VII An account of Ezra and his expedition to Jerusalem, ver. 1-10. The commission which Artaxerxes gave him, ver. 11-26. His thankfulness to God for it, ver. 27, 28.
Verse 1. Artaxerxes - The same of whom he speaks, chap. vi, 14. The son - His grand-son. Here are divers persons omitted for brevity sake, which may be supplied out of 1 Chron. vi, 1-xi, 47. Ezra was not himself the high priest; but he was nearly related to him.
Verse 6. Went - With the king's consent and commission. Scribe - A learned and expert doctor. The Jews say, he collected and collated all the copies of the law, and published an accurate edition of it, with all the books that were given by Divine inspiration, and so made up the canon of the Old Testament. Moses in Egypt, and Ezra in Babylon, were wonderfully fitted for eminent service to the church. According, &c. - By the favour of God so disposing the heart of the king.
Verse 10. To teach - The order of things in this verse is very observable; first he endeavours to understand God's law and word, and that not for curiosity or ostentation, but in order to practice: next he consciously practices what he did understand, which made his doctrine much more effectual: and then he earnestly desires and labours to instruct others, that they also might know and do it.
Verse 11. Words - The phrase seems emphatical, noting that he explained both the words and the things: for the Jews in the land of their captivity had in a great measure lost both the language, and the knowledge of God's commands, and therefore Ezra and his companions instructed them in both.
Verse 14. According, &c. - To make inquiry into all abuses and deviations from your law, and to redress them. Which - Which is now and always in thine hand, being the matter of thy dailystudy.
Verse 16. Find - Procure, as that word is used, Gen. vi, 8; xxvi, 12 Psalm 8iv, 3. Whatsoever thou canst get of my subjects by way of free gift. The people - Of Israel.
Verse 25. The wisdom - Which God hath put into thy heart, and which appears in the works of thy hand. All that professed the Jewish religion, were to be under the jurisdiction of these Judges.
Verse 26. Let judgment - What could David himself, as king, have done more, for the honour of God, and the furtherance of religion?
Verse 27. Blessed, &c. - Ezra cannot proceed in his story, without inserting this thankful acknowledgment of God's goodness to him and the people.
Verse 28. As the hand, &c. - If God gives us his hand, we are bold and chearful: if he withdraws it, we are weak as water. Whatever service we are enabled to do for God and our generation, God must have all the glory of it.