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Ezra 9:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And at the evening oblation I arose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe rent; and I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto Jehovah my God;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the LORD my God;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And at the evening sacrifice I arose from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands to the LORD my God,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And at the evening oblation I arose up from my humiliation; and with my mantle and my garment rent, I fell on my knees, and spread out my hands to Jehovah my God,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, at the evening gift, I arose from mine affliction, which had been accompanied by the rending of my garment and my robe,—and I bowed upon my knees, and spread forth my hands unto Yahweh my God;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And at the present of the evening I have risen from mine affliction, and at my rending my garment and my upper robe, then I bow down on my knees, and spread out my hands unto Jehovah my God,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And at the evening sacrifice I rose up from my affliction, and having rent my mantle and my garment, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands to the Lord my God,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And at the euening sacrifice, I arose vp from my heauinesse, and hauing rent my garment and my mantle, I fell vpon my knees, and spread out my hands vnto the LORD my God,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And at the evening sacrifice I rose up from my humiliation; and when I had rent my garments, then I trembled, and I bow myself on my knees, and spread out my hands to the Lord God,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto Yahweh my Elohim,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And at the evening 6153
{6153} Prime
From H6150; dusk.
sacrifice 4503
{4503} Prime
From an unused root meaning to apportion, that is, bestow; a donation; euphemistically tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary).
I arose up 6965
{6965} Prime
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
from my heaviness; 8589
{8589} Prime
From H6031; affliction (of self), that is, fasting.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
and having rent 7167
{7167} Prime
A primitive root; to rend, literally or figuratively (revile, paint the eyes, as if enlarging them).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
my garment 899
{0899} Prime
From H0898; a covering, that is, clothing; also treachery or pillage.
and my mantle, 4598
{4598} Prime
From H4603 in the sense of covering; a robe (that is, upper and outer garment).
I fell 3766
{3766} Prime
A primitive root; to bend the knee; by implication to sink, to prostrate.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
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.
my knees, 1290
{1290} Prime
From H1288; a knee.
and spread out 6566
{6566} Prime
A primitive root; to break apart, disperse, etc.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
my hands 3709
{3709} Prime
From H3721; the hollow hand or palm (so of the paw of an animal, of the sole, and even of the bowl of a dish or sling, the handle of a bolt, the leaves of a palm tree); figuratively power.
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
my 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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ezra 9:5-15

_ _ Ezra 9:5-15. Prays to God.

_ _ I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God — The burden of his prayer, which was dictated by a deep sense of the emergency, was that he was overwhelmed at the flagrant enormity of this sin, and the bold impiety of continuing in it after having, as a people, so recently experienced the heavy marks of the divine displeasure. God had begun to show returning favor to Israel by the restoration of some. But this only aggravated their sin, that, so soon after their re-establishment in their native land, they openly violated the express and repeated precepts which commanded them to extirpate the Canaanites. Such conduct, he exclaimed, could issue only in drawing down some great punishment from offended Heaven and ensuring the destruction of the small remnant of us that is left, unless, by the help of divine grace, we repent and bring forth the fruits of repentance in an immediate and thorough reformation.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ezra 9:5-15

_ _ What the meditations of Ezra's heart were, while for some hours he sat down astonished, we may guess by the words of his mouth when at length he spoke with his tongue; and a most pathetic address he here makes to Heaven upon this occasion. Observe,

_ _ I. The time when he made this address — at the evening sacrifice, Ezra 9:5. Then (it is likely) devout people used to come into the courts of the temple, to grace the solemnity of the sacrifice and to offer up their own prayers to God in concurrence with it. In their hearing Ezra chose to make this confession, that they might be made duly sensible of the sins of their people, which hitherto they had either not taken notice of or had made light of. Prayer may preach. The sacrifice, and especially the evening sacrifice, was a type of the great propitiation, that blessed Lamb of God which in the evening of the world was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself, to which we may suppose Ezra had an eye of faith in this penitential address to God; he makes confession with his hand, as it were, upon the head of that great sacrifice, through which we receive the atonement. Certainly Ezra was no stranger to the message which the angel Gabriel had some years ago delivered to Daniel, at the time of the evening sacrifice, and as it were in explication of it, concerning Messiah the Prince (Daniel 9:21, Daniel 9:24); and perhaps he had regard to that in choosing this time.

_ _ II. His preparation for this address. 1. He rose up from his heaviness, and so far shook off the burden of his grief as was necessary to the lifting up of his heart to God. He recovered from his astonishment, got the tumult of his troubled spirits somewhat stilled and his spirit composed for communion with God. 2. He fell upon his knees, put himself into the posture of a penitent humbling himself and a petitioner suing for mercy, in both representing the people for whom he was now an intercessor. 3. He spread out his hands, as one affected with what he was going to say, offering it up unto God, waiting, and reaching out, as it were, with an earnest expectation, to receive a gracious answer. In this he had an eye to God as the Lord, and as his God, a God of power, but a God of grace.

_ _ III. The address itself. It is not properly to be called a prayer, for there is not a word of petition in it; but, if we give prayer its full latitude, it is the offering up of pious and devout affections to God, and very devout, very pious, are the affections which Ezra here expresses. His address is a penitent confession of sin, not his own (from a conscience burdened with its own guilt and apprehensive of his own danger), but the sin of his people, from a gracious concern for the honour of God and the welfare of Israel. Here is a lively picture of ingenuous repentance. Observe in this address,

_ _ 1. The confession he makes of the sin and the aggravations of it, which he insists upon, to affect his own heart and theirs that joined with him with holy sorrow and shame and fear, in the consideration of it, that they might be deeply humbled for it. And it is observable that, though he himself was wholly clear from this guilt, yet he puts himself into the number of the sinners, because he was a member of the same community — our sins and our trespass. Perhaps he now remembered it against himself, as his fault, that he had staid so long after his brethren in Babylon, and had not separated himself so soon as he might have done from the people of those lands. When we are lamenting the wickedness of the wicked, it may be, if we duly reflect upon ourselves and give our own hearts leave to deal faithfully with us, we may find something of the same nature, though in a lower degree, that we also have been guilty of. However, he speaks that which was, or should have been, the general complaint.

_ _ (1.) He owns their sins to have been very great: “Our iniquities are increased over our heads (Ezra 9:6); we are ready to perish in them as in keep waters;” so general was the prevalency of them, so violent the power of them, and so threatening were they of the most pernicious consequences. “Iniquity has grown up to such a height among us that it reaches to the heavens, so very impudent that it dares heaven, so very provoking that, like the sin of Sodom, it cries to heaven for vengeance.” But let this be the comfort of true penitents that though their sins reach to the heavens God's mercy is in the heavens, Psalms 36:5. Where sin abounds grace will much more abound.

_ _ (2.) Their sin had been long persisted in (Ezra 9:7): Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass. The example of those that had gone before them he thought so far from excusing their fault that it aggravated it. “We should have taken warning not to stumble at the same stone. The corruption is so much the worse that it has taken deep root and begins to plead prescription, but by this means we have reason to fear that the measure of the iniquity is nearly full.”

_ _ (3.) The great and sore judgments which God had brought upon them for their sins did very much aggravate them: “For our iniquities we have been delivered to the sword and to captivity (Ezra 9:7), and yet not reformed, yet not reclaimed — brayed in the mortar, and yet the folly not gone (Proverbs 27:22) — corrected, but not reclaimed.”

_ _ (4.) The late mercies God had bestowed upon them did likewise very much aggravate their sins. This he insists largely upon, Ezra 9:8, Ezra 9:9. Observe, [1.] The time of mercy: Now for a little space, that is, “It is but a little while since we had our liberty, and it is not likely to continue long.” This greatly aggravated their sin, that they were so lately in the furnace and that they knew not how soon they might return to it again; and could they yet be secure? [2.] The fountain of mercy: Grace has been shown us from the Lord. The kings of Persia were the instruments of their enlargement; but he ascribes it to God and to his grace, his free grace, without any merit of theirs. [3.] The streams of mercy, — that they were not forsaken in their bondage, but even in Babylon had the tokens of God's presence, — that they were a remnant of Israelites left, a few out of many, and those narrowly escaped out of the hands of their enemies, by the favour of the kings of Persia, — and especially that they had a nail in his holy place, that is (as it is explained, Ezra 9:9), that they had set up the house of God. They had their religion settled and the service of the temple in a constant method. We are to reckon it a great comfort and advantage to have stated opportunities of worshipping God. Blessed are those that dwell in God's house, like Anna that departed not from the temple. This is my rest for ever, says the gracious soul. [4.] The effects of all this. It enlightened their eyes, and it revived their hearts; that is, it was very comfortable to them, and the more sensibly so because it was in their bondage: it was life from the dead to them. Though but a little reviving, it was a great favour, considering that they deserved none and the day of small things was an earnest of greater. “Now,” says Ezra, “how ungrateful are we to offend a God that has been so kind to us! how disingenuous to mingle in sin with those nations from whom we have been, in wonderful mercy, delivered! how unwise to expose ourselves to God's displeasure when we are tried with the returns of his favour and are upon our good behaviour for the continuance of it!”

_ _ (5.) It was a great aggravation of the sin that it was against an express command: We have forsaken thy commandments, Ezra 9:10. It seems to have been an ancient law of the house of Jacob not to match with the families of the uncircumcised, Genesis 34:14. But, besides that, God had strictly forbidden it. He recites the command, Ezra 9:11, Ezra 9:12. For sin appears sin, appears exceedingly sinful, when we compare it with the law which is broken by it. Nothing could be more express: Give not your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons. The reason given is because, if they mingled with those nations, they would pollute themselves. It was an unclean land, and they were a holy people; but if they kept themselves distinct from them it would be their honour and safety, and the perpetuating of their prosperity. Now to violate a command so express, backed with such reasons, and a fundamental law of their constitution, was very provoking to the God of heaven.

_ _ (6.) That in the judgments by which they had already smarted for their sins God had punished them less than their iniquities deserved, so that he looked upon them to be still in debt upon the old account. “What! and yet shall we run up a new score? Has God dealt so gently with us in correcting us, and shall we thus abuse his favour and turn his grace into wantonness?” God, in his grace and mercy, had said concerning Sion's captivity, She hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins (Isaiah 40:2); but Ezra, in a penitential sense of the great malignity that was in their sin, acknowledged that, though the punishment was very great, it was less than they deserved.

_ _ 2. The devout affections that were working in him, in making this confession. Speaking of sin,

_ _ (1.) He speaks as one much ashamed. With this he begins (Ezra 9:6), O my God! I am ashamed and blush, O my God! (so the words are placed) to lift up my face unto thee. Note, [1.] Sin is a shameful thing; as soon as ever our first parents had eaten forbidden fruit they were ashamed of themselves. [2.] Holy shame is as necessary an ingredient in true and ingenuous repentance as holy sorrow. [3.] The sins of others should be our shame, and we should blush for those who do not blush for themselves. We may well be ashamed that we are any thing akin to those who are so ungrateful to God and unwise for themselves. This is clearing ourselves, 2 Corinthians 7:11. [4.] Penitent sinners never see so much reason to blush and be ashamed as when they come to lift up their faces before God. A natural sense of our own honour which we have injured will make us ashamed, when we have done a wrong thing, to look men in the face; but a gracious concern for God's honour will make us much more ashamed to look him in the face. The publican, when he went to the temple to pray, hung down his head more than ever, as one ashamed, Luke 18:13. [5.] An eye to God as our God will be of great use to us in the exercise of repentance. Ezra begins, O my God! and again in the same breath, My God. The consideration of our covenant-relation to God as ours will help to humble us, and break our hearts for sin, that we should violate both his precepts to us and our promises to him; it will also encourage us to hope for pardon upon repentance. “He is my God, notwithstanding this;” and every transgression in the covenant does not throw us out of covenant.

_ _ (2.) He speaks as one much amazed (Ezra 9:10) “What shall we say after this? For my part I know not what to say: if God do not help us, we are undone.” The discoveries of guilt excite amazement: the more we think of sin the worse it looks. The difficulty of the case excites amazement. How shall we recover ourselves? Which way shall we make our peace with God? [1.] True penitents are at a loss what to say. Shall we say, We have not sinned, or, God will not require it? If we do, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Shall we say, Have patience with us and we will pay thee all, with thousands of rams, or our first-born for our transgression? God will not thus be mocked: he knows we are insolvent. Shall we say, There is no hope, and let come on us what will? That is but to make bad worse. [2.] True penitents will consider what to say, and should, as Ezra, beg of God to teach them. What shall we say? Say, “I have sinned; I have done foolishly; God be merciful to me a sinner;” and the like. See Hosea 14:2.

_ _ (3.) He speaks as one much afraid, Ezra 9:13, Ezra 9:14. “After all the judgments that have come upon us to reclaim us from sin, and all the deliverances that have been wrought for us to engage us to God and duty, if we should again break God's commandments, by joining in affinity with the children of disobedience and learning their ways, what else could we expect but that God should be angry with us till he had consumed us, and there should not be so much as a remnant left, nor any to escape the destruction?” There is not a surer nor sadder presage of ruin to any people than revolting to sin, to the same sins again, after great judgments and great deliverances. Those that will be wrought upon neither by the one nor by the other are fit to be rejected, as reprobate silver, for the founder melteth in vain.

_ _ (4.) He speaks as one much assured of the righteousness of God, and resolved to acquiesce in that and to leave the matter with him whose judgment is according to truth (Ezra 9:15): “Thou art righteous, wise, just, and good; thou wilt neither do us wrong nor be hard upon us; and therefore behold we are before thee, we lie at thy feet, waiting our doom; we cannot stand before thee, insisting upon any righteousness of our own, having no plea to support us or bring us off, and therefore we fall down before thee, in our trespass, and cast ourselves on thy mercy. Do unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee, Judges 10:15. We have nothing to say, nothing to do, but to make supplication to our Judge,Job 9:15. Thus does this good man lay his grief before God and then leave it with him.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ezra 9:5

Heaviness — From that mournful posture, and put myself into the posture of a petitioner. He did this at the time of the evening sacrifice, because then devout people used to come into the courts of the temple, that hearing his confession, they likewise might be made sensible of the sins of the people. And he had an eye to that great propitiation, of which that sacrifice was a peculiar type.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, affliction

I fell:

2 Chronicles 6:13 For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,
Psalms 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Acts 21:5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till [we were] out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,


Exodus 9:29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; [and] the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth [is] the LORD'S.
Exodus 9:33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.
1 Kings 8:22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:
1 Kings 8:38 What prayer and supplication soever be [made] by any man, [or] by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:
1 Kings 8:54 And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
Psalms 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee [as] incense; [and] the lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice.
Psalms 143:6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul [thirsteth] after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
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Ex 9:29, 33. 1K 8:22, 38, 54. 2Ch 6:13. Ps 95:6; 141:2; 143:6. Is 1:15. Lk 22:41. Ac 21:5. Ep 3:14.

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