7:1 Now after these things, in the reign of a Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
(a) The Hebrews write that many of the kings of Persia were called by this name, as Pharaoh was a common name to the kings of Egypt and Caesar to the Romans emperors.
7:5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of b Aaron the chief priest:
(b) Ezra traces his family till he comes to Aaron, to prove that he came from him.
7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he [was] a ready c scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
7:8 And he came to Jerusalem in the d fifth month, which [was] in the seventh year e of the king.
(c) He shows here what a scribe is, who had charge to write the law and to expound it. Whom Mark calls a scribe, (Mark 12:28), Matthew and Luke called a lawyer or doctor of the law, (Matthew 22:35; Luke 10:25).
(d) That contained part of July and part of August.
7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and f at such a time.
(e) Of king Darius.
(f) Some take this for the name of a people, some for time or continuance, meaning that the king wished him long life.
7:13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill g to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
(g) Who still remained in Babylon and had not returned with Zerubbabel.
7:14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to h enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which [is] in i thine hand;
(h) To examine who lived according to the law.
7:18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your k God.
(i) Of which you are an expert.
(k) As you know best may serve to Godís glory.
7:21 And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which [are] beyond l the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,
(l) Which was the Euphrates river and they were beyond it in respect to Babylon.
7:22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred m baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much].
7:23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath n against the realm of the king and his sons?
(m) Read (1 Kings 7:26; 2 Chronicles 2:10).
(n) This declares that the fear of Godís judgment causes him to use this liberality, and not the love that he bore for Godís glory or affection for his people.
7:25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, o set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not.
(o) He gave Ezra full authority to restore all things according to the word of God, and to punish them who resisted and would not obey.
7:27 p Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put [such a thing] as this in the kingís heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem:
(p) Thus Ezra gave thanks to God for giving him success in his business with the king.