked hos- 
tility to the Jews, and who are now warned that Yahweh him- 
self shall do them harm if they bar the progress of the temple. 
As the king had sought the favour of Yahweh for his own house 
(v. ^°), so he naturally invokes his displeasure upon all who 
interfere with the restoration of his cult. 

6. 'jnn] CgBA has SwaeTs, forgetting the n. p. — finmjai]. The sf. should 
be second p. — iin J^'^im] 05 tiaxpdv mzeq^^, [l. dex^x^Te^, Esd. i-Kix^cQat. 
— nnn-jD] ® exelOev, Esd. toO t6xou = inx-jD. — 7. Nnin> nnD] is lack- 
ing in (8^, Mar. om. also, ol i(frifou[i.ivot x. 'louB"^. Esd. I'lrapxov t. IouS. 
prefixing ibv xaiSa xupfou Zopo^a^iX. — ''at:''?] .with (5 Esd, we must om. 
*?, since '•ae' as well as nnsj is subj. of pj3\ Esd. has a + after D3;'i3: 
SXoaxepw? oExoSojiijaat xal dtxevfaat. — 8. "'ac] Esd. 6^' aExfjiaXwafai; = ^3U^, 
a word not found in B. Aram. — iSx] lacking in 05"^, a text approved 
by Mar. Esd. has [i-ixpi. = ij'- KJasS, Esd. eiutTeXeaO^vac, so " until the 
house of God is finished." — D3j] 726 f. The word occurs in late Heb. 
and the mng. is clearly established as "property." — njiadn]. V. on 5'. 
— 9. jna'n] pi. of nnc'n f, 05^^ uczipri^ia, <^^ Uov. — jmn ••12] (Heb. 
omc) means "young bullocks." This is associated with Lv. 4'- " p ifl 
"\p3. But 1J3 is lacking in (B^ and in Esd., also in v. " 7", and may have 
been introduced here under the influence of Lv. <S has three render- 


ings of piin : powv^^, [Aoaxou?'", Taupou?^^**-. Mfioxoui; may represent 'J3. 
— iSsy nh n] 01'^^ 8 lav atxTjatoatv, reading Sns', and being a repetition 
of "o nnND3. (S^ has apparently a dup., the above preceded by dcxot- 
paXXAxTGx;, a word found elsw. only in Est, 3" (Apocr.), but which 
may represent our text, since "unchangeably" would be a suitable ren- 
dering. — 10. JinS] Mar. § "^ — pmn^a] (Dn. 2" f) is a Hebraism, occur- 
ring in J (Gn. 8") and very often in P; (6 eiwSt'a*; gives a wrong 
sense. — ]''hw] Mar. § '^0. in As. saltu is used in sense of "entreat," but 
not to pray to a deity, Zim. KAT.^' "o- «). — ^n] (6^ caxriglixq, l,(^riv^\ 
The former may represent a theological interpretation. — 11. noj] here 
only in B. Aram., but it is a common Semitic word and occurs 4 t. in 
B. Heb. — 1^■'] t here only in B. Aram. Pe. pass. ptc. The word occurs 
twice in late B. Heb. — nhd]. The mng. usually given, "smite," is 
scarcely appropriate here. BDB. gives two ideas, one of impalement 
{v. s. Ipr) and the other nail. The latter would imply crucifixion, 
whereas the mng. is impalement. (&^^ vcX-rjYi^aeTat gives the true 
sense. (5^ has xayT^aeTat, which has the mng. impale. — ^h^i\ (& xb 
xax' l[x^^^, ef? Stapxay^Qv'-. Dn. 2^ 3=^ f. Jensen compares As. nawalu, 
"ruin" (BDB.). The mng. given "dunghill " is not appropriate, though 
that sense is found in Targum; "ruin" is better in every case. (6'-: 
"plunder" would give good sense, but it is dub. whether that mng. 
is permissible. — njn-'?^] lacking in 05, but found in Esd.; "besides" or 
"in addition to" is better than "on this account," since the latter 
would apply to both parts of the punishment. — 12" is regarded as 
spurious by virtually all modern scholars; Sta. Gesch. ii,'", Kost.^', 
Sieg. Mey.". Mey.'s argument is typical: "It is quite impossible 
that Dar. in an official document should call in question the contin- 
uance of the Pers. sovereignty and speak of kings and peoples who in 
the future might make his orders inoperative." Berth, defends the 
passage, but does not go far enough. Mar. rejects n">js'nS as gl. with 
reference to Antiochus Epiphanes; but the Gk. Vrss. all show that some 
word belongs here, though not this one. Esd. here offers a simpler and 
better text: b xupto?, o5 ib Svo^xa aixou i%i'/.iy.X-qiixi Ixsl, iipavfoat xtivra 
^(xaikix xal eGvoq oq IxTsvel x&ipx aixou JccoXOcat 15 xaxoxotijaac Tbv olxov 
xupfou Ixelvov xbv ev 'Iegoua(zX-q[>.. The Deut. phrase is more accurately 
given than in MT. Dt. more than P appears in the programme of 
the restoration. 

13-18 = Esd. 7'"". The temple is finished and dedicated. 

Tattenai and his fellows respected the decree of Dar.; the work on 
the temple was pushed forward and finished in the 6th year of Dar. 
(515 B.C.). A service of dedication was held; many sacrifices were 
offered; the pr. and Lev. were assigned their tasks according to the 
book of Moses. 

EZRA 424''_5i8 j^g 

13. Our text gives but a general and rough statement, that 
Tattenai et al. because Darius the king had sent acted accordingly 
with all care] ; but in Esd. this is much amplified, following closely 
the commands of King Darius they with all care presided over the 
holy works laboring with the elders of the Jews and temple officers. 
This is very unlike MT., but it agrees with the Esd. version of 
the Darius letter {cf. v. *). The passage is hard to explain as 
a later addition, since the Jews would not be likely to invent 
the notion that hostile foreigners presided over the rebuilding 
of the temple, especially as they had rejected the offered assist- 
ance of the Samaritans (4^"'). — 14. And the elders of the Jews 
built successfully because of the prophesying of Haggai and Zecha- 
riah] cf. 5^ The reference here is to the problem at home; all 
outward difficulties had been overcome by the decree of Darius 
confirming that of Cyrus; but the books of the prophets named 
above show that the Jews themselves were not very eager to 
engage in public works; they were aroused to their duty and 
kept at it by the inspiriting oracles of these prophets, without 
whom the command of God and the edicts of kings would have 
been alike ineffective. The mention of Artaxerxes is a gloss, as 
he belongs to a later period. As we have the singular, king of 
Persia, Darius or C)nnis may also be a gloss. — 15. And they con- 
tinued that house until the third day of the month Adar]. The verb 
means, literally, brought out, or continued until it was finished. 
Esd. reads 23d day. Adar only elsewhere in Est. (8^ is a loan- 
word from the Babylonian. It is the 12th month, February- 
March. Our text runs, which is the sixth year of the reign of 
Darius the king]. We must read of the sixth year of King Darius, 
as we find in Esd., or more probably an original Hebrew year 
was first given, which was synchronised with the Persian reign. 
The temple was finished, according to the text, in the spring of 
515 B.C. 

16. The sons of Israel] in apposition with which stands, the 
priests and the Levites and the rest of the sons of captivity]. That 
is, these three classes constituted the postexilic community. — 
Made a dedication of the house of God with joy]. Upon the com- 
pletion of the work there was a joyful service of dedication. 


Esd. gives quite a different reading, the sons of Israel and the 
priests and the Levites and the rest of those from the captivity who 
had joined them did in accordance with those things in the hook 
of Moses. This is interesting from the implication that many 
who had returned from exile had taken no part in the rebuild- 
ing of the temple, a statement in itself highly probable. The 
reference to the requirements of the book of Moses is explained 
by the sacrifices made at the dedication. — 17. The numbers 
of the animals sacrificed, 100 bullocks, 200 rams, 400 lambs, 
and 12 he-goats, are small compared to those offered by Solo- 
mon at the dedication of the first temple, i K. 8^- ^^, and are 
not unsuitable, in spite of Sieg.'s doubt, to the poorer conditions 
of the new community. — For all Israel according to the number 
of the tribes of Israel]. "Those returned deemed themselves 
the representatives of all Israel" (Sieg.). They may have 
taken to heart their brethren scattered over the world and made 
the offerings in their behalf. — 18. And they established the 
priests in their divisions and the Levites in their classes]. Accord- 
ing to 2 Ch. 35^ the priests were established in divisions in 
Josiah's time. The ordering of the priests and Levites is de- 
scribed minutely in i Ch. 23-26, each class or division being on 
duty for a week at a time. For the condition in NT. times v. 
Lu. i^- ^ f-. — For the service of God who is in Jerusalem]. (& 
shows a later conception, reading, /or the service of the holy things 
of the house of God. Esd. reads, and the priests and the Levites 
stood in full vestments, according to their tribes {or classes) for the 
works of the Lord. — According to the writing of the book of Moses] 
i. €., as written in the book of Moses. V. Nu. 3, 8. Esd. adds, 
and the gatekeepers at each gate, but that suggests a period after 
Nehemiah had built the walls. 

13. V. '' in Esd. is as follows : xaTa5toXou6-^cavTe<; toT? h%h to5 ^aatX^wi; 
Aapsfou icpoaxaYsiatv l-utea-uiTouv twv Ispwv epywv lxitAe^^<rrepov cuvep- 
YouvTe? Tocg xpsapuTipot? twv 'louSat'wv xotl IspoaTaTat?. This gives a 
clear sense which is wanting in MT. — 14. pnSxD] for which 05 has ol 
AeuelTai^''*-, xaxTjiiOuvov^, Esd. etIoSa Iyc'veto to: lepa epya. The word is to 
be taken adverbially with pja, they built successfully. — ns^aj and ny-na] 
are wanting in Esd. V. ^ is regarded as a gl. by many (Mar. Sieg. 
Mey. et al.). With Berth, we must excise the name of Art., which 

EZRA 619-22 151 

finds a place here on account of 4'-", though the name is supported by 
all the Gk. Vrss. Sieg. urges against the passage the combining of a 
command of God and of the Pers. kings. But in Esd. we find different 
words used: Stdfe "rcpoaTdtYiAaxoi; toO xupt'ou — [xstA T^q yy(ji[Kriq t. Kupou 
X. T. X., by the command of Yahweh and with the permission of Cy. That 
part of the text seems unobjectionable. ]>i'^, ua] are both lacking in 
Esd., and Berth, may be right in changing the latter to "prophets." 
Otherwise it is to be combined with iSSoiy, they fitiished building. — 
^5) Nijic] or Qr. ••x^c Kautzsch," prefers a pi. form r^i^c, adopted by 
Mar. on basis of 05 "B. Kautzsch interprets as a pass, from ^'n^<, but 
De. regards it as Shafel from Bab. asu, and that fits better. The usual 
rendering, "complete," will not serve here unless we dispose of the 
following t;, which is well attested. We cannot say "they finished the 
house until the 3d of Adar "; that is no better in Aram, than in English. 
But from the root asii we get "they brought out or continued the work 
until," etc. — nr\hn or] Esd. -rptTiQc; xal eJxiiSo<;. It is impossible to 
tell which text is right, though Sieg. follows Guthe in preferring the 
latter. Jos. (Ant. xi, 4, 7) agrees with Esd. — "Nin n] is certainly wrong. 
Esd. has Toij ?x,tou etou? ^ocaiXecoi; Aapeiou. Mey. (Eni.^*) supposes 
some words to have fallen out, and suggests, "that is (the 12th month) 
of the 6th year of Dar." explanatory of the Bab. term Adar. It is 
more prob. that a year was first given ace. to a Jewish calendar and 
that this date was dropped accidentally. <J6'- tries to help along by 
an addition of eax;, thus : 0? eaiiv euq e-zoug.— fl jj T"'"'^] ^ [Aoaxouq, 
but Esd. correctly Taupouq. — jnoN] CS> dt[Avoij<;, Esd. with better Gk. 
fipva?. — pip niDx] (g x^[i.&giouq afydjv, Esd. xt[j.apou<;. The same redun- 
dancy is found in late Heb. Dn. S'- ' 2 Ch. 29", but cf. 8". In 
Lv. 9' the he-goat is a sin-oEfering. — ^iD2Sf] Esd.^^ (puXipxwv.— ^^) miaj?] 
which referred to the building in 5* here indicates the temple cult. 
— khSn] 05^ aY(o)v o"x.ou tou OeoO. — idd] ^^ ^t^Xicp v6ii.ou. Esd. adds: 
xal ol 6up(opol i(p' Ixaaxou icuXoivo?, 3 Esd. et ostearii per singidas januas. 
This passage is important, for it indicates that the Aram, narrative has 
broken off abruptly. The story evidently went on to describe the in- 
stallation of other officials of the temple. Torrey regards the words 
as the work of the Chr. Esd. prob. lacked from nojn v. " to aStynia 
V. ", as shown by the repeated ev -uy Momitaq pf^Xy, and by the sus- 
piciously close agreement with MT. 

EZR. 6"-22 = ESD. 7l''-i5. THE OBSERVANCE OF THE 

This passage has suffered like many other parts of these books from a 
mutilation of the text. The purpose of the mutilation is plain. The 
passage was attached by the Chr. to the temple-building story, and then 
was modified to make it conform to its new position and to the ideas 


of the editor. To comprehend what we have to deal with, we must 
have the original text so far as it can be recovered; and therefore a 
translation of the reconstructed text is given here. The justification 
for the changes will be found in the critical notes. In this passage the 
Heb. language is employed. 

(19) And the sons of Israel kept the passover on the fourteenth 
day of the first month. (20) Now the priests and the sons of the 
captivity were not cleansed, but the Levites to a man were all of them 
clean, and they [the Levites] sacrificed the passover for all the sons 
of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests [and for them- 
selves]. (21) And the sons of Israel, all that had separated them- 
selves from the uncleanness of the nations of the earth, and those 
who had returned unto them from the captivity to seek Yahweh ate 
the passover. (22) And they kept the feast of unleavened bread 
seven days, rejoicing before Yahweh, because he had turned the 
purpose of the king of Assyria unto them to strengthen their hands 
for the worship of Yahweh the God of Israel. 

A company of exiles had recently arrived in Judah through 
the favour of one known only as "king of Assyria." The 
Israelites already in Judah celebrated the Passover at its regular 
time, and so far as their condition permitted the recent arrivals 
participated. The passage shows an amalgamating process be- 
tween the Jews returning from exile and those who were native 
in Judah. There is not a word about the temple or its building. 

It is usually assumed that the Chr. wrote the passage as a fitting con- 
clusion to the temple-building story. Torrey notes that the temple 
was finished in the 12th month, Adar, v. ", and that the Chr., with his 
usual exactness in dates, fills in the next month with the keeping of the 
Passover. The Chr. has an elaborate description of the celebration of 
the Passover in 2 Ch. 351-'". Many phrases are identical in the two 
passages. But in our passage we rd. that the Lv. slew the Passover 
for the others, v. ■", while in 2 Ch. 351* the phrase is "prepared." In- 
deed, the points of identity are mostly in stock phrases, which any 
writer would use. The Chr. cannot be the author of this piece, for he 
would not mutilate his own work to the extent we find here. Those 
who attribute the fragment to the Chr. do so on the basis of the cor- 
rupt text. 

There is not sufficient evidence to determine the date of the piece, but 
such indications as we have suggest that it belongs to the early period. 

EZRA 619-22 1^2 

It may weil belong to the time of Cy., or to the period when Zer. and 
his company first arrived in Jerus. C. 3 describes various festivals 
that were kept, and this may have been among them. It is separated 
only by the long Aram, insertion 4^-61' and may originally have stood 
after 4', or even in the early part of c. 3. 

19. The day for this feast is fixed in Ex. 12^. — The sons oj 
the captivity] is an error for the sons of Israel. These two classes 
are named in this passage in contrast. The sons of Israel are 
those who had always remained in Judah, and the sons of 
the golah are those who returned from Babylonia. — 20. This 
verse in MT. runs thus: For the priests and Levites had cleansed 
themselves, to a man they were all clean, and they slew the passover 
for all the sons of the captivity and for their brethren the priests and 
for themselves]. "For themselves" can only refer to the Le- 
vites. The expression is cumbersome, but it has the support of 
all texts. Nevertheless it may be a gloss. The idea is clear 
that the clean Levites sacrificed the Passover on behalf of the 
two classes stated in v." to be unclean. As the Passover was 
kept in memory of the return from the captivity in Egypt, the 
festival would be highly significant for those who had just re- 
turned from the exile in Babylonia. — 21. This verse also re- 
quires correction as above. "The sons of Israel" is further 
defined. During the exile the Jews in Judah had probably 
mingled freely with the surrounding peoples, called in our books 
"the people of the land." Now with the return of some exiles, 
there was an earnest revival of Yahweh worship, in the interest 
of which some of the Israelites dissociated themselves from the 
loose ways of their neighbours. — 22. The Feast of Unleavened 
Bread was virtually a part of the Passover, continuing for 
seven days thereafter (Ex. 12^^). Instead of with joy for Yah- 
weh made them rejoice] it is better to read with Esd. rejoicing 
before Yahweh. — He turned the heart] (or counsel as Esd.) refers 
to some especial act of favour shown to the Israelites. — King 
of Assyria] is strange here. We should expect " king of Persia." 

B.-Rys. notes that in Judith 2^ Nebuchadrezzar is called king of the 
Assyrians (the same confusion is found in 2 K. 22,^^); as the kings of 
Pcrs. ruled over the old As. domain, the title might be used by a Pers. 


king (so Berth.). In Ne. 13" Art. is called king of Bab. As the text 
is supported by all Vrss. we may assume that the phrase was in the 
original text. It is usually assumed that Dar. is meant, e. g., Sieg., 
but, save the position of the passage assigned by the Chr., there is no 
evidence to support that identification. There seems to be room to 
doubt whether such a mistake would have been made as this by any 
postex. writer. However ignorant the Jews may have been of con- 
temporary history, they knew that As. had long been defunct and that 
Pers. was the real power of this time. As the reference is to one who 
had conferred favours upon the people as a whole, we naturally sup- 
pose the king of Pers. to be meant. Yet it may be that it was really 
a satrap in the old As. domains who was called by courtesy king of 
Assyria . 

To strengthen their hands] in i^ refers to material support, 
and that sense would be admissible here. Were our text cor- 
rect that meaning would be required. As a matter of fact, 
the last clause originally read for the worship of Yahweh the God. 
of Israel]. The favour of the Assyrian king then consisted of 
the privilege of keeping the Passover, for which very little 
expenditure was necessary. The king's grace may refer to a 
gift of lambs, which were slain at the feast, or to the privilege 
conferred upon the sons of the golah in allowing them to re- 
turn to Judah. In the latter case the king would naturally be 
Cyrus. — For the work of the house of God] is badly supported by 
the Vrss., and is inconsistent with the tenor of the passage, 
which is concerned with the keeping of festivals, i. e., the wor- 
ship at the temple, not with its building. 

19. itfyi] 05 exoiiQffav, but Esd. uses a more technical word, -^Yiyo- 
cov^-*- iQ-{cxyov^. — nh^in 1:2] is suspicious, for the Passover was slain for 
the sons of the golah (v. 20). Esd. has o\ ulol 'lapaTjX twv ex t^c aix- 
[i,aXa)ff{a<;, B fdii Israel transmigrationis, 3 Esd. Jilii Israel aim his qui 
erant ex captivitate, i. c, the sons of Israel together with those who had 
come from the captivity. Now Esd. cannot be rendered " the sons of 
Israel that came from captivity," as RV.; the T'iv forbids that, for 
the text is defective; the Latin is good. 3 Esd. shows two distinct 
classes, the sons of Israel and the sons of the golah, and these two 
classes are kept distinct in this whole passage. Now the original 
reading must have been "sons of Israel" and the rest is a correction 
from MT. As so often happens Esd. has preserved the original text 
with a dup. derived from Heb. — 20". Esd. has a striking text, oxe 

EZRA 4*-8 155 

■^lYvteBrjoav ot Upe t? xal (ol Aeuetxae S^ta %a\ "z&vzeq I ol ulol tyji; af^- 
HaXwai'ai; oxi [oux,^] •fjYvfaOTQuav oTt *l Aeuetxat cttAa xdcvreq -fiYvtaOYjaav, 3 
Esd. qiiando sanclificati sunt sac-r dotes et Levitae. Omnes^lii captivitatis 
non sunt simul sanclificati, quia Levitae omnes simul sanctificati sunt. 
The reading o-ut in ^^ is senseless, and ^ supported by 3 Esd. is correct. 
Some parties were clean and others not. Now the subj. of 'ianB"'i can 
only be the Lev. We can get good sense for a part of the v., i. e., hut 
the Lev. to a man were all of them clean, attd they sacrificed the passover 
for all the sons of the golah, for their brethren the pr. and for themselves. 
In this part Esd. and MT. agree. The preceding part is meaningless 
as it stands in both texts. Esd. shows corrections from the Heb. in 
the repeated clause ol A. a[Aa v-aX xivTeq. Omitting that and putting 
the remainder back into Heb., we have a good text: a-i^non 'nnan vh id 
n'?ijn 1J31. It may be that we should go further. When the Chr. drop- 
ped the negative to get rid of the intolerable implication of the pas- 
sage, he may have inserted "pr."; in that case the Esd. text is cor- 
rect from ol ulo(, the preceding being added from MT. The antithesis 
is then between the sons of Israel, v. ", and the sons of golah, v. 20. — 
21 is unintelligible; there is no obj. for iSdn'^i; "sons of Israel" and 
"sons of the golah" are identified; there is a third class otherwise un- 
known in this section "and all who had separated," etc., and there 
is no antecedent for the pron. in onSx. (g has an obj., xb xiiaxa, in place 
of ai3a>n, but dicb t^? dxotx£ff(a<; is disconnected (ol e^eX06vTe<; dtx6^). 
CS has eJ? ctxaeapafa? for nNDDO. Esd. follows MT. exc. that it has 
xivTEs for ^31 and lacks anSx and hn'\'if^ •^rha. Sense may be obtained 
by transposition so as to rd. viNn . . . Sn^jn '73 Vnic'' ^j3 nDsn iSaxii 
nSijnn DOtrm. It is better with Esd. to drop Sxic^ >n'?K . . . dhSn. — 
22. In <&^ r\>r\> is lacking; in 05^ it is found here and with 3Dn. Esd- 
has TTjv ^ouXt^v for 3*7 = nsy, and lacks DinSxH ni3 or rather has xupt'ou 
instead. — nm'' . . . nnDif3] appears in Esd. as ^vavxt xupfou^, Euippatd^jievot 
IvavTt xupfou''^ "House of God" was added by the Chr. when he 
attached the passage to the temple story. Esd. gives better sense, for 
Yahweh made them rejoice and turned is awkward. We should rd. 
therefore Sxitri inSx mni nsN^DS . . . -iit:'K ^SD nxy 3Dn 13 nini ijaS DinDC. 


This is a fragment describing an event in the reign of Xerxes (485- 
464), and the only passage we have from his period. It is given dif- 
ferent connections in MT. and Esd. In the latter the name of Xerxes 
does not occur; in fact, the only part of v. « preserved in that text is 
against the inhabitants ofJudah and Jerus., and that is imbedded in the 
letter to Art. The section is usually divided, vv. ^ '■ being connected 
with vv. »-' and v. « made a section all by itself. It has been shown 
above that this passage did not come from the same hand as vv. '-', and 


vv. " f- give a suitable setting for v. «. As the text stands the arrange- 
ment in Esd. is the only logical one, for the dates of Cy. and Dar. in 
V. 5b lead up to 5'. It is clear that these dates are later glosses. The 
connection of "all the days of Cy." shows that it is interpolated. As 
it stands it is connected with "hiring counsellors," but manifestly the 
enemy would not be engaged in hiring counsellors during a whole reign — 
to ignore the intervening period of Cambyses. As the editor supposed 
the events narrated in 31-4= to have happened in the time of Cy., it 
would be natural for him to add this date. "Unto the reign of Dar." 
is easily explained as a duplication from 4^*, which v. is substantially 
a repetition of the passage before us. It must be remembered that 
in the original text preserved in Esd., 4^ was directly followed by 4'*. 

The troubling of the Jews referred to here of course really took place 
in the reign of Dar., since the complaint was lodged with Xerxes in 
the beginning of his reign. The key to the situation lies in the word 
"build," v.''. That could not refer to the building of the temple, for 
we have three accounts of that performance (3^4^ 5/., Hg. and Zc), 
in no one of which is there a hint of even an attempt to check the build- 
ing. Even with the poor and few people for the task, the work was 
apparently done in a shorter time than Solomon took with all of his 
resources. The building could only refer then to the building of 
houses in Jerus. or of the walls or both. Now houses in the city and 
walls around it would naturally be the next step after the erection of 
the temple; for the temple standing alone would be subject to raids for 
plunder and desecration. Ne. shows that any preceding attempts to 
put up either houses or walls had failed. The complaint accomplished 
its purpose. 

As Dar. was favourably disposed toward the Jews, there would be 
no use in appealing to him. Consequently the enemies had to fall 
back upon themselves, and do what they could to impede the prog- 
ress of those Jews who were bravely struggling to restore Zion. A new 
king always raises new hopes. When Xerxes succeeded to the throne, 
there might be a chance of turning him against the rising people of 
Palestine. The advent of a new king was a favourite time for the 
rebellion of subject peoples. The freshly crowned monarch must be 
on the alert for uprisings, and he would naturally be suspicious. Upon 
the accession of Xerxes, therefore, the counsellors, Bishlam, Mithredates, 
and Tabeel, who had been employed by the enemy, wrote their charges 
against the Jews. 

What they wrote and what the result of their letter was we do not 
know, for that part of the narrative has been lost. We may, however, 
draw a pretty safe inference. In our books we have stories which show 
the favourable attitude of Pers. kings toward the Jews; Cy. Dar. 
Art. and Art. II, each one in his way, furthered the desires of these 
people. We have nothing from the lon^ rei^n of Xerxes. Before him 

EZRA 4^-8 157 

a good beginning had been made, but after his time the situation de- 
scribed in Ne. i /. indicates that all the work of the Jews had been 
undone, save in the fact that the temple had not been destroyed. It 
is evident then that Xerxes showed no favour to the Jews, and that 
their hostile neighbours had a free hand to work their own will. 

The term "people of Judah" in v.* would not naturally be applied 
to a body of exiles who had just returned. The words imply a people 
settled for some time in the land, and hence a later date than that of 
Cy. is necessary. 

It has, indeed, been proposed by many to change the name Xerxes 
to Cambyses {e. g., KAT.^- -«^), but that is an attempt to support a 
chron. system in the present arrangement of our books which on all 
grounds is impossible. Even if this name were disposed of, we still have 
the passage vv. '-", and would have to dispose of Art. as well as Xerxes. 

4. The people of the land] occurs in the contemporary proph- 
ets, in Zc. 7 5 as a term for the laity, in Hg. 2* as equivalent to 
the rest of the people named in 2-, i. e., all others than Jeshua 
and Zerubbabel. In our books this term occurs nowhere else, 
and as Esd. reads "peoples," the text must be corrected ac- 

We have this expression "peoples of the land" in lo^- » Ne. 9" lo"- " 
and "peoples of the lands" in 3' gi- 2- » Ne. g^*- '" 10". In Ezr. lo'- " 
Ne 10" "peoples of the land" describes the peoples from which the 
foreign wives had come; there the mng. is manifestly the non-Israelite 
nations dwelling in Judah or its immediate neighbourhood. "Peoples 
of the lands" has the same sense in Ezr. 9>- =• ", "peoples of these 
abominations" (9") being used synonymously, but the emph. here is 
on the difference of religion rather than of race. In Ne. g'" the term 
refers to the As. and Bab., therefore the foreign people distant from 
Judah. In Ne. lo'^ it is rendered "traders" in BDB., but the real mng. 
is country people as distinguished from those in Jerus. In Ne. 9" the 
word for peoples has an unusual form ('•nDy), but as inZc. 7', it means 
the people as distinguished from the king; the reference, however, is to 
foreigners. These are all the cases in our books, and it is apparent 
therefore that the phrase refers to foreigners, and while originally 
"peoples of the land" was distinguished from the others as mng. for- 
eigners near by, the distinction is lost as the texts stand. The refer- 
ence here is very prob. to the Sam. 

Were weakening the hands], Cf. "their hands will drop from 
the work" (on the walls), Ne. 6'. The phrase usually means 


to discourage, but literally it would be making the hands drop, 
and so stopping whatever the people of Judah were doing. In 
view of the following clause, "disheartening" is the better 
sense. — Troubling them in building]. The history of the efforts 
of the foreigners to stop Nehemiah's work is the best commen- 
tary on the passage. The meaning is that the people of the 
land interfered with the Jews, putting every possible obstacle 
in their way. There may have been actual assaults made upon 
them as well. What the people of Judah were building is not 
stated, but it must have been either the city walls or houses 
(v. s.). Esd. has a somewhat different account: The nations of 
the land, lying down upon (or sending a message to) those in 
Judea and besieging them, prevented the building. This hostility 
is still more emphasised in 3 Esd., where an ambush is de- 
scribed {v. i.). — 5. Hiring counsellors against them]. Cf. Ne. 
6^2 f., "counsellors of the king," 7^8 8", but here BDB. gives the 
meaning "agents." The counsellors were not employed for 
advice, but to represent them in their complaint to Xerxes. 
To make an appeal like this effective, it would have to be sup- 
ported by names that would carry weight with the king. It is 
certain that the agents were Bishlam, Mithredates, and Tabeel 
{v. on ^--^), and they may have been Persian officers, to whose 
report Xerxes would give heed, and who knew how to draw up 
a suitable document. — To defeat their purpose]. Their purpose 
was the rebuilding of the city. It would appear that in spite 
of the efforts of the enemy the work had continued, though 
with diminished success. Despairing of completely stopping the 
progress by their own efforts, they now prepare to secure a re- 
straining decree from the Persian king. — All the days of Cyrus] 
is a harmonising gloss added here when this passage was placed 
in a false connection {v. s.) ; similarly until the reign of Darius is 
carried back from v.^^. The Esd. text shows plainly how this 
was done. — 6. In the reign of Xerxes], the only mention of 
this king in our books, but he is named often in Est. — In the 
beginning of his reign], that is, immediately upon his acces- 
sion (485 B.C.), when an accusation of rebellion would be most 
effective. — Wrote] in our text has no subject. The implied sub- 

EZRA 4^-« 159 

ject is "the people of the land" in v. *, but to say nothing of 
the distance and change of construction, a multitude could not 
well be the author of a letter. Proper textual criticism shows 
that Bishlam, Mithredates, and Tabeel should be transposed 
from V. ^ to serve as the subject of this verb. — Accusation], in 
Esd. letter, and probably that is correct; for the Hebrew verb 
"write" is not used with a figurative subject. "Accusation" 
would mean a letter containing an accusation. 

The abrupt end is what we may expect in any fragmentary piece the 
original form of which has been lost by editing to fit a new situation. 
That abruptness of termination is, however, a characteristic of our 

4. fMin ay] Esd. tcsSs IOvtq Tij? fr^q, 3 Esd. genies terrae, rd. 'Dj? as in 
other places. — ni D'onn] only case of Pi. in this connection. Qal is 
used several times with t" as subj., e. g., 2 S. 4', where we have also Sna. 
Esd. gives us excxotiAwfjieva^^ {incumbentes, 3 Esd.) = T-S, Dt. 21" = 
333', I K. 3'', hardly a suitable sense here; exixotvcivouvra^ occurs 
only in Sirach 26" 4 Mac. 4K This gives quite a different sense, sent 
a communication to those in Judah, possibly ordering them to stop the 
work. — dtiS^d] trouble, Qr. U'hr\2Ti,Jrighten. C5 evex6Stl^ov (= dSh in Ju. 
5") supports Kt. Esd. has •rcoXtopxoOvusi; elpyov. The first word often 
represents onS, and this text apparently rd. QicnSj. Elpyov stands for 
some vb. concealed in dhin. As Esd. has dicexcoXuaoev for "prevent" 
in 5'" and 2", it appears that we have two sources woven together 
here. 3 Esd. has a further elaboration, et levantes opus adificationis 
et insidias et populos adducentes prohibebant eos cedijicare, "and impair 
the work of building and bringing an ambush and peoples prevented 
them from building." This is very like Neh.'s troubles. — 5. onoof] 
an error in sibilants; the correct form is anos'. The text of Esd. is 
radically different in this v.: xal ^ouXaq xal STf][xaYWYouvT£<; (STjixaYCi)- 
Yta?^^) xal auax&aeiq {iiziauax&aeiq^} •koio{)[ibvoi dticsxtoXuaav tou dxoTe- 
XecO-^vat x-fjv oExoSoix-fjv (tou oJx.oSo[i.^aott xcd eTCtTeXeaOiivat t-J)v ofxoSo[XYjv^) 
xdivTa -cbv xpivov t^<; l^w^? tou ^aatXsut; Kipou. There is added xal e"px- 
6it]aav TYJc; oExoSoyiij? stt) Suo Iw<; t^<; Aapsfou ^(xaikelaq, but that is a 
translation of v. ^^^ so that the clause "until the reign of Dar." of 
MT. is lacking in Esd., and correctly, for it has nothing to do with 
this section. The above contains more than we have in MT., but it 
appears to be chiefly the work of R., who wanted to emphasise the 
good ground for the cessation of the work on the temple. Yet he did 
not venture to insert any word that necessarily refers to the temple. 
The difference from MT. is so great that the text can hardly be a 


translation at all. Indeed, in the whole passage (<-«) Esd. shows that 
the material has been worked over perhaps by several hands. The pas- 
sage may be translated, and using plans and demagoguery and tumults 
they prevented the building from completion all the days that Cy. lived. 
The following clause, they hindered the building for two years, is a dup. 
— 6. njcjtt'] does not occur elsw. (&^ lacks the word, ^ has extaxoXi^v, 
while L has a dup., exca. xal evavcfwatv. Other forms of the root are 


The material in this passage covers two letters, that of Rehum, 
Shimshai, and their associates to Artaxerxes, and that of the 
king in reply; an introduction to each letter; and a descrip- 
tion of the execution of the king's decree. The section has been 
the subject of much discussion, for it presents difficulties to an 
unusual degree. Some of these will be considered here. 

(i) Contrary to the general impression, the whole passage exc. "> 
is in Aram. It is usually said that v. ' is the Heb. intr. to the Aram, 
letters, a conclusion due in part to an inadequate criticism of the text. 
As a matter of fact, we find that v. '» is a part of the warp and woof of 
the intr. to the first letter, an intr. mixed all through vv. '-'", and which 
I have fortunately been able to disentangle (v. i.). The v. can be rd. 
as Aram, as well as Heb. The word imj3 is, in fact, an Aram, word, 
and the passage can only be forced into Heb. by assuming a loan-word. 
The mistake was originally made by the Massorites, and has been 
perpetuated ever since. V. ^'^ is Heb., but at most it is an editor's note; 
and it is certainly out of place. It has never been understood, but it 
clearly has nothing to do with the interpretation of the passage which 
follows. It may be only some copyists' notes {v. i.). (2) The letters 
are placed in different chron. situations in the two editions which 
have come down to us. In MT. the passage stands between the Heb. 
and Aram, stories of the temple-building, that is, in the reign of Dar., 
an obvious absurdity. In Esd. the passage comes directly after Ezr. 
I, between the reigns of Cy. and Dar. This position was not that of 
the original text of Esd., but was due to a later editor. In the Esd. 
text of vv. '-=< there are two references to the building of the temple, 
both in the letter of complaint, neither being in the Aram, text (Esd. 
2 17. 20 = Ezr. 412. 14). Now those references to the temple must have 
been added to the text after it was placed in the position it has in MT. 
In the Esd. text the beginning of the building operations of the tem- 
ple follows this passage {i. e., 5" "•)• The references to the temple- 
building are therefore impossible iu an earlier section. If these references 

EZRA 47-2^" 161 

had been in the original text, they surely would not have been over- 
looked by the Chr., who believed that this passage explained the delay 
in building the temple. The section must have been transposed in 
the Esd. text in an attempt to get rid of the obvious absurdity of 
placing the Art. letters in the midst of the reign of Dar. That would 
be all the more necessary, since the Esd. text makes it clear that 3^-4' 
of MT. do belong to the time of Dar., a fact disguised in MT. by the 
aid of numerous textual changes. 

It seems possible to go a step further and attempt to account for the 
fact that there are no references to the temple in the Aram, version of 
the letter. At all events, a simple explanation may be proposed. In 
the original text of Ezr.-Ne. this passage stood where it belongs, 
immediately preceding Ne. i. The passage was transposed in Esd., 
which has nothing of Neh.'s work at all, and was edited to fit its new 
place. Then in MT. it was also separated from its context by the 
insertion of c. 5-10, but without the textual changes. Later, to get 
rid of the problem of chronology, it was again pushed back in the Esd. 
text by an editor who was certainly, and perhaps pardonably, ignorant 
of the true order of succession of the Pers. kings. 

(3) The passage is dated in the time of Art., presumably Art. I 
(464-424). This date is inconsistent with the position of the passage 
in either text. Therefore many scholars have supposed that the name 
of the king is wrong, and that we should substitute Cambyses for Art. 
Cambyses reigned 529-522, between the reigns of Cy. and Dar. That 
substitution would make the Esd. text chronologically consistent. But 
we have seen that the position of the passage in that version was not 
original, and consequently the gain is nothing. The substitution does 
not help out the version in MT.; for here we have the sequence of 
kings, Cy. Dar. Xerxes, Art. Dar. (4^"), thus placing Art. too early. 
If Cambyses is assumed, he becomes as much too late in this scheme 
as Art. is too early. With better success we might substitute the name 
Xerxes. We could then interpret v. « as a Heb. beginning of the matter 
in vv. '-'<». The chron. sequence is then not so bad, for while c. 5/. 
does belong to the reign of Dar., we might suppose that the Aram, 
account of the temple-building story had been added to this Aram, 
section without regard to chron. order. Then it is a singular fact that 
in the book of Est. the Pers. king Xerxes appears in (g as Art.; if the 
same mistake had been made here, the error in (5 might have crept 
back into the Aram. Finally that substitution would rid us of the 
serious difficulty that Art. authorised Neh. to do the very thing forbid- 
den in this edict {v. Intr.). 

Alluring as this hypothesis is, it is certainly unnecessary. After all, 
it scarcely relieves us of any real difficulties, for as the passage is in the 
wrong place, to remove it one reign further along is no strain. Fur- 
ther, the change, as shown below, creates a difficulty of its own. 


In its original form the letter to the Pers. king charges that the Jews 
are rebuilding the walls of Jerus., and erecting houses in it. That 
much we may gather in spite of the corrupt and obscure text. There 
is not a word about the temple; indeed, it is excluded; for the complain- 
ants urge that if the Jews finish their undertaking, the city will be in 
a position to rebel against the king of Pers. The restoration of the 
temple as the basis of that charge would be ridiculous. Further, the 
most trustworthy source we have for the history of this period de- 
mands just such events as are described here. Neh. learns with sur- 
prise and chagrin that Jerus. is lying waste, its walls are thrown down, 
and its gates burned (Ne. i' 2'). To suppose that Neh. refers to the 
destruction in 587, nearly a century and a half before his time, is absurd. 
The reference can only be understood of some recent calamity. Neh.'s 
audience with Art. was in the 20th year of his reign. Therefore the 
events narrated as occurring "in the days of Art." may have come at 
any time in the first twenty years of his reign. But if we transfer the 
letters to Xerxes, they must be put in the beginning of his reign (4^), 
i. e., 485, or forty years before Neh., and therefore presenting too long 
an interval between the calamity and the report brought to Neh. 

There is then the difficulty of supposing that Art. retracted his own 
words in giving Neh. permission to rebuild the walls. In the [Aram, 
form of the letter, there is the saving clause "until a decree is issued by 
me." Esd. lacks the passage, but that might easily be due to its un- 
fitness, as the letter was understood. If words are to be pressed over- 
hard, as is apt to be the case in dealing with Pers. laws, that clause 
would have to be omitted, or the temple could never have been built, 
for Art., in spite of 6", never issued a decree in favour of building the 

We cannot rd. the story in Ne. i-2« without seeing that Neh. realised 
that he had a delicate and difficult problem. If he knew of the king's 
letter, vv. " "f-, and had just heard how ruthlessly the decree to stop 
the work had been carried out, we can well understand his fear and per- 
plexity. Finally, it is by no means inconceivable that a weak mon- 
arch like Art. could be induced to do almost anything by a court 

By placing the section just before Neh. we get an exceedingly good 
connection. In the early part of the reign of Art., perhaps under the 
inspiration of the patriot Neh., a large body of exiles had gone up to 
Jerus., possibly the very company confused with Ezra's. They had 
the purpose, so near the heart of Neh., of rebuilding Jerus., and began 
to execute the project. The jealous Sam., rebuffed by the Jews years 
before, realise the danger to their supremacy, and write a letter to the 
king. Neh. being at court, knows of the complaint and the tenor of 
the king's reply. After the Sam. forces had made havoc of the Jews' 
work, some of the disheartened colonists returned to Pers., and are 

EZRA 4^-2^'^ 163 

brought straight to the royal cup-bearer. He learns now that the 
enemy had taken advantage of the edict and had gone far beyond its 
terms in their passion for destruction. 

With this situation clearly in mind, we can comprehend the patriot's 
disappointment and sorrow. We can further understand the secrecy 
with which he surrounds his own enterprise, and the constant conflicts 
with the very people who had succeeded once before in breaJiing down 
the walls of Jerus. 

(4) The authenticity of the letters has been assumed in the above 
discussion. Any other theory seems to me untenable. The text is 
in places very bad, esp. in the intr. and in the complaint, v. ", due 
doubtless to tampering with the text to make it fit a false position. 
But the main purport of the letters can be ascertained beyond a doubt, 
and if this passage were lacking we should be obliged to assume, 
in order to understand Neh., just such an occurrence as is here de- 
scribed. The passage cannot be attributed to the Chr. on any condi- 
tions; for he could not have composed a passage which he so egregi- 
ously misunderstood, and which is so hopelessly inappropriate for the 
purpose for which he would have invented it. Whatever his faults, 
and they were many, he was not as stupid as that. Had the Chr. 
composed the passage, he would almost certainly have written all in 
Heb. save the letters themselves, as is the case in the story of Ezra, 
whereas the whole document is in Aram. Moreover, the passage does 
contain more than the letters themselves, and I cannot understand 
Torrey's declaration that the "Aram, source contains nothing but these 
suspicious documents" (ES."^)^ 

Kost. was the first to deny the historicity of the passage, admitting 
that if it were authentic it would refer to Ezra's golah and overthrow 
his theory that Ezra is later than Neh. The points raised by Kost. 
(}Vied.^^ ^■), with some comments thereon, follow: 

(i) The colonising by Asnappar (Assurbanipal) is improbable. But 
it is by no means certain that Asnappar is to be identified with Assur- 
banipal {v. i.). (2) There is a suspicious similarity between this cor- 
respondence and that of c. 5/. The agreement is rather fanciful and 
is mostly in unimportant matters. Both complaints are in Aram., are 
aimed at the Jews, and are addressed to a Pers. king. But in the im- 
portant matters there is great divergence. One contains a grave charge 
and urges action; the other is an inquiry, and the correspondents 
await orders. In one the complaint is heeded and drastic measures 
ordered; in the other the Jews are upheld. (3) The phrase "in the 
book of thy father's memoirs," v. ", could not apply to Bab. inscrip- 
tions. This argument ignores simple textual criticism, the Esd. text 
reading "in the library of thy fathers," in which Bab. inscriptions may 
well have been stored. (4) "The mighty kings" of v. 20 admits of 
no satisfactory explanation, since the history of David and Solomon 


would not be recorded in Bab. annals. But the phrase could apply 
just as well to later kings like Hezekiah, who held a Bab. vassal as a 
prisoner and who bulks large in the inscriptions of Sennacherib. (5) 
The phrase "until a command is given by me," v. ^\ shows a knowledge 
of Art.'s later consent to Neh. Here again we may note that Esd. 
lacks the passage, and Kost. is certainly wrong in his assumption that 
Art. orders the destruction of the walls. Further, we may well ques- 
tion Kost.'s inference. The king might easily issue a conditional de- 
cree. As he merely orders the work to stop, it is natural to assume 
that some further investigation was intended. (6) The impression 
made by Ne. 1-7 ^ is that Neh. was engaged in an entirely new work, 
and that a story of a previous attempt to rebuild the walls is incon- 
sistent. The fact is that Neh. was urged to his task by learning that 
the walls had been thrown down and the gates burned. (7) The 
mocking attitude of Sanb. and To. is inexplicable if the walls had pre- 
viously been carried close to completion. It seems to me that if the 
Sam. had recently destroyed what the Jews had built, they would have 
sufficient ground to jeer at any one else who attempted to resume the 
work. The fact that they trust to their own devices, and do not ap- 
peal to the king, indicates that they regarded their task as easy. (8) 
Ne. 2^-8 is silent about an existing order to destroy the walls, Neh. does 
not ask for a reversal of a previous decree, and the king only considers 
the loss of a faithful servant. Strictly speaking, there had been no 
order to destroy the walls. Neh. would not be likely to provoke oppo- 
sition by reminding the king of his former action. 

Kost. then gives his ideas as to the origin of the passage. As the 
first golah in the time of Cy. had attempted to rebuild the temple, and 
were hindered by the Sam., so the walls must have been attempted 
before the 20th year of Art. Therefore the Chr. makes the golah at- 
tack the walls after the completion of the temple. It would be difficult 
to frame a weaker hj^jothesis. The golah under Cy. did not attempt 
to rebuild the temple and there was no hindrance from the Sam. The 
Chr. had no idea that this passage dealt with the walls of the city. 
. He incorporates the passage on the theory that the letters referred to 
the building of the temple. It is easy to agree with Torrey that 
"Kost.'s methods were not thoroughly scientific, and his conclusions, 
in the main, were of little value" (ES.'"). 

7-11. The occasion of the letter to Artaxerxes and its be- 
ginning. — 7. In the days of Artaxerxes]. The writer evidently 
had no exact knowledge of the date or he would have been 
more specific— r^e rest of their associates] suggesting an official 
body which joined in the complaint whose word would add 

EZRA 47-2'"» 165 

weight to the charge. The word rendered ''associates" occurs 
in the Eleph. pap., where the meaning is determinable. In 1, 1.^ 
we find "Jedaniah and his associates, the priests who are in 
Jeb." The word is used Hke "brother" in Hebrew to indicate 
those in the same official class. Sachau limits the meaning 
needlessly to those who joined in the letter, but the word covers 
all the priests in Jeb. — And the writing of the letter was written 
in Aramaic]. "Character" added by RV. is wrong, for the 
reference is to the language, not to the script. — And translated 
into Aramaic]. But as it has already been said that the letter 
was written in Aramaic, the statement that it was translated 
into Aramaic is manifestly impossible. Marquart proposed 
"Persian," the letter being translated into the native speech 
of the king, and so being a bilingual document. Mey. substi- 
tutes Persian for the first Aramaic, and omitting the redundant 
"writing" gets "the dispatch was written in Persian and trans- 
lated into Aramaic." Berth, regards the second Aramaic as 
a gloss; it is lacking in (H. The phrase is a copyist's note, and is 
not of much importance {v. i.). — Rehum] is a good Hebrew name, 
and occurs frequently in Ezr.-Ne. {v. on 2^). — Commander] is \ 

better than "chancellor," RV. Arnold proposes "master of 
the decrees" (JBL. igiaj^*). Rehum then would be the chief 
officer. — Shimshai the scribe] w. ^- ^'^^ ^^ f- The name usually is 
traced to Iranian (BDB.), but it might easily be Hebrew. The 
accusers of the Jews in this case, though holding presumably 
Persian offices in Syria, may themselves have been of Hebrew 
stock. In that case they certainly would not have written in 
Persian. The words are a gloss due to the confusion of the text. 
— As follows] but the letter does not begin till v.^^^. — 9. Dinaites] . . 

or "judges" according to CS>^, so Hoffmann, Mar. — Apharsath- ' \ 

chites] also interpreted as "generals" (BDB.). — Tarpelites] or an 
Dfficial title tahellarii (Jensen): it has also been interpreted as 
Iranian and equal to the frequently used term "beyond the 
River" (Syria). — Apharsites]. Marquart renders "secretaries." 
—Archevites] the people of Erech (Mey. Ent.^), a city in Bab- 
/lonia. — Babylonians] only occurrence of the gentilic form in 
yr. — Shushanchites] the people of Susa, the Elamite capital. 


— Dehavites]. Following (^^ now generally interpreted as "that 
is," a rendering requiring a slight emendation. We should 
then have "the Susians, that is, the Elamites," people of the 
country over which Cyrus had first ruled. — And the rest of the 
peoples]. In spite of the above rather lengthy list, there were 
other nationalities involved in the hostility toward the Jews. — 
Whom the great and famous A snap par had taken captive]. That 
is, all these peoples had been brought to Samaria from other 
places, referring to the story in 2 K. 17. Asnappar is usually 
identified with Assurbanipal, apparently because it is more like 
his name than any other. (S offers Shalmaneser who began 
the siege of Samaria. As the name is corrupt, as the resemblance 
to Assurbanipal is not very close, and as there is no evidence of 
his colonising Samaria, we might conjecture Sargon, who con- 
quered Samaria in 722 or Esarhaddon as v. 2. — In the city of 
Samaria], Better with (S in the cities of Samaria, since all these 
peoples would scarcely reside in one city. — And the rest beyond 
the River] i, e., other peoples of the country west of the Eu- 
phrates. The term "beyond the River" is used in this period 
for all the country from the Euphrates to Egypt. — And so forth]. 
Usually interpreted as equivalent to "and others," and so "too 
tedious to mention." But Torrey (JBL. 1897) has shown that 
it means "and now," the preface to the real matter of the 
letter. The word is misplaced in our text, being repeated from 
the end of v. ". — 11. This is a copy of the letter which they sent 
unto him] obviously an editorial note, and should stand between 
the narrative and the beginning of the letter proper, as shown 
below in the reconstructed text. — Thy servants]. The names 
have been transposed, and are wanting here, so that as the text 
stands the complaint was anonymous. 

It would be difficult to find a more corrupt text than vv. '-". At 
first sight the case seems quite hopeless, for while there can be but a 
single letter, there are two sets of complainants, and there are three 
different introductions. The whole is so confused in MT. that we seem 
balked at every point. We may easily assume that preceding the let- 
ter proper there was a simple and straightforward intr., stating the time 
of writing, the complainants, the accused, and the person with whom 
the complaint is lodged. The text of Esd, is simple and straightfor- 

EZRA 4^-2<'' 167 

ward, but a careful exairtination shows that even that does not have the 
original text. It does, however, afford a basis for reconstruction. 

The letter proper begins at v. '"' with the complainants, thy servants, 
the men of Abar-Naliarah. Plainly we lack something here, viz., the 
addressee and the names of the accusers. Esd. has a part of the neces- 
sary material beginning, to King Art. lord. Then after ol •jcalSd? oou 
we have 'PdGutio? 6 (Torrey rightly supplies yP'^?*^'") "^^ xpoaxcxxovira 
5tal SaiJL^XXtoq h Ypa[JL(xaT£iI)<; xal ol lx(Xotii:ot Tij? PouXtji; auxwv xal (xp(- 
•zatF) ol Iv xo^Xt] Supfqt xal 4>oivt'7,T). And in v. " we find in the ad- 
dress of the king's reply an additional clause, ofxoOatv ev 2o([i.apef(j;. 
Combining this material we see that the beginning of the letter then 
must have been: nibd ''V-cvy D^'cs-Sya Dim y\2-; jnx noSd Nni^'tj'nmN'? 
mnj'ia;; in'^i pi3C> n nnpa lOTi^ n jinnua -\n-y\ If now we turn to 
MT. here reprinted for easy inspection, we find all this, as will appear 
by noting the words with a single underline: 'cctyi pya-Sya Dim (8) 
-hyi Dim pnx (9) : s'cjD Ks'-'p Npa>iynnis'? pSiyn—Sy mn kijn upj nisd 
Nai -ifljDx >Sjn n s'>on ik'^i (10) : ... Nijn pnnuj ixyi n-\sd ■'a':3::'i d-;-j 
KniJN ir.y<B nji (n) : nj>'3i mn:— i3y nsiyi ?nsiy ■'i rr'-ipj inn jmm Niyi 
njy^i mnj— lay ti-jx ina;? x jSd xntycnmx *?;? iniSy in'?a> n . It is a sup- 
port to our reconstruction to note that ^ has xptTat, 3 Esd. judices 
just where x^j-'t occurs in v. '; v. i. in note on text. Kupf(p, which is 
always found in Esd. with Art., is a rendering of f"'** reading |nx. 
inn anini of MT. shows a modified construction to fit the connection as 
the text stands. It is to be noted that we find this beginning of the 
letter in two sections of our present text separated by the clause "and 
the rest of the peoples whom the just and noble Asnappar took captive," 
and this intervening portion is plainly an explanation of "their com- 
panions," or "their counsel," as Esd. has it. Thus we are able to put 
together the passages which are required as the first part of the letter 

If now we take the sections of the text preceding and following our 
extracted passages and preface the date from v. ', we get this surprising 
result: And in the days of Art. Rchum tlie reporter (or commander) and 
Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jems., (11) and this is a copy of 
the letter which they sent to him to Art. the king, from a source indicated 
above by double underlining. From this it appears that we have now 
also a simple and straightforward intr. to the letter. If we compare 
thisresult with the text of Esd., we find: (i) Instead of "against Jerus.," 
"against [those dwelling in Judah and] Jerus.," showing an addition 
(within brackets), and that exactly what we find in v. « in the letter to 
Xerxes, no other note of which is found in Esd. (2) The complainants 
are (BTJXetio? xal MtOpaSi-CTji; Y.a\ Ta^lXXtoq xal) 'PiOupto? xal Be^XtsB- 
[1.0? Safji^XXto? h Ypa^ijxaTsui; (xal 5t Xoticol 0? toutoi? auvTaaa6tievot) 
oJxouyuei; 8s Iv Sa^apeffjc xal toT<; i'XXott; T6xot<;. Now the additions 


here (within parentheses) are taken from v. ', adding three names, and 
having inij3 iss'i, which belongs to the intr., and besides is Aram., not 
Heb. The last clause, dwelling in Samaria and the other places, belongs 
to the letter itself, for even Esd. lacks it in its proper place. To this 
we might make a further addition from v. ' and so get as the original: 
And in the days of Art. Rehum the reporter and Shimshai the scribe and 
the rest of their companions wrote a letter against J cms. to Art. the king 
of Pers. This may as easily be all Aram, as partly one language and 
partly the other. In v. ' we have left the three names, Bishlam, Mith- 
redates, and Tabeel. These names have no place in the letter to Art. 
For as they stand first here they would certainly be named in the 
reply; but they do not recur at all. Now we have noted that uno in 
V. 6 lacks a subj. The three names are manifestly the accusers of v. '. 
Bishlam, Mithredates, and Tabeel were the hired agents of v. K Con- 
sidering the vast amount of transposition which has taken place, the tr. 
of those names is not singular (so Torrey, ES.'", Mey. £«/.")• 

V. "» is lacking in Esd. and is easily explained as a marginal note, 
or an explanation by the Chr. in a text with which havoc was already 
made. Its place would be more appropriate after v. "•''. We have still 
to account for the passage, vv. gb-io", i. e., the list of names and the 
explanatory note ajtd the rest of the peoples whom the great ajtd noble 
Asnappar took captive. This clause seems to be a late gl., describing 
the origin of the Sam. and showing marked hostihty to them. The 
last part may easily be taken from v. =. The absence of the whole pas- 
sage in Esd. shows that it was prob. later than that translation; for 
there would be no motive for its omission. 

Further ncjj in v. «, to which there is nothing corresponding in Esd., 
was added after the dislocation was made. And finally n-inj-nay c'jx 
rjpi is a repetition due to the misplacing of in^y. K'jx is a mistake 
for -1X2'. nj>'Di is the beginning of the letter and could not occur twice. 
"To Art. the king of Pers." is superfluous, rendered necessary only 
after the dislocation was made to explain the preceding "to him." 
Mey. notes the use of Sy before Art., used in the sense of "unto," but 
that is good Aram, usage (cf. vv. "• ")• The confusion is not so great 
as appears from the difficulty of reconstruction. The principal changes 
necessary are but two: the tr. of the three names from v. ' to v. », and 
the tr. of "=» to s^. 

V. « did not appear at all in the text used by Esd., or else the trans- 
lator omitted it because he saw that it was an unintelligible scrap. 
Torrey holds that "v. «, or at all events v.^^, is exactly reproduced" 
(ES.'"; italics mine). But his reasons are not convincing. He is 
obliged to assume that Art. was substituted for Xerxes, whereas Esd. 
begins exactly as v. ', showing in xax^yaij^ev (though ^ has the cor- 
rection xaxiypatj/av) jhd of v. ', not i^no of v. «. This is followed by 
aO-ry = iniVj; of v. ". uiaa" Torrey finds in extffToXi^v and cites (6^; but 

EZRA 4^-2*" 169 

(8^- has IxtoToX-fjv xal IvavTfwCTtv, an obvious and characteristic dup. 
Since "letter" appears three times in the section, vv. '• *• ", it is strange 
to suppose that this well-informed translator misconceived the mng. 
of so easy a word as hjejb'. Esd. has b-KO'{s-^g(x\i.[>.ivr]v before IxtuxoXiQV, 
which Torrey regards as representing >fD03; but to get an unnecessary 
adj. the translator would hardly jump from v. ' to v. *; moreover, ndj3 
is, I think, a late interpolation. The words stand at the end of the 
passage in Esd.; had " Esd." followed v. " he certainly would have written 
xaT^YpatJ^ov xfiv extaToXiQv. This position and the order of the words in 
Gk. suggest that they may stand for smjx ]r£'^D in v. " 'Y%o'{efg(x\j.\xivrjv 
occurs only in the Apocr. On pt^iD v. i. critical note. Finally, xpdvon; 
may represent ''C, but never elsw. stands for niiSD. 

The whole section vv. '-" should therefore rd. as follows: And in 
the days of Art., Rehum the reporter and Shimshai the scribe, 
and the rest of their companions, wrote a letter against Jerus. to 
Art. the king of Pers. And this is a copy of the letter which they 
sent to him: To Art. the king our lord. Thy servants Rehum the 
commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their compan- 
ions who dwell in the cities of Sam. and in the remainder of the 
province beyond the River. And now — 

It must be noted that this result is not attained by the free play 
of a critic's imagination, but it is entirely obtained from a text which as 
it stands is utterly unintelligible. A literal translation of MT. will be 
the most convincing evidence of its impossibility for the reader not 
versed in Aram.: (7) And in the days of Art. wrote Bishlam, Miihredaies, 
Tabeel and the rest of their companions unto Art. the king of Pers. and the 
writing of the letter was written in Aram, and interpreted in Aram. (8) 
Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against 
Jerus. to Art. the king as follows. (9) Then Rehtim the reporter and 
Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites and the 
Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Baby- 
lonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehavites, the Elamites, (10) and the 
rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar took captive and 
caused them to dwell in the cities of Sam. and the rest of the province beyond 
the River. And now. — (11) This is a copy of the letter which they sent 
unto him, unto Art. the king: Thy servants the men of the province beyond 
the River. And now — 

We find in the king's reply (v. ^0 the names of the men who sent the 
charge. Obviously the same names and titles must have stood in the 
accusing letter. It is a justification of the reconstruction that the two 
lists of names and titles agree save in the words "cities of," which do 
not occur in v. ". 

7. ''D13] in V. ' the same idea is expressed by ni^Sca, showing a dif- 
ferent hand. — NnciynmN] an Aramaised form. In <& only ■- and Esd. 


show the regular Gk. form Apra^^p^ou; " has AaapSaOot, ^ ApOotaaaOa. 
Bab. form is Ar-iak-Sat-su , Achamenian, UrlaxSasa. — Jn;] from this 
sg. and the sg. sf. {his companions) Mey. argues that Rehum was the 
principal instigator of the letter. But a sg. vb. with more than one 
subj. is a common Semitic usage. — ihud] docs not occur in Heb., but is 
frequent in the Aram, passages, w. »• "• =' 5« 6^- ". It is contended by 
Zimmern that its As. equivalent kinatlu means only "house servants" 
(Mar.*^); but here it means "associates," as in the Elcph. pap. The 
former sense would be unsuitable unless the antecedent of "his" were 
"Art.," a possibility in this v., but not in v. ''. — ana] may signify "char- 
acter of writing" in Est. i" 3" 8», but not in 4'; "mode of writing" is 
a rather forced sense; the natural mng. is the thing written, cf. 2". (6 
renders as a vb., eypa^'ev. — jins'jn] also 7"; the Chr. has taken this 
from Aram. vv. "-"5^ Andreas says middle-Iranian ptc. pf. pass. 
nibhist=scriplum (Mar.), Hoffmann (ZA. ii,^') and Str. similarly. Mey. 
holds that it is an error for p'^na, Pers. paligama, "report" or "mes- 
sage." As it is synonymous with 3.-13, he contends that the latter 
is an explanatory gl. of the Pers. word. 05 here and v. " 6 <popoX6Yo<;, 
which in Job 3^' 39' = u'jj, "oppressor," but the mng. here, as appears 
from Esd. 2=', is "tax-collector." — aino] <S ypayi^v. — niniN^] lacking in 
<S, while ajnnn is lp[Ji,r]veuyi.ivt]v, so agreeing with YpayiQV. (& gives, there- 
fore: "The tax-collector wrote a letter in Aram, and it was trans- 
lated." We must either change one "Aram." to "Pers.," the reasons 
urged for which are not very convincing, or else explain, "the letter 
was written in Aram, and it had been translated into Aram.," implying 
that it was first composed in some other language. As Aram, was the 
diplomatic language of Pers., as it had been of the Bab. and Hebrews 
(2 K. 1 8^0) it is difficult to see why the letter must have been first com- 
posed in one language and then translated into another. Mar. after 
<S calls piDiN a gl. We might solve the problem by reading iJifns {v. 
on v. ") "copy," and thus have the letter was written in Aram, and there 
was an Aram, copy, the copy being preserved in vv. " f-. The most 
prob. solution is that we have a jargon of copyists' marginal notes or 
directions, e. g., "write the letter," "write in Aram.," "translated into 
Aram." The words really stand at the head of the Aram, sections of 
Ezr., and may have been directions to note the change of language, a 
change much less obvious in 1^ than in MT.-^8y Dim]. Both this and 
>2>ni? are declared to be Syrian names by Mey. (Ent.'*). Rehum was 
regarded as Pers. by Rawlinson, while Andreas (Mar.'«) regards ^a'DC' 
as a popular etymological adaptation from an Iranian ''CtJ't:'. Thus is 
it determined to make foreigners of two good Heb. names. — oyia-Vj;^] 
was misunderstood in 05, and transliterated in various ways, PaSoTatilv^, 
PaaXTajJi.^, PeXxseixK Esd. BedXTStio?, but in v. " i:& •rcpoaxfirrovra, to 
which Torrey rightly adds from v. " 6 yp&iftiiv. Andreas explains as a 
translation of an old Pers. title; Mey. says it is applied to the governor 

EZRA 47-24» 171 

of a small Pers. district. It seems to be a compound, "master of 
commands," a sense suitable in v. ='. Torrey renders "reporter." — 
ndjd] from J3 and indefinite xn and mng. "as follows" (Str. Mar.'*). 
It is lacking in d, but appears in Esd. apparently as ITspffuv.-^p jnN]. 
Contrary to the general statement, this is represented in 05 by a doub- 
let, TiiSe expivev. Str. regards as gl. Berth, explains it as a doublet 
from N^jn in v. ^. In this corrupt text a word or two more or less 
makes little difEerence. Vv. » '• are simply a more amplified repetition 
of V, ' with a vb. lacking. (& saw the defect and supplied it by taking 
piN in two senses (n V^^)- We have in this v. a list of nine words 
or names which have sorely perplexed all students. It is useless to 
print all the desperate conjectures which have been offered. Passing 
by the first four names for the present, we arrive for the rest at pretty 
definite results. — (!<)''iaiN]. Jensen, Theol. Liz. 1895, proposed to iden- 
tify with Gk. ap/ot, an interpretation generally rejected in favour of 
"people of Erech." — N^Saa] is clearly "people of the city of Bab." — 
N^ajB'is']. Zimmern (KAT.^- "0 suggests that here is preserved an iden- 
tification of the Susian god SuUnak with the name of the city. Andreas, 
Mar.8=, (cf. De. Par.^") explains ak as a sf.; so Str. — js'ia'j is the 
place-name. — Ninn] De. (BD.'^) suggested Du-u-a, found in As. con- 
tract tablets. Virtually all scholars now agree with C5^ ol efat'v = «-in n, 
"that is," and so explaining the fact that the Susians were Elamites. 
This explanation is generally regarded as a gl., the Elamites being 
much better known than the Susians (Mey. Mar. et al.). We have 
then peoples named from three well-known cities, Erech, Bab., and 
Susa. To revert to the first four names, we have an unsolved problem 
and must rest content with conjecture. — N''jn] Schrader proposed Da- 
ja-e-ni {KAT.^- 2"). De. Din-iarru, a city near Susa (BD.^). (S^ ol xpt- 
Taf, and so virtually all scholars rd. N^r'i, "the judges," regarded by 
Andreas as an Aram, translation of the Pers. ddtabhar. — N"'Si3it3] made a 
Latin name by Jensen, tahdlarii, rejected by Andreas, Mar. et al. Pers. 
is diligently sought in this document, and its presence would be nat- 
ural enough, but Latin is scarcely admissible. Andreas is quite sure 
that we should point N^SflTta and find in the word some unknown of- 
ficial title (so Mey."). Hoffmann explains from Pers. taraparda, "the 
provinces beyond the River." — N-ianonos, x^didn, and n^ddidn] 5' are 
much alike, and may justly be regarded as variants. De. (DB.«) sug- 
gested for the first Partakka or Partukka, towns in Media mentioned by 
Esarhaddon; in the second he saw Parsua. The desperate state of the 
case is shown by Mey.; he notes that the root in all three is Dio, 
"Persia." n, he says, may be prefixed or left off at will in Iranian 
names; n in the first is a corruption; in (i) and (3) the adj. sf. Ka 
appeared, so each word is reduced to Pers. (£w^"f); thus he gets 

out of the passage: "the Pers. judges, the Pers. , the Erechites, 

the Bab., and the Susians." Others have made official titles of all 


the words: "the judges, messengers, tablet-writers, scribes." All 
these identifications reckon with the single words and forget the 
context. The passage shows that names of peoples are required in 
each case. The v. begins with names of two persons and their ofSces: 
Rehum the commander mtd Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their asso- 
ciates: then in apposition to the last word we have the catalogue of the 
races of which the Sam. were composed, which cannot be a mixture of 
ofEces and peoples. As part of the names are peoples, they must all 
be. So V. " begins and the rest of the peoples. That we cannot identify 
them merely proves a corruption of the text, or else the transplanting 
to Sam. of peoples from places as yet quite unknown. The ransack- 
ing of every language under heaven to make offices out of this jargon 
is an unwarranted extravagance of criticism. It is better frankly to 
confess our ignorance. The writer, having an animus against the Sam., 
may have sought the most outlandish names he knew.— fiOy ifljDx] 
almost unanimously identified with Assurbanipal (668-626), son and 
successor of Esarhaddon (v. ^). Schrader identified with Esarhaddon 
to agree with v. ' (KAT.^'"-*^). Mey. and others who are searching 
diligently for Pers. influences in a document conceived to have been 
written by Persians sees a choice bit of evidence in this word; he sup- 
plies two missing letters, nsJLjniDN, and decides that the final "i is due 
to the fact that Pers. has no S (£«;.» f). As the adj. njt (Heb. an) 
is directly applied to this king, it would appear that the writer took out 
a part of two syllables from the name and made it into a title. The 
resemblance is the only ground for this identification, resting therefore 
on a slender basis in spite of its general acceptance. (S'- has SaX[j.a- 
vaaaip-qq, this text being credited with correcting the name on the 
basis of 2 K. 17, a critical acumen not otherwise apparent. This iden- 
tification is, however, impossible chronologically; Shalmaneser was too 
early. Marquart (FiindJ^) saw the old Heb. pjiDN, Sargon. We 
know that Sargon colonised Sam.; ace. to v. ' Esarhaddon did like- 
wise. As generally understood Assurbanipal added to the confusion 
of tongues and religions. The name is corrupt and may be Sargon or 
Esarhaddon as well as Assurbanipal. — xiip^i sai]. Sieg. says: "Aram, 
translation of the As. royal title sarru rahhn" but we lack Mrru, and have 
another adj. which has no parallel in the As. inscriptions. — ^^■>■'] occurs 
elsw. only in Dn. 2", where it means difficidt. Here it is equivalent to 
Heb. ip'' and means famous. It is not easy to see why Assurbanipal 
should be singled out for praise by those whom he had carried into 
exile. — n>-ip] (& has pi. icdXeatv, the most suitable text, for while the 
chief complainants might live in the city of Sam., the description of 
peoples covers a much wider territory. If MT. is right, it would appear 
that all these peoples were not made a party to the complaint. The 
difl&culty may be avoided by reading nxtt'^i. 
(ly ]W\b\ V. " s' and as loan-word in Heb. 7" t« We may compare 

EZRA 4^-24" 173 

jJtSTiD having same sense, "copy," Est, 3" 4' 8". Mar. says both words 
come from Pers. In Gk. we find five renderings: (i) uxoYeypottiiAevTjv, 
Esd. 2I8. (2) uTOXs([isvov, Esd. 7". (3) dYzi-^g(x<foi/, Esd. 5« (I'-. (4) Sta- 
TKYT), C5^'^. (5) Sta(jaq)Tjfft<;, d^'^ in s« 7". — '■niSj;] lacking in (6"- and in 
ARV. through misunderstanding the corruption of the text. The let- 
ter proper begins with 'mx-Sy. — yin] = Heb. e-UK. Esd. has ol i%Ckoi- 
•jcoc •:i]<; §ouX^i; auxdiv. This shows a different text. 

12-16. The charges against the Jews. — 12. In Esd. we have 
a slightly different and more deferential address than MT. : 
be it known to our lord the king, the same difference recurring 
in V. ". The next clause is almost always translated wrong; it 
should run thus: the Jews, who have come up from thee unto us, 
have gone to Jerusalem, a rebellious and evil city]. The last 
words are in apposition to Jerusalem, and not the object of 

We note that the Jews here denounced are recent arrivals. There 
must therefore have been an extensive migration in the time of Art., of 
which we have no other record. From their undertakings the company 
must have been a large one. This could not refer to Neh.'s company, 
for he had authority from the king to do the very things which are here 
prohibited. In (i>^ we find "from Cy." instead of "from thee," the 
editor supposing there was only one migration, /. e., that in the reign 
of Cy. 

Now we come to the heart of the matter, a description of 
what the returned Jews were doing which aroused the suspicions 
of the local Persian officials. But unfortunately at this critical 
point the text is corrupt and obscure. With the help of Esd. 
it is possible to get a fairly good sense: They are building it [the 
city or some unknown object], they are repairing the walls, and 
they have completed a temple. It is true that the Jews who had 
come from Artaxerxes had not built a temple, but the fact that 
a temple was standing would be an incentive for the rebuilding 
of the city and its walls. The essence of the charge is certainly 
the statement about the restoring of the walls. All other con- 
ditions could be ignored, but once the walls were about the 
city, Jerusalem could defy all the peoples in the Syrian province. 
— 13. They will not pay tribute, custom or toll]. It is not pos- 


sible to differentiate these words; the meaning of the first is 
assured, any kind of tribute or tax. The meaning of the others 
is mostly guesswork. Esd. yields better sense and says all that 
is necessary: they will not only refuse to pay tribute. — But in the 
end it will damage the king] is a very doubtful rendering of a 
very obscure passage. Mey. gets "the revenue of the king 
will suffer," a good enough sense, but a mere repetition. Esd. 
offers the best solution known to me: hut also they will stand out 
against even kings. What is apprehended is described fully and 
clearly in v.^^; the loss to the Persian empire of the whole Syrian 
province, the plaintiffs greatly exaggerating the power of the 
Jews and perverting their purpose. — 14. Now because we eat 
the salt of the palace], lacking in d^^. (^ has "temple" in- 
stead of "palace," making the Samaritans priests. On the 
Bond of Salt v. RS. Relig. Sem.^^\ The idea is that the salt 
constituted a bond which those who ate were bound to respect. 

We might compare the covenant of salt by which the pr. were bound 
to Yahweh, Nu. iS'", cf. 2 Ch. j^'% where it is the sign of the divine title 
of the Davidic dynasty. Here it might therefore be a sign of the agree- 
ment of fidelity of the oflBcers to the Pers. king. It is possible that the 
mng. here is simpler, the idea being that the officers were in the king's 
pay; see AV. "have maintenance from the king's palace," so Ryle, Sieg. 
The old Jewish interpretation was based upon the sowing with salt 
as a sign of utter destruction (Ju. 9^^) and was, "because we aforetime 
destroyed the temple," i. e., salted the salt of the temple. Nestle in- 
terpreted the text a little differently, "because the salt of the palace is 
our salt" (v. Sieg.), because we will suffer if the king's tribute falls off — 
not a very high motive for their fidelity. The mng. must be, because 
we are bound to protect the king's interests, therefore we send this 
despatch. Esd. offers a radically different text, and a sadly erroneous 
one: because matters at the temple are pressed forward, another reflection 
of the temple-building story. 

A second reason for their report is: it is not right for us to wit- 
ness the king^s dishonor]. The word rendered "dishonor" has 
the root meaning nakedness; that is the idea here, it is not right 
to see the king stripped bare of his lawful tribute and territory. 
— 15. In the hook of thy father^ s memoirs]. The words imply 
that the kings kept a record of events presumably for reference. 

EZRA 47-2"^ lyj 

These Sam. knew that the records desired could be found only in the 
archives of the kings of As. and Bab.; "fathers" therefore is used in 
the sense of predecessors. Any story of Judean revolts since the time 
of Cy. would not be adequate, esp. as it is added that the revolts were 
in the olden days. The reference is to the revolts of Judah in the 
century preceding the collapse of 587: note therefore this city was de- 
stroyed, i. e., by Nebuchadrezzar: from the Bab. point of view the 
destruction of Jerus. was a punishment for rebellion. In fact, Judah 
had been a vassal long before 587, but was ever ready to seize a promis- 
ing moment for rebellion. The Sam. knew the history of Jerus., and 
knew it correctly. Curiously Art. and his officers were entirely igno- 
rant of the past history of this province. 

16. This verse is a summarising of the whole matter: we 
make known to the king [Esd. "to thee, O lord king"] that if this 
city is built and its walls finished, then thou wilt have no portion 
beyond the River] that is, the whole Syrian province will be lost 
to Persia. In other words, the complainants assume that if the 
Jews complete their project, they will proceed to reduce their 
neighbours to subjection by restoring the old empire of David. 
There could hardly be plainer evidence of the correct date, for 
such a result could never ensue from the building of a temple, 
but only from the repairing of the walls and the restoration of 
the houses in the city. Esd. has a different reading for the 
latter part of the verse : there will no longer be an outlet for thee 
to the province beyond the River. The meaning is not essentially 

12. Nin'?] Esd. T(p xupf«p reading nirr'. Mar. explains preformative 
S as a change due to the similarity of the form with mni (§ «5n)j gtr. 
otJierwise (§ ^^^); v. AJSL, xiii. — ^n1'?-Jc].f There is difference of 
opinion about the composition, v. Mar. § "^, Kautzsch,i28. i. There 
is prob. a n. which has lost its force in the prep.; the mng. is like Hcb. 
DpD, and so "from thee" or "from thy presence." (& has dx6 xiipou'', 
dcxo Qou^, xap* Ctxuv^ °-^^ ^^•. — NjiSj?]. The Massoretic pointing sep- 
arates this from preceding word, giving, therefore, the impression that 
the complainants were at Jerus. The pause should be on this word, 
separating it from what follows. — xnnp] lacking in (S>^, but by an ob- 
vious error. — Nmis] Vv. "•!'; on the form v. Mar. § ", Kautzsch, § "<* 
{kattd). It is equivalent to Heb. tto. From Esd, we infer some fur- 
ther n. than city. The passage would then run to Jerus. the rebellious 
city, and they are building its — . — Mar. ct al., adopt Qr. 'hhyif *t>nv^i] 


but this cannot mean they have finished the walls, otherwise the com- 
plaint would have been too late. V. " indicates that the walls are not 
finished. The Vrss. o£fer some variety: (& xal to: TrsixT) aOt^? x.aTT]p- 
Ttaiilvot slfft'v, they are repairing (or finishing) the walls, using the 
same word for SSj in vv. "• ^^ 5'- »• " 6'< (but in v. " ^ has eTottiaaefi). 
Esd. has xal Tii i^lyri Gspaxeuouat, but CTuvrsXsaOyj in v. '^, showing a 
different Aram. vb. here. 3 Esd. et slatimnt muros. ©sp. may have 
the mng. repair, and that is the sense required here. — vjin'' niji-ni] offers 
serious difficulty. (& has xal GsfAeXfou? auT^<; dtvutj^waav, H c/ paricles 
cotnponentes. Esd. x,al votbv ixo^aXXovxat^^, x. v. uxeppiXXovTa Gsijls- 
XioOaivK 3 Esd. et templiim suscilant. Esd. is clear in one respect, the 
reference being to the temple. The usual rendering "they have re- 
paired the foundations," is impossible after the statement about the 
walls. Many conjectures have been made (v. BDB. s. v. toin and the 
comm.). Str. reads la-in', as 5'", "laid the foundations." Jensen derives 
from As. hatu, "examine," an unsuitable sense here. Haupt calls it 
Afil of iSiOn, "excavate the rubbish" (Guthc,^^), likewise impossible here. 
"They are repairing the gates" would be the best sense, but there 
is no basis for this reading. It is more natural to follow Esd. and 
place Nnci^ai . . . Knxnp in apposition with aSa'n\ The separation of 
the obj. from its vb. by these adjectives, as is usually done, is very 
awkward. — pja] is left without an obj., but the text is wrong in any 
event; the ptc. would not be used with the verbs following in the impf. 
C5^ has xal o!xoSo[j.oOatv auTijv. Esd. has olxoiiatv [o£xo8otJ.ouat^^] t(4<; 
•re dcyopti? au-c^?. 3 Esd. cedificant furnos ejus. 'AYopi is used in Eccl. 
i2<- « Ct. 32 for pv^, "a street," which is really an Aram, word, and 
which may have been confused with iia' though nvi* is represented. In 
the case of a modern city, laying out its streets would be a first step, 
but that would hardly be the case in an ancient Oriental town. Yet 
from V. " if this city be built, and v. " this city shall not he built, we 
might infer that city was meant here; but there are three counts in 
V. ", reduced to two in v. " and to one in v. ^^ so that the phrases are 
not repeated. Indeed, we should expect a generalisation in the latter 
passage. Some form of nj3 is well attested, and some obj. is required. 
Now Ni"'.!:'''N3i does not recur with tm^^'^p in v. ^^, and is an anticlimax. 
The crux of the charge is that Jerus. had been a rebellious city. That 
it was "bad" would have had no significance. It may be that the 
obj. of "build" is concealed in this word, though it is not easy to con- 
jecture its nature. 

13. Esd. lacks noSd*? . . . ]V2. The words may be an accidental rep- 
etition from V. ". — nSni iSa m:D] v. ^o 724, (g ^dpot oux, eaovrat"^, ^dpwv 
■jcpa^tv xal auvx^XeafAa';, Esd. (popoXoytav ou \iA] uTCO[i.£tva>acv Soiivat. ^ as 
often shows correction from MT. (& has had our text, but in 1*73 has 
seen a negative (xS) and in l^n a vb. (I'^'i')- nijc, or, better, nnn, so 
Heb. Ne. 5^ {cf. ma 6') is derived from As. mandaiii {nadanu, "give" 

EZRA 4^-2*» 177 

= Heb. jnj). 1':'3 is explained from As. biltu, "tax," or, better, from 
Iranian ball, "tribute." Mey. explains as tax in kind. iSn from vb. 
"go," is explained as money paid for going, "toll" (Mar. Glossary, 
Str. et d.); but such a derivation is not convincing though generally 
accepted. Another explanation is found in As. ilkn, "tax" (Ges."^, 
Winckler, Alt. Forsch. xv,"' '•). Winckler supposes iSa to be a corrup- 
tion of iS3> of the original text, and renders the passage: "they will 
withhold tribute and pay no taxes" {pp. cit.). He is close to the truth, 
but it is better to follow Esd. {v. s.). Mey. regards (& as evidence that 
the translators were no longer able to distinguish the three kinds of 
tribute. — onaxlfning. dub.; Andreas emends dddn, Pers. afsos, "in- 
jury"; usually explained as mng. "in the end"; Scheft. (BDB.) "treas- 
uries," from Zend pathwa. Mey, gets mng. "income." — a^^hc] "an 
unsupportable Hebraism" (Mey. Ent.'^*); he would rd. saSn, so "the 
revenues of the king." — pTjnn] vv. "• *' Dn. 6' f; on the form v. 
Kautzsch, § "• 2bj third p. f. used in neuter sense, "it will injure," or 
it may go back at least in sense to nnp (Berth.). (S xaxoxotet^^, 
fix^-Qaouatv'^, Esd. dvTtaTTQaovrat. The last word in 2 Ch. 13' '• repre- 
sents pin in Hithp., but sense prob. "rebel against" as 3 Esd. resistent. 
— 14. nn>'] (K with great literalness, iaxw-oaovt], the rendering in many 
places of Heb. T\^-\y, which is apparently the same word used here. — ■ 
15. N^nDi] Heb. ?n3T, cf. Mai. 3", "memorandum-book"; here the 
royal annals. The phrase is wanting in (SP^ in the second place; Esd. 
ev Tot<; axb twv xaripuv aou ^t^Xtotc;. — p^s] Heb. njiin, cf. 2', Esd. xoXetq. 
— -inns'N] V. " t from ■na', Dn. 6i=, Mar. § ^'^, <& (fu^a&zioL. — pi2j;] (& 
BoijXuv, by an easy misunderstanding. Esd. luoXcopxta? auveataixlvoc, 
may represent this text, giving to ■nna'N a mng. somewhat different 
from the received one, "enduring sieges." — 16''. (Sfi^ has only oux laxiv 
cot efp-QVT). Esd., e^oSo?, has rd. pVn as I'jn {cf, v. "). C5 is certainly 
not based on our text exc. for "ff nh. 

17-24'. The edict of Artaxerxes and its execution. 

The king sent a reply to Rehum, Shimshai, and their associates 
saying that the annals had been searched and their charges against 
Jerus. sustained. Therefore he directs his oflficers to stop the building 
of the city until authorisation is given by him. The oiEcers proceed 
to Jerus. with a body of troops and stop the operations. 

17. As the text stands we naturally take the whole verse, 
except the last two words, as introductory to the letter, the king 
sent a decree to Rehum]. The passage is so read in the Vrss. 
The Greek has and the king sent back to Rehum . . . peace and 
command. Esd., then the king wrote back to Rehum . . . the 


subjoined letter, as in v. ". The names of the persons addressed 
are, however, an essential part of the letter itself, and we have 
a good beginning of the letter with those names: to Rehum. . . . 
Peace to you. And now]. The first clause is then all that we have 
by way of introduction, the king sent a decree. We note, how- 
ever, that the name of the king is not found in the reply at all. 
It is therefore quite likely that the text is corrupt and that the 
verse originally read: Artaxerxes the king to Rehum et al., that is, 
there was no introduction at all, but only the letter itself. — 
18. The letter which you sent unto us has been read before me in 
translation}. As the singular is used elsewhere, "unto us" must 
be a mistake for "unto me." "Plainly read," as usually ren- 
dered, is found also in Ne. S^; ARV." has "or translated." That 
is the correct sense. The king probably did not understand 
Aramaic, and his scribes therefore would translate the letter. 
The word occurs in the Eleph. pap. v,^ where "explained" seems 
to be the meaning. Esd. has a simpler text : I have read the let- 
ter which you sent to me, obtained by omitting two of the Aramaic 
words. — 19. / issued an order and they searched and found}. 
The search was made in the annals suggested in v. ^\ The dis- 
coveries amply justified the charges of the accusers; for the 
king's secretaries unearthed these facts concerning Jerusalem: 
this city from olden time has risen against kings, and rebellion and 
insurrection have been made in it]. This verse indorses the com- 
plaint of v. ^^ which should apparently be reproduced. The 
words all recur, but in a different connection. — 20. The search 
uncovered more than the accusers had charged; for three new 
points are made: (i) Mighty kings were over Jerusalem], show- 
ing that only the Judean kingdom was involved. (2) And they 
ruled over all the province beyond the River], all the Persian domin- 
ions west of the Euphrates. (3) And tribute, custom and toll 
{v. on V. ^^) were paid to them]. The last two clauses are combined 
in Esd., ruling and taxing the province beyond the River. The 
conditions described in (2) and (3) were never true except in 
the time of David and Solomon, and Ryle supposes that those 
kings are meant here. But Sieg. rightly questions whether the 
archives found in Persia would preserve records of the Judean 


EZRA 4^-2^" 179 

history of that period. In the time of David, moreover, Jerusa- 
lem could hardly be described as a rebellious city, at least so 
far as foreign kings were concerned. If the king had a copy of 
the inscriptions of Sennacherib, there would be adequate data 
for his purpose. There is really no need of assuming the pres- 
ence of a Jewish hand here. It is assumed that should Jerusalem 
be rebuilt and its walls restored, it would regain the power it 
had had in the pre-exilic days. This expectation was far from 
realisation in the period before Nehemiah; but it was sufficient 
to arouse the apprehensions of a king who was always fearing 
rebellion in the subject provinces. — 21. Make now a decree] is 
surely not what we look for, since the officers could scarcely 
expect to stop the building by a decree. It is better to read as 
in V. ^^, now a decree is made, i. e., by this letter; or as Esd., now 
therefore I command to stop these men, i. e., the Jewish builders. 
— And that city shall not he built]. Nothing is said about walls, 
but the word "city" is used comprehensively, so that the injunc- 
tion stops every kind of building operations. Esd. combines the 
clauses, to prevent those men from building the city. — Until a decree 
is issued from me], A clause lacking in Esd. The injunction 
could only be dissolved by the one who made it. This condi- 
tion was necessary, as without it the decree might be regarded 
as binding even though the king had changed his mind, and 
such a change was surely possible. 

22. Be warned against doing remissly in this matter]. The 
king did not appreciate the hostile purpose of the complainants; 
he did not realise how eager they would be to execute his orders; 
and he was aware that royal decrees were not always taken very 
seriously in remote provinces. — Lest injury should increase to 
royal loss]. The interrogative sentence of EV^. shows a strange 
misunderstanding of the text. — 23. Then after the copy of the 
letter]. "Copy" creates the same difficulty here as in v." 
and as "plainly" in v. ", which is from the same root. "Trans- 
lation of the letter" would be better. — Was read in the presence 
of Rehum]. The royal messenger who brought the edict prob- 
ably read or translated it to the officers and their council. Here 
only Rehum's official title is lacking, probably due to an error 


of a copyist. Esd. has here a preferable text: (hen the writing oj 
King Artaxerxes being read, Rehum et al. proceeded, etc, — They 
proceeded in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews], A considerable 
time must have elapsed between the sending of the despatch and 
the receipt of the reply, especially as an investigation of the 
archives in Persia was necessary. The building meanwhile had 
continued, all the more vigorously if the Jews suspected the 
effort to stop their work. The moment the injunction comes to 
hand the zealous ofhcials hasten to put it in force. — And stopped 
them with force and power]. Esd. has a better reading in two 
points. It says marching to Jerusalem at speed with cavalry and 
a multitude in battle array, they began to restrain the builders. The 
clauses are in better order, the "armed force" being connected 
with "march." Then it brings out the fact that the officers 
required armed men to enforce obedience to the royal decree, 
showing that Jerusalem had a considerable power at the time. 
• — 24". Then the work stopped]. This is the concluding portion 
of the "correspondence." The rest of the verse is connected with 
c. 5, the Aramaic account of the building of the temple. The 
narrative of Nehemiah shows graphically how utterly the at- 
tempt to restore Jerusalem had failed. We may safely infer 
that the builders scattered to the various towns of Judah, that 
the enemy destroyed the work that had been accomplished, so 
that Jerusalem was left as desolate as in 587; for again "its 
walls were broken down, and its gates burnt with fire." 

, 17/ KDJinB] 5'- " 6^1 Dn. 3" 4" f Bib. Heb. Eccl. 8" Est. i^" f. From Old 
Pefs. paiigama (Andreas, Mcy. £wi." '•). 05^^ lacks the word, possibly 
because its mng. was unknown; 05^ has a feeble rendering, trbv X6yov. 
Esd. combines with rhz', if that represents same text, t6t£ dvr^ypot'J'ev. 
— cnyjD DW] (S^^ etp-^vTjv xal (piacv, both being apparently obj. of axia- 
TEtXev. C5^ efpi^vTQ uy.Iv. xal vOv. This represents a good text reading 
raS for npi. uhv is not "prosperity," as BDB., but "peace to you," 
a common greeting. The greeting is lacking in Esd.; in place of last 
two words t^re is t<3: CixoyeYpatipi^va as in v. ". 3 Esd. ca qua sub- 
jeda sunt. — 18. fiBD] f lacking in (^^^ and Esd.; CS^ aacpox;. It is a 
good Heb. word, v. Ne. 8', and has the same sense. It is here used 
adverbially. — ^•\p] as in Heb. means call or read. ^^^ exXiqOtq, a render- 
ing necessitated by translating Njin'^^'j, (fog6\oyoq. C5^ follows closely 
MT. Esd. has a simpler text for the whole v.: 'Av^yvcov [legt 3 Esd.] 

EZRA 47-2" « 181 

Tfjv £xiaToX'J)v rjv xex6tApai:e xpb? [jii, lacking therefore tt'ian and ■'mp. 
—^19) bj?b]. Here and in v. " *" ^ was forced to translate and uses 
YvciiJLT]; but <J6^ in ''b gJ)Y[J.a. — laynn] (5 yivovcat^^, Yfyvovxai^ Esd. 
has o\ fivSpwicoi as 3ubj. — 20. i"ifl>pn] see Mar. § ^^. Esd. Jaxupol xal 
axXT]pol. — i^r^'^tt'] ^ IxtxpaToOvTe?, Esd. xupteiiovreq, both texts reading 
as a ptc. The rest of v. appears in Esd. thus: xoti (popoXoyoOvTsi; xoJXtqv 
Supfav xal 4>o'.v(xT]v; whether this is a free rendering or represents a 
simpler text, it is hard to say. — 21. ^^D^"'] rd. as in v. ", a''C or ncu", / 
make a decree; cf. Esd. Ix^xa^a. — asrii n::>'j 'jD-n>"]. ^^'^ was apparently 
puzzled by this passage; we find etc [6xm<;A] dtxb trig YvcifJiT)? = p n;? 
NDya. (6^ shows our text, though disarranged in Lagarde. Esd. lacks 
the passage altogether; but in v. 22* it has a rendering which covers the 
ground, and to take heed that nothing be against this, reading Sy, against, 
and getting a negative in ■hv. — 22. ]ninr] f Pe. pass, ptc; it is the 
same as Heb. ini, which may be of Aram, origin. (5 xz(f\ikcf^\^hof.^^, xpo- 
oix^Te'", Esd. xpovoTjOTJvat. — 'h'y\ (8 aveatv^^ ^capii Xoyov^. — naS] C5 [ii^ 
xoTs, Esd. \i.t], i. e., nS. The force is that of Heb. js, cf. Kautzsch, § s'- ". 
— Nj'j'^] appears in Esd., xpo^fj 1x1 xXeiov, evidence of the free render- 
ing which often characterises this text. (S^ xXiq6uv6^ c^oSpa. — ^San] (6 
i(f(xvtG[L6q, apparently interpreting like Heb. h2n "destruction,'* Esd. 
xfl? ■Ko.y.ioLZ. — 23. ]yy'\D n-p] lacking in ^^^, ih a.v:(■^px<fov^=i<:^^\^), Toi3 
SoYtJ.otToc;!'. The title of Rehum is missing here; it is found only in (S^- 
(P^Xt££[a). In spite of the strong support of MT., the title must have 
been in the original. — iSrx] Esd. graphically brings out the true con- 
ception in ivoiQed^aiYzsq, a common word in Mac. representing Heb. 
J?Dj in Ex. and Nu. (v. Hatch and Redpath, Concord.). — xmni-Sjj] 
lacking in Esd.; (S xal Iv 'IoOSij;BA^ |xl tou? 'louSafouc;'' correctly. — 
ymNa] C5 Iv Yxxon;, Esd. ^ett* Yxxou^'^, [aet' YxxuvI-. The word means 
arm literally as Heb. ynix. The Gk. rendering is hard to explain, 
but as 331. is thus translated in Ex. 14' Jos. i7'«- " i K. 16' 2 Ch. 2i» 
Is. 38", that may be what was seen or imagined here. — Sin] ^ Suvisxet, 
Esd. 3xXou xapaxi^eox; (Ta%iu<;'') . — 24''. jnxj C5 t6t£. This form with 
prep, occurs 26 t. in Dn., but in Ezr. only here and s'^ 6^. The mng. is 
the same as jnx. 

I formerly thought that v. '* was from the Chr.'s hand, and written 
to connect the correspondence of Art. with the building of the temple 
in c. 5. The text of Esd. forbids that commonly received interpreta- 
tion. In Esd. 2" we have the v. in its entirety: and the building of the 
temple which is in Jcrus. ceased until the 2d year of the reign of Dar. 
the king of Pers. This differs from Aram, in having "temple" instead 
of "house of God," and in the omission of the meaningless "and it 
was ceasing" (xSoa mm). But we find a part of this repeated in Esd. 
S'°, "and they prevented the building two years until the reign of 
Dar.; and in the 2d year of the reign of Dar. Hg. and Zc. prophe- 


sied" (6"). 24'' of Aram, text is plainly discerned here. The clause 
"until the reign of Dar." is from 4^ where we have added "king of 
Pers." as in Esd. 2". Now 5' in MT. lacks a necessary date, and the 
defect is supplied in Esd. correctly. It appears, therefore, that the Art. 
correspondence originally ended with the words, " and the work ceased, " 
while the Aram, temple-building narrative began "in the 2d year of 
the reign of Dar." When these two narratives were joined as in MT. 
there was added in 4=^ "the house of God which is in Jerus." The 
meaningless words "and it was ceasing" first appeared in the Esd. text 
to connect 5' with 4= (of MT.). 


1''"°. Pilgrims from Judah bring tidings of the sad plight 
of Jerusalem. — 1. The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah]. 
This is a heading, like a title-page prefixed to any other book. 
This was probably added by an editor when our books were 
compiled. — And it was in the month Kislev, twentieth year]. 
Kislev is the 9th month in the Hebrew calendar (cf. Ezr. 
io9) = November-December (Zc. 7^ i Mac. i^^). "Twentieth 
year" is defective, as there is no further definition; it is an 
interpolation by the Chronicler. This date as well as that in 
2^ were taken from 5^*. The date in 2^ is the ist month of the 
20th year, therefore this must be the 19th year of Artaxerxes, 
unless, as Wellhausen suggests, the year is reckoned after the 
Syrian fashion as beginning in the autumn {Is.-Jud. Gesch}''^). 
Susa or Shushan (Dn. 8^ Est. i^- ^) was the winter residence of the 
Persian kings. We find a correct geographical note in a Greek 
text, "Susa the metropolis of the Persians." This story opens, 
therefore, like Ezra's, on foreign soil. The palace or royal castle 
is added to define more closely the abode of Nehemiah. He was 
at the palace in the city of Shusban, because he was a court 
official (v. '^^). — 2. And Hanani came in to me] "to me" being 
rightly added from <i>. — One of my brethren] or one of my brothers. 
"Brother" in OT. may denote one born of the same parents, a 
more distant relative, a fellow-countryman, or even one bound 
to another by a covenant. From the expression in 7^, " Hanani 
my brother," it is likely that he was a near relative and may be 
a literal brother. He went to Jerusalem with Nehemiah and 


was placed in a position of trust by him. — He and men from 
Judah]. Hanani apparently had not been in Judah himself, 
but he had heard tidings from a company of returning pilgrims, 
and had brought them to the cup-bearer, because of his high 
position and commanding influence, as well as his known in- 
terest in the welfare of Jerusalem. The visit was scarcely acci- 
dental, and so Hanani deserves credit for starting the important 
mission of Nehemiah. — And I asked them], not Hanani, but the 
men from Judah. They had been introduced to him as return- 
ing pilgrims and the question to them was natural. — Concerning 
the Judeans, the remnant who have survived from the captivity, and 
concerning Jerusalem]. The text is overloaded probably by a 
gloss (the remnant). The implication is that those who had 
survived the captivity were few in number. The reference may 
be either to those who had always remained in Judah, and so 
support in a way the radical view that there was no return, or 
to the small number who were left of those who had gone up 
from Babylonia. It is probably a specific reference to those who 
had gone up in the time of Artaxerxes (Ezr. 4^^) and who had 
made a vain attempt to restore the walls. — 3. The survivors who 
have survived from the exile there in the province]. For province 
V. on Ezr. 2^. The particularity of these words supports the 
view that Nehemiah has in mind those who had gone up to Jeru- 
salem, otherwise "exile" would be strangely used as a note of 
time. — Are in great distress and in contempt]. Nearly a century 
after the decree of Cyrus, the condition of the people in Judah 
was almost hopeless. They were few in number, at least in 
Jerusalem, and were poor and oppressed. — And the wall of Jeru- 
salem is breached and its gates have been burned with fire]. This 
is said not to explain the distress of the people, but to reply to 
the second part of Nehemiah's question. He had inquired 
about the people and about the city. Both questions are an- 
swered, but with singular brevity. Nehemiah may have only 
recorded the substance of the report. It suffices, however, to 
show that some great calamity had befallen the holy city. — 
Breached or perhaps broken down] the word is too indefinite to 
describe accurately the extent of damage to the walls. 


To what catastrophe does this report refer? The great majority of 
scholars have explained it as that of 586 B.C. Then the Bab. army 
broke down (rnj) the whole wall of Jerus. and burned (ins') the tem- 
ple, the palace, and all the houses of the city (2 K. 25 ^^ Jer. .3q» .i;2 " '■ 
2 Ch. 36". The last clause Torrey regards as a gl. (ES.'»»), but it is 
immaterial, for the city was pretty effectually destroyed, but there is 
nothing said about the gates, though they must also have been burnt, 
as that was the usual course in the destruction of a city. Yet a very 
plausible description is found in Lam. 2^, "her gates are sunk into the 
ground," implying that being made useless by the breaking of the walls 
they were left to rot. These accounts are all manifestly dependent 
upon a single source, for they all use the same words for "break down" 
and "burn." Now in our text with "walls" we have the pred. rxisc, 
the only occurrence of the Pu., and strictly speaking the word means 
breached. Little stress can be laid on that (against Sieg.), for in Is. 5= 
and other places the same word seems to refer to complete destruction. 
For the burning we have ns> here and in 2" and Sox in 2'- " instead of 
liiS' in 2 K. That this story is not dependent, therefore, upon the his- 
torical sources cited above is shown by the employment of different 
words for the same act and by the silence in regard to the gates; and it 
is to be noted that the burning of the gates is a prominent feature of 
this narrative. 

Neh. is deeply affected by the tidings about Jerus. He makes no 
reference to what was said about the people, but the destruction of 
Jerus. depresses him deeply. He weeps, fasts, and prays for days and 
nights, and even after three months is unable to control his distress 
when in the presence of the king and when his depression is perilous to 
himself. The query insistently arises whether he would have been so 
distressed by hearing of a calamity which had occurred one hundred and 
fifty years before. Kost. explains his distress as due to the continued 
dispersion of Israel {Wied.^ f), but this scholar lays too much stress 
upon the prayer, which is not authentic, and too little upon undis- 
puted facts. Neh.'s work was the rebuilding of the city, not the gath- 
ering of the scattered exiles. Furthermore, when he asked the pilgrims 
about the condition of Jerus. it is most unnatural that their sole report 
should be a description of a condition which had stood unchanged for a 
century and a half. That might have been a true account, but it could 
scarcely be regarded as the latest news from the holy city. Suppose 
Neh. as ignorant of Judean conditions as we may, it is incredible that 
he should be unaware of Nebuchadrezzar's destruction of the walls. 

We might find an explanation by supposing that there was an expec- 
tation that the walls and gates had been restored, and the grief of 
Neh. would then be due to his disappointment that such is not the 
case. The report would then be tantamount to the statement that 
nothing had yet been done. But the language used forbids such an 


interpretation, even if it would meet the case. The report is the wall 
of Jerus. is breached and its gates have been burned with fire. This news 
is a great surprise to Neh. and is the most significant fact in the affairs 
of Jerus. The conditions require a recent calamity, not one of one 
hundred and fifty years' standing. 

Therefore we must suppose that since 536 B.C. the walls had been 
restored in some sort of way and new gates set in place. On a priori 
grounds such a movement is highly prob. For the people had been 
able to build ceiled houses for themselves (Hg. i^, and had restored the 
temple. Without walls the city would be at the mercy of any maraud- 
ing band of hostile neighbours. We are not left to conjecture, how- 
ever, for we have exact information in Ezr. 4'-", where there is a clear 
account of an attempt to rebuild the walls of Jerus. Neh. knew of 
that expedition and was anxiously awaiting news of the accomplish- 
ment of its supreme purpose. Hanani fell in with some pilgrims who 
had Just come back from Judah, and took them to his influential and 
patriotic brother. From them Neh. learned of the disastrous failure 
of the expedition. It was natural that he should be surprised and de- 

4. And when I had heard these words I sat down and wept]. 
That was the immediate result of the surprise and disappoint- 
ment in regard to affairs at Jerusalem. As Nehemiah's distress 
was too great to be relieved by one outburst of tears, we have 
the description of continued action: and I mourned for days [de- 
noting an* indefinite period] and [during those days] / was fast- 
ing and praying before the God of heaven]. On the God of heaven 
V. Ezr. i2- 6-11 a_ 

Nehemiah''s prayer. — 5. Yahweh the great and terrible God], 
for which <S reads the mighty, the great and the terrible, usual attri- 
butes of the God of heaven, v. 4^ 9^^. Yahweh occurs nowhere 
in N. — Keeping the covenant and mercy] joins incongruous ideas; 
for the first clause means being faithful to an agreement made 
with the nation. We should expect a word like "showing" 
before "mercy." But we find "keep mercy" in Ps. 89'^. On 
the nature of "mercy" v. Bennet, Post-Ex. Pr.^^ '■. The 
phrase is a hackneyed one and is of Deuteronomic origin (Dt. 
f- 12 I K. 823 Dn. 9<). The whole verse is found in the last- 
named passage with very slight differences. It appears to be a 
stereotyped form of prayer. — 6. Let now thy ears be attentive] 
called by Sieg. "a special Nehemian formula," on the basis of 


V. ". But we find the expression in Solomon's prayer, 2 Ch. 6'"' 
Ps. 130^ (also a prayer). — And thine eyes open] cj. i K. 8^'- ^^ 
2 Ch. 520 715. Here again we have the stock phrases of prayer. 
— Which I am praying before thee to-day, day and night]. The 
participle denotes continuous action in harmony with v. ^ and 
with "day and night"; but "to-day" would mean a specific 
time. The text seems to be original, but we may suspect the 
Chronicler's hand. — And making confession of the sins of the sons 
of Israel which they have sinned against thee]. The text has 
"we" as subject of "have sinned," but with (& and U we must 
read "they." Confession was a typical part of the Hebrew 
prayers, and indeed is a part of the true prayers of all worship- 
pers. — And I and the house of my father have sinned]. From this 
statement Nehemiah's Davidic descent has been inferred. Such 
a conclusion is not improbable, as the sin of his house is sep- 
arated from that of the people generally. That relationship 
would explain his interest in Judah and his sense of responsibil- 
ity. The view has other support {cf. note on 2^). The sin is the 
general disregard of the law of God, going back through past 
centuries and extending down to the present. To this long- 
standing wickedness is ascribed the present unhappy failure to 
restore the walls and thus make Jerusalem a city capable of 
defence against her neighbours. — 7. We have acted very cor- 
ruptly against thee], a general positive statement, followed by 
the negative and more specific: and we have not kept the command- 
ments and the statutes and the judgments [typical Deuteronomic 
words] which thou didst command Moses thy servant]. Moses is 
very often called the servant of God (Jos. i pass, i K. 8 ^3- ^ and 
cf. further in Ryle). — 8. Saying] would properly introduce a 
direct quotation from the words of Moses. The alleged quota- 
tion extends through v. ^^. But these words are not found in 
the Pentateuch. Nevertheless the phrases are mostly Deuter- 
onomic. The passage from which this is mainly drawn is Dt. 
30^-5, not 2920 ff-, as Sieg. says. But the passage in Dt. has 
nothing in it about transgressing; it presupposes the exile as a 
punishment for sin, and deals with the repentance of Israel and 
the consequent restoration of the exiles to the land of their 


fathers, making them greater than they had ever been before; 
therefore the passage must be exiUc. — If you transgress, I will 
scatter you among the nations]. The threat of dispersion is fre- 
quent in the pre-exilic literature: Dt. 4^^ (the same words, but 
in third person with Yahweh as subject) 28^* Je. 9^* Ez. ii^^ 
et pass. — 9. // you return unto me and keep my commandments 
and do them], the first part of the conditional sentence, contain- 
ing the protasis. Returning to God and keeping his command- 
ments are not the same thing, as Ryle states; the latter is the 
result of the former. — Though your banishment be in the end of 
heaven], taken verbatim from Dt. 30* except "thy" becomes 
"your." Some mss. of ^ have from the end of heaven to the end 
of heaven, i. e., from one end of heaven to the other, as Dt, 4^^ 
(but not Ju. 7" which Ryle cites). In Dt. 28^* we have the more 
appropriate idea: "Yahweh will scatter thee among the nations 
from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth." Heaven 
cannot be right. It is true that it is conceived possible for a 
man to climb up to heaven (Am. 9^), but that is the bold flight 
of the prophet, while our passage is intensely literal. — Then 
comes the apodosis: From there I will gather you and bring you 
in]. We must read "you" instead of "them," as Dt. 30* and 
some Greek texts and U. — Unto the place], but Dt. 30^ has "unto 
the land." Here the reference is to the city. — Where I have 
elected to cause my name to dwell] is a frequent Deuteronomic 
description of Jerusalem, Dt. 12" 14^2 J56. u 26^ 4- fifteen times. 
The phrase is not found elsewhere in the Pentateuch. — 10. 
And these are thy servants and thy people], "These" would refer 
to the Jews struggling in Jerusalem; but the whole verse is a 
loose quotation from Dt. 92^: "and these are thy people and thy 
inheritance whom thou broughtest out with thy great power and 
with thy outstretched arm." The words differ slightly, but 
the sense is the same. — Mighty hand] occurs in Dt. many times; 
so does redeem. ^ gives a different turn, we are thy servants 
and thy people. — 11". The prayer returns to supplication and 
repeats in part v. ®. (& adds a clause: do not turn away thy face. 
— And unto the prayer of thy servants] implies that others than 
Nehemiah joined in his prayers. The following paradoxical 


clause who delight to fear thy name] requires some such antecedent 
as (& provides. But there is no hint of any other supplicant. — 
And prosper, I pray, thy servant this day, and grant him compas- 
sion before this man]. These words have a genuine ring and, 
unlike the rest of the prayer, they have something to do with 
the case in hand. But they have no relation to the preceding 
passage, which was a lament over Israel's unhappy condition. 
The words show that the supplicant has a definite purpose in 
hand, and that he was about to make some request from the 
king. Artaxerxes is called "this man," a use absolutely inex- 
plicable as the connection stands, for the king has not been 
mentioned, and he certainly was not present, as the words im- 
ply. But we can easily put this clause in its right place. In 
2^ we have I prayed unto the God of heaven. That was a critical 
moment, and the prayer in v. " is in part exactly appropriate to 
that situation {v. i. 2'*). 

The authenticity of Neh.^s prayer. — Neh. was certainly much given to 
prayer. Doubtless he offered many prayers during the three months 
between his receipt of the bad report from Jerus. and his official audi- 
ence with the king. But it is difficult to believe that we have in vv. '->» 
the words he used. There are favourite words of the Chr. like "ryn, /- 
V. ', and the whole prayer is made up of passages and phrasesJr9ia,Et^ ^ 
It is true that in Christian praying there is an unhappy tendency to 
use stock and hackneyed expressions, and so the resemblance of this 
prayer to others in the OT. may not justify suspicion. But Neh. was 
not a common man, and would be unlikely to use such phrases. His 
memoirs show a peculiar, clear, succinct, and business-like style, and 
this prayer has no traces whatever of his hand. We must regard the 
prayer vv. ^-^ and part of v. " as the compilation of the Chr. It is in- 
deed perfectly possible that the Chr. has worked over a brief prayer 
found in N., since "I and the house of my fathers have sinned" is ap- 
parently genuine. But the Chr. has wrested v. " from its true connec- 
tion, and he may have composed the whole passage. It is true that even 
the most radical scholars have not questioned this passage. Torrey, for 
example, says: "C. i Ne. [the Chr.] seems to have left untouched" 
(Comp.^^). Mitchell, by no means radical, does doubt its authenticity 
(JBL. 1903,")- But I cannot believe that the striking similarity in 
ideas and phrases between this prayer on the one hand and Ezra's 
(Ezr. 9' *f) and Daniel's (Dn. 9^ ^■) on the other can be explained on the 
theory of Nehemian authorship. Moreover, "b joins very well to v. *. 


If Neh. recorded his prayer at all, it has been so elaborately worked over 
that the original cannot be recovered. Whoever composed the prayer 
either had Dt. before him, or knew it by heart. 

Note. Esd. fails us for Ne. (cxc. 8'-'^) and consequently our sources for 
textual criticism are comparatively poor.- — 1. r\>h::r]] XeT.xeta'^, XeXxt'ou^ 
(rTipSn), AxxkioL^^. — iVdj] only elsw. Zc. 7', SexsTj^ou^, xacserjT-oO^, 
XaaaXeu^; Bab. loan-word kislivu QBL. iSga,"', ZA. ii,"»). — m^jn] is 
applied to the temple (i Ch. 291- ", v. i. 2«). It may come from As. 
birtu or Pers. bura. The Greeks did not understand it, and so trans- 
literated apetpdc'^, d^eippi^, Tfj ^ipet^. — 2. ii2•'^] + xpbq [le^ = ''ha, a 
good reading. — min-'D] C5^a.x 'lo6Sa, but the prep, is better. — Dmn\n] 
lacking in 05°^^. A better text would be obtained by omitting naiSa, 
which might easily be an explanatory gl. — 3. nxtr'j itTN] lacking in 
C6^; it is better omitted, as such overloading is more characteristic of 
the Chr. than of N. — nj;i2] ^^^ has a blundering dup., Iv xoXet [t'J?^] 
Iv xovTQpftjc; Iv xaxotq^. The use of the ptc. dsidd followed by pf. inxj is 
apparently accidental, as there is no difference in time intended. The 
only distinction we can make is that the one describes an existent con- 
dition: the wall is breached, and the other a past act: the gates have 
been burned with fire. — 4. In sense the v. divides at .ijaxi ; the con- 
struction has misled the Massorites. — a''Di] if ii^Ligaiq xoXkodq^, diebus 
multis U; this may be a free rendering, as it gives the correct idea 
(BDB. 5. ».).— 5. Skh] <g h layugiq, H fortis.—^on] (B^^ Tb eXed? aou, 
e. aitou^. Elsw. we find nonn (Dt. 7' Dn. g*). — 6. njtr|i] occurs elsw. 
only in v. ". Rd. mat^p H^JTn] (Guthe) so (S^ iSc wxi aou T:poalxovTa, H 
aures tuae auscultantes. — tJNani] (S^ T^^xapTov, H peccaverunt ; rd. ixan. 
— 7. 'ran] inf. cstr.; but used as absolute. (S^^^ renders StaXuaet, 
yiaxattSaei'^. Kittel suggests Pi., or ijSi;? hr;. — n"?] om. (S^ evoo{^. — nnajj] 
05 TcatSf, so V. «, but elsw. BoOXo?, H famido. — 8. "i3nn] C5^ t?)v Xdyov 
aou. — iS^'DH dhn]. 05 has edv, ^ adds (Ji.ot = i'7, which might easily have 
dropped after "h. Guthe inserts dn after opn, but a conditional sen- 
tence in Heb. may dispense with the part, Ges.^ n^ha^ — g, aom:] 05^ Btaa- 
Tpo(p-f), but ^^^ Staaxopdc, which becomes a technical word and is taken 
over into English, the diaspora = the scattering of the Jews among the 
nations. It is better with 05 to give the word an abstract sense, "ban- 
ishment," rather than "banished ones." — o^Dcn] 05^** add ew? fixpou xou 
oipavou = Diccn nxp ny. This may be implied also in (S^^ which has 
for nX|i3 dx' d'xpou = r\:ip'o, — aS3px] d^ auvd^w &[!.«?, H congregabo vos ; 
rd. therefore ajxaps and on the same grounds: Do^nNon. — 10. am] 05^ 
xai vuv ^], = unj nnyi. — inay] ^ has here xafSe?. — 11a. 05^^ has a 
plus after ■'JIN, \xi\ Ixta-rpiiJ'T)'; t?> ■Jcp6aw3c6v aou. — T^3i•] d^ tou Xaou aou, 
and so having: the prayer of thy people and the prayer of thy servants 
which corresponds to we are thy servants and thy people of v. '" and 
makes Neh. pray in a representative sense. 


l"''-2'. Nehemiah's depression was observed by the 
king; its cause is ascertained; and the cup-bearer is granted 
leave of absence and authority to rebuild Jerusalem. — ll**. 

Now I was one of the king^s cupbearers] two texts of (& have 
eunuchs. Whatever the text may have been, it is not improb- 
able that Nehemiah was eunuch as well as butler {v. Sta. BTP^). 
Graetz supposes Ps. 127 to be directed against him, to which 
Is. 5^ might be a reply (Berth.). The office of butler was 
honourable and lucrative at an Oriental court {DB. i/"^^). In- 
deed, in almost any court the most menial duties were performed 
by the nobility. Piers Gaveston, son of a Gascon knight, was 
made royal bootjack to Edward I, an office for which men of 
the highest birth were pining (Andrew Lang, Century, Oct. 

This section begins exactly as the first part of N. (lO now I was, etc. 
These words belong to the narrative in c. 2. They explain how Neh. 
obtained his audience with the king in the regular course of his duties; 
months of waiting intervened, however; therefore it is unlikely that he 
was the chief butler. It appears that his personal attendance upon 
the king was but infrequent. This fact lends support to the notion 
that he was a eunuch and so a general servant of the court. The words 
are more closely connected with 2"', and the intervening date is due 
to the Chr., who has borrowed it from 5". Following MT. we must 
connect thus: "I was one of the royal butlers, and in the month Nisan 
of King Art.'s 20th year, the wine was given to me, and I took up the 
wine and gave it to the king." 

II. 1. Nisan] was the ist month. Since Artaxerxes reigned 
464-424, his 20th year would be 444 B.C. — Wine was before me]. 
So we must read with (&. Before him of 1^ is contrary to fact, as 
the following statements show. — And I took up the wine and 
gave it to the king]. The wine was placed in Nehemiah's hands 
by the chief butler, and he took it up and carried it to the king. 
If ^ were right the meaning would be that the scene opened in 
the royal presence. 

The EV^. have tried to make black white by rendering the next 
clause, "now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence." But 
on what ground can we import "beforetime," and thus make the words 
imply the exact opposite of what they say? For the text says plainly 


I was not sad before him. This statement in turn is contradicted by the 
king's question in v. ^ which shows that Neh. was depressed in spirit 
and that the depression showed in his face. 05 reads and there was no 
companion with him; but that is contrary to v. « unless we limit "com- 
panion" to the sense of court ofl&cial. There is no difficulty if we 
interpret the words correctly. In the subsequent narrative the ex- 
pressions are : why is thy face sad ? why should my face not be sad ? but 
"face" is lacking here, and the word for "sad" is slightly different. 
In v.^ we have if thy servant is good before thee, i. e., is in favour. Here 
we have the negative antithesis: / was not evil before him, i. e., not out 
of favour with him, therefore Neh. had good hopes of a successful pre- 
ferring of his request. 

2. Why is your face sad?] The same question, in identical 
words, was asked by Joseph of Pharaoh's eunuchs, the butler 
and the baker, Gn. 40^. — Now thou art not sick; there is nothing 
now except sadness of heart]. The' king's diagnosis is accurate 
and penetrating. The servant shows by his appearance that 
he has no physical disease, but the months of fasting, praying, 
and worrying had left their indelible marks upon his face. The 
trouble was accurately located in the mind, for the heart is 
thus commonly used in Hebrew. Nehemiah's sufferings were 
mental. — And I was very badly frightened], Nehemiah had de- 
sired an audience with the king, though he had not intended 
to reveal his depressed spirits. But the consciousness of Jeru- 
salem's woes, his own anxiety to secure favour from his royal 
master, the natural embarrassment of the long-sought oppor- 
tunity, made a bigger burden than he could carry in conceal- 
ment. Now an Oriental monarch did not expect his servants 
to carry their personal troubles to him or to reveal them in his 
presence; indeed, very few people desire that of servants. 
Nehemiah knew that summary action might be taken. He 
might be punished, or, worse still, he might be banished from 
the royal presence without an opportunity to prefer his request. 
There was, therefore, abundant occasion for his fear. The king 
would scarcely believe that "by sadness of face the heart is 
made good" (Eccl. 7^). Nevertheless he did not allow his 
emotions to destroy his privilege, but promptly and frankly 
stated his case. — 3. May the king live forever]. This form of 


greeting is found elsewhere only in Aramaic, Dn. 2* 3', and in 
slightly different form in i K. i^K The usual greeting is "may 
the king live." — Inasmuch as the city of the house of the graves 
of my fathers lies waste and its gates have been consumed with fire], 
"House" is lacking in v. ^ and may be dispensed with here also. 
Nehemiah's statement is not quite the same in the first part as 
that of the pilgrims, i'. They said "the wall is broken down," 
while Nehemiah says "the city lies waste." He wisely chose 
a more general statement, for the mention of defensive walls 
would not make a favourable impression upon the king, who a 
few years before had ordered their restoration to stop. Nehe- 
miah was patriotic and perhaps of the seed royal; his words here 
indicate Davidic descent, for Jerusalem was particularly the 
burying-ground of the kings. Therefore he could not be other 
than sad in view of the desolation of Jerusalem. It is difficult 
to think we must here presuppose a catastrophe 150 years old. 
— 4. For what now dost thou make request?] The king's ques- 
tion shows that the great moment had come. Artaxerxes dis- 
closed an opening favourable to the patriot's purpose in that he 
invited his servant to make known his plan to right the evil 
conditions which lay so heavily upon his spirit. And I prayed 
to the God of heaven]. Nehemiah was a devoutly religious man. 
He believed strongly in the direct help of God at critical mo- 
ments. He had now reached the supreme moment of his life. 
Coolness and judgment were required on his part and sympathy 
and kindness on the king's part. Before making his plea, he 
pauses for a moment to invoke the interposition of God. His 
prayer must have been very short, as the king would not brook 
continued silence. The prayer is not given here, but, as shown 
above, we have the very petition required in 1", i. e., prosper y 
I pray, thy servant this day, and give him pity before this man. 
The use of the term "this man" is clear now, but incomprehen- 
sible in connection with c. i {v. s.). — 5. That thou wilt let him 
go to Judah, to the city of my fathers^ graves that I may rebuild it], 
"Him" with (S and i" is better than "me" of 1^ after "thy 
servant." The last clause "to the city," etc., is introduced for 
more exact definition of his destination. Nehemiah's request is 

NEHEMIAH 2 1 93 

simply for leave of absence, and the purpose of the leave was 
to rebuild the ruined city. He still says nothing about the 
walls. The naming of the city as the place of his ancestors' 
graves was to make an effective appeal to the king, as there was 
then as now great regard for the abode of the dead. — 6. Now 
the queen was sitting beside him]. It is pretty certain that 
"queen" is not the right rendering; it is equally sure that the 
exact meaning is unknown. It is probable that the name was 
applied to a favourite member of the harem, denoting the one 
who had the most dominating influence. Such situations have 
been known at other courts. 

(6 and If were puzzled by the passage and render: Tlte king and the 
queen who was sitting by him said to me. Some scholars have emended 
the text to conform to this idea. But the clause is manifestly paren- 
thetical. This woman is not mentioned cisw. There is no hint that 
she did or said anything. Yet the mention of her presence seems to be 
genuine. One explanation offers itself readily. Neh. attributes, at 
least in part, the gracious attitude of his sovereign to the presence of 
this woman. Without her saying a word, the king was moved to show 
the generous side of his character. But if Neh. owed anything to her 
presence, a more appropriate place to mention her would have been at 
the beginning or at the end of his story. Moreover, he would very 
prob. have stated more exactly what her good offices were. Therefore 
it may be that the suppliant sees in her presence an obstacle to his plans. 

The king shows an interest in spite of the presence of this 
woman. — For how long shall thy journey he? and when wilt thou 
return?] RV. Then the king asks only a single question, re- 
peating it in different words. That is improbable on the face 
of it, though that rendering is generally accepted. The first 
clause should read: at what time shall be thy departure? i. e., when 
do you wish to start? Then we have the two salient points fot 
a leave of absence, the time of departure and the time of return. 
— In v.** the clauses have become inverted by an error of a copy- 
ist. That will be made plain by restoring the right connection 
and order thus: at what time shall be thy departure? and when 
wilt thou return? Then I proposed to him a time. And it was 
acceptable to the king, and he granted me leave]. The received 


text empties the passage of logical sense and has led to unneces- 
sary emendation. According to 5" it appears that Nehemiah 
was appointed governor of Judah and that he was absent twelve 
years. Berth, says, "v.® foresees no twelve years' absence." 
That is true, but, on the other hand, as Nehemiah proposed to 
rebuild the city he could not have asked for a very short leave. 
If 5" is correct it is easy to suppose that Nehemiah secured from 
time to time an extension of his leave, a course by no means 

7-9* is accepted as genuine by most scholars, but the whole pas- 
sage as it stands has been so changed by the Chr. that one can pick out 
but little of the original. 9'' comes badly after 9", which describes the 
arrival in Syria, and puts the cart before the horse. The leave car- 
ried with it ample authority to pass through Syria, esp. to one with 
an armed escort. Torrey rejects the whole (see his arguments from 
the language, Comp.^'^). Winckler regards a part of the passage as 
genuine, but his criticism does not go to the root of the matter. In 
Neh.'s own account there is no reference to this grant exc. in v. ^ 
where it is unnecessary. There is buried in the passage, however, an 
important bit of information for which v. i. 

7. And I said to the king]. Nehemiah would have deferen- 
tially shown that he was making a supplementary request, such 
as we find in Gn. 18^' ^•; the Chronicler was not so tactful. 
— That they will let me pass through until I shall come into Judah]. 
The idea of the writer is that the Syrian satraps would have 
barred even the king's servant unless he were armed with a 
proper passport. — 8. Asaph the keeper of the king^s park]. Who 
Asaph was we do not know, but v. i. The name is Hebrew, but 
Nehemiah would not be likely to know the name of such an 
official in Syria. The Persian king would scarcely have a park 
in Palestine, and if he did, it would scarcely be the scene of 
extensive lumbering. Smith is content with sa3dng we do not 
know where this park was {Jer. i,^0- Asaph was to furnish 
timber for three purposes: (i) To make beams for the gates of 
the castle of the house]. The hirah or castle here, says Torrey, 
means "the fortified enclosure of the temple" (Comp.^^). But 
such an enclosure did not exist at this time, and the Chronicler 


uses birah for the temple itself (i Ch. 29^- "). Perhaps we 
should read the casUe, which is the temple, or the gates which 
appertain to the temple. (2) For the wall of the city]. The walls 
were built of stone, and the idea of beams seems to be due 
entirely to the Chronicler. It is unlikely that Nehemiah would 
have mentioned the "walls," but the Chronicler liked to see 
his characters clothed with ample and specific authority. (3) 
And for the house which I shall enter]. As Nehemiah's declared 
purpose was to rebuild the city, he is here by the Chronicler's 
hand removed rather far from his design. — 9. The first half 
of the verse relates Nehemiah's arrival before the governors 
beyond the river and the presentation of his credentials. Then 
the memoirs are reached again, but the construction forbids 
rendering as a circumstantial clause as EV^.; it is a straight- 
forward narrative: and the king sent with me army officers and 
horsemen]. In the Chronicler's arrangement this follows the 
arrival in Syria. Ezra at a later time felt the need of an armed 
escort {v. S^^), but he had forestalled such an aid by his religious 
protestations. Nehemiah had no such scruples. The mention 
of officers and cavalry indicates that the guard was of con- 
siderable size. The dangers of the journey were doubtless very 
real. We have not a word about the trip. The patriot was 
not concerned about a history of his travels, but only about 
the work to be done in Jerusalem. , 

ll*". npcn] eOvouxoi;^'*, o!vox6o<;^, pincerna V. The first is prob. 
a confusion within C5, on account of the similarity of words,' as we 
could hardly explain a change from d^d. On the syntax, v. Ges-^'^go, 
JiB'pD is really a ptc. and means "one who gives drink." In the sense 
of "butler" it is used only here and in the story of Joseph (Gn. 40/.). 
— ^n. 1. p'j] Est. 3^1, often in later Heb.; from Bab. nisdnu. The old 
Heb. name is 3^3N. — vjbSi] (gi'Ax ivcixtov e[xoCi, rd. with Kittel, et at. 
'JB*?, — For ]nj] in this sense v. Gn. 40". — vjaS^]. To get the accepted 
meaning Kittel reads D'-jcS, so Kent. But we should require ijo vn as 
vv. ' f-. The text is good, but it has not been correctly interpreted. 
— pn] is antithetic to aa" in v. ^ and means "in disfavour." CS gets an 
entirely different sense: ^v l-uepoi; = v."}. n^n; that is difficult to reconcile 
with V. «, and is unnecessary. But see my note in Guthe,". 05^^ adds 
xal i](jLTf]v axu0p(o'ji:6<;, and I was of a sad countenance, lacking nS, but 
this is a dup. — 2. j?nc] cf. Gn. 40' o^yi D3''jfi ync, and a^jo >n Eccl. 7', 


— nSin] C6^AN [j,sTpi(it!^(i)v, a. X. in (S. This gives a different sense: why 
is thy face sad and thou art not composed? This is an interesting variant, 
but 15 is prob. correct. — ^S JJ"^] in i S. 17=' a^S jri means "badness of 
heart," "evil purpose": "sadness of heart" is aS-naxp (Prov. 15"), 
DS-njja (Lam. 3«*). (^^^^ renders Dij,n and yi colourlessly by •itovf)p6v 
and TcovTQpfa; ^ with better discrimination by a^uOpwrcdv and Xfiiaj. 
The context fixes the mng. here, and "sadness" is the right idea. — 
3. n-'H"'] (5 t^TQTw. We should rd. "'n> as in other cases of this greeting, i S. 
10" I K. I""-. — 1?1^] Ges.^". (&^^^ adhere to •7:ovT3p6v, (S^ cTuyvdast. 
n"i3 does not recur in v. ' and is doubtful here, needlessly cumbering the 
text. — nnap] (S^^an ^yr^^sltiv, so v. ', T(4cpwv^. — nain] corresponds to 
rxiDD in I' as iSax to inxj. — 4. cpa] in the sense of requesting is found 
only in late Heb. (v. BDB. for references). — 5. <S^ has a plus after iSxn : ibv ^otctXia (JyaGiv. xaL — 6. Sjtt'] is a difficult word. Haupt 
says it is identical with As. 'sigrdti, "ladies of the harem" (Guthe,"). 
Lagarde also calls it a loan-word. In Heb. there is a vb., h^ty "to 
ravish," which became so obscene that the Massorites everywhere sub- 
stituted IDS'. On this account a similarity of root is denied. But we 
have no business to resort to As. loan-words without exhausting the 
Heb. first. For Neh. uses good Heb. words. He could not have been 
ignorant of such common terms as naSn or nnoj. We must remember 
that words used for delicate purposes tend to take on an indecent 
character. AV. teems with words which were seemly in 161 1, but which 
cannot properly be rd. now to a mixed congregation. We find the 
word in Aram., Dn. 52- s- 23^ followed by "concubines," and therefore 
"wives" might be the sense intended. Behrmann refers to Ct. 6', 
where we have "wives, concubines and maidens without number," and 
so the passage proves too much. In Heb. many scholars following 
Ew. substitute Sjc for hhty in Ju. s'", in which case it would mean a 
captive woman added to Sisera's harem. But Nowack objects to the 
insertion of a late word into one of the oldest Heb. poems. We have 
then only Ps. 45", where unhappily we have a corrupt text and a dub. 
mng. It is uncertain whether the words are applied to the king or to 
the bride. See Br.^^. It is clear that if Sj3> means the bride the art. 
is required; if it refers to the bride's maid it is hard to see why she 
should be arrayed in "gold of Ophir." Perhaps the maid stands at the 
bride's side "with gold of Ophir" for the queen. Further the address 
to the bride begins at v. » not at v. ". Finally (& renders %(xXki]v.-r) here 
and in Dn. It appears impossible to get the mng. queen for this word. 
It is very likely that it indicates a mere member of the harem. But 
we cannot define it exactly. — It is unnecessary to prefix art. to natrr] 
with Guthe, as that would change the sense. 05 has it, but that is never 
decisive. — td ly] ^^^ have one additional question: Yva it xiOrjaat 
"jcap' i\xol; but it offers no help, and it not very intelligible. — iSn::] 
means journey without doubt, but as l'?n means go the subst. may 

NEHEMIAH 2 1 97 

surely mean going, starling, and so deparhire, the sense required here. 
— IDt] means a fixed or suitable time, or season. Here it involves a 
reply to both of the king's questions, a time to go and a time to come 
back. Winckler emends last clause to pr iS jdm {Alt. Forsch.xv,*""); 
but that was due to a misunderstanding of the passage (v. s.). — 7. ijn''] 
CSi BiTO), H ifd., both attest sg. and understand the king as subj. — 
8. DTis] Ct. 4" Eccl. 2^^, a, loan-word from Zend and carried over into 
English "paradise." The word does not apply to a forest for lumber- 
ing, but to a preserve. The expression D'\-\q 12a' can no more be due to 
the Chr. than to Neh. There is an important reading in (§i^^ which 
as so often elsw. has escaped the attention of scholars. The text runs: 
Aaa9ax Tbv (pu'k&Qaovza ii<^ ri\i.i6vouq toO ^aatXicoq xal -ubv •rcotpiSetaov S? 
IffTt Tw paaiXel. The illumination appears when we put this back 
into Heb.: iSd*? t^n Dmflm ^Scn mo -lac ids. It appears that we 
have a dup. for dtia and iz)'''\-\s have evidently been confused. Now 
keeper of the royal mules has a true ring, but this ofiicer would have been 
in Pers., not in Syria. Neh. would have had little use for mules after 
reaching his destination. It is not unlikely that the Chr. has hope- 
lessly obscured a genuine part of N. in which he described his outfit 
and to which v. "^ would be an appropriate conclusion. Out of the 
present confusion we may extract the following and pretty confidently 
label it N.: anisn "M^y nDN'-Sx mjN (v. ^t) >hy navjjn in'?}<-n>3 iScn '''7 jnii 
"•S jr.'' T^s iSdS i-'x. Then we can easily conjecture that the actual 
grant was mules for the caravan, but the Chr. has corrupted it to 
timber for building. Directly following the leave of absence, the pas- 
sage originally continued : and the king gave to me, according to the good 
hand of God upon me, a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's mtdes who 
gave to me [animals for the journey]. And the king sent with me army 
officers and cavalry. Neh. rode a mule on the night Journey described 
in the section following. — Ty^•\p] is regarded by Torrey as a word char- 
acteristic of the Chr. (Comp.^'). — noS ii^n mian npif]. (g^A jj^g o^iy 
T(i? "KuXccq. r\-\>2 and nia are s3ti. and we should rd. either non -la'.x, a 
note explaining the unusual n-ion, or ni^S icn an;j2'n, to which T)-\^2n 
is a gl. The mng. would then be the gates which appertain to the tem- 
ple, to distinguish them from the city gates. Torrey implies that 05's 
omission was due to the difficulty, and he notes only the omission of 
n-|ia (op. cit.). But he sees in the passage only the Chr.'s hand, and 
not the additional corruption of an original text. 

10-20. In this section we have two distinct subjects: (i) 
The opposition of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, w. "• ^^ f-. 
(2) Nehemiah's secret inspection of the ruined walls of Jerusa- 
lem, vv. "-^^ There is no need further to confuse this material 


by dividing the chapter at the end of v. ^, as most scholars still 
do, following the wrong guidance of (8. 

10. Sanballai the Horonite]. The name is Babylonian, but 
it does not follow that the man was of that race, as Sieg. holds. 
Among the subject peoples we naturally find Babylonian names. 
Sanballat is named often in Ne. v. ^^ s^^ 4^ 6^- ^- ^- ^^- " 1328, 
always as an inveterate enemy. The epithet "Horonite" is 
found in but three of the above-named places; it would natu- 
rally mean an inhabitant of Beth-horon, a town or two neigh- 
bouring towns of Ephraim. But Winckler holds that since 
Tobiah was an Ammonite, Sanballat must be located in Horon 
in Moab {Alt. Forsch. xv,^^^ ^■). The Elephantine documents, 
however, show that Sanballat was governor of Samaria, hence 
the former place is meant. — Tobiah the slave, the Ammonite] 
V. ^9 3^* 41 6^- "• "• "• " 13^- ^- 8 f. This whole expression recurs 
in V. ^'; in 3'* we have Tobiah the Ammonite; elsewhere Tobiah 
alone. He has been identified with Tabeel of Ezr. 4^ by Van 
Hoonacker (Sac. Z,ct."^). The names are similar, one meaning 
"God is good," the other "Yahweh is good"; but Tobiah is 
Hebrew, while Tabeel, as in Is. 7^, is Aramaic; but, as Tabeel has 
been shown to belong to the reign of Xerxes, the identification 
is difficult, as the letter to Xerxes was written forty years be- 
before Nehemiah's advent in Jerusalem. Slave is added as a 
term of opprobrium. Tobiah was very probably a slave of the 
Persian king who had risen to a position of consequence (Kue. 
Abh.^^). Noldeke holds that a true Ammonite could not have 
borne the name Tobiah; but Torrey rightly says that we do not 
know enough about true Ammonites to draw such conclusions 
(ES.^*^*). Delitzsch suggests that the name is evidence of the 
worship of Yahweh by other peoples (Wo lag das Paradies,^^"^). 
■ — It was evil to them with a great evil]. The text may be wrong, 
but the sense is not affected. The meaning is that it was 
a very great evil to these enemies of the Jews. — That a man 
had come to seek good for the sons of Israel]. These words make 
us suspect that the verse is either due to the Chronicler or is 
misplaced. Nehemiah's arrival at Jerusalem is chronicled in 
V. ". It may further be doubted whether Nehemiah would have 

NEHEMIAH 2 1 99 

used the impersonal phrase "a man had come." Further, Ne- 
hemiah does not describe his mission in such general terms as 
we find here. His purpose was very specific. The enemies of 
Israel, according to this verse, had heard of his arrival before 
his actual advent, and they knew the object of his mission.' 
But Nehemiah keeps his purpose a secret even from his fellow- 
Israelites.— 12. After three days {cf. Ezr. S^^) spent in resting 
from the journey and in sheltering his companions, Nehemiah 
starts out on his famous night ride. 

On which v. GAS. Jer. Sta. Gesch. ii,>", JBL. 1896,'", and the map 
in Kent's Hist. Biog. Nar.^*\ and esp. Mitchell, JBL. 1903," »-, who 
has made the most elaborate attempt to follow the coxirse of Neh.'s 

/ arose at night, I and a few men with me]. Secrecy was the 
design, therefore the inspection was made by night (though 
there is doubt about this term; v. v. ^^), and with but a few at- 
tendants. These were probably servants who would have no 
idea of the object in view, or a selected body, including Hanani, 
who could be trusted. — And I had not made known to any man 
what my God was putting in my heart to do for Jerusalem]. (^ 
lacks "my" before "God," and that may be right. The par- 
ticiple "was putting" suggests that Nehemiah had reached 
a definite purpose only since his arrival at Jerusalem. God 
is conceived as the author of all good thoughts (Sta. BT.^^^). 
For Jerusalem may be contrasted with for the sons of Israel in 
V. ^°. — And there was no animal with me except that upon which 
I was riding] a further indication that his attendants were ser- 
vants, perhaps Persians. If all the company had been mounted 
it would have been more likely to attract attention. The ani- 
mal was probably one of the mules which Nehemiah had brought 
from Persia {v. s. v. ^). — 13. And I went out at the valley gate] to 
which by night is needlessly added from v. ^^ The valley gate 
(v. ^^ 3" 2 Ch. 26®) is the gate leading to the valley of Hinnom 
(on which v. GAS. Jer. i,"^ ^- ^''^ ^■), and on the western wall 
of Jerusalem. The corresponding modem entrance is the Jaffa 
gate {v. Ryle's note). — Aitd unto the mouth of the dragon-spring], 


or according to some texts of @, the fig-spring. This spring is 
not mentioned elsewhere and cannot be identified. "Towards" 
(RV.) is not correct. Nehemiah means that in going from the 
valley gate he passed the outlet of this spring. The water, 
therefore, must have emerged just outside of the ruined wall. 
— And unto the dung gate] 31^ f- 1221 f, the gate out of which the 
refuse of the city was carried and so might better be called the 
garbage gate. It was probably the southern outlet. — And I 
•was inspecting the wall of Jerusalem which had been pulled down, 
and its gates had been burned by fire]. All or at least a part of 
the clause is an addition by R. The repetition interrupts the 
succinct story of the ride. 

14. And I passed along unto the fountain gate] 3^^ 12". This 
gate was probably at the eastern side of the Tyropoeon valley. 
— And unto the king's pool], identified with the pool of Siloam, 
perhaps because of Hezekiah's famous tunnel, or, as Ryle says, 
"because it adjoined the king's garden." — And there was no 
place for the animal to pass under me]. This is hard to under- 
stand; EV. the beast that was under me is based on U cui sede- 
bam, but cannot be fairly taken from the text. Sieg. interprets 
"under me" as meaning "so long as I sat thereon," indicatmg 
a "low bridge." However pregnant the sense of Tinn may be, 
it is doubtful if that interpretation does not stretch its meaning. 
■ — ^The narrative makes a break at this place. Nehemiah had 
been following the course of the wall and now goes up a valley. 
It would be natural to suppose that he reached a point beyond 
which exploration was impossible. But as the mule could go 
almost any place a pedestrian could, it is far from clear why he 
describes the obstacle in this way. — 15. And I was going up the 
wady by night and I was inspecting the wall]. The participial, 
construction does not connect well with the preceding. There 
is nothing except the doubtful phrase in v. ^^ to indicate that 
his going up the valley was due to the impossibility of con- 
tinuing his direct course. Some texts of <S have / was going 
up by the wady wall, the wall along the valley, and thus suita- 
bly introducing the statement about the inspection. — The last 
clause is best rendered and I came in again by the valley gate], 


the same place at which he had started. (^ has an interesting 
variant : and I was at the wady gate ; and I went back and entered 
through the valley gate. It does not, however, clear up the dif- 
ficulties of Nehemiah's tour of inspection. This verse is in 
large part a repetition; "I was inspecting the wall" is needless 
after v. ". 

The passage vv. ^--" is very perplexing. The taking of the trip by 
night is explained almost too easily by the necessity of secrecy. In 
the first place, Neh. discloses his purpose immediately upon his return 
from his ride. At that time there was a large company of nobles, 
pr. ct at. gathered. Was this early in the morning or still at night ? 
Then if it was dark enough to screen the party from observation, it 
would surely be too dark to make a satisfactory investigation of the 
condition of the walls. The examination might have been made in 
the daytime without unmasking the object. He could have deter- 
mined the condition of the walls sufficiently without actually travers- 
ing the course of the wall. By night recurs three times in the passage, 
and everywhere is loosely thrown in. It may be that the phrase was 
added by an editor, who deemed it an essential part of the secret pur- 
pose of the trip. 

16. Now the guards did not know where I had gone nor what I 
was doing]. Our text has rulers, but guards as (i» is better. 
Rulers recurs in v.** and would not stand in both places. Nehe- 
miah had kept his course secret from the watchmen, though 
they must have witnessed his departure and return. Perhaps 
we have thus the explanation of his coming back through the 
same gate by which he had gone out, as that would prevent 
their suspecting his real itinerary. — And to the Judeans and to 
the priests and to the Levites and to the officers and to the rest doing 
the work I had as yet not made known] supply what I was about 
to do from v.". "Levites" is substituted for "nobles" on the 
basis of ^. Still we cannot lay too much stress on the text, as 
it plainly betrays retouching by the Chronicler. Nehemiah 
often uses the phrase "nobles and deputies" (on these offi- 
cials V. Mey. £nf.i32. i84^ qAS. Jer. i,^^^), but he would not say 
"and the rest doing the work," as that is anticipating. This 
phrase in Ezr. 3* is used of the temple-builders; here it refers 
to the wall-builders and is due to the Chronicler. Nehemiah's 


phrase is "the nobles and deputies and the rest of the people" 
(4^-"). "Judeans" here would include all the other classes. 
The fact is again emphasised that Nehemiah had not yet dis- 
closed the object of his mission even to the highest official 
classes. Until he was ready for action, the objective point 
would not be revealed. — 17. In some way not explained there 
had now gathered about the new envoy a body of officials and 
others, and for the first time he makes known the secret of his 
coming to Jerusalem. First, he arouses their appreciation of 
the unhappy condition of affairs: you perceive the evil state we 
are in, in that Jerusalem lies a waste and its gates are burned with 
fire]. This is the oft-repeated description based on i^. Then 
follows the exhortation to act: come and let us build the wall of 
Jerusalem and we shall be a reproach no longer]. The returning 
pilgrims had told Nehemiah at the beginning that the Jews 
were in contempt, i'. So long as the city was unprotected by 
walls they must remain the butt and scorn of their neighbours. 
— 18. The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was a big under- 
taking. Nehemiah was no near-sighted fanatic going to war 
without reckoning the cost. He did not desire to kindle an 
enthusiasm quick to begin and soon to end. He proposed to 
carry the project to its conclusion. Therefore he now discloses 
two facts which were the foundation of his confidence. First, 
he tells them how God had at every point opened the way before 
him; and second, how he was supported by the authority of the 
king. In his record, though, he does not put down what he 
said, for that would be a resume of 1^2 8; he gives only the sub- 
ject of his address: and I revealed to them the hand oj my God, that 
it had been favorable towards me, and also the words of the king 
which he had spoken to me]. The sense in which Nehemiah uses 
hand of God becomes clear now; it is guidance rather than power, 
as BDB.'*"*. God had led him to the king's presence at a fa- 
vourable moment, had moved the king to note his depression, 
had caused him to speak the right words to move the king, and 
had induced Artaxerxes to comply with all his requests. — The 
rest of the verse is difficult, and we have many readings. MT. 
has: and they said, we will up and build; and they strengthened 


their hands for good], making this the favourable response of the 
nobles and people to Nehemiah's plea. In Ci» and H we find: 
and I said, let us up and build; and their hands were strengthened 
for good; or: and these said to me, we will up and build, and they 
were strengthened, and their hand was for good. We are in doubt, 
therefore, whether this is the final exhortation of Nehemiah, fol- 
lowing naturally his recital of the guidance of God and the fa- 
vour of the king, or the assent of the assembly to his appeal. 
It would put us on the right track if we could get at the true 
sense of "strengthening the hands." We note that Nehemiah 
uses the phrase "for good" in the sense of "auspiciously," 5". 
It will appear further that these words in all their varied in- 
terpretations really make no sense. It is clear that we have 
no statement of the actual beginning of the work on the walls; 
but w. " f- imply that the work has begun. The words before 
us may be rendered equally well: and their hands took hold au- 
spiciously. Therefore I should follow Cil in part and translate: 
and I said, let us up and build! and their hands took hold [of the 
work] auspiciously. ^i,rii-^ 

19. And Sanballat et al. heard]. There is no object and we 
have to infer what they heard from the preceding and from their 
actions. Now their charge and Nehemiah's reply show that it 
was the building of the walls which excited their scorn. That 
presupposes the interpretation put upon v. ^^. The enemy had 
heard, not of a plan, but of an action, the work on the walls. — 
A third enemy is named here (cf. v. i"), Geshem the Arabian] 
V. 6^- 2- 6j in the last place the name is Gashmu. The foes are 
all foreigners and the gentilic name is added to show that fact. 
They were evidently keeping a close and jealous watch on 
Jerusalem, especially since the arrival of Nehemiah with a Per- 
sian escort. For some time now a large part of Nehemiah's 
story concerns his trouble with these enemies. Making a nec- 
essary correction from (&, the text continues: and they held us 
in derision; and they came unto us and said]. MT., lacking 
"and they came unto us," implies that these enemies were 
already at Jerusalem; but it is much more likely that they had 
for years been preying upon the defenceless Jews, and hear- 


ing of the rebuilding of the walls came at once to Jerusalem. — ■ 
What is this thing that you are doing? Are you raising a revolt 
against the king ?] The first question shows that Sanballat et al. 
found the Jews at work; the second is asked ironically, for they 
had no idea that the Jews could carry the walls and gates very 
far before they would be able again to appear on the scene with 
battering-rams and torches. It is the same charge made by 
Rehum to Artaxerxes in Ezr. 4" ^^ — 20. In his reply Nehe- 
miah first addresses himself to their jesting at the Jews' big 
undertaking: the God of heaven will prosper us], cf. i". Then he 
throws off all disguise, which would indeed be vain now: and 
we are his servants; we will up and build]. But (i has a tempting 
variant: we are his innocent servants, that is, innocent of any evil 
design against the king. But in that case the antecedent of 
"his" should be Artaxerxes rather than "God." Now when 
Nehemiah says "we are his servants," in view of the charge 
just made we inevitably think of the king, as if Nehemiah had 
said, "we are his loyal subjects and as such we are building." 
It is at least possible that a clause has dropped out, and that 
Nehemiah said that God would further them, the king had ap- 
proved their work, and they were his loyal subjects. In his 
appeal to his followers he had named both the favour of God and 
of the king. The mention of the king's authority would be 
far more impressive to Sanballat than the grace of God, and 
Nehemiah might well not overlook so formidable a weapon. — 
Then he proceeds to serve notice upon them that their days of 
preying upon the Jews is over: and for you there is neither por- 
tion nor right nor memorial in Jerusalem]. By portion Nehemiah 
means property, real or personal. The enemy may have owned 
land or houses, or more probably may have exacted tribute, 
which would be equivalent to levying blackmail as David did 
of Nabal, i S. 25. \ Right is not "just claim," Ryle, Sieg. Berth., 
but authority. That these enemies claimed a certain authority 
over the people of Jerusalem is shown by their subsequent 
actions, and may be due to the decree of Artaxerxes (Ezr. 4^"^'). 
Memorial is interpreted as meaning that their descendants 
should have no place in the community of God (Berth. Sieg. 


B.-Rys.), a proof of their past connection with Jerusalem 
(Ryle) ; proof of citizenship (BDB.) ; it may be used in a general 
broad sense: there will not be a thing by which even to remem- 
ber you; you will soon be a thing of the past and completely 
forgotten. By the restoration of the walls Jerusalem would 
recover its autonomy and would no longer be open to the raids 
of roving bands in quest of plunder. 

Mitchell infers from Neh.'s words that the Sam. had offered to aid 
in the building of the wall, and attributes the above passage to the 
Chr., presumably for this reason (ICCi^- There is nothing in the 
remarks of Sanb. to indicate anj' such friendly purpose, and Neh. is 
not decHning a neighbourly offer, but serving emphatic notice on the 
Sam. that, since he is the direct representative of the Pers. king, their 
interference with the Jewish people will no longer be tolerated. 

10. t3'73:D] (& SavagaX(X)aT. The name is Bab. Sin-uhallit, or ace. 
to Winckler Sin-muballit, but Haupt notes that this m in Bab. is often 
silent (Guthe-Batten,")- ^ preserves the pronunciation better than 
MT. — "n n3;'n noia] is lacking in d^, but as we find ai-roli; for Dn"? it 
is evident that the omission is a mistake. — nSnj r\-;-\] sounds more like 
the Chr. than N. The words are lacking in (&^^^, while ^ has a vb., 
xal eXuTc^OTjaav = nnM (?). — 11 is almost an exact reproduction of Ezr. 
8" or the converse. There the verbs are pi. and we have 38>j instead 
of "inN. — 12. oSir'niS] [Aeirdl: toO 'lapaTQX^^**, ^ has a dup., prefixing -cfj 
'lepuaaXiriiJL. (& was influenced by the Chr.'s "sons of Israel" in v.", 
perhaps even to a correction of the text. — na] (g^AN ^^' a^^^^ = n-hy. 
^ has the usual dup. ev <[) , . . ex' a^Tqi. 3 in this sense is so rare and *?? 
so common that we must suspect the text.— 13. rirh Nun] (jg translit- 
erates •{(iiktikSi, to which we find a correction in ^*', vux-ubq. V. ", giving 
the terminus at the valley gate, shows that the text is sound, rh'h 13 
certainly unnecessary after v. '% and is a gl. — j''jnn] (g cuxwv^^** = 
DiJNnn; SpdtxovToc;^. — I3tr] cjuvrpf^wv^A^, xaTavowv^, ]1 considerabam, so 
V. ". The former stands for 13;? and makes no sense. 135? occurs 
only here and in v. ", but inspect is the sense required. — nmn] Tefxei^^**, 
Tefxsatv^, murutn !B: point npin. — aisniJDn] or o^xnsj on as Qr.; in i* 
nxisc; (& has : S au-rol xaOatpouatv^^^, toT? xaT£aTCa(T[A^vot<;^. — 1^X3 . . . is'n] 
has been added from i'. There is no jugglery by which we can join 
it to its context. We might retain nsiDcn t^x, but that fails in v. ^'\ 
Indeed, the whole of v.^ interrupts the narrative of the itinerary and 
needlessly anticipates v. ". Houtsma reads D'SIed n>Tj>s, comparing 
Aram. xncN, Ezr. 5'- ', and believes the first word has a special ar- 
chitectural mng. like gate-structure (ZAW. 1907." '•). — 14. j-'yn] (g toii 


Afvd:'^**, Atv*, T. TCYJY^?^. — 15. 'rnja] (B ev tw TSi'xet x^'y^'^PPOU?^^*'? S'* 
Tou x£t[jLappoui' = Snjnnein3, The former reading is not improb. — rh^h] 
is a gl. or the corrupted name of the valley. — Jia'Ni'] lacking in (5. It 
is better to om. in the second place and interpret the first adverbially. 
— K13N1] d xal i5tJMf]v = inNi. (Bi^ has xaX ri[>.-qy ev Tfj •jcuXy) Trjq (pipaYyo?. 
xocl dtv^ffxpeipot. xal StijXOov St(i ttj? •3c6Xt)<; Fat. It is difficult to say 
whether this is one of ^^ frequent corrections from MT. by addition or a 
genuine text. — 16. o^jjcn]. Rd. with 05 ol cpuXiaaovTec = onntt'n. — annV] 
Tol? evTffi.otq^'*^^, Aeut'uatq'^. — □•'iJcS] om. ^^, but the combination ann 
D1JJD1 is common in Ne. (48- " 5' 7O »• Dr.^"","'. — p-nj?] f may be an 
Aramaism; cf. ly^-^JJ, Ezr. 5"; the mng. is the same, up to the present. 
It may be a txt. err. for nny-ny. — 17. isnj] OJ^an |§66T)!iav = unj. — 18. 
t]ii] Tzphq^ (Sn) -zoijq^^ (pn), xepl^ ('7^), nx is correct, as it is used with t, 
the other obj. of the same vb. nu«. — nnxn] xal elxa^^** = iDWi. ^ 
shows that it is correcting and will leave no doubt about the sense: 
%a\ aiTol eJxbv [jiot. — ann-i] C5^ makes a separate clause and reads sg. 
xal •?] xelp aiJTwv e[<; (iYa66v. (JS^^^ makes al x^tps? subj. not obj. 
Berth, says: "perhaps the vb. should be pointed as a pass."; but the 
pass, does not elsw. occur, and we have no warrant here for a new form. 
I should rd. "isiki with 05 and point -iPinM. If Dni"i> were the obj. it 
would certainly have nx before it. — 19. iJ'''?y in^i]. Nowhere else is 
ni2 followed by Sy; it usually takes direct obj., though occasionally we 
find v. 05^Aj< jjag ^(3(^ ^>v0ov I9' ii\iaq, i. e., ixiaM, and that is the cor- 
rect text (». s.). 05^ has here also the original 05 + a correction from 
Heb. : xaxscppfivouv -fjpLwv xal ^X6ov Icp' rjEia?. — 20. Dipj] CS^An xaGapof = 
O'pj. ^ has the usual dup., xaOocpol avaaTTQadfAeGa. 


In the list of the wall-builders as it stands in the text there are 39 names 
of men, of whom 6 were apparently Lev. (vv. "-"), and possibly 13 were 
pr. There were five companies of the builders who are named only by 
the towns in which they live, Jericho, Hassenaah, Tekoa, Gibeon and 
Mispah, and Zanoah. The genealogical interest is very marked. la 
32 cases the father's name is given, and in 5 instances the name of the 
grandfather or some earlier ancestor is added. In a number of cases 
the civil office held by the builder is appended, vv. '• "■ "-is- 29. It 
thus appears that for the most part these officials are grouped together. 
As in other lists, there is frequent repetition of the same name, vv. 
4. 21; 4. 6. 30; 4. 28; 11. 14. 31; 11. 23, Mauy of the names recur in other lists in 
our books. 

The narrative shows but a poor connection with 2'*. It has all the 
appearance of an independent piece, as we may note from the begin- 
ning "and Eliashib arose." There are many characteristics of the 

NEHEMIAH 3I-32 207 

Chr. : the prominence of pr. and Lev. ; the expressions " and his breth- 
ren"; the exact genealogical data; the mechanical system; repetition 
of phrases "and by his hand," "set up its doors," "repaired," etc. See 
further arguments by Mitchell, JBL. 1903,8' «• 

On the other hand, there is not a single trace of N. in the whole pas- 
sage, though it is assigned to N. by Berth. Sieg. and many others. The 
statement in v. " connects directly with 2>8, leaving space between for 
the visit of Sanb. et al. (2" '•). Neh. was not concerned with the de- 
tails of the building methods, but with securing suitable protection for 
the city. 

The section is needlessly anticipative, for it is a description of the 
complete work, whereas v. ^s shows that much was yet to be done, and 
the walls were not finished until some time later. Ace. to this c. all 
parts were carried on simultaneously, whereas N. states explicitly 
that the walls were finished before the gates were touched, 6». The 
passage is obviously quite out of place, and would come in better 
after c. 6. 

Torrey regards the whole section as due to the Chr. (Cow/'."f). 
But the evidence of its composite character is convincing to the con- 
trary. We cannot resist the evidence of the use of "at his, or their, 
hand" in vv. ^-is and "after him" in vv. "-'^ Other indications are 
pointed out in the notes. The Chr.'s hand is indeed evident in the 
editing, but not in the composition. We are constrained then to sup- 
pose that some one had composed an account of the building of the 
walls, others had made additions, and the Chr. combines, edits, and as 
usual, where it is possible, misplaces his material. 

The account in general may be quite correct. The memoirs agree 
very closely with the method described here. There were certainly 
many workers who lived outside of Jerus., 4', and the builders were 
widely scattered on the walls, 4". But we have no data to control the 
details, and some of them excite suspicion. 

The gates mentioned in this c. are ten in number, as appears from 
the following list in which all the other references are cited: (i) the sheep 
gate, V. » i2'3 Jn. 5^; (2) the fish gate, v. ' i2'9 2 Ch. 2>2>^* Zp. i>»; (3) 
the old gate, v. « 12"; (4) the dung gate, v. " '• 2" 12"; (5) the valley 
gate, v. 1' 21'-" 2 Ch. 26'; (6) the fountain gate, v." 2" 12"; (7) the 
water gate east, v. «• 12", cf. the water gate, 8i- »• »«; (8) the horse 
gate, v. 2« Je. 31"; (9) the east gate, v. "'; (10) the gate of the muster, 
V. ''. 

The catalogue is manifestly incomplete. Twice a "second portion" 
is mentioned without an antecedent first portion (vv. "• ^o). Sm. sup- 
poses a considerable gap before v. ", basing his conclusion on a com- 
parison with 12"'- (Lwtew," f). On the geographical elements in this 
list V. also Mey. Ew/.i" '• "» «■ On the topography v. the valuable 
article by Mitchell, JBL. 1903,'" ff.^ and particularly his map, p. 162. 


1. Eliashib the high priest] mentioned often in our books. 
Ezr. io6 Ne. 320-21 1210-22.23 1^4. 7.28. j^ 13" he is called "the 
priest," but in 132^, as here, "the high priest." His son was a 
prominent priest in the time of Ezra, Ezr. 10^. According to 
Ne. 1210 he was a grandson of Jeshua the co-worker of Zerub- 
babel. In the list of builders the names of the priests with this 
exception are put last, w. 22-29; but Eliashib is named first on 
account of his prominent position. — Associated with him in the 
work were his brethren the priests], meaning apparently those 
belonging to his own course. — And they built the sheep gate]. 
There are four terms for the building operations, "build," "lay 
beams," "erect," and "repair," the last occurring thirty-three 
times. "Build" is found here, in v. 2 twice, and in w. "• "• ^^ 
Except in v. 2 it has always "gate" as its object. Therefore we 
may conclude that the work described in v. 2 was a part of the 
erection of the sheep gate. It is to be noted, however, that 
"repair" is frequently found with "gate" as object, w. ^- 1'- "• ". 
The sheep gate is mentioned only in Ne. v. ^2 12*9, but cf. Jn. 
52. It was on the north of the temple and was so named be- 
cause it was the entrance for sacrificial animals. — These con- 
secrated it], i. e., the gate. Consecrating a gate, especially be- 
fore "they erected its doors," arouses suspicion. The appeal 
for support is mainly made to Solomon's consecration of the 
court before the temple (i K. 8^*), but that was done because 
he was preparing to offer sacrifices there. Doubtless we should 
read "laid its beams," as in w. '• ^ The change was due to 
the fact that consecrating was regarded as more appropriate 
work for priests than laying beams, showing the trace of an 
editor with priestly sympathies. — And they erected its doors, its 
hinges and its bars], so we should read as in all other cases 
where doors are mentioned. For hinge v. note to v. ^. In the 
Chronicler's fashion we have an anticipation, for in 6^ the doors 
were not yet built. — And unto the tower of Hammeah they con- 
secrated it unto the tower of Hananel]. There could scarcely be 
a gate of this extent. Moreover, this description does not fit 
in here, because it refers to a section of the wall, whereas 
Eliashib and his fellow-priests built the gate. It might be 

NEHEMIAH 3I-32 209 

misplaced from v. ^ or some other section. It may have been 
inserted here from 12^'. — 2. And at his hand] meaning next 
to him. We find at his (or their) hand in vv. ^-i^^ and "after 
him," to express the same idea in vv. ^""^^ (except in vv. "-^^). 
This proves that we have a composite production, as a single 
writer would either have used the same term throughout or 
mixed the words indiscriminately. In both cases in this verse 
we should read at their hand, for the antecedent is plural. — The 
men of Jericho]. In Ezr. 2 before place-names we found both 
"men of" and "sons of"; in this list we have further the gen- 
tilic Tekoites, w. ^-"j and "inhabitants of," v. ^*. It appears 
that companies came from some of the Judean towns to aid in 
the wall-building. It is not stated whether they were giving 
their service from patriotic motives or whether they were work- 
ing for wages. — Zaccur] recurs in our books, Ezr. 8" Qr. Ne. lo^^ 
J 235 j^", but there is no certain identification. — 3. The fish 
gate] 12'^ Zp. i^° 2 Ch. 33^^t- ^^ "^^^ probably the market-place 
where the Tyrians sold their fish, 13^^. It lay in the northern 
part of the city {v. Mar. on Zp. i^°, GAS. Jer. i,^"). — The sons 
of Hassenaah] v. Ezr. 2'^. — 4. Meremoth] is repeated in v. ^^ and 
with the same pedigree. The text is wrong in one case or the 
other. The same person is named as a travelling companion of 
Ezra, Ezr. 8^^ — And next to them]. We should expect "him," 
but as we note from v. ^ the pronouns frequently do not corre- 
spond with the antecedent, an evidence of confusion in the text. 
— The second clause, about Meshullam is lacking in some texts 
of (&. As Meshullam occurs in w. ^- ^, we can easily dispense 
with him here. In v. ^ he has the same father, but the grand- 
father is not given. In v. ^ the name of the father may be cor- 
rupt, or that may be a different person. — Zadok] recurs in v. ^^ 
but the father is different. — 5. The Tekoites], Tekoa was the 
home of Amos the prophet (Am. i^). It is on the border of the 
Judean wilderness, five miles south of Bethlehem. — But their 
chiefs did not bring their neck into the service of their lords]. The 
natural inference, especially from d (v. i.), is that the governor 
of Tekoa was interested in the work and brought a band of the 
humble classes to assist him, but was unable to induce his chiefs 


to take part. "Bring the neck unto," with "yoke" understood, 
is found in Je. 27" '-, but there it refers to the submission of a 
conquered people. "Their lords" is also interpreted to mean 
Nehemiah and his associates (Berth.). The meaning would then 
be that while the lower classes of Tekoa responded to Nehemiah's 
call, the rulers refused to recognise his authority. As but four 
or five towns are mentioned in the list, it would appear that many 
other towns had made a similar refusal; for if Nehemiah called 
upon some of the neighbouring villages for help, he would cer- 
tainly have called upon all, and of such towns we have a much 
larger list in Ezr. 2 and Ne. ii^s » — 6. The old gate] mentioned 
also in 12^^, is supposed to have been on the northern side of 
the city and to the west of the fish gate. Mitchell reads " the 
gate of the old pool" (JBL. 1903,"^ ^■). — Repaired Joiada and 
MeshuUam]. We should expect "built," as in w. ^- 3, but we 
find "repaired," with gates as object, in w. "• "• ^\ It is tempt- 
ing to suppose that these particular gates had not been entirely 
destroyed, and so "repaired," rather than "built," is an accu- 
rate description of the work done. But as the statement is ev- 
er3rwhere that Jerusalem's "gates had been burned with fire," we 
are warned against assuming that four out of the six were only 
damaged. It may be that the author, having started with "re- 
paired," repeats it without much consideration for exactness. It 
is possible that the expression "its gates burned" may be a gen- 
eral rather than an exact description. — 7. Meletiah the Gibeonite 
and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Giheon and Mispah]. Sa- 
chau (p.^) identifies in** with the iT'iT' of Pap. i. Here we find 
men designated by their homes instead of by their fathers. Me- 
ronothite, elsewhere only i Ch. 27^°, is unknown. If "men of 
Gibeon and Mispah" is an appositive clause, then we should 
probably read Mispite, or with Mey. read Meronoth instead of 
Mispah {Ent}^^). But as this is the only place where we find this 
use of gentilic names, and as the whole verse is lacking in the best 
texts of 05, we look upon it with suspicion. Mispah is mentioned 
in w. ^^- ^^. — Of the jurisdiction of the governor beyond the River]. 
This would refer to the satrap of the Syrian province. As Gibeon 
and Mispah were in Benjamin and close to Jerusalem, it is hard 

NEHEMIAH S^-'^ 211 

to see why they were any more under his authority than Jericho. 
GAS. argues that the satrap of the province sometimes held 
his court at Mispah {Jer. ii,'^). Further it is very doubtful 
whether SD3 means jurisdiction. The text of 05 which has this 
passage renders: unto the throne of the governor beyond the Enna. 
I have no idea what Enna stands for, but this rendering makes 
the passage descriptive of the part of the wall repaired by these 
men. We should then have to suppose that some governor main- 
tained a residence or office in Jerusalem, a supposition by no 
means improbable, and such a place would be a well-understood 
designation. Mitchell renders "the seat of the governor be- 
yond the River," and holds that the clause defines which of the 
numerous Mispahs is meant (JBL. 1903,"^ ^■). — 8. Uzziel] is 
a common Hebrew name, but Harahiah, his father's name, is 
not found elsewhere, and in spite of the divine name, which is a 
part of it, its root is unknown. But we should probably read 
Barakiah (v. i.). — Hananiah the son of the ointment-makers], i. e., 
one engaged in that craft (cf. vJ^). Probably the word ren- 
dered "ointment-makers" is a disguised form of the name of 
Hananiah 's father. Mey. argues that these men are denoted by 
their trade because they had no connection with a family group 
(Ent.^^^). — And they abandoned Jerusalem as far as the broad wall] 
makes no sense; "fortified" of EV^ is unwarranted. The mod- 
em authorities generally connect with a late Hebrew word and 
give the meaning "repair" or "complete." That gives good 
sense, at all events. It may be, however, that the reference is 
to some part of the old city that was not included in the new, 
and "abandoned" would then be right. Mitchell suggests "en- 
close" (JBL. 1903,"^). Our information is too slight, however, 
to determine positively what the words do imply. The broad 
wall according to 12'^ was that portion lying between the gate of 
Ephraim and the tower of the ovens. From its position in this 
passage, though, it would appear to be a part of the wall between 
the old gate, v. ^, and the valley gate, v. ". It is far from cer- 
tain, however, that we have a systematic description, and our 
ignorance of the topography is still very great. Ryle suggests 
that it was this part which was destroyed by Amaziah and which 


Hezekiah strengthened (2 K. 14" 2 Ch. 32^). — 9. Rephaiah the 
son of Hur [a Calebite according to Mey. Ent.^^^], was ruler of 
half the district of Jerusalem]. Following Iff vici (for half -district) 
the passage is interpreted to mean that Jerusalem was divided 
into two districts or wards, of which Rephaiah rules one and 
Shallum the other, v, ^^. But the meaning of the word is far 
from certain, and the Greek rendering is "the country around," 
so that the domain of these men was not the city, but the sub- 
urbs (so GAS. Jer. i,^^^). The latter is the more probable ex- 
planation. In this chapter eight such divisions of the Judean 
province are named: two about the cities of Jerusalem, Mispah, 
w. ^^- ", Keilah, w. " '•, one about Beth-haccerem, v. ", and one 
of the two about Beth-zur, v. ^^. (On these districts v. Mey. 
Ent.^^^ ^■). It is plain from the mention of these places that so 
far as possible the people from the whole province of Judah were 
enlisted in the great imdertaking. — 10. Jedaiah] cannot be 
identified with any other person in our books, though the name 
may be a shortened form of Jedaiah (Ezr. 2^^ Ne. ii^° 12^ *• ^'- ^^ 
Mey. thinks that the name of his father, Harumaph, indicates 
a non- Jewish clan {Ent}^''). Berth, gives the meaning "with 
a split nose" (Anhang,^°°) , thus making it a Hebrew name, 
Harum-aph. That could only be a nickname acquired in later 
life. — Even before his house]. The part of the wall repaired by 
Jedaiah lay in front of his own house, which was probably on or 
near the wall. Naturally he would be especially interested in 
the restoration of the part of the wall which would insure him 
protection. We find the same expression in w. ^- ^^- ^^, cf. v. ^. 
It is likely that every builder who had a residence in Jerusalem 
was assigned the part of the wall nearest his home. — Hattush 
the son of Hashabneiah] Ezr. 8^ Ne. 10^ 12 2. — 11. A second por- 
tion repaired Malkiiah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son 
of Pahath-Moab, and unto the tower of the furnaces] or ovens, 
Mitchell, JBL. 1903,128 s. 

"Second portion" recurs in vv. "• ^o- "• ^*- "• ">, but in all those cases 
as obj., the sentence having the regular intr. "after him." In this 
V. "second portion" stands in place of the usual "and next to him." 
The more general term used in RV., "another portion," is inadmissible. 

NEHEMIAH 31-82 213 

The ordinal means second and nothing else. We should infer, therefore, 
that certain large sections of the wall were divided into two parts, and 
a gang of workmen assigned to each part. But then it seems incredible 
that the first portion is never mentioned at all, and that "second por- 
tion" recurs without any intervening assignment, vv. i'-". It is to 
be noted, however, that in all of the cases, exc. v. '", where this desig- 
nation is used, we have a fuller description of the particular section of 
the wall. The words have also been interpreted to mean that these 
particular builders were esp. energetic or had a larger force of helpers, 
and that after completing their first assignment they undertook a 
second portion. This view is supported by the repetition of the names 
in vv. "• ", cf. vv. *■ ». But other names recur without any mention of 
a second portion, and in four of the six cases before us there is no re- 
currence of the name. About the only certain inference is that the 
Chr. has after all his labours left us but an imperfectly intelligible de- 
scription of the building operations. 

Pahath-Moab] {v. Ezr. 2^) is surely a clan-name, suggesting 
that we may have clan-names all through the chapter. But 
as most of the heads of the genealogies are not known to us, 
in spite of our formidable lists, the suggestion is to be taken 
cautiously. — The tower of the furnaces] or ovens is mentioned 
in 1 2^8 as next to the broad wall (v. s), and between the gate of 
Ephraim and the valley gate. "Unto the tower" is based on 
(& and is doubtless correct (Guthe); for the second portion 
could not be the tower, but the section of wall adjoining. — 12. 
Shallum] is a common name, but that of his father, Hallohesh, 
is found elsewhere only in 10^^. It means charmer or magician; 
Mey. argues that it is an appellative clan-name, and marks a 
family which had remained in Judah rather than one coming 
from the exile (EntM''). Shallum was ruler of the other part of 
the district about Jerusalem (v. s. v. ^). — He and his daughters] is 
regarded by Mey. as a corruption for and its daughters, i. e., 
its hamlets {Ent.^°''). But if this is the sense we might render 
it [Jerusalem] and its hamlets, making the district over which 
Shallum ruled include both a part of Jerusalem and of the sur- 
rounding country. 

"Daughters" is a regular term for the hamlets which grow up about 
a city and which are dependent upon it, ii^^-si. Ryle prefers a literal 


interpretation that Shallum's daughters aided him in the work. But 
as women in the East were quite sure to have a large share in such work 
as this, their especial mention here is unnecessary. Against the other 
view it may be urged that a sohtary mention of hamlets is inexplicable. 
Berth, says it would be easiest to reject the words but that such a 
course is arbitrary. The meaning is really unknown. 

13. Hanun] recurs in v. ^ among the priests, but there is no 
reason for identifying the two. From the fact that the inhabi- 
tants of Zanoah] collaborated with him, he may have been a 
resident of that town. Sieg. says he was the principal officer 
of the town. 

Zanoah is in the Ust of postex. Jewish towns, ii»», cj. Jos. 15", i 
Ch. 4>«. It is located 13 miles west of Jerus. There was prob. a^ 
large company of the Zanoites, in spite of the considerable distance 
which they came; for they built both the valley gate and the section 
of the wall between that and the dung gate {v. on 2"). This section 
was 1,000 cubits; and roughly speaking that would be a quarter of a 
mile. Hence some have doubted whether one body would accomplish 
so large a portion, and have interpreted the words as a parenthetical 
topographical description, giving the distance between the gates. But 
the expression is too specific, and a thousand cubits on the wall, to ad- 
mit of such a mng. It may be that some parts of the wall were less 
damaged than others, and so could be easily and quickly repaired. 
We note that it is hard to say whether it is meant in i' that the'walls 
were breached or broken down. 

14. The dung gate*] itself was repaired or rebuilt by Malchi- 
jah the son of Rekah ruler of the Beth-hakkarem district]. Mal- 
chijah, with other fathers, is mentioned also in w. "• ". It 
is naturally a common name, meaning "Yahweh is my king." 
— Beth-hakkarem] means vineyard house. From Je. 6^ it must 
have been south of Jerusalem beyond Tekoa, and so not be- 
tween the latter place and Bethlehem as Ryle states. — He built 
it and set up]. Making a slight change and a restoration from 
(&, we get a better text: he and his sons, and they made its beams 
and set them up, v. i.— 15. The fountain gate] follows the dung 
gate in 2^^ '-, q. v. — Shallum the son of Kal-hozeh]. Kal-hozeh 
means "every seer"; Mey. says it is not a personal name, but 

•On the prob. location of this gate v. GAS. Jer. i,'". 

NEHEMIAH ^^'^ 21$ 

probably the clan designation of a Calebite guild of soothsayers 
(Eni.^*''). In 11^ this name occurs as that of the grandfather 
of one of the prominent Jerusalemites, and there it is surely 
used as a personal name. — Ruler of the Mis pah district]. Work- 
ers from Mispah have already been mentioned, v. ^ In view 
of V. " we may read with Mey., ruler of half the Mispah dis- 
trict, but as Ezer is there called simply ruler of Mispah, it may 
be that he governed the city and Shallum the surrounding 
country. — He built it]. Perhaps we should emend as in v. ": 
he and his sons; though we lack here the support of (I, we 
have the fact that "set up" is plural in the original text. — 
Then we are told that Shallum repaired also a section of the 
wall, a section very minutely described: and the wall of [or from] 
the pool of Siloam at the king^s garden and unto the stairs descend- 
ing from the city of David]. The pool of Shelah or Sheloah in 
Is. 8^ is the same as the Siloam of Jn. 9^- ". There was also a 
town of Siloam, Lu. 13^. It was in the conduit of this pool 
that the famous Siloam inscription was found. Guthe questions 
this identification {ZDPV. 1882,^'^^ *•)• The king^s garden oc- 
curs in 2 K. 25* Je. 39* 52^, all, however, parallel and describ- 
ing the route by which Zedekiah fled from the defenceless city. 
Stairs of the city of David* recurs in 12'^ as being near the foun- 
tain gate. The city of David has been regarded as the southern 
part of the western hill, as the northern portion, and as the 
temple hill, which last Ryle regards as established by this pas- 
sage. In spite of the exact description of this section of wall, 
it is not possible for us to locate it with very great confidence. 
— 16. Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district 
of Beth-zur] is thus carefully differentiated from the hero of 
our book. He is not mentioned elsewhere, nor is his father. 
Beth-zur is in the list of Judean towns, Jos. 15^^, and among 
those built by Rehoboam, 2 Ch. 11^. Robinson located it in 
the modern Beit-Sur, about twelve miles south of Jerusalem. 
So GAS. Jer. n,^»K See also i Mac. 429 iiss f. 147. The part 
of the wall rebuilt by Nehemiah is also elaborately described: 
to a point opposite the sepulchre of David, and to the artificial pool 

* See Wright's treatise, JBL. 1897,"' "•, also GAS. Jer. i,»««. 


and to the armoury]. We find the unusual expression, literally, 
unto before, indicating that there was no good marking-point 
at the wall, and implying that the tomb of David was some 
distance away. In 2 Ch. 32'^ we find "the sepulchres of the 
sons of David" given as the burial-place of Hezekiah. But 
see Benzinger in loc. This royal cemetery was in the city of 
David, V. ^^ where David himself was buried, i K. 2^'^. — The 
artificial pool] literally, the pool that was made, was still new, ac- 
cording to Sieg. But it is more likely to be the reservoir re- 
ferred to in Is. 22": "You made a reservoir between the walls 
for the waters of the old pool." — House of the heroes]. The 
location is unknown, though Guthe proposes a place southwest 
of the Virgin spring {ZDPV. 1882,332). j^ must have been the 
military headquarters, or the armoury. B.-Rys. regards it as the 
residence of the gate-watch, in which case it would be witness 
of the late date of this passage; but it is very probable that 
the watch lived in their homes. As before, we find darkness 
rather than light from the details given. As the text stands, 
we have three statements about the terminating-point of Ne- 
hemiah's work, but none about its beginning. As Shallum's sec- 
tion extended to the city of David, v. ^^, we should probably read 
from the sepulchres of David, though such a correction is purely 
conjectural. — 17-20 apparently covers the account of the labour 
of the Levites who took part in the work, but the text is in poor 
shape. — 17. After him repaired the Levites: Rehum the son of 
Bani], Then we expect a further list of Levitical names, but 
the narrative goes back to the old formula. Both Rehum and 
Eashabiah are given in the list of the heads of the people, lo^^. 
Hashabiah was ruler of half the district of Keilah], a place famous 
in David's early history, i S. 2t„ a Judean town, near the 
Philistine border, and about eight miles northwest of Hebron 
(GAS. Hist, Geog.^^'>), Mey. infers that Keilah had been set- 
tled by the Levites during and after the exile {Ent}''^). — For 
his district], AV. in his part is unjustifiable. 

Ryle interprets as distinguishing the part he represented from the other 
part named in v. ". B.-Rys. goes so far as to argue from this state- 
ment that the two parties from the Keilah district were separated from 

NEHEMIAH 3I-52 217 

each other in their work. This authority also suggests that the word 
implies that this workman participated, not as a Lev., but as the ruler 
of a Keilah district. It is doubtful about his being a Lev. at all, and 
the word is too obscure in this soUtary use to serve as a good basis for 
such large inferences. 

18. Their brethren] implies a preceding list of Levites, for 
the antecedent of their is Levites. — Bawai the son of Henadad], 
Henadad was a Levite chief, v. ^^ lo^" Ezr. 3^. As the name 
means Hadad favours, it must be of Aramaic origin. It is a 
strange title for Levites of the postexilic age, and it may be 
an old clan-name. — Binnui, as v. 2*, is the form of the name 
adopted by Guthe and Berth. But son of Henadad is a clan 
designation. Moreover, Binnui is among the priests. Both 
priests and Levites might be sons of Henadad, for that name 
goes back to a time when the two offices were not distinguished; 
but they would not be confused in this list. — 19. Ezer the son 
of Jeshua]. The name is not found elsewhere in our books. 
As he was the ruler of Mispah (v. on v. ^^), he was probably not 
connected with the guild of Jeshua the associate of Zerubbabel. 
Indeed, it is very improbable that these district rulers were 

We note here a changed order at the beginning: and then repaired at 
Ms hand]. The variation is prob. a scribal error, but it is old, for it 
is reproduced in C5. The description of this second section is very ob- 
scure: from opposite the ascent of the arms, the corner]. The corner, 
vv. '"'■ "*• 2^, 2 Ch. 26', is a local name well known to the author, but 
not clear to us. 05 offers two readings: the tower going up at the junction 
of the corner; and the tower of the ascent of the arms joining at the corner 
behind its hill. Now it is impossible to make sense out of any of these 
readings. Partly aided by the latter Greek text, I would correct and 
render: from opposite the armoury to the corner of the hill, and so reaching 
a definite point, the northwest corner of the wall. Mitchell proposes 
past the armour chamber to the corner (JBL. 1903,'"). 

20. Baruch the son of Zabbai], or Zakkai as Qr. From the 
corner] of the hill, v. ^^ to the door of the house of Eliashib the high 
priest], who was the first builder named, v. ^ This house was 
evidently hard by the wall, and near the corner. From the 
prominence of the occupant, the house would be well known. 


The proximity of the high priest's residence indicates that 
"the hill" of V. ^^ is the temple hill. The mention of the door 
may mean that Eliashib's house was too wide to serve as a 
defining mark, or that the description has become very exact. 
— 21. The same person mentioned in v. ■* is here appropriately 
described as repairing a second portion, and still further ap- 
propriately it was a very small portion, only that fronting on a 
part of Eliashib's house: from the door of Eliashib's house to the 
end of Eliashib's house]. To be sure, there may have been a 
bad piece of wall at this point which required much labour. 
— 22. The priests, the men of the plain]. The plain is a tech- 
nical name for the oval plain of the Jordan. The full designa- 
tion is the plain (or oval) of the Jordan, Gn. 131°, but naturally 
Jordan could easily be dispensed with. "The river" or "the 
town" has a specific sense in every locality. The brief passage 
implies that this plain was especially the abode of priests. The 
statement is incomplete, as there is no description of the part 
of the wall repaired by these priests. — 23. Benjamin and 
Hasshub apparently lived together opposite their house] and 
their house adjoined Azariah's, for the latter also built opposite 
his house and from that point Binnui repaired, v. ^K If v. ^^ 
is misplaced, as it may well be, then the jointly occupied house 
would adjoin the residence of the high priest. — 24. On Bin- 
nui V. s. V. ". The part he repaired is described as extending 
from the house of Azariah, v. ^^, to the corner and to the turn]. If 
we have reached a corner or turn in the wall, it must be a differ- 
ent one from that mentioned in w. "• ^. Naturally the wall 
had more than one corner. — 25. At the beginning we must 
supply after him repaired. Neither Palal nor his father Uzai oc- 
curs elsewhere in OT. The section is described thus: from op- 
posite the corner [i. e., the corner or turn of v. ^^J and the tower 
which goes down from the upper palace which is at the court of the 
guard]. The text is obviously wrong; for the tower is not the 
same as the corner; and there were not two royal palaces in 
Jerusalem, an upper and a lower. With (^ we get intelligibility: 
from opposite the corner of the tower which projects from the royal 
palace above the court of the guard. The end of the section is 

NEHEMIAH $^-^ 219 

described in v. ^\ — Pedaiah the son of Parosh], or of the clan of 
Parosh, Ezr. 2', is misplaced. The word "repaired" is lacking 
and the names interrupt the description of the section repaired 
by Palal. — 26. Now the Nethinim were living in Ophel], a par- 
enthetic expression which has strayed from its original place 
(v. Ezr. 2«, and on Ophel, GAS. Jer. i,^^^). It would naturally 
come in where Ophel has been mentioned. The name occurs 
at the end of v. ^7, and to that place these words should be trans- 
posed. Then we have, not a further description of the abode 
of the Nethinim, but the missing terminus belonging to v. ^s. 
As our text stands, we have: unto opposite the water gate on the 
east and the projecting tower]. As the water gate was in the wall, 
" opposite" is out of the question. ^ offers us quite a different 
text: unto the garden of the gate which is in Ophel on the east. 
The projecting tower is used for both termini of Palal's section, 
and as it serves as the initial point for the Tekoites' second sec- 
tion, that must be right. Probably it should be connected with 
Ophel thus: on the east of the projecting tower]. According to the 
Talmud, the water gate was so named because water was carried 
from the Virgin spring through this gate to the temple at the 
Feast of Booths. Before it there was a plaza, 8^- ^- ", used for 
assemblies. From the term in 12^^ it was evidently in the east 
wall. — 27. After him repaired the Tekoites a second portion {cf. 
V. ^) from the great projecting tower even to the wall of Ophel]. 
This overhanging tower was a prominent spot, and must have 
survived the catastrophes which had befallen Jerusalem, as it 
would not have been rebuilt by the new community. Restor- 
ing the text and transposing in w. ^5-27^ as shown above to be 
necessary, we get the following: (25) After him repaired Palal the 
son of Uzai from opposite the corner of the tower which projects 
from the royal palace above the court of the guard, (26) unto the 
garden of the gale which is in Ophel to the east of the projecting 
tower. (27) After him repaired the Tekoites a second portion from 
opposite the great projecting tower and to the wall of Ophel. (26") 
{Now the Nethinim were living in Ophel) (25'') After them re- 
paired Pedaiah the son of Parosh. 

28. Above the horse gate] cf. Je. 31*', from which it appears to 


have been near the brook Kidron, repaired the priests each one 
opposite his house]. Evidently this was a part of the city oc- 
cupied chiefly by priests. It may be the very section which 
Jeremiah said would become holy unto Yahweh (31*'). — 29, 
Zadok the son of Immer] cf. v. *, must be a priest. — Shemaiah 
the son of Shekaniah was the keeper of the east gate]. This may be 
the gate described in v. ^s as the east water gate. One Greek 
MS. reads the east house. The name Shemaiah occurs often in 
our lists, but we cannot identify this builder with any other. 
As the name means Yahweh has heard [my prayer], it would 
naturally be given to children bom in answer to a woman's fer- 
vent prayers. We may recall the case of Hannah (i S. i). — 
30. A Hananiah] was mentioned in v. ^ as one of the ointment- 
makers. This would be the same man, if second portion (v. s. 
V. ") were to be strictly pressed. Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph]. 
Here we have an unparalleled particularity in the genealogy, 
and an assurance that Zalaph is not a clan-name, but the name 
of the actual father of Hanun. Guthe, however, thinks that 
sixth" is a corruption for the abode of Hanun. A Hanun is 
mentioned in v. " in connection with the inhabitants of Zanoah. 
— Meshullam] with the same father is named in v. ^. Perhaps 
it is meant here to describe a second portion built by him op- 
posite his chamber]. Meshullam did not have a house, but only 
a room. As Meshullam was probably a priest, this room would 
be in the temple. — 31. We should probably read Malchijah 
one of the goldsmiths. Unto the house of the Nethinim and of 
the traders]. The Nethinim dwelt in Ophel, v. 2^, and apparently 
had a house there in which they lived in common. The ad- 
dition of and of the traders is suspicious. If the text is correct 
the reference would be not to the residence, but to the ware- 
house of the merchants. Opposite the gate of the muster], a 
gate not elsewhere mentioned, may be a gate near which mili- 
tary enrolments were made, but the matter is hopelessly ob- 
scure, as, for that matter, is all this long description. The text 
is probably wrong. And unto the ascent of the tower]. Another 
bend in the wall on a hill is probably meant, but <S has to the 
middle of the bend, which is somewhat clearer. 

NEHEMIAH 3'-'2 221 

32. At the beginning of this v. we find the Massoretic note "the 
middle of the book," showing that Ezr. and Ne. were reckoned as one. 
By actual space we are quite past the middle, but the Massorites 
counted by vv. 

Then follows a description of a section of the wall repaired 
by two guilds, without specifying any individuals, the goldsmiths 
and the traders between the ascent of the turn and the sheep gate]. 
(8 gives a variant between the ascent of the sheep gate, but this 
is defective, as it gives but one terminus. This brings us 
around to the point at which we began, viz., the sheep gate, v. i, 
showing that at least in theory we have been carried around the 
whole circumference of the wall. 

1. invj'ip], ace. to Berth, and Torrey, is without an obj. in (8; but 
that is only true in v. ", and then only in ^^^. But with Torrey we 
should rd, innp as in vv. »• •. In v. ' it is better with Kent to om. 
the word altogether. Kittel changes imcips to innp. — vnn'7i] should 
be followed by vnnai rViyjDi as in vv. '• '■ "• ^*- ". — vSi;?jdi] has been cor- 
rupted into "ynjo-iyi. — 2. ^^^^ uluv, shows 'J3 for M2 and djj, and n^ 
for n\ 1J3 is indeed difficult, for it should have an obj., and if a section 
of the wall is intended, pvnn would be the proper term. But it is hard 
to make good sense out of C5. — 3. ^r]^'\p] 2' v. « 2 Ch. 34" Ps. 104' t- 
From the infrequent use Torrey's contention that the word is charac- 
teristic of the Chr. is not sustained. It is called a denominative from 
mip, "rafter," "beam," BDB. Ges.^, and the mng. given is "lay 
beams." In Ch. that mng. will not serve, though RV. "make beams" 
may pass. (5 renders cxsYil^etv, once axexdrl^ecv, "to cover"; so H 
tcxerunt. If a denominative, it must refer to rafters or roof as Gn. 
19'. The mng. here is the putting of the roof over the gates. — niDj;' 
(gBx i(yzi^ix,c(x-v = ^^^P, but this is prob. a scribal error for lanQaac. — 
hrjin] is given the mng. bolt; C5 xXeiOpov, 'M sera. The word occurs 
outside of this c. only in Ct. 5' Dt. s$^^, for a'different pointing does 
not make a different word. But bolts does not fit the case here, as 
it could not be differentiated from bars, and would be needlessly rep- 
etitious, as if the chief concern were the fastenings. The vb. Syj 
means to fasten on a sandal, whence SiyjD would be that by which a 
sandal is fastened, therefore thong or strap. Now that which binds on 
a door is not a bolt, but the hinges or straps. Indeed, we have the 
technical term "strap-hinges." With (S we should rd. as in v. • 
vSijjJDi, so vv. "• "• ". — 4. prnn] occurs in this c. S3 t. besides v. ", where 
the wrong pointing gives Pi. In (S^^^ we have xotr^axev in vv. *■ " and 
ixp(ii:T](jav elsw.; ^ has ^xpocxaCcoae exc. v.". 05 may have rd. the vb. 


vns. — (gB lacks the second clause. — 5. annns] was transliterated by 
^BAN (i§(^pY]^[i,. This shows the same text and the word is common; 
the transliteration may be due to the obscurity of the passage, — m3>'3 
dhijin] CS^a** e[<; SouXefav aixuv; ^ ev Tfj SouXe((j! toO xupfou. — 6. nje'^n], 
Kittel suggests njE'Dn, presumably on the basis of Zp. i'» and Ne. ii». 
But we could hardly understand a loose term, the gate of the second half 
of the city, where so many other gates are specifically named. (& trans- 
literates as n. p. 'laavcl:, thus bearing witness to our text. B velerem. 
— 7. Mey. puts i before >cjn {Ent.^'>^- 0- — "'njiDn] i Ch. 2730 f (6^ 
Mifjpwvaealoq; but in Ch. Ix MepaOwv (MapiOtov^). — nddS] (S^ eax; t. 
ep6vou, i. e., ND3 r;. — -^yin] <§J- xoO Ewa. The v. is wanting in (S^ax^ 
— 8. n>mn]. As mn is unknown, we may have an error of the text. 
(gBAx lacks first clause, and ^^ has Bapax^ou = n^ana, a good Heb. 
name. — Difl-iis] could not be in app. with "Uzziel," and as this guild 
comes in at v. ", the word must be omitted here. — O'lnpin] m. only 
here; 05^'*, 'Iwocxeftx, Ptoxeeffji.^, twv [xupet^wv'', H pigmentarii. — iat>"n] 
(6^ I'GTjxav, but that represents thirty-six Heb. words, though usu- 
ally D^c, which would not help us much. In Prov. 8" this word ref>- 
resents vy, and so we might rd. iryi, and they strengthened, implying 
that the wall was standing, but in a weakened state. Sieg. suggests 
nrsM, i. e., they surrounded Jerus. [with a wall] as far as the broad wall. 
Most authorities regard 2v; as a technical building term, the exact 
mng. of which is unknown, but may be "pave," "repair," "complete" 
(cf. Ges.^ BDB. and v. s.). The lexicons separate the word from the 
regular ziy. But if the mng. is "repair," we should expect the usual 
ptnn. If the text is sound, then we have further witness to an older 
story underlying the present composition. — 9. iin-p] om. ^***, while 
^ adds a link between Rephaiah and Hur: ulbi; Sa^avfou uloO Soup 
(nis-p). — -\hD] mng. district or portion is found only in this c, where 
it occurs 8 t. 05 renders xeptxcopo?, the country around Jerus., and not 
Jerus. itself. — 11. n^:y nin] xal 8euTepo(;^^'<, — dsm] xal gw^BAx — ^j.,^ 
— Dnunn] twv va6oups([A^**, Tbv ©avvoupeftiAL, — 13, (gL jjag a peculiar 
text. It transliterates, t-Jjv xuXtjv Fat, and connects that with v. ". — 
pvnn] is here rendered Ivt'axuaav, and jun is lacking altogether. This 
departure indicates one spot which escaped the eye of the free editor 
of Lucian's text. Still the context shows that the people of Zanoah, and 
not Shallum, rebuilt the valley gate. — nifl'^r'n] is regarded by Ges.5"<*- 
as a syncopated form; it is more likely a scribal error. — 14. uja^ «in] 
^BAx ofi-rbc; xal ol ulol aiTou, and adds xal eax^xaaav aiTiQv, and then 
consistently uses pi. earirjaav. ^ has same text exc. eaT^yaaav for eax^- 
xaffov. C5 had therefore this text: n^cy^ innpn rjji Nin. This reading 
is preferable to MT. ; for we have thus the regular formula for the gate 
building, v. vv. »••. Guthe reads injj. — 15. V.* is lacking in ^^^^. — 
pSof] (6^ Eixyiuv. — ntn-Ss] QS^XoXot^et. — uSStaii] (S^ ea-zi-{(xcev, the same 
word being used for ^r^^-\p in vv. '• «. — hhd\ is defined as roof over, the 

NEHEMIAH ^^-^^ 223 

same sense required for n,i {cf. on v. »). The Chr. would not use a 
a. X. for one of his so-called characteristic words, nor could we explain 
it as a txt. err. It is another link in the chain by which the composite 
character of this c. is surely established. — pS nS'J'n] (S^^ twv xwSt'tov xi) 
xoupijc. Underlying this we must presuppose uh ni:;n. — '16 . 'p ^JJ-^JJ] 
(S ew? x-^xou (xiQxcov^) Tiiyou = "i3p P"^y, making the reference to the 
tomb of David rather than the royal cemetery. — iJJ-n;? implies that 
the tombs were not close to the wall, but 05 reads otherwise. — micyn] 
regarded by Birch as an error for nja>"in, Is. 22" (PEFQ. iSgOj^oO- 
But the mpD of Isaiah's time has become the artificial pool of Neh.'s. 
— 17. idSaS] lacking in (5^, perhaps because of its obscurity. — 18. mj] 
<g BeSsfB, B^^epX, B^veiA Bavati-. Berth, says: "nach LXX Textfehler = 
••ijj." The conclusion may be better than the reason. Guthe corrects 
accordingly. — 19. iiJ'] (S^ has apxuv toO •^[xtaou? = •'sn lU'. If this is 
right, as Mey. holds, we should have to add l^a, and insert ''xn in v. '». 
But the Heb. is clear enough, v. on v. ^K — ^jjspnn . . . rh';] C5^-*** iva^i- 
aewq T^<; auvaxroufft]? tt]^ ytovfa?; but &yx^(xaeu>q twv SxXwv t^? 
auvaxroucnji; zlq T-f)v Ywvt'av Sxfaw eJi; xb opo<; auToG^. It is clear that 
(S rd. some other word than pcj, perhaps yjs, and (S^ has corrected 
as usual by addition. Our text is suspicious on account of the un- 
usual combination: the arms, the corner. The plus in ^ is found in the 
first two words of v. =">, reading mn'? nnx. ptyj is usually rendered 
armoury, but that is a mng. it does not bear. The text is surely cor- 
rupt. For various suggested emendations, v. my note in Guthe. None 
yet offered is acceptable, for they are all patchwork. In a description 
of a section of a wall we require both a terminus a quo and a terminus 
ad quern. Our text gives us the former only. With a hint from <S^ I 
would rd. : mnn j;spa -\y ps'jn ni3 ijj2. This is bold, but there is 
no use in emending unless in the process we can make sense, yxpn, 
being thus defined, is used in vv. 'o- ^*- "s as an established point. n-inn 
does not appear in v. 2° in (&, but ISt has in montc. Mitchell suggests ijjd 
np2n nj; p-:?in n^Sy (JBL. 1903,1").— 20. ac""?:* n^a] (&^ BTjOeXtcjoij^, 
BifjOacXtaouP^, BijOeXet Aaaou^^, o'ty.ou AXtaaou^^. — 22. -iJ3n] (g has: 
ax^X^P^j xex^p**, ^XX^X^^9^, "^o" tcpcotot6xou^. The last represents a 
different text, i. e., "03n. U is sufficiently interpretative: de campes- 
tribus Jordanis. — 23. Ssn] is suspicious, for the author shows no fond- 
ness for variety in expression and would have said i.t'J njj as v.*. 05 
has Ix6[ji,eva, IS contra (iJj).— 24. njon-n;?i yixpnn] looks like an expla- 
nation of an unusual word. It is prob. that the original text had 
simply njsn-Tjji, suggesting another bend in the wall, and some early 
scribe wrongly identified this with that of vv. "• 20. — 25. SSs f] <g $«- 
XaX^, *aXax><, ^aCKa^,^, ^aXXtj^,— niN f] <S Euet^^, '^, Ou^at^.— 
ViJsni] Toij xiipYou^. Rd. therefore Susn nja. — xxvn] (g 6 l^ixwv^'^^, 
Tou e^lxovTO?^. This is the only case of the mng. "project" for nsi, 
so also vv. 26-27. — jrSyn] cannot mean "upper," describing a second 


palace. (S^ has Ix* Syta, which stands for p'"'?;? in Gn. 40" 2 K. 15", but 
usually represents a prep., and we may substitute nSjjnV, as ^ continues 
T^i; aiXYJ? TTJ? qiuXaxT]?. — 26. nJJ~n>'] (& ^ox; x-^xou'''^'^' = p~^5'; ^ shows 
both MT. and (&: ?w<; dtx' evavTt x-^xou (c/. note on v."). — a^nn] (§>< 
Iv Tw Q^aX. — 29. K'in] (6^, ixb Nirjp, which must be a corruption of 
dv^p. — "lyc] (S>^ o"x.ou. — 30. nnx] rd. as Qr. mns. — ija'] must be a 
scribal error of nut:', the correct form, and occurring in every other place 
in this c. — r^y:;i\ 12" 13' fj usually not:''?, for which this form may be a 
scribal error. — 31. iflisn] C5 Sapacpsf^, Sspacpsfv^, Sapecpf*, Sepot^ei'^. 
But a n. p. is scarcely right here. Guthe suggests a gentilic from nans. 
It is simpler to rd. after (S^' aiflixn, one of the goldsmiths. — aTnjn no] 
(& Bijeavaesfn^, BTfj6avva0avt[ji.^. — aiSsini] (5 xal ol fio^oxwXat'^, fioxo- 
xwXa:'^^, xal twv [jLeTa^6X(i>v^. The last elsw. represents annon; the 
others are both errors for pwxozwXat. — npoan] 05^* ^qq MaqjexaS Ma- 
<psOtiS'^, T^? extax^<jJscoq^. As this name does not occur elsw., we should 
prob. rd. mLJon, as in 12". — njDn v^-'hy ny] (5 lox; dvol: jA^aov [ivapi:-. 
osw^^'AL] xatJLx^i;^ [t^<; xuXtj?^]. We have then p3 instead of rfSj?.— 
32. We have here the Massoretic note naon isn. — njan] and the fol- 
lowing h are lacking in (& and •*■ lacks also why. 

NE. 3''-4" (eV. 4^-^^). THE EFFORTS OF THE ENEMY TO 

Sanb. and his fellows tried first ridicule and then force, but neither 
was effective against the genius of the great leader. He met sneers by 
imprecation and a fighting force with a large army, his people being 
ready to use either the trowel or the sword. Whether the enemy really 
attacked or not is uncertain, though an actual assault is improb. in 
view of the silence of the text. But the long continuance of the pre- 
cautions — and precautions which in a degree checked the progress of 
the work — indicates that the danger was always real, and we may infer 
that the enemy hovered in the vicinity of the city for a considerable 
period {v. Intr. § °). 

The text in several places is very corrupt, and sometimes it is im- 
possible to be sure of the mng. Every effort has been made to clear up 
the difficulties, though we must frequently be content with various 
degrees of probability. 

In the account of the wall-building the interference of the enemy 
occupies a very conspicuous place. There is always an independent 
intr., 2"'- " 3" 4* 6> and between these stories there is in N. some 
statement about the condition of the work. But between the appearance 
of the enemy in 2" and that in 3" there is not a word from N. There 
never could have been, since 3'' follows 2", so we cannot fall back upon 

NEHEMIAH 3'*-4" 225 

the theory of a lost section of N. Then we note that vv. "-" are in 
substance a repetition of 2" f-. The enemy did nothing new here. It is 
difficult to see why there should be two accounts of their jeering the 
Judeans. In 2" we lack an obj. for heard, and yet it must have been the 
same thing we have here, viz., that "we were building the wall," a clause 
which really belongs to 2". We note here that the enemy "scorned the 
Judeans," while in 2" "they scorned us." Outside of the transposed 
clause cited above, this passage is in the third p. It does not belong to 
N., and so is prob. not authentic. It was either added to his section 
by the author of 3>-", or was composed by the Chr. when he put the 
list of wall-builders in the midst of N. The imprecation of v. " then 
really belongs to 22", which it follows naturally. The gross corrup- 
tion of vv. "-" may suggest another explanation of its appearance here. 
Originally it was identical with 2" '•, and accidentally appeared both 
before and after the insertion, vv. '-'', possibly from uncertainty as to 
which was the more suitable position. Then by a process of changes 
it was differentiated from 2" and made into a mess from which clear 
sense can scarcely be extracted. 

33-35. The wrath of Sanballat when he heard that the 
building operations were progressing. — 33. That we were 
building the wall]. The wall had not progressed very far before 
Sanballat, the watchful enemy, heard of it. — And he was an- 
gry and deeply incensed], because he was jealous and dreaded 
to see Jerusalem regain its importance. — And he derided the 
Judeans], perhaps sincerely believing that their pretentious 
efforts would amoimt to nothing. — 34 f. As far as we can de- 
cipher this very corrupt text, it may be rendered: And he said 
before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and he said: what 
are the feeble Jews doing? will they give up to them? will they 
sacrifice? will they prevail in the day? will they revive the stones 
from the earth-heaps? and these are burned. And Tobiah the 
Ammonite was by him, and he said: Even what these build, if a 
jackal shall go up, he can tear down the wall of their stones]. In 
part that is not very promising or intelligible. 

(6 has simply: and he said before his brethren, is this the army of Sam. 
that these Judeans are building their city? And To. the Ammonite came 
with him; and he said to them, shall they sacrifice or eat at their place? 
Will not a jackal go up and tear down the wall of their stones ? The 
mng. of 05 is this: Sanb. is amazed to think that the Sam. army was 


so inactive as to allow the Jews to engage in extensive building oper- 
ations. In defence of the army To. asserts that the feeble efforts of the 
Jews is a negligible quantity. In 4^' we have a record of the interfer- 
ence of a Sam. army in the affairs of Jerus. 05 further makes it clear 
that Sanb. and To. had come to Jerus., but there is no record in either 
text of anything that they did. To take what is most prob. out of a 
very difficult text we get: And he [Sanb.] said in the presence of Ids 
brethren and the crowd of Sam. On the whole, this rendering seems to 
me preferable to (5. The idea is that Sanb. came to the outskirts of 
Jerus. with To. Geshem, and a number of Sam. To. and Geshem are 
covered by "his brethren," i.e., his associates. Frenquentia Samari- 
tanorum of "B is preferable to the army of Sam. If an army had been 
present, the attempt would have been made at once to stop the work. 
The crowd was not a body prepared to fight. There are two hard 
problems about Sanb.'s speech, the length and the contents. It is 
difficult to choose between MT. what are tliese feeble Jews doing ? and 
C5 that these Jews are building their city. It supports MT. On the 
whole, I incline to the latter, for it is more specific, and the idea of the 
weakness of the Jews was introduced by To. Sanb. seems to have been 
seriously alarmed at Neh.'s activity. In (^ the rest of v. ^* is part of 
To.'s speech, but it does not altogether fit his other remarks. Besides, 
it would be strange to introduce Sanb. so elaborately and then have 
him make a single self-evident remark. Will they abandon to them ? as 
MT. reads, is out of the question. Will they fortify themselves as EV^, 
is scarcely permissible. Following Sta. many have emended and ren- 
dered: Will they commit themselves unto God? So Sieg. Ryle. The 
phrase is lacking in most Gk. texts, but ^ renders shall we let them alone ? 
'B has will they drive out those nations ? ^ gives us the most intelligible 
reading and the least amendment to make sense. The phrase is then 
a part of a conditional sentence, if we let them alone, i. e., refrain from 
forcible interference. Will they sacrifice ? is supported by all Vrss., but 
I do not understand its mng. All attempts to explain it fail. The 
Jews had been sacrificing from their first arrival in the time of Cy.; 
they could offer sacrifices equally well whether the walls were built or 
not, and sacrificing was considered a perfectly innocent practice. la 
spite of the antiquity of the error, the text seems to be wrong. — Will 
they make an end in a day?] Here we have a variety of renderings. 
(5 offers us prevail or eat. EV^. follow "U complebunt in una die. 
Without changing ^ much, we may rd. in any one of the three ways. — 
Can they revive (i. e., restore) the stones from the earth-heaps ?] The stones 
were so buried in the mass of debris that it seems impossible that they 
should ever be got back into a wall. — And these are burned]. This is 
not very clear, but prob. refers to the increased difficulty of restoration 
from the fire-swept ruins. To.'s remark is intended to be the final 
sarcasm on the Jewish labourers; if a jackal walks along any stone wall 

NEHEMIAH 3'»-4" i2f^ 

that these people build, it will break down under his tread. The 
building of a proper wall, adequate for defence, is a difficult and la- 
borious task; the Jews had not shown capability or inclination for such 
an effort. The enemy has only sneers for the present essay; but they 
fail to reckon with the new personality back of the efforts. 

36 f. Nehemiah's imprecation. — His words imply that Ne- 
hemiah had heard the jeering of the enemy. Doubtless San- 
ballat and Tobiah spoke in the presence of the people in order 
to weaken their hands, cf. 2 K. 18^". — 36. In the land of captiv- 
ity]. It would be better with some Hebrew mss. to read their 
captivity. The reference would then be to the fact that many 
of the enemy were exiles in Samaria, and so were still enduring 
the shame from which the Jews had been delivered. That 
reference is not, however, very satisfactory, and it may be that 
the true reading is found in (^: give them over to shame and to exile 
{v. i.). — 37. Atid do not cover their iniquity], i. e., keep it in sight 
as a reminder that it is to be avenged. The sin may be the 
ridiculing of the patriotic efforts of God's people, or that which 
is common to mankind. As this is a quotation from Je. iS^^, 
we may doubt its genuineness in N. 

For they provoke before ike builders] is difficult. The vb. usually has 
Yahweh as obj., and so Sieg. interprets here: "Yahweh's wrath is 
aroused as regards the builders." But the clause could then not mean 
that Yahweh's wrath was stirred up against the builders, but on behalf 
of the builders. That sense is scarcely extractable from 1^, and besides 
would be a good thing for which Neh. might thank the enemy. We 
must start with the fact that this clause gives the reasons for Neh.'s 
imprecation, and that the last clause means in the presence of the builders; 
therefore we should expect because they jeered in the presence, trying to 
discourage their efforts. Perhaps that is the idea of "M quia irriserunt 
cedificantes, pecause they derided the builders. It is not a part of the 
unprecation which is prob. contained wholly in v. ", and may be a gl. 
to justify the strong language. 

38. The wall is half completed. — And we built the wait]. 
Nehemiah ejaculates his maledictions, but the work goes right 
on. Afid the whole wall was joined unto its half]. According 
to c. 3, different gangs of men were engaged on various parts of 
the work. A memorable point in the progress is now recorded, 


when the gangs met and so all gaps were stopped. Unto its 
half can therefore only mean with Berth, half the height, not 
half the circumference, for note the words "the whole wall," 
i. e., the whole circumference was joined together. This alone 
is consistent with the stopping of the breaches in 4^ — ^The wall 
was now of considerable significance as a means of defence. — 
The unexpectedly quick result is explained, and the heart of the 
people was in the work], the condition for all effective effort. 

4'"^ (EV. = 4'''"). The enemy comes to Jerusalem to stop 
the work by force. — 1. The enemy is enlarged now by the 
presence of the Arabians, Ammonites , and Ashdodites, though- 
the last name may be a gloss. Tobiah was an Ammonite and 
Geshem an Arabian (2^^). Geshem is not named here, but he 
was probably in the company. The jeering at the walls had 
not stopped the work. An early inspection had apparently 
satisfied the foe that nothing effective would be accomplished 
by the feeble Jews. Now another story comes to their ears, for 
they heard that the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem went on, 
for the breaches were being stopped], the condition marked by the 
statement of 3'^; the walls were finished to half the required 
height, — And they were exceedingly angry] for all their projects 
were going astray. Once the walls were up, the despised and 
easily harassed Jews would be a thorn in the flesh of their 
neighbours. — 2. And they all conspired together]. It is simpler 
with ($ and H to read gathered together. A conspiracy was hardly 
necessary after 2^' ^- 3^' ^•. The leaders now collected a consid- 
erable force with the aggressively hostile purpose to go fight in 
Jerusalem] not "against," for they had no idea that an effort 
would be required to capture the city, but expected to enter and 
force the un warlike builders to stop work. — And to cause it con- 
fusion]. This is all clear in itself, except the masculine suffix 
(1^) referring to Jerusaleip, which is feminine. Still a Greek 
text offers a tempting amplification to wipe it [Jerusalem] oj" 
the face of the earth and to cause me confusion. This gives us 
the first person characteristic of N. It also makes clear the 
purpose of the enemy; they were determined to strike such a 
blow that Jerusalem would be no further a menace. — 3. Nehe- 

NEHEMIAH $^^4" 229 

miah, like all true leaders, was kept informed of the movements 
of the enemy. That no surprise should be sprung he stationed 
a guard which kept watch both day and night. Doubtless the 
guard was placed as outposts beyond the city walls. The 
community was pious and believed in God's power to help, 
and therefore they prayed as well as watched, anticipating our 
Lord's "watch and pray" (Mt. 26^0- 

4. And Judah said]. Jiidah cannot be tribal here, but as 
suggested by 3^^ ^- it is the name of the postexilic community. 
The latter part of the verse is clear: and we are not able to build at 
the wall]. This is a serious declaration. The whole body of 
workers announce to Nehemiah that they can go on with the 
task no longer. The reason for this critical situation is given in 
the intervening words. The text rims: the strength of the burden- 
bearers has failed, and the earth is great]. Earth is usually inter- 
preted as rubbish-heaps, and that sense fits in with 3'*, where 
Sanballat jestingly asks if the Jews can restore the stones from 
the earth ruins. But if this is the meaning, then the verse is 
misplaced, for we are dealing here with the attack of the enemy, 
not with the exhaustion of the labourers. (5 has a very different 
text: for the strength of the enemy is exhausted and the multitude is 
large. The verb "exhausted" is indeed incongruous, yet (5 
follows MT. The original verb must have said the very oppo- 
site: the strength of the enemy is boundless. That text makes 
the passage fit in admirably with the context and is doubtless 
right. The Jews felt that with the large hostile force assembled 
against them that they could no longer take the risk, even with 
their prayers and the guard. They were not afraid of the work, 
but they were afraid of the warriors. — 5. The plan of Sanballat 
and his company was to take the city by surprise and then to 
slay the workmen (in agreement with Ci» of v. ^) and thus effec- 
tively to bring the wall-building to an end. 

6-8 (EV."'"*). Nehemiah sets a large armed guard 
against the enemy. — 6. And it was that when the Judeans who 
were living by them [i. e., the enemy, not the Jerusalemites as Sieg. 
holds] came in they said to us]. The enemy had proposed to 
surprise the builders. They were assembling for the attack. 


Among the builders, as correctly indicated in c. 3, were many 
who came from the country. It was evidently their custom to 
return home at intervals. Some of these lived close by the ren- 
dezvous of the Samaritans. They came up to Jerusalem now 
with an alarming report. But this report is in hopeless con- 
fusion in our text, which runs: ten times from all places when ye 
return unto us]. No commentator has yet been able to give a 
satisfactory interpretation of these words. Naturally, for they 
are wrong. (5 preserves a simple and intelligible reading: they 
are coming up against us from all places, perhaps adding, where 
we live. We understand now the alarming character of their 
report and the prompt measures taken for defence. — 7. Here 
again we have a hopeless text. — And I stationed] cannot be right, 
for the verb has no object expressed or implied, and that verb 
belongs to the second part of the verse. We might read / 
stood, but while grammatical, it would not be clear. With (& 
read and they stood, as most modem interpreters. But the sub- 
ject, contrary to general opinion, is the enemy, not the builders. 
Where they stood is in any case unintelligible from the descrip- 
tion: at the lowest part of the place behind the wall in the open 
places]. For the last expression with (& we might read in the 
breaches, or in the sheltered places. The general sense seems to be 
that the enemy had advanced to the best cover they could find 
opposite the lowest parts of the rapidly rising wall. They were 
therefore in the most available place for an attack, sheltered 
from the sight of the builders and ready to rush to those places 
in the wall where it could most easily be scaled. — Their plan 
was thwarted by Nehemiah's action: And I stationed the people 
by families [or companies] with their swords and their spears and 
their bows]. This action shows a distinct advance on v. ^, where 
a guard was set for the purpose of watching; here we have an 
army equipped and posted for the purpose of fighting. — 8. Our 
text runs: and I looked and I arose and I said]. This is pretty re- 
dundant for the terse Nehemiah. With Guthe we may emend on 
the basis of (&: and I adjured them by the Lord, saying. Berth. 's 
proposal, "and I saw their fear and arose and said," seems to 
be less satisfactory. The brief exhortation was addressed to the 

NEHEMIAH 3^-4^^ 231 

whole army: to the nobles, and to the deputies [^ generals], and to 
the rest of the people]. The appeal forcibly aims at the senti- 
ments of courage, religion, and patriotism. Do not fear on their 
account; remember our God [so (&, the Lord ^] the great, and the 
one to be feared [of. i^ Lu. 12'' ^- Dt. 20^ ^•] and fight on behalf of 
your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your 

9-17 (EV/^'^^). The enemy gives up the contemplated at- 
tack. — 9. This verse is so difficult in the relation of its parts 
that we may well suspect an omission. The parts are clear in 
themselves, but are hard to join so as to make sense. — And it 
was when our enemies heard that it was known to us] certainly 
must originally have been followed by some statement as to 
what the enemy did under these circumstances ; but what course 
of action they pursued we do not know. We do not hear of 
them again until c. 6, and that is some time later. It is clear, 
however, that there was no actual battle. The enemy perhaps 
stayed in the neighbourhood, watching for an opportunity that 
never came. — And God frustrated their plot, and we all returned 
to the wall, each man to his work]. This resumption of work 
naturally follows the unknown action of the enemy, whatever 
that may have been. As the foe took no aggressive measures, 
Nehemiah deemed it safe to return to the work. Every day 
of labour made an effective assault less possible. The people 
laying stones were doing more for defence than standing under 
arms. — 10. The text goes on to describe the conditions under 
which the work was now carried on. First there is described the 
arrangement of Nehemiah's own followers: half of my servants 
were engaged in the work]. These men were the governor's per- 
sonal servants, perhaps a body-guard brought from Persia, 
cf. 5^^: and half of them held the lances and the shields and the 
bows and the coats of mail]. Sieg. regards all after "spears" as 
a later addition, but the reason he gives is that no one would 
possess a coat of mail. The Jews certainly would not have such 
accoutrements, but Nehemiah's body-guard, the ones referred to 
here, trained and equipped in Persia, would surely possess a com- 
plete armament. Reuss, on the contrary, supposed "swords" 


to have dropped out of the list, so Berth.; but swords are abun- 
dantly provided for below. 31 has undoubtedly got the sense 
when it merely summarises: and half were prepared for war. 
Nehemiah's servants were the best fighters, and so apparently 
half of them were working on the wall, while the other half were 
kept under arms to be ready to resist an attack at a moment's 
notice. — ^The rest of the verse is unintelligible, for no sense 
can be made out of and the princes were behind the whole house of 
Judah], at least not in this connection. (& vainly connects with 
V. " and the princes of the whole house of Judah building on the 
wall. But V. " begins a new passage and is clear enough, while 
the above would imply that the princes alone were working now, 
contrary to v. ^. Either "princes" is an accidental repetition 
after the similar Hebrew word for coats of mail or it is an error 
for some verb like drawn up. Behind the whole house of Judah 
then would indicate the station of the armed guard; they were 
divided into squads and were close by the various bodies of 
workmen, giving moral as well as material support. — 11. Now 
we come to the warlike preparation of the workers: those who 
were building on the wall and those who were carrying burdens were 
working, with one hand he was doing the work, and with the other 
he was holding a missile]. Working is a conjecture. The He- 
brew word might mean laden, but that makes no sense. Most 
authorities follow 0^ armed. It is hard to see how a mason could 
lay stones with one hand grasping a weapon. But it may be 
that what the statement really means is that the weapon was 
close at hand, not necessarily in the hand. Or the last clause 
may refer only to the burden-bearers. What the missile was 
we do not know. H has sword, but the swords were girded on 
the waist, v. ^\ The Hebrew word means sent and implies that 
it was a weapon used for hurling like a javelin. — 12". And the 
builders [in addition to the missile close at hand and distin- 
guished from the burden-bearers] had each one his sword girded 
upon his loins, and were building], that is, the masons went 
right on with the work, but fully prepared to meet an attack. — 
12''. With V. ^ we begin a new section in which the governor 
describes the measures he took to collect the forces quickly at 

NEHEMIAH 3 "-4" 233 

any spot where an assault was made or threatened. — Now the 
trumpeter was by my side]. In vv. " ^- we learn that the blast of 
the trumpet was to indicate the point to which the whole body 
of guards and workmen should rush in case of a threatened at- 
tack. Now if there was but one bugler and he always by Nehe- 
miah, there would be much delay in the event of an assault. 
For Nehemiah would have to be informed, and the trumpeter 
sent to the threatened point before he blew the alarm. This 
would be poor generalship. The probability is that there were 
several trumpeters, one with each squad of the armed guard of 
V. ^°. The blast would be given without waiting for the gov- 
ernor. Why then does he say " by my side "? We have no great 
confidence in the details of this somewhat corrupt text, but the 
word may be collective and the trumpeters gathered while 
Nehemiah gave orders both to them and to the people. The 
trumpeter was a city watchman whose business it was to warn 
the people of impending danger (GAS. Jer. i,^^^). 

13. The work is extensive and wide]. The builders, as in c. 3, 
are spread around the whole circuit of the walls, so that at any 
one point there was but a small body, perhaps the very condi- 
tions for which the enemy was watching. — 14. Unto us], for 
Nehemiah and his servants would repair quickly to any point 
of danger. — Our God will fight for us] cf. v. ^. Nehemiah's stir- 
ring address would not fail to arouse the people. Ps. S^ is 
ascribed to this occasion in Psalms Chronologically Arranged, by 
Four Friends, Macmillan, 1891. — 15. And half of them were 
holding the spears] is a copyist's repetition from v. ^°. The 
words have no meaning here, and they force asunder related 
clauses. Omitting this we have an intelligible statement: Now 
we were engaged on the work from the rising of the dawn until the 
appearance of the stars]. The point brought out is therefore 
the high pressure under which the work was done. Since the 
enemy had approached and was now probably lurking in the 
neighbourhood, speed was of the utmost importance. Every 
stone laid added to the security of the city. Night-shifts were 
hardly possible under the limitations of ancient times, but the 
working hours were prolonged from daylight until the stars 


could be seen, when it became too dark to work any longer. 
The omitted words spoil this fine sense; as the text stands, we 
have the long day, not for working, but for holding weapons, 
and the weapons would then be laid aside at night when they 
might be most needed. — 16. Let each man atid his servant lodge 
in the midst of Jerusalem]. As we have seen (v. v. ^), many 
of the people (most of them perhaps, since these words are ad- 
dressed to the people and since Jerusalem had few inhabitants, 
7^) lived outside of the city, and went home at certain times, 
those who lived near probably each night. — And they shall be for 
us a guard by night and a working force by day]. The Hebrew 
riwN^D has nowhere else exactly this sense, but the context makes 
clear the meaning. It is not "occupation" or "the work," 
but the force doing the work. The antithesis is to "guard," 
which may have an abstract sense like "defence," but English 
has no suitable corresponding word for nSi^^D. — 17. Here we 
have an impressive statement that shows again the pressure 
under which work was done and the criticalness of the situa- 
tion. / and my brethren and my servants and the men of the guard 
following me, we did not take of our clothes]. Those who were 
especially charged with the defence were ready for action at a 
moment's notice, showing that a night attack was feared. 

The rest of the passage is obscure. Most scholars correct text and 
render: each one with his missile in his hand. But to say nothing about 
the lack of support, a further statement about arming is not appro- 
priate here. That point has been abundantly covered above. The 
text runs literally: each man his missile the water, which lacks both con- 
struction and sense. In a Gk. text we find the passage amplified: and 
the one whom they sent for water, a man and his missile to the water. But 
this has no connection with the otherwise incomplete statement about 
sleeping with the clothes on, and is pretty confused in itself. More- 
over, we have nSty translated in two different senses. The water was 
within the walls, and the carrying of a weapon esp. then is unintelli- 
gible. The Latin seems to mean that each one stripped for bathing, 
making an exception to v.^, but it is difficult to get this sense from our 
text. As some emendation is essential, we may regard the Latin as 
the clearest. EV^. " every one went with his weapon to the water " is 
highly interpretative, and certainly gives the wrong idea. The words 
must in some way have qualified the retention of the clothing. If I 
might draw a bow at a venture, I should conjecture neither by night 

NEHEMIAH 333-417 235 

nor by day. This text is not so very different from MT., and some he- 
roic course is required. This proposal has at least the recommendation 
that it makes good sense, completing the statement about wearing the 
clothes. In the preceding clause, we did not take oJJ our clothes, we miss 
a confidently expected note of time, and the proposed emendation 
supplies it. Under any circumstances the passage is too short for a 
complete independent statement. 

33. oSjjd] d^ adds 6 'Qpwvftifji; as 2>''. — d^m] (6^ eXuTtT^Oir] nal (ipyfaGT), 
(^. 4». — jyS'ti]. The Hiph. with same sense as Qal is late usage. CS>^ 
IjxuxT^pcae xal e^ey^Xa. I suspect that in both cases we have a double 
translation of the same Heb. word rather than a witness to an origi- 
nally more amplified text. — 34 f . (& is shorter than MT., and differs con- 
siderably from it. As usual, ^^^ has simplest form. Beginning with 
'y^ni we find: Auttj f) Suvayn? So[ji.opa)V, ote o\ 'louSatot oSxot oExoSo[ji.ou- 
ctv -ajv lauTwv -xoXlv = Di^y-nN 1J3'« n^NH Dmnin ^a pica' '?''n nr; i- follows 
1^ to anS I3ij?in, for which it has Sxt oExoSoyioOat t^v eauTwv xfiXtv, and 
thus shows that (& rd. those words as Di-'j; 1J3\ Several of the letters of 
these words are common with l|, and this variant is eloquent of the oc- 
casional troubles of those who tried to decipher ancient mss. Mitchell 
renders the clause "if they be left to themselves," and for "sacrifice" 
he suggests injj"', "they will build high" (JBL. 1903, »«). A part of the 
balance of this v. is found in the speech of To. — For dj and what 
follows (S^ has: \jA] Oouctdiaoufftv yj qjiyovxat sxl xou t6xou aiTwv; ouyX 
dva^TQasTat dXcixT]^ x,al xaOeXei xh teIxo? XfOwv au-uuv; 05^ has the cus- 
tomary elaboration and duplication showing the original CH corrected by 
addition of the extra matter of MT. — iS^in] appears as qjdcYovrai, i. e., 
iSss"', though ^ has as dup. in one place SuvT^aovxat. — nicna' . . . nra] 
found only in ^ and then as follows: xal et ai^[jLepov Jdaovrat toCk; Xfflouq 
(jLSTd: tb YEvlffOat yfji; xwyia xau6evTa<; x,al -ub Telxo? eiixexpTfjaix^vov. This 
text shows ixfl-|i for rn\ ^ix or nisns* for nimj?, nam for hdh; and nya 
or a synonym is added, unless xauO^vraq represents niDijJc, which then 
would be understood as a form from "lya. — The first problem of textual 
criticism is to determine where To. begins to speak. (&^^^ starts him 
at in3T"in. (6^ introduces him at this point and then reintroduces him 
at V. '^ IS agrees with MT. To.'s speech seems to be an answer to the 
timid note in Sanb.'s. Therefore in this respect MT. is preferable. 
— The clause ^^v; -idnii should be emended in part after (S {v.s.). — 
D^s*?] might be an erroneous reading in a bad copy for mi;'; then we 
might conjecture: Di^j; rs D^ja nSxn omn>n nnS icxS. — anS ■>3?;?in]. 
These words correspond, apparently, to <JS>^^ xal elxav xpb? lauTo6<;, 
elxev**. CS^ has this plus M^) xaTotXef^Jojjiev aiJi:o6? = ans aryjn. This 
reading makes the best sense. H num dimittent cos gentes, = nii inSa" 
nSsn a'cpn. — '3 iSsti] (goAs (ptj-yovrat [Sax] Ixl toG t6xou ai-riov. (S^ has 
this, but in the dup. apa Suv^aovtat ['?3'']; II et complebunt [n'?3] m wwa 


die, reading inNn for vnTi. — H has a plus here: nutnquid adificare 
pokrunt. — non] (g^ xeixo?, B gwi (icn). — 36. -ina] (S has seen nta"? 
as in V. *>. — r\-<2^ F"i«<a] 19 mss. Diac {v. Kittel); (S^ xaX eic, a?x[Ji.aXuofczv, 
i. e., n>tfSi. — 37. ajijj] CS^an j.(J_ pj, ^nd lack the remainder of this v. 
and V. ''. — 3''Jija . . . o] U quia irreserunt adificanles. 

4. 1. oniT^Nm] lacking in (S^-*. — hjiin] usually Ztea/mg, but here and 
2 Ch. 24", restoration of walls. 05 (piir). — nnnS] some Gk. mss. and B 
have sg., which is better. — a^sisn] (6 StaaqiaYaf, only occurrence of this 
word in LXX. Kittel suggests a-'Xno. — 2. Titfii^] (^ oovr\x^-r\csm; ouvAyu 
stands for 50 Heb. words (see Hatch and Redpath, Concord.), but no- 
where else for itrp. We should rd. 1*311, so H congregati sunt. — nia>j;'?i] 
lacking in (K^^^, (8^ tou xot^aat aix'fjv dcqjav^ xal xotriaac iiot xXAvYjatv, 
The first clause is lacking in MT., and we have the interesting "h. 
Kittel suggests n*?, which is better if text is otherwise right. — 3. ijinSx] 
^^ xupiov Tbv Oebv fjtAwv = ij-in^N mn\ — 4. Saon] (S^an ^^^^ exOptov, (6^ 
T. e. fjtJLwv. — isyn] CgBx g^Xo? = jiDn, (gAL" j, ^oQ^_ — g. irSyicy] MT. 
cannot be forced to yield any sense. The simplest text is (S^^** dva^af- 
vouatv \pV''\ ex xivuwv twv t6x(ov ecp' TjiJiai;. (S^ inserts oxt extaxpdtj^a'ce 
after x6xuv, and thus shows lar^rri. I would rd. : mcp?3n-'7DD iSy icn 
u^Sy lac'-Ti'N. This is clear and intelligible and might easily be cor- 
rupted into the present hopeless form. — 7. There is corruption here 
also, but it is not so deep-seated. With <S^^ rd. nnyi for tidpni. — 
Dinnxa] occurs elsw. only in Ez. 24'- ^ 26<- >*, with sense of smooth or 
hare, and here the mng. bare places is assigned. But such an interpre- 
tation is difficult. (S^ comes to the rescue, having a dup., first that of 
(5-^, then Lucian's own text : xal eaxTjaav uxoxaxwOev xou t6xou e^6xta9ev 
Tou TEtxoui; ev Tolq ivaxexrafjiivoti;. The last word occurs in LXX only 
in Jb. 39", corresponding to Vf\Q; so here we might infer aiU'iDa. 
(gBAK ijas axexstvoic;, "sheltered places." H has a text in which v. »• *• 
are compressed into a single sentence: slatiii in loco post murum per 
circiiilum populum in ordinem cum gladiis suis, et lanceis et arcuhus. — 
8. o^jjoh-Sni] lacking in (&^^. — •'jnx] (S xoO 6iou fit^wv, i. e., ij''n'?x. — 
<S^ has an important plus preceding ixi>n-Sx, xal wpxtaa auxoi? x6ptov 
Xdywv =inN'? ^jix Dj7>3t:'.si. Guthe puts this vb. at the beginning of the 
V. in place of the superfluous aipNi Nn>xi. That certainly improves the text 
very greatly. Torrey regards the addition as purely arbitrary (ES.'"). 

9. 3p3i] is to be rd. with the Vrss. and virtually all commentators. 
— 10. nicj? nyj] <i»i5A'< xwv exxeTtvaYti^vwv exoiouv, CSi^ xapaxexaytJilvwv 
ex. (Di^ny), H juvenum eorum faciebat. We might infer that 05 and B 
took the "1 from '^';i and prefixed to the vb., but (S generally disregards 
the participles in this troublesome passage. — a^innc] 05 ivTet'xovxo, M 
parata crat ad helium. — aTmm]. Sieg. follows B.-Rys., reading aicma 
after v. ", but in view of rhvr\ nprnn, v. "', the emendation is unneces- 
sary. — 11. noma oijan]. In their despair the Vrss. generally connect 
with preceding; Guthe and Kittel follow these and change verse-ending 


accordingly. — ^20^] d Iv toI? dtpx^patv. — s^-s^ty] ^^^^ Iv SxXon;, (S^ 
IvoxXot, B e< imponentium. There is no root tfDj;, and the word has 
been identified with dcv, but that makes a hopeless redundancy, and 
after (S aiccn is now generally substituted. The word is pred. both to 
"builders" and "bearers," but armed is not good, as that is too general 
a statement for the workmen. Perhaps aicy is all that is needed. — 
12. D^jani] is a second pred. after anoN, theywere armed and were build- 
ing, i. e., armed while engaged in building. H begins a new sentence and 
connects with following: et cedificahant, et clangehant biiccina juxta me. 
— iSsn] (gsAN |j,6iJi£va auToi, but MT. is right.— 15. Dinma . . . cxm] 
can only be a repetition from v. ^° and does not belong here. In place 
of unjN] (gA has fjiAfau, making more repetition. If the words were re- 
tained, this text would be right, as a''sn needs a complement. — 16. !£'''« 
n>ji] om. d^ANL _ij>,L,,-| (g a5X(a9T)Te.— aStrn"'] <g^ TcdXeu?.— 17. ]"'Ni] (& 
xofl Y^iATjv, i. e., ■•nNi. — inyji inNi] om. ^'^^^. — uhjn] 05 e^ -fjiitov = unjNC. 
— "e* tyiN] (S^Ax connects tt"'X with preceding and lacks a-'cn inSa"; (g^- 
has xal fivBpa ov dcTClaxeXXov Ixl Tb uSwp, dtv?)p xal oxXov auTou ef? irb 
uSwp. B umisquisque tantum nudahatur ad baptismum, apparently 
interpreting rhv in the sense of taking oflf the clothes. Guthe follows 
(S^ and has a'-nn •?« inSa-i i^x a-'on-Sy inSa' t^'n c-'NI. Most scholars 
rd. 1113 for ainn. As a bold guess I would propose ovni nh'>hr\ pa, neither 
by night nor by day. 


The placing of this c. so that it breaks the story of the rebuilding of 
the wall indicates that the compiler regarded these hard conditions as 
due to the work on the walls. And many authorities have followed this 
suggestion. It is true that the forced labour without pay would take 
many away from the ordinary means of livelihood. On the other hand, 
the work was done in too short a time for a serious economic disturb- 
ance, esp. of the kind described here. There is no hint in the text that 
the distress was connected with the great work. It is more likely due 
to the governor's efforts to secure a population for Jerus. A long 
time must have elapsed to bring about the state of affairs described. 
Neh. would scarcely have stopped work to hold an assembly, esp. in 
view of the pressing danger, which never ceased until the last stone was 
laid and the last gate in place. Finally, the date in v. " shows that we 
are at the end of twelve years of Neh.'s rule. The passage therefore 
belongs to a later period than the building of the walls. It describes 
one of the last acts of Neh.'s first administration. The c. falls into two 
main parts: vv. '-", the distress and its relief; vv. "•", the economic 
aspects of Neh.'s administration. 


1-5. Three complaints are made against the Judeans by 
three different groups of people. — These complaints were: 
(i) There was insufficient food for the large number of 
children. (2) Property had been mortgaged to buy food. 
(3) Money had been borrowed to pay taxes. The result was 
the alienation of property and the slavery of some of the 

1. The cry was one of distress on account of dire want. The 
complainants were the people and their wives], and the defendants 
were their brethren the Judeans]. The people, therefore, are He- 
brews who were not reckoned to the house of Judah, and may 
be those who had survived the exile in the surrounding terri- 
tory, unless the "Judeans" means here the Jews living in Jeru- 
salem, as V. ^ may imply. — 2. With our sons and our daughters 
we are numerous]. Such is the apparent meaning, and this 
rendering is found in (&. The population had increased faster 
than the means of support. Guthe, adopting a slight emenda- 
tion proposed first in 1753, gets "our sons and our daughters we 
give as security." But that would make this complaint vir- 
tually identical with that of v. ^ and needlessly anticipatory of 
V. ^ This change does, however, make a connection with v. '', 
while as the text stands the transition is very abrupt: that we 
may get corn and eat and live]. ^ gives a different rendering, 
give us therefore corn. But the people do not seem to be begging; 
they are complaining of the gradual loss of their property. — 
3. The second statement is clear: our fields and our vineyards 
and our houses we are mortgaging]. The complainants therefore 
belonged to a class that had considerable property, and who 
Uved outside of the city. The situation is hke that described 
in Is. 5^ The gathering of the land into the hands of the rich 
was not a new condition. The text gives us a reason for this 
alienation of property, that we may get corn in the famine]. 
"Corn," as in v. 2, is used for food generally, like "bread" and 
"meat." There is no use in softening "famine" to "dearth," 
as EV^. That rendering is based on the false connection with 
the wall-building. Famines were plentiful enough in Judah, 
owing to the failure of rain, and the situation requires a real 


and perhaps long-continued meagreness of crops. It is true 
that CH has ''eat," as v. ^, instead of "famine," but the Hebrew 
text is better here. — 4. The third trouble is in part plain: we 
have borrowed money for the king^s tax]. This is the only ref- 
erence to the taxing of the people by the Persian king. Like 
all other taxes, this is a preferred claim. As their crops had 
failed, and the people had little or nothing to sell, the money 
had to be borrowed. In the text we have following only our 
fields and our vineyards], to which (& adds our houses, as v. ', 
and one text makes sense by a preceding "upon," so EV^. Ac- 
cording to that reading, the real estate had been pledged both 
for food and for taxes. It is not unlikely that the words are 
a repetition by accident from v. '. (So Bohme, see Guthe's 
note.) They are unnecessary here. It quite suffices to say 
that they had borrowed money, for whatever property they 
had would, of course, be security. — 5. One class of people com- 
plained that their families were so large that they could not 
supply them with food; another that they had mortgaged 
their property because of famine; and a third that they could 
only pay their taxes by resort to the money-lenders. Then we 
have the plea of the relationship of the oppressor and the op- 
pressed. And yet as the flesh of our brothers [the Judeans, v. ^] 
so is our flesh]. "Flesh" is used here in the sense of "blood" 
to indicate race identity. These people were not suffering 
from the oppression of foreign tyrants, but from the exactions 
of those who were Jews like themselves. — As their sons are our 
sons], not meaning that the poor loved their children as truly as 
the rich, and suffered the pangs of separation as they would, 
but repeating the idea of the blood relationship. The sons of 
the borrowers were children of Abraham as well as those of the 
lenders. — ^The result of the hard condition is now stated: lo, 
we are reducing our sons and our daughters to slavery]. The peo- 
ple had come back from Babylonian bondage to find a Judean 
bondage, and the last state was worse than the first. In Baby- 
lon the whole family stood as one, but now children were taken 
from their parents to become the slaves of those of their own 


Then follows an unintelligible passage. Rendered as literally as 
possible, we have: and there arc some of our daughters subjugated, and they 
are not for the strength of our hand]. The difficulty was felt by the an- 
cient translators. In one Gk. text we find: some of our daughters they 
take hy force, and our hand is not strong, i. e., enough to make efifective 
resistance. This text is interesting because it discloses measures of 
oppression that were lawless. In the complaints above there was no 
hint of violent action; the rich kept well within the law, as they love 
to do. Here is a stage in which the law was disregarded, and young 
women were seized and taken from their homes by superior force. H 
renders: some of our daughters are slaves; and we have no means by which 
ihey may be redeemed, in part showing a different underlying Heb. text. 
I do not think "reduced to bondage" right, for that would be a rep- 
etition of what was just said of both sons and daughters. Either we 
must om. "and daughters" in the preceding statement or substitute 
some other vb. in this passage, as in ^ (taken by force). \ The lack of 
strength in the hand refers to the pecuniary loss. A daughter repre- 
sented a certain money value as a prospective wife, and the price was 
presumably high in this period, so that many Jews married cheaper 
foreign women (Ezr. 9, 10 Ne. i32< «•). Leaving out a single Heb. 
letter in the last word, as in (S, we get the conclusion of the trouble: 
our fields and our vineyards belong to the nobles ("nobles" instead of 
"others" of MT.), These were naturally the wealthier classes, as al- 
ways land-hungry, and striving to get together large estates. 

6-13. Nehemiah is greatly Incensed at the oppression and 
takes prompt measures to relieve the distress. — 6. And I was 

very angry], Nehemiah was capable of great passion when his 
sense of right was outraged. — Their cry and these words]. The 
cry was the general wail of the distressed of v.^; the words were 
the specific complaints made in vv. 2-5, % interprets differently 
and happily: their cry according to these words, i. e., their com- 
plaint as just specified. — 7. Literally, and my heart counselled 
upon me], EV^ "then I consulted with myself." This does 
not make very satisfactory sense, and the word does not occur 
elsewhere in Hebrew. We might render: my heart was king [or 
''ruler] over me. It would be more natural to find something like 
"my heart was hot within me," as in Ps. 39^. — And I reproved 
the nobles and the rulers], the two dominant classes in this period. 
The nobles had acquired the property of their brethren {v. s. 
V. ^) ; and the rulers were probably condemned because they had 

NEHEMIAH 5 24 1 

permitted the oppression. Of course, they may have been a 
party to it and shared in the plunder. — You have exacted interest 
each one of his brethren] is the specific charge against them. This 
was a violation of the law which forbade interest from Hebrews, 
but allowed it from foreigners, Dt. 232" f-, cf. Ex. 22^^ Lv. 25'^ ^•. 
The prohibition was not merely against usury as we might in- 
fer from EV^., i. e., interest above the rate established by law, 
but against any compensation whatever for a loan. Now the 
charges made against the Judeans in vv. ^-s say nothing about 
interest, and they do not even imply that interest was charged. 
The inability to pay the principal of the loans would account for 
the loss of property. Nehemiah may have assumed that in- 
terest was exacted in order to bring the oppressors within the 
pale of the law. — And I gave against them a great assembly] can 
scarcely be right, though supported by the Vrss. ; for the nobles 
and lenders and complainants were already present, and v. * 
continues the charge already begun. The true text was prob- 
ably I gave a great curse against them, v. i. Nehemiah was not 
averse to such a course (see 13^^), where we have a similar 
conjunction of expressions: "I reproved them and I cursed 
them," and note Guthe's text in 4^. — 8. And I said to them], 
i. e., to the nobles and rulers of v. '', we have bought our brethren 
the Judeans who had been sold to the nations, according to our 
ability], or better with (& of our own free will. This introduces a 
new feature in Nehemiah's administration. He had for twelve 
years been wont to purchase such Hebrews as he found who had 
been sold as slaves to foreigners, and had set them free. The 
text as it stands would imply that he repurchased the slaves as 
his means permitted. (& is stronger, indicating that he bought 
these slaves voluntarily that he might give them freedom. 
"The nation" means the foreigners in and about Judah, so 
Ryle and Kost. There is no reason to suppose that Nehemiah 
refers to people he had bought in Persia and brought back with 
him, apparently Stade's view {BT.^"^). That would weaken 
the contrast now plainly stated, but you on your part are selling 
your brothers; and they are sold back to us], so that some of the 
slaves which he had been buying, as he now discovers, were the 


very ones sold by these nobles. No wonder he was exceedingly 
angry and cursed them roundly. No wonder, in view of this pub- 
lic exposure, that they were silent and not a word did they find], i. e., 
for reply. In Jb. 32^ we have a similar expression, "and they 
found no answer." The expression is peculiar and happy, im- 
plying inability of the accused to find any defence to the charge. 
9. Nehemiah now appeals to the nobles both on religious — 
should ye not walk in the fear of our God — and on patriotic 
grounds — because of the reproach of the nations our enemies]. 
The fear of God here, as often in the late literature, is merely 
synonymous with "religion" or "law." The meaning is not 
that the people should dread God, for to fear him is to live ac- 
cording to his laws. In the latter clause (S lacks "the nations." 
"The enemies" would refer to people like Sanballat and his 
crew, who had made so much trouble during the building of the 
wall. "The nations" are the foreigners to whom the slaves had 
- been sold. It is impossible to make these identical, and one 
term or the other must be dropped. In later times than Nehe- 
miah "foreigner" and "enemy" were synonymous. The appeal 
to the people and to God to avoid the scorn of their enemies 
is common in the postexilic literature (see, e. g., Ps. 42^- " Jo. 
2"). How could these Jews have the face to claim superiority 
for their God and for their religion if their enemies saw the 
strong and rich taking advantage of the weak and poor. — 10. 
The Hebrew text has: and now, I, my brethren and my servants, 
have loaned them money and corn]. Nehemiah then admits 
that he has done the same thing for which he curses the nobles 
(v. ^). — The latter part does not help much, let us therefore re- 
mit this interest]. The ancients were puzzled by the passage. 
05 reads: we have supported them with money and corn. 31 keeps 
text in v.», but in v. ^ has: we do not ask back what is due to us; 
we grant that that is another's money for common use. One Greek 
text adds to v.^: and we will give for them money to put away 
from you this interest. The course of least resistance to make 
sense would be to render: we have loaned them money and corn 
and we have remitted this interest, that is, they also had made 
loans to the needy, but had scrupulously followed the law, 


making no interest charges, — 11. Nehemiah now leaves off the 
denunciation of the oppressors and the recitation of his own 
good deeds and makes a definite demand: restore to them this 
very day their fields, their vineyards, their oliveyards and their 
houses]. "Oliveyards" is not found in vv. ^-s and is an addition 
because of its constant use in Dt., which law-book is the basis 
of the actions described here. — The text continues: and the 
hundredth of the money and the corn, the wine and the oil which 
you loan them]. "Wine and oil," like "oliveyards" above, 
are added from Dt. "Hundredth" cannot be right. Such a 
petty remission would be useless to relieve the distress. U saw 
the difficulty and renders: rather more than the hundredth. 
Most authorities by a slight change of text render: the interest 
of the money and corn. The demand was therefore to restore 
the real estate so that the people would have the means to sub- 
sist and to pay their just debts, and to relinquish the unlawful 
interest which had been charged. Geike reads, "remit this ex- 
action of a pledge" {Hours, vi,**^). — 12. The nobles and lead- 
ers had been silent in the face of the accusation, v. ^, for they 
could only plead guilty, and silence sufficed for that. Now they 
are called upon to speak, for a definite requirement was laid 
upon them. They accept in full the governor's terms: we will 
give back [the fields, vineyards, and houses being understood as 
objects], and we will not exact from them [the interest of the 
money and the com also understood as objects]. — And I sum- 
moned the priests], for either they alone had the right to admin- 
ister an oath or an oath sworn by them was peculiarly solemn 
and binding: and I made them [the accused] swear to do accord- 
ing to this word]. Nehemiah was not satisfied with their bare 
word. An affidavit is more convincing than a mere personal 
statement, even after all the centuries since Christ taught the 
contrary. — 13. Further I shook out my arms]. "Lap" of RV. 
is quite unjustifiable. In one text we find hands. The He- 
brew word is usually rendered bosom, and after sinum of U, 
interpreted to mean the bosom of the garment ; see Ryle's highly 
imaginative description. The action was symbolical, a com- 
mon method among the Hebrews of reinforcing an idea. The 


point of the action appears in the following: so may God shake out 
every man who does not establish this word from his house and from 
his property and so may he be shaken loose and empty]. The 
man is to be separated violently from his property, so that they 
part company. To make the symbol effective, therefore, we 
should expect that Nehemiah's shaking would result in loosen- 
ing something from him. This could not be his arms or his 
bosom, but might well be his cloak. If he shook loose his 
outer garment, so that it fell from his shoulders, then the point 
would be clear. But perhaps it would not be necessary to say 
all this, as the people were looking on. What happened may 
be put thus: and I shook my arms [or bosom], and then as the 
garment fell from him, he went on: so may God shake it. — And 
all the assembly said, Amen]. The assembly does not mean a 
formally called and authoritative body, but the crowd of peo- 
ple which had gathered. Indeed, Nehemiah's summoning the 
priests (v. ^2) shows that there was no formal assembly, other- 
wise they would have been present. "Amen," which plays such 
an important role in Christian worship, was much used as a 
form of solemn congregational assent in postexilic times. — 
And they praised Yahweh]. The subject is "assembly"; nat- 
urally those who had been released from their oppressive bur- 
dens would have good cause for praise. — And the people did ac- 
cording to this word]. The "people," however, had been the 
complainants, v. ^ It would be more natural to find the nobles 
and the rulers. At all events, they are meant ; for the reference 
is to the execution of the demand made upon the rich by Nehe- 
miah. The people had nothing to do except to go back to their 
houses and fields. 

This passage, vv. 1-", is from N., but it has been worked over more or 
less by the Chr. (& shows that in some texts the process had gone 
further than appears in MT. The most liberal expansion is in vv. ^ '•, 
which are probably wholly from Chr. "iDXii can easily be explained 
then. Chr. introduces a speech for Neh. by prefixing the natural 
"and he said," forgetting that Neh. always wrote "and I said." 

14-19. Nehemiah recites the good features of his rule, 
that he had imposed no exactions upon the people, that he 


had supported the poor from his own purse, and that he had 
contributed to the work on the wall. — 14. He commanded me], 
i. e., King Artaxerxes. We might transpose " the king " from v.'' 
to this place as subject. — To be governor in the land of Judah], 
This is the only reference to the official position of satrap, to 
which Nehemiah had been duly appointed. The fact is im- 
portant in view of the question of Ezra's relation to Nehemiah. 
The latter could scarcely have accomplished such great works 
in development and administration without the support of 
official status. — From the 20th year even to the $2d year of Arta- 
xerxes]. The 20th year (2^) was the date of his coming to Jeru- 
salem; from 13^ it appears that the 3 2d year indicates the close 
of his term. He merely says here that he served for twelve 
years without pay, but the implication is that his whole period 
of service is included. — The bread of the governor I did not eat]. 
The satrap was wont to require provisions for his extensive 
household to be supplied by the people over which he ruled; 
cf. Solomon's method, i K 4^ ^•. Nehemiah did not exact this 
customary demand, but lived from his own purse. — 15. In 
contrast to his own generous rule, he describes the precedents 
he had ignored: now the former governors who had preceded me 
laid a heavy burden upon the people]. The implication is clear 
that there had been Jewish governors before Nehemiah, so Mey. 
(Ent.^^). The general statement is followed by specifications: 
they took from them for bread and wine forty shekels of silver each 
day]. H furnishes daily in place of the meaningless after, which 
would mean that forty shekels (about $25) were required daily 
from the whole people, a reading followed by Guthe, Ryle, et al., 
interpreting the words to mean forty shekels of silver each day 
for the purchase of bread and wine. — Another specification is: 
also their servants domineered over the people]. The meaning 
must be that the satrap's servants were not only insolent and 
haughty, but also that they filled their hands at the expense of 
those who were helpless before them. The person in authority 
is never wont to lend a very willing ear to complaints against 
his subordinates. — 16. And further the work of this wall I sup- 
ported]. This wall shows that Nehemiah was in Jerusalem when 


he wrote (or spoke) those words. In the Chronicler's report, 
G. 3, there is no statement of work done by Nehemiah. The 
meaning may be that he contributed of his means toward the 
work. "Continued" (for "supported") of EV^. is meaningless 
and unjustifiable, being due to the misplacing of this chapter. — 
And a field I did not acquire]. He may mean that he had not 
taken land for debt as the nobles had, or that he had acquired 
no landed property in any way during his governorship. He 
was not richer, but poorer, as the result of twelve years' rule. — 
And all my servants were gathered there at the work]. This would 
more naturally follow the first clause describing Nehemiah's 
personal efforts toward laying up the walls. The clause about 
the field introduces a different subject and breaks the narrative, 
and it may be misplaced. — 17. Now we come to another point 
in Nehemiah's generosity. The Judeans, to the number of a 
hundred and fifty, who had come to us from the surrounding nations 
[ate] at my table]. 

The text adds: and the rulers. But it is difficult to see what place "* 
they have here. Their presence would not be accounted a good deed 
on his part. Feeding the poor is meritorious, but feeding the rich is 
a different matter. We may best follow 05 and om. this word. Fur- 
ther the text inserts and, making two classes sitting at the governor's 
table, the Judeans and those who had come in from the nations. This 
again obscures the point of merit. After the fall of Jerus. in 586 many 
Jews found homes among the neighbouring peoples, just as a large 
colony went to Egypt and settled there. Neh. was endeavouring to 
build up not only the walls of the city, but a state, and therefore would 
naturally strive for the return of his own people. Some were induced to 
return. They would surely be the poorer classes, and would for a time 
have no means of subsistence. Neh. generously fed them at his own 
expense. This charitable act he might properly ask God to reckon to 
him for righteousness, v. ''. 

18. To feed this large body would require liberal provisions, 
so we have information from the commissary department: and 
that which was prepared for one day]. nt^J^ is often used in this 
sense of preparing food for the table, v. BDB. — One ox, six 
choice sheep and fowl were prepared for me]. This would provide 
meat for one meal for six or eight hundred people, provided 


they ate as we do with other varieties of food. With the 150 
poor Judeans and Nehemiah's own household, he had to feed 
some four or five hundred people. — The next statement is not 
so clear; literally, it runs: and between ten days with all wine 
in abundance]. With the aid of 05 we may get: and every ten 
days wine for the whole multitude. The "multitude" was prob- 
ably the large body which fed at the governor's table. While 
the select few might have had wine daily, only at intervals of 
ten days was this drink served to the whole household. — And 
even with this I did not exact the bread of the governor]. In spite 
of the unusual requirements of his court, he did not collect his 
Just dues. The reason he gives adds greatly to his credit: be- 
cause the service was heavy upon this people]. The "service" 
would naturally suggest the rebuilding of the walls; but such a 
restricted sense is not admissible, and the word may properly 
refer to the whole labour imposed upon a feeble people by the 
effort to build up a respectable state. H expresses the true idea 
very well: for the people were enfeebled, a condition made clear 
by the testimony of this whole chapter. — 19. Nehemiah closes 
with a characteristic prayer: remember to me for good, my God, 
all that I have done for this people], cf 6^* 1322- 29. 31^ 

2. *ai irj3] (5 ev uloi? t]. xal ev 6u.; "Bfdii nostri etfiUcB nostrm tnuUce 
sunt nimis. — doi] Guthe follows an old proposal and reads a^ai;?, as 
V. '. — nnpji] (5^ So-ue ouv tj^jlIv = uS ]dS un; It accipiatmis pro pretio 
eorum. — 3. 3;-i2] 05 xal 9aY6tJLe0a, so nSsxji as in v. ^ — 4. 05 adds: 
xal oixt'at ■fitn.wv; C5^ puts the nouns in the dative preceded by Ixt; IT 
precedes by detiiicsque. — 5. (S^ has ulol fiyLtov u!ol aiJTwv by transposi- 
tion. To this 05^ adds Stt aap5 [t-ix ia\xiv, an expression not elsw. in 
OT., for Gn. 2'* refers to marriage. — anayS] (&^ dq BouXa?; "B in servi- 
tutem. — nitt'3Dj] (8^ ^tqc dtqjatpouvTat. — IPT" ^ih Jixi] H nee habemus, unde 
possint redimi (Snj); d^ reads -xjcighq, (S^ >tal o5x faxuet ^ x^^P '^[J.wv. — 
annNS] (S -zolq ivzl^LQiq, a word which always stands in Ne. for iin 
(2I6 48. 13 2' 6" 75), rd. therefore onmS. — 6. Dnp3;n] 05^ amplifies: 
T-f]v qjuvfjv T^q xpauY^? au^wv. — 7. iSdm] f is explained as a loan-word 
from the Aram. mng. counsel; BDB. explains: "I considered care- 
fully." But from his course there seems to have been no cause for very 
deep pondering before the attack on the rich. Ges.^ gives, "I went 
to myself for advice"; but Neh. was not wont to go to any one else. 
The Vrss. all understand the word in this sense. It might easily be 


connected with the common ']hn, my heart was king over me, i. e., he 
acted according to his feelings. — nSnp] is found in late poetry in but 
two places, Dt. 33^ Sirach 7'. We have Snp in v. ". But the govern- 
ing vb. would not be jnj, for which d^ has auvi]-^ofoy, B congregavi. 
Moreover, what sort of an assembly would Neh. call against the lead- 
ers? There was no democracy in those days. If this were right, anS 
in V. 8 would refer to the assembly. In spite of the Vrss. I would rd. 
n'7'7,"', curse. — 8. unjs'] "M adds ut scitis. — 1J3 ns] C5 ev Ixouafy -fjiJLwv; It 
secundum possihilitatem nostram. CS> shows unaija, a reading generally 
ignored, but better than MT. <g^ has a long insertion or plus at this 
point: -fjiAtv 81 SouXeijouatv ol dSsX^ol -fjixtiv 0! ulol 'lapa-^jX; Ixatvlaw u[ia<; 
oix eij xexotTjxdxa?. xal •f)[Jiet<; yap axoS(oa6[j.e6a lobq, aSeX(pou(; -fj^xwv toIji; 
'louSafouc; Toiln; xpaO^VTa? ev Tois eOvsatv. Ixavu?, xixva, IxofrjaaTs. etSs [xiq, 
xSv 6[xTv ixoSciaeaOs aOxoii?. In part, this is a repetition, and generally 
speaking it does not throw any additional light upon the situation. — 
uS nsDji] lacking in (gBAS^—^^n] QJI- adds ixoxpfvaaGat (nw"?); 1 ncc 
invenerunt quid responderent. In Jb. 32' we find njyn inxd nS. — 0. 
ncNii] Qr. 1DX1, but we should rd. n-issi as vv. ' '•. — xiSn] (g oOx outox;. 
— "nxio] (5^ oiSI u? ipo^outiievot Tbv Oebv ixeaTpltJ^aTS Tbv dvstStatAov 
X. T. X. — a-'jn] lacking in (S^'^>^'. — 10. ivj] (g oi yvwaTof [j.ou = v^ but 
MT. agrees with 4^'. — a^a-j] (g eGY)xa[iev, /. c, a>t:*j, from a>c. (g^ adds 
to the v. xal Stiaofjiev &xep otiTwv dpyuptov dexoO^aOat a?' 5[X(ov tJj ^(ipo(; 
TouTo. IS has: non repeiamus, in cummime isiud as alienum conce- 
damus, quod debetur nobis. — 11. nxsi] (gsAx y^^\ ^j^j,^ (gL ^^^^ |^_ Most 
authorities rd. dns'd, i;. Guthe's note. — la's] (g^Ax ^,35^^ (gL j,jj|_sj^. — 
ca'j] 05 e^evlY^toTs (ns''). H adds to v., d'a/c pro illis. — -"jsn] (g^- t^? xsi- 
pot? iJiou, representing ijoh, M/ow> o///;c Aaw^^, as in Ex. 98 Lv. 16". jxn 
is defined as bosom, but in the few places of its occurrence^ (Ps. 129^ 
Is. 49") it might better mean arms. 

14. aj] lacking in ^^\ — ana] is, as Guthe says, impossible. Fol- 
lowing <g e[<; SpxovTxa otuTwv, he reads annfl. But as the sf. has no 
antecedent, I should prefer nna. — iScn] is lacking in ^^^i "B has rex 
as subj. of n«. Such a subj. is required there, and I would transpose 
accordingly. — nnsn anS] (g^Ax ^i^^^ aiTwv. In v. " these texts have 
TO!? Pta? for mnan. Hatch and Redpath give no Hob. equivalent in 
these places. B(a represents a different Heb. word in almost every 
place it is used. It is therefore difficult to ascertain what the Gk. 
translators had before them. It is certain, however, that they had 
neither an*? nor nnsn. In v. " we have apTou? tyj? pfa?, so pfa repre- 
sents some word which was rd. in place of nno in all three places. 05^ 
has &gzov tyj? iife[Loyl(xq [lou, B qua ducibus debcbantur. — 15. (&^ lacks 
aijB'N-in and avoids a redundancy which, however, is not uncommon 
in Heb. The same text adds xXot6v as obj. of iti^dh, reading therefore 
ayn-Sj' ^y. — For a>Ti h-;] ^ban \^^^ i^' auTou? = ani":.;?. — r|D3 nns] <g la- 
XosTov apyijptov (ou^), "B el pccunia qiiolidie. — ann^'j] G^^^' ol sxTSTtvcsy- 


{ilvot aOTwv = Dnmj?j. — Moh^] (gsAx l^oudtit^ovrat, (S^ Ixupfeuoov. — 16. 
^npinn] C§;ban q^^ IxpdcTiQaa. — nyj] lacking in (S^^^. <&^ has -rd: xatSciptob 
(jiou xal TcAvrec; ol atjva'{\j.ivoi. — 17. D^jjon] lacking in CSi^AX^ — aiN2ni] 1 
is lacking in (B^**. — ''jn'?e'-'?j?] ($^ Ixl -rijv TpAxel^dcv (xou l^evH^ovTo; the 
last word not occurring elsw. in (J6 and mng. "to wash out" is scarcely 
appropriate here. Some vb. like "sat" or "ate" might have stood 
here. — 18. cs'] lacking in (B^. — ansx] (g xf[jiapo<; = n^DS; H exceptis 
volatilibus. — nannS] (g^Ax ^^ xX^qOsc; (S^ xavrl tw xX-^9et, xavxl Tq) Xaw, 
an explanatory dup. (6 rd. a'lS and that is clearer than MT. — n?] ^ 
TouTot?, referring to the people whom Neh. fed. In v. '^ H has in some 
respects a variant text: et alia muUa tribuebam: insuper et annonas 
ducatus mei non quaesivi, valde enim attenuaius erat populus. 


This c. is the direct continuation of c. 4. The wall proper is finished 
on the 25th of EIul. The enemy first tries to tempt Neh. to a confer- 
ence in the plain of Ono. He puts them off repeatedly with a promise 
to meet them when his great work is finished. The enemy then tries 
to frighten him with a rumour that he is planning rebellion and as- 
piring to royalty. These measures proving futile, the foe tries a new 
method and hires a prophet to induce him to act as a coward and 
to commit sacrilege. A secret correspondence was carried on between 
To., who was related by marriage to prominent Judeans, and certain 
conspiring nobles, trying to frighten Neh. to some overt and self- 
condemning action. In this narrative the plots of the enemy are so 
much in evidence that we hear of the walls only incidentally. 

1-4. Sanballat, being thwarted in his efforts to check the 
work on the walls by force, now falls back on treachery. — 1. 

Here the three leaders of the conspiracy are named, as in 2^', 
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem; in v. ^ Tobiah is not men- 
tioned. We might suppose that only two were willing to go so 
far as to indulge in personal violence. It may be that Tobiah 
had reasons for declining to be a party to the plot, since he was 
related to some Jewish magnates, but it is more likely that the 
name has been accidentally dropped in v. ^. — The rest of our 
enemies] is explained by the full list in 4^ We note a change 
of construction, when it was reported to Sanballat, etc., perhaps 
indicating that the enemy had left the immediate neighbour- 


hood of Jerusalem, — That I had built the wall, and that there 
was not left a breach in it]. The tenses show that the wall proper 
was now finished, a distinct advance on the last notice in 3^*. 

In spite of the trying conditions described in c. 4, the last stone had 
been laid in the wall. (&, however, offers a tempting substitute for 
the second clause, i. e., then there was no spirit left in them, cf. i K. 10% 
where a similar statement is made of the Queen of Sheba. Gram- 
matically this text is better, as the sentence makes a suitable apodosis, 
thus: when it was reported to them . . . there was no spirit left in them. 
They were dispirited because of their failure to check the upbuilding of 
the old hostile city. On the other hand, MT. makes a more suitable 
connection with the following clause, which continues the description 
of the progress of the work. Neh.'s own account of the work reads 
very unlike the story told in c. 3. 

Up to that time I had not set up doors in the gates]. The ex- 
pression shows that Nehemiah was writing some time after the 
event, and that at the time of writing the gates were finished. 
This is in agreement with 5^^ (z;. s.). The gate is the open 
space in the wall, and the "doors" would close that gap. Jeru- 
salem was still vulnerable, but only at a few narrow points, 
and thus comparatively easily defended. — 2. Therefore the op- 
portimity for a secret or open attack had gone by. The enemy 
must adopt a different plan of campaign. It appears that the 
city with its menacing walls was not so dispiriting as the capa- 
ble and energetic leader. The purpose of the enemy was now 
to accomplish his destruction, not openly but by subtlety. If 
they could get rid of Nehemiah they could easily dispose of the 
walls he had built. They sent him a message therefore: come, 
let us meet together in the hamlets in the plain of Ono]. H is 
more specific, reading: let us make a treaty, presumably of peace, 
and intending to throw Nehemiah off his guard. 

Ono is found only in postex. writings (Ezr. 2" Ne. 7" ii^s i Ch. 
8"), in all these places as the name of a city. The place is located near 
Lydda, about 1 2 miles north of Jerus. Stress is laid upon the fact that 
Neh.'s reply indicates that the rendezvous was some distance away. 
Berth. Sieg. Ryle; but Neh. might have made the same reply if the 
appointed place were close by. The conference would interfere with 
his work without any travelling. The indefiniteness of the proposed 


meeting-place is apparent; therefore it has been suggested that under 
the word for villages is concealed a n. p., perhaps Kephirah. The 
art., at all events, indicates a definite place. 

Now they were devising to do me harm]. This is Nehemiah's 
own divination of the purpose of the meeting, a conviction amply 
justified by future events. The character of the harm cannot 
be determined by the very general Hebrew word; but it is diffi- 
cult to conceive of any other aim than personal violence, for the 
mere slackening of the work would be useless to these foes. — 
3. Sanballat must have sent some one to Nehemiah to convey 
this message, probably his servant, as v. ^. The governor does 
not reply by those who had brought the invitation, but sends 
messengers of his own. Perhaps he could not trust hostile 
persons to give his exact words. This reply is, as our text runs: 
/ am engaged on a great work and am not able to go down. Why 
should the work stop while I forsake it and go down to you?] The 
excuse made is not the conviction of a sinister purpose in the 
invitation. Nehemiah does not see fit to disclose his suspicions, 
or possibly his knowledge. He lays stress upon his exacting 
occupation. The interrogative sentence is questionable, as we 
find some interesting variants in (i>, viz., lest the work should stop. 
When I have finished it, I will go down to you. This makes an 
important change in Nehemiah's answer and reveals his shrewd 
purpose. He is striving to gain time so that the gates may be 
finished. We see then why he gives no hint of his suspicions, 
and indulges in no defiance, as he well might as governor of 
Judah; for he wants to keep his enemies idle and expectant 
until he is in a sufficiently strong position openly to defy them. 
The superiority of this text is evident, and the change required 
in MT. is not very great. It does, however, make Nehemiah 
indulge in a somewhat vague promise to do what he presumably 
never expected to do, vague because the clause "when his work 
was finished" might point to a very indefinite period indeed. — 
A. And they sent unto me according to this word four times], that 
is substantially the same message, possibly with an addition, 
like "the matter is too important for delay." If MT. is ac- 
cepted in V. 3, then the "four times" is unintelligible. If ^ 


is received, then the repetition of the request with increased 
urgency and Nehemiah's reiterated reply, "I will go down as 
soon as I finish the work," are alike clear. But curiously (&, 
which requires it, lacks the "four times," and MT., which can- 
not endure it, contains the words. To find a true original text, 
selection is frequently essential. 

5-9. Sanballat sends a letter to Nehemiah trying to alarm 
him with a report that he was aiming at royalty. — 5. Accord- 
ing to this word] is a meaningless repetition from v. K The 
phrase could only be retained by a loose interpretation like 
"for a similar purpose." — A fifth time] referring to the four 
times of v. ■*. This time Sanballat, who alone is credited with 
action, sends his servant, but the servant is not his spokes- 
man, for he carries an open letter in his hand]. Why Sanballat 
changed from oral messages to a written document is not made 
clear — possibly to make the damaging charge more forcible. 

Many efforts have been made to explain the statement that the 
letter was open. In Je. 32" we have the statement that the purchaser 
of land was given "a deed [book] of purchase, the sealed and the open." 
This may be explained by comparison with a Bab. contract tablet in 
which the real document was covered with an outer envelope of clay 
upon which a summary of the contents was written. If Sanb. sent a 
tablet, as is surely possible, the mng. is that there was no outer en- 
velope. We are still in the dark, however, as to why attention is 
called to this fact. The common idea that an open letter was insulting 
— as held, e. g., by Thomson, Land and Book, i\\,^* — is wrong, for it would 
be stupid for Sanb. to insult a man whom he was trying to entice to a 
meeting. It is tempting to change a single Heb. letter and rd. "a large 
letter." The letter was short so far as our information goes, but it was 
long relatively to the short oral messages, and we may have only a sum- 
mary. Or "open" may be a technical term no longer understood. 

6. The charge now made, Sanballat says, came to him from 
reports among the nations, the foreign peoples surrounding 
Judah. — And Gashmu says] is troublesome. It can hardly mean 
that Gashmu — before called Geshem — indorses the report, the 
implication of EV^ We may omit with 05, or understand so 
Gashmu says. Sanballat is the author of the letter, but he 
makes his co-conspirator the author of the report. — Thou and 


the Judeans are minding to rebel]. This, of course, is a serious 
charge: therefore thou dost build the wall], not as a defence against 
such foes as Sanballat, but against a possible Persian army. — 
And thou wilt become for them a king]. The charge is now, indeed, 
grave. To change from satrap to king would be an open act 
of rebellion. This is a similar accusation to that by which the 
Jews finally made Pilate listen to their cries (Jn. 19^2 f.)_ fhe 
charge appears plausible enough in itself in view of the general 
restlessness of subject peoples, the Jews in particular having a 
genius for rebellion. — According to these words] must either be 
omitted, for sense cannot be forced into it in this connection, 
or transferred to the beginning of the verse, thus: in it was 
written according to these words]. — 7. The gravamen of the letter 
was the suspected aspiration toward royalty. Upon this point 
the changes are rung: Even prophets thou hast set up to proclaim 
concerning thee in Jerusalem]. In the old kingdom of northern 
Israel most of the numerous revolutions were instigated by 
prophets (v. my Hebrew Prophet, c. 7), but we naturally suppose 
that men like Ahijah and Elisha acted in accord with the spirit 
of God which was in them. In the time of Judah's dependency 
prophets were active in fomenting rebellion (v., e. g., Je. 28). 
They were the natural media for this purpose because they were 
patriotic. But unfortunately there is abundant evidence that 
it was easy to find prophets to proclaim whatever was desired. 
Balak could not understand a prophet who would not speak as 
he was paid. Zechariah had pretty nearly said of Zerubbabel 
that he would be king (Zc. 4^ ^•). We know that there were 
hordes of prophets in Jerusalem in the postexilic period (He- 
brew Prophet, c. 4). It is perfectly possible that some of these 
had actually said the words charged by Sanballat, but it is 
certain that Nehemiah had not inspired their utterances, for 
these prophets were a despised class (Zc. I3*-^), and Nehemiah 
would not be likely to have dealings with them. If we may 
judge from Zc. the prophets of the period deserved the con- 
tempt in which they were held (Sta.'^). The prophecy which 
Nehemiah was accused of instigating consists of two words in 
Hebrew, but requires more space in English: there is a king 


in Judah]. The idea is that this terse oracle would be reit- 
erated again and again, until the passions of the people were 
aroused for action. Some texts of (& render quite differently: 
thou hast set up prophets for thyself, that thou mayst sit [or rule\ 
in Jerusalem for a king over Judah. There is no advantage in 
this reading, but it shows the difficulty in the ancient deciphering 
of obscure passages in mss. The danger of such reports is now 
plainly indicated: and now it will he reported to the king accord- 
ing to these words\ or better with (SH : these matters will he reported 
to the king, i. e., Artaxerxes. Sanballat's letter is very shrewd: 
he does not himself make a charge, but pretends to give friendly 
information of the dangerous gossip which is so widespread that 
the Persian king is sure to hear it. It does not matter whether - 
it is true or not. If such a report reached the ears of a sovereign, 
ever suspicious of disloyalty in subject peoples, the result would 
be disastrous, even though the charge were false. — Sanballat 
concludes by repeating the substance of his first message, v. ^: 
and now come and let us take counsel together], or possibly meet to- 
gether. The object of the conference is made to appear friendly 
that they might counsel as to the best means of extricating 
the satrap from a situation full of peril to him. — 8. And I 
sent unto him], whether by a written or oral reply we are not 
informed. — It has not heen done according to these words which 
thou say est, but thou inveniest them from thy heart]. The reply 
is brief and covers two points, a general denial of the accusation, 
and the assertion that Sanballat had made it out of whole 
cloth, Nehemiah may mean merely to deny that he has any 
disloyal aspirations, but he may mean to deny the charge in 
toto, even that there was any such report among the foreign 
neighbours. At last he speaks plainly to the enemy and by ac- 
cusing him of manufacturing the story in his own mind breaks 
off all negotiations. Meanwhile the work on the gates had 
reached a point enabling him boldly to scorn his enemies. — 
9. This verse cannot be original. It may be wholly an inter- 
polation by the Chronicler or a modification of some comment of 
Nehemiah, now no longer recoverable. — All of them would make 
us afraid], but it was Sanballat alone who wrote the letter.^ 


Their hands will let go the work and it will not he done]. The work 
is, as always in N., the wall-building. Sanballat had tried to 
stop that, but as the wall was already finished, v. ^, an effort 
to scare the people from the task is manifestly out of place 
here. — And now strengthen my hands] is a fragment of a prayer 
which may be genuine. On account of its broken character 
and to make it fit the context, (& has rendered, / strengthened 
my hands. In this form the clause might be a part of the sec- 
tion following. 

10-14. Shemaiah the prophet is hired by the enemy to 
persuade Nehemiah to do some act by which he might be dis- 
credited. — In large part this narrative is obscure, the text is 
corrupt in places, and there are transactions indicated which 
are no longer intelligible. — 10. And I went to the house of Shem- 
aiah.] The name occurs many times in our books, but this 
person is not mentioned elsewhere. Sachau cites the name of 
Shemaiah and his father Delaiah in illustration, but the names 
there are Delaiah and Shelemaiah {Pap. u. Ost.^). He is par- 
ticularised from the others by naming his father and grand- 
father, whose names are not found otherwise in our sources. 
He was certainly a prophet, but a corrupt one, and that is all 
we know about him. For what purpose Nehemiah went to 
his house is not clear. / is emphatic, though that use of 
the pronoun for emphasis is weakened by repetition in our 
sources, being especially common in N. It is probable that 
the governor depended, to a certain extent, upon the prophets 
for information about the purposes and plans of the enemy. 
The prophets were often possessed of much political informa- 
tion, and that is the object of his voluntarily seeking out Shem- 
aiah, V. i. — And he was shut up]. This cannot mean that he 
was ceremonially unclean, as Robertson Smith suggests, for the 
prophet straightway proposes that they shall go to the temple. 
The meaning can hardly be "kept under cover," as in Je. 36^, 
for Shemaiah was in his own house. "Secretly" as H has, per- 
haps by interpretation, is not right, for Nehemiah would scarcely 
have gone secretly to a paid tool of Sanballat's. Since the fol- 
lowing "and he said" lacks an introduction, we may best sup- 


pose there was originally in the text something like "now he 
had sent for me." Shemaiah was the one desiring the interview, 
and Nehemiah came to his house at his request. The plot 
which the prophet pretends to reveal would be abundant reason 
for his summons. Or it may be that the original read, now he 
was a prophet; that statement would be helpfully enlightening 
here. — Shemaiah's proposal is: let us meet at the house of God in 
the midst of the temple and let us shut the doors of the temple]. The 
verb is very suspicious in the first clause. The two who would 
go together could hardly meet by appointment. Shemaiah's 
idea is plainly that they should conceal themselves and thus 
avoid the danger which is impending. "Temple" as distin- 
guished from "house of God" would mean the inner sanctuary, 
and that would naturally be the best place of refuge. The holy 
of holies in Zerubbabel's temple therefore had doors of its own, 
which would be shut for more effective concealment. Shemaiah's 
meaning is evidently that assassins would not look for their 
victim in such an unwonted place. — ^The reason for hiding is 
given in impressive amplitude in the text, the redundancy, how- 
ever, not occurring in the best Greek versions: /or they are coming 
in to slay thee, yea, at night they are coming in to slay thee]. The 
character of the message implies that Shemaiah had sought the 
interview. The assassins are naturally the emissaries of San- 
ballat, who could get into the city in some disguise. At night 
is general, but the impression conveyed is this very night, and if 
that were the correct reading the repetition would be less ob- 
jectionable. There would be no use hiding in the sanctuary 
against foes coming "some night." The urgency of the situ- 
ation would explain Shemaiah's sending for the governor at 
this particular time. — 11. Nehemiah's reply, as our text stands, 
is in parts sadly lacking in clearness: should a man like me flee? 
And who is there like me that should go into the temple and live? 
I will not go in]. (§^^ has at least a more intelligible text: who is 
the man that would go into the house and live? i. e., to save his life. 
The air is cleared, perhaps sufficiently, by dropping the second 
like me, which is an error by dittography. Then we would have: 
should a man like me, holding the highest position in the state, 


and so carrying great responsibilities, flee from danger? And even 
so, who is the man [so cowardly and base] that would enter the tem- 
ple, not to pray or ojjer sacrifice, but to save his life? The temple 
is a place for worship, not an asylum in time of danger. 

11. And I discerned, and lot no God had sent him], so we may 
represent the unusual place of the negative in the original. 
How Nehemiah recognised that Shemaiah spoke without in- 
spiration is a mystery. Perhaps in a very human way: Nehe- 
miah could not accept the counsel of the prophet; if the word 
had been of God, he must obey; as he refused to hearken, he 
could only justify his course by drawing the conclusion, cer- 
tainly justified, that no God had part in the message. — For the 
prophecy he spoke unto me], after which we should expect a 
clause like, came from his own heart, to make an antithesis to 
no God had sent him. It may be that we should read: for the 
prophetess had spoken to me, v. i. on v. ^*, and thus he had re- 
ceived warning of the plot. — And Tobiah and Sanballat had 
hired him]. This text we may accept as reasonably certain, 
though Guthe gives some weight to a Greek reading had hired 
a multitude. But while we might believe that the foe had 
bribed several people in Jerusalem, the collective term multi- 
tude or crowd could scarcely be applied to Shemaiah. Further, 
the statement is necessary to explain Shemaiah's attempt to 
lead the governor astray; for he would scarcely take such a 
course of his own accord. The bribe explains his action. 
13. In order that he be bribed], the only permissible rendering, 
shows the impossibility of the text. The fact seems to be that 
the words are a dittographic repetition. It suffices to drop in 
order that, so we should have he was bribed in order that I might, 
etc. The rest of the verse connects directly with v. ", explain- 
ing why Shemaiah was hired: in order that I might be afraid and 
io thus and sin, and it [1] should be to them for an evil name, in 
irder that they might reproach me]. With (I we may read / 
nstead of it, though it might be explained with some forcing. 
Do thus can only refer to hiding in the temple. 

The sinning must refer to his taking asylum in the temple. The 
whole thing then reduces to two points, showing cowardice, and enter- 


ing the sanctuary. A leader who is a coward can scarcely pilot the 
ship of state unless the seas are very smooth. Neh. would, indeed, get 
an evil name if he were known as a coward and as one who misused the 
temple. We might well ask what harm it would do Neh. if his enemies 
had grounds to heap reproaches upon him. Neh., indeed, was little 
concerned with what his enemies outside the city might say; but their 
effort in this stroke was to weaken his influence in the city among those 
over whom he ruled. Once get him to show timidity and they would 
have a story to circulate which would undermine his great influence and 
power. This section is important because it is the first intimation we 
have that Neh. had enemies in the city, enemies not due to his acts 
but to Sanb.'s pay. 

14. Another imprecation is poured out against the two 
bribers (c/. 3^® ^ •) : Remember, my God, against Tobiah and 
Sanballat according to these their deeds]. We note the absence of 
Geshem: cf. absence of Tobiah, v. ^. As we have really '^his 
deeds" perhaps Tobiah is a gloss. The prayer is that God 
would do to them as they had vowed to do to him. He asks 
God to remember their evil deeds, as he had asked for the re- 
membrance of his own righteous acts, cf. 5^^. The rest of the 
verse may be interpreted in two exactly opposite senses, ac- 
cording to the text we accept. MT. makes it a continuation 
of the imprecation, but directed toward Noadiah the prophetess 
and the rest of the prophets who were scaring me]. This is diffi- 
cult, for surely Shemaiah would be named and not included in 
the group of "the rest of the prophets." Again, the meaning 
would have to be who tried to scare me; "would have put me 
in fear," ARV. The English translators strove for intelligi- 
bility, but that rendering is certainly not extractable from the 
Hebrew. Quite another sense is given by a reading in (S , in 
which the remembrance for evil of v. " becomes now a remem- 
brance for good toward the prophets, who were giving me warn- 
ing. We thus understand the omission of Shemaiah. Noadiah, 
a prophetess not otherwise mentioned, was working for Nehe- 
miah as Shemaiah was working against him. She may be the 
prophetess suggested in v. ^2, who disclosed the source of Shem- 
aiah's cunning advice. While the change from imprecation to 
supplication is surprising., on the whole the latter interpretation 
seems preferable. 


15-19. The completion of the walls produces consterna- 
tion among the enemy and fear among the nations. Further 
plots are revealed in Jerusalem. — 15. And the wall was com- 
pleted on the twenty-fifth day of Elul]. Elul, mentioned only here, 
is the 6th month, corresponding to August-September. The 
wall was completed therefore about September 10. Of the 
fifty-second day]. This reckoning, in spite of the reproduced 
awkward phrasing, must mean the period within which the 
walls were reconstructed. The shortness of the time has 
aroused wonder in some quarters and suspicion in others. The 
work must have been done with astonishing celerity. The 
enemy were constantly surprised at the rapid progress. It 
seemed to the nations the work of God, v. ^^ because concluded 
with miraculous speed. There was every incentive for Nehe- 
miah to rush the defences of the city. There was evidently a 
vast force at work, and skilfully distributed so as not to interfere 
with each other. Josephus, who followed the Esd. text, gives 
two years and four months as the time for the work on the walls 
(Ant. xi, 5, 8). If the date Elul is correct, it was less than six 
months since Nehemiah obtained leave of absence from Arta- 
xerxes, 2^. He could therefore scarcely have been in Jerusalem 
much more than two months. The whole verse looks like the 
work of the Chronicler, and yet some statement about the wall 
s natural here. — 16. That this verse is hopeless as it stands 
s shown by a fairly literal rendering: and it was when all our 
memies heard — and all the nations round about us were afraid, 
ind they fell greatly in their eyes, and they knew that this work had 
Ken done of God. 

There are two ways in which we can clear up the passage: (i) By as- 
suming an ellipsis which told the effect upon the enemy of hearing about 
the completion of the walls. (2) By supposing that "all the nations 
round about us" is an interpolation by the Chr. to whom enemy and 
foreigner were syn. The real sense seems to be: when our enemies 
heard, they fell greatly in their own eyes, and they were exceedingly afraid. 
In the text as it stands, and they fell greatly in their eyes, we have 
to assume "they" to refer to the enemy and "their" to the nations. 
Such looseness is hardly conceivable in such a writing as we know 
these memoirs to be. Neh. is all through describing his struggles with 


a particular enemy and " the nations " have no place in the story. The 
latter part is clear. As explained above, on v. ", the hand of God 
alone enabled the Jews to do such a stupendous work in so incredible 
a time. 

17. Now we have further light on the desperate attempts of 
Tobiah to overthrow the great leader; for Tobiah becomes the 
leader now in place of the discredited Sanballat. Two slight 
corrections are necessary to make good grammar: also in those 
days], note the vague reference to the time, an expression gen- 
erally referring to a period long antecedent, many letters from 
the Judean nobles were going to Tobiah, and Tobiah's [letters] 
came in to them]. A vigorous correspondence was carried on 
between Tobiah and those high in Judean affairs, the object of 
which is explained in v. "'', to frighten the great leader. Nat- 
urally this correspondence was carried on secretly. Nehemiah 
may have learned about it from Noadiah and the other prophets 
(v. s. v. "). The governor of ancient times, like the present 
rulers in despotic governments, must have an extensive secret- 
service department. Nehemiah naturally regards this corre- 
spondence as disloyal to him; the mere mention of it shows his 
attitude. — 18. For many in Judah were conspirators with him], 
or were bound to him by an oath, but the sense is best expressed 
by conspirators (BDB.). These were the Judean nobles of v. ". 
The reason he could inveigle so many Jews is made clear by his 
connections in marriage: he himself was son-in-law to Shekaniah]. 
Shekaniah is a common name in our sources, but this one can- 
not be identified unless with one named in 3^8 (cf. Che. A. Jr. 
Th. 1901,^"). It is clear though that Shekaniah must have been 
one of the nobility or occupied some prominent position in 
Jerusalem. Then again Tobiah had contrived a marriage be- 
tween his son Johanan and the daughter of MeshuUam. (San- 
ballat's daughter was the wife of Eliashib the chief priest, 13^^) 
The name of the wife's father only is given, because he was a 
prominent man (cf. Ne. 3*- ^). It is even contended that he 
was the contemporary head of the house of David (Herzfeld, 
Gesch. Isr. i,^*^ — 19. The contents of the correspondence are 
now exposed. Also his goodness they were reciting before me]. 

NEHEMIAH 6 26 1 

Most Greek texts have his words. If MT. is correct, there is a 
play on Tobiah's name, which may be translated "goodness of 
Yahweh." The sarcasm is evident. The purpose would plainly 
be to make Nehemiah think well of Tobiah. His efforts must 
therefore have been in line with Shemaiah's, to undo the gov- 
ernor by advice which had a friendly appearance. — And my words 
they were carrying to him]. Perhaps words may mean more than 
speech here. Tobiah would be much more concerned to know 
what Nehemiah did than to hear what he said. — Tobiah sent 
letters to frighten me], that is, by telling Nehemiah of imaginary 
dangers, v. s. on v. ". 

Here we reach the end of the long story of obstacles placed in Neh.'s 
path by the determined efforts of Sanb. To. and Geshem to prevent his 
restoration of the defences of Jerus. The section dealing with the 
walls in N. (2i'^7<, omitting c. 3, 5) is really a history of Neh.'s success- 
ful thwarting of all their plots. The work on the walls is mentioned only 
incidentally. We cannot appreciate the stupendous accomplishment of 
the great leader unless we take into account the fact that the walls 
were restored in the face of great danger and of constant interference. 

1. Tfjo] (S^ <^%oBo[L-ffiri. — y^s na] (S^AX ^y aiixolq tcvot^, i. e., yo: ana 
or possibly nn, as i K. 10'. ^^ has a dup. uxsXeicpOT] ev au-uy Staxoxi^, 
xal ou ■x.azzkzlcfQ-q ev otiToI? xvoiq, bearing most convincing testimony to 
this reading. — 2. niyij] 15 percutiavms joedus — nmsj. — an^ij:;], A def- 
inite place is indicated and Sieg. suggests m"iD3. — 3. nn'?] ^ \i.i\ %o-zz, 
prob. lyD*?. — njjiK] (& TeXetwaco auT6, H venero; (8 shows hnSdn, — 4. 
'0 i'3"iKl lacking in (H^^x^ — nrn 1212] (S %ondc TaOxa, H juxta sermonem 
priorem. (8* lacks all of v.», one of the rare cases in which this cod. has 
the shortest text. — 5. ntn -ijnD] lacking in (&^^^. It is an erroneous 
repetition from v. *. — 'n Dj7s] lacking in (H^^k. ^l x^jxtctov, so lacking 
Dj'fl. — 6. "iDN iD'^yji] lacking in (S^^n^ els-vp, always Dtfj, though former 
is prob. correct. — rhan onais] is meaningless here. C5 and ^ connect 
with following, xotl izghq Touxotq, reading only nS^ni; H propter qiiam 
causam. — 7. xipS] H quce prcsdicenL CJ^^x im Y.ablajiq (atfi). — iSc] (5^ 
e^aafXeuaaq. — onaij] (6 ol Xd^ot = Dn^nn, so It verba hcec in ace. — 
nn' . . . noS] differs from the invitation in v. '^ by a single letter, s for i. 
Surely the vb. must be alike in both cases. It is hard to choose, as 
either makes good sense. — 8. axiia] elsw. only in i K. 12"; C5 (J^euSi], 
"B componis. — 9. pin] OJ^AN Ixpaxafwaa; d^ expaTatwOrjaav (al xstpl<; 
fjLou); H confortavi. — 10. nsj? Nini] H secreto, which may be an inter- 
pretation or represent "\1.-D Nin. Perhaps we should rd. n>3j Nini, v. s. 
— Ss^nn] bis lacking in C5, but (&^ has e6pa<; x. vaoO. — '\i'sr\h ... 13] 


. CS^Ax g^j I'p^ovTat vux.T?)<; 9oveuca£ ae = iJnnS nSS a^N3 ^D. Our text 
shows the repetition of a word by dittog. — 11. (S^^^ xal elxa t(<; 
la-utv h dvf)p 8q ebeXe6CT£Tac slq xbv olxov xal i^-^asTac = nt^N tfiNn in hidni 
^m nian-Ss N31, an important reading which has not received much 
notice. — 12 f . nan] (S^an xiyoi; = na-j.— xin ni3C lynS n^!?]. Guthe 
says truly that this passage defies any attempt at interpretation as 
it stands. There is undoubted evidence of corruption, largely by a 
copyist's error. (S offers some help; we find: lixtaGtiaavTo Ix' i[i.k 
SxXov^A'*, i. e., imn iSy nac. But this scarcely represents MT. (S^ 
has ItJLtaOtoaavTo aiidv; that would be merely inno'j', and thus we have 
intelligibility, "iiou' IJID*? is explicable as a case of dittog., and xin is the 
misplaced obj. of the vb. The least change to make sense is to om. 
lysS. — n^ni] after ^ rd. imni. — 14. Dixajn] ^b ^^^ lep^Mv. — aix-iic] (g^ 
IvouO^TOuv = D''j"'2n, giving an entirely different sense. — 16. hz] lack- 
ing in (S^; the word is unnecessary. — onij^yj . . . iSci] C5 has 96^01; 
(C5^ 9. [li-^txq) as subj. of 'rs''. "M renders et conciderent intra semetipsos. 
Diflacult as the text is, these variants offer no help. — 17. oiaic]. 
(gBAN (j^}) TcoXXwv = a''3nc. — aninnjN] sf. lacking in 05^^^, so H, which 
has muUcB epistolm. — 18. (& adds to end of v. zlc, Yuvatxa = ncxS, 
necessary ace. to Heb. usage. — 19. vn:3io] d^^N -^q^^ "kft^ouq auTou = 
r"i3T; C5^ Ta ffuyi.9^povTa ai-uy. 

7^'^. The doors are put in place; a guard is stationed to 
watch the gates. On account of the magnitude of the en- 
closed city and the paucity of the inhabitants, Nehemiah 
calls a general assembly. — 1. This is the first part of a tem- 
poral sentence: and it was when the wall was built and I had 
set up the doors, and gatekeepers were appointed]. To this the 
Chronicler was irresistibly drawn to add the completion of the 
trio and the singers and the Levites] (so Sm. Listen, 26^''), who 
had nothing whatever to do with the present situation. The 
setting up of the gates is mentioned only incidentally, as a 
second note of time after "the wall was built." We do not 
know when they were completed, probably not within the fifty- 
two days of 6^^. We have only negative information in 6^ The 
events described certainly took place upon the finishing of the 
gates, therefore soon after the story of c. 6. The gatekeepers 
were charged with the custody of the gates, and certainly per- 
formed some police duties. — 2. Then I commanded Hanani my 
brother and Hananiah the captain of the fortress in Jerusalem]. 
On Hanani v. i^. On fortress v. 2^. The fortress was probably 

NEHEMIAH 71-" 263 

connected with the temple and was doubtless the military head- 
quarters as well as the seat of government. Hananiah is a name 
recurring frequently, Ezr. lo^^ Ne. 3*-''' lo^* 12^2. 4i_ Whether 
these are all different persons, it is hard to say. From the 
particularity of his mention here it is apparent that this one 
cannot be identified with any other. — ^Nehemiah had given him 
a position of trust on account of his character, for he was like a 
man of truth], and so different from the lying prophets and con- 
spiring nobles; and because of his religious zeal, and he feared 
God more than many]. Fearing God is here following God's will, 
not living in dread. Nehemiah does not need to give any reason 
for the selection of Hanani; it sufficed that he was his own 
brother. — 3. To these trustworthy officers Nehemiah's orders 
are given for the safety of the city, the gates of Jerusalem shall 
not he opened until the sun is hot]. The time is not very specific, 
but the conditions would be met some time after sunrise. — The 
next clause is corrupt. From the part which is clear, let them 
close the doors and bar them], we can infer that the corrupt clause 
must have indicated the time for shutting the gates. But our 
text has and until they are standing], which is meaningless. (5 
has as a substitute: and while they are still watching. This is 
clear in itself, but there is no antecedent to the pronoun, for the 
guard is mentioned later. Without changing the text much, 
we may get good sense, while it is still standing, "it" referring 
to the sun, and the time indicated is then shortly before sunset. 
That corresponds suitably with the hour for opening the gates. 
The doors were to be kept securely fastened except during the 
hours of broad daylight. Instead of he stationed] we must read 
either / stationed or station ye, preferably the former. — Guards 
of the inhabitants of Jerusalem]. The great difficulty in this 
treacherous community was to find men that could be trusted. 
Those who lived in the city would, at all events, have the 
strongest motive to fidelity. — Each one in his watch] shows 
that there was a regular military organisation; the guards were 
divided into watches, being on duty a certain number of hours 
each day. — And each one in front of his house] sounds like the 
voice of the Chronicler. The guards must have been stationed 
on the walls and at the gates; for they were not so much po- 


licemen as sentries to watch against attack from the enemy 
outside. It is doubtful whether as yet there were houses in 
which they could live, v. i. 

4. Here we begin a new section, dealing with the sparseness 
of the population. Perhaps songs like Ps. 127, 128, were com- 
posed at this period by a poet who was sympathetic with Nehe- 
miah. — Now the city was wide of hands]. Of hands is omitted 
in (^ because not understood. The phrase wide of hands is 
common, Gn. 34^1 Ju. iS^o Is. 22" 3321 i Ch. 4''o Ps. 104". This 
is predicated of land, of the sea, and of streams. The mean- 
ing is given usually as wide in both directions. It really means 
wide in all directions and is equivalent to long and broad, other- 
wise of hands would add nothing to wide. — And great] emphasises 
the extent of the city, and makes an eflEective contrast with the 
following: but the people in its midst are few]. Those who actu- 
ally lived within the city walls, from whom the guard had to be 
enlisted, were few in number, and besides were obliged virtually 
to camp out, for houses had not been built]. In spite of this the 
Chronicler had each sentry stationed in front of his house, v. ^! 
This statement is authentic and important. When Nehemiah 
came to Jerusalem he foimd the temple restored, and that was 
practically all there was of Jerusalem, so the city was indeed 
in ruins, 2^. The houses referred to in Hg. i^ may have been 
without the city. The new Judah had been built up on agri- 
cultural lines, a necessary condition in a new community, and 
was without a headquarters. We can see clearly that Nehe- 
miah's mission was to restore Jerusalem. Now the city had 
walls and was safe as a residence, and so the problem confront- 
ing Nehemiah was to induce people to live in the city and to 
see that they had houses to dwell in. He proceeds to take 
measures accordingly. — 5. And my God put it into my heart]. 
Doubtless he had earnestly pondered the grave problem of this 
great empty space enclosed with walls; then the solution comes 
to him, as to many earnest souls in ancient times and modern, by 
inspiration. — And I assembled the nobles and the rulers and the 
people], and then the Chronicler, deciding to attach a list of 
names at this point, makes Nehemiah say appropriately for 
taking their genealogies]. Nehemiah had a vastly different pur- 



pose, fortunately recorded in most Greek Vrss., i. e., for a con- 
ference. To provide people and houses in the city the governor 
needs the co-operation of the people, and therefore he calls a 
great assembly to consider the problem, — And I found the 
genealogical record of those who came up in the former time, and 
I found written in it]. This is the Chronicler's note to connect 
the preceding passage with his list. Here we say farewell to 
Nehemiah and his work until we reach c. 11, which describes 
the effort to secure residents for Jerusalem and therefore di- 
rectly follows. 

2. mon] eS^AN T^<; pefpa, P(4pew<;^ H domus.—^-\^-'h]i\ (g^AK |y i_ 
The prep, is lacking in (S^; }S de. — 3. With Qr. rd. icni]. — a>iDj; an i>'i] 
(& -/.aX ETC auTwv eYpT^Yopoivrtov = on|iB> on iiyi; H cumqiie adhuc assis- 
terent. I should rd. rnny N^n iiyi. — irns] dl^Ax aipYjvouaOwaav = ^yi, ii- 
tfa\iC,iuQ(ji<sacy^ = Tnsi. It oppitatcn. — TDjrni] rd. nopm or better ^^DyN1. 
— 4. aiT* ram] (g icXaTela^Ax _|_ ^gpjj^L, — 5, trha] 05 h 6e6<;. — B'mnnV] 
and cnTi] ziq auvoSta<;^A.s ~ nns;;S. B ut recenserem cos. 

y6-8ia is a duplicate of Ezr. 2-31. The notes are found on the 
former passage. For convenience of reference, a table of correspond- 
ing vv. is given. In the list of the Neth. (Ezr."-" Ne."-") the v. di- 
visions are not the same in the two recensions, and therefore in that 
part the table is only approximately correct. 



























22 ) 
















































45 > 

46 y 
















































71, 72 

























There are three parts to the c: (i) The drafting of people to live in 
Jerus., vv. *'•; (2) the list of the residents of the holy city, vv. '-2*; 
(3) the towns of the Judean province, vv. "■'». The list is parall. that 
in Ezr. 2 = Ne. 7'-", both lists covering essentially the same classes, 
laity and temple officers, and both containing geographical as well 
as genealogical material. The list before us is earlier, for here we find 
but a handful of people in Jerus. (1,400 laity) and their presence the 
result of Neh.'s special efforts, while the great majority of the people 
live in the smaller towns, S3 oi which were occupied. And yet it can 
scarcely be in its original form, since the elaborate genealogy of the few 
clansmen named would have no place. (5 shows expansion since the 
list was made (see notes). The text has certainly suffered from cor- 
ruption, as is evidenced by comparison with the parallel in i Ch, 9, 
and it has also suffered, like many other writings, from the hands of 
editors. Vv, > '• connect directly with 75 a, not with 7"" as Sta. (Gesch. 
ii,"') and Sm. {Listen,^') hold, and show the measures adopted by the 
assembly to secure a population for the newly walled city. Ew. has 
been followed by many scholars in the belief that the reference is to 
the first settlement in the time of Cy. The passage is not so badly 
placed as that contention would require. The list which follows, 
vv. '-^*, originally contained the names of those who had taken resi- 
dence in Jerus. The rest, vv. '"-'«, is an appendix to show the dis- 
tribution of the remainder of the people in the province, and so com- 
pleting the record. On the names see Sm. Listen,'' *f-, Kost. Wied.^'' ^-j 
Mey. £wi."5 fl.. 

1. And the chiefs of the people resided in Jerusalem]. That 
describes the condition when the assembly of 7^ met; the official 
classes alone resided in Jerusalem. There are indications here 
and there to support this statement, such as the secret corre- 
spondence with Tobiah, the ruling classes being the Jewish party. 
The wealthier people, being few in numbers, might live in the 
city, while the working people remained on the soil from which 
they derived their living. — And the rest of the people], in con- 


trast to the preceding, hence the common people, cast lots ta 
bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem]. As the lot was always 
deemed sacred, then the one chosen would feel a strong obli- 
gation to move to Jerusalem. It is plain that residence in the 
holy city was not considered desirable. — And nine parts [were 
left] in the cities] is the correct idea. Yet a strict construction 
would connect with the lots: one part to dwell in Jerusalem and 
nine parts allotted to the cities, i. e., those named in w. " ^\ 
We must assume that all the common people had been residing 
in the cities, such as are enumerated at the close of the chap- 
ter, and that now one-tenth of them come to Jerusalem. For 
hands denoting fractional parts see also Gn. 47^^ 2 S. 19^* 2 K. 
11^. — 2. And the people praised all the men who volunteered to 
dwell in Jerusalem]. Some evidently offered themselves as res- 
idents for the holy city, and these would be in addition to 
those drafted by lot. The commendation shows the desperate 
plight of a city largely devoid of a population. 

3-24. The residents are treated as in other lists by classes. 
We note, as in Ezr. 2, that the laity precede the temple oflScers.-^ 
3-9. The list of laymen in Jerusalem. This is parallel to i Ch. 
q2-9. — 3. These are the chief men of the province who dwelt in Jeru- 
salem]. These are the same as the officers of the people, v. ^ 
This is the Chronicler's introduction to the catalogue of names 
which follows. — The rest of the verse connects more appro- 
priately with vv. ^^••, in fact, it is a duplicate of v. '^ and has no 
place here. — And in the cities of Judah there dwelt, each man 
in his possession, in their cities, Israel, the priests and the Levites 
and the Nethinim and the sons of Solomon's servants]. The last 
class is not mentioned subsequently, while we miss from the 
catalogue "porters," v. ^^, and "judges," v.^^. If in their cities 
is authentic, the meaning is each one in his own city. The list 
of these cities is foimd in w. '^^ ^■. The implication is that in 
Jerusalem dwelt only the civil officers and the common people, 
drafted by lot or volunteering, v. ^ while the temple officials and 
laity alike dwelt in the towns. The statement is almost ex- 
actly what we have in 7" = Ezr. 2™ and in i Ch. g^. — 4. The 
original sequence to v.^ runs: and in Jerusalem there dwelt some 


of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin] see on Ezr. i ^ 
The two tribes of the postexilic period, the Jerusalemites coming 
from both tribes, i Ch. 9' adds "Ephraim and Manasseh." 
Of the sons of Judah would connect very well with v. ^^. Jydah 
is individual here, not tribal, since the sons are traced back to 

Now we have had sufficient intr. to expect a formidable list of names. 
As a matter of fact, we have just two, Athaiah, whose ancestry is traced 
to the sixth generation, and Maaseiah, traced to the eighth generation. 
If these were chief officers, perhaps two Judeans would be all that are 
required. The elaborate genealogy marks them as important person- 
ages. Athaiah is of the sons of Peres]. Peres was a son of Judah and 
Tamar, Gn. 38". — 5. Kal-hozeh] was the father of one of the gate- 
builders, the ruler of the district of Mizpah, 3>=. — The son of the Shi- 
lonite] or with most scholars the Shelanite, a descendant of Shelah, an- 
other son of Judah from a Canaanite, Gn. 38^ — 6. All the sons of Peres 
who dwelt in Jerusalem were 468 men of valour] cannot be right here, for 
we are dealing with two individuals, one of whom was a descendant 
of Peres. A Gk. text saw the trouble in part and made Maaseiah a 
son of Peres; but that is an attempt to correct one error by creating 
another. The v. is either to be regarded as a fragment having refer- 
ence to the common people drawn by lot to reside in Jerus., or we 
should substitute Judah for Peres, and then we learn that 468 Judeans 
were living in the holy city. In i Ch. 9^-« we find three clan-names, 
Uthai, Asaiah, and Jeuel, with a total for the three clans of 690. Uthai 
is traced to Peres with four intermediate generations as against five 
here, and without a single name in common, yet n\-iy and \"iij? are cer- 
tainly identical. Asaiah has no genealogy assigned save that he is a 
descendant of Shelah, therefore nitt-jra and nicy are identical {v. Curt.). 
— 7. Of the Benj. we are sure of but one name, Sallu, who is carried 
back to the eighth generation to Isaiah, but not the well-known 
prophet. — 8. That this v. is corrupt is clear from a literal rendering — 
and no other is possible — and after him Gahhai Sallai 928]. A Gk. 
text offers his brothers in place of after him, but then the numeral is 
in the air. We should expect after v. « all the sons of Sallu were 928. It 
is prob. that the original text named two Judean leaders who had 468 
followers, and one Benj. with 928 clansmen. Gabbai Sallai is as- 
sumed to be a double name, but that explanation is very unlikely, 
Sallai is a priest in 12'- ". The alternative is to emend on basis of 


(8, and rd.: and his brothers Gabbai and Sallai: all the sons of Benj. 
The Chr.'s corresponding phrase is "and their brethren for their genera- 
tions." — 9. Overseer over them], i. e., over the 928 Benj. of v. '. — Over 
the second cUy], i. e., one of the two districts into which the city was 
divided for administrative purposes, 3 5- ". Senuah occurring also in i 
Ch. 9' can hardly be a different name from Senaah, Ezr. 2" Ne. 3' 7"; 
V. s. on Ezr. 2". For Judah the son of Senuah the Chr. has Hadaniah 
the son of Senuah, but in the genealogy of Sallu! In i Ch. 9'-' we find 
the list of Benj. with four clan-names, Sallu, Ibniah, Elah, Meshullam, 
and the total is 956. There is little else in common. In Ch. Sallu is a 
son of Hassenuah, and there is no mention of the officers. 

10-14. The list of the priests who dwelt in Jerusalem. — 

These are arranged in three groups: (i) 10-12% Jedaiah, Jakin, 
and Seraiah, and their brethren engaged upon the work of the 
temple, numbering 822; (2) i2''-i3», Adaiah and his brethren 
who were heads of the fathers, numbering 242; (3) i3''-i4% 
Amashsai and his brethren, men of valour, numbering 128, 
making 1,192 in all. The ancestry of the priests is traced back 
in various degrees, Adaiah's to the seventh generation. This 
is the same list found in i Ch. 9^"-", though with numerous 
variations as noted below. 

10. Jedaiah the son of Jojarib, Jakin]. i Ch. 91° has Jedaiah and 
Jehojarib (the same name) and Jakin. Our text cannot be right, 
for Jakin lacks the conj. As Jedaiah and Jojarib are separate pr. in 
i2«- 1% Ch. is more likely to be right. Jedaiah was one of four pr. who 
came from the captivity in the time of Zer. before the temple was re- 
built, Zc. 6"- ^* {v. Mar.). This is prob. the same man. — 11. This v. 
is identical with i Ch. 9" exc. that Azariah appears in place of Seraiah 
Both are common priestly names, occurring together in 10', and it is 
impossible to tell which is correct. Ace. to i Ch. 5" {cf. Ezr. 7=), 
Seraiah was the son of Azariah, but Seraiah's son was carried into 
captivity by Nebuchadrezzar, so that both Seraiah and Azariah were 
pre-ex. pr., another warning as to the dependence to be placed on these 
lists. The line in i Ch. 5^8 f- and Ezr. ^^■ 2 is Ahitub, Zadok, Shallum, 
Hilkiah, Azariah, Seraiah, while ours is Ahitub (Merajoth), Zadok, 
Meshullam, Hilkiah, Seraiah. Ace. to Ezr. 7' Seraiah was the father 
of Ezra. — Chief officer of the house of God], i. e., high pr. As our text 
stands this chief pr. may be either Seraiah or Ahitub. — 12. And their 
brethren doing the work for the house], Ch. more specifically: "the 
work of the service [or worship] of the house of God." The reference is 
here prob. to the official ministrations of the pr. in the restored temple. 


though it may refer to the work on the building of the temple. Jedaiah 
was a pr. who returned before the temple was built. 

12''-13'». Adaiah]. His ancestry in i Ch. g'- is Jcroham, Pashhur, 
Malchijah, lacking Pelaljah, Amsi, and Zechariah. — 13". His brethren 
heads of the fathers], v. Ezr. i^ Ch. has "their brethren heads for the 
house of their fathers." These pr. had a higher official position than 
those in the first group, though the title does not suggest what that 
position was. It is, strictly speaking, a lay title, but is surely applied 
to pr. here. 

13b-i4a. Amashsai] occurs nowhere else, and is a very dub. Heb. 
name. BDB. suggests Amasai, but i Ch. 91= has Maasai, a very com- 
mon postex. name (Gray,'") and differing from Amasai only in the 
order of the first two consonants. The genealogy differs as in the other 
cases, but the identification of persons is clear. The ancestors in Ch.- 
are Adiel, Jahzerah, Meshullam, Meshillemith, and Immer. — 14. 
And their brethren]. As our text runs we should rd. his brethren as in 
V. ", since Amashsai is the antecedent; but men of valour] standing alone 
is a military term and hardly applicable to the pr. In i Ch. 9" we have 
a statement grouping Jedaiah, Adaiah, and Maasai, and combining 
i2» 13^' and 14a, thus: "and their brethren, heads for the house of 
their fathers, 1,760, men of valour for the work of the service of the 
house of God." The Chr. ignores the three classes of our text, and 
makes a larger total, 1,760 as against 1,192. The valour is shown in 
the temple work, and that does not consist in laying stones, but in per- 
forming rites and ceremonies. Ch. therefore shows a later hand than 
our text. — 14^. And the overseer over them was Zabdiel the son of the 
great ones]. This name is not elsw. found save as an officer of David, 
I Ch. 272. He must be regarded as overseer of the third group only, 
since Jedaiah was the chief at the temple. There may be a n. p. con- 
cealed under the title "great ones," but it is absurd to regard this as 
such a name, as even ARV. does. The texts of (& either lack the title 
or translate it. 

15-18 = I Ch. 9"'"'^ The Levites.— The two Hebrew texts 
differ materially, though the agreements are such as to make 
original identity certain. The chief Greek Vrss. show a shorter 
text, containing less than half of the material here. The list 
consists essentially of the genealogy of three Levites, Shemaiah, 
Mattaniah, and Abdah. Ch. adds a fourth, Berechiah, but his 
name is lacking here because he dwelt in the villages of the 
Netophatites, cf. 1228. 

15. Shemaiah's ancestry is identical in i Ch. 9" until we come to 
the son of Bunni], for which we find "of the sons of Merari," a son 


of Levi. — 16. This v. is represented in Ch. only by three n. p., of 
which Bakbukkai may be the Bakbukiah of v. ". The v. is lacking in 
the chief Gk. texts; it is a parenthetical note and properly construed 
says: and Shabbethai and Jozabad of the chiefs of the Lev. were over the 
outside work of the house of God\. The Gk. text which has this passage 
construes outside with house, mng., as in Ez. 41", the holy place in contra- 
distinction to the holy of holies. But we find "outside work" in i 
Ch. 26", which is specified as that of officers and judges, therefore it 
is secular. Here the word differentiates the Lev. work from the more 
sacred offices of the pr., and perhaps refers to menial tasks. — ■ 
Chiefs of the Lev.], similar to "chiefs of the fathers," applied to the 
pr. in V. ". — 17. The best Gk. texts have only Mattaniah the son of 
Mocha atid Obed [Abdah] tite son of Samonei, showing how these genealog- 
ical records have grown even in late times. Mattaniah is here a con- 
temporary of Neh., but in v." he is three generations earlier. In i Ch. 
9" we find Zichri instead of Zabdi, names which resemble each other 
more closely in Heb. than in English. After Asaph we have four words 
not in Ch. EV^. make no use of them. The words must give some 
further information about Mattaniah, not about Asaph. By emending 
the text we get chief of the praise [singing], teacher of the [liturgical] 
prayers]. The Lev. had an important role in the public services, and 
Mattaniah was the leader in the offices. — Second of his brethren] is a 
sore puzzle. Second, however, is connected with the preceding "chief" 
or "first," and the prob. mng. then is that Bakbukiah was next in office 
to Mattaniah the chief. "His brethren" would refer to that section 
of the Lev. who were trained to lead the chants and prayers. — Abdah 
the son of Shammua], i Ch. 9" has "Obadiah the son of Shemaiah," 
differing chiefly in having iah at the end of both names. — 18. All the 
Lev. in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four]. There were 
1,192 pr, {v. s.), and we see here as elsw. testimony to the comparative 
paucity of men belonging to the Levitical order. There are slightly 
more than four pr. to each Lev. 

19. The Porters. — But two names are given, Akkub and Talmon. 
1 Ch. 9" adds Shallum and Ahiman. In Ezr. 2" we find six names of 
porters, Akkub and Talmon being among them. In 12" six porters 
are named, Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and 
Akkub, the first three of whom are in this list classed as Levitical 
singers (v. ")• — Who keep watch in the gates] (lacking in the best Gk. 
texts) is the only definition of the function of the porters in these lists. 
I Ch. 9!'-" gives an elaborate statement of their duties, showing that their 
office was chiefly connected with the temple gates {cf. i Ch. 26). — 20. 
This V. is virtually a repetition of v. ' ^. It may serve as a transition to 
mark the fact that the Neth. did not dwell in Jerus. proper. It would 
be more appropriate as an intr. to vv. "ff-. Vv. '"f- are lacking in 
the chief Gk. texts. — 21. The Neth. were dwelling in Ophel], so 3", 


q. V. Of the leaders of the Neth., Ziha is found in the list, Ezr. 2" '• 
Ne. 7" ^■, but Gishpa is not found elsw. It may be a corruption for 
Hasupha, the second name in the list in Ezr. 2. 

22-24. Miscellaneous notes about certain officers and 
about the singers. — 22*. The chief of the Levites in Jerusalem 
was Uzzi] seems to belong to the list of Levites, vv. ^^-^^; (§ lacks 
"in Jerusalem," better adapting the clause to its present place. 
Uzzi's ancestry is in part common with Shemaiah's and Mat- 
taniah's, w. ^^-". — 22''-23. The singers. — The confusion in the 
list is very marked here, but on the whole it is best to follow 
MT. and begin a new section with of the sons of Asaph], though 
Mika is a grandson of Asaph according to 4^^. — The singers were 
over the business of the house of God], so ARV. "Over" is doubt- 
ful, as the original means rather in front of. It may be that an 
attempt was made to say that the quarters of the singers were 
in front of the temple. 

23. For the commandment of the king was upon them], cf. 122*, where in 
accord with the theory of the Chr. the king who instituted the temple 
ritual was David, and David is meant here. — And a settled provision 
for the singers, as every day required] as ARV. is surely wrong, for we are 
not dealing with the support of the singers, but with their duties. It 
is difficult to render njDX in any satisfactory way. Some texts of (6 
show another word, "stood over the singers." On the basis of this 
hint, we may conjecture: he imposed upon the singers the duty of a day 
in its day. This resembles closely the confused note in Ch. David 
exacted of the singers the strict and punctual performance of their 
daily duties. — 24. And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel of the sons of 
Zerah the son of Judah was at the king's hand for all business with the 
people]. We are suddenly removed far away from temple officials and 
services and plunged into civilian affairs. This v. would fit a record of 
the royal officers such as we find in 2 S. S'^ i-. 

25-36. The Judeans and the Benjamites outside of Jeru- 
salem. — The list is no longer genealogical, but geographical; 
we have not a list of the heads of clans, but of the towns in- 
habited by Jews in the postexilic period. These are in the old 
Benjamite and Judean territories. Jerusalem is the centre, but 
the holy city was on the ancient borderland between Judah 


and Benjamin. The postexilic Judea comprises territory on 
the north and still more on the south. 

The Judean list is contained in vv. "-30 and comprises seventeen 
towns, located from Beersheba to the environs of Jerus. Of Benj. 
towns there are sixteen in vv. "-'«. After some of the names we have 
"daughters," 6 t., after others "villages" (bis), after one (Lachish) 
"fields," all in connection with the Judean list exc. one (Bethel). Of 
the seventeen Judean towns, all but two, Jeshua (v. ") and Meconah 
(v. 2'), are in the list of towns assigned to Judah in Jos. 15, and the order 
is the same in both lists. Of the fifteen or sixteen Benj. towns, but 
three, Geba, Bethel, and Ramah, are among the fourteen assigned to 
Benj. in Jos. 18. On the other hand, seven are found among the 
places enumerated in Ezr. 2 = Ne. 7, while not one of the Judean towns 
finds a place. Possibly the Judeans were reckoned as belonging to the 
holy city, and the Benj. were the country people so often mentioned 
as living in their (owns. Of all these thirty-three towns but one 
occurs in the list of places from which the wall-builders came, i. e., 
Zanoah, v. '" (cf. Ne. 3")- A comparison with the shorter Hsts of <8 
suggests that names have been added in the list at a late period; such 
additions would be made as the population spread so as to keep the 
list up to date. 

25-30. The Judean towns. — 25. And unto the villages in their fields] 
evidently requires something preceding. It would connect very well 
with 2^, showing the disposition of the nine parts not allotted to 
Jerus. We can join to this more immediately the misplaced v. '"'; 
making some necessary corrections by comparison with v. ' and i Ch. 
9», we have: and the rest of Israel were in all their cities, each one in his 
possession, and [spread] unto the villages in their fields. — Some of the sotis 
of Judah dwell], the others, of course, being those in Jerus. as described 
in vv. * ^■. There follows the list of seventeen towns. Dihon is a citj'- 
of Moab, prob. to be identified with the Judean Dimonah (Haupt, in 
ZA, 1887,'"*). Yekabseel appears in Jos. 15" as Kabseel, so 2 S. 23"' i Ch. 
II"; of course, the same place is meant. — 26. In Jeshua]. This sounds 
rather strange as a place-name. As no such name is known, and as an 
unheard-of place is scarcely possible in a list like this, the other names 
being common, we have to suppose a corruption, as (Si^ suggests, or 
that in Jeshua is a marginal note, originally intended to call atten- 
tion to the fact that these names were to be found in the book of Jos. 
— 28. Meconah] does not occur elsw. Doubtless it is a corruption for 
njme, occupying the corresponding place in Jos. 15". — 29. En-rimmon] 
is incorrectly divided in Jos. 15", "Ain and Rimmon." On Zorah 
see Moore's Judges,'^'. — Its fields]. The term originally meant moun- 
tain or wild land, but here the reference is to the cultivated land (GAS. 
Jer. i,"0- — 30. And they encamped from Beersheba to Ce-hinnom], The 
, 18 


valley of Hinnom ran along the western wall of Jerus., and is given in 
Jos. IS' as the northern boundary of Judah. Beersheba was the pro- 
verbial southern limit of the whole land. The term "encamped," 
though parall. "dwelt" in v. 2^, suggests a temporary condition, and so 
gives colour to the theory that this c. was originally intended to de- 
scribe the settlement of a caravan which had recently arrived. 

31-36. The Benjamite towns. — The first clause has puzzled inter- 
preters. "The children also of Benj. from Geba dwelt at Michmash" 
of AV. was revised to "the children of Benj. also dwelt from Geba 
onward, at Michmash," in ARV. The fact is that we have a slight 
corruption of a single letter, and the true text reads very simply: 
and the sons of Benj. in Geba, Michmash, etc. — 33. Nob] is doubtless 
the same as Nebo, Ezr. 2^'. — Ananiah] occurs nowhere else, and is 
certainly corrupt. — 34 Hazor] is doubtless the same as Baal-hazor, 
2 S. 13'", as the situation on the border between Ephraim and Benj. 
favours such identification. — Gittaim] elsw. only in 2 S. 4', where it 
appears to be a Benj. place. — 35. Neballat] is found nowhere else. — 
Ge-haharashim] means valley of the craftsmen, but n. pr. loc. is required 
here, as in i Ch. 4^*. It was prob. a wady near Jerus., known as the 
residence of a certain class of workmen. Ace. to i Ch. 4'^ it was founded 
by Joab. — 36. Lit., and from the Lev. portions of Jtidah for Benj.], the 
mng. of which may be and some of the Lev. had allotments of Jtidah and 
of Benj. 

3. aunjn] lacking in S^**.— 4. ninj?] (6^ AOapaaOa? = Nntt^inn. — ^jan] 
<& xal dtxb ulwv. — 5. '•jSipn]. The pointing should be — '•J^ii'n, from rhi?] 
06 ToO ATjXwve^'"*, HXwvi'^, SijXwvei^; (6 makes nitryn one of the sons of 
Peres, having of the sons of Peres, corresponding to of the sons of Judah 
in V. *. — 8. (S^ has xal 6xfaw aiToO o\ iSsXcpol auxou Fepoue STjXee:. ol 
•rcivTei; lvvax6atot e'txoat hv.xt^ toO Bevta[Jitv. I suspect a dup. at the be- 
ginning rather than a plus, vnsi being rd. instead of vipn, the original 
being, therefore: . . . |>n''jj "|J3 Sa iSdi ^jj vnxi. In that case we should 
rd. niini for ]'ifl in v. «. The least emendation for v.* is to rd. '•ja Sai 
iSd. — 9. nxuDn-p miriM] is to be identified with nxjon-ja ninm, i Ch. 
g'. — 10 f . identical with i Ch. g'" exc. that ja fails before an>v and 
nnsy = ninty. — 11. njj] (S,^^^ ix^vavxt ivi), ^■^o(i\x^\oc^. — 12. . . . hods' 
Dijtri] lacking in 05^^'. 05^ lacks first three names and ja before >sdn. 
— 13. vPNi] lacking in (S^^^. — iDN . . . iinN-ja] lacking in (&^'^^. — 14. 
nipfli] to end, <J6^^^ xal exfoxoxoi; BaSti^X. — 3i'7ijn-j3] (S^ ul?)<; -uoiv [xe- 
Y<iXa)v. — 15 f . Dn'7n . . . DptnTj?]] lacking in (S^^^. — njs^nn] ®l I'pya tou 
oTxou TOU Oeou TcCi e^wTdi-uou. — 17. <S^^^ has only xal MaOavtd: \Ah<; MaxA 
xal 'Qp-fjS ulbt; Sa[ji.oudt. — n'7BnS min^] ^^ 'Aa(i?! Spxwv tou a"vou xal 
'loOSa? T^? xpoaeuxii*;, one of the rare cases where Torrey admits the 
value of this text (ES.""). In s™- we find, taking in a little of the con- 
text to show connection, 'Aacfeip (SpxTjyoi; tou a"vou tou TouSd eJi; xpo- 

NEHEMIAH 12^-26 275 

ceSxTjv. To get sense we should rd. n'?nnn, used in a technical sense 
for a psalm; for rM^7\1 we might rd. y^^^^\ teacher. nSan has a tech- 
nical sense as in Ps. ya^" and in psalm titles and means a liturgical 
prayer. — 18. cipn ... '70] lacking in (S^^\ — 23'' lacking in (8^an_ 
d^ 7ux\ Bt^[i.evev ev xfcruet ?xl toI? ySoI? x. t. X.l_This is a dup., cor- 
rected from MT., but showing originally nny for hjdn, since n™- has 
Sti^jietvev exl Tolq (JBot?. We must rd. ^D^M, v. 5. — 24. Sn^i^cd] (S^as 
Baanf)i;a. — nnin^ . . . --jas] lacking in (gBAX. — ^,l,] (^l |^6[ji,eva.— 25. From 
>a, last syl. of jjansn, to end of v. is lacking in CS^an (gave that ^ has 
ap^o). — n>-isn] (S^ Qu-xa-zpaaiw auxij? = ninj3. — 26. CS^^x ij^g only xal ev 
'Irjaou, (H^ xal ev Soua x. t. X. — 27. (&"^^ has only xal ev BeiQpffaPee. — 28 f . 
lacking in 05^ax_ — hjod] CI^ Mafxr], Ma^va X"*-. — 30. o^t; mi] and nprp 
"31] lacking in (S'^ak _^x3d] (gBAsL ^^ b.— ajn a^i r;] lacking in (g^A^. 
—31. n^yi] to end of v. " lacking in (S^^^.—3Q. . . . nipSnn] (S^ yiepfSe? 
Iv T^ 'louSdi: xal xtp Bevioc^tv. 


This list was inserted here prob. as a sort of appendix to the preced- 
ing lists. It carries us down to a late period, certainly to the Gk. age. 
The basis of the chron. system is the succession of high pr., v. " '-, 
put in by the Chr. as a guide, and covering the whole Pers. period. 
There are five parts: (i) the names of those belonging to the time of 
Jes., the associate of Zer., vv. 1-"; (2) the succession of high pr.; (3) 
those of the period of Jojakim, Jes.'s successor, vv. "-"; (4) Lev. of 
the time of Eliashib, a generation later, v. ^^j (5) apparently intended to 
be a list of those of the time of Johanan called here the son (but ace. 
to v. " '• the grandson) of Eliashib, vv. ^-^'. It appears, therefore, that 
the passage was originally designed to furnish a list of the pr. and Lev. 
who were heads of their guilds during the whole of the Pers. period. The 
passage shows the hand of the Chr. throughout. The big gaps in the 
best MSS. of ^ show that the list was developed at a late date, and yet 
it was never completed, unless we suppose that some of the Chr.'s sys- 
tematic work has been lost. As in c. 11 there is here and there inter- 
spersed a phrase defining the functions of certain Lev. On the lists 
see Mey. Ent."'- '• i", Sm. Listen,^". 

1-9. A list of priests and Levites who came up with 
Zerubbabel and Jeshua. The passage purports to be parallel 
to the list in Ezr. 2^^-'^ and Ne. f^-^^ 

1. Jes.]. To make the identification certain 05^ inserts the son of 
Josedek. After this we should expect the pr. as we have the Lev. in 
v. », cf. II*. All the names after Shekaniah, i. e., out of the total 


22, are lacking in the chief Gk. texts. — 7. These were the heads of the 
pr. and their brethren in the days of Jcs.]. Brethren was mechanically 
inserted after pr., apparently for no other reason than its constant 
recurrence in the lists of pr. and Lev. It has a technical sense in these 
lists, like associates, those of the same class. The list does not pretend 
to name all the individual pr., but only the heads of clans. — 8. The 
Lev. in two groups; first six names, and then it is said of one of them: 
He and his brethren were [appointed] over the thanksgivings]. The ante- 
cedent, therefore, must be sg. In view of 11'' (of which 8^ is a dup.), 
we should prob. rd.: and the Lev.; Jes., Binuni, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, 
Judah, Mattaniah; and Mattaniah was over the thanksgivings, he and 
his brethren. Instead of Jes., Binuni, Kadmiel, v. ^* has Jes. the son of 
Kadmiel. — 9. A^nd Bakbukiah and Unni [and] their brethren were op- 
posite them for the ftmctions]. This may refer to antiphonal singing, 
or to the changes of orders for different occasions. It is an elabora- 
tion of the vague "second" of 11", whatever that may mean. — Unni] 
= Obadiah in v. '^ and Abda in ii^^ 

10 f. gives a priestly genealogy from Jeshua, the son of 
Josedek, to Jaddua. According to Jos. (Ant. xi, 8, 5), Jaddua 
was a contemporary of Alexander the Great. The list there- 
fore extends through two centuries; as there are six genera- 
tions, the time covered corresponds very closely to that date. 
Further confirmation comes from the identification of Eliashib 
with the high priest of Nehemiah's time, 3*. 

12-21. Priests and Levites of a later period. — 12. And in the 

days of Jojakim], the father or predecessor of Eliashib, and therefore 
we are in the period just before Neh.'s advent. — Priests the heads of 
guilds were]. The list in vv. ^-^ was of the contemporaries of Zer.; this 
list gives the heads of those clans a century later. The scheme is to 
give a clan-name and then the contemporary representative, thus; of 
the guild or course of Seraiah, Meraiah. The clan-names are those of 
vv. 1-'. — 14. Meliki], but Malluk in v. =. — Hattush of v. ' fails us here. 
The omission may be accidental, or, as (^ lacks the name in v. ', it 
may be an error there. — Shebaniah] = Shekaniah, v. '. — 15. Harim] = 
Rehum, v. '. — Merajoth] = Meremoth, v. '. — 16. Ginnethon] = Ginnetho, 
V. *. — 17. Minjamin] = Mijamin, v. ». The name of the representative 
of this clan has fallen out. — Moadjah] = Maadjah, v. '. — 20. Salli] = 
Sallu, v. ". 

22. A list of the Levites of a generation succeeding, i. e., in the 
days of Eliashib, contemporary with Nehemiah. — All three names 
recur in the genealogy of high pr., v. ", being the last three of that list; 
for Jonathan and Johanan are identical. As Eliashib was the father 

NEHEMIAH I2»-28 277 

of Jojada, we might render: the Lev. in the days of EUashib, Jojada, 
Jonathan and Jaddtia were recorded as heads of guilds]. At all events, 
the three high pr. cannot be classed as Lev. — And the pr. unto the 
reign of Dar. the Pers.] is quite unintelligible here. The idea seems to 
be that a certain list covered the pr. known as far down the period as 
the reign of Dar., cf. v. ^^ It may be misplaced from vv. *-', where the 
date would be acciu-ate. It is obviously but a fragment. Dar. the Pers. 
is peculiar, the only case of the gentilic form, and suggests a fragment 
from an unfamiliar hand. 

23-26. Another list of Levites and notes of their duties.— 23. 
Here we find the unusual sons of Levi in place of the common Lev., 
"perhaps to include them with pr.," Berth. — Written upon the book 
of the deeds of the days]. "The deeds of the days" is equiv. to an- 
nals or chronicles; it is a technical term used many times, though 
usually with some further definition, as the annals of the kings of 
Israel (or Judah). It refers, though, to a historical record, not to a 
genealogy. But the Chr. wrote history on the theory that genealo- 
gies were an important part, and this may pass as his work. In 7% 
however, the correct term, "book of genealogy," occurs. — And down 
to the days of Johanan [or Jonathan, v. "] the son of EUashib], or strictly 
the grandson, vv. i" '•, cf. Ezr. io«; "son" is not employed very strictly 
in these records. The words do not fit their present connection, 
as they require a preceding statement of an earlier date than that of 
Jonathan. Instead of the inappropriate "book of the chronicles," 
there may have originally stood "in the days of . . . and down to," 
etc. Or V. "'' may be connected with v. "», the record extending from 
Eliashib to his grandson. The idea is that there was a record of the 
Lev. who were heads of guilds down to the time of Johanan, that is, later 
than Neh. — 24. The Lev. are divided into two classes by their offices. 
In the first class we find nearly the same names as in v. ', Hashahiah, 
Sherebiah, and Jes. the son of Kadmiel. — And their brethren in front 
of them], B in their courses, v. on v. '. — The office of this class is to praise 
and give thanks] cf. v. * 11". — David] is here given the prophetic title 
the man of God, to show that his authority in the regulation of the 
temple service was not royal but prophetic. How different is the 
David of 2 S. 7, who was enjoined from building the temple by Nathan 
the prophet! — Watch next to watch] ARV., but see v. ' for their watches 
or functions. H renders freely and they in turn kept watch equally. 
It seems more natural to suppose that the reference here is not to 
standing watches by turn, but to the antiphonal singing, one body of 
singers opposite another body. — 25. The second class of Lev. consists 
of six men, the first three of whom — Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, and 
Obadiah ( = Abda = Unni) — are named in vv. « f- n", and the last two, 
Talmon and Akkub, are named as porters in 11". In i Ch. 9" we find 
also Shallum, corresponding to our Meshullam. — As our text stands their 


duties are thus defined: watchmen, gatekeepers [their] office, at the store- 
houses of the gates]. Such a description is very prob. wrong. The 
Vrss. render variously, (& having watchmen, gatekeepers of the watch 
when I gathered the gatekeepers. 31 has: keepers of tlie gates and of the 
fore-courts before the gates, a rendering which has the advantage of mak- 
ing sense. All we can say positively is that these men were charged 
with the duty prescribed in 7' of seeing that the gates were watched and 
opened and closed at the proper time. This fact, as well as the "I" of 
05, suggests a fragment of N. The same function in 11" is prescribed 
for the gatekeepers. The confusion is surely bewildering. The impli- 
cation is that the gatekeepers were a branch of the Levitical body.-— 
26. The text contains two dates, one that of Jojakim the predecessor 
of Eliashib, the other that of Neh. and Ezra. But the theory is that 
Ezra and Neh. were contemporaries, and it is possibly the intention of 
the writer to name three men assumed to be of the same age, and there- 
fore we should expect Eliashib instead of Jojakim. One Gk. cod. con- 
nects this date with the following story of the dedication of the walls. 
It is suggestive to find Neh. preceding Ezra, contrary to the Chr.'s 
arrangement of his material. Strictly speaking, we might interpret 
this V. as mng. that the lists enumerated cover the period from Jojakim 
to Ezra, a period of considerable length. 

2. crjn] lacking in (&^^^. — yw^] (&^ It^cou tou lutreSex. — nnss] (S^ 
Ailaptai;. — 3. From Dm to v. '% the end of the list, there is a blank 
in (5BAN._4, n;;] (gL ASata?.— 8. n^jnc] <J|b Maxavta.— ■'ua] (S^ %<x\ 
ol u(ol oeuTou = VJ^i. — nnin-Sj'] ^'^^^ liul twv /ecpoiv, (6^ 1x1 twv e^o- 
[ioXoyi^ffewv = nninn-S^' as in v. ". And so we should rd. instead of 
a. X., which is a form hard to explain. (& shows that the error was an 
old one. — 9, (S^^^ omits all but last word, which is connected with v. «. 
— After an^pN] (S^ inserts ivexpoiiovTo, which in five places represents 
four different Heb. words, no one of which can readily be inferred here. — 
10. yiB"'] <&^ 'iTjffou? h TOU 'luffeSsx,. — 12. vn] ^^^x (jSgXyol ai-rou = 
vnx, <&^ has the dup. ■^aav o\ dS. — n^jjn] lacking in (g^. — ^diSeS] <& Tcp . 
MaXoux = iiSa, as v. ^. ^^■^^' omits all the rest of the names down to 
the end of v.". — 15. nnn] (S^ Psou[i = Dim, as v. '. — 17. After d^d'js'?] 
(^ has Motaat. Some name is required. (&^ has B£vta[j.eiv ev xaf- 
pot? T<p (peXiiTst, reading □■'^103. — 24. noB'n] 05 Apia A<jaPca(<;)^'<^. — 
SN''mp-p] 05^^^ xotl ol \Ao\ Ka8[jniQX; CS^- /.al ol ulol aOioij, KeSti.i'^X; con- 
sistently that text reads ol dSeXipol auxoCi, showing vnx, and having 
Kadmiel alone as antecedent. — 25. iDirD . . . n^jns] lacking in 05^*^. 
— IDCD D>"i;JlB'] (^ xuXwpol ipuXax^i;. — 'tr'n iddnj] 05 ev -ry auvayaYeiv (jls 
Toic TOXwpoic We should rd. Dnj^t?'?, as in ii»». — . . . ina'D] H custodes 
portarum et vestibulorum ante portas. — 26. CS^an j^cks nVs and nnon. 
— Before '>DOi] (S>^ has a part of what is also found in v. ", giving this 
as the date of the dedication of the walls. 

NEHEMIAH i2"-« 279 


The subject shows that we must go back to 7', for the dedication 
would be the natural sequence to the completion of the building. It 
is prob. that the original order was 7' 12"-" 7<-5a ni f-. Editors and 
compilers have done much more damage, however, than merely to dis- 
arrange the chron. connections; for in this part the confusion is prob. 
unparalleled in the OT. It is beyond the bounds of probability that 
any ingenuity of criticism will be able to restore the original. At the 
basis there seems to be a mere unintelligible fragment of N. which has 
been worked over and over until the passage is hopelessly obscure. 
We have two recensions of the expanded text, of which the Gk. is by 
far the simpler. 

But the main course of the narrative may be followed. The Lev. 
were brought from their rural abodes to lead in the joyful songs. The 
people were drawn up in two companies, each with its leader, and with 
a company of pr. carrying clarions. One company started from the 
dung gate eastward, traversing the wall to the east water gate, and 
halting in the temple area. The second company with Neh. at its 
head went in the opposite direction, and after going along a portion of 
the wall halted also in the temple area. The whole body, now reunited, 
witnessed the offering of splendid sacrifices and participated in the loud 
rejoicings. On this section see Kost. Wied.*" '-, and esp. the excellent 
article by Mitchell, JBL. 1903,"° ^-y in which he has attempted, with 
the aid of all the modern light, to show the course of march of each 

Its place here is prob. due to the fact that in its present form it is 
much more concerned with the pr. and Lev. than with the walls. We 
might perhaps give it as a title: The Great Place of the Priests and Levites 
in the Dedication of the Walls. Nevertheless there seems to be a frag- 
ment of N. discernible here and there, though so worked over by the 
Chr, as to be barely distinguishable. It is noteworthy that (&^^^ here 
generally agree, showing a single prototype and that their version is 
much shorter than MT. MT. therefore reveals much editing and 
amplifying. The passage begins with such abruptness that we may as- 
sume that some introductory words have been lost. 

27. And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem], a phrase 
which shows that we are not dealing with N. He would not have 
named the city. — They sought the Levites from all their places]. 
Here we have an exact statement of fact. In Nehemiah's time 
the Levites did not live in Jerusalem, but were scattered about 


the country. — To make a dedication and rejoicing. In joyful 
singing the Levites are assumed to be leaders, cf. v. ^^. — And with 
thanksgivings] fits in very poorly, as it interrupts the connection. 
The dedication and rejoicing were to be made with song of cym- 
bals and of lutes], i, e., songs simg to the accompaniment of cym- 
bals and lutes. An editor has added the third common instru- 
ment, and with harps]; for the construction differs from the 
preceding and the word fails in (&. Harps would hardly be suit- 
able in a procession. — 28 f . is parallel with v. ^7. The Levites 
were gathered from their places to sing joyful songs, and now 
the sons of the singers] are collected from the same places and 
for the same purpose. " Sons of the singers " means those skilled 
in song. — From the plain* around Jerusalem and from the villages 
and from the fields] so (&, to which in MT. we find additions thus; 
from the villages of the Netophathites and from Beth-haggilgal and 
from the fields of Geba and Azmaweth]. Netophah is about fif- 
teen miles south-west of Jerusalem, and was in later days the 
home of Levites. Beth-haggilgal is a mystery, but as other 
names have a noim preceding, this may mean, from the Levite 
house at Gilgal, a name given to several localities, any one 
of which may be meant here. Geba and Azmaweth are north 
of Jerusalem. The use of hamlets and fields shows that the 
Levites of Nehemiah's time were earning their living from the 
soil. The simpler text of (B is the original, a conclusion borne 
out by the note following: for the singers had built their ham- 
lets about Jerusalem]. The Chronicler was overfond of loading 
down his narrative with such comments. — 30. In preparation* 
for a religious office the priests and Levites purified themselves], 
cf. Ezr. 6^°. This would be necessary for the Levites who had 
been engaged in agriculture; perhaps also for the priests, be- 
cause they had been labouring on the walls. The singers are 
not mentioned, because they are the same as the Levites. 
After purifying themselves, they in turn purified the people and 
the gates and the wall]. (B saw the incongruity and rendered, as 
is perfectly possible by change of pointing, "gatekeepers" for 

* G. A. Smith holds that plain or circuit here has a political rather than a geographical 
sense (/«/■. i,*")- 

NEHEMIAH I227-« 281 

"gates," but we still have "wall," and "gatekeepers" is not ap- 
propriate here. How this purifpng was accomplished we are 
not informed; Sieg. says by a sacrifice, and by sprinkling with 
the blood of the victim. — 31. And I had the princes of Jiidah go 
upon the wall; and I stationed two great processions and they were 
proceeding to the right at the dung gate]. The first person shows 
that we have a trace of N. again. There is a general descrip- 
tion of the whole company which took part in the dedication 
upon the wall, consisting of the princes and the processions of 
singers or of the people generally. Mitchell, however, proposes 
"and the one went" for "and they were proceeding" (JBL. 
1903,87)^ making the passage refer to one of the two companies. 
The place where they ascended the wall was at the dung gate 
in the Tyropoeon valley on the south. (But cf. note on v. ^2.) — 
32. And there went after them Hoshaiah and half of the princes of 
Judah], but corresponding to this in v. ^s we have half of the peo- 
ple, and should so read here. It is plain that as we have half 
of the parade here, and find the other half with Nehemiah, 
V. **, and as we have the second procession, v. ^^, we are dealing 
now with the first procession only. Further, this division goes 
to the right, while the second goes to the left, v. ^^. Possibly the 
clauses are transposed in v. ^^ and that we should read: and I 
stationed two great divisions upon the wall; one was at the dung 
gate; and I caused the princes of Judah [the first division] to go to 
the right. — 33 f. Some names are inserted here absolutely without 
connection. Most of them we can identify with Levites. Judah 
and Benjamin as they stand in the list are persons, not tribes, 
and yet it is tempting to think that they are really used here to 
cover the whole community. — 35 f . And some of the sons of the 
priests with clarions], cf. "sons of the singers," v. "^ The clarion 
was a priestly instrument. It was not intended for tunes but 
for signals, like our bugle. The priests named are Zechariah, 
whose ancestry is traced to Asaph the singer, and (according to 
<K) Shemaiah and Azarel. The other names are partly corrupt 
forms not found elswehere. — With the singing instruments of 
David the man of God], cf. v. ^^ and Am. 6^ This can hardly be 
original ; for the priests had clarions and the Levites had the ac- 


companying instruments, v. 2^. — And Ezra the scribe was before 
them]. The Chronicler is bound to magnify his favourite and 
so he does not hesitate here to make him the leader of the band. 
37. The course of this procession is now described: unto the 
fountain gate], "by" of RV., instead of "unto," or literally 
"upon," is a doubtful rendering forced by the difl&culty of the 
situation: and straight before them], RV., rather and over against 
them, but it is impossible to say over against what. — They went 
up by the stairs of the city of David] v. 3^^. — It is generally as- 
sumed that the procession leaves the wall and goes straight 
north, Ryle, Sieg. But from the qualifying clause by the ascent 
of the wall above the house of David], it would appear that the 
company followed the wall. Our ignorance of the ancient 
topography makes it impossible to determine the exact force 
of the words. — And to the water gate on the east] of the temple, 
cf. 2,"^^. This was the end of the journey of the first company. 
The march took them around something like one-fourth of the 
circuit of the walls, from the dung gate to the water gate. — 
Z%. And the second procession was going to the left], i. e., to the 
west: to meet them there in one Greek text. — And I was following 
it; and half the people]. Nehemiah himself was in the rear of 
this procession, as Hoshaiah followed the other, v. ^^j the Chron- 
icler put Ezra with the former, a high dignitary being with 
each company. — Upon the wall above the tower of the ovens as far 
as the broad wall] is the description of the course followed by the 
second division. — 39. Here we find the course of the march re- 
sumed: beyond the gate of Ephraim and past the old gate* and the 
fish gate and the tower of Hananel and the tower ofHammeahand 
to the sheep gate and they stopped at the gate of the guard]. This 
procession went out by the gate of Ephraim and marched around 
the walls to the sheep gate, and then keeping within the walls 
finished the circuit to the gate of the guard, which was close 
by the temple. There must have been bad going outside of 
the walls for the latter part of the march, or else the company 
came inside because it had nearly reached the meeting-place 
at the temple area. The distance traversed was thus about 

• Strictly " gate of the old [pool]," Mitchell, JBL. igoa,"^ ^■. 

NEHEMIAH I2«-<' 283 

the same as that of the first procession. — 40. And both proces- 
sions came to a halt at the house of God]. One had come into the 
city at the water gate, the other at the sheep gate, both places 
in the temple precincts. It is assumed that they marched on 
until they met and stopped at the temple. The story then is 
resumed in v. ^, for w. ^^ ^- contain material inappropriate to 
this place. — And I and half the nobles with me] is doubtless a 
genuine fragment of N., but the predicate is gone beyond re- 
covery, perhaps buried in the list of priestly names. It may be 
a duplicate of "I and half of the people," v. ^^ — 41. This con- 
tains a list of seven priests who had trumpets. It is perhaps in- 
tended to imply that this is the body of priests in the second 
company corresponding to those assigned to the first company, 
V. 35, and so the Chronicler has put his material in at a very 
bad place, for here we have done with the second procession 
and are dealing with the whole body at rest before the temple. 
— 42. A further list of eight priests is given, but with no in- 
timation of their office. — And the singers chanted aloud] seems 
to be authentic, as this singing would naturally begin as the 
two processions halted before the temple. — The following and 
Izrahiah was the overseer] is certainly corrupt or a bald inter- 
polation by the Chronicler. (^ has and the singers were heard 
and paid attention. — 43. The conclusion of the dedicatory exer- 
cises consisted of great sacrifices, for which purpose the pro- 
cessions had halted at the temple, and rejoicing on the part of 
the whole people, including women and children, who had nat- 
urally gathered to watch the great proceedings. — The rejoicing 
of Jerusalem was heard afar off], i. e., the joyful shouting was 
loud and participated in by many people, cf. Ezr. 313. 

44-47. Provision to secure the collection of the priestly 
revenues. The connection with the dedication of the walls 
is purely artificial. "On that day" (cf. 13I) is about as vague 
as "once upon a time." The passage by subject matter is con- 
nected with I028-39, and with some parts of c. 13. It is quite im- 
possible to assign any definite date. It appears to be due to the 
Chronicler or to some other whose supreme interest was the cult. 


44. Men were appointed over the storerooms], the rooms in 
which the sacrificial supplies and the dues of the temple officers 
were kept. It was the business of these men, not to guard the 
stuff collected, but rather to see that a good amount was kept 
on hand. — For the supplies], in apposition to which, describing 
what these supplies were, we read: for the heave-offerings, for 
the first-fruits and for the tithes], the chief offerings that are made 
by an agricultural people. — To gather into them], i. e., the store- 
rooms. — For the fields of the cities] makes poor sense. From the 
fields, as we find in ^, would do in itself, but why fields of the 
cities? (^, by a difference of a single letter, gives for the chiefs 
of the cities, a better reading, as the meaning is that general offi- 
cers were delegated to make collections for the whole country 
instead of intrusting the task to the local officials. — The legal 
portions] or apportionments ; the amount to be gathered was not 
left to the discretion or the greed of the temple officers, but 
was determined strictly by law. The collections described here 
are exclusively for the support of the priests and Levites. It 
was possible now to make such collections, for Judah rejoiced 
in the priests and Levites who served] literally, stood, i. e., cared 
for the interests of the whole people in the temple services.—* 
45. As this verse stands, sense cannot be extracted from it save 
by violence. The subject of kept cannot be the "collectors" of 
v. *S for we are finished with them; nor " the priests and Levites," 
for they are objects in this passage, not subjects. There is only 
one other choice: read therefore and the singers and the gate- 
keepers performed the offices of their God and the office of purifica- 
tion according to the command of David and of Solomon his son], 
"Purification" is more than doubtful; possibly we should sub- 
stitute the law, an emendation requiring but a slight change 
in the original. — 46. The Chronicler persists in attributing the 
temple institutions to David and Solomon. For in the days 
of David and of Asaph of old]. We should expect Solomon in 
place of Asaph, as v. ^^. — There were chiefs of the singers], or, 
as Sulzberger renders: "a, guild of singers" (Am-ha-aretz,*^), 
Asaph himself being the great chief, at least according to the 
Chronicler. The text should run : for in the days of David, Asaph 

NEHEMIAH I2^^-'»7 285 

was of old the chief of the singers, cf. i Ch. 6'^- ^*. We know noth- 
ing of Asaph from the authentic history of David's time. — And 
a song of praise and thanksgiving to God] is certainly disjointed. 
The meaning is apparently that temple songs as well as singers 
go back to the time of David, B forces a connection, leaders 
of songs were appointed over the songs, etc. — 47. In the days of 
Zerubhabel and in the days of Nehemiah], unconscious testimony 
to the fact that in this period there were but two real civil 
leaders known. Jeshua and Ezra evidently had no place in 
the government. — All Israel paid the portions of the singers and 
of the porters, the obligation of a day on its day]; the support 
of these officials is here separated from that of the priests and 
Levites, and is described as if the payments were made volun- 
tarily without the intermediaries named in v. ^. — From the fol- 
lowing we get a different story from that told in v. **: and they 
set apart for the Levites and the Levites set apart for the sons of 
Aaron]. From this it would appear that the singers and porters 
received support from the people, and they gave a part of their 
supplies to the Levites and the latter in turn bestowed a part on 
the priests. To say nothing of the contradiction, this method 
of supporting the men higher up is extremely improbable. 

27. nnina] (K Iv ewXaOa^-*^^, a transliteration, though there is a con- 
fusion of letters in (H; ^ adds ev i^o[io\oyy^azi, showing a dup. ^ has 
xal iyaXkt&ast = njjnai, It in actione gratiarum. — T'tf] 05 tpSalq = on^c. 
— nnjD3i] lacking in (5^^^. — 28. amii'Dn ^ja] (g^ o\ ulol Aeut. — inijBj] 
lacking in (B^^^.—29. SjSjh nom] lacking in (g^^x ((|L ^^ BatGraX), 
so niDtpi yaj. — ni3''3D] (g^^s |y_ — 30. anycn] CS^ax ^q|J^ -jcuXupou?. — 
31. rhyn)] (5 dv^veyxav; v. *> lacking in CSbax, — nD^nni] (S,^ xal St^XOov, 
B et ierunt preceded by the plus latidantium. Rd. naSinni ptc. as in 
v.". Or with Mitchell, JBL. 1903,", ns'^n nnxni for naSnm. — 33. 
nnTi'] (B^^ Zaxapia? = n>-i3T. — 34. TDija] (S^ Mta[jLetv = pD'-n, cf. v. ". 
— n^V::B'] C6^x Sapaca. — 36. lie . . . iSSd] CS^ax ^[y^iy |y i^Zalq, prob. 
reading Dn''C ^V.'jcn)!:. (S^ has all the names and then toO a^veiv ev 
oxe6efft xal (jJBaic;, showing a dup. — 37. pyn] (gsAx .^0(5 abslv. This 
may be a transliteration which has then crept back to the preceding v. 
— mro] to DnflX, v. ", lacking inCS^^**. — 38. SxidS] (S'^ auvavrwaa ai-rot?, 
i. e., Dnxnp*?. Many rd.' SxintvS, corresponding to rD''S v. ", and this 
is right. — 39. "'^''n ipc Sj?i] lacking in (g^Ax^ go nxnn Sijdi and ncy 
to end of v. — 40-42 » lacking in (S^ax, — 42. nim?'i] lacking in (g^Ax, 


— '\^por] (gBAx ^3jI Ixeoxlmjaav = n|ifl>i. — 44. niDnn"?] lacking in 05. — 
nc'?] (S (Spxouctv = ne'. <S^ has a doublet, iizh twv dypwv x. t. xiXewv 
Toiq Spxouai T. x6X£(i)v. — minn] lacking in (6^'^^, H principes civitatis in 
decore gratiarum aclionis. — 46. IDxi], i lacking in C6. — mini . . . nic] (Jbak 
u[xvov xal atveatv, ^ Sjavo? x. e^oyioXdYifjffti; x. a'tveac?. — 47. mDnj ^DOi] 
lacking in (S^^. 


This c. deals wholly with the reforms effected by Neh. during his 
second administration. After twelve years had been spent in Jerus., 
his leave having expired, he returned to Pers. We have no information 
^^zs> to the time of his coming back to Jerus., but since Eliashib was still 
high pr., though an old man (z;. note on v. ^s)^ and To. the Ammonite 
was still a troublesome character, the interval between the two admin- 
istrations could not have been long (t;. Intr. § 11 (3)). 

The reforms remind us of the matter in c. 5, though a number of 
evils are dealt with here as against a single one in c. 5; but the descrip- 
tion of each is characteristically brief. The affairs receiving atten- 
tion were: (i) To.'s residence in a chamber of the temple, w. '-'; 
(2) the securing of the tithes to the Lev. so that they could give their 
services to the temple, vv. "-"; (3) the prevention of traffic on the Sab- 
bath, vv. "-''2; (4) the abolition of marriages with foreign women, 
vv. 23-"; and (5) the banishment of a pr., vv. ^s-". Clearly all is from 
N. save vv. >-5- ^- ^ '• sst-sia. in regard to vv. '-^ it is hard to reach a 
definite conclusion. The material is practically all drawn from vv. «-» 
and from Dt. The passage was prob. composed by the Chr, to con- 
nect the work of Neh. with Ezra's reading of the law. W. R. Smith 
suspected that vv. >-« originally stood after Ezr. 10' (Or/C."0> but 
Mitchell rightly rejects this (JBL. 1903,"). In this connection the 
latter writer sets forth convincing proof of the place of 13^ ^- in N. 
Obviously the section vv. °-" is incomplete, and the conclusion's plain 
that the Chr. preserved but a small section of the record of the second 
administration, selecting only those parts which dealt with the enforce- 
ment of the law. 

1-5. Tobiah is installed in one of the chambers of the 

The law is found that an Ammonite and a Moabite are excluded from 
the congregation, whereupon all of alien blood are excommunicated. 
Eliashib, however, being overseer of the temple chambers, had fitted 
up a sumptuous room for his friend To. These things took place while 
Neh. was away in Pers. 

NEHEMIAH 1 3 287 

1. On that day it was read [or we read] in the book of Moses]. 
This reminds us of the public reading of the law as described in 
c. 8. But the story is introduced here to connect the incident 
with the admission of Tobiah to the temple and his subsequent 
expulsion by Nehemiah. 

The law in Dt. 23* contains a dup.: "An Ammonite and a Moabite 
shall not come into the congregation of Yahweh [even to the tenth 
generation; there shall not come in of them to the congregation of 
Yahweh] forever." The part in brackets is omitted in our text. Per- 
haps it is a later addition in Dt., v. Dr. As provision was made that 
Edomites might be received in' the third generation (Dt. 239), the ex- 
clusion to the tenth, ace. to a later writer, would be a sufficient penalty 
for the other peoples. 

2. The cause of the exclusion was not hostility to the foreigners 
as such, but the failure of these two races to supply the needs of 
Israel at the time of their invasion of the east- Jordan country. 
— And he hired], the change to the singular follows text of Dt.* 
and may be due to the unconscious transition to Balak as sub- 
ject. Our text omits the details about Balaam as given in Dt., 
because they are not germane here. Vv.^f- are a reproduction 
of Dt. 23'*-^ (Eng.^-'^), though somewhat abbreviated. For the 
whole story see Nu. 22-24. — Turned the curse into a blessing]. 
As a matter of fact, all of Balaam's oracles were blessings.- He 
tried, however, to earn Balak's tendered prize by pronoimcing 
a blighting curse on Israel. But Balaam was a true prophet 
of Yahweh and could only utter in the ecstatic state what 
Yahweh put into his mouth (Nu. 22^*- '* 24"). What Balaam 
intended to be a curse proved to be a benediction. — 3. When 
the people heard the law, as usual they proceeded to put it 
into execution; therefore they excommunicated from Israel every 
one of alien blood]. The meaning is not that the foreigners were 
banished from the land, but merely that they were denied the 
privileges of the temple. It is evident that a liberal construc- 
tion was put upon the law. Dt. refers to Ammonites and Mo- 
abites, but not to any other peoples whatsoever. The leaders 

• ARV. has rendered erroneously " they hired." 


here make the law apply to all foreigners, no matter of what 
nationality. It is plain that if this event is historical, the work 
of Ezra must have followed, for the condition described here 
could not have existed after his complete separation of the Jews 
from foreigners. — 4. Now before this], eariier than the excom- 
munication of the foreigners, Eliashih the priest had been ap- 
pointed in charge of the chambers of the house of our God]. Eliashib 
was high priest and is named often in these books. — And he was 
near to Tobiah], This is Tobiah the Ammonite slave who was 
one of Nehemiah's chief enemies, 2^°. "Near" is usually in- 
terpreted as referring to blood relationship, BDB. Ges.^, Ryle. 
There is no evidence of such a connection, and the meaning may 
well be that the relationship was purely one of friendship, or 
that Eliashib had attempted to placate an enemy of the people. 
According to 6^^ he was related by marriage to Shekaniah and to 
Meshullam. If he had also such a close connection with the 
high priest, the fact would not have been overlooked there. 
Moreover, Sanballat was related to Eliashib, v. ^s. It is not 
likely that Tobiah was also. — 5. And he assigned to him a great 
chamber]. Eliashib, who was overseer, designated one of the 
finest chambers to Tobiah, and the latter evidently used it as 
a place of residence, v. ^. During Nehemiah's rule he kept up 
a correspondence with leaders in Jerusalem, but could not get 
into the city. Now that the governor was away, he not only 
entered the city, but actually found an abode in the temple. 
The desecration was the more pronounced as this was the very 
room which had been set apart for the offerings of the people, 
both those used for sacrifice and those for the support of the 
four groups of temple officers. — The description of the offerings 
is quite different from that in c. 12, and shows another hand, 
influenced a good deal by Dt. — The commandment] makes poor 
sense and lacks support in the Vrss. Retained we should 
understand it to mean that the tithe was by the command of 
the law given to the Levites et al. But it is better to follow 
the Latin and render by a slight emendation "portions." The 
verse shows amplification by a later hand. Comparing v. ' 
we note that this room was used for the sacred vessels and for 


two kinds of offerings, vegetable and incense. But at a later 
period other things were kept in this room, and an editor adds 
a list to bring the story down to date. 

1. Nipj] may be Niph. or first p. pi. Qal. As we have irnSx in vv. '• *, 
this passage may be one of those in first p. pi., though v. ' is against 
this conclusion. After iflo] (S^ adds v6[ji.oli. From Nin'> ^!'7 to end of v. ^ 
consists of extracts of Dt. 23^-', giving the substance of the law. — • 
O'ln'yNn] Dt. nini, showing plainly the Elohistic bias of our author. — 
2. ■'o] Dt. "icK nai-Si'. — S^ns^ ^ja-nx] Dt. ddhn. — iri'ii] Dt. loa' •war, 
(8 reads pi. Iiitaecoaavro, so H. — vh}}] Dt. T'S>. — iSSpS] Dt.lSSiiS. — lyr^ha] 
Dt. 1*7 yrha nin\ — nSSpn] (gi- xaripav airou. — 3. aiy] is a rare word, 
but the mng. mixture is well established. The word naturally means a 
people not of pure blood, though it may sometimes be applied to a mass 
of people made up of various races. In this passage both senses may 
apply. There may have been some foreigners of different races, but 
certainly there were many of mixed blood. — Sxia'T] (B ev I. — 4. '•ioh 
ntn] means before a particular event, while aija*? in v. " is a general 
word, "formerly." — pnj] 05 o[x,wv, "M fuerat praposUus. 05 has missed 
the idea, but U has rendered correctly. The sense "appoint" is found 
in I S. 12" I Ch. 12', V. BDB. — narS] must be pointed as a pi. to make 
the sense required. — 5. mxc] <S^ Sl^ufjia = nix?, unleavened cakes, It 
partes = nvjD, as i2<', which gives the best sense. — nonn] CS dcxapxaf, 
"B primitias, which represents also ^'>a'}<^, as in 12". 

6-9. Tobiah's belongings are ejected from the temple. 

After an absence of uncertain duration Neh. returns to Jerus., and 
finding To. residing in the temple chamber, he ejects his furnishings, 
orders the room cleansed, and puts back the vessels and offerings for 
which the room had formerly been used. We are certainly dealing with 
N. again. The intr., in all this, and the contents show a connection 
with the preceding. Yet vv. '-^ are not from N. 

6. In all this] refers only to the events described in w. ^-^ 
not to the long story of Ezra's promulgation of the law. — 
Thirty-second year] as 5", indicating the end of the first adminis- 
tration. — King of Babylon] is hardly original. Nehemiah refers 
:o Artaxerxes merely as "the king" (2^), the natural use for 
I contemporary. "Babylon" is from a later hand. — The last 
lause of the verse is usually connected with what follows, thus: 
■■nd at the end of a time I [again] asked leave [of absence] from the 


king and came to Jerusalem. But in a Greek text preserved only 
in a duplicate rendering {v. i.) we find a better sense. The 
clause should be closely connected with what precedes, for our 
verse division is here right, thus: I came in to the king even at the 
end of the period for which I had asked leave from the king. The 
point that Nehemiah makes is that he had gone back because 
the period for which he had been appointed governor had ex- 
pired. He was not driven from Jerusalem by his foes, nor did 
he break faith with the king. The latter point was important 
in view of the charges of rebellion that had been made against 
him. It must be recalled that Artaxerxes exacted a limit of 
time from Nehemiah before consenting to his departure (2^), 
and Nehemiah takes pains to say that he returned at the time 
agreed upon. The words "at the end of days" are sufficiently 
definite in this connection, as they refer to the term described 
earlier in the verse, i. e., the end of days means the 3 2d year 
of Artaxerxes, the end of the leave of absence. — 7. And I came 
to Jerusalem]. This is abrupt, and one might wonder whether 
the above interpretation does not leave something wanting 
here. But we note that the clause in v. ^ does not make a 
very happy introduction to the second administration; and 
while Nehemiah was concerned to explain his absence for a 
period, he is at no pains to explain how he had come to return. 
In view of the full report of c. if., perhaps he thought it would 
be assumed that a second furlough would easily be obtained. 
Probably Nehemiah was led to return because rumours of what 
he found at Jerusalem had already reached him in Persia. — 
The words are closely connected with what follows: and un- 
derstood the evil] of EV^. is not happy; observed is better. The 
evil from the narrow Jewish point of view would consist in the 
profanation of the temple because Tobiah was an Ammonite. 
Nehemiah may have made use of this sentiment in view of the 
purifying which followed (v. ®); but one may wonder whether 
Nehemiah was not largely moved by his remembrance of Tobi- 
ah's striving to thwart him in his efforts to rebuild the wall. — 
The room in which Tobiah had taken abode is further described 
as in the courts of the house of God]. The "courts" were strictly 


the open spaces in the temple area, and doubtless the room 
opened upon these courts. — 8. Nehemiah acted with his cus- 
tomary promptness and decision; every article in the sumptu- 
ous chamber was thrown out. The word implies more than 
"set outside"; "thrown out" is none too strong. As there is 
no mention of Tobiah himself, the ejecting was probably done 
in his absence. With Nehemiah on the ground Tobiah would 
very likely prefer to live elsewhere for a time. — House of Tobiah] 
implies that he had set up a regular housekeeping establishment 
and that his family lived with him, thus explaining the large 
room assigned him, v. ^. — 9. And I spoke], equivalent to com- 
manded; and they purified the chamber]. Nearly all texts have 
chambers. Of itself there is nothing improbable in the notion 
that a series of rooms should have been occupied (so Ryle) ; but 
as the singular is used everywhere else, it must be restored here. 
The purifying was limited to the room occupied as shown from 
its restoration to its original use. Ceremonial cleansing was 
common even in early times, and was performed in various ways, 
usually by the symbolic use of blood or water. The list of ar- 
ticles returned to this room is shorter than in v. ^, in which 
there is doubtless an editorial addition. 

6. iSdh . . . Vp'^i] ^ eJ? T?)V xatpbv twv •JjfjLspwv wv T^TTjci^nQV luapa tou 
PaatXIwc, xal (jleto: ih tIXo<; twv ■fjjxepwv cLv lOTiQacitxiQV •rcapdl; tou ^aatXiox;. 
This represents two interpretations rather than two texts. — a''C''] has 
the specific sense of a year (BDB.) in numerous passages, and should 
be so understood here if we retain the usual interpretation, referring 
to the time when Neh. started for his second visit to Jerus. But 
Neh. is usually very exact in his dates, and presumably would have 
specified the time accurately if that had been his mng. — 7. natyj] is 
found elsw. only in Ne. 3"' 12", and the mng. is exactly the same as the 
common naa'S, for which it is prob. an error. Neh. would hardly use a 
strange word alongside of a familiar one. — 8. n«D "h yiM] (S^ has a dup., 
xal TcoviQpov ^ot lipivT), xal IXuxVjOirjv cj96Spa, cj. HND ^7 iriM, 5*. — 9, nisrSn] 
C6^ has sg. which the sense requires. 

10-14. Tithes are paid to the Levites. 

Neh., finding that the Lev. had received no portions and were driven 
to their fields to make a living, rebukes the people, and all Judah pays 


the tithes. Officers are appointed^ to supervise the distribution of the 
ofiferings. Neh. prays that he may be remembered for his good offices 
on behalf of the temple. 

10. And I learned that the portions of the Levites had not been 
paid]. This condition had arisen during Nehemiah's absence 
in Persia. In the twelve years of his former governorship 
such neglect would not have been tolerated. In the whole 
Persian period the people seem to have been slow to discharge 
the lawful obligations to the temple, cf. Mai. 3^ ^•. — And the 
Levites had fled each one to his land]. The Levites may have 
owned land, or they may have hired themselves out to other 
landowners to make the living which the temple offices no 
longer furnished them. — And the singers doing the work] is ap- 
parently a gloss. Nehemiah seems to be concerned only with the 
Levites. — 11. And I contended with the rulers], v. 5^, where we 
have "with the nobles and rulers." With the rulers is lacking 
in the best Greek texts. The fault lay with the whole people, 
not with limited classes as in c. 5. If the text is right, the rulers 
were reproved because they had not enforced the law. — Why 
is the house of God neglected ?] The implication is that the sacred 
ofl5ces were not conducted at all in the house of God, and that 
situation in turn implies that the Levites were those who exe- 
cuted the priestly offices, that is, that the Deuteronomic con- 
dition in which priests and Levites were identical still pre- 
vails. — And I gathered them, i. e., the Levites, from the fields 
where they had been employed in secular work; and I placed 
them at their station] in the temple, so that they could fulfil their 
holy offices. Station implies not only place in the sense of 
locality, but also covers the particular office in which the Levites 
were employed. — 12. And all Judah brought in]. The response 
to Nehemiah's demand was general; for he would brook no 
further neglect and ruled always with a strong hand. Benjamin 
is not mentioned, but obviously "Judah" covers the whole 
people. — The tithe of the corn and of the wine and of the oil]. In 
Dt. the tithe of the corn, etc., was paid every 3d year, and 
was to be eaten at the sanctuary. The Levites and the poor 
were to share in these feasts, 12s-"'" 1423-28 26". In the 

NEHEMIAH 1 3 293 

later law of Holiness the tithe became the absolute property of 
the Levites (Lv. 1821-32). — 12, This verse is sadly confused in 
our text; by eliminating some unnecessary lumber and correct- 
ing from (S, we get the true sense: and I committed to the hands 
of Shelemiah the priest and of Zadok the scribe, and of Pedaiah of 
the Levites and of Hanan the son of Zakkur the son of Mattaniah, 
because they were accounted trustworthy, to them [I committed] to 
distribute to their brethren]. The tithes were paid into the treas- 
ury by the whole people, and they were for the common support 
of the Levites. But these were human, like many other ec- 
clesiastical officials, and the problem which confronted Nehe- 
miah was to make sure of an equitable distribution so that 
every one should have a just share and none be neglected (cf. 
Acts 6, a similar condition which led to the appointment of the 
seven deacons). Shelemiah we know nothing more about, as he 
cannot be identified with the men of that name in Ezr. 9^* 
jo39. 41 Ne. f°. Two Zadoks worked on the wall, 3^- 29, but 
the scribe may be a different one still. Pedaiah cannot be the 
one who stood with Ezra, Ne. 8^, and is hardly the wall-builder 
of 32^ In spite of the elaborate genealogy of Hanan and the 
frequent recurrence of the name, we cannot identify this man 
either. The treasurers are therefore unknown to us save in 
this enumeration, but were appointed because they were deemed 
honest so as to insure a just apportionment of the Levitical dues. 
— To their brethren] would imply that all the officers were Levites; 
but the expressions, the priest, the scribe, and especially of the 
Levites, would suggest that only Pedaiah belonged to that order. 
Of the Levites may, however, be a predicate of Shelemiah and 
Zadok as well as of Pedaiah, since the priest was also a Levite 
and the scribe may have well been. On the other hand, " breth- 
ren" is used pretty broadly, and the Levites might be regarded 
as the brethren of any of the people. — 14. See similar ejacula- 
tory petitions, 2* 3'^ 51^. — My kindness], i. e., in restoring the 
support of the Levites and so the re-establishment of the sacred 
offices. — In the house of my God and in its observances], the last 
clause is lacking in CS and may be a gloss added by the 


10. 'a'>'] d^ xal ol •jcotouvTsq, similarly B. — 11. nnnsi] W' %a\ expfOijv. 
— DijJDn-nN] lacking in (S,^^^. — 13. nnsiN-*?;? msixi] (S^an ^^j xe'pa(<;)i 
(S^ xal svexeik&\t.tiv exl xetpaq = iT"-*?]? niSNi. This is the only occur- 
rence of the Hiph., and it is used in a peculiar sense, not "I caused 
to store," but "appointed treasurer." It is difficult to extract this 
sense by the usual devices of calling it a denominative (BDB.). (5 
offers a better text and one that should be adopted here, for the point 
is not the naming of a number of treasurers, but the assignment to 
certain officers of the delicate task of distributing the tithes. — mi-Sj?] 
could only be retained by rendering and with them. But it stands here 
for n'-Sy as (6, being misplaced in the confusion of the text. — aniVyi] 
gBAs 1^' ojOtou?. — 14. "31 ^rha] (S^AN xupfou TOij 6eo0. 

15-22. The enforcement of the Sabbath law. 

Finding the people working in the fields and trading with the Phoeni- 
cians on the Sabbath, Neh. rebuked the nobles and ordered the gates 
of the city closed during the holy day. He threatened the merchants 
who lodged by the wall over the Sabbath waiting for the first day of 
the week. Note the similar conditions described in lo'". 

15. In those days] cf. v. ^, another indefinite note of time. 
Nehemiah evidently made a tour of the country on the Sabbath, 
possibly for the purpose of noting the way in which the day was 
kept. — The points of violation may easily be obscured in trans- 
lation. These are only two, as I understand the text: (i) 
[people] were treading wine-presses on the sabbath]. This is the 
only case in OT. where we find the literal use of this expression. 
But the figurative use shows that the wine-press was always 
trodden, for another verb in Jos. 4" is suspicious. (2) And 
[people] were gathering in the harvests and loading asses with grape- 
wine and figs and all sorts of produce and bringing them to Jeru- 
salem on the sabbath day]. All the deeds enumerated were con- 
tributing to the one point of importance, the carr5dng produce 
to Jerusalem on the Sabbath, and naturally selling it on that 
day. The recurrent use of sabbath day justifies this connection. 
— And I testified on the day they sold provisions]. 

Ryle says this could not have taken place on the Sabbath, but on a 
subsequent day when the food gathered on the Sabbath was sold. 
There was objection then apparently because the food had been gath- 
ered on the Sabbath and so was tainted. Easy-going criticism surelyl 


The Vrss. offer a suggestive hint. One Gk. text has: in the day of their 
traffic because they sold provisions; and B: / protested that they should 
sell on a day when it was lawftd to sell. On this basis we can easily re- 
construct the text and get: I protested because they sold provisions on the 
sabbath day. The food was manifestly sold on the Sabbath as it was 
borne to Jerus. on that day; and the offence was the selling as much 
as the gathering. Neh. does not seem to have raised his voice against 
the work that was done in the fields, but only against the traffic, which 
disturbed the peace of Jerus. While he notices the work done, v. '5, at 
least nothing more is said about that phase of the trouble. This brings 
us into exact agreement with the conditions in Am. 8^, where barter 
alone was suspended on the Sabbath. Evidently the amplification of 
the Sabbath law was later than Neh. 

16. Now the Tyrians dwelt in it\', "it" could only be Jeru- 
salem, but the use of that name in v. ^^ can hardly serve as an 
antecedent here. 

Tyrians is lacking in <&, and prob. should be omitted, for they are not 
named again in the long passage. Neh. blames the nobles of Judah 
and calls them the profaners of the Sabbath. It is true that their 
guilt might consist in buying what was offered for sale, cf. 10". But 
it is difficult to think of Phoenician merchants as residents of Jerus. at 
this period. On the other hand, c. 5 shows that the nobles were greedy 
of money, and would not be likely to stickle at profitable traffic even 
on the Sabbath. The passage seems to me so corrupt that understand- 
ing is not possible. Perhaps the best we can do is to follow (S and render: 
and there resided therein those who brought in fish and other merchandise 
and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerus. "Peo- 
ple of Judah" admittedly suggests that the traders were foreigners; 
but, on the other hand, in a passage so full of difficulties we cannot press 
details. Moreover, the purchasers could hardly be described in any 
other way. To try to get sense I propose: and the provision bearers re- 
turned therein, bringing fish, etc. Neh. had warned them on their first 
offence, v. ", protesting against the desecration, and supposing that the 
matter was ended. On the next Sabbath the dealers returned bringing 
other wares. Neh. had objected to their traffic, possibly mentioning 
the wine and figs which they offered for sale. The dealers may have 
supposed that he could not object to fish, but the reading may be 
"corn." — Neh. is, at all events, aroused now, and his usual vigour and 
resource show themselves. 

17. And I contended with the nobles of Judah], cf. v. ", either 
because they made no attempt to stop this barter, or because 


they were engaged in it. It is possible that sons should be 
read for nobles (v. i.), and in that case the reproof is admin- 
istered to those who had purchased supplies on the Sabbath. — 
Profaning the sabbath day] is late, found only in Ex. 31" (P), 
Is. 552- 6 Ez. pass. — 18. The implication is that the woes of 
Israel were due to the desecration of the Sabbath. In the scant 
testimony we have from the earlier days (Am. 8^), the Sabbath 
was kept in letter but not in spirit. Ez. makes the profanation 
of the Sabbath one of the serious offences, 20" 22^ 23^^ But 
our passage more likely refers to the general disobedience to 
the law which was supposed to be the cause of Israel's downfall, 
from which Jerusalem was still suffering. — And ye would add 
wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath]. Another violation 
of law would lead to further manifestations of divine wrath, of 
which Israel would be the victim. This sort of speech is couched 
in the hackneyed terms of which N. is free, and doubtless 
what Nehemiah actually said has been replaced with the con- 
ventional prophetic utterance. — 19. Nehemiah now takes meas- 
ures to enforce the law against barter on the Sabbath. — When 
the gates of Jerusalem grew dark before the sabbath] is an impossible 
way of saying "when evening came on." The text must be 
changed and we may best render with ^: when the gates were 
put in place. The reference plainly is to the closing of the gates, 
and only indirectly the approach of evening. The time is 
sufficiently indicated by the phrase before the sabbath, Nehe- 
miah had previously directed the closing of the gates at night 
(7'), and it is to that customary act to which reference is made 
here. — And I spoke] is an accidental repetition from its use fur- 
ther on in the verse. The doors in the gates were naturally • 
closed when the gates were shut. — And I said] = commanded, as 
in V. ^, because now a new regulation is issued (to the porters) 
that they should not open them, until after the sabbath]. It now 
became impossible for a person to go in or out of Jerusalem on 
the Sabbath. — And I stationed some of my servants at the gates]\ 
a superfluous precaution, says Winckler, Alt. Forsch. ii,^", since 
no one could pass through the closed gates. Not if they were 
kept closed, but Nehemiah puts his trusty servants by the 

NEHEMIAH 1 3 297 

gates to see that no porter is induced to reopen the gates by 
bribery, persuasion, or threats. — That no produce should come in 
on the sabbath day], showing plainly the purpose of Nehemiah's 
elaborate precautions. Perhaps the words may imply that a 
person might find passage through the gates if he carried no 
merchandise. — 20. And the traders and the dealers in all kinds of 
wares lodged without Jerusalem], The usual explanation is that 
the merchants, finding the gates shut, lodged outside of the city 
until the Sabbath was over. But it is difficult to see why Nehe- 
miah should so seriously object to that. Indeed, their camping 
outside was no violation of the law from any point of view. 
The text is doubtful. In (5 we find a striking reading: and they 
all lodged and engaged in traffic outside of Jerusalem]. There is 
abundant cause for the wrath of the governor. He had stopped 
the trading in Jerusalem and had kept the gates closed, only to 
find the traffic resvuned outside of the walls. The purchasers 
may have been those who resided outside the city, or Jeru- 
salemites may have been allowed to pass through the gates. — 
Once or twice], i. e., for one or two Sabbaths. This traffic went 
on for a few weeks before Nehemiah took notice of it. When 
he did act, he went at the task with his usual thoroughness. — 
21. And I protested to them and said unto them]. "Testified," of 
EV^., hardly gives the sense. The word serves to introduce the 
threat. — Why are you lodging before the wall ?] There is no word 
of trading; but (& may be right in v. ^ none the less. The only 
way to break up the trading would be to keep the merchants 
away altogether. — If you do it a second time]. According to 
v.^ they may have done it a second time already. If that is 
correct, we must render more generally: "if you do it again," a 
sense the words easily bear. — I will put a hand on you], i. e., 
inflict punishment, though the same expression is used elsewhere 
in a good sense. The threat of punishment served its purpose, 
for the traders did not come [to Jerusalem any more] on the 
sabbath. — 22. And I said to the Levites that they should purify 
themselves and come in to watch the gates to sanctify the sabbath 
day]. The passage plainly shows a later hand. Nehemiah had 
already brought the Levites to Jerusalem, v. ". If they were 


the porters, they were not trusted, as Nehemiah set his own 
servants over them, v.". The passage naturally ends with v.^", 
but the Chronicler was not satisfied to have the Levites ignored. 
— On the closing prayer, cf. v. ". — According to God's good deeds] 
now, not his own as in v. ^^. 

15. ninj] = nin^J, from p\ which does not occur in Heb., pi. only 
here. The wine-press was usually hewn from the rock (DB. Benz."^ '•, 
V. also Haupt, SBOT. on i K. i"). On this account it was gener- 
ally in a hillside, in an out-of-the-way place, and so the wine-press 
served Gideon as a secret threshing-floor (Ju. 6")- The word is found 
also in Is. 63' Lam. i" Jo. 4". The passage last cited rd. iom, as 
m is never found with nj and is inappropriate, 0. Mar. Dodekapr. — • 
niDiyn] does not mean "sheaves," as Wetzstein contends {Zeit. f. 
Elh. 1873, art. "Dreschtafel"), though it might mean "shocks of 
grain." But in Ru. 3' Ct. 7' Hg. 2'« it refers to the heap of threshed 
grain. That cannot be its mng. here, for the grain season (3d month) 
was long past when grapes and figs were ripe (7th month), and Ryle 
is reduced to the desperate expedient of supposing the people were 
bringing in the straw! The word means piles of any sort as we use 
"pile" in "wood pile," "potato pile," etc. In 2 Ch. 316-3 Jt refers 
to droves of oxen and sheep as well as to other dedicated offerings, 
perhaps of grain and fruits. I have rendered by the general word 
harvests, for it refers to the wine in skins, figs, and whatever else was 
carried to market. — f|*<i] is rightly ignored in CmS. Even if original 
it has no translatable force. It may be an error for nx. — In late Heb. 
we may find 1 before a direct obj., for pi et sq. is obj. of D^Doy. — w^iy ]■'•'] 
might be wine and grapes as Vrss. and all authorities render; but the 
absence of a conj. suggests st. cstr., and it is better to translate "grape- 
wine." — nB'D-Sd] is easy to imderstand, but hard to render tersely. 
It means all the other marketable stuff. — i^x . . . dv3] CS^an |y ^jj^iipij 
Ttpiiaeo)? aOxdiv, lacking TiX; 05^ adds ore eicciXouv i%t.(smQ\j.hv, showing 
one of the usual duplicates. "& has an interesting reading, or possibly 
interpretation: ut in die qica vender e liceret vender ent. The original text 
must have been "T'S onsna nacn dio. — 16. onsni] lacking in <S^^'^. 
The clause is quite imintelligible, and some conjectural emendation is 
essential. I venture to suggest na i2v^> D>nxm. The changes are very 
slight, and good sense is secured. This text has the further advantage 
of being a suitable sequel to v. ", for we can hardly be dealing with a 
new situation entirely. Neh. was not fighting Phoenicians, but Sabbath- 
trading among the Jews. Tyrians may have been substituted by a later 
hand on the basis of 10". — jni] is wrong, and we may substitute i^n 
as easily as Ji. — 17. nn] (S^^^ toT? ulot? toT<; eXeuO^pot?, showing an 
original text, ^ja, and a later correction, fortunately not by substitu- 


tion. — 18, tyrhn] (gBAsi. has i%' aiToiq 6 Oeb? -fiyLwv, a dup. showing 
DHi^N and whSn. — 19. i'?Vs] is impossible. To describe the coming of 
evening by saying "the gates grew dark" is too far-fetched. Indeed, 
this vb. must be ejected from the Heb. lexicon. It occurs elsw. only 
in Ez. 31', but is corrected by most recent writers. (5 has xacziavtiaocv, 
prob. ^D>^ As this may be rendered "put in place," the sense is good. 
(8^ precedes by fjaiixaaa = opiy. Similarly 51 ctim quievisseni porta. 
Winckler {Alt. Forsch. ii,"') follows l§ and renders from As. salalu, 
"drop," "the merchants deposited their fish at the gates" (reading 
nya'a). Why that should be done he does not say and I cannot guess. 
— mDNi>] lacking in (S^. — nyjm] lacking in ^^^^. — 20. U'''?''] does not 
necessarily imply that they spent the night, but means rather "went 
into camp," perhaps setting up a sort of temporary market. — a'''73-in] 
^BAN ^ivTs?, (S^ TctivTC? ol [AsxcipoXot. — laDD Sa nam] (gsAN ^^^i ixofTjaav 
Ttpaatv. At end (S^ reads xal ex&)X60T]crav axa? xa\ Sf?, adding ixSaii. — 
22. anysTi . . . Dnntan] (S^ Yva £px6ti.evot iyvC^tuvzai xal (puXioawat T(iq 
-Kukcxq, showing no difference of text but only an interpretation. 

23-31. Mixed marriages. 

Neh. finds Judeans married to Philistine women and the children 
were unable to speak Jewish. He punished the offenders severely and 
exacted an oath against the repetition of the offence. The case of 
Solomon's downfall is cited. The son-in-law of Sanb., a grandson of 
Eliashib, was banished from Jerus. The book closes with general 
statements about the temple ritual. Not more than vv. "-"• ^- »»• 'H> 
are from N. This is the kind of story which the Chr. would delight in 

23. In those days [cf. v. ^^] / saw the Judeans who had married 
women, that were Ashdodites], Ammonites, Moabites, seems to me 
a later addition. These were the people toward whom there 
was the greatest animosity, cf. v. ^ and therefore these names 
are added here. There may have been marriages with these 
peoples, but Ashdodite in cf. v. ^^ shows that Nehemiah is deal- 
ing with a single class. — 24. We may render: and their sons were 
speaking half Ashdodite], a corruption of speech producing a 
patois, half foreign and half Jewish; or and half their sons spoke 
Ashdodite*]. The latter is more probable, in spite of the balance 
of opinion in favour of the former. A patois can only be devel- 
oped in the course of several generations. The children would 

• Really Nabataan, Neubauer, Studia Biblica,^. 


be pretty certain to use the speech of the mother. And the 
clause and they were not able to speak Jewish] supports this 
view, for it is in contrast with the statement that some of the 
sons spoke another tongue. From the free intercourse between 
IsraeUtes and Philistines in the early days we would infer that 
their languages were mutually intelligible. 

n^mn^] is used of the Jewish speech in 2 K. i8'«- "s, to which we 
have the parallels in Is. 36"- " and 2 Ch. 321', the only occurrences. 
The word in those passages certainly means Hebrew; indeed, Heze- 
kiah's officers asked the Assyrians not to speak Heb. as they were 
doing, but Aram. The word prob. means the same thing here, and not 
Aram. (Smith, Jer. ii,>«5)- Neh. wrote good Heb., and that was doubt- 
less still the language of the people. The construction indicates an 
incomplete clause. The rendering strictly correct is: and their sons, half 
of them spoke AsModite; we expect a corresponding clause, "and half 

of them spoke ." The resumption of the pi. shows that we go 

back to "sons" and that it is predicated of the whole body that "they 
were unable to speak Jewish," that is, half of them spoke one language 
and half another, but none of them could speak Heb. — But according to 
the tongue of people and people] is a gl. intended to define more accurately 
the foregoing, but the definition is quite as obscure as the text. — ps''?] 
is used often in the sense of language, but mostly in late passages. 

25. The violence of the punishment shows how greatly Nehe- 
miah was incensed: / cursed them and I smote certain of them], 
perhaps some chief offenders, and I pulled out their hair], usually 
from the beard, cf. Is. 50^, but in Ezr. 9' both hair of head and 
beard as a sign of distress; "my cheeks to them that pulled out 
the hair," Is. 50^, would indicate that this was a regular form of 
punishment, as we might say he gave his neck to the hangman. 
The hair was all pulled out, as the word means to be smooth. 
The loss of the beard was in itself a disgrace, 2 S. 10*. — And I 
made them swear by [the name of] God], The oath is put in the 
second person, either to conform to Dt. 7', though there we find 
the singular and a different word for "take," or to reproduce 
the exact form of the oath, though according to our usage that 
would be in the first person. Nehemiah had found Jewish men 
married to Philistine women, not the reverse. Still the general 
oath would be natural in view of the Deuteronomic law. — And 

NEHEMIAH 13 30 1 

for yourselves] is not in Dt. nor in the oldest Greek mss. Yet 
it is the most appropriate part of the oath, as Nehemiah is 
dealing with men who had themselves married foreign women. 
— 26. Solomon is now quoted as a horrible example of a great 
man led astray by foreign wives. This is not due to Nehemiah, 
as he appears to have been disturbed purely by the corruption 
of the language, and feared the Jewish people were in danger 
of losing their identity. — Did not Solomon the king of Israel sin 
in regard to these [foreign wives]. And among many nations there 
was not a king like him] is based upon the promise in i K. 3". 
And he was beloved of his God], cf. 2 S. 12^* *•. Even him], in spite 
of his greatness and the blessings showered upon him from on 
high, the foreign wives made to sin] or turned aside as in i K. 11' 
"turned aside his heart." — 27. The conclusion of Nehemiah's 
assumed address. As it stands the verse is barely translatable. 
Iff has often a happy disposition to insist on sense and gives us: 
aiid shall we by disobedience do all this great evil that we should act 
insolently toward our God and marry foreign women. To make a 
bold try at the text, we might extract: and as for you shall we 
listen to [tolerate] the doing of this great evil, the acting violently 
against our God, the marrying of foreign women? — 28. We find 
now a specific instance of a foreign alliance which naturally 
aroused the governor. — And one of the sons of Jehoiada, the son 
of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horon- 
ite]. The offender could hardly be Jonathan the successor of 
Jehoiada, 12^° ^-j but must have been another son, since his 
name is not given. As Eliashib was contemporary with Nehe- 
miah (cf, V. *), he must have been an old man at this time to 
have a grandson old enough to marry. It is strange to find a 
person so vaguely introduced; as v. ^s introduces a new section, 
I suspect that the original text read : " and in those days Jehoiada 
the son of Eliashib." That would agree better with the chro- 
nology. Sanballat was one of the most troublesome of Nehe- 
miah's enemies, 2^^^ 3^3 41 6^ It was by such alliances that 
the enemy was kept posted in regard to Nehemiah's doings, 
cf. 6^^. — And I drove him from me]. Drove away is used of 
putting enemies to flight, i Ch. 8^^ 12^^, of driving a mother 


(from her house), Pro v. 19^®. Doubtless the offender was ban- 
ished from Jerusalem. His punishment was different from that 
inflicted upon the others, v. ^s^ because of the hostility toward 
Sanballat and his house. — 29. Instead of supplication we find 
now imprecation as in 6^^ Remember against them, O my God, 
for they are corrupters of the priesthood]. But there was only- 
one priestly offender mentioned, and Nehemiah was not con- 
cerned about the purity of the priesthood. Jehoiada's son was 
not a grave offender because he was a priest, but because he 
had married Sanballat's daughter. *h^i has another sense, 
which appears in (&, and Nehemiah may have said: because they 
have sought kinship with the priesthood. The imprecation would 
then be against the house of Sanballat; perhaps with a recol- 
lection of Tobiah, w. ^ ^•. — The covenant of the priesthood and of 
the Levites]. For which we find in the Greek text: of the priests 
and of the Levites, and in B: the priestly and the Levitical right. 
As the passage stands it is part of the object of "corrupters," 
cf. Dt. s;^^''^^ Mai. 2^-^. — 30. And I purified them from everything 
foreign]. This expression is more comprehensive than "mixed 
marriages." But it is probably a late addition. — And I ap- 
pointed the charges for the priests and for the Levites each one for 
his task]. For the Levites this had already been done, v. ". — 
31. And for the offering of wood in its appointed seasons], cf. 10'^; 
and for the first-fruits], cf. 10'^ ^•. — Remember me, O my God, for 
good], breaking off the supplication abruptly, cf. vv. "• ^^- ^^ 

23. i^icn] is impossible after an ace. subj.; 05 ol IxdtGcaav, H ducentes. 
We may rd. do-'Cdh or substitute -itrx for pn before anin^n. On 2Vf\ 
mng. to marry, found only in Ezr.-Ne., v. Ezr. 10''. — 24. a';^ oj? pcSai] 
lacking in ^^^^. It has the appearance of a crude explanatory gl. 
—25. DB-1DN1] lacking in (S^Aj? —.aji,,] lacking in (§^^^.—26. nhn-hv] 
(gBAS oZrutq, &- xep' 'ro6'uwv.— After mno] (S^ has iLi-{oi<;. — iN^tsnn] (6 
e^lxXtvov = lan, the word used in i K. ii^. — 28. ^Jinn] lacking in (S^^^. 
— 29. iVnj] ^^^^ dyxt(rref(j£, i. e., understanding Snj, to act as kinsman; 
C5^ deXfaYovTai;. — runonz] (S^ iC>v lepiwv. — "nnj] It jusque sacerdotale et 

EZRA 7-10 303 


The priest-scribe receives a liberal firman from Artaxerxes, 
gathers a company, and goes to Jerusalem. There he learns of 
the mixed marriages, and after prayer and fasting measures 
are taken for their dissolution. Ezra's career is continued in 
Ne. 8 and in Esd. a part of that chapter follows Ezr. 10 directly, 
an order adopted here. It has been shown in the Intr. § ^° that 
Ezra is later than Nehemiah, belonging to the period of Ar- 
taxerxes II. 

The basis of this section is, I believe, the memoirs of Ezra (!;.Intr. §«('0- 
This source is used with few exceptions in c. 8/. In c. 10 there are 
but two buried indications of the original E., v. on vv. "• ''. Who 
revised the text of c. 10 and how radical the revision was it is hard to 
say. It seems plain that there is more than one hand visible in the 
editing. Vv. 1-' do not seem to come from the same source as vv. •-". 
It appears that there was a gradual transforming of the memoirs into 
the third p., for various Gk. texts show more of it than MT. In the 
main the story seems to be entirely worthy of confidence. 

7'-" = Esd. 8"^ The introduction to the story of Ezra.— 
The narrative consists chiefly of the priest's genealogy and of- 
fice and of the dates of his departure from Babylon and arrival 
at Jerusalem. — 1. And after these things], a general statement 
meant to connect this passage with Ezr. 6 which precedes in MT., 
a favourite phrase of the Chronicler. — In the reign of Artaxerxes 
the king of Persia], The reference is to Artaxerxes II (404-358). 

Ezra's genealogy is traced through seventeen generations back to 
Aaron. The genealogy is wrong in several respects, v. i. Were we to allow 
three generations to a century, this would carry us back 567 years, that is, 
about to the period of Solomon. Seraiah is the same pr. named in 
Ne. II". Azariah is lacking in the priestly genealogy, Ne. 11", but 
recurs 3 t. in that of i Ch. s^^ ^- (EV. 6» ^■). The name, which means 
Yahweh hath helped, was borne by many persons. Hilkiah was a high 
pr. of Josiah's time, 2 K.' 22*, the one who found the book of Dt., 
and from the table in i Ch. 5 this might be the same one. — 2. Shallum 
is found as Meshullam in Ne. 11" i Ch. 9". Like others in the list, 
it was a common name. — Zadok occurs twice in i Ch. 5"- ". The best- 
known pr. of this name was the one whom Solomon exalted over the 


deposed Abiathar, i K. 2'K Ahitub is named as father of Zadok in 
2 S. 8*', but the text is rejected by We, (Bucher Sam.). — 3. Amariah. 
This name is also repeated in i Ch. 5"- ". Azariah in the Chr.'s table 
is wanting at this place, though found 3 t. elsw., Amariah being the son 
of Meraioth. The name fails also in Esd.^^. Meraioth occurs in Ne. 
II" I Ch. 9" between Zadok and Ahikib, evidence of the imperfection 
of these genealogies. — 4. Zerahiah, outside of the lists in Ch., occurs 
only in 8*. Bukki is the name of a chief in Dan, Nu. 3422. — 5. Abiskiia 
is named among the sons of Bela, i Ch. 8^ Bela being a son of Benj. 
Phinehas, Eleazer, and Aaron are well known. — The first pr.\ applies 
to Aaron and should not be rendered "the chief pr." as in EV^ 
05 gives it correctly. 

6. This Ezra] is not right. The words can only be explained 
as a resumption, the subject in v. ^ being too far separated from 
the verb, and we should render: he [Ezra] went upfront Babylon]. 
But the text is made to fit the later introduction of the gene- 
alogy. — He was a ready scribe in the law of Moses]. Ezra would 
not have applied this term to himself. The word rendered 
scribe is used often in the pre-exilic writings of a royal official, 
a secretary; so in Persia, Est. 3^^ 8'; it is given to Baruch, 
Jeremiah's private secretary, who wrote his prophecies at his 
dictation, Je. 36'^. The royal scribe's business was to write a 
report of the historic events as they occurred and to inscribe 
the king's edicts. The idea of the word became then essen- 
tially "a writer." The term applied to Ezra does not imply 
primarily that he was learned in the law (Str. Neuheb. Spr.^), 
but that he was an expert with the pen, writing or cop3dng 
the law. Inevitably the scribes became learned in the law; 
see the fine passage in Sirach 38^^-39". The adjective "ready" 
or "quick" shows the true idea. In papyrus 49 there is the 
term "a wise and ready scribe" (Sachau,"^). The law of 
Moses is either the completed Pentateuch or the priestly por- 
tion thereof. Ezra is supposed to have brought this law-book 
with him. — Which Yahweh the God of Israel had given], the ante- 
cedent being the law, which is everywhere assigned to a divine 
origin, Moses having received it from God. V. ^ is very obscure. 
The best we can make out of MT. is: and the king gave to him all 
that he sought according to the hand of Yahweh upon him]; or 

EZRA 7-10 305 

with CS: because the hand of Yahweh was upon him. Esd. reads: 
and the king gave him honor, for he found favor with him for all his 
undertakings. — 7. The classes that went up with Ezra are the 
same as those in c. 2. In his own account priests, Levites, and 
Nethinim are mentioned, but not singers or porters, S^^^-. — 
In the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king]. On this date, v. i., 
Intr. § ^°, Kost. Wied.^^^. — 8. Esd. omits and he came to Jerusa- 
lem] and has in one text (S) "second" year instead of "seventh." 
Wellhausen proposed twenty-seventh, but that does not help 
much. — 9. For on the first day of the first month]. This date is 
found in nearly all the Vrss., and is emphasised because it was 
the beginning of the year. — That was the beginning of the going 
up from Babylon]. This as well as the date preceding is lacking 
in two Greek texts, but that makes the repetition more mean- 
ingless than it is even in MT. 

Esd. reads: he went out from Bab. The text is not very certain. 
But the statement shows that the journey from Bab. to Jerus. lasted 
exactly four months. The time is meant to include the encampment at 
Ahava, 8", from which place a final start was made on the 12th day of 
the ist month. The obscure statement above may be due to the dis- 
tinction between the original start from Bab. and the later one from 
Ahava. As the distance was about 900 miles (Ryle), and the journey 
lasted more than 100 days, the caravan moved slowly. 

10. This verse states the object of Ezra and explains his so- 
licitude to have Levites as well as priests: to seek the law of Yah- 
weh and to do it, and to teach in Israel statute and judgment], or 
with (S statutes and judgments, both being familiar synonyms 
for the law. Esd. has a different idea: /or Ezra possessed much 
knowledge, not to omit anything of the law of the Lord and of his 
commands to all Israel, statutes and judgments, the last two words 
being a corrective gloss. 

As the passage w. 1-" runs, it is not surprising that it is labelled Chr. 
and passed by as unimportant; for it is overloaded with genealogy, with 
specific and repeated dates, and other details. But a close examination 
reveals the fact that a single statement runs through the mass, thus: 
(i) In the reign of Art. the king of Pers. Ezra (6) went up from Bab. 
Now he was an accomplished scribe in the law of Moses which Yahweh the 


God of Israel had given. And the king granted all his requests, ace. to 
the [good] hand of God upon him. (lo) For Ezra had set his heart upon 
following and executing the law of Yahweh, and to teach his statutes and 
judgments in Israel. (8) And he came to Jerus. in the 5th month of the 7th 
year of the king; (9^) for he had departed from Bab. on the ist day of the 
ist month. 

To this V. ' is surely an addition, for the verbs before and after are 
all in the sg. It is true that we find the pi. in some Vrss., but they are 
obvious corrections. The material is easily gathered from the body of 
the narrative, and an intr. which named only Ezra did not suit an 
editor who kept ever in mind a return from captivity. The genealogy 
has been added apparently by stages, Esd. having a briefer one than 
MT., and the latter even being less full than Ch. The insertion of this 
genealogy made necessary the repetition of nry Kin in v. «. Esd. has 
gone further and added a vb. in v. '. A comparison with Esd. shows 
that there has been tampering with the dates in v. "•. It is diflScult 
to determine whether "ace. to the good hand," etc., in v. », is an ac- 
cidental repetition, a good text, or, as Esd, suggests, wrong in both 

It is apparent that to the story of Ezra there was an original and 
simple note of intr. In this all emph. was laid upon Ezra's mission and 
upon his fitness for its accomplishment. The material, it is true, is 
drawn from the body of the narrative, but that is generally the case with 
introductions. In my opinion, this original intr. long preceded the 
editing of the Chr. We note that the writer has chiefly in mind the 
intr. of the law. 

That the genealogy has been shoved in is disclosed most plainly in 
C5^, where we have: and after these things in the reign of Art. the king 
of Bab., Ezra went up from Bab. Ezra the son of Seraiah. . . . That 
Ezra went up from Bab. All the texts show efforts to piece the narra- 
tive here. The genealogy may have been a marginal note, and then 
the clause following would be repeated after it had got into the text. 
The addition may well be the work of the Chr., but in his genealogical 
table some names have dropped from our text. The reason for most 
of the added material is fairl> obvious. The passage is much later than 
E., however, as the stress is laid on the law. 

1. a-vy] Eoptzq^, Ei;pa?AL^ Esd. has icpoal^Y) Eapa?, (S^ dtv^gYj Ei;pa?, 
3 Esd. accesit Esdras. — 5. vn-\n p^n] Cgi- Esd.^ tou Uplw? xou -jcptoTou, 
Esd.^ Tou xpcixou Upioiq, d^^ Tou xaxpwou, an adj. in Prov. 27'" and 
representing a!<; otherwise it is found only in Apocr. It sacer dotes ah 
initio, 3 Esd. primi sacerdotes. The words bring out the idea very 
well that Aaron was the father of the priestly order. — 6. nitj? Kin] om. 
(8^. ^ adds to this ex Bagu^wvo? and then repeats Ei;pa<; uU? x. x. X. 
— -^hd] seems sufficiently explained from inc, "to hasten," and to 

EZRA 7-10 307 

have the mng. quick, a sense applicable in the only other occurrences of 
the word, Ps. 45' Prov. 22" Is. 165. Muller (^45. u. Eu.^'") compares 
Egyptian wfl^xVa, "capable." C5 gives a variety of renderings: Toxiiq®, 
o^dq^, Esd. e!)(fu-i]<;; "B velox, 3 Esd. ingeniosus. — tio] 05 ore xefp, /. e., 
T ^3, so V. '. Esd. has in v.**: %a.\ eSwxev auxcp 6 ^aatXeCK; 86^av, eup6vxo<; 
^(4ptv evavtCov autou Ixl xivra ta dt^ttopiaTa autou, thus reading lo as 
mV, vh-; as Sy, vhSn as vSx, and nin> as in kss. — 7. DMSn] CI prefixes 
(ix6 correctly, since the partitive should be used with each n.; its ab- 
sence before the last three nouns in all texts suggests either careless- 
ness of the Chr. or more prob. a later addition. — 8. X2m] (g B Esd rd. 
W3'' here and v. '. — niyasf n] Esd.^ SeuTspo?, but this offers very little 
help, unless for We.'s conjecture that we should rd. 27th year. — 9" 
is lacking in (gJ'*.— nVjjnn no^ «in] is difficult; (S^ runs: au'zhq sOstAs- 
X&)as T-f)v dev^Paotv dtx6, i. e., ^D;, a reading generally accepted, and in- 
terpreted "he began the journey from Bab." BDB. gives sense "ap- 
point " here. Esd. has i^zTSiyzoq fdap Ix^, lacking "iD\ — . . . -\>3] Esd. 
xaxd; x-^jv SoOetaav adxolq eioSfav icapob tou xupfou ex' auT<p: ace. to the 
good journey given to them from the Lord to him, the last two words be- 
ing added as a correction from MT., and lacking in *. — 10. psn] CS 
ISoxev'^*, ^o([La.l,e^. Esd. reads: 6 yap "K'^paq [Atpapaq^] toXX9)v 
lxKrri^[i.Triv xeptelxev eE<; xb injBsv xapaXscxetv Toiv Ix toij v6[jlou xupfou xal 
Ix Ttov evToXfiiv [xpb?^] xivua ibv 'loposi^X Btax(i[)[j.aToc xit xpffAanra. In 
part this is traceable, reading nain nj'-jn for naS pan. 3 Esd. shows 
further correction from MT., reading at end: et docendo universam 
Israel omnem justitiam et judicium. 

7"-'<^ = Esd. 8^^. The edict of Artaxerxes. 

Of all the official documents in our books this one arouses the great- 
est suspicion. It is difficult to believe that the Pars, king would bestow 
such immense grants upon Ezra, including c. $140,000 in cash; indeed, 
it is impossible that Ezra, whose purpose was the proper institution of 
the temple ritual, should need any such sum. It is absolutely out of 
the question that such enormous powers were conferred upon a Jew- 
ish pr., making him really the supreme authority in the whole Syrian 
province, with power to impose even the death penalty. The decree 
is even inconsistent with itself in this respect, for a part of it authorises 
the Pers. officers to pay Ezra money, and then he is clothed with a 
power that would have enabled him to displace them if he saw fit. 
Moreover, a large part of the decree is flatly at variance with the work 
of Ezra, which is described with more fulness than any other event in 
this period. There is not a hint in the whole story that this pr. ever 
received as much as a kid from any foreigner whatever. He says 
himself that he would not ask even a guard from the Pers. king. There 


is no hint of any tremendous sacrifices such as we should have heard of 
if the leader had received such liberal donations. 

Ezra is here clothed with all of the power of the Pers. king in the 
I whole of Syria, yet he was unable to effect a single divorce except by 
a pathetic appeal to the people. The official titles which he bears are 
humble enough, pr. and reader of the law, nothing more. And those 
titles cover everything that he actually did at Jerus. No great move- 
ments of any kind can be traced to him exc. in connection with the cult 
and with the law. Even Sta. seems to accept the idea that Ezra's law 
became the law of the king (Sr.^^. There were two things for which 
Ezra needed the authorisation of Art., and two only: the permit to 
take a caravan to Jerus., and to make the Torah the law for the Jew- 
ish people. Now these two points are^explicitly covered in the edict, 
and if there were nothing else, no one would ever have questioned the 
authenticity of this decree. 

On account of his work in connection with the temple and the law, 
Ezra is exalted above every other character in this period. In the 
portion of Esd. which has come down to us, Neh. is not mentioned. 
To make him as conspicuous as later ages supposed him to be, the 
historic sources available to the Chr. have been freely worked over. 
Evidence of this contention abounds everywhere. In this initial c. 
of his story we have abundant instances. The havoc which has been 
made of his memoirs offers further proof. To dispose of this edict as 
a whole by calling it the invention of the Chr., as Torrey among others 
does, is quite unnecessary. It is hard to see why the Chr. should have 
written in Aram. Torrey's argument that he does it to give colour to the 
genuineness of the document breaks down in view of the fact that he 
is supposed to have written the edict of Cy. in c. i in Heb., and that 
even Torrey admits that the other Aram, sections antedate the Chr. 

Now if we dissect this decree, as Torrey dissects that of Dar, we may 
find perfectly good authority for Ezra's course. There is, indeed, a 
greater elaboration than in other sections, but Ezra was the hero of the 
age, and greater glorification was demanded. To find the original we 
have first the easy task of eliminating w. "-2*. In this part there is so 
unusually close an agreement between MT. and Esd. as alone to offer 
good ground for suspicion. This agreement is best explained as due 
to the fact that the passage is later than the rest of the section. The 
passage in form consists of a decree to the Syrian treasurers, and yet it 
runs into the decree of Ezra. Vv. " '• may be original, but the officers 
whom Ezra was authorised to appoint were not civil rulers. The texts 
show uncertainty, <& having "scribes" in place of "judges." These 
officers were mere assistants to be appointed to aid Ezra in his religious 
duties, and such as we find working with him in large numbers, Ne. 8. 
The punishments named in v. " were not to be imposed by Ezra or his 
assistants, but by the properly constituted civil officers in the satrapy. 

EZRA 7-10 309 

The condition described there had always held good in every part of 
the Pers. empire, so far as the law of the king is concerned. The new 
feature is the obligation to obey the law of Yahweh. This law Ezra 
seems authorised to impose on the Jews. 

With the rest of the decree there is little occasion to quarrel. Fischer 
accepts as genuine vv. "-"• ='• *=• ^', but this presupposes too much am- 
plification. There may have been a little retouching here and there to 
enlarge the conception of Ezra's mission, but what it really amounts 
to is that Ezra had a free hand to beg all the money he could for sacred 
purposes, and that is assuredly not extravagant in its claims. V. '" is 
not quite so natural, and yet Oriental kings were often not averse to 
doing liberal things on paper. Witness the gold bricks so freely inter- 
changed between the courts of Egypt and Bab. on the unimpeachable 
evidence of the Tell-Amarna letters. Yet the Esd. texts say that Ezra 
may take from the royal treasury, presumably in Bab., the vessels for 
the house of God; quite a different proposition. The version of Esd. 
differs so much from the Aram, that a translation of the former is ap- 
pended, for while the detailed variants are cited in the notes, the matter 
will be grasped better by comparing the Vrss. as a whole. Among the 
differing texts of Esd. I have chosen that which in each instance seems 
to be best: (11) Bid the person approaching who did the writing of King 
Art., he delivered the writing, which had come from King Art. to Ezra the 
pr. and reader of the law of the Lord, of which the subjoined is a copy : 

(12) King Art. to Ezra the pr. and reader of the law of the Lord, greeting. 

(13) And I having a preference for benevolent acts have ordered that those 
who desire of the nation of the Jews, of their own election, and of the pr. 
and Lev. who are in our kingdom, may proceed with thee to Jems. As 
many therefore as are eager, let them set forth together, (14) as seems good 
to me and to the seven friends counselling with me, that they look after the 
welfare of Judah and Jerus. in accordance with the law of the Lord; (15) 
and to carry to Jerus. gifts which I and my frietuis have vowed to the Lord. 
(16) And all the gold and silver which sliall be found in the provime of 
Bab., for the Lord at Jerus., with that which is given by the nations for 
the temple of the Lord which is in Jerus., (17) shall be collected, and the 
gold and silver for bulls and rams and lambs and the things which go with 
them, in order that they may offer sacrifices on the altar of the Lord which 
is in Jerus. {1^) And all that seems right to thy brethren to do with the gold 
and silver let it be done, ace. to the will of thy God. (19) And the sacred 
vessels which are given thee for the service of the temple of thy God which 
is in Jems., (20) and the rest whatever shall come to thee for the service of 
the temple of thy God, thou shall take from the royal treasury. 

(21) And I, Art. the king, give orders to tlte treasurers of Syria and 
Phoenicia, thai whatever Ezra the pr. and reader of the law of the most high 
God demands, shall be scrupulously given to him, (22) up to a hundred 
talents of silver, likewise up to a hundred cor of wheat and a hundred 


bottles of wine. (23) And ace. to the law of God, let everything he com- 
pleted for the most high God that there be no wrath against the realm of 
the king and of his sons. (24) And to you it is said that to all the pr. and 
Lev. and singers and porters and Neth. and scribes of the temple, there 
shall he no tribute nor other imposition, and no one shall have authority 
to lay anything upon them. (25) And thou, Ezra, according to the wisdom 
of God, appoint judges and magistrates of those who know the law that they 
may judge in all Syria and Phoenicia; and all who do not know the law 
of thy God do thou teach. (26) And all as many as shall trangress the law 
[of thy God and of the king] shall he strictly punished, whether it be by 
death, or by torture, or by fines, or by banishment. 

11. This verse is Hebrew and is the Chronicler's introduction 
to the letter which is in Aramaic. — Copy of the letter], cf. 4^"^ 
5®. The writer claims to have an authentic document before 
him. — The scribe, the scribe of the words of Yahweh's command- 
ments]. In place of "scribe," Esd. in one place, by pointing 
differently, reads "book." 

In this V. 3 Esd. has an interesting plus: but those approaching who 
did the writing of King Art., they delivered the writing which had come from 
King Art. to Ezra, the pr. and reader of the law of the Lord, of which the 
subjoined is a copy. It is impossible to think this text an invention of 
translators, and yet it is rather startling in its implications; for it re- 
veals plainly a beginning in medias res. In other words, this passage 
was preceded by an account of the way in which Ezra obtained his 
favour from the king, a natural part of the story; cf. the story of the 
Three Youths, Esd. 3, 4 and Ne. i, 2. It appears that Ezra was not 
at the Pers. court when the decree was issued, but that it was brought 
to him at the river Ahava in Bab. 

12-26. The letter.— 12. God of heaven], v. 1 2; Esd. reads 
the Lord. — Perfect and so forth] as ARV. is nonsense. By a 
slight emendation we get the true sense, perfect peace. And 
now, coming to the real business. — 13. In my empire]. Ezra, is 
free to gather his caravan from any part of the vast Persian 
kingdom. — 14. The purpose of Ezra's mission, a mission sup- 
ported by the king and his seven counsellors (cf. the seven 
princes. Est. i^^), was to investigate the condition of Judah, 
but from the point of view of the law of God which he carried 
with him; that is, to see whether the law was enforced or not. 

EZRA 7-10 311 

— 15. Silver and gold], Esd. gifts for the Lord which I and my 
friends have vowed for Jerusalem]. This implies that Ezra's mis- 
sion was in some part due to a vow taken by the king, the con- 
ditions of which had been fulfilled. We may compare the appeal 
to the vow of Darius, Esd. 4^^^-. The expression "vow" is 
stronger than the Aramaic "offered." — The God of Israel whose 
dwelling-place is in Jerusalem]. The dwelling-place is strictly 
the temple; but the meaning is more comprehensive than that: 
Jerusalem was the place Yahweh had selected as his abode. 
The statement therefore shows a distinct Jewish colouring. — 
16. All the silver and gold which thou shall find in the whole prov- 
ince of Babylon]. This is not qualified by the following words, 
since the voluntary gifts of the people and priests are quite 
distinct. Ezra has a roving commission so far as raising money 
is concerned. 

Ryle explains by saying that the neighbours of the Jews would gladly 
assist their undertaking. Sieg. supposes it to be a compulsory tax 
which Ezra had the right to levy upon Jewish property in Bab. Seis. 
contends that this money came from Jews, since S^' names only king, 
counsellors, princes, and all Israel as contributors. Berth, thinks this 
gift came from foreigners, and if exactness is insisted upon, we might 
identify this "find" with the gift of the princes, though they are not 
mentioned here. In spite of his antipathy to aliens in Judah, Ezra 
might be willing to receive money from them. But all suggestions to 
explain the money overlook the troublesome word "find," which re- 
curs, by the way, in S^'^, and is supported by all texts and Vrss. In 
Esd. we might render: all the gold and silver belonging to the Lord of 
Jems, which can be found in the province of Bab. From this we get an 
entirely new idea. The temple had been repeatedly plundered by As. 
and Bab. kings, and the booty carried ultimately to temples and palaces 
in Bab. Now Ezra is authorised to take back all of that spoil which 
he can find. This makes the passage intelligible, at all events, and 
makes good sense. If that is the right conception it speaks for the 
authenticity of the decree. 

For the house of God who [or which] is in Jerusalem]. In Aramaic 
it is not possible to tell whether the relative stands for "house" 
or "God"; (&^^ H have former, ^ latter, for in Greek and Larin 
the distinction must be made, cf. i^. — 17. That thou mayst faith- 


fully buy with the money], showing that the purpose for which 
it was collected was the proper institution of the cultus. — Bul- 
locks, rams, lambs], the same animals (lacking the goats) named 
as offered at the dedication of the temple, 6^^ — And their meat 
offerings and their drink offerings], that is, those which prop- 
erly accompanied the animal sacrifices, v, Nu. 15^-^". Esd. has 
merely: and those things which accompany them. — 18. But all 
the money would not be required for sacrifices, therefore the 
general statement is made that Ezra and his brethren (the 
priests) may use the balance of the money as may seem to them 
good; but that it was only to be used for sacred purposes is 
shown by the limitation, according to the -pleasure of your God]. — 
1^. And the vessels which are given thee for the service of the house 
of thy God]. These are doubtless the same as those enumerated 
in 825-27, ajj(j g^j-g gjf^g Qf ^jjg king, members of his court, and 
Israelites. They are not vessels that had previously been in 
the temple and which had been already returned, cf. i''^- 5^* 
6 5. The direction about these vessels is that they shall be 
placed in the temple as votive memorials. — 20. Provision is 
now made to cover any expenditure not provided in the above 
grant by allowing the priest to draw upon the royal treasury to 
meet any requirement for the temple which might fall upon 
him. — 21. The king then limits this permission by decreeing 
that all the treasurers in the Syrian province shall honour the 
requisitions of Ezra, 22, up to a hundred talents of silver, a 
hundred cor of wheat, a hundred bottles of wine and of oil, and 
an unlimited supply of salt: salt which is not written, or re- 
stricted. The cor is the same as homer = 393.9 Htres. The oil 
and salt are not mentioned in Esd. According to Meyer's 
computation the silver would be worth about $140,000, a much 
larger sum than we should expect. Meyer adds, "but the 
amount appears to me unsuspicious in view of the rich gifts of 
the king and his magnates which Ezra brought with him." It 
is difficult to share this view; v. on 8^^. — 23. Everything which is 
by the command of the God of heaven shall be correctly executed for 
the house of the God of heaven]. This is the most sweeping of 
all the provisions. Ezra is assumed to have the law as the basis 

EZRA 7-10 313 

of his plea for assistance. That law showed in detail what 
God demanded in the service at his temple in Jerusalem. That 
service was not yet rendered according to this law, and with 
such a condition God was not well pleased. — Ezra had shrewdly 
appealed to the king's fears and so the decree continues: why 
should there he wrath upon the empire of the king and his sons?] 
The displeasure of God, which might fall upon the Persian em- 
pire, may be averted by establishing the rightful cult at Jeru- 
salem. That kind of an appeal would be the most effective and 
adds probability to the liberal terms of the edict, cf. 610^. — 24. 
To you it is directed]. The antecedent can only be the treas- 
urers named in v. '^^. 

As the decree was issued to Ezra (v. i^) and in view of the material 
intervening between v. " and v. '<, the construction makes the passage 
suspicious, esp. the use of the second p., as if the decree were directed 
to the treasurers named in v. ". We find here a supposedly "exhaustive 
list of the temple officials: pr. Lev. singers, porters, Neth. and ser- 
vants of the house of God. This agrees with the lists of c. 2 exc. for 
the last-named, corresponding to which we find "servants of Solomon." 
These may be identical, but "servants" in our passage has a more 
technical mng. than Berth, gives: whoever besides has to oversee the ser- 
vice at the temple. Our text simply asserts that it shall be unlawful 
to impose any kind of tax upon the temple officers; but <& adds to this 
a provision that no kind of [public] service may be exacted of them. 

25. And thou, Ezra]. The name recurs because a passage, 
w. ^^^•, had been addressed to others. — According to the wisdom 
of thy God which is in thy hand], does not mean, according to 
the priests' inspired discretion, as Esd. implies, but according 
to the written law-book which he carries and to which he must 
conform, cf. v.^^; "wisdom" is often in late literature used as a 
synonym for "law." The government established by Ezra was 
therefore to be hierarchical. — Appoint judges and magistrates], 
(& better scribes and judges, as they were the administrators of 
the religious law. — To all the people who are beyond the River] is 
qualified by the following: i, e., to all who observe the law of thy 
God], so that Ezra's jurisdiction is confined to Jews in the Syrian 
province. — And whoever does not observe [the law] you shall in- 


struct]. This does not open the way to a propaganda among the 
non- Jewish residents, but means that Ezra and others shall 
teach the law to those Jews who now do not know or follow it. 
— 26. And every one who does not obey the law of thy God and the 
law of the king]. Here is the beginning of the double law under 
which the Jews have lived to this day, and which causes so much 
confusion and perplexity {cf. Jn. 19^). The officers appointed 
by Ezra were authorised to administer both the religious and 
the civil law. The various punishments permitted are death, 
banishment, imposition of fines, and imprisonment. These are 
comprehensive enough for all purposes. — ^This brings us to the 
end of the decree and of the Aramaic sections of the book of 

11. The Heb. is clear and in good order. Esd. has a different text; 
it runs : lupoaxeadvto? [hk tou ypaylviroi;]""'' ^ ■7:poci&-{[i.(xtoc,°"^- ^ •3cap(J: 
'Apxa^lp^ou TOU ^otfftXiox; xpb<; "Eapav ihv hgi<x xal dvayvdxjxijv toO v6[jioi> 
xupfou o3 laTtv iyxlyptx(fov "zh uicoxsfyLevov. Tliis is nonsense as it stands, 
because a clause has dropped out after xpoaTaYtxaTOi;. The deficit is 
found in 3 Esd.: accidentes autem, qui scribebant scripta Ariaxerxis 
regis, tradiderunt scriptum, quod obvenerat ab Artaxerxe rege ad Esdram 
sacerdotem et lectorem legis Domini, cujus exemplum subjedum est. 
Doubtless 05 is right in the use of the sg. — iSnn] om. (S^-^. — lisD] 05 
^cpXfou = nnp, Esd. dcvaYvtiaTTQv = N"].p. The title "scribe" is never 
found in Esd. (save for the gl. in g"!-). "Reader" is doubtless the 
earlier term. For 'yxnu'i . . nai] Esd. shows only nin> mm, agreeing ' 
essentially with title in v. ". — 12. njhd om. (B'^\ — xm] is Pers. dadh 
(Andreas, in Mar.^'). — njyDi T'Sj] is a much-disputed phrase. In 05 we 
find: TETeXeffTo Xq-^oc; xal f]' ixdstptut?^^, let the word and the answer be 
performed; in ^ to the above is added : xal vuv = nj:;oi; Esd. xatpstv; 
3 Esd. saliitem; Esd. begins v.": xal T<i ftXfivOpwTca lyd) xpfva?, which 
is not represented in the Aram, tioj would correspond to TET^Xeaxo, 
though Berth, says Gk. did not understand this word; but the rest, at 
all events, is not discoverable. Torrey thinks dW has fallen out after 
^''Ci:' (Comp.^^), a correction supported by Esd. and now frequently 
adopted. But if we rely on the Vrss. we must suppose more lost than 
a single word. — n:;;^] v. 4". — 13. iniD'7D3] Esd.^ y.oA TwvSe Iv t^ ■^[xeziptf 
PactXeftjf. — Sn-ici] Esd. twv 'louBafwv, a reading overlooked by Kost. — 
14. n '73|-'-'7o] wanting in (6^^, xocO' oit^.— intDy^] cf. i^p, Sachau,"; it 
corresponds to Heb. Ty and has the same mng. — 15. nSainS] 05^^ g[^ 
olxov y.upiou, i. e., h^^. ^ has a dup. : axsveYxelv eE<; x. t. X. — njpn] 
Esd. Tji^itxTiv = Heb. "nj not found in B. Aram. — 16. no'^nr] Esd. 8 

EZRA 7-10 315 

Idv eupeOfj (nanisri cf. 6^ Iv xfj x<Sp? Tij? B. T(p xupftp Isp. Kupfq) is best 
interpreted as a dative of possession, i. e., belonging to the Lord of 
Jems. — 16. Nijnai] lacking in Esd., which knows of no contribution 
from the pr.; this agrees with 8^5 and is prob. right. — paijnD ... op] 
Esd. aiv T(p 8e8a)pT)[<p uxb toO eOvoui;, referring to Bab. — 17. . . .hj 
njn^] (S^^ xal xdtv xpoaTcopeu6[ji£vov, toOxov sTofiAW? evxa^ov sv ^t^Xfcp tou- 
T(p; ^ adds to this a lit. rendering of the Aram.; H libere accipe et 
stiidiose erne de hoc pecunia; Esd. auvTjxO^vat ih iz xpuafov xal dpYuptov; 
so 3 Esd. 2</ colligattir hoc aurum et argentum. (6 looks like a bad cor- 
ruption: xav = ':'3, -TcpOCTX. = 2l|i (Sap), toOtov = ^J^, sTofiiax; = NJiflDN, 
IvTct^ov = Njpn (Nip), ^t^Xfco = Ni3D3 (isd). MT. is poorly supported, 
but the words are not of great moment. — 19. pSfl] only here as subst., 
but cf. V. 2^. <S XetToupYfav. Esd. uses a less technical word, xp^^av, 
in Heb. niny. — aSirn] (g xapiSo?. The word is lacking in Esd.^^, as 
well as the preceding and following, so that we have merely the temple 
of thy God which is in Jerus. Sieg. Berth. BDB. render "deliver in 
full number." That implies a certain distrust of Ezra, and would be 
superfluous in any case. Ges.^ renders "restore," implying, wrongly 
I think, that these vessels had previously been taken from the temple. 
Torrey renders "deliver in the presence of." We should prob. assign 
a weakened sense, "lay up," as Esd.^ B-^aet?. — aSci-o rhu] (& Iv 'lep. 
Guthe emends "'^'i n "rNitr^ nSs to correspond to v. ". The most 
elaborate text is Esd.^: s!<; t-J)v xps'av ''^ou lepou toO Oeou cou toCi ev 'lep. 
O'^aet? Ivav-ufov tou Oeou 'lapai^X. — 20. nina'n] f All Gk. texts have xpefav 
= \ihs, v.". — 22. n'^'D l>n3] lacking in (&^ and Esd.: ^ IXafou gaSwv 
exa-udv; i- eXccfou 2w? gaTcov exaxdv. The unusual order and the witness 
cf <g make the mention of the oil suspicious. — ana N'7-n] means with- 
oiit prescription, i. e., ace. to requirement. — 23. oya-p] C5 Iv yyi^iii-ti; 
but MT. shows no need of correction. — 24. aaS] is a manifest He- 
braism; Mar. corrects to jaS; similarly we should have ]n>hy at end 
of V. — pj?iinn] ^ lyvcoptaxai^^, YV(<>pfsO[xev^, Xifextxi^^: The idiom 
is explained in Kautzsch, § ". The Gk. variants prob. represent only 
different attempts to make intelligible a circumlocutory expression. — 
Nnnr] Heb. amtJ'Dn, 2", v. Kautzsch, § ". Zimmern connects with 
Bab. zammare {v. Haupt's note in Guthe,«<)- — ''^^^] (i>. ]rho, v. i") CS 
XetToupYoI? = Heb. mti'; Esd. ^pa'Xiiaxiv.olq^^ ypx^nLix'ziy.olq^. The word 
must have some technical sense, but just what it is impossible to 
say. 05 offers a variety of renderings of v. ''. ^ alone agrees with 
MT. ^^ has: <f6gio<z (x-fj eoTW ctoi oux e^ouataaet? xaraSouXoOaOat auTOu?. 
The first part is easily derivable from MT. iSa = oux, ^]hn^ = ea-uw aot, 
i. e., nin. With this reading Esd. in part agrees: [j.T)Se(jLia ipopoXoyfoc 
litjSe oXXtj IxipouX-f) yfvTiTat, [jngSlvoc e'xetv e^ouafav IxtPaXelv -uouTOti;. — 
25. njNi] Masora magna in B disertis verbis ait. In libris Danielis 
et Esdrce nbique nnjN scriptum est, uno loco pjn excepto (Str.). Doubt- 
less the text preserves a mere scribal error. — Ti'3 ■•"<] lacking in Esd. — 


pOflB?] Ypa(j.;jLaTst<;^^ (?''"'sci),^^'^: It is hard to say whether (35 is 
right or merely trying to avoid a tautology, since the two Aram, words 
both mean jtidges and cannot be distinguished. In Dt. i6" we find 
on-jB*! wao"', CSi xptxat; x. yp(X[K\Lxzoeiaaf(j)-{siq. The officers were ec- 
clesiastical, not civil. — \'n] (5 v6[jlov^^ ^^'^■, ^ v6[U[i.ix; with Torrey rd. 
m. — Jij7iinn] Guthe corrects to njj? ^nn, (S^ yvwptelTs aiTa. Guthe ap- 
pears not to have noted this reading, but his emendation has little 
support. — 26. Yy\Z'] C5 xatSei'av^'^, extl^waat aiicbv ^ •rcatSeOaai^; Esd. 
dtxtyitiy^, disfranchisement, TtfjLwpfij:^^, torture, so 3 Esd. cruciatu. cia' 
means rooi, so the lexicographers argue uprooting, batiishmefit, ignoring 
the big gaps in the chain of reasoning. Sieg., perhaps taking a hint 
from Ges.^, refers to Ps. 52', where Pi. is rendered "uproot," but we 
should rd. with C5, Ific', "thy root." The Gk. translators did not 
know what the word meant, and we are no better off to-day; "excom- 
munication" would be the most natural mng. — vDoj cj;?] (5 i;ifj;x{av 
pfou^*, "loss of life"; ^TjpLtwaat "zSc ixiipxovTa^, Esd. (JpYup((pl^T]. The 
punishment is the imposition of fines. — piiDx] C5 xapciBoatv^, SiatAa^, 
9uXax'^v eyxXeloai^; Esd. dxaYOY^^^, BeqjieOaat^. 

T'' ^- = Esd. 8'^-'^ Ezra's thanksgiving. 

As usually interpreted the leader gives thanks for the decree of Art., 
but it is really much more than that. The true connection has been 
destroyed by the editorial work of the Chr. Doubtless this was origi- 
nally not an appendix to a royal decree, but the conclusion of Ezra's own 
story of his successful plea to the king. The brief passage expresses 
thanksgiving in a few words and then proceeds to action, describing 
how the pr. began to collect leaders to take part in his expedition. The 
passage is directly continued in 8^\ the Chr. having interjected one of 
the lists in which he so much delighted. This is the beginning of the 
fragments of E. 

27. One Greek MS. in Esd. begins: And Ezra the scribe said. 
MT. begins: who has thus put it into the heart of the king], or 
better into my heart. This refers not to the decree, which was 
no part of E., but, if MT. is right, to the favourable disposition 
already described by Ezra in a lost section of his story. The 
good office of Artaxerxes is due to the moving of God's spirit 
in his heart. But Esd.^ has my heart, doubtless the original read- 
ing. Of the king was added to make a closer connection with 
the decree. Ezra expresses gratitude first that he was moved 
to do something for the temple, and then that he had received 

EZRA 7-10 317 

favour from the king. — To glorify the house of Yahweh] by estab- 
lishing the full system of sacrifices. "Glorify" is a favourite 
word of Is.2 4423 493 ^^5 5q7. 9. 13. 21 5j3_ These words express 
the great purpose of Ezra's mission, which was concerned with 
the temple rather than the law. — 28. The second ground for 
praising God is: he extended mercy to me before the king and his 
counsellors and his officers] as we should probably read like 8^^ 
All the mighty officers of the king is in MT., but as the last named 
were the least important, mighty is out of place, and the repeti- 
tion of king is awkward. — As the good hand of Yahweh my God 
was upon me]. ''Good" is inserted from (&. Esd. reads: ac- 
cording to the support of Yahweh my God. The substance is the 
same. All of his success is ascribed to the loving kindness of 
God. — And I gathered leaders [i. e., heads of fathers, Esd. men] 
from Israel], that is, of course, from the race, not the land. Each 
leader would have a number of his clan associated with him. 
Having obtained a grant from the king, Ezra proceeds at once 
to gather a company from the exiles who are ready to take part 
in his expedition. His narrative is now interrupted by a list 
of the names of those who went up with him. On these vv. v. 
also Intr. § " (^). 

27. Esd.'^ begins: xal elxev 'El^pa? & '{pcx\^\i.a!.'zs{iq (so 3 Esd.). Very- 
little attention has been paid to this reading. Guthe, Sieg. B.-Rys. 
Seis. do not refer to it. Berth, quotes it without a word of comment, 
but does not note that it is found only in ^ and 3 Esd. Were we to 
hold that this is the true beginning of E., we should surely regard this 
as an authentic note by the compiler, for Ezra's name is not mentioned 
in the genuine memoirs. The abruptness is explained by comparing 
6', but it is really due to the Chr.'s omission of the introductory part of 
E. The passage serves its purpose here, but is poorly supported, and 
shows only a marginal note which was found in some texts, but not in 
all. It did not come from the Chr., but was a later editor's note and 
so did not find a place in all texts. — irnux] lacking in Esd.^^; xaripwv 
[jiou* = TiUN, a better reading. — n^ro] Esd. xauia, prob. a free render- 
ing. — i^Dn 2^2] Esd. eE? Tfjv xapSfav \lou toO gaacX^ox;. The last two 
words are a corrective addition. — nini2] om. (S^\ while Esd. curiously 
reads auToiJ. — 28. non nan] is a peculiar combination, but recurs in 9'; 
Esd. l-rffXTQaev, prob. "nn for "iDn. — ijoS] (5 Iv 6(p6aX[iot(; = ^J-iya. Esd. 
EvavTt. Prob. a case of an obscure word rd. in two different ways. — 
najn . . . VaSi]. The change of construction and its peculiar character 

3 1 8 ' EZR A-NEHEMI AH 

raise suspicions. 05 reads: tc^vtwv t. dtpxovTwv t. p. t. linjptJilvwv'^A' 
[Suvaxwv^]. Esd. has a different text for the whole : PaatXiwq xal icavxwv 
Twv ipO.(ov auToO xal twv [xeYtffirivwv auxou. It is likely that the original 
was the same as 8", and is here awkwardly amplified. — "in'?^] on basis 
of 05 Guthe adds rsaran, cf. 7'. Esd. has a simpler text: eOOapa-f)? lye- 
v6[j.7]v xaxi T'fjv ivrfXiQ^'tv xupfou GeoO [jlou. — ai!:>«i] Esd. S.vZg<xz = a^a^^N; 
05 apxovTa<; = Qiitt' in v. ». This is another case of an obscure word; 
D''CS-\ may be a correction from 8'. 

8'"''* = Esd. 8'^"'°. The list of the leaders of Ezra's com- 
pany. — 1. Heads of the fathers] v. s. on i^ — And their genealogy], 
read with Esd. companies. — In the reign of Artaxerxes the king]. 
These words show that this list was not originally composed 
for this place, or the date would be quite superfluous after c. 7; 
still less would it be necessary in E. The separation of "with 
me" from "from Babylonia" indicates that the date was not 
originally in the text. The Chronicler evidently found the list 
ready to his hand. "With me" is an editorial note to lend 
plausibility to the insertion in the body of the memoirs. 

2. Phineas, a grandson of Aaron, and Ithamar, a son, are named as 
heads of priestly clans {v. Kue. Abh.*'°). Daniel and Hattush are 
mentioned among the pr. in Ne. lo^' f-. It is very doubtful whether 
David here means the famous son of Jesse, though Hattush is given 
as of Davidic descent in i Ch. 3". — 3. Here begins a list of twelve names 

of heads of houses all originally with a formula: of the sons of , 

the son of , and with him were males. There are some places 

in which the text has been corrupted and thus the formula is marred. 
Of these names eight recur among "the heads of the people" in Ne. 
10" "f-, identifying Adonikam and Adoniah, i. e., all except Shekaniah, 
Shephatiah, Joab, and Shelomith. In the list of Ezr. 2 we find ten 
of these names, i. e., all exc. Shekaniah and Shelomith. The text is 
therefore very doubtful and the name Shekaniah is certainly wrong. 
Shekaniah is a priestly name in our books, Ne. 32!" 10= 12'- ". 05 has 
Zattu, a name found in both Ne. 10 and Ezr. 2, and that is prob. 
right. Shelomith is a Levitical name found often in Ch., and does not 
belong here as head of a clan. Esd. supplies the true text : of the sons 
of Bani, Shelomith the son of Josephiah. Bani is found in both parallel 
lists. It is not without interest to note that the first ten names in Ne. 
agree with ten in our list, and that with two exceptions (Arach, v. », 
Zaccai, v. ") they agree with the first twelve in Ezr. 2. B.-Rys. argues 
that the twelve heads of fathers are due to the theory that the re- 
stored Israel was to be made up from the twelve tribes. — 13. And of 
the sons of Adonikam the last]. What the last means is quite un- 

EZRA 7-10 319 

known. Something is apparently lacking. As we rd. of the sons of 
Adonikam . . . and these are their names, it is clear that there must have 
been some statement about these sons, for the last clause would not 
be reouired otherwise. Something like "there were three brothers" 
would properly fill up the gap. It may be that we should render: 
"and of the sons of Adonikam there were others, and these are their 
names." It is noteworthy that here alone we find three names instead 
of one, and that here alone the names of the fathers are lacking. The 
Vrss. do not agree with our text, Esd.^ and H having : Eliphalet the son 
of Jeuel and Shemaiah. — 14. Instead of Uthai and Zabbud we should 
rd. Uthai the son of Zabbud, or Zacchur, as some texts have. The 
numbers vary somewhat in the different texts. 

1. ■'a'N-i] <S^ adds oixwv as Ex. 6^* et pass., but cf. iK — aa'PTini] 
Hithp. inf. with sf. Ges.^ ^*. The word is hard to render here. Esd. has 
xal Tti? [xeptSapxfa? (-}- ai-uou^); (St^^ o\ bZ-qyol connected with a^Syn, 
the guides going up with me; [xeptSapxia? recurs in 1^ = 2 Ch. 355 for 
nuSs, in i" = 2 Ch. 35", nuSoD; we should rd. here onuSsai = and 
their divisions [or companies]. — Vaas] (g^^ lack D and rd. king of Bab. 
The date is a late insertion. Esd. transposes : went up with me from Bab., 
though this does not presuppose a different text. — '•ny] is found in all 
the texts. It was doubtless added by the Chr. to make the list fit into 
its context, — nijoa» 'J3c]. The expected name following does not ap- 
pear. In v. ' this name is repeated, but still with a name lacking. Esd. 
omits the name in v. ', and (§i^ omits v. ^ altogether. We should om. 
the name here and supply a name in v. ". Since in i Ch. 3'' Hattush 
is the grandson of Shekaniah, we might rd. ri>:yy ]i firn. — 5. After 
(6* Esd. ix, TtJv ulwv Zot6oi^<; Eiexovfa? TeO^^Xou (so 3 Esd.), rd. Nint ^}20 
Sxnn-'-ia nij3'i', — anoiS irnTin] puzzled the ancients, but the real mng. 
is counting only the males; further on it is deemed sufficient to repeat 
only "males," which in Esd. is always a'vSpe?. — 6. nay] should cer- 
tainly be a n. p., but it is peculiar certainly. (5 offers Q^rfi^, Q^tj^ 
AtitvaSa^^ (= na;? ri>); Esd. OuPtjv^, Q^t)OA AiitySa^i-. On the whole, 
lav is best supported and may be an abbreviated form, as there are 
numerous n. p. with lay as the initial element. — 10. A name is evi- 
dently lacking, as Esd. offers ex twv ulwv Bavta? SaXetpiwO Iwaaqjtou^^ 
C5* has a similar text. In Esd.'" the first two names are transposed. 
Rd. ...^:2 ij3!3i. In i Ch. 26" in^yu'"' is the great-grandfather of a Shelo- 
mith. There is a suspicious phonic resemblance to in>flDv, here named 
as father of Shelomith. — 11. In (S^ Esd. the names are differentiated; 
correct with Guthe to . . . ^■'^ ''J3?2, v. on 10". — (S^a h^g ^g^ -^n^ 28, 
i. e., O'yatf for oncy. — 12. ppn] the little one, cf. "James the less," 
Mk. 15"; the name is attested by (S H Esd. — (8^ has 120 for no. — 13. 
D''nnN "unintelligible" (Berth.); Seis. says it has a distinguishing sig- 
nificance in view of "the sons of Adonikam," 2", but other names are 


repeated without marks of distinction. The "other" of 2" is supposed 
to distinguish names in the same list. (8 renders eaxaxot, "B qui erant 
novissimi, 3 Esd. ipsis postremis. The text is well supported; but, if 
correct, is a mystery. — 14. nun] om. CS^; text is wrong, as my, the 
best reading, indicates but one name. Esd. has: OutoiIi TaTaxiXxou^, 
0661 6 ToO TffTTaXxoupou^; ^ agrees with MT. Guthe suggests v^a as 
the first part of this name, after which we should expect the name of 
a place. But elsw. in this list we have the name of the father, not 
of the place of residence, and following the easiest way we may rd. 
ni3i-p \-ii>'. But 'laxaxiXxou may be l"iS!< n-Jirx, "I have spread out 
unto thee." Qr. substitutes iisr and the Vrss. vary greatly: Za^ouS*, 
Zaxxoup'^, Zachur H. The whole v. is lacking in 3 Esd. 

8«-3° = Esd. 8'*'"^^ The assembly at the river Ahava. 

Here Ezra collects his company. During a three days' encampment 
it is discovered that no Lev. have joined the expedition. Ezra de- 
spatches messengers who return with a suitable supply of temple ser- 
vants. The company fasts and prays for a safe journey, Ezra being 
ashamed to ask a guard because he has assured the king that Yahweh 
would adequately protect those who sought him. This section is from 
E. and has suffered chiefly by addition of vv. " '■ '». 

15. And I assembled them]. The antecedent is heads or chiefs, 
728, not those named in the list (vv. ^■") interpolated by the 
Chronicler. In 7^^ the reference is to collecting the people to 
form a caravan; here it is to the assembling of the company at a 
particular place in preparation for departure. — The river which 
comes into Ahava]. With Esd. we must read: the river which is 
called Ahava; for in w.^^-^^ we find ''the river Ahava," this 
being the name of a river not of a place (so Ewald, Hist, v/*''^) ; 
Winckler identifies it with Hables-suk, which enters the Tigris 
near Seleucia. But he considers it not a canal of water, but a 
trade route (Alt. Forsch. iii,"^ *•)• — ^^<^ ^ viewed the people and 
the priests, but I did not find any of the sons of Levi there]. This 
explains the purpose of the three days' encampment. Ezra 
made a scrutiny of the caravan, which had collected voluntarily, 
his object being to note its composition. Now it would be 
strange for him to say that he looked among the laity and priests 
and found no Levites there, as if one were to say " I searched 
among the privates and found no officers there." Esd. offers 
a more intelligible text : / careftdly observed them [the assembled 

EZRA 7-10 321 

caravan], and of the priests and of the Levites I found none there, 
i. e., priests as well as Levites were wanting. It will appear 
below that Ezra secured others than Levites when he sent to 
Casiphia. — 16. Making a necessary correction of the text, to se- 
cure the lacking temple servants, it appears that an embassy 
was sent out comprising two classes of men: one called "heads," 
consisting of nine men whose names are given; the other called 
"intelligent," and consisting of two men. But we find Elna- 
than three times, and the very similar Nathan once. Jarib 
and Jojarib are repetitions, and thus a noun, " leaders," and 
its adjective, "intelligent," have been separated. We should 
therefore read: / sent Eliezer^ et at., intelligent leaders, men com- 
petent for the task in hand. Of these leaders but two, Zechariah 
and Shemaiah, are mentioned in the Chronicler's list, w. ^-^*, 
an evidence of the character of that list. It is impossible to 
tell just how many Ezra sent. The shortest and critically best 
list is found in Esd. : Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaia, Elnathan, Nathan, 
Zecheriah, Meshullam, seven in all. — 17. And I sent them], not 
"I commanded them," which we find as an alternative reading. 
— Unto Iddo the chief in Casiphia the place]. We must omit the 
place to make good sense. The text shows a Babylonian idiom. 
Iddo, otherwise unknown, was the head of a Jewish colony 
in Casiphia, which Winckler locates on the Tigris, opposite 
Seleucia, and so not far from Ahava {Alt. Forsch. iii,^^ ^■). — 
/ put words into their mouth]. In spite of his care to choose 
intelligent chiefs for his embassy, Ezra framed carefully the 
message they were to carry to Iddo. — Unto Iddo his brethren 
the Nethinim] cannot be right. We should read unto Iddo and 
his brethren the Nethinim, or possibly Iddo and his brethren 
dwelling in. Unless Levites and Nethinim are synonymous, it 
was evidently not merely Levites which Ezra sought to add to 
his company. On the Nethinim, v. s. 2*^. It is evident that 
Ezra was quite ignorant of the list in c. 2, or he would not 
have been at such pains to secure the attendance of classes 
already supposed to be largely represented at Jerusalem. — To 
bring to us ministers for the house of our God]. Esd. has send, 
a better reading, since the message was to Iddo, who could 


send but not bring. Though some Vrss. read "singers" for 
"ministers," the more general word, which includes all classes 
of temple officers, is preferable. Certainly this term would not 
be used if Levites alone were desired. — 18. And they brought to 
us]. Another, but erroneous, text, though found in (S, is: and 
there came to us. The meaning is that the intelligent leaders 
were successful in their quest, for "the good hand of God was 
over" the whole enterprise, and they brought back from Casiphia 
to the caravan at Ahava those enumerated in the list following. 
— The rest of the verse is confusing: a man of prudence, of the sons 
of Mahli a son of Levi a son of Israel, and Sherehiah and his sons 
and his brethren eighteen]. With Guthe on basis of Esd. we may 
omit "and," and thus make Sherebiah the man of prudence; 
for he was a prominent Levite in Ezra's administration, v. ^^ 
Ne. 8'' g* f-. "Son of Levi" is here not genealogical, but official, 
being equivalent to Levite. "Son of Israel" is a corruption. 
Mahli was a son or grandson of Merari, v. ", and Merari was a 
son of Levi. There were eighteen Levites of the kin of the pru- 
dent Sherebiah who joined him to go up for the temple service. 
The true reading is: a prudent man of the sons of Mahli a Levite 
as the chief, Sherebiah, etc. — 19. And with him Isaiah of the sons 
of Merari, his brethren and their sons twenty]. The text is ob- 
viously impossible. (^ Esd. omit "with him," thus coupling the 
two names as co-ordinate; but as this Isaiah is not named else- 
where he could not have been so important a personage. The 
Vrss. vary, but H gives good sense: Hashabiah, and with him 
Isaiah of the sons of Merari, and his brethren and his sons twenty. 
— 20. And of the Nethinim], following which we have the only 
historical account of this order, from which it appears that the 
order was established by David and his ministers for the ser- 
vice of the Levites 

The Chr. traces all the temple institutions to David, and the inter- 
polation from his hand is easily recognised here. It is prob. that kings 
had been wont to present slaves to the temple {v. Smith, OT. Hist."''). 
The statement is amplified in 3 Esd.: and they themselves were the 
chiefs for the work of the Lev. who served in the temple. It is barely pos- 
sible that with (S we should understand two classes here: (i) of t fie 

EZRA 7-10 323^ 

Ndh. whom David established, (2) and the chiefs for the Levitical service, 
the Nelh. 220. — All of them were mentioned by name], or designated by 
name, is a phrase of the Chr. and shows another interpolation. It 
appears that the embassy secured 38 Lev. belonging to two families 
and 220 Neth. The caravan is now prepared to start on its great 
journey, but first the favour of Yahweh must be secured. 

21. Ezra proclaims a fast that the people might humble 
themselves before God in order to secure an auspicious road. — 
22. The reason for the fast is now stated in other terms. Ezra 
was ashamed to ask the king for a guard to protect them from the 
enemy on the road], because he had assured the king that the 
hand of God was adequate both to protect those who sought him 
(Sta.325)^ d^ jil^ ii;rath was against those who abandoned him]. 
The closing threat is wanting in Esd., which runs: the power of 
the Lord is with those who seek him for every reparation. It is 
rather strange for Ezra to say that God's power and wrath are 
against those who forsake him. — 23. And we fasted and sought 
from our God touching this, and he was entreated of us]. Esd. 
reads: and we again sought from our Lord all these things and we 
found him favorable. The beneficent disposition was not de- 
terminable at the time, but was shown by the ultimate success of 
the enterprise. — 24. The first person singular is resumed: and 
I selected [literally, separated] twelve of the leaders of the priests], 
but two are mentioned by name, Sherebiah and Hashabiah, the 
very ones who were called Levites in vv. ^* ^•. 3 Esd. has: from 
the leaders of the people and the priests of the temple, making a lay 
representation in this important body. It looks as if there 
were a gap here and that originally the text ran: and I set apart 
from the leaders of the people twelve, and from the priests of the 
temple Sherebiah and Hashabiah and with them ten of their breth- 
ren. The whole committee comprised 24, half laymen and half 
priests. — 25. The purpose of their selection is now given: and 
I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the 
offering for the house of our God], the gifts to which reference 
is made, at least according to the Chronicler, in the king's de- 
cree, 71511.. It appears that the property, which was sacred 
on account of its destination, was carefully weighed and then 


committed to hands deemed peculiarly trustworthy. — And all 
Israel that were found]. So is designated one of the sources of 
the gifts. The qualifying clause is not found in Esd., but is 
attested by (&. It is not the kind of expression that would be 
added as a gloss. The explanation may be in 7^"^: "all the silver 
and the gold that thou shalt find in the province of Babylonia." 
The search was for Israelites from whom contributions could 
be asked. All that could be found were solicited. There may 
be an intimation that some of the exiles were not conspicuous 
when subscriptions for the temple were collected. 

26 f. The total amount is given as 650 talents of silver, 100 talents 
of gold, 100 silver vessels, 20 bowls of gold, and 2 vessels of brass. 
The silver talents would be about a million dollars, the gold more than 
three millions. There is, indeed, some uncertainty in the values, but 
make it as low as possible and still the figures are impossibly big. We 
realise the Chr.'s fondness for large sums, and his imagination may 
have led to raising the figures in Ezra's chronicle. As I weighed to them 
or to their hand is repeated from v. ^=, and as v. ^^ connects closely with 
V. ", vv. " f- are almost certainly a gl., an opinion supported by the closer 
agreement of Esd. and the unnatural description of the words in what 
is supposed to be a mere list. We have no idea of the value of the 
silver vessels, because the number of talents is wanting, but the worth 
of the 20 golden bowls is given as 1,000 darics, ace. to Mey. about 
$5,000. On the daric, a Pers. coin, v. 2''. — And two vessels of . . . 
brass, desirable as gold]. The character of the brass is usually given as 
"finely polished," but the construction is ungrammatical and the mng. 
obscure. Esd. reads: brass vessels of the best brass, ten [or twelve] polished 

28. You are holy to Yahweh] by virtue of your sacred office, 
and the vessels are holy], because they were to be placed in the 
temple, 7", and the silver and the gold is a free-will offering to 
Yahweh], and therefore that also is a sacred trust. With (& and 
Esd. we should read God of our fathers, since Ezra would not 
say your fathers. — 29. Be watchful and vigilant until you weigh 
it again in the presence of the leaders of the priests and Levites and 
leaders* of the fathers of Israel in Jerusalem]. Whatever may 

• Guthe makes a slight change and reads " heads," the more common expression for the 
laity; but " heads " is characteristic of the Chr., not of E. There is no need to emend where 
the Chr. has let the text alone. 

EZRA 7-10 325 

have been the amount of the sacred property, Ezra carefully 
impresses upon its guardians their great responsibility. — The 
chambers of the house of Yahweh] designates more particularly 
the place where the gifts were to be put. With (^ we should 
prefix "for" or "in." 

30. This V. is an addition by the Chr., for the third p. is used at the 
beginning and the first at the end; pr. and Lev. are here the custodians 
of the valuables, whereas above twelve chief pr. were the treasurers; 
the statement gets ahead of Ezra's narrative in v. ", and it adds noth- 
ing whatever to the story. Esd, has a radically different text: and the 
pr. and Lev., receiving the silver and the gold and the vessels which were in 
Jerus., brought them to the house of the Lord. It becomes thus an exact 
dup. of V. ". 

15. Ninx-Ss N2n] Esd.i- -ubv iuoTa[ibv Tbv XsY6iJisvov Esta; so rd. Nipn, 
This important reading seems to have escaped all the commentators. 
The text is at variance with vv. "• ". The Vrss. give several forms 
of the name: Euet[j.B, EuetAL (w. «■"), ©ouc^, AoueA, AaouaOi-. Esd. 
©epav; "B Ahava, Esd. Thia. Winckler reads: naix or n^N. — nraNJ ^ 
ouviixaB, ' xaTEvorjaa^, "M qiicesivi, Esd. ■Kx-zi^LtxQov, 3 Esd. recognovi. 
These all support the text. — For what follows Esd. has a better text: 
xaxiyiaOov aiToCn; xal ex twv lep^wv xal ex twv Aeut-ruv oix e&p(bv exet. 
Therefore rd. ... a^jn^si djoni. The Chr. having put pr. in the list 
(vv. 2 ^■) must, of course, have them here. — 16. We must either drop 
the prep, h before each name, as (§i^ H and Esd.^-, or interpret *? nS'*:' 
as mng. "summon" or "sent for." V. i' shows that the men named 
were Ezra's messengers. The Vrss. show much discrepancy in the list 
of names: (Sfi has Ape^ for jn' and aniv; the names are certainly du- 
plications; (S^ omits from D'''J'ni to end of v.; Esd. lacks the last two 
names altogether, and so recognises no classes. The evidence shows 
that tnjSx) aniv are accidental repetitions. Then aia'N-i and 3''J''3a 
should be joined together as in Esd.: f)YouiJ.ivou<; xal exta-uTQixova^BA^ 
d'p^ovrai; awziodq^. — 17. nssis] so <Sfi^ e^T^veyxa. Qr. n«x, so (Si^ ev- 
eTetXaiJLTjv. The former is the better reading. Esd.SA ^al elxa auTOl? 
iXOelv = mnN*? didni. — . . . nx]. For this very difficult text (&^ has: exi 
fipxovTO(; ev dcpyuptcj) tou toxou, i. e., aipcn >flDoa ckt 7y. This makes 
no sense and this version is still more hopeless in v. ■>. Esd. xpb? 
AaaSalov [ASSat^, AoXSatoV^], xbv T]You[ji.evov -ubv ev -uy rdxcp yat^o^uXaxfou, 
i. e., i3fjn Dipsa tfxin nx-Sx. In spite of the antiquity of the cor- 
ruption, it is best to regard the ungrammatical aipDn as a marginal 
note to show that the unknown Casiphia was a place; it is employed 
like the Bab. determinative. We might easily imagine that this pas- 
sage was originally written in Bab. — vnN nx] (gsA xpb? loi? (488X9bus 


aOTwv Twv 'A6ave((x; ^ xal xpb<; t. a. a. r:ouq NaGcvafoui;. It suffices to 
rd. with Esd. vnxi. Esd. lacks a''jnjn, and this may be an error for 
D''3!!''«n. — Ni:]nS] Esd. dtxocTlXat = rhv. — aTn^'c] (& (jcSovra^sA (a>ini;'D); 
i-hasdup.,X£[iroupYoCi<;/.al (?3ovTai;, Esd. lepaxsuaavro?, in agreement with 
its reading in v. "; so 3 Esd. eos qui sacerdotio fungerentur = d^jhod. — ■ 
18. IN1311] so Esd.^ i^yaYov, Jt and 3 Esd. addiixerunt; Qr. ixn^, so CS 
T^XGoaav^A^ ■^XGovi-. The first clause is lacking in Esd.^. Kt. isjpref- 
erable, as the Hiph. corresponds to }<"'2nS, v. ". — aaian] Esd.AL xponrtdv 
= npinn. — Soc c^n] puzzled the translators; (6 has dvf)p aax''>(x)^'^> «• 
cuveT6<;^, doclissimum H, Esd. avSpa eTutcjTiiy.ovoc^^, dcvBpat; IxtanQtAovai;*, 
»iVo5 peritos 3 Esd. There is no good reason for a pi., as the words 
apply only to Sherebiah. — ni3Ti:'i] (5 xal apxV i^XOoaav^Aj |v ap%^ 2ot- 
pouta^, so Esd.i-; fipx^J is used to translate twenty-four different Heb. 
words (Hatch and Redpath, Concord.), but the text was apparently 
jw^na, "at the head," and that has been corrupted to Sx-i'^'i-p. That 
designation would agree with the statement that Sherebiah was a 
prudent man. — ''1'? T^] is wanting in 05^. — 19. The text is corrupt. !H 
requires the sUghtest change to make sense: d Ilasabiam, cl cum eo 
Isaiam de filiis Merari, fratresqiic ejus, el fdios ejus viginti. (& and Esd. 
rd. nx for inx. (JS>ba have ulol auTwv, ^ twv ulwv aO-uou xal twv dtSeXqjwv 
auTou, transposing in agreement with v. i'. But in Esd. ^ has auxwv 
in both cases, while ^ has for the whole v. : ol ex twv ulwv xavouvatou 
xal ol ulol auTwv etxoat avSpe?; 3 Esd. Ashiam el Amin ex filiis fdiorunt 
Chanancei, el Jilii eorum viri viginli. Two names are pretty well at- 
tested, but there is doubt between Merari and nijjn. On the whole, 
the reading of the Latin is the simplest, requiring but a single change, 
i. e., VJ31. — 20. jnj] = "appoint," cf. BDB. — ans'n] d ol apxovTs?, Esd. 
ol f]YoutJ,ivo[, 3 Esd. principes. Therefore there is no support for 
Winckler's emendation, aima'c. — a^j^-ij . . . injc] is inserted by the Chr. 
as an explanatory note. The rel. ty never occurs elsw. in Ezr.-Ne., 
but twice in Ch. (Dr.i"*''- "9 f). Sieg. regards whole v. as a gl.— 
i2pj] C5 CTUvi^x^i]'^'^^^^} tovofAiijOTjcjavi', "B wcabanlur, Esd. ■K&.vzutw ia- 
•{}[L&vQri [6vo[JLaa6if]'^] SvotAaToypa^tai^; oi<Tot icrqixavbriQaiy ev 6yo]j.x'zo'^p(X(flqJ", 
3 Esd. omnia nomina signijicala sunt in scripluris. It is a favourite 
phrase of the Chr. (Dr.i"''- ™). — 22. uiiy'?] <& awaat, Esd. dtapaXetai;. 
There is much variety in the rendering of the last clause: (S renders 
lit., but Esd. has: ?JX"^? \}'^ ^or ""'] '^0^ xupi'ou -^[jlwv eorat [jleto: twv 
eictl^TjTouvTwv au-ubv sE? xaaocv exav6p9ci)atv; 3 Esd. jttV/M5 Domini erit cum 
eis qui inquirunl eum in omni affeclti. This lacks the last clause entirely, 
i. e., the threat to those who abandon God. — 23. idisj] Esd. •xiXtv = 
naiiyj. — 24. Dunon nsrc] 3 Esd. ex plebis prceposilis el sacerdolibus lem- 
pli = ^ynn ijnji oyn na-D. — n^aii^S]. The prep, is supported by (S'^a^ 
but not by ^^ Esd. It is an error, but not, I think, accidental. It 
was prob. put in to avoid the statement that Sherebiah and Hashabiah 
were pr. — 26. nSipB'N] <g Kstioaa, so vv. "• "• ", Esd. as (B, but in vv. 

EZRA 7-10 327 

«• " xaplSwxev. In my addenda to Guthe (SBOT.") I stated that in 
Ezr. 8-'- '' icaplStoxev stands for SpB>. Torrey denies this and insists 
thatSpc is represented by oTTjaaq and (rraO^v (ES.^s). It is true that 
lorivat stands for hpte, though very rarely, but in Esd. 8^8 (= Ezr. 8-^), 
•KapaSouvott does represent hp-^. In S^'- " ( = Ezr. S^^- 33) we have both Gk. 
words, xapiSG)x,ev aTT^ffa?, oxotOev •rcapsSdOitj; a-riQaa? and aiabiv may there- 
fore be complementary vbs. — 26. anajS] cannot be connected with 
any word as it stands; hkd gives the number of the vessels, not of 
talents as RV. The word is lacking in 05 H. Mey. suggests that a 
number has fallen out, but says that it may be that each vessel averaged 
a talent (Ent.^^). Guthe omits the word as a gl. On the analogy of 
t\hti D'-jornxS, v. ", the most natural supposition is that a number fol- 
lowed, so that the text originally rd. : 100 silver vessels [weighing] . . . 
talents. — 27. d^jdiinS] 05 e{<; xfjv 6Sbv ^ajjLavet[x (Sp^xfxwvA, SpixfJiat;!'). 
This is a dup. reading, first '\'y^^ and then correcting by adding a 
weight. Esd. lacks the word and the numeral following as well. — ■ 
T\UTM >S3]. Here we have a mpl. followed by a f. adj. The Vrss. vary: 
C5 oxeiiT) xaXxou a-ufXpovTO? dtyaOou Sia(popa eiciOuti.TjTa Iv [w?^] x^Qtsit^, 
Esd. oxeuiQ xoiky-x dxb x'x'Ky.ou xpy]ai:oiJ oxfX^ovTa axeuT] 8^xa [xpuaoetSous 
Sixa Sijo]!', showing a correction from MT, This would be: na'nj •>'?:) 
Ti'P D'jnsD DiSo n3i:3 n^r'nja. Sieg. emends naia ansa to 3it3 antn, "bet- 
ter than gold," and then disposes of nmnn as a later gl. In spite of 
lack of textual support this is ingenious. Some emendation is neces- 
sary, but it is dub. if brass would be considered as desirable as gold, 
unless it were of an unusual kind. — 29. iSpa'n] Esd. xapaSouvon aiTok 
b\jjxq. — SxiB"'?] lacking in <S^^, but it is used in place of a genitive and 
denotes the lay order that had a part in the government as well as 
the pr. and Lev. — niaa'Sn] 05 elq axiQvi^BAj ^iq xa i:cxai:o<f6gix^, H in Ihe- 
saiirum, 3 Esd. in pastoporio. Doubtless we should rd. 3 or S for n; 
the art. could not be used with st. cstr. — 30. hpiffv lacking in Esd.; it 
is certainly unnecessary. 

As our text stands, Ezra discovered that there were no Lev. in his 
caravan, and therefore he sent a large embassy, seven or possibly eleven 
men, to Iddo to make good the deficiency, or, as he says, " to bring us 
ministers for the house of God." Sherebiah with 18 brethren, Hasha- 
biah with 20, and 220 Neth. were brought back. But these two men 
are called "leaders of the pr." in v. 2<, and rightly, for the precious 
money and vessels would have been committed to the highest class of 
sacred officials. 'iS-p in v. " is lacking in (S^^ and may be a gl. to har- 
monise with V. ". Esd., indeed, says that both pr. and Lev. were lack- 
ing, and that agrees with the mission to bring ministers for the temple. 
But it is strange that in the assembly called by the great pr. Ezra, 
there was neither pr. nor Lev. Nevertheless it is possible that these 
officers were wedded to the old ways and were not in sympathy with the 


new order which Ezra proposed to institute, and only joined the car- 
avan after much persuasion and perhaps with liberal promises. Then 
we should explain the large number of Neth. as being a subordinate 
order of Lev. In regard to the descent of Sherebiah from Mahli and 
Hashabiah from Merari, it sufl&ces to say that every pr. was of Levit-s 
ical descent. 

831-36 = Es(j, 8***^*. The caravan goes to Jerusalem. 

Upon the arrival of the company the money and vessels were counted 
and placed in the temple, sacrifices were offered, and the royal edict 
was delivered to the officers of the Syrian province. Only vv. " '• are 
from E.; the rest is the Chr.'s. 

31. On the twelfth day of the first month]. On the date, v. 7^ ^■. 
According to that passage the journey lasted about four months, 
Jerusalem being reached in the 5th month of the 7th year of 
Artaxerxes. — And the hand of our God was upon us]. We miss 
the usual adjective qualifying "hand," but in Esd. we find 
mighty hand. — And he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and 
lier-in-wait on the way], or better with Esd. : from every foe on the 
way. So they knew that God had heeded their petition, v. '^, 
Emphasis is laid upon the safety of their journey, because such 
caravans were always exposed to the attacks of plundering 
Bedouin; though the caravan comprised upward of 2,000 people 
their defensive power was little, v. 2^; the large amount of treas- 
ure carried, the possession of which could scarcely be kept a se- 
cret, made an attack especially inviting. — 32 f . And we remained 
there three days, and on the fourth day]. This statement is scarcely 
natural, as we should expect to continue by saying " they went 
to some other place." If we could render "rested," that would 
make good sense, but ity does not mean that. Therefore we had 
better follow Esd. : on the third day of our being there, we weighed, 
etc., or better with (8 placed, since in the house of God shows the 
ultimate destination of the treasure, not the mere place of re- 
weighing. — The final custodians are now named; there were 
two priests: Meremoth] 10'^ Ne. 3^- ^i 10^ 12'- ^^, not the same 
person, though, in every case, and Eliezer], who had been one 
of those deputed to fetch temple servants, v. ^®. Besides there 
were two Levites, Jozabad] {10^^ '• Ne. 8^ ii^O Sind Noadiah], a 

EZRA 7-10 329 

name elsewhere only of a prophetess, Ne. 6". In spite of the 
lower office of the Levites they were associated with the priests 
in the care of the temple treasures. The peculiar expression 
Meremoth . . . and with him Eliezer . . . and with them], sup- 
ported by all the Vrss., means that Meremoth was chief, his 
first associate being a fellow-priest, and their associates being 
two Levites. — 34. The awkward expression by number and by 
weight for everything] shows the hand of the Chronicler, who 
dearly loved amplification. It is quite superfluous in view of 
the following : and the whole weight was recorded], to tally with 
the list made at Ahava, and to show for what amount Meremoth 
and his associates were responsible. The care of the treasure 
reveals at every point a commendable business sagacity. The 
writer may have recalled such stories as that in 2 K. 12, where 
the priests purloined money given for the repair of the temple. 
— At that time] is better connected with v. ^^, as in some Greek 
texts. — 35. The sons of the captivity who had come from the exile] 
is intended to emphasise the statement that the great sacrifices 
were made wholly by Ezra's company and were not participated 
in by those already in Jerusalem. — Twelve bullocks for all Israel], 
i. e., one for each tribe, showing the persistent theory that the 
new Israel comprised the whole nation. The specific number of 
rams, 96, it is to be noted is a multiple of 12. Note also 12 
he-goats, and according to Esd. there were 72 lambs (instead 
of 77). Our text has he-goats of a sin offering] (v. on 6^0, but 
Esd. reads 12 he-goats for deliverance, making this sacrifice a 
thank-offering for the safe journey, or it may be a peace-offer- 
ing. — 36. And they delivered the king^s decree] not decrees, pre- 
sumably meaning the edict in 7^^ ^■], to the king's satraps, the 
governors beyond the River]. There should be no "and unto" 
before "governors," though the last clause is a gloss. These 
were, of course, the Persian officers in the province. — And they 
supported the people and the house of God] is difficult. We may 
take recourse in one Greek text: and they supported the people 
and honored the house of God, or emend the text slightly, reading : 
the people honored the house of God, thus explaining the large 
offerings. The subject of "supported" is usually held to be 


the Persian officials, and that is presumably what the Chronicler 
meant, but grammatically it is the same as that of "delivered." 

Vv. " '■ are surely by the Chr. The use of the third p. as well as the 
character of the passage shows that (so Fischer, Chr. Fr.''). In the 
rest we have the first p. pi. throughout, but it is consistent in vv. " '- 
with Ezra's usage to employ the pi. to describe a corporate act. In 
V. " we should surely have inxi, though MT. is supported by all texts. 
In V. "•> Esd.B has third p. throughout; and other mss. of Esd. and (& 
have it in places. Yet something is required between v. *' and q'. The 
only part of our text which inspires confidence is vv. " '-. The rest is 
written by the Chr. or edited by him beyond recognition of the orig- 
inal. It is plain that, omitting the Chr.'s "after these things," v. " con- 
nects well with 9>. 

31. Ninx nnj] Esd. t6xou ©epdc'', TCOTa(ioijAL — iii] Esd. xaxi xpaxatdv 
Xetpa. We should restore nprn for the superfluous nnin. — a-ivxi 3mn «i3d] 
(B dxb x^tp^? ex^poi; ototl •rcoXetifou^A _|- evsSpeuovTOi;^, showing a double 
rendering of 3-iit<; Esd. has only dtxb xivTo? exOpoO (a^iK-Soc). 3 Esd. 
lacks V. •>. It is prob. that So was corrupted to 13 and that 3iin is an 
amplification by the Chr. or an accidental repetition of a similar word. 
— 32 f. . . . 3'i'ji]. The unrevised Esd. gives merely: Yevo[x£vT)(; (fitxiv) 
aixdOt •f)[J.^pa<; xghriq^, to which xji •fjtJ.ilp? t^ TSTiipTTQ has been added 
in AL from MT., but without changing the construction, and so making no 
sense. 3 Esd. et cum f actus fuissd tertius dies, quarta autcm die. — S"'''^J] 
laifjaaiiev of (& goes better with n^aa. — 34. . . . nsDoa] Esd. x?b<; «pt6- 
[Abv xal bXxfjv xdsvra. — 35. T\yy:^^ DV^ti'] Esd.AL e^SoiiT^xovra Suo, rightly, 
since every offering is twelve or a multiple of twelve. — nwan nisx] c/. 
N^an*? 'T'fjS, 6"; (8 xttidpou? xepl dtxap-ufa?; Esd.^A xpayou? ux^p awTYjpfou, 
i. e., rhvh onax. or n^jirn "x.— 36. im] c/. 7"; in spite of (& we must rd, 
sg. m. — ijamtynx] Pers. Khshaltapavan, used also in Est. 3" 8' 9'. (gsA 
•cot<; StotxTQ-caii;. Esd. toI? o?3cov6[xot<;, 3 Esd. dispensatoribus. (6^ has a 
wholly different text: the governors of the king and the officers beyond 
the River gave the burnt-offerings of the king. — . . . nnns] is an explanatory 
gl. — iNB'j] (SEA Esd. eS6^affav, ^ eirijpav ibv Xabv xal eSd^aaav -ubv olxov x. 0. 


In this section we find Ezra dealing with the Jews already in Judah. 
This is the only event of his administration recorded in the book called 
by his name. The rest of his mission is described in Ne. 8. 

9"' = Esd. 8^^'°. The officers report to Ezra that the 
Jews had been marrying women of alien races. — 1. Now 

when these things were completed]. As our text stands the ref- 

EZRA 7-10 331 

erence is to the depositing of the treasure in the temple, the 
sacrifices, and the delivery of the edict. But it is far from cer- 
tain that we have the whole of the memoirs, and there may be 
a gap between 8^^ and 9S poorly filled by the Chronicler's notes. 
These words are certainly a connecting link due to the Chron- 
icler. So far as we can see, though, this passage directly follows 
V. ^^, and the connection is passable. — We dwelt there three days, 
[when] there drew near unto me the leaders reporting]. "Leaders" 
is characteristic of E.; the Chronicler uses "heads." They 
cannot be the same as those named in v. ^ b as chief trespassers. 
After this the text is bad, but probably ran somewhat as fol- 
lows: the magistrates and the priests and the Levites have not 
separated themselves from the peoples of the lands]. On peoples 
of the lands, v. on 4*. The rest of the verse is a gloss, added to 
increase the stigma. According to their abominations] has no 
place here; for that word refers to the religious practices, while 
here the only fault is the mixed marriages. Ewald's proposal 
to emend and read "from their abominations" (Hist. v. ^^^) 
improves the grammatical construction, and should be adopted 
if the phrase is accepted. — ^The list of foreigners is based on 
Dt. 7^, where we find Girgashite and Hivite, but not Ammonite, 
Moabite, or Egyptian; in CS^ these three are at the end of the 
list, suggesting a gloss. Esd. omits Ammonite, and reads Edom- 
ite for Amorite, a reading accepted by Smend {Listen,'^*), thus 
having seven nations (cf. Acts 13^^). Nehemiah found mar- 
riages only with the Ashdodites (v. 13"). — 2. The specific 
charge is now made to explain the general accusation in v. ^: 
they have taken wives of their [peoples of the lands'] daughters for 
themselves and for their sons]. There is no hint that Jewish 
women had married foreign men. The condition is attributable 
to the scarcity of women in the new community. — The result 
is that the holy seed is amalgamated with the peoples of the lands]. 
Israel is called a "holy seed" in Is. 6^^, cf. 62" Mai. 2^^. — 
Now the hand of the leaders and nobles was chief in this wrong] is 
usually regarded as the conclusion of the accusation; but from 
the structure it could only be a note by Ezra or the Chronicler. 
3 Esd. preserves what I deem the original text: the officer of 


lawlessness has been a participant [in the wrong] from the begin- 
ning of his rule. Here is a specific charge of dereliction on the 
part of one of the high Jewish officials. The words then give 
the climax of the accusation. — 3. Upon hearing this Ezra ex- 
hibited the outward acts of mourning, tearing his clothes, and 
pulling his hair from his head and beard, and sat down appalled], 
Esd. forcefully renders anxious and very sad, (H^ silent and won- 
dering. It appears that the mourner showed his distress by 
his actions, but that all the day he was silent, uttering no 
cry until the evening oblation. — 4. And there gathered unto me 
all that trembled at the word [not words] of the God of Israel], all 
that showed any purpose to keep the law. (^ has all that fol- 
lowed the word, a rather better sense, though we have a parallel 
to the text in Is, 66^. — Because of the wrong of the captivity] 
is difiScult here. Esd. has a better sense : while I was mourning 
because of the lawlessness. — 5. And at the evening oblation] used 
as a mark of time (cf. i K. iS^^) and to indicate the' appropri- 
ate moment for prayer. — I rose from my humiliation], a doubtful 
sense; the word is only used here. Esd. renders /a^/m^. — Even 
with my garment and my robe rent] RV., which Ryle prefers to 
AV. "having rent my garment and my mantle." 

The latter is an accurate rendering; indeed, the text will not allow 
RV., which is made to harmonise with the statement of v. ' that Ezra 
had already rent his garments. Moreover, some such action is required 
to explain his getting up and then kneeling down. It may be that he 
rent his garments again, though the act would scarcely be appropriate 
at the beginning of his prayer. The attitude of prayer is bowing the 
knees and spreading forth the hands. So Solomon knelt upon his 
knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven, i K. 8^*. The hands 
were extended upward (Ex. 17'^, so the supplicant could not have 
bowed his face to the ground. 

9«-*s ^ £s(i^ 8''•^^ Ezra's prayer. 

The history of Israel is reviewed, showing that the sufferings of the 
people were due to their sins. Just now God had shown a gracious 
purpose which was in danger of being thwarted by the violation of 
the prophetic word forbidding mingling with aliens. The prayer closes 
with a despondent cry that the people cannot stand before an offended 

EZRA 7-10 333 

6. And I said\. In some mss. of Esd. we read: and Ezra said. 
— / am ashamed and confounded before thee], as Esd. lacking to 
lift up my face, is better language than MT. If we retain to 
lift up my face unto thee we should expect but one preceding 
verb. — For our iniquities are many above head] is what MT. has, 
but this is unintelligible. The idea cannot be "higher than our 
head" in parallelism with our guilt is great unto the heavens]; 
for the verb Hi"! means "to be many" not "to be high." EV^ 
"our iniquities are increased over our head" is obscure, as 
above the head is a strange place for the increase of wrongs. 
On the basis of Esd. we may read : our iniquities are more numer- 
ous than the hairs of our head, cf. Ps. 40" 69 ^ — TJnto the heavens] 
so as to reach the heavens, viewed as a definite place above the 
earth. — 7. From the days of our fathers], as shown by unto this 
day, means from the beginning of history. — Because of our in- 
iquities we, our kings, our priests, have been delivered]. It is 
hard to see why kings and priests should be specified as the 
victims of the sword, captivity, plundering and shame of face]. 
The Vrss. vary greatly, but I have ventured to restore we all 
with our brethren and our sons, and thus \ye get a characteristic 
general description so frequent in these books. Esd. has a plus : 
our iniquities and those of our fathers, showing the idea that the 
past suffering could not be due to present sins. — Into the hands 
of the kings of the lands], "lands" as often meaning foreign coun- 
tries; so 05 plainly, kings of the gentiles. — 8. And now [to come to 
the heart of the matter] as for a moment, there was mercy from 
Yahweh our God [for which CSi has only and now our God has re- 
stored us] to leave us a root and a name in his holy place], emending 
on the basis of Esd. MT. has to give us a tent-pin in his holy 
place, interpreted to mean a secure position. Why a tent-pin 
should have such a significance is not clear, and besides Ezra 
regards the position of the people as very insecure. The holy 
place covers more than the temple, including the sacred city. 
— To lighten our eyes, O our God] occurs in Prov. 29" Ps. 13* 
19^, but fits poorly here. The real meaning is to give under- 
standing or to restore health or to refresh, cf. i S. 14^^. Esd. 
has a suggestive text: to uncover our light in the house of God. 

. / 


The idea then would be that God had enabled his people once 
more to worship him in his holy temple; they were no longer 
constrained to sing Yahweh's songs in a strange land (Ps. 137*). 
— Give us a little reviving in our bondage], ARV., is scarcely to 
be extracted from MT. Making a slight correction from Esd. 
and translating correctly we have: to give us sustenance in the 
time of our bondage. That may seem to refer to the past rather 
than the present; but the condition of bondage in a way per- 
sists, V. 3, and the meaning is that God was supporting them irl 
their servitude. — 9. The benefits conferred by their God through 
the agency of the Persian kings, the plural (kings) showing that 
Ezra is not dealing with a single incident, are: {1) to give us 
sustenance]; but this is a repetition of the statement in v. 8; 
therefore with Esd. read to show us mercy, i. e., by the release 
from captivity; (2) to erect the house of our God], referring to 
the rebuilding by Zerubbabel and Joshua; (3) to raise up its 
ruins], so amplifying the preceding; but this is a needless repe- 
tition, therefore read with Esd. to raise up the desolation of Zion, 
and so we have a more comprehensive statement than building 
the temple and referring to the new houses which had certainly 
been erected in the city by Nehemiah; (4) to give us a wall in 
Judah and Jerusalem]. "Wall" is occasionally used in a figura- 
tive sense, for the divine protection, and Mey. so interprets 
here {Ent.^); but the preceding statements are literal, and 
the natural reference is to the wall built by Nehemiah. As 
Ezra would scarcely say a wall in Judah and Jerusalem, we may 
best omit in Judah or read around Jerusalem, as due to the 
Chronicler's idea that Ezra preceded Nehemiah. The refer- 
ence to the building of the wall is strong support for the true 
date of Ezra. — 10. And now what further shall we say? What 
follows is best taken as the answer to this question. All that 
we can say is that we have forsaken thy commandments], — 11. 
These were given by thy servants the prophets]. The quotations 
are all from Dt., and the prophets therefore means Moses. On this 
conception of the prophetic origin of the law, v. OTJC.^°*- '^'. 

What follows is the commandment said to be given by the prophets; 
I translate it all, putting in quotation-marks that which is traceable: 

EZRA 7-10 335 

"The land which you go in to possess it" (Dt. 7O is a polluted land, 
by the pollution of the peoples of the lands, by their abominations in that 
they have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. (12) "And 
now you shall not give your daughters to their sons nor shall you take their 
daughters for your sons" (Dt. 7')- "And you shall not seek their peace 
and their good forever" (Dt. 23') in order that you may be strong and eat 
the good of the land and possess it for your sons forever. All direct quo- 
tations are from Dt. We may note the change to the pi. in Ezr., but 
that does not tell the whole story, for otherwise the passage abounds 
in Deut. phrases. The word rendered "abominations" occurs in Dt. 
13 t., and indicates practices of aliens which are forbidden to Israel. 
"Be strong" and "possess it" are frequent in Dt. "The good of the 
land" in the sense of its best products occurs in Gn. 4518- 29 Is. i". 
But nowhere in the Pentateuch is Palestine called a polluted land; on 
the contrary, it is called "a land flowing with milk and honey" (Nu. 
13" et pass.), "a good land, a land of brooks of water," etc. (Dt. 8' '•). 
Nevertheless the idea is found in Lv. iS"-'", where the land is called 
unclean by reason of the abominations practised by the peoples who 
preceded Israel in its occupation. The expression from end to end, 
lit., from mouth to mouth, is found in 2 K. lo^' 21". On the other 
hand, peoples of the lands, i. e., foreigners, is characteristic of the Chr. 
The citation is made up of Deut. phrases patched together loosely and 
with the insertion of a free adaptation of a passage from Lv. But it 
is cited as a divine command given by the prophets. Ezra is thought 
to have carried the law-book in his hand and should have been able 
to quote literally; and the particular precept which was so flagrantly 
disobeyed is quoted lit. enough (against intermarriage), and the state- 
ment about the land is made to reinforce the danger of marital alliance. 
By marrying foreign women the abominations which have made the 
land unclean will adhere to Israel. The whole passage (from saying) 
seems to show the Chr.'s hand. 

13. And after all that has befallen us because of our evil deeds 
and our great guilt]. The sentence is left in the air; the con- 
nection with what follows is only made by violence. The 
reference is to the exile which resulted from the evil deeds of 
pre-exilic Israel. We must go back to v. ^°^ to get sense ; we have 
transgressed thy commandments which thou didst command by thy 
servants, the prophets, and all that has come upon us [has come] 
because of our evil deeds and our great guilt, i. e., in the transgres- 
sion stated in v. ^°^. — For thou, our God, reckonest our sins down- 
wards]. Determined to extract sense, this is usually interpreted 
"punished less than our iniquities deserve." Esd. reads: /or 


thou, Lord, art he who lightenest our sins; this makes sense, 
but requires some correction of the text. (& has a much longer 
passage : for thou, O our God, hast taken away our sceptre because 
of our sins, and it is not like thee; for thou lightenest our sins. 
This would connect fairly well with v. ^, and with the following, 
and givest us a remnant, or with (@» deliverance. Good sense is 
obtained by two slight emendations : and now thou hast withheld 
the rod from our sins, and hast given us deliverance. — 14. Yet we 
have again broken thy commandments and intermarried with the 
peoples of these lands]. Yet as 05 is better than the interrogative 
of ^', for the intermarriage was an accomplished fact, — Wilt thou 
not be angry with us to a finish, without residue or remnant ?\ This 
very awkward passage is much smoother in Esd. : Wilt thou not 
be angry [enough] to destroy us until there is left neither root nor 
seed nor name. — 15. Thou art righteous] or innocent, or truthful 
(Esd.). The punishment which Israel had endured was not 
due to the injustice of God; for the people had richly deserved 
their woes. Then the supplicant reverts to the present con- 
dition: we are left [but] a remnant this day]. — The future can be 
read from the past which has been in review, and the outlook 
is gloomy : behold we are before thee in our guilt]. The same con- 
ditions which destroyed early Israel are prevalent now; there- 
fore the conclusion is inevitable : it is not possible to stand before 
thee in this matter]. If the guilt of Israel persists, their life will 
be short. The future depends upon strict obedience to the law. 

This prayer was evidently intended to produce an effect upon the 
audience rather than upon God, perhaps like many other public prayers. 
Ezra waited until a considerable congregation had assembled before 
he began to pray. The whole tenor of the prayer shows the desire 
to touch the heart of the guilty and to impel them to abandon the 
course of life which seemed so evil. Sieg. regards the prayer as "a 
verbal extract from Ezra's memoirs." Torrey ascribes the whole to 
the Chr. There are some words characteristic of the Chr. even if we 
cannot accept all of Torrey's list {Conip.^^ '■). Further, there are sev- 
eral awkward phrases and constructions more like the Chr. than E. 
It is quite prob. that the passage has suffered in part from doubt about 
obscure words and in part from the Chr.'s retouching. Nevertheless, 
the substance of the prayer is so appropriate to a pr. zealous for the 
law, profoundly believing that the fate of the new Israel depended upon 

EZRA 7-10 337 

its observance, and shrewd in his devices for securing adherence to it, 
that we must admit the great cleverness of the Chr., or hold that we 
have substantially the genuine prayer of Ezra. The latter is surely 
the simpler alternative. We must, however, excise vv. "''■ '% which 
are due to the Chr. 

1-5 in Esd.i- is in the third p. throughout, having t^ El^Spa for 
<*?«. Other texts of Esd. lack all sf. of the first p.— 1. Vnib'^ oyn] is, 
of course, not original. We might explain SNiri as an explanatory gl., 
or drop the art. — an^nia^Js] is without construction. <Sba has ev (lax- 
pu(jL[j.aatv, a word used only here and v. " in 05. Esd. renders prep. 
<i%6; the latter offers a variant: oux Ixtoptaav xal ot dtpxovrec; ol 
Upet? xal o\ AsuslToet xai iXkoyevfi e6vif) t^<; yfiq ((ixb) (ixa6apafa<; auTwv. 
AL show a correction from 1^, inserting rh I'Ovo? toO 'lapa-^X after xaC 
I- has &%h Twv aXXoysvwv eOvwv, while ^ has i%h twv sGvwv in place of 
aOxwv. 3 Esd. has a still further amplification : non segregaverunt genus 
Israel et pHncipes et sacerdotes et Leviice et alienigence gentes el nationes 
terra immundilias suas a Chananceis, etc. The evidence is very strong 
in favour of reading a'tt'N-in or some word of similar mng. instead of Djrn 
''Sf\ — ^•\Tiiir<\ Esd. ISouyLatwv. — 2. laiynn] <Sba ^^^^^^^^^ = -,3^. auve[jL(YY)i', 
IxeiifYT) Esd. All Vrss. have a sg. vb. with "seed" as subj. BDB. 
gives six roots, but wrongly translates here "have fellowship with"; 
Ges.B is correct, i. e., "mix." — ti] om. Esd. The circumstantial 
clause of MT. suggests a note by the writer rather than a part of the 
charge. V.'' in Esd. runs: v.a\ [xetsIxov [(xeT^a/ov'^] ol xpoTiYoutAevot xal 
ol \f£'{\.trzacjzc, x^q dtvoiifai; Ta6Tifj<; dxb ttji; dp/iji; toG xpiyixaToq. 3 Esd. 
has a startling text: et participes eranl et magistralus iniquitaltts ejus 
ah initio ipsius regni. The peculiar construction in these texts shows 
that we should rd. nxcnn po, corrupted into pin D^jjon, and mng. "the 
ofi&cer of lawlessness," the one whose duty was to restrain all kinds of 
wrong-doing. Then Esd. shows iniaSa pcKin, the last word a corrup- 
tion of ntn Syn. How aiityn ti became participes eranl, originally par- 
ticips eral, is not clear. pD is from As. Saknu. The word occurs in 
the Eleph. pap. in connection"with "judges," i. e., jm ]iO {Pap.'^^-^- ", 
V. Sachau,"0- — 3. iSiyni] lTCaXX6[nr]v (S^a^ leap, a word only here in 
(6, but in Gn. 3i>''- " we have D^Sjjn, mng. leaped. Esd. tV kpav la- 
G^xa, so V. ^ — ania'c] (6 T^petiit^Mv^, epefidtl^wvA, i^pe[xwv xal 6au(iil^uv^, 
Esd. auvvou? xal xspfXuicoq. — 4. "nn] <J5 Stwxtiv^A^ Evrpoixo? xal exc- 
Stwxwvi-, showing originally (& and a correction from MT. Esd. exe- 
xevoGvToBi- (a. X. in LXX), to which A prefixes ^TjXwxat xaf. — nai] Xdyov 
(&, g-tpjxzi^^^- , so rd. lan. — rhMr\ hya hv\ Esd. ItioO [aOxou^] xevOoOvxoi; 
i%\ T^ dt,Mo\, so Syo Sj? SaxHD ^jni (Guthe). — 5. . ■ . ''V^^?2^] Esd. 8tsp- 
piQYtiiva ex^^v xd: Ifidixta xal x-fjv lepav laO^xa. — aiyn nnjD3i] om. Esd. — 
Tcj/'nc] Esd. Ix xfj? vTQoxsfa? = Disc. — "'Oia-S;? nyisxi] Esd. x<iiJL(j;a<; xd: 
ydvaxa. — ihSn] om. Esd. 


6. nncx] elxov ^^, Esd. eItbm^, eXevov^A^ but 3 Esd. dicebam. — ''rhtt] 
om. ^^, so Esd. xipieAL. — ann'?] om. Esd. — mSn^] om. b Esd. — yhn •«jfl] 
Esd. xotT(i •rcpoawxdv aou = ^JD-'^J?. — a'XT nSynV] an expression occur- 
ring nowhere else. (S uxsp xsyaX^i; -fjiAtov^A^ bizhg avo>^, Esd. xs9aXd(;BAj 
uxep Tolii; xpJxa? t^? xeyaXii? Yit^-uvL. The evidence is convincing for 
US'!*-!. The presence of Tpf^a? = 13'!'' in ^ is interesting; by modify- 
ing a little more we get good sense, i. e., u^'xi nnt'sj-D, cf. Ps. 69% 
''S'XT nnjycD m. No one seems to have noticed the important text of 
I-, though every one sees the difficulty. Torrey rendered rhyuh, "ex- 
ceedingly" (cf. I Ch. 23") and explains tyxi as due to dittog. (Comp.^', 
ES."0- — 7. lJ''jnD] (5 ol ulol 'f)[JLUvBAj ol Ispele; tjjjlwv xal ol irivTs? fjixwv^; 
Esd. aCiv Tolq dcSeX(jpoT(; "^[/.wv, a5v t;oT<; PaatXeufftv "JifAwv, xal ctCiv toI? tepeu- 
otv y]\j.&v. unjx] is here rd. as irnN, 3 Esd. cmw fratribus nostris, et 
Slim sacerdotibus nostris. By an eclectic process I would restore the 
text thus: 1J''J31 vnxi wSo unj. ij-'Va became iroSn, ij''nN became umx, 
and irj2 became ij-iino. — Tia] lacking in Esd.; <S^ ev x^puf (no).— 
nisisn] CI Twv eOvwv, Esd. t^<; y-^?. — oijd] lacking in Esd., 05 Tcpoatixou 
■fjlAtov = U'lJfl. — nrn orns] Esd. [i^xp' i^? aYjfjLspov fj^x^pai;, a better sense 
and prob. from arna. — 8. (^ offers variant for the awkward begin- 
ning of MT. : xal vOv exeoxeuiaaTO fjiJiIv 6 Oeb<; ■fjfii.wv, i. e., U*? prn nnyi 
ijin'?N. L adds 6? Ppax"J- ^ reads: ei mmmc gwaw" parum et ad momen- 
tum facta est deprecatio nostra apiid Dominum Deiim nostrum; 3 Esd. el 
nunc quantum est hoc, quod contigit nobis misericordia abs te Domine 
Deus. — icip . . . I^NartS]. Esd. xaxctXetipOYivat ^(t^av xotl ovofia ev Tqi 
t6x(p tou [toutw^] dY"i^tJ''°''^°? H" auTou^]. 35 relinque nobis radicum et 
nomen in locum sanctificationis tuce. We must, at all events, get rid 
of the inappropriate '\t\>. (B» has a'UTQpf]('[a][xa, which elsw. stands for 
nan. Esd. may have rd. noj "posterity." — >h r\rh\ would scarcely be 
used here in view of unn'?, v. ^ M^rhn . . . niNnS] (6 lacks ijihSn, the 
least possible emendation. Esd. has : toO dvaxaXijt^at qjoaxfipa -^[awv ev 
•rq) oYxcp TOU xupfou ii\x&v = u^nSs noa unis'a niSjS. — !oya ninn] 01 ^wo- 
TTofifjatv (JLtxptivS, •rcepixofrjaav^, Esd. Tpo^-fjv ev "utp xatpw t^? SouXefai; 
fiixwv; H cibum in omni tempore servitentis nostra. — m;jd] cannot be an 
adj. as 05 and EV^ render; "a little sustenance" would be ninn tsya. 
Therefore substitute with Esd. nj;a. — n>nD] can scarcely mean reviv- 
ing, RV. BDB. It indicates that which supports life, so food, as Ju. 
6* 17". — 9. (S^ Iv TTJ xapa^iaet t)[Jlo>v ev fj xapl^rjixev ■?3[JLet<;, connecting 
Mnm ona;? ^d with umaya of v. '. This reading avoids the monotonous 
repetition of "in our servitude." Esd. has ev t^ SouXeuetv •^[i.a?, read- 
ing maya, and lacking umayai. — una;?] is rd. as Pu. in Esd. lyxaTs- 
Xefq)6if)[i.£v. — ijihSn] preceded in (S by xiptog, Esd xupfou Tjtiwv; Gk. 
and 1^ often disagree in the use of the divine names; Esd. is the work 
of a pretty consistent Yahwist. — ■. . . taii] Esd. Ixofirjffev Yjfxag Iv x&pm = 
ina ij''a'V''i. — ninn uS nnS] Esd.i- BoOvat -fjixlv eXeov (non). — snnS] (B tou 
6tl»wffat a6To6i;, mistaking Polel for Qal with sf.; Esd. xal So^aaat Ispbv 

EZRA 7-10 339 

■^wv. — vnann], Esd. x^v lpTj(i,ov 2(wv, 3 Esd. mdificare deserta Sion = 
jvs nam. — -nj] <& (ppaY[J.6vBANj Telxo?"^, arepltDtAaEsd. (ypn), 3 Esd. ito- 
bililatem. — "31 mm-'j] is supported by all Vrss., yet we might better 
rd. "S aoDa, v. s. — 10. nn;;i] lacking in (^ban^ — nxi >-inK] Esd. I'xovire? 
Tauta, <S nexd; touto. — iJOTy] Esd. luap^^rjaavS, •rcapl^irjiJi.evAi'j j, e.^ 1:1337. 
— 11. nn>ix] eSwxotc; (S and Esd. — inajr] om. d^. — . . . nijc] to end of 
V. is lacking in Esd. — 13. nnx] om. Esd. — 1J'''?>'] (& ecp' h\^q^, and con- 
sistently second p. in v.". V. ^ is amplified in (S^: oxt ab h Oeb? ■fjtJLwv, 
xaT^xaucjac; xb ox^xxpov TjtJ.wv Sta xai; d:[i.apT{a<; "fjiAwv, xal oux Haxtv d)<; aii, 
Sxt exouipiffaq Ttit; dtvotJ.(a<; t)[J.wv, xal I'Buxac; fjixtv ux6Xet[j.tAa. Esd. has: 
oi Y(4p, xijpce, 6 xou({)(aa<; -zaq d^JiapTfac; -fjfjLwv eSwxaq T)yLtv ToiaiT-rjv ^fl^av. 
d has rd. nap na-^n for nasS no'^n, a very slight change. Esd. shows 
mtrn, but not n-jn"?. (& therefore shows a dup., but (S^a represents an 
approximation to Esd. : oux luxtv wq 6 6eb<; fjfji.wv, oti exoucptaat; fjjjiuv xcb? 
dvo[JL(a? xal eSwxa? -fiticv awxTipfav (i. e., ryyw). It is possible that one 
of two similar passages has been lost. This text is entirely ignored 
by Guthe. — 14. aiB'jn] better with <6 ^3 for n interrogative. — "n id;3] 
d xotc; Xaol?^^' + xwv yatuvA -\- xouxwv'^, Esd. xfj dxaOapafcjt xwv eOvwv 
x^q T"^?, ^. e., n3yn3. — nSxn nisiNi ^dv]. For consistency we find k%\.- 
[ttY^vat = (3"iynn2) in Esd., where 05 has yati^peOaat (= innnn). — -ny 
. . . nSo] Esd. dcxoXIffat ■^[J,a<; eox; xoij [a'?) xaxaXtxetv p(t^av xal OTC^pfia xal 
5vo[i.a ^ifAwv = iscn i^nS np umSD. — 15. ujn] om. 05^^. — pnx] Esd. (SXtj- 
6[v6<;. — arns] Esd. Iv xfj oi^tjiepov = aiTia. — noiSs] may be construed as 
an ace. or as appos. with the subj. of the vb. (Ges.^ "«). 

10"* = Esd. S^^-O^ The people agree to divorce the for- 
eign wives. 

Ezra's pra3dng and loud weeping attracts a very large crowd. Shek- 
aniah admits that Israel has done wrong and proposes that the offend- 
ers shall be put under oath to cast out their foreign wives and the chil- 
dren born from them. Ezra accepts the plan and a decree is issued 
ordering all Israel to convene within three days under penalty of con- 
fiscation and excommunication. The narrative is now in the third p. 
as in 7>-". This form continues in the rest of the Ezra story. 

1. And while Ezra was praying and while he was making con- 
fession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God]. 
The language is exhausted to show Ezra's deep distress. Here 
for the first time a place is indicated; the priest ofifered his public 
prayer in the open space before the temple. — From Israel] or 
more appropriately with Esd., from Jerusalem, since the crowd 
could hardly come from all Judah. — Men and women and chil- 


dren], or boys and girls, or children and slaves, as some Greek 
texts have in place of children. (On the place of the assembly in 
postexilic Israel v. Smith, Jer. i, c. x.). — For the people wept with a 
great weeping] is scarcely intelligible as a reason for the vast as- 
sembly. We have heard only of Ezra's weeping heretofore. It 
is a loose construction: the writer apparently meant that Ezra's 
tears were contagious, and that the multitude began to weep as 
it gathered. This verse quite ignores the assembly already col- 
lected, 9^; the terms are different here, the crowd being of a more 
general composition . — 2 . Then answered Shekaniah] . ' ' Answer ' ' 
is used idiomatically in Hebrew to introduce a statement made, 
not as a reply to a spoken word, but with reference to an act 
upon which the answer is a comment. Shekaniah is classed here 
among the sons of Elam, and there was such a clan in Ezra's 
company, 8^. This may be a man of royal descent, a son of Je- 
hoiakim, i Ch. 3^1 f-. — There is hope for Israel in regard to this], 
i. e., something can be done to rectify the wrong. — By the 
counsel of the Lord]. The plan is Shekaniah's, for there was no 
law ordering a divorce in such cases. The Vrss. vary greatly; 
Esd. has: as it seemeth good to thee, making far better sense. — 
And they who tremble at the command of our God] is quite with- 
out connection. 

The ordinary rendering is secured by changing "the Lord" to "my 
lord," and thus getting: at the counsel of my lord [i. e., Ezra] and of those 
who tremble at the command of God. In g* there gathered about Ezra 
at the beginning "all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel." 
The rendering cited would make them a party to the pr.' plan, and 
would put the proposal for divorce in his mouth. In his prayer he had 
suggested no drastic remedy; in fact, it seems that he left it entirely 
to others to advise the heroic course to be followed. If this reading 
were accepted, two slight changes should be made so as to get: ace. 
to the counsel of my lord . . . and ace. to the law of Moses, reading n-yo 
for niff}}\ There are several variants for "those who tremble," etc.; 
(6 reads : stand up and make them tremble at the command of our God; 
Esd.i-: and as many as obeyed the law of the Lord, standing up, said to 
Ezra, rise, act. Though this breaks off Shekaniah's speech suddenly, 
it is prob. the best text we have. Let it be done according to the law], but 
while the law forbade the mixed marriages, it did not, unless by in- 
ference, provide for their dissolution. 

' E2RA "J-IQ 341 

4. The matter is upon thee] or belongs to thee, a recognition 
of Ezra's leadership in the matter. — And we are with thee] a 
pledge of the speaker's support in the righting of the wrong. 
— Take courage and act] an appeal to Ezra as if he needed urg- 
ing. — 5. And Ezra rose and adjured] but whom? The text has 
the leaders of the priests, Levites and of all Israel, making the Le- 
vites equivalent to priests. 01 has : the leaders, the Levites and all 
Israel^; the leaders of the Judean priests and of the Levites and all 
Israel^. By a single change we get the best text: the leaders of 
the priests and of the Levites and of all Israel. The leaders alone 
were required to take the oath to carry out Shekaniah's plan. — 
And they took the oath], i. e., the leaders just named, thus be- 
coming a party to the solemn covenant with God, v. K — 6. 
And Ezra arose from before the house of God] where he had been 
prostrating himself, v. ^, and where this verse presupposes 
that he is still, ignoring v. ^ altogether, evidence of disorder in 
the text. — And he went to the room of Jehohanan], one of the 
quarters in the temple cloisters in which the temple officers 
lived. For Jehohanan v. Ne. 12^" ^•. Our text gives no hint as 
to the reason for Ezra's going to those quarters. In Esd. we 
find the right reading; instead of the repeated and he went there, 
we have: and he spent the night there. Ezra's prayer had been 
offered at the time of the evening oblation, 9^ The events 
which had taken place meanwhile carry us down to nightfall, 
and next we are told of Ezra's temporary lodging-place. The 
business was urgent and he remained upon the ground until its 
completion. — Bread he did not eat and water he did not drink, i. e., 
overnight; fasting enters largely into the religious life of the 
people of this period (Sta.'^O? and becomes more prominent 
later {cf. Est.). — For he was mourning for the sins of the captivity] 
cf. Dt. 9^^; in place of "the sins of the captivity," cf. 9^ Esd. 
has the great sins of the exalted ones, or of the multitude. Sieg. 
by a slight change reads: "for the great sin." If MT. is right, 
"captivity" designates the new community, conceived as wholly 
composed of returned exiles. The phrase betrays the Chron- 
icler, to whom the Judeans and the golah are one. — 7. And they 
[the leaders and elders of v. *] issued a proclamation in Judah and 


Jerusalem to all the sons of the captivity to gather at Jerusalem]. 
The assembly was to be general and was to carry out the agree- 
ment subscribed by the oath of the leaders. — 8. And all who did 
not arrive within three days]. The short time allowed shows the 
narrow bounds of the new community (Berth.). — According 
to the command of the leaders and elders]. This supplies the 
missing subject in v. '. Ezra himself was much in the back- 
ground. He was impelling the rulers to act. — A severe penalty 
was to be imposed upon those who did not comply with the 
edict; the punishment would be twofold: all his property should 
he confiscated and he should he separated from the assemhly of the 
captivity]^ i. e., excommunicated. The word rendered "confis- 
cated" means put under a religious han, devote, and property so 
devoted was to be destroyed, Jos. 6^^ Dt. 20". But the word 
here probably means confiscated to sacred uses, as for the support 
of the temple. 

The authority for the edict, and which undertook to punish heavily 
those who disobeyed it, was not that of Ezra, but of the oligarchy, 
"the leaders and elders," v. '. Indeed, in the whole passage, barring 
the single expression "the matter is upon thee," there is no hint of 
any authority vested in Ezra. He does not even evolve a plan to right 
the wrong which distresses him, and he administers an oath to bind 
the leaders to execute the plan proposed by Shekaniah. Ezra shows 
fervent zeal, a passion for the law, an eloquence in prayer, but not a 
shred of authority to enforce his ideas. 

1. r>Bjnni] C5 •irpoaeux6tJL£vo<;Bf<, thus repeating SSonc. — ainSxn-n-'j] 
Esd. here as often elsw. tou ispoij. — SNityn] Esd. dxb 'lepouaaX-^;!. — 
hnp] (g iv-vXridx, Esd. o'xXoc, v. on v. «. — anS''] 05^ and Esd.i- veavtei 
xal TcatBApta = Dn>'ji Dn'7\ — nra ... 13] (S otc exXauaev 6 Xab? xal uij^wasv 
xXafwvBANj St;j xXauGfiy (ASYciXcj) I'xXauaev 6 Xa6<;i', Esd. xXauOfjiJx; fdcp 
^v [iif(x<i Iv Tw TcX-^Bet, 3 Esd. Jlctus enim erat magnus in ipsa mtiUitn- 
dinc. — 2. aSi>'] Esd. 'lapai^X. — 3trj] (g sxaOtoa[jLevBA (= 3S'>, "to dwell"), 
eXipotiev**!-, Esd. xaTtpxirjaavi', CTUv(ox((ja[AevA, xaT(px(aa[JLev^. The mng. 
marry is peculiar to Ezr.-Ne., but the usage is so frequent (7 t.) that 
the text can scarcely be distrusted. This mng. is derived from the 
idea of giving a house in connection with marriage. But in Esd. 9' 
(= Ezr. 10") we have auvotxT^aaTs yuva^fv. The idea, therefore, may be 
"cohabit," the prep, which would naturally follow being dropped idio- 
matically. — nipc] (S uico(j.oviqBAKj eXx(<;i', Esd. exivto xag Ta.^A = nVjro 
'iy^-Sa. — 3. nna] Esd. 6pxw[ji,oa(a. — o^a'j] Yuvalxa? Ti? dXXoTp(a<; (6^, 

EZRA 7-10 343 

Esd. Yuvalxaq -fjiAuv Td;? ex twv dsXXoY£vwv lOvwv, a necessary qualifica- 
tion. — 3'"iD nSjm] Esd. auv tsxvoI<; kutwv = jrinSo. — . . . nsya] 05 w<; 2v 
PoijXy] dtvioTiQGt xal (poP^ptaov auTouq^A^ EgJ. ^(j Ixpt'Oij 00c xal oaot xec- 
GapxTQuouaiv. <8 shows Dnnnn, Esd. li'sc; Esd.i- has a noteworthy vari- 
ant: xal 8aot xetOapxouac T<p v6[jLa) xupfou dvaatiivTs? elxov icpJx; "EJ^pav 
Avia-ra, ext-rlXet. This reading is accepted by Guthe; v. his text. — 
n«D] 05 evToXal?, Esd. v6[j.ou, cf. 9". — na>y> minj] 05 dx; 6 v6[jlo<; ysvy]- 
6-^TwBA, om. Esd.BA. — 4. -131] (g^AX pijtxa, so v.^; "ki-^oq^, but pri[i.a, 
V. «; Esd. xpaYixa, om. v. ^ In v. < the mng. is general, e. g., matter, 
but specific in v. ^ plan. — pin] (gi-, ivSpt^ou, (zc/ /j^e a wan. — 6. nSii 
or] is an impossible redundancy. (S^ omits perhaps from a critical 
motive. Esd. has the true text : auXta6el(; exel = aa» ]Sm, so most mod- 
ern scholars. — nSuri Syn] Esd. t. dvojitcov t. (jLeYi^^wv tou ■tcXtqOoui; = 
D^Snjn 3-(n ^Syn. Sieg. translates wegen des grossen Vergebens = hyurt 
nSijn. — 7. OS'^A om. S3S to end of v. — 8. Dijprni antyn] Esd. t. xpo- 
xaOT)[i.ivii)v [a word peculiar to Esd.] xpea^uT^puv; 3 Esd. assidentium 

lO*"'^ = Esd. 9^"'. The putting away of the foreign wives 
and of their children. 

Agreeably to the call, the people of Judah and Benj. assembled on 
the 20th day of the gth month in the open space before the temple. 
Ezra would proceed at once in spite of the magnitude of the task and 
the storm that was raging. The people, however, asked that officers 
be appointed from each city to whom the execution of the plan should 
be committed. Ezra acceded to this plea, the business was taken in 
hand, and completed at the end of the year. The source is different 
from vv. '-', as other terms are used for the same ideas. 

9. And all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled]. The 
proclamation was issued in Judah and Jerusalem according to 
V. ^ The difference of terms is one of the numerous signs of a 
different source in this section. It appears that the threat in 
V. ^ was effective, as the response is declared to be general, the 
whole people gathering without exception. — On the 20th day of the 
gth month], i. e., Kislev, so in the early part of December, Ezra 
had been in Jerusalem, therefore, more than four months; but, 
as the material has come down to us, there was nothing done in 
this time. — And all the people sat in the plaza of the house of God]. 
The plaza of the temple, badly rendered "street" in AV., was 


the open space before the water gate, Ne. 3^6 8^, a favourite 
place for assemblies. The number of people was not as great 
as V. * would imply, for there could not have been a large space 
there. — Trembling for the matter and because of the rain] is a 
dubious conjunction of ideas. The Vrss. show enough discrep- 
ancy to make the text questionable, Esd. reads: skivering on 
account of the persistent storm. That may be modified slightly 
so as to get shivering because of standing in the rain. — 10. Ezra 
the priest] previously called the priest the scribe, 7" ^- 21, cf. 
Ne. 12^^; but the duties he is now performing are not scribal, 
and so that title does not appear; "priest" is wanting in Esd., 
and it may be a gloss. — To add to the guilt of Israel]. Esd. to 
add guilt to Israel. By the violation of the law the present gen- 
eration was increasing the already large record of national sin. 
— 11. Give praise to Yahweh the God of our fathers], not "your" 
fathers as MT. "Our" is found in (g and Esd. The ground for 
praise is not very apparent, at least from the people's stand- 
point. The rendering of EV^., based on H, "make confession" 
is impossible. The same appeal is made to Achan, Jos. 7^% 
where as a parallel we have "give glory." The author of this 
passage seems to have drawn from that story. The idea may 
be that praise was due to God because the culprits were brought 
to a state of amendment. — The double demand is made: sep- 
arate yourselves from the nations of the land and from the foreign 
women]. This is in agreement with 9^ f-, cf. Dt. f *•. The 
clauses are practically synonymous, the former being somewhat 
broader. The Israelites were called upon to cut off all associa- 
tion with the aliens. — 12. Why should the assembly answer in a 
loud voice? and why should that be emphasised? It may be 
explained as a Hebrew usage to express earnestness, cf. 3^2 
2 S. 1523 I K. 8" 2 Ch. 1514 20" Ez. 818 Lv. ifK But (5 
preserves an interesting variant: and all the assembly answered 
and said, great is thy demand for us to do, i. e., you have laid a 
heavy burden upon us. — 13. But the people are many and the 
season is stormy]. The assembly was ready to meet the leaders' 
demands, but the conditions made it impossible; there were too 
many cases and the weather was too bad. "A time of much 

EZRA 7-10 345 

rain" (EV.) is based on H and gives a wrong idea, viz., that 
the day was too wet. The people say rather, "it is the rainy 
season," and the rains therefore will persist. It was the period 
of the winter rains, called "the former rain" in Dt. ii^*, see 
Nowack, Arch, i,^* '•. — We are not able to stattd without] is based 
on the rendering of the ancient Vrss., especially Esd. But "we" 
does not appear in ^, and the idea is : it is not Jit to stand out- 
side, on account of the rain. Ezra's zeal was not dependent 
upon the weather. — For we have transgressed very much in this 
respect], corresponding to "the people are many"; the number 
who had married foreigners was relatively very large. 

14. This V. contains the counter-proposal of the people, but the text 
is very troublesome; we may render: Let now our leaders stand for the 
whole assembly, and let all who are in our cities that have married foreign 
women come at appointed times; and with them elders of each city and its 
judges, unto the averting from us of the fury of the wrath of our God in re- 
gard to this matter]. In the latter part esp. we find obscurity and bad 
constructions, greater in the original than in this translation. 01 varies 
considerably in detail. Esd. runs: and let the leaders of the assembly 
stand, and let all from our homes who have foreign wives be at hand when 
opportunity serves; and the elders and judges of each place until, etc. 
3 Esd. gives a connection for the last clause: and let the elders and judges 
from each place assist, but it lacks a pred. for all who have foreign -wives- 
We get little help from these sources; the ancients were puzzled by the 
passage, and their diflSculties appear in their translation. The mng. 
apparently is that (i) leaders should take charge of the business for 
the whole assembly; (2) to this tribunal all transgressors should come 
at appointed times {cf. Ne. lo'O; (3) with the guilty should appear 
the local elders and judges. The function of the local ofiicers is left t« 
conjecture; it is natural to suppose, however, that their office was to 
see that the decrees of the tribunal were carried out. From the emph. 
laid on these officers Sm. argues that most of the offenders were in- 
habitants of the country districts (Listen,'^''). It appears that the di- 
vorce court sat in Jerus. and that all proceedings took place there. 
For "until," etc., we should rd. : in order to turn away from us the 
fury of the wrath of our God. — 15. This v. contains a sore puzzle. 
But by an emendation of the text on the basis of 05 we discover a frag- 
ment of E. and evidence of decided opposition to the divorce. As it 
stands in MT. two opposing constructions have been put upon the 
v.: (i) We may translate: Btit Jonathan the son of Asahcl and Jo- 
haziah the son of Tikvah stood over this, and Meshullam and Shdbbethai 


the Lev. aided them, so AV. Esd. Michaelis, Kue. and many of the older 
interpreters. The mng. would then be that the four men named con- 
stituted the divorce tribunal. But that rendering must be pronounced 
impossible. For (a) v. " connects directly with v. '*; (6) the appoint- 
ment of the court is described in v. i«; (c) the introductory tx has a 
restrictive not a continuative sense; (d) the circumstantial clause shows 
that this V. cannot describe the execution of the plan previously pro- 
posed, but must be an attendant circumstance. (2) Instead of "stood 
over" we may render nay stood against, a late usage found in Lv. 
19" I Ch. 2i> 2 Ch. 20" Dn. 8" n^ (see Moore's Jtidges,^^^). The 
mng. then is that these four men stood in opposition to the ruthless 
proceedings. This idea we find in RV. Lightfoot, B.-Rys. Ryle, Sieg. 
Berth. Ges.^, BDB. The construction fits in finely with this idea; 
but we find iD;? used in opposite senses in two successive w. It is 
plain, therefore, that if this is the right mng. the two vv. are not from 
the same hand. To express his mng. the author would have used a 
common and urunistakable word, Dip. The authorities have quite dis- 
regarded the reading of 05 : only Jonathan ct al. were with me in this 
matter. This text requires but an infinitesimal change in % But can 
we get any sense out of that? With me would, of course, mean with 

Now it is a commonly accepted theory that c. 10 is the Chr.'s re- 
vision of E. In most places the original has been revised beyond recog- 
nition. But here we may have a scrap which escaped the blue pencil, 
a genuine fragment of E. The brief passage then becomes of great 
significance. The question naturally arises why E. was so thoroughly 
revised here. It is surprising that the whole community submitted 
like tame sheep to the breaking up of their homes. Now the Chr. was 
pretty certain to make the path of the enforcer of law easy; but ap- 
parently historic facts were of a different mind. At some stage of 
the story of his efforts Ezra cries out pathetically: "only Jonathan and 
Johaziah were with me in this matter and MeshuUam and Shabbethai 
the Lev. aided them." Perhaps the actual divorce was not such a 
sweeping success as the Chr. makes out; or it may be that with the aid 
of the four original supporters the great zealot did succeed in bearing 
down all opposition. 

1%. And the sons of the captivity did so] naturally would refer 
to the carrying out of the plan for divorce. But the sons of the 
captivity had proposed the plan; what we should expect is a 
statement that Ezra accepted the proposal, e. g., and Ezra did 
so. The text is apparently disarranged by the Chronicler and 
the true connection is obscured. — And Ezra the priest selected 

EZRA 7-10 347 

for him men], so we must read after Esd. supported in part by %. 
The rendering of RV. disregards the text and makes Ezra the 
head of the divorce tribunal. Torrey renders : " Ezra the priest 
and certain chief men . . . were set apart" (ES."' f). — The 
heads of the fathers for the house of their fathers and all of them 
with names] is not a very satisfactory description. " The heads 
of the fathers" are the clan leaders called "our leaders" by the 
people, V. ". The Vrss. show that the text is overloaded; Esd. 
has : heads of their fathers all of them according to names, and 
that is quite sufficient. — Afid they sat on the 1st day of the loth 
month to investigate the matter]. One text of Esd. has and they 
were convened, which is a better expression. The loth month 
corresponds to December-January. Some Vrss. have "12th 
month"; but that would make the session of the court one 
month instead of three; and it would convene two and one- third 
months after the assembly, v. ^, instead of ten days. Esd. offers 
for the last clause to transact the business, and the greater defi- 
niteness commends this reading, for investigation was not re- 
quired. The tribunal was charged with executive rather than 
judicial functions. (^ has a somewhat different reading of a 
part of this verse: Ezra the priest set apart the leaders of their 
fathers' houses; and all being called together by name on the ist 
day of the 12th month they sat down to investigate the matter. This 
reading is certainly less awkward than MT. 

9. Berth, thinks "ho:] has dropped out before xin, so Guthe before 
him, but iSdd iinna would be required, and then the correction is more 
prob. I suspect that the date is a note by the Chr. After 05 Esd. xou 
(ATjvd?, we should rd. cnnS for cnnj. — . . . on^yiD] d ixh Oopupou aixdiv 
Tcspl Tou pi^fJLaToi; xal i-zh ToiJ x^'^V'^'^'^'i^^^) ^^ tp6[Ufi dtxb t. pi^tiaTO? x. 
dxb T. 7£C[Jia>vo?^; Esd. TplfiovTS? [Zidi^] Tbv IvsaTwxa xsi^Ldyx. The first 
reading is interesting, explaining the assembly in the open as due to 
the large number and to the storm; but the two ideas harmonise no 
better than in MT. The important reading in Esd., the only one that 
makes good sense, has escaped the attention of the commentators. 
Instead of the meaningless nann-Sy, it had, perhaps, D>iDj;n. loj? means 
persist in Eccl. 8' (BDB.), and is represented by Ivtoravat in 2 K. i3«; 
"persistent rains" would do well here. This, however, requires a trans- 
position of words, and I hazard a conjecture, "2 D^inync, shivering 
because of standing in the rain. — 11. ^^^n] (g alfveaiv xa\ l$oyLoX6Y'')otv^, 


Esd. e^o[jLoX6YY]atv xal Si^av^-, 6[j,oX. S65av^A. Prob. we should add 
1133, c/. 7'». — D3>ni3N] with (5 and Esd. rd. ij>ni3N, — uisi] (6 Tb dpea-ubv 
IvtoTctov ai-roO, which may be paraphrastic as in Ne. g^K Esd. xb 
6iXTQ[JLa aixou. — 12, ij5?m] Esd.^A ^^l etpwvTrjaav, a rendering found in v. ' 
= iNipn. — . . . Sip] (5 [t.i'cx TOUTO Tb ()rj]i& aou^A; ^l has (pwvfj [iB^fiik-j} 
with "answered" and continues: \xifix toOto xb pYj[xa I9' ■»)[!«(;, xal xaTo: 
ToCi<; X6you(; aou ou? e^r)?, outw? xotTQaofxev, a double reading with varia- 
tions; Esd. ouTtoq w? eVpigxac TcotT^(JO[x.£v; H jMa;to verbum iuum ad nos sic 
fiat, 3 Esd. sictit dixisti faciemus. Certainly we must rd. Ti3'i3 (0. 
Moore's Jtidges,'''^), inf. and prob. "tyj-j, though 05 may be a free ren- 
dering; it is incumbent upon us to do is not, however, as strong as we will 
do. — 13. S3k] in late Heb. is strongly adversative. — nyn] (B^ 6x6x01; 
xaipiqANL^ wpa^sd.. The mng. is season, not day. — aiccj] has an ad- 
jectival force corresponding to 3i, so (5 and Esd., but It tempus 
pluvicB, 3 Esd. tempus hybernum, is perpetuated in EV^. The lexicons 
ignore this use. It is impossible to render "a time of rain" without 
unnecessarily emending the text. — i'in3 . . . j^xi] Esd. xal oix lax(i[a]o^ 
[lEv ar^vat otYOptoc [xal oux eupofjisv], bracketed parts in b only. A"6pto<; 
elsw. stands for inoD, "threshold," or aijo, but it would serve as well 
for Vina. We note here a neat idiomatic rendering instead of the sla- 
vish literalism of d. ^'a plus is difficult to understand unless we get Nxa 
out of nssSn, though the latter is represented by I'pToV) followed, it 
may be noted, by ■?1[jlwv'^ ■fj^Liv^A. — 14. naj?] is here given the mng. 
among rare uses, "be appointed," BDB. This would require Snpn-Sy, 
and the subj. would be nnc; ir"ie> shows that existing officials are 
meant. Ges.^ proposes die Gemeinde vcrtreten. The idea seems to 
be : let our officers stand for [or represent] the whole assembly. — Snp h:h\ 
om. (S^, ev xioTQi-, Esd. ol xpoT^Youfjievot toO tcX^qSou? = Snpn 'if. — iny3] 
Esd. ex Twv xaxocxtwv -fjtJLwv = iJOfiDD, 3 Esd. qui vobiscum inhabitant. 
— DMDTa DTipS] Ne. 10'^ 13^1, (& zlq xafpouq ixh GUvaYtoywv^ [ouvTaywvA**] 
dxb xatptov^; Esd. "ka^hvizq xpi^vov; 3 Esd. accepto tempore, s has rd. 
nnjjn, al anyiDD, and Esd. perhaps onyin n;;. — ny] is of obscure origin, 
but in early use is construed as f . Later, as in this passage, it is treated 
as m. in accordance with the rule that expressions of time are m. {ZAW. 
1896,^0 • — I'y^] om. d^-. Esd, lacks this and also anny. — in ]-\-^n] Spyi^v 
©A Esd. — nin lanV ny] IB super pcccato hoc. For "^ nj? rd. Sy as Sieg. 
— 15. in] C6 tcX-^v, om. Esd.BA, H igitur, 3 Esd. autem. The mng. is 
important; it never represents a continuation like "and so," but has a 
restrictive or adversative sense. The construction, vb. following subj., 
indicates a circumstantial clause, another fact having significance for 
the exegesis. — nop] (& [lex' etiou = "'lOJ?, Esd. IxeSi^avTO, B stetenint 
susceperunt. — aiij?] 06 poT]6wv auTOlq^AN^ divreXaiA^avov xh a.^'zm^, Esd. 
ouveppd^euaav aitotq. — 16, p] more emph. in Esd.: xaxA icivta TaOxa. 
— iSi3''] is grammatically impossible. 05^^ StsaxdXKjcav, thus making all 
the nouns the subj.; (6^^' St^oxetXev, having the nouns in ace; Esd. 

EZRA 7-10 349 

IxeX^t^aTo aitcp . . . SvSpat; x. t. X. = iV '77:i>_i ace. to Guthe, Berth, el al. 
But '713 is used always with a bad association, as in "separate yourself 
from people of land"; exeX^Yetv never stands for Via, but for nna or, by 
confusion of gutturals, lya. Therefore rd. iS ■ina\ — niDB>3 D''a':.s']. (Jbax 
om. — ani3N]. Esd. avBpa? T)Yo;;iJt.evou<; twv xaTptoiv aixoiv xavToti; xax' 
Svo[jia, so lacking ino^ maxn. — niDti-a oSo] c/. 8", where lap: intervenes. 
CS'^ puts this after ^2V^ and renders: Tciv-ue? ol xXirjOivTsq Iv 6v6[jLaatv = 
"a Nipjn Sa. It is tempting to see a confusion of lapj and nipj, and we 
may have the true text in a reading ignored by all scholars so far as 
I know. — lacii] is not easy. (S has o-ct exiaTpat^av^AX^ y^^\ IxiOwav + 
xivie? ot xXirjO^VTei;'^, Esd. xocl auvexXstaOiQcTavB, auvexiiOtaav'^i', 3 Esd. 
considerunt. Esd.^ must be an error for CTuvexXTjOTiffav, cf. (S^, and then 
we have the best sense : ihey were convened for business, etc. — ntrpn] 
SwSexdcTou <§^'^, Esd.^-. — a'vmS] must be pointed B'mS, but the word 
is inappropriate; we should expect a word like "begin" or as Esd. 
lT(4aat, to transact (the business). — 17. Dv^r'jx '73a iSa^i] H et consiimmali 
sunt omnes viri, Esd. xal rixQri eicl x^pa? xdc xaird: Toi? <2vSpa<; = -S;? '?a"ii 
D''2'jxn; Sa is explained by dittog. — ij?] is well supported, and has here 
the unusual sense at, or on; but we should expect ara. 

10'^'^= Esd. 9'^'^ The Ust of the divorced.— The names 
are arranged in two classes, clerical and lay; in the clerical sec- 
tion we find four orders, priests, Levites, singers, and porters. 
The laity are grouped under clan-names. The scheme is the 
same as in c. 2 and other lists. 

18-22. The pr. are grouped by clans, of which there were four, 
the sons of Jes. Immer, Harim, and Pashhur. These are the same 
priestly clans found in 2'«-'=', but the order in the latter passage is 
Jes., Immer, Passhur, Harim. — 18. Jes. the son of Jozadak] a full notice 
so as to identify this person with the associate of Zer. — Atid his 
brethren] implies that the descendants of Jes.'s brothers were classed 
under the more celebrated name. The Chr,, however, thrusts in 
"sons" and "brothers" rather recklessly when writing about pr. or 
Lev. — 19. And they gave their hand to put away their wives], "Give 
the hand" as a symbol of swearing is old usage, 2 K. lo'^. — And guilty, 
a ram of the flock for their guilt] requires some editing. RV. inserts 
"they offered"; Kue. emends to read: "and their guilt-offering was a 
ram of the flock for their guilt." Torrey renders: "they were fined a 
ram of the flock." A slight change yields : and I appointed a ram of the 
flock for their guilt, with the startling result that we have another frag- 
ment of E., which the Chr. disguised but imperfectly. It is difficult 
to see why this is said of the clan of Jes. and not of the other pr. 
Ryle supposes this requirement to be imposed upon all the offenders, 


but the position of the clause forbids such a wide application. Other 
scholars are discreetly silent. The natural explanation lies in the 
greater prominence of the Jes. guild. They were of the chief pr., and 
so were required to take an oath and pay a penalty. It is not unlikely 
that the whole v. is out of place. It might belong after v. ", or better 
after v. i'", which connects poorly with v. "^^ but very well with v. '». 
The passage would then rd. : and tJicrc were found some of the pr. who 
had married foreign wives, and they gave their hand to put away their 
wives; and I appointed a ram of the flock for their guilt. Of the sons of 
Jes., etc. This is a great improvement on MT. — 23. Ajtd of the Lev.] 
of whom six are named as offenders. — 24. We find but one singer and 
three porters, but Esd. has two in each class. In contrast with the 17 
pr. and 6 Lev., we note the absence of the Neth.; it appears that the 
humbler officials were the stricter observers of the law, but perhaps they 
were foreigners and their marriage with foreign women was permitted. 
25-43. The laity are grouped under the clans of Parosh, Elam, 
Zattu, Bebai, Bani, Pahath-Moab, Harim, Hashum, Bani, and Nebo. 
These are all found in c. 2, exc. one of the Banis, but in quite a different 
order. Four of the names are included in the list of Ezra's company: 
Parosh, Elam, Bebai, and Pahath-Moab. — 30. Esd. lacks Pahath-Moab, 
making Addin (=Adnah) the clan-name. There was such a clan which 
was represented in Ezra's caravan, 8', but not found in c. 2. — 34. For 
Bani, which is already found in v. ", we may possibly rd. Binoui. — 38. 
Instead of Bani and Binnui on basis of 05 we should introduce another 
clan : atui of the sons of Bigvai or some other name. The text in this 
part is so corrupt that the original names can no longer be determined. 
44. All these had taken foreign wives, and they had wives of them, and they 
— sons]. The omitted vb. of last clause means to place, but it cannot 
be translated so as to make sense. The text is doubtless corrupt. <S 
offers : all these had taken foreign wives and had begotten sons of them. 
This would mean either that all who had foreign wives had children 
also, or that only those who had children were required to put away 
their wives. This reminds us of the ground of Neh.'s divorce proceed- 
ings, Ne. 13**. Esd. reads still differently: all these had married foreign 
wives and they put them away with their children. A pretty radical 
emendation is necessary, and I would rd. : all these put away foreign 
wives, and some of them had children, and tJtey restored the children (to 
their mothers). The children in divorce proceedings are always the 
bone of contention. In a sparsely settled Jewish community the chil- 
dren would be esp. prized. The mng. is that the reform was radical 
and the children were sent with their mothers to their old homes among 
their own people. Being of mixed blood, they would be deemed unde- 
sirable in a community seeking to eliminate all foreign influences. 

18. WXDV.] so we should rd. with di^^^ Esd. instead of sg. of MT. 
— 19. unn] Esd. exd^aXov. — dt'] (5 x^ipot*; auToiv, Esd. Tac; xetpa?. — 

EZRA 7-10 351 

O'OtfN] <S^ xepl •rcXtjti.^Ji.eXefai;, Esd. ziq i^ikac[L6v, H pro delicto suo, 3 
Esd. ad lilandum in exorationem. Kue. proposes dsb'n, "their guilt- 
offering" {Ahh.^*^). It is natural, though, to expect a vb. here, and I 
suggest D^^Ni, "and I appointed." — dhdss'n] Esd. iY^o^as auTwv, 3 Esd. 
ignorantia sua. — 23. onVn] tuv ulwv twv Aeutxwv (6^ Esd.^. — . . . T\'hp\ 
<8 KwXet(i (xuxhc, KtoXteu, Esd. oiiroq. — mn] is to identify this Lev. with 
HKJ'Sp of Ne. 8' 10" {JBL. iSgS,"").— 24. qib'Sk] Esd. EXtaae^oq, Bax- 
Xougoc, (SoxxoupL). — ni«] lacking in Esd.^A^ (^ QSou6b, QSoueA, Oupta?!-. 
— 37. 18'yi] (JBAN xal exofTjffav. It is lacking in Esd. and (S^; "M Jasi. 
Qr. reads '''^P, to which we may add n. — 38. . . . 'jai] CSban qI ulol 
Bavoul xal ulol Sefiisf, d'^ Bovval xal ulol Bovv^t. We might rd. as 
Guthe, MJ3 ijiDi. But we have already had two Bani clans, and Banui 
(the name is really identical) is embarrassing. It is little more than 
guessing, but we might rd. iiJ3 in v." as above and substitute ''1J3 
or some other clan in this passage. — 44. Nearly every scholar has 
tried his hand at this impossible text, but there is no agreement about 
results. Curiously the first part of the v. is passed without notice. 
But why should we have here the statement that these men had taken 
foreign wives, a fact already sufficiently emphasised? Moreover, we 
find here Ntrj for marry, while in the body of this story ^v is always 
used, vv. '• "• ^*- >'■ ". We do find n'i^: in 9', but it is followed by jd. 
The point here is the putting away, and that is expressed in this 
story by kx"' (vv. »•"), not nVc, as Guthe has it. Rd. therefore in-'Xh 
for ''HVi : all these put away foreign wives. To clear up the rest of the 
v., substitute z^i'i for D''S'J (repeated from v. "), thus: and some of them 
[the men] had children. What must have been done with these children 
appears from v. '. We may rd. i3''tJ'''i in place of the impossible idib'''i: 
and they restored the children (to their mothers). 

' The ethics of the great divorce. — Sta. has pointed out the evil conse- 
quences of the mixed marriages, in that they tended to threaten the 
imperfectly established solidarity of the community and the develop- 
ment of the religious life {BT. 3""). But actions cannot always be 
judged from a consideration of their consequences. Moreover, it must 
be noted that the record is that of mixed marriages in one direction 
only. There is nothing here of the marriage of Jewish women to 
foreign men, but only of Jewish men to foreign women. Incidentally, 
this would suggest that the offenders belonged chiefly to the golah. 
A large number of unmarried men might well have come back from 
exile, and the provision of wives for them may have been as serious a 
problem as that of the Benj. centuries before (Ju. 19-21). In spite of 
the classic story of Solomon's downfall (i K. 11 Ne. 13^'), the position 
of a Jewish wife was not such as to make her a very influential factor 
in the religious life of the nation. The number of offenders looks pretty 
big, but after all there are only 103 names in the list, an inconsiderable 
number for the whole Judean province. 


Ezra's act must not be judged from the highest standards of our 
day, but from the ethical conceptions of his own time and people. 
Divorce was a very simple process in Israel, and there was no stigma 
attached to it. A public hearing was not necessary, and no oflScial 
sanction was required. A man who wanted to get rid of a wife for any 
cause whatever had only to give her a bill of divorce of his own mak- 
ing and send her away. Neh. had made short work of several such al- 
liances a generation earlier, and no one opposed him then or criticised 
him since. The possible hardships to the women are easily exaggerated 
from sentimental considerations, but such an idea would hardly enter 
the mind of Ezra or his contemporaries. The law had long forbidden 
such marriages, and the law was meant to be obeyed. 

One may well doubt, though, whether any great good resulted from 
such a drastic course, and rejoice in the development of more humane 
methods of dealing with social problems, even if these reforms came 


It is usual to group c. 8-10 together as a description of the closing 
part of Ezra's administration. It is shown in the intr. to c. 10 that 
that c. really belongs to Neh.'s second administration. C. 9 also con- 
tains no evidence of Ezra's presence. This name in v. « in 05 is a late 
interpolation, and contradicts vv. ^-^ As certain Lev. are the only 
officials who have any part in the proceedings, Ezra is really excluded, 
for he was not likely ever to be an idle spectator. The c. really describes 
the wailing and praying on a great fast day, such as is described in Jo., 
and the statement about the reading of the law, v. », is the only connec- 
tion with c. 8, as if there never had been a public reading of the law 
in postex. Israel exc. under the guidance of Ezra. Indeed, v. ^ is so 
disjointed that it may well be an addition by the Chr. to make an ar- 
tificial connection between two unrelated passages. 

We have left then only c. 8 as a part of Ezra's story. In regard to 
vv. *■" there is no room for doubt, but the case is not quite so clear 
for w. "-18, In the first place, the passage contains a detailed descrip- 
tion of the keeping of the Feast of Booths, which is not particularly 
happy in an account of the promulgation of the law. Again, we note 
that Esd. ends with v. ", for the one word of v. ", which is found in 
Esd., being the same word essentially as found in C5, is decidedly sus- 
picious. It is true that in v. " we are told that " the heads of the 
fathers the pr. and the Lev. were gathered imto Ezra the scribe." But 
as they assembled "to give attention to the words of the law," and as 
the assembly then directed the keeping of the Feast of Booths, it is 


certainly prob. that "unto Ezra the scribe" is another of the Chr.'s 
ingenious connecting links. The v. loses nothing, but rather gains, by 
the omission of these words, and without them there is no hint of Ezra's 
presence. Still the reinstitution of an ancient feast is more in harmony 
with Ezra's chief purpose "to glorify the house of God," Ezr. 7", than 
the reading of the law. 

It is impossible to trace c. 9 to its origin. It may be from the pen 
of the Chr., but such narratives as this might be written by almost any- 
body. The Chr. may have had scores of documents that we know noth- 
ing about. Surely writings of various sorts were numerous enough in 
this period without ascribing everything to the Chr., unless we know 
positively to the contrary. It is very likely that the Chr. found this 
story of the keeping of a fast, and incorporated it in his book, adding 
some of his characteristic editorial annotations. In its original form 
the story certainly had nothing to do with Ezra's mission. 

8. The promulgation of the law, and the Feast of Booths. 

The story properly begins as in Esd. with 7", for notes on which v. 
Ezr. 2'°. Coimecting the text of MT. after Esd. we find this prelimi- 
nary notice : and the pr. and the Lev. and some of the people dwelt in 
Jerus., and all Israel in their cities. And the yth month approached, 
and all the people with one accord assembled in the plaza at the east gate 
of the temple. This is part of the long deuterograph (Ezr. 2'-3" = 
Ne. 7«-8"'); the section is used in Ezr. as the intr. to the building of 
the altar, in Ne. as the intr. to the issue of the law, Mey. dates this c. 
in the ist year of Neh., but that is much too early, v. Intr. § ". 

l''-12 = Esd. 9^*'^^ The public reading of the law.— All 
the people being gathered, Ezra reads the law of Moses. — 1**. 
And they said to Ezra]. It is assumed that the people knew 
that Ezra had the law and had gathered for the purpose of 
hearing it. As in Ezr, lo^^-, the leader does not act on his own 
initiative, but in response to the suggestions of others. — Which 
Yahweh commanded Israel] is preserved better in Esd. : which was 
given by Yahweh the God of Israel. — 2. Before the congregation]. 
Esd. uses the less technical term multitude. The assembly was 
composed of men, women, and children, a condition emphasised 
in this section because it was unusual in Jewish practice. — And 
all understanding to hear] is a literal rendering of an obscure 


phrase. Esd. has all the priests to hear the law. This is clear, 
but does not suit the context. The words really mean children 
old enough to understand what was read. 

This is clear from a comparative study. In v. ' there are three con- 
stituents in the assembly, men, women, and all able to hear under- 
standingly. In lo^' besides the men in the assembly there are " their 
wives, their sons and their daughters, all knowing how to understand." 
The last clause qualifies "sons and daughters." The mng. is then that 
all the children old enough to comprehend the business were a part 
of the gathering, and that is the sense here, the children being a third 
element in the congregation. 

On the ist day of the yth month] in the early autumn. This 
date is probably original in the body of the story, and may be 
the ground of the connection with c. 7. That passage leads up 
to an assembly in the 7th month, and here we have an assembly 
of the 7th month, and on that slender basis some rather obtuse 
editor has made the two assemblies identical. — 3. And he read 
in it . . . from daylight until the middle of the day]. (& is more 
specific : from the hour the sun gives light. % was not satisfied 
with a half-day's reading of the law, and so has until evening in- 
stead of until noon. In Esd. we have and I read, suggesting 
a trace of E. — Before the men and the women and the children]. 
The same components of the assembly are named in v. "^j but the 
last word is lacking in Esd. — And the ears of all the people were 
towards the book of the law]. Esd. has a reading here which is 
clearer than MT. : and they gave their whole attention to the law. 
The people not only remained during this long reading, but 
were attentive to what they heard. The fact is noteworthy 
because of the length of the session. — 4. The narrative comes 
back now to describe with minuteness the conditions under 
which Ezra was reading. Evidently the author considered 
this an important occasion. — And Ezra the scribe stood upon a 
wooden platform]. The word properly means tower; it is very 
common, and nowhere else has any other sense. But a tower 
here indicates a high platform, large enough for Ezra and his 
companions to stand upon, so that the reader could be heard 
by the large audience. — Which they had made for the purpose]. 


indicating that the platform was newly erected in view of this 
anticipated reading of the law. "Purpose" is not too broad a 
meaning for the comprehensive 121, though the strict meaning 
is word. It is tempting with some ancient texts to read for 
speaking. In that case Ezra uses a platform which had already 
been long in use by those like Nehemiah (cf., e. g., Ne. 5) who 
addressed the assembled people. Esd., however, has merely: 
upon the wooden platform which had been made. — And there stood 
by his side], and then follows a list of six men on his right and 
seven on his left. 

The list of names is regarded by Mey. as quite worthless (Ent. 
1790- Torrey regards these men as laymen (ES.^'s). There must 
originally have been but twelve, six on each side. Meshullam is lacking 
in 05 and Esd., and, as Torrey suggests, may be a variant of "rNDtfD, on 
the left. Sm. thinks with much plausibility that the readers of the law 
were Lev. {Listen,'^'). 

8^~°. Another story of the reading of the law. — As the text 
stands, we make little, if any, advance over w. ^-*. The only 
thing new is the effect upon the people. — 5. And Ezra opened 
the book in the sight of all the people]. As he had already been 
reading the law for a half-day, v. ^, this must be a duplicate. 
(& has before the people, but our text is better, for it means that 
Ezra stood so that all the people saw him. — For he was above all 
the people], certainly unnecessary after v. ^, and another evi- 
dence of a duplicate account. Esd. gives a less physical sense, 
reading: /or he sat in glory in the sight of all. — And as he opened 
it all the people stood up]. The standing was a mark of recogni- 
tion of the divine source of the law; so King Eglon rose from 
his seat when Ehud told him he had a message from God 
(Ju. 3^). — 6. And Ezra blessed Yahweh the great God]. Before 
beginning to read, Ezra, holding the open roll in his hands, 
blessed or praised God, probably for giving the people the law, 
V. ^. — With a raising of their hands] in token of adoration, the 
attitude of prayer. So Moses held up his hands in prayer 
while Joshua fought with Amalek (Ex. ly^O- BDB. interprets 
this passage as equivalent to taking an oath, but it is not easy 


to see what place an oath has here. — And they bowed down and 
prostrated themselves to Yahweh with the face to the ground], an 
Oriental posture of homage, universal to-day among the Mo- 
hammedans, and supporting the interpretation given to the pre- 
ceding clause. 

7. In this list of 13 names, not one is found among those of the men 
who stood on the platform with Ezra. With Esd. we must om. "and" 
before "the Lev.," which stands in app. with the names. Then, un- 
fortunately, we reach obscurity abundantly witnessed in the Vrss. 
The furthest removal from our text, and yet the best sense is found in 
H: caused silence among the people for the hearing of the law, a function 
of the Lev. ace. to v.". The people had been crying "amen," and 
were prostrating themselves, perhaps with loud cries. While this 
commotion lasted, the reading of the law was out of the question. 
The usual rendering, caused the people to understand the law, is impos- 
sible, for that puts the cart before the horse with a vengeance, as it 
makes the interpretation of the law precede its reading, which in this 
section first comes in v. «. The last clause is lit. and the people upon 
their standing], which is rendered in EV^ after H "the people stood in 
their place." The words are best connected with v. ', and out of the 
corruption we may extract and when the people rose again, from the 
prostration described in v. «, for the reading would not begin until the 
people stood up. 

8. They read in the hook of the law of God]. The plural verb 
is evidently a mistake, for Ezra alone was the lector. — ^The rest 
is so obscure that we cannot be sure what word stood here. 
The ordinary rendering is : distinctly, and they gave the sense, and 
the people understood the reading, but this is a doubtful trans- 
lation of a loosely constructed passage. The first clause is 
lacking in Esd. (& renders : and he taught and instructed them in 
the knowledge of Yahweh, and the people understood at the reading. 
3 Esd. has: and individually they singled out those who under- 
stood the reading. 

On the basis of Ezr. 4" the word for "distinctly" may be rendered 
in translation. The last clause is clear, and they understood what was 
read. B'Isd must define the means by which the people understood. 
The obscure clause may mean: and the translator set forth the meaning. 
The office of translating is given to the Lev. who were teachers, and 
who certainly stood by Ezra while he rd. The law was in Heb., and 


this interpretation assumes that most of the people no longer under- 
stood that tongue. Ne. 1324 shows the beginning of the decadence of 
Heb. as a living tongue. This event was surely later and may have 
been very much later. 

The alternative is to suppose the word really to mean •with a loud 
voice. The point then would be that Ezra reads a sentence, which is 
repeated by the Lev., famous for their high, far-carrying tones, so that 
it could be heard by all the assembly. 

go-ia^ The keeping of a feast. — ^The effect of hearing the 
law was to produce mourning and weeping among the peo- 
ple. They are cheered with the assurance that the day is holy 
and are bade to keep a joyful feast. — 9. The speakers named in 
our text are Nehemiah, that is the governor, and Ezra, the priest, 
the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people]. Nehemiah the 
governor has been interpolated into the text by the Chronicler 
to justify his wrong chronology, making Ezra and Nehemiah 
contemporaries (so Mey."^). Torrey considers only "Nehe- 
miah" as the interpolation (ES.^^^). Esd. has an interesting 
text : the governor said to Ezra and to the Levites. It would have 
been unseemly to the Chronicler that a civil governor should 
inform the priest about holy days. — To-day is holy to Yahweh 
our God\. Our of (& is preferable to your of l|. The ist day 
of the 7th month (Tisri, v. 2) was set apart for the Feast of 
Trumpets, Lv. 2323-25 Nu. 29^-^ But the observance of the day 
as described here does not conform to the law. Ryle thinks 
the day became holy because the law was read, since the peo- 
ple would not yet know anything about this festival. The 
people did not know that it was a holy day until they were told, 
and certainly Ezra could not have been ignorant about the re- 
quirements for the Feast of Trumpets. — Do not mourn and do 
not weep, for all the people were weeping as they heard the words 
of the law]. The law produced an undesired effect, for the peo- 
ple broke out into weeping. Why did they shed tears? We 
have at least a striking parallel, for King Josiah rent his clothes 
when the new law of Dt. was read to him (2 K. 22"). We 
know further that the cause of his distress was the expected 
execution of the threats in a law which had never been obeyed 


(ib. V. "). The same reasons might explain the mourning of 
the people now, cf. Ezr. lo^ — 10. Directions are given by Ezra 
for the people's observance of the holy day : come, eat the fat 
pieces and drink sweet drinks]. The fat pieces, from the Oriental 
point of view, are the most dainty morsels of the meat. The 
sweet drink is presumably the new sweet wine. — And send por- 
tions to those for whom nothing is prepared], or better with C5 
who have nothing, i. e., the poor. There is no law enjoining 
this distribution except the general law of charity. 

The words taken altogether imply that a feast was held and sacri- 
fices made, from which the people were to eat as in the early times. 
The words sound like an invitation to a meal. The reading had pro- 
ceeded from dawn till noon. The people were hungry. Animals may 
already have been slain and now the invitation is given to feast. The 
last sentence is obscure on account of corruption; the text may be 
rendered : atid do not grieve, for the joy of Yahweh is your stronghold]. 
This word for "joy" is found elsw. only i Ch. i6"; "stronghold" as 
a place of shelter is often found as a pred. of God, c. g., Ps. 27' 31' 
Is. 25 <. But how could the joy of Yahweh be a shelter? We might 
possibly suppose a very refined sense: you will find your refuge from 
the dire threats of the law by filling yourselves now with a divine joy. 
The Vrss. show that the text was hard to rd. or to understand, Esd., 
e. g., reading for Yahweh will give you glory. (& has merely: /or he is 
our strength. The trouble is not so much the words themselves as their 
unsuitableness to the context. The sentence is designed to give rea- 
son why the people should cease to mourn. 

11. This verse is in a way parenthetical, describing more par- 
ticularly the method by which the people were quieted. — And 
the Levites were quieting all the people saying, Be still, for to-day 
is holy, and do not grieve. This repeats what has been already 
said in preceding places. — 12. The people did as enjoined in 
V. ^°, the writer adding and to make a great rejoicing]. The rea- 
son for the joyful feasting is then given in words hard to com- 
prehend: for they understood the words which had been taught 
them]. Here again the statement is clear in itself, but it serves 
poorly as a ground for the feasting. 

We would naturally refer the statement to their comprehension of 
the law, but that had produced mourning and lamentation and woe. 

NEHEMIAH 8-10 359 

The only other possible reference is to the words of vv. " '•, about the 
holy day and the feast. But it would seem superfluous to explain 
that the people imderstood such simple directions as to eat and drink. 
It may be that the meaning is : they perceived the duty to feast in the words 
of tJie law which had been taught them. As we cannot find a hint of such 
a duty in the passage, the understanding of the people was noteworthy. 
3 Esd. shows an alternative, though not a very hopeful one : they were 
greatly exalted by the words which they had been taught. 

1. Dj?n h:i[ Esd. xav -zh xXi^Goi; = hr\p as v. «. — nnx] (S^ adds e!<; 'le- 
pouaaX:^[x, thus completing the sentence as Ezr. 3'. — '2^r:r\ . . . irx] 
Esd. Tou icpb? dvaxoXcci; Ispou tcuXwvo<;. — "iflDn] Esd. xy lepsl xal ivotif- 
vwcrrn = «"ip1 t^an. — . . . PN nin''] om. CS^^; Esd.AL Jj^b xupfou Oeou 'lej- 
gadik, 2 om. xupfou. — 2. P^n] (&^ adds 6 YpajjipLotTei?, Esd.^A {, (ip^tepsu<;, 
which A has in v. * also. — p3D~70i] (6^ xal xavTb? dxouovTo? auvtivat, Esd. 
%aX xaacv TOt<; UpeuatJ^A^ showing jna for r^n, eloquent witness of the il- 
legibility of MSS. I- adds xal xavxl dixouovxt tou auvtivat, showing the 
common correcting dup. — ycwh] Esd.sA^ dxoOtjott -cbv v6[ji.ov. — 3. Nip^i] 
Esd.i- dtv^Yvto. — STH <jdS] lacking in (S^-*^*"', Esd. ev T<p xpb toO lepou 
xuXuvoq eupuxwpou'''*-, ev T(p eupoxwpqi tou xpwTou lepou xwXwvoi;'-. — ~p 
nisn] Esd. dxb opGpou, 05 dxb ttj? wpaq ScaywTiaat Tbv T^Xtov = TiNH riy'c 
B>D8'n, — minn . . . DiJiaai] Esd. xal exiSwxav xavra [xav Tb xXfjOo?'^!'] Tbv 
vouv eE<; Tbv vdjiov. This text lacks uixi and "iflD and construes a''j'>3D 
as pred. of opn or vnpn. — 4. nijDn] Esd. 6 Upe6<; xal (ivaYva)aTif)(; tou 
v6[iou. — ■^3^'7 . . . IB'n] om. CS^-^x^ l has b IxotTjaev ef? Tb Sif)(Aif)Yop^ffat = 
12"i'? .Ti';; "iB'N; Esd. tou xaTaaxeuacj6lvT0<;. — U^Di-Vy] C5 Esd. ex. Of 
the last four names (S^ has only Zechariah. — 5. nnoM] Esd. xal dva- 
Xa^cbv, dvdXa^ev^ = NCJi or npW — nDOn] Esd.A Tb ^f^Xtov tou vofxou. — 
"•^'''ih] <J5 and Esd. evtixiov = ^JdS. — z^r\ Vd] Esd. too xX^Oou?. — T\>n ... 13] 
Esd. xpoexdtOifjTo ydip extSd^w? evwxcov xdvTcov. 3 Esd. prcBsidebat enim 
in gloria in conspectu omnium, showing ■•Jv'^ here. — 6. nitj?] lacking 
in (S^, Esd.s has Al^apta?, one of those on Ezra's right hand in v. *. 
— . . . niD''] Esd. xupf(p 6e4) tw EicpfoTw 6ey ca^awO IlavToxpaTopt'^i'. — 
uyi] Esd. e^wvTQaevBAj e^eycivTrjae^. — jdni] 05 xal elxav = nDNM, — JCN'] 
om. Esd.AL. Esd. lacks D'^sx and puts nsiN directly after npM, thus 
xpoaxea6vTe<; exl t-?jv y^v xpoaexuvrjaav t^ Ge<p. — 7. ^Jai] ^^ and Esd.^ 
xal ol ulol auTou xal Bavata?. — D^'lVni . . . VDi] lacking in (S^AX^ perhaps 
accidentally skipping a line. — a^'iSni]. The conj. is lacking in Esd. — 
minS . . . vjijd] H silentium faciebant in populo ad audiendam legem, 
showing Dicna for oijao. Esd. has ISfSaaxov^, but "teaching" an- 
ticipates V. «, and teaching could not precede reading. For the whole 
clause 3 Esd. has: et prceferebant singtdi eos qui intelligebant lectionem, 
and they each one chose those who imderstood the reading. — uivy-hy ayni] 
Esd. xal xpbq Tb xXtjOoi; (connecting with xipM v. «) = oyn-h^. MT. 
may be due to careless dittog. — 8. in->pm] 051- xal Iv^y^" "E^iSpai;. — 


'?32' . . . b-isd] C5 xal ISfSaoxev ["Eapa?""- 1-] /.otl StioxeXXsv ev Ixcot^jxt} 
Kupfou; the words are lacking in Esd., rd. hy<ff oia' ifneDi, aM<i the trans- 
lator gave the mng. — Nipna U^'On] (g xal cuvfjxsv 6 Xcebq ev x^ dsvaYvwaec- 
Esd. eiAcpuatouvxei; a[xa ttjv dcvdcYvwatv; B ei intellexerunt, cum legeretur. — 
9. "nn Nin n>Dn:] (Sban Nes[xfa<;. Esd. has xal elxev 'Axxapax-n "Eap(jc 
xwx. T. X. One Gk. version lacks "Neh.," the other the title. Esd. 
did not understand this title and transliterates it. It appears that 
this title was put into the text first, and that "Neh." was added in a 
new recension in which Ne. 1-7 was placed in the midst of the Ezra 
narrative. The title may in the original have been applied to Ezra, 
though it is given to him nowhere else. — asinSx] lacking in Esd. (Sban ^^ 
6eq) TjiJLwv correctly. — i3an . . . Sn] lacking in Esd. — nan] lacking in Esd. 
— 10. anS -iDNii] lacking in Esd.^A^ 3 Esd. et dixit Esdras. — aipncD ^^\m\ 
lacking in Esd.". — ni:D] Esd. dtxoffToXii; = DimStt', — h poj jinS] (& and 
Esd. -zoiq \iA] 'ij(i\}Qiy. — D3Tj?D . . . io] 05 Zii eorlv bxCi<; ■J)[jlwvB^ (ujjlojvA); 
Esd. h yip xijptoc So^acjet &[xa<;. — 11. Dii^nn] v. on v. '; Esd. ex^Xeuov, 
only used in Apocr., but mng. "make an announcement"; so 3 Esd. 
deniintiebant. — iDn] lacking in Esd.^Aj transposed and placed after v\p 
in I-, i. e., afyaxe xal (x-f) XuxsTaOe. — non t^] Esd. 011 xal eveqjuacwOTjaav; 
3 Esd. magnifice enitn sunt exaltati, where we may note nSnj lacking 
in its proper place, and on has been rd. for y2. 

gi3-i8^ The Feast of Booths. — Continuing the reading of 
the law, the command to keep the Feast of Booths, or Taber- 
nacles, as it is wrongly called, is found and the people go to the 
mountain for branches to build booths. The reading of the law 
is continued daily for the seven days. — 13 . On the 2d day of the 
7th month, and so directly after the events described in vv. ^-^'^, 
all of which are assumed to have taken place in one day, cf. v. ^. 
The assembly is now described as composed of the heads of the 
fathers of all the people, a favourite term of the Chronicler, the 
priests and the Levites]. The mass of the people, who had par- 
ticipated in the first day's proceedings, are not mentioned, and 
were probably not present. Unto Ezra the scribe] is probably a 
gloss, V. s. — ^The object of this assembly was not the reading 
of the law, but its study, to get an insight into [or give heed to] 
the words of the law]. The clan leaders and the ecclesiastics 
were gathered now to put the law into efifect. — 14. And they 
found written in the law which Yahweh commanded by the hand of 
Moses that the sons of Israel should dwell in booths on the feast 
of the yth month. RV. "how that Yahweh had commanded" 


is wrong. The first *1tt^8 is a relative and the second a con- 

The law referred to is found in Dt. i6"-» Lv. 233' ff-. The time 
prescribed in Dt. is after the gathering of the harvest, and the festival 
corresponds with the ingathering of the earher code (Ex. 231s'' 34"'')- 
The Levitical code gives the 15th of the 7th month as the appointed 
time, but connects the feast with the gathering of the harvest. Ace. 
to our dates the feast was kept on the 2d day of the month. This 
story is based on the Lev. code, where alone a specific date is prescribed, 
and where the making of booths is ordered. It is inconceivable that 
Ezra should have held the feast on the wrong day. We may suppose 
that either the ist day of v. = is an error, "2d" in v. " mng. the next 
day, or, more prob., 13 days had elapsed between the assembly of stu- 
dents in V." and the actual keeping of the festival. In 9» we are 
transported to the 24th day, just right if the seven-day feast began 
on the 15th. We must remember, though, that the two sections are 
loosely joined and may have no original connection at all. 

15. And they commanded and issued a proclamation]. So we 
must read by a slight correction, for here we have the orders 
given to the people, and not a continuation of the law. On 
"issuing a proclamation" v. on Ezr. iK — In all their cities and 
in Jerusalem. As the message convening all the people to the 
feast was sent all over Judah, a period of seven days would be 
required before the orders could be complied with, and so we 
can accoimt for the 13 days between v. ^^ and v. ". — Go to the 
mountain], referring probably to the hill country of Judah gen- 
erally and not to any one mountain. — And bring in leaves], 
here meaning the leaves attached to the twigs and so used for 
branches. There follows the catalogue of trees, the most exten- 
sive in the Bible, except Is. 41^*: olive, oil-tree {oleaster), myrtle,* 
palm, and thick trees (with heavy foliage, perhaps evergreens). 
In Lv. 23*" we find "palm, thick trees and willows," only two 
trees common in the two passages. Perhaps the Chronicler has 
amplified the passage according to the usage in his own day, or 
the leaders may have named all the trees which might easily 
be found, thinking rightly that it was not material what kind 
of trees the branches were from. — 16. The people obeyed the 

»Once common in Palestine, and still found, thouch rarely (GAS. Twelve Prophets, ii,^'). 


proclamation and built the booths each one upon his roof* and 
in their courts], for those who had residences in Jerusalem, and 
in the courts of the house of God], for the priests, Levites, and 
other temple officials, and in the open place of the water gate], 
where the first assembly had been held, v. ^, and therefore pre- 
sumably the largest open space in the city, and in the open place 
of the gate of Ephraim], for those who lived outside of Jerusalem. 
The gate of Ephraim is named in 2 K. 14^' = 2 Ch. 25^3 Ne. 
12''. See Guthe, ZDPV. viii,'^*" ^^ It was presumably the 
main outlet to the north country. 

11. And all the congregation who had returned from the cap- 
tivity] shows a note of the Chronicler, who assumed that all the 
people who were in Judah in Ezra's time were returned exiles. 
— For the sons of Israel had not done so from the days of Joshua 
the son of Nun until that day]. The reference is not to some 
keeping of this feast by Joshua, for we know of no other cele- 
bration, but the meaning is that in all Hebrew history the fes- 
tival had not been kept. Ryle argues that the meaning is not 
that no feast was kept, but that it had not been kept in the 
strict way required by Ezra, and this big conclusion is based 
on the words "done so." "So" or "thus" is indeed an in- 
definite word, but here it can only refer to the particular fes- 
tival described. The feast had been kept by Solomon, 2 Ch. 
78 8", by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, Ezr. 3*, cf. Zc. 14}'^-^^. Hos. 
12^ shows that the feast was generally kept in his time. But 
the author ignores this evidence. The law was new, and every 
institution appears to be new. — Atid there was a very great 
rejoicing]. This was but complying with the law for the feast 
according to Dt. 16^^ Lv. 2^^. — 18. With a Greek text we 
must read: and Ezra read in the book of the law of God daily from 
the 1st day [of the Feast of Booths, as we find in a Greek ms.] 
until the last day], i. e., the 7th day of the feast. — And on the 
8th day there was an assembly according to the ordinance]. This 
word for "assembly" is found in Lv. 23^^ to define holy convoca- 
tion. The law forbade any work on that day; perhaps thus we 
may explain the abrupt stop of the narrative at this point. 

* Simple tents were often set up on the roofs for transient guests (Kittel, Kdnige,^*). 


The narrative assumes that the people were absolutely ignorant of 
the law prescribing the Feast of Booths. As it had been celebrated 
already in the postex. period, this section cannot have originated with 
the Chr. He would not have been guilty of such a stupid blunder as 
to contradict Ezr. 3*. Some other writer might easily have displayed 
such ignorance, for many Jews may have been uneducated in the his- 
tory of Israel. ^ 

13-18. At this point the book of Esd. ends, though we find in ^A 
xotl IxiffuviQxOTjaav corresponding to iddxj in v. ", In ^ we have the 
whole of v. ", but it agrees so exactly with <&^ that the broken sentence 
of Esd. must have been completed from (5, perhaps by Lucian himself. 
Material for textual criticism, therefore, is sadly deficient for the rest of 
the book. — 14. T'o] lacking in C5.— 15. hip n>3j;>i] (5 aaXxty^cv = msisn, 
"clarion," a word found often in P (v. BDB. and Benz. Arch."''). — 
-inx"?] C5 xal elxev "Eapot?. This is prob. an original reading, as may 
be determined by the disinclination of the Gk. translators to depart 
from the text in the interest of intelligibility, but the Heb. has the 
better text nevertheless. — 16. 3imai d^dh n;?tt'] ^ban ^f^^ ludXew? xal 
luq = npi •i"'yn. l has this and then adds full text of MT., showing 
the frequent correction by addition. — 17. ixc] lacking in <Sbas\ — is. 
N-iiT-i] + "El^Spaqi-. — iWNnn] + Toiv <jXT]v6ivi'. — 'Jsi^dd] lacking in (S^. 

9. The great confession. — ^A great fast is kept and on the 
day of its observance a long confession is said. The two things 
are but loosely connected, and the confession reveals clearly 
conditions later than the Persian period. 

1-5. The fast. — 1. And on the 24th day of this month]. The 
day but one after the completion of the Feast of Booths by all 
the people of Judah, 8^^. For so the Chronicler connects the 
events. — Our text has: and earth was upon them]. This is not 
found in the best Greek texts, and where it does occur it is 
correctly specified upon their head. This was a common sign 
of deep distress (v., e. g., i S. 4^2 2 S. 1^ 15^^ Jb. 2^^). — 2. 
And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all the sons of 
foreigners. This shows the priestly spirit. The pure-blooded 
son of Abraham was alone a fit subject for Yahweh's favour. 
The presence of an alien was a disturbing influence. Just how 
the separation was made it is hard to say. Perhaps foreigners 
were not hard to exclude from a service characterised by fast- 
ing, sackcloth, and earth. Sta. says we do not know who these 


foreigners were nor their relation to the Jewish community 
(^j 329)_ They must include all that could not prove their 
Israehte blood (Ezr. 2^-^; see further Mey. Ent."^). This 
statement is inconceivable after Ezr. 9/. The separation had 
already taken place according to that story. — And they stood and 
made confession of their sins and of the iniquity of their fathers]. 
The sin of themselves and of their fathers was the failure to 
observe the law. — 3. And they stood upon their place and read]. 
The subject strictly is the seed of Israel, v. 2. Probably the 
Levites of v. * are really meant. — The fourth of the day and a 
fourth they made confession and prostrated themselves to Yahweh 
their God]. The assembly was apparently held only in the morn- 
ing, as that was the duration of Ezra's reading, 8'. Half of the 
morning was spent in reading the law and the other half in 
bemoaning its long neglect. — 4. And there stood upon the stairs 
of the Levites] cannot be right; for we know of no such stairs, 
though of course ignorance is not equivalent to knowledge. 
But the place of the assembly is the same as in c. 8, and Levites 
is the body whose names are recited. We may easily translate : 
and there stood upon the elevation, the wooden platform already 
described, 8^. Eight Levites are named, three common with 
8^, Jeshua, Bani, and Sherebiah; two Banis and a Buni (for 
all of which (& has son or sons) make the list suspicious. — And 
they cried with a loud voice unto Yahweh their God]. The Levites 
were characterised by their loud voices, doubtless the result of 
cultivation. They wanted to be heard by the whole assembly. 
So they had silenced the crowd by their high voices penetrating 
even through the loud wailing of the people, 8". It looks as 
if we should have " unto the people " instead of " unto Yahweh," 
for in V. ^ the Levites address the assembly. It may be that 
the Levites led the people in chanting some psalm. — 5. And the 
Levites said], this time to the assembled people. There follows 
a list of eight names of Levites, the same number as in v. ■*, 
and surely we should expect the same names. Our text, how- 
ever, has but five in common. This is an unmistakable sign of 
corruption. — ^The direction to the people is rise, bless Yahweh 
OUR [as (&] God from everlasting to everlasting]. The call is for 

NEHEMIAH 8-10 365 

the people to rise from their prostration, v. ^, in order to praise 
Yahweh and to be ready to listen. — ^The people obeyed, doubt- 
less following the Levites in some ritual, and they blessed the name 
of thy glory and exalted above all blessing and praise]. For this 
jumble ^ has tried to make sense by rendering: bless the name 
of the glory exalted above all with joy and with praise. It makes 
"exalted" a predicate of "name" and thus helps to determine 
the true meaning: and they blessed his glorious name exalting it 
above all blessing and praise. A slight change in the text is re- 
quired, but some correction is essential. 

g6-39^ The confession. 

This is much like many other prayers, exhortations, and addresses 
found in the Bible, the NT. parallel being the speech of Stephen (Acts 
7). It is quite unlike the confession of Ezra (Ezr. 9), and if that be 
genuine, as I doubt not, this one is a production from another source 
incorporated by the Chr. The state of the Gk. text shows a passage 
so well preserved that it may be well regarded as a late insertion. It 
is in substance a review of Israel's history, dealing with events well 
known to us. The purpose is to show God's goodness to Israel and 
Israel's failure to respond. The spirit of the passage is prophetic 
rather than priestly. It clearly belongs to the Gk. age, v. L, vv. " '• 
On the character of the prayer, :;. further Kost.'^f-, Sta.'". 
' In MT. the confession is anonymous, and it is natural to assume that 
it is a continuation of the Lev. call to prayer preceding. The prayer 
must come from an individual, and (& has a prefatory note, and Ezra 
said. From this note the c. has been associated wrongly with Ezra. , 

6. Thou alone art Yahweh] is obviously not original, God 
being the proper word. The change was presumably due to 
an illogical Yahwist. — As usual, the history goes back to the 
creation as told in Gn. Yahweh had created not only the 
heavens, but also the heaven of heavens], an expression found in 
Dt. 10" and elsewhere. It would naturally be the heavens 
par excellence, somewhat as we say the seventh heaven. — 7. 
The history jumps to Abraham as the real father of the Hebrew 
people. The historical points are the migration from Ur- 
Kasdim and the change of name, both events from P. — 8. 
Thou didst find his heart faithful before thee] might be a reference 


to Abraham's whole life of fidelity, but the author had especially 
in mind the great act of obedience (Gn. 22).— The land of the 
Canaanite]. In the E. story of this covenant ten nations are 
mentioned (Gn. iS^^-^O, of which we find but six here. This 
same list is found in Ex. 2333 Jos. 2^^K—And thou didst es- 
tablish thy words, for thou art righteous]. God, though foreseeing 
the poor use which would be made of his boon, nevertheless 
from his own righteousness, which includes truthfulness, must 
make good his promise.— 9. We plunge into the midst of the 
Egyptian bondage, for the author is reciting the most con- 
spicuous of God's gracious acts toward his people. — Thou didst 
hear their cry at the Red Sea]. This refers to the cry when the 
pursuing Egyptians overtook the fleeing Israelites (Ex. 1410). 
— 10. And thou didst give signs and wonders]. We naturally 
think of the plagues, but these long preceded the wonders at 
the Red Sea, which in themselves would be sufficient. The 
author does not keep strictly to chronological order, and the 
plagues were doubtless in his mind. — The reason for interven- 
tion is now given: for thou [Yahweh] knowest that they [the 
Egyptians] acted presumptuously against them]. The same ex- 
pression occurs in a speech of Jethro's reviewing this deliverance, 
Ex. 18". The presumption consisted in the pursuit of a people 
to whom liberty had been accorded. — And thou didst make for 
thyself a name as this day]. Name is here and frequently in the 
OT. nearly equivalent to reputation. — 11. Into the depths like 
a stone] is a quotation from the Song of the Sea, Ex. 15^; thou 
didst cast replaces "they sank" in Ex., showing the speaker's 
conception of God's intervention. — 12. The pillar of cloud by 
day and pillar of fire by night are described in Ex. 1321, where 
it is said that Yahweh himself was in the pillars or columns. 
Our passage refines the earlier theology of J. Yahweh leads 
the people by the pillars, but is not himself in them. — 13