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Foundation of the Temple laid.

EZRA 111. Ver. 8, TO THE END.
A.C. 535. 8 9 Now in the second year of their coming unto the

house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Ze-
rubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak,
and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Les
vites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto
Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years
old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the

9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, OT, Hodo. Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of * Judah, + together, to set + Heb. as one. forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of He

nadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with

trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, 1 Chron, vi to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David 'king of & xxv. 1. Israel.

11 And they sang together by course in praising and giring thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the
shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people : for
the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was
heard afar off.

1 The prophet, longing for the communion of the sanctuary, 4 sheweth hex blessed

they are that dwell therein. 8 He prayeth to be restored unto it. tor, os. T To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm I for the sons of Korah.

| How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
7 Psalm lxxxiv. is inserted in this place from its internal evidence that it was
written about this period. The precise time of its composition is quite uncertain;
and if the beautiful earnestness and devotional spirit which runs through this
psalm be compared with the actual state of the Jewish church, which was now
again enjoying the services of the altar, it will not appear improbable that the
psalm was composed about this time, by one of those pious Jews who were anzia
qus to see their worship restored in its former splendour.

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make him o well, &c.

1 Or, from
company to

the threshold.

2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of A. C.535. the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house : they will be still praising thee. Selah.

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

6 Who passing through the valley * of Baca make it a Or, of mul. well; the rain also + filleth the pools.

7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them + Heb. in Zion appeareth before God. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer : give ear,

O God of Jacob. Selah,

9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. SI Hob. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to rather to sit at dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and a shield : the LORD will give grace and glory : no good thing will he withhold P. xxxiv. from them that walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in 4 Ps. xxxiii. thee.

1 David exhorteth to praise God, 5 to observe his great works, 8 to bless him for his
gracious benefits. 12 He voweth for himself religious service to God. 16 Ile
declareth God's special goodness to himself.

| To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.
1 Make a joyful noise unto God, || all ye lands :

I! Heb. all the 2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies + submit themselves unto thee.

* Or, yir'd 4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto Twili. 11 thee; they shall sing to thy name.

Selah. 5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

9, 10,


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feigned obes dience, P.

Ixxxi. 15. + Heb. lie.

* Psalm Ixvi. is inserted by Calmet, Horne, and Gray, among those which were probably composed about this time. It is placed here on their authority, and from its apparent applicability to the circumstance related in Ezra iii.





A.C. 535. 6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the

flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard :

9 Which * holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction

* Heb. putteth.

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upon our loins.

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12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went

through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out + Heb. moist. into a 4 wealthy place.

13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings : I will

my vows,
1 Heb.opened. 14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth bath

spoken, when I was in trouble. $ Heb. mar. 15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah

. 16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. .

17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me :

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my
prayer, nor his mercy from me.

The Building of the Temple interrupted.--

Last Vision of

EZRA IV. ver. 1-69.
1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin

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» The sacred authors commonly give the name of Samaritans only to these stranger people the Cuthites, whom the kings of Assyria sent from beyond the Euphrates to people the kingdom of Samaria, when they carried captive the Israelites, who were its former inhabitants, (2 Kings xvii. 23, 24.) We may therefore fix the first establishment of the Samaritans in Judea, when Shalmaneser conquered that part of the country. When Esarhaddon was informed that this people were infested by lions, he imputed it to their ignorance of the “s of the land,” (2 Kings xvii. 26–34.) He therefore sent unto them one of the


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heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple A.C. 534.
unto the Lord God of Israel ;

* Heb. the
Sons of the

Jewish priests to teach them the worship and the rites of the God of Israel, and tion.
from this time they worshipped Jehovah, in conjunction with their own idol
deities. The Samaritans, hearing that the Jews had begun to rebuild the temple
at Jerusalem, expressed a great desire to be allowed to unite with them in this
work; but the Jews, doubting their sincerity, and considering them as idolaters,
made answer to them,--that they, not being of the seed of Israel, had nothing
to do to build a temple to their God, and that they would, according to the de-
cree of Cyrus, build by themselves a temple to the Lord God of Israel. At
which the Samaritans being much incensed, they did all they could to hinder the
work; and although they could not alter Cyrus' decree, yet they prevailed, by
bribes and underhand dealings with his ministers, and other officers concerned
herein, to put obstructions to the execution of it; so that for several years the
building went but very slowly on; which the Jews resenting, according as it
deserved, this became the beginning of that bitter rancour which hath ever
since existed between them and the Samaritans; which, being improved by other
causes, grew at length to that height, that nothing became more odious to a Jew
than a Samaritan; of which we have several instances in the Gospels; and so it
still continues. For, even to this day, a Cuthean, (that is, a Samaritan) in their
language, is the most odious name among them, and that which, in the height of
their anger, by way of infamy and reproach, they bestow on those they most
hate and abominate. And by this they commonly call us Christians, when they
would express the bitterest of their hatred against us.

Hence the Jews, in expressing their utmost aversion to our Saviour, said unto
him, Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil ;" as if to be a Samaritan and
have a devil were things of equal reproach. This rancour, from various circum-
stances, was carried to such an excess, that the Jews published a curse and an
anathema against them, the bitterest that ever was denounced against any peo-
ple: for thereby they forbade all manner of communication with them, declared
all the fruits and products of their land, and every thing else of theirs, which
was eithet eaten or drunk among them, to be as swine's flesh, and prohibited all
of their nation ever to taste thereof, and also excluded all of that people from
being ever received as proselytes to their religion. And, in the last place, pro-
ceeded so far, as even to the barring of them for ever from having any portion
in the resurrection of the dead to eternal life, as if this also were in their power.
For many ages past, the conduct of the Jews towards the Samaritans hath been
according to the tenor of this anathema; they constantly refusing all manner of
converse or communication with them : and so it was even in our Saviour's
time ; for why else should the woman of Samaria ask our Saviour, “ How is it
that thou being a Jew askest drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria ?" but
that it was even then forbidden among the Jews either to eat or drink any thing
of that which was the Samaritans': and the words immediately following are to
this purpose; for they tell us that " the Jews had no dealings with the Sama-

The learned Dean Graves has beautifully pointed out the manner in which the opposition of the Samaritans was over-ruled to the general good of the church of God. The intermixture of the Samaritans, who were not entirely weaned

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up hither.



A.C. 534. 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the

fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we

your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since
the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us

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 our-
selves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as
king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the
people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

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.

24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is
at Jerusalem.

1 An exhortation to praise God for saving Israel in their great afflictions. 5 The

haters of the church are cursed.

A Song of degrees.
1 Many * a time have they afflicted me from my youth

may Israel now say :

2 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

3 The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

4 The LORD is righteous : he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

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* Or, Much.


from the surrounding idolatry, might, had the Jews acquiesced in their wishes,
once more have involved them in that sin. The very opposition of this people,
served to make the Jews more vigilant in preserving, and the Samaritans of emu-
lating, the purity of the Mosaic law. They became hostile, and therefore un-
suspected, guardians of the purity of the sacred text, particularly the Pentateuch:
and while many of the Jews expected only a temporal Messiah, some of the
Samaritans, from the Pentateuch alone, seem to have attained a juster notion of
his real character, See also on this subject, Bishop Horsley's admirable Sermon
on the words—" The woman was a Greek, a Syrophænician by nation."-
Prideaux, Connect. vol i. p. 227, anno 535; Calmet, art. Samaritan ; Graves on
the Pentateuch.

10 Psalm cxxix. This psalm was probably composed by Ezra, or Nehemiah,
for the consolation of the Jews at the time when the Samaritans obstructed the
rebuilding of the city and temple.—Dimock.

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