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AC. 458.

3 DAE of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of the son of Hilkiah,

A.C. 459

848

Among the Jews there were sabbatical days, whereby their da km. into weeks of days; and there were likewise sabbatical years, (

whereby their years were divided into weeks of years, and this lasi
is that which is here mentioned; so that every one of the week
phecy contains seven years, and the seventy weeks here appoin
period of 490 years. At the end of which time, this prophecy was
in the great work of our salvation, by the death and resurrection o. waist our
Lord, who made, by one oblation of Himself, an end of sin, reconciliation for
our iniquity, and brought in the law of everlasting righteousness.

Then the Jewish church, and the Jewish worship at Jerusalem, were wholly abolished, the kingdom of the Messiah began; and the Christian church and the

Christian worship established, and, instead of Jerusalem, every place through of later the whole earth, where God should be worshipped in spirit and in truth, was

made holy unto him. The end of these weeks being thus fixed at the death of Christ, by which great sacrifice all visions and prophecies were sealed up and fulfilled, (Dan. ix. 24.), it necessarily determines us to fix the beginning of these

weeks 490 years before that event. And as most learned men agree that lisme " Messiah was cut off” in the year of the Julian period 4746, and in the Jewish els month Nisan, if we reckon 490 years backward, this will lead us up to the

month Nisan, in the year of the Julian period 4256, which was the very year Balike and month in which Ezra had his commission from Artaxerxes Longimanus, king

of Persia, for his return to Jerusalem, there to restore the church and state of for the Jews; for that year of the Julian period, according to Ptolemy's canon, was 12. the seventh year of that king's reign (Ezra vii. 7.), in which the Scriptures tell

us his commission was granted. The beginning, therefore, of the seventy weeks,

or 490 years of this prophecy, was in the month Nisan of the Jewish year, in 1. the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of Persia, and in the 4256th

year of the Julian period, when Ezra had his commission; and the end of them ripi fell in the very same month of Nisan, in the 4746th year of the Julian period,

in which very year and very month Christ our Lord suffered for us; and thereby completed the whole work of our salvation, there being just seventy weeks of years, or 490 years, from the one to the other.

It is evident, then, from the prophecy itself, that these weeks must have their beginning from the date of the commission granted to Ezra, because their commencement must be determined by the death of Christ. It is expressly stated (Dan. ix. 25.) that they should begin “ from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem:" which words, therefore, must be understood figuratively, as they refer to the ecclesiastical, as well as to the political

state of the Jews, and to the future re-establishment of both, according to the this law of Moses; which great work was completely brought about by Ezra, who

effected a thorough reformation in church and state. For if these words “ to to restore and to build Jerusalem,” are to be taken in their literal signification, they

must relate to the decree of Cyrus, of whom it was predicted, that he “should

say to Jerusalem, Be thou built, and to the temple, Thy foundations shall be i laid," and the commencement of the seventy weeks must be computed from his

edict. But they cannot begin at this time, because they would then have ex

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A.C. 458.

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* Heb. was the foundation

2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,

3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,

4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,

5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest :

6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LOŃD 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 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the portters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxés the king.

8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to of the going up. go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month

came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his
God upon him.

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of
the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statufes and
judgments.

11 g Now this is the copy of the letter that the king
Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a
scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and
of his statutes to Israel.
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, funto Ezra the priest

, a forerject scribe scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at of the law

of such a time.
heaven, peace, 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 to go up to Jerusalem, go with
thee.

14 Forasmuch as thou art sent I of the king, and of his

seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerue Esth. i. 14. salem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine

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pired long before even the coming of the Messiah ; and as we are certain, from
the prophecy itself, that the seventy weeks must begin from one of the edicts
granted by the kings of Persia in favour of the Jews; it is evident that they can
only have their commencement from this decree of Artaxerxes, given in the
seventh year of his reign: and that the words “ to restore and to build Jeru.
salem” must be taken in their figurative signification. See the arguments #t
length, in Prideaux's Connection, part i. book v.

P

377-408.

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15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and A. C. 438. his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,

16 « And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all d ch. viii. 25. the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem :

17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.

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

God. 19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.

20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.

21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond 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,

22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and . Chald. cors. to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.

23 + Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, + Heb. What5 let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven : decrer.

for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon

them. 25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, 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

26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or I to banishment, or + Chald. 10 to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

rotting out, 27 | Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which

them not.

VOL. II.

31

da the

A.C. 458. hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify

the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem :

28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes

. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

for tha

1 chie sbou

EZRA VIII.

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1 The companions of Ezra, who returned from Babylon. 15 He sendeth to Idda
for ministers for the temple. 21 He keepeth a fast, 24 He committed the
treasures to the custody of the priests. 31 From Ahava they come to Jerusalem
33 The treasure is weighed in the temple. 36 The commission is delivered.

1 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.

2 Of the sons of Phinehas; Gershom : of the sons of Ithamar; Daniel : of the sons of David; Hattush.

3 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.

4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab; Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.

5 Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.

6 Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.

7 And of the sons of Elam ; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.

8 And of the sons of Shephatiah ; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.

9 Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.

10 And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah,
and with him an hundred and threescore males.

11 And of the sons of Bebai; Zechariah the son of
Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.
12 And of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son

of
Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.

13 And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names art these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them three

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* Or, the youngest son.

score males.

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+ Or, Zacrur, As some read,

14 Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and + Zabbad, and with them seventy males.

15 | And I gathered them together to the river that Os, pitched. runneth to Ahava ; and there tabode we in tents three

the te

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e See ch. ii.

days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found A.C. 459. there none of the sons of Levi.

16 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.

17 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and * I told them what they words in their should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, mouth: See at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us minis- 19. ters for the house of our God.

18 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;

19 And Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah, of the sons of Merari, his brethren and their sons, twenty ;

20 Also of the Nethinims, whom David and the princess had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were expressed by name.

21 9 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.

22 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.

23 So we fasted and besought our God for this : and he was intreated of us.

24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them.

25 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 :

26 I even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents ;

27 Also twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of + fine copper, I precious as gold.

+ Heh, yellow, 28 And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; brace. desirothe vessels are holy also ; and the silver and the gold are a ble. freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.

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or, shining

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