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Ezra 4:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple unto Jehovah, the God of Israel;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building the temple to the LORD God of Israel;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building the temple to Jehovah the God of Israel;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard—that, the Sons of the Exile, were building the temple, unto Yahweh, God of Israel,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And adversaries of Judah and Benjamin hear that the sons of the captivity are building a temple to Jehovah, God of Israel,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now the enemies of Juda and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to the Lord the God of Israel.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Now when the aduersaries of Iudah and Beniamin, heard that the children of the captiuitie builded the Temple vnto the LORD God of Israel:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And they that afflicted Judah{gr.Juda} and Benjamin heard, that the children of the captivity were building a house to the Lord God of Israel.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Now when the adversaries of Yehudah and Binyamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto Yahweh Elohim of Yisrael;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now when the adversaries 6862
{6862} Prime
From H6887; narrow; (as a noun) a tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble); also a pebble (as in H6864); (transitively) an opponent (as crowding).
of Yh יְהוּדָה 3063
{3063} Prime
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
and Binymn בִּניָמִין 1144
{1144} Prime
From H1121 and H3225; son of (the) right hand; Binjamin, youngest son of Jacob; also the tribe descended from him, and its territory.
heard 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
that x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
the children 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of the captivity 1473
{1473} Prime
Active participle feminine of H1540; exile; concretely and collectively, exiles.
builded 1129
{1129} Prime
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
the temple 1964
{1964} Prime
Probably from H3201 (in the sense of capacity); a large public building, such as a palace or temple.
unto Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל; 3478
{3478} Prime
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ezra 4:1

_ _ Ezra 4:1-6. The building hindered.

_ _ the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin — that is, strangers settled in the land of Israel.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ezra 4:1-5

_ _ We have here an instance of the old enmity that was put between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. God's temple cannot be built, but Satan will rage, and the gates of hell will fight against it. The gospel kingdom was, in like manner, to be set up with much struggling and contention. In this respect the glory of the latter house was greater than the glory of the former, and it was more a figure of the temple of Christ's church, in that Solomon built his temple when there was no adversary nor evil occurrent, (1 Kings 5:4); but this second temple was built notwithstanding great opposition, in the removing and conquering of which, and the bringing of the work to perfection at last in spite of it, the wisdom, power, and goodness of God were much glorified, and the church was encouraged to trust in him.

_ _ I. The undertakers are here called the children of the captivity (Ezra 4:1), which makes them look very little. They had newly come out of captivity, were born in captivity, had still the marks of their captivity upon them; though they were not now captives, they were under the control of those whose captives they had lately been. Israel was God's son, his first-born; but by their iniquity the people sold and enslaved themselves, and so became children of the captivity. But, it should seem, the thought of their being so quickened them to this work, for it was by their neglect of the temple that they lost their freedom.

_ _ II. The opposers of the undertaking are here said to be the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin, not the Chaldeans or Persians (they gave them no disturbance — “let them build and welcome”), but the relics of the ten tribes, and the foreigners that had joined themselves to them, and patched up that mongrel religion we had an account of, 2 Kings 17:33. They feared the Lord, and served their own gods too. They are called the people of the land, Ezra 4:4. The worst enemies Judah and Benjamin had were those that said they were Jews and were not, Revelation 3:9.

_ _ III. The opposition they gave had in it much of the subtlety of the old serpent. When they heard that the temple was in building they were immediately aware that it would be a fatal blow to their superstition, and set themselves to oppose it. They had not power to do it forcibly, but they tried all the ways they could to do it effectually.

_ _ 1. They offered their service to build with the Israelites only that thereby they might get an opportunity to retard the work, while they pretended to further it. Now, (1.) Their offer was plausible enough, and looked kind: “We will build with you, will help you to contrive, and will contribute towards the expense; for we seek your God as you do,Ezra 4:2. This was false, for, though they sought the same God, they did not seek him only, nor seek him in the way he appointed, and therefore did not seek him as they did. Herein they designed, if it were possible, to hinder the building of it, at least to hinder their comfortable enjoyment of it; as good almost not have it as not have it to themselves, for the pure worship of the true God and him only. Thus are the kisses of an enemy deceitful; his words are smoother than butter when war is in his heart. But, (2.) The refusal of their proffered service was very just, Ezra 4:3. The chief of the fathers of Israel were soon aware that they meant them no kindness, whatever they pretended, but really designed to do them a mischief, and therefore (though they had need enough of help if it had been such as they could confide in) told them plainly, “You have nothing to do with us, have no part nor lot in this matter, are not true-born Israelites nor faithful worshippers of God; you worship you know not what, John 4:22. You are none of those with whom we dare hold communion, and therefore we ourselves will build it.” They plead not to them the law of their God, which forbade them to mingle with strangers (though that especially they had an eye to), but that which they would take more notice of, the king's commission, which was directed to them only: “The king of Persia has commanded us to build this house, and we shall distrust and affront him if we call in foreign aid.” Note, In doing good there is need of the wisdom of the serpent, as well as the innocency of the dove, and we have need, as it follows there, to beware of men, Matthew 10:16, Matthew 10:17. We should carefully consider with whom we are associated and on whose hand we lean. While we trust God with a pious confidence we must trust men with a prudent jealousy and caution.

_ _ 2. When this plot failed they did what they could to divert them from the work and discourage them in it. They weakened their hands by telling them it was in vain to attempt it, calling them foolish builders, who began what they were not able to finish, and by their insinuations troubled them, and made them drive heavily in the work. All were not alike zealous in it. Those that were cool and indifferent were by these artifices drawn off from the work, which wanted their help, Ezra 4:4. And because what they themselves said the Jews would suspect to be ill meant, and not be influenced by, they, underhand, hired counsellors against them, who, pretending to advise them for the best, should dissuade them from proceeding, and so frustrate their purpose (Ezra 4:5), or dissuade the men of Tyre and Sidon from furnishing them with the timber they had bargained for (Ezra 3:7); or whatever business they had at the Persian court, to solicit for any particular grants or favours, pursuant to the general edict for their liberty, there were those that were hired and lay ready to appear of counsel against them. Wonder not at the restlessness of the church's enemies in their attempts against the building of God's temple. He whom they serve, and whose work they are doing, is unwearied in walking to and fro through the earth to do mischief. And let those who discourage a good work, and weaken the hands of those that are employed in it, see whose pattern they follow.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ezra 4:1

The adversaries — The Samaritans. The relicks of the ten tribes, and the foreigners who had joined with them.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ezra 4:1

Now when (a) the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel;

(a) Meaning, the inhabitants of Samaria, whom the king of Assyria had placed in the place of the ten tribes, (2 Kings 17:24, 2 Kings 19:37). They professed God but worshipped idols and therefore were the greatest enemies to the true servants of God.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the adversaries:
These were the Samaritans, the descendants of the various nations with which the kings of Assyria had peopled Israel, when they had carried the original inhabitants captive.
Ezra 7:9 For upon the first [day] of the first month began he to 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.
1 Kings 5:4-5 But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, [so that there is] neither adversary nor evil occurrent. ... And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
1 Chronicles 22:9-10 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. ... He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I [will be] his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
Nehemiah 4:1-11 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. ... And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and [there are] many adversaries.

children of the captivity:
Heb. sons of the transportation,
Ezra 1:11 All the vessels of gold and of silver [were] five thousand and four hundred. All [these] did Sheshbazzar bring up with [them of] the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
Ezra 6:16 And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,
Ezra 6:19-20 And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth [day] of the first month. ... For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them [were] pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
Ezra 10:7 And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;
Ezra 10:16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, [with] certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by [their] names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
Daniel 5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. [And] the king spake and said unto Daniel, [Art] thou that Daniel, which [art] of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
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1K 5:4. 1Ch 22:9. Ezr 1:11; 6:16, 19; 7:9; 10:7, 16. Ne 4:1. Dn 5:13; 9:25. 1Co 16:9.

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