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Ezra 8:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then proclaimed I there a fast, by the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God,—to seek of him a smooth way, for us and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I proclaim there a fast, by the river Ahava, to afflict ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a right way for us, and for our infants, and for all our substance,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the riuer Ahaua, that we might afflict our selues before our God, to seeke of him a right way for vs, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I proclaimed there a fast, at the river Aue, that [we] should humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our children, and for all our property.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahawa, that we might afflict ourselves before our Elohim, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then I proclaimed 7121
{7121} Prime
קָרָא
qara'
{kaw-raw'}
A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
a fast 6685
{6685} Prime
צוֹם
tsowm
{tsome}
From H6684; a fast.
there, x8033
(8033) Complement
שָׁם
sham
{shawm}
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
at x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the river 5104
{5104} Prime
נָהָר
nahar
{naw-hawr'}
From H5102; a stream (including the sea; especially the Nile, Euphrates, etc.); figuratively, prosperity.
of Ahw אַהֲוָא, 163
{0163} Prime
אַהֲוָא
'Ahava'
{a-hav-aw'}
Probably of foreign origin; Ahava, a river of Babylonia.
that we might afflict y6031
[6031] Standard
עָנָה
`anah
{aw-naw'}
A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively (in various applications). (sing is by mistake for H6030.).
z8692
<8692> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 116
ourselves x6031
(6031) Complement
עָנָה
`anah
{aw-naw'}
A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively (in various applications). (sing is by mistake for H6030.).
before 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
our lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
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.
to seek 1245
{1245} Prime
בּקשׁ
baqash
{baw-kash'}
A primitive root; to search out (by any method; specifically in worship or prayer); by implication to strive after.
z8763
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
of x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
him a right 3477
{3477} Prime
יָשָׁר
yashar
{yaw-shawr'}
From H3474; straight (literally or figuratively).
way 1870
{1870} Prime
דֶּרֶךְ
derek
{deh'-rek}
From H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action, often adverbially.
for us, and for our little ones, 2945
{2945} Prime
טַף
taph
{taf}
From H2952 (perhaps referring to the tripping gait of children); a family (mostly used collectively in the singular).
and for all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
our substance. 7399
{7399} Prime
רְכוּשׁ
r@kuwsh
{rek-oosh'}
From passive participle of H7408; property (as gathered).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ezra 8:21

_ _ Ezra 8:21-36. A fast proclaimed.

_ _ Then I proclaimed a fast there — The dangers to travelling caravans from the Bedouin Arabs that prowl through the desert were in ancient times as great as they still are; and it seems that travelers usually sought the protection of a military escort. But Ezra had spoken so much to the king of the sufficiency of the divine care of His people that he would have blushed to apply for a guard of soldiers. Therefore he resolved that his followers should, by a solemn act of fasting and prayer, commit themselves to the Keeper of Israel. Their faith, considering the many and constant perils of a journey across the Bedouin regions, must have been great, and it was rewarded by the enjoyment of perfect safety during the whole way.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ezra 8:21-23

_ _ Ezra has procured Levites to go along with him; but what will that avail, unless he have God with him? That is therefore his chief care. In all our ways we must acknowledge God, and in those particularly wherein we are endeavouring to serve the interest of his kingdom among men. Ezra does so here. Observe,

_ _ I. The stedfast confidence he had in God and in his gracious protection. He told the king (Ezra 8:22) what principles he went upon, that those who seek God are safe under the shadow of his wings, even in their greats dangers, but that those who forsake him are continually exposed, even when they are most secure. God's servants have his power engaged for them; his enemies have it engaged against them. This Ezra believed with his heart, and with his mouth made confession of it before the king; and therefore he was ashamed to ask of the king a convoy, lest thereby he should give occasion to the king, and those about him, to suspect either God's power to help his people or Ezra's confidence in that power. Those that trust in God, and triumph in him, will be ashamed of seeking to the creature for protection, especially of using any sorry shifts for their own safety, because thereby they contradict themselves and their own confidence. Not but that those who depend upon God must use proper means for their preservation, and they need not be ashamed to do so; but, when the honour of God is concerned, one would rather expose one's-self than do any thing to the prejudice of that, which ought to be dearer to us than our lives.

_ _ II. The solemn application he made to God in that confidence: He proclaimed a fast, Ezra 8:21. No doubt he had himself begged of God direction in this affair from the first time he had it in his thoughts; but for public mercies public prayers must be made, that all who are to share in the comfort of them may join in the request for them. Their fasting was, 1. To express their humiliation. This he declares to be the intent and meaning of it. “that we might afflict ourselves before our God for our sins, and so be qualified for the pardon of them.” When we are entering upon any new condition of life our care should be to bring none of the guilt of the sins of our former condition into it. When we are in any imminent peril let us be sure to make our peace with God, and then we are safe: nothing can do us any real hurt. 2. To excite their supplications. Prayer was always joined with religious fasting. Their errand to the throne of grace was to seek of God the right way, that is, to commit themselves to the guidance of the divine Providence, to put themselves under the divine protection, and to beg of God to guide and keep them in their journey and bring them safely to their journey's end. They were strangers in the road, were to march through their enemies' countries, and had not a pillar of cloud and fire to lead them, as their fathers had; but they believed that the power and favour of God, and the ministration of his angels, would be to them instead of that, and hoped by prayer to obtain divine assistance. Note, All our concerns about ourselves, our families, and our estates, it is our wisdom and duty by prayer to commit to God, and leave the care of with him, Philippians 4:6.

_ _ III. The good success of their doing so (Ezra 8:23): We besought our God by joint-prayer, and he was entreated of us. They had some comfortable assurance in their own minds that their prayers were answered, and the event declared it; for never any that sought God in earnest sought him in vain.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ezra 8:21

A fast — For public mercies. Publick prayers must be made, that all who are to share in the comfort, may share in the requests for it. Afflict ourselves — For our sins; and so be qualified for the pardon of them. When we are entering on any new condition of life, our care should be to bring into it none of the guilt of the sins of our former condition. When we are in any imminent danger, let us make our peace with God, and then nothing can hurt us. Right way — A safe and prosperous journey; such a way and course as might be best for us.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ezra 8:21

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict (f) ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

(f) He shows that the purpose of fasting is to humble the body to the spirit, which must proceed from the heart that is touched, or else it is hypocrisy.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I proclaimed:

Judges 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
1 Samuel 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured [it] out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Joel 1:14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders [and] all the inhabitants of the land [into] the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,
Joel 2:12-18 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: ... Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

afflict ourselves:

Leviticus 16:29 And [this] shall be a statute for ever unto you: [that] in the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
Leviticus 16:31 It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
Leviticus 23:29 For whatsoever soul [it be] that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
Isaiah 58:3 Wherefore have we fasted, [say they], and thou seest not? [wherefore] have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
Isaiah 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? [is it] to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes [under him]? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Jeremiah 31:8-9 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. ... They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] my firstborn.
Jeremiah 50:4-5 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. ... They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten.

to seek:

Psalms 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Psalms 107:2-8 Let the redeemed of the LORD say [so], whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; ... Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalms 143:8-10 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. ... Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein].
Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

for our little ones:

Numbers 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
Numbers 14:31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and [his] disciples rebuked those that brought [them]. ... And he took them up in his arms, put [his] hands upon them, and blessed them.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Lv 16:29, 31; 23:29. Nu 14:3, 31. Jg 20:26. 1S 7:6. 2Ch 20:3. Ps 5:8; 8:2; 107:2; 143:8. Pv 3:6. Is 30:21; 35:8; 42:16; 49:10; 58:3, 5. Jr 10:23; 31:8; 50:4. Jol 1:14; 2:12. Jna 3:5. Mk 10:13. Ac 2:39.

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