These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
them that went up
Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel: of the sons of David; Hattush.
Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.
This variation is attributable to the translators; the original being uniformly ParÙsh.
Of the sons of Pahathmoab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.
Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.
And of the sons of Elam; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.
And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.
Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.
the son of Hakkatan
or, the youngest son.
And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.
Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.
or, Zaccur, as some read.
And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.
the river that runneth
Ahava is supposed to be the river Adiava, which, with the Diava, is said by Ammianus to have given name to Adiabene, a province of Assyria, through which they flowed into the Tigris. These rivers were also called respectively, Anzabas and Zabas, the Caprus and Lycus of Ptolemy; the former of which he places, at its source, in long. 79 degrees, lat. 39Æ degrees, and at its junction with the Tigris, in long. 79Æ degrees, lat. 36 degrees 6'; and the latter, at its source, in long 78 degrees, lat. 39 degrees; and where it falls into the Tigris, in long. 79 degrees, lat. 36Æ degrees. They are now called the Great and Little Zab, or the Zabein, i.e., the two Zabs, which, says Ibn Haukal, "are considerable streams, each about half as large as the Dejleh (or Tigris). They rise among the mountains of Azerbaijan: of these, the larger is that which runs towards Haditheh. These streams form part of the Tigris, and water the district of Semerah."
Heb. pitched. and found.
Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.
men of understanding
And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.
Casiphia is supposed to denote the Caspian mountains, between Media and Hyrcania, near the Caspian Sea. It is evident, from a comparison of ch. 7:9 with ver. 31, that Casiphia could not be far from Ahava.
I told them
Heb. I put words in their mouth.
And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;
by the good hand
a man of understanding
And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty;
Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.
all of them
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
for our little ones
For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
I was ashamed
his power and his wrath
So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
and he was intreated
Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them,
And weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered:
Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold.
Heb. yellow, or shining brass. The Syriac renders, nechosho korinthyo tovo, "good Corinthian brass;" so called from the brass found after the burning of Corinth by Lucius Mummius, which was, as is generally supposed, brass, copper, silver, and gold, melted together. Sir J. Chardin, however, in a MS. note, cited by Harmer, mentioned a factitious metal used in the East, and highly esteemed there, which might probably be of an origin as ancient as Ezra. He says, "I have heard some Dutch gentlemen speak of a metal in the island of Sumatra, and among the Macassars, much more esteemed than gold, which royal personages alone are privileged to wear. It is a mixture, if I remember right, of gold and steel, or copper and steel." He afterwards added, "calmbac is the name of this metal, which is composed of gold and copper."
And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.
Ye are holy
Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.
until ye weigh them before
So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
the house of our God
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.
the river of Ahava
and he delivered
Ezra and his company had now entered upon a journey of several hundred miles through the desert, which they were nearly four months in completing, encumbered with families and possessions, and carrying large treasures with them, which would invite the attempts of the Arabian hordes, and others, that infested that neighbourhood; yet, having declared to the king, "that the hand of God was upon all them for good that seek him, and that his power and wrath were against all them that forsook him," (ver. 22,) he determined to travel without a guard, except that of the Almighty, being ashamed to ask any other, after his former avowed confidence in Him! Having, therefore, humbled themselves before the Lord, and besought his guidance and protection, he was intreated by them, their enemies were restrained or disabled, and they arrived unmolested at Jerusalem.
And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
Now on the fourth day was the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites;
Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD.
And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.