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1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia [Artachshasta Melech Paras], Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah [Ezra ben Serayah ben Azaryah ben Hilkiyah,],

Seraiah. Slain at Riblah (2 Kings 25:18-21).

18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:

20 And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:

21 And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land


[2 Ben] the son of [Shallum, ben Tzadok, ben Achituv,

3 Ben Amaryah, ben Azaryah, ben Merayot,

4 Ben Zerachyah, ben Uzzi, ben Bukki,

5 Ben Avishua, ben Pinchas, ben Eleazar, ben Aharon HaKohen HaRosh] the chief priest

By this genealogy compared with 1 Chronicles 6:15, Ezra was brother to Jehozadak and uncle to the high priest Joshua. Ezra was deported with Zedekiah. (Bullinger)

6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Yahweh Elahh of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of Yahweh his Elahh upon him.

The life of Ezra commences with this chapter. The aged scribe made the difficult journey across the deserts that separated Babylon from the city of Jerusalem. It is appropriate that these two great cities should be separated by dust and dryness: for there is a great gulf fixed between the Apostasy and the Truth. Ezra's work parallels with that of Zerubbabel, for the latter built the temple whilst the former reformed the people. So restoration follows with reformation. The purpose of Ezra's return was to "further the people, and the house of God" (ch. 8:36).

...Ezra evidently had the attention of the monarch (v. 6). Esther was in favour at this time, and might well have helped the cause (Est. 2:17-18). *

7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the 7th year of Artaxerxes the king.

The Levites - They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law (Deut 33:10)

Ezra must have been at least 73yrs of age if Artaxerxes is identified with Darius Hystaspes, but over 128yrs if identified with Artaxerxes Longamanus. *

GEM - www.logos.org.au