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Default Day 132. Ezra 4-6 - 03-12-2008, 10:52 PM

Ezra 4-6

Today we get:
  • Some people try to stop the progress in Jerusalem
  • More people try to stop the work
  • The temple is completed

Ezra 4

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;

We aren't told exactly who these adversaries are, but it included the people of Samaria.

2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

Esahaddon was king of Assyria after Sennacherib. He was ruler of Assyria from 681 to 669, which was about 130 or so years earlier.

3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Go away, you guys have no claim to building this temple; as though the king of Persia did.

These locals (kind of like modern Palestinians if you think about it) then went about trying to get the returning jews to stop their work and even sabotaged them in their endeavors.

5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Basically, they took them to court to try to get them to stop the building.

So what does this one verse tell us? From Cyrus to Darius.

Cyrus was king from about 559 to 529. He was replaced by Cambyses 2 who was king until 522. he was replaced by Smerdis who only lasted part of a year. Who was replaced by Darius. Darius was king from 522 to 485.

So, the people sent to build the temple left in about 536, and they were hassled until at least 522, a good 14 years.

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

There is no king of Persia named Ahasuerus. Some "bible scholars" think it's Cambyses 2, but that makes no sense as Cambyses was king in before Darius. That would mean these two verses were transposed.

7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

Artaxerxes??? He was king of Persia from 465 to 424. Before him was Xerxes from 485 to 465. If verse 7 refers to Artaxerxes then the people working on rebuilding the temple have been doing it for about 100 years.

Here is the letter that the people wrote to Artaxerxes.

Quote:
Thy servents the men on this side the river, and at such a time. Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we went and certified the king; That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.
That sure is some fine legal-eese. Even for the 5th century BC, that's some mighty fine lawyerin. I guess that's what you get with the counsellors from verse 5.

Well, the king (Artaxerxes) replied back:

The letter was read, we made a search and yeah, you were right, they were rebellious; but they did pay toll and tribute when they were ordered to. Now, go make them stop working.

23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.


Apparently, this Artaxerxes is really Cambyses 2.

So the construction was halted from the time of Cambyses (530-522) until Darius' second year (520).

Ezra 5

1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.

Iddo the seer, was around during Solomon's time (1000-931 BC). Son of, here, is actually his grandfather. But still, that means that Iddo, a son, then Zechariah were around from 931 to 520, which is 411 years for 3 generations.

2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.


Zerubbabel and Jeshua are still around?

Well, Tatnai, the governor and some people go ask who gave them permission to build the temple and to try to rebuild the wall. Well, the jews didn't stop building, so Tatnai and his friends send a letter to Darius (man, they are a litigious group).

8 Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.

It's going fast??? They've been trying to do this for decades.

17 Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

This time they asked Darius to look for a proclamation from Cyrus, instead of telling him that the jews wouldn't pay.

Ezra 6

1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.

Well, they found a decree from Cyrus.

So Darius send Tatnai a letter.

7 Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.

Finally they get permission to continue building.


8 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.

Darius tells Tatnai to give the jews his tribute to help in the construction.

9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:


Darius tells Tatnai to give them everything they need for their offerings. (If you are GIVEN stuff, it's an offering, not a sacrifice).

11 Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.


Well, that's pretty serious. If you don't follow this decree, you'll have your house destroyed, you'll be killed in it, and your house will become a pile of crap.

13 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily.

Tatnai didn't really want to test Darius to see if he was kidding about the whole, tearing down of the house, the hanging and the shit thing.

15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

So the temple was finished in 516 (roughly).

17 And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.

There weren't still 12 tribes of Israel. After the taking away into captivity of Babylon, there was only 2 remaining tribes, Judah and Levi. The rest are "missing".

19 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.

Build a temple, have a passover. It's a recurring theme.

21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,

Damn filthy heathens!

22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

That's odd, the last king of Assyria was Ashur-uballit 2 in 609, and now it's about 516. Assyria was under the control of Persia at the time.

So what have we learned today?

1. To stop jews from building, take them to court.

2. The first time Artaxerxes is mentioned in the bible, it's not really Artaxerxes, but Cambyses. Interestingly none of the "translations" that claim to fix "errors" in the KJV1611, list the king as Cambyses. They say the letter was written to Artaxerxes who rulled from 465-425 and that he wrote back, and then in Ezra 6:15 they footnote that the sixth year of Darius was 515. They make no mention of their mixup. Artaxerxes became king 50 years AFTER the temple was completed.

3. People claim there are "ten lost tribes of Israel." The remaining 2 tribes are Judah and Levi. There are actually 11 lost tribes, as Joseph's two boys Ephriam and Manasseh were each considered their own tribe (based on Joseph's blessing from Israel).

YIC
V


Judges 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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Default Re: Day 132. Ezra 4-6 - 03-13-2008, 04:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Apparently, this Artaxerxes is really Cambyses 2.

So the construction was halted from the time of Cambyses (530-522) until Darius' second year (520).
Sorry friends, I may be mistaken, this Artaxerxes is probably Smerdis (who ruled in 522) and not Cambyses2.

Sorry for the possible mistake.

YIC
V


Judges 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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Default Re: Day 132. Ezra 4-6 - 03-13-2008, 06:40 PM

Ezra! Oh my GOD......EZRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what did he do, Brother V?
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Default Re: Day 132. Ezra 4-6 - 03-13-2008, 07:19 PM

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Originally Posted by SUV View Post
Ezra! Oh my GOD......EZRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what did he do, Brother V?
We find that out in the next reading sister. Be patient.

YIC
V


Judges 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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