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that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and 2 [put it] also in writing,* saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at S Jerusalem, which is in Judah.f Who [is there] among you of all his people? of the ten tribes, as well as ofJudah and Benjamin; for he had Assyria and Media under his flower, where many of them were s his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which fis] in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem: he gives them leave and urges them to go, and firaysfor their

4 success. Arid whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, for want of necessaries for his journey, let the men of bis place, either the flublic officers, or their neighbours, as the Jews had behaved well to the heathen during their eafitivity, help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that

5 [is] in Jerusalem, given by those who chose to stay behind. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all [them] whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which [is]

6 in Jerusalem. And all they that [were] about them, their neighbours, strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, hel/iedthem with flrovisions and accommodations for their journey, beside all [that] was willingly offered.

1 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Nebuchadnezzar looked ufion them as sacred things, and had taken care of them. It was a singular flrovidence that they were keflt so long,

8 considering Uteir great value. Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.H

9 And this [is] the number of them; thirty chargers of gold, a

10 thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second [sort] four hundred and ten, [and] other vessels a thousand, or rather, by thousands.

11 All the vessels of gold and of silver [were] five thousand and four hundred; the larger vessels are only specified'here, the rest we lumfied together. All [these] did Sheshbazzar bring up with [them of] the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

• Jeremiah had foretold the destruction of the king and. empire of Babylon, Jer. xxix. 10. iM the return of the Jews after seventy years. This was accomplished at the death of Belsii ti/iir. the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. v. Upon the conquest of Babylon. Cyrus rnaclc hi3 uncle Cyaxarrs, there called Darius, the Median king of Babylon- He reigned two years, and after his death. Cyrus' took the kingdom himself, and reigned overall Persia and the «<vintry that had been subject to theltings of Assyria and Babylon; and in this first year cat hi, reifro he issued this proclamation.

+ Cyrus had knowledge of the true God. and had seen Isaiah's prophecy of kin), ha. xl. 38. X-lv. 1-—4. This was shown him by Daniel, as Josephus says. Therefore, in gratitude to Cod wbo had given hint success, and agreeable to his commands, he was determined to fulfil, the prophecy.

rt The name was the same as ZerubbabeU one being his Babylonish and the other his Jewish nauie. He was a yriucc of Judah by bivtb, and made captain of those who chose to return.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T ET us adore the exact fidelity of God to his promises. 1 A When the time to favour Zion, the set time was come, he remembered her. This should induce us to reverence him, should encourage our own faith in him, and to hold fast the profession of that faith without wavering; for faithful it he that hath promised, and will also do it.

2. We learn to adore the power of God over the spirits of men, in stirring up that of Cyrus, an heathen, and the hearts of his own people, to overcome all their temptations to stay in that country, and undertake so difficult a work. He can do what he fileascs in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.

3. "We infer, that the exaltation and possessions of men arc owing to God. This Cyrus gratefully acknowledged, saying, The God of heaven hath given me the kingdoms of the earth. He putteth down one and setteth ufi another. Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. This shows the reasonableness of praying that God would prosper our works; and the duty of thanksgiving, when he makes our way prosperous; of our obligations to serve him; and to render unto him according to his benefits.

4. Let us heartily wish and pray for the presence of God with all those who are sincerely desirous to build his house: so Cyrus did. It is a good work, though a difficult one. They will find many discouragements from themselves, and from the temper and circumstances of the world. Let us pray that the Lord may be with them, and encourage them in all the ways that are in our power. God's ministers should be especially ready to show a good example en such occasions, be the first to lead in every good work, and employ all their authority and influence to quicken and animate others.

5. This should lead our thoughts to the gospel offers, and the redemption granted by our Lord Jesus Christ. Sinners are slaves, and have long been the captives of Satan. Christ proclaims liberty; to him all authority is given to do so. He urges and beseeches them to go up to the new Jerusalem; he intercedes that God may be with them, he encourages them, and furnishes them with all necessary supplies for the way. Too many stay behind, and love their slavery too well; but others go; and this is to be ascribed to God's influence on their spirits; the work is of grace. Let us hear Christ's voice, thankfully receive his offers, and earnestly pray that we ourselves and all about us may be disposed to aik the way to Zion with our faces thitherward j and join ourselves to God in the bonds of en everlasting covenant.

Vol. IV. B

CHAP. II. and GHAP. III.

A these two cha/iters we have an account of the number thai returned from the captivity; the building of the altar; the offerings are renewed; and the foundation of the temple laid, amidst the rejoicing of some, and the weeping of others:

*«• The former part or ihU chapter may be passed over, and the reader b«gin at -j. 68.

1 rVjOW these [arc] the children of the province that went -!. N up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried, away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judahy

2 every one unto his city ; Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rchum, Baanah. The number of the men /of the people

3 of Israel ; The children of Parosh, twtf thousand an hundred sev

4 enty and two. The children of Shephatiah, three hundred sev

5 enty and two. The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy

6 and five. The children of Pahathvnoab, of the children of Jeshua

7 [and] Joab, two thousand tight hundred and twelve. The chilli dren of Klam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The chil9 dren of Zattn, nim; hundred forty and five. The children of

10 Zaccai, seven hundred and three score. The children of Bani,

11 six hundred forty and two. The children of Bebai, six hundred

12 twenty and three. The children of Azgad, a thousand two hun

13 dred twenty and two. The children of Adonikam, six hundred

14 sixty and six. The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and KS' 16 six. The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four. The

17 children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety-and eight. The children

18 of Bezar> three hundred twenty and three. The children of

19 Jorah, an hundred and twelver. The children of Hashum, twb

20 hundred twenty and three. The children of Gibbar, ninety

21 and five. The children of Bethlehem, an hundred twenty and 32 23 three. The men of Netophah, fifty and six. The men of 24 Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight. The children of At'

35 maveth, forty and two, The children of iurjatharim, Chephirah, 26 and Beeroth. seven hundred and forty and three. The children 87 of Rarnah and Caba, six hundred twenty and one- The men of

28 Michmas, an hundred twenty and two. The men of Bethel

29 and Ai, two hundred twenty and three. The children of Nebo*

30 fifty and two. The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and

31 six. The children of the other Elani, athousand two hundred

32 fifty and four: The children of Harim, three hundred and S3- twenty. The-children of Lod, Hadid, and Obo, seven hundred 3'* twenty and live. The children of Jericho, three hundred forty S"5 and five. The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty.

36 The priests: the children of Jcdaiah, of the house of Jeshua, S7 nine hundred seventy and three. The children of Immer, a S3 thousand fifty aiid two. The children of Pashur, a thousand

?9 two hundred forty and seven. The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

40 The Leyites: the children of Jeshua, and Kadmiel, of the

41 children of Hodaviah, seventy and four. The singers: th»

42 children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight. The children of the porters :the •children of Shallu«n,the children of Ater,the children of Talmon, the children of Akkutt, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, [in] all an hundred thirty and nine.

43 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Ha

44 supha, the children of Tabbaoth, The children of Keros, the

45 children of Siaha, the children of Padon, The children of Le

46 banab, the children of Hagahah, the children of Ak-kub, The children of Hagab, the children of Shalmai, the children of Ha

47 nan, The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the chil

48 dren of Reaiah, The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,

49 the children of Gazsam, The children of Uzza, the children of

50 Paseah, the children of Besai, The children of Asnah, the chil

51 dren of Mehunim, the children of Nephusim, The children of

52 Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of

53 Harsh#, The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the

54 children of Thamah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

55 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai,

56 the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda, The children of Jaalah, the children of Rarkon, the children of Giddel,

57 The children of Shephatiah,the children of Hattil, the children of 53 J>.ochereth of Zebaim, the children of Ami. All the Nethinims,

awl the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three hundred 59 ninety and two. And these [were] they which went up fromTel

melah, Telharsa, Chenub, Atklan, [and] Immer: but they couH

not show their father's house, and their seed, whether they 50 [were] of Israel: The children of Delaiah, the children of To

biah, the children ct.Ne.koda, six hundred fifty and two.

61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Kop, the children of Barzillai: which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after

62 their name: Tbes? sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: there

63 fore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshalha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most lwly things, till there stood up a priest with Vrim and with Thummim.

64 The whole congregation together; [was] forty and two thqu

65 sand three hundred [and] threescore, Beside their servants and their maids, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven i and [there were] among them two hundred singing men and singing women. The whole number that returned were not quite Jifty thousand; whereas in Jehoshajthat's

66 tine they viere two hundred thousand, Jighting men. Their horses [were] seven hundred thirty and six ; their mules, two hundred

67 forty and five ; Their camels, four hundred thirty and five ;, [their] asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

*• And [some] of the chief of the fathers, when they came. t« the house of the Lord which [ia] at Jerusalem, offered freely. for the house of God, that is, for supplies, to set it up in his place, where it formerly stood. This was a token for good, that they took

•9 pleasure in the stones thereof. They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work three score and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pounds of silver, about seventy thousand

70 pounds* and one hundred priests'1 garment*. So the priests, and the Levites, and [some] of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities. Some of the other tribes, who were dispersed in thmr own country, came up and settled with their brethren. Soon after this, they all assembled together, built an altar, kept a feast, and laid the foundation of the temple. 1 Chap. III. And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel [were] in the cities, the people gathered them-. 3 selves together, as one man to Jerusalem.f Then stood up Jeshuaf the son of Jozadak, who was the high priest, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel || the son of Shealtiel, who was the captain or governor, under the king of Persia, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, that they might have public worship before the temple could be got ready, as [it i3] written in the law of Mo

3 ses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases, or, upon its old foundation ; for, or rather, although fear [was] upon them because of the people of those countries ;* and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, [even] burnt

4 offerings morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles and atonement, as [it is] written, and [offered] the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required ; all the sacrifices for every common

$ day, for every sabbath, and for every feast day. And afterwar.d [offered] the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a free will offering unto the

6 Lord, From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the Lo«.d. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not [yet] laid.

7 They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters,. to make preparation and providt materials for the work; and meat,

• Itmay be here remarked, that the Jews were not entirely slaves in Babylon; they had liberty to traffic and get money for themselves. Some of this was presented 10 them by the' Chaldeans when they came away, and much by their brethren who stayed behind.

t Though they were dispersed for a while about the country, to cultivate some land and! prepare their habitations* yet they unanimously came together in the seventh month, at the feast of atonement and tabernacles.

t Or, Joshua, Hj[. i. I. Zcch.Yn. I.

| Called Zoroh.bcl, Malt. i. I a. Luke ill. 17.

* Thi» intimates that they were not so solicitous to fortify themselves, at to enjoy tho iUvinc protection.

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