Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
What should I learn from this chapter?
- The answer to the mysterious puzzle of the Artaxerxes of Ezra 5
Restoration of the Temple Resumed
Ezra 5:1 Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God (‘ĕlâ) of Israel, who was over them.
Ezra 5:2 So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak (Jehozadak, 1 Chr. 6:14) rose up and began to build the house of God (‘ĕlâ) which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God (‘ĕlâ) were with them, helping them.
Ezra 5:3 At the same time Tattenai the governor of the region beyond the River (The Euphrates) and Shethar-Boznai and their companions came to them and spoke thus to them: “Who has commanded you to build this temple (Lit. house) and finish this wall?”
Ezra 5:4 Then, accordingly, we told them the names of the men who were constructing this building.
Ezra 5:5 But the eye of their God (‘ĕlâ) was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius. Then a written answer was returned concerning this matter.
- Darius is Darius I The Great Hystaspes. His father is Ahasuerus: probably also known as Hystaspes Prince who also ruled the same time as Cyrus II.
- Daniel 9:1 Daniel’s Prayer for the People
- In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—
- Like the Ahasuerus who made Esther Queen, the name is synonymous with Artaxerxes.
- This is the Artaxerxes of Ezra 4.
Ezra 5:6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai sent:
The governor of the region beyond the River, and Shethar-Boznai, and his companions, the Persians who were in the region beyond the River, to Darius the king.
Ezra 5:7 (They sent a letter to him, in which was written thus.)
- To Darius the king:
- Ezra 5:8 Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the temple (Lit. house) of the great God (‘ĕlâ), which is being built with heavy stones (Lit. stones of rolling, stones too heavy to be carried), and timber is being laid in the walls; and this work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.
- Ezra 5:9 Then we asked those elders, and spoke thus to them: “Who commanded you to build this temple and to finish these walls?”
- Ezra 5:10 We also asked them their names to inform you, that we might write the names of the men who were chief among them.
- Ezra 5:11 And thus they returned us an answer, saying: “We are the servants of the God (ĕlâ) of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple (Lit. house) that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and completed.
- Ezra 5:12 But because our fathers provoked the God (ĕlâ) of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and carried the people away to Babylon.
- Ezra 5:13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to build this house of God (ĕlâ) (Temple).
- Ezra 5: 14 Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God (ĕlâ), which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple that was in Jerusalem and carried into the temple of Babylon—those King Cyrus took from the temple of Babylon, and they were given to one named Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor.
- Ezra 5:15 And he said to him, ‘Take these articles; go, carry them to the temple site that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God (ĕlâ) be rebuilt on its former site.’
- Ezra 5:16 Then the same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of the house of God (‘ĕlâ) which is in Jerusalem; but from that time even until now it has been under construction, and it is not finished.”
- Ezra 5:17 Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let a search be made in the king’s treasure house, which is there in Babylon, whether it is so that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send us his pleasure concerning this matter.