Ezra 1:9
And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,
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1:5-11 The same God that raised up the spirit of Cyrus to proclaim liberty to the Jews, raised up their spirits to take the benefit. The temptation was to some to stay in Babylon; but some feared not to return, and they were those whose spirits God raised, by his Spirit and grace. Whatever good we do, is owing to the grace of God. Our spirits naturally bow down to this earth and the things of it; if they move upward in any good affections or good actions, it is God who raises them. The calls and offers of the gospel are like the proclamation of Cyrus. Those bound under the power of sin, may be made free by Jesus Christ. Whosoever will, by repentance and faith, return to God, Jesus Christ has opened the way for him, and raises him out of the slavery of sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Many that hear this joyful sound, choose to sit still in Babylon, are in love with their sins, and will not venture upon a holy life; but some break through all discouragements, whatever it cost them; they are those whose spirit God has raised above the world and the flesh, whom he has made willing. Thus will the heavenly Canaan be filled, though many perish in Babylon; and the gospel offer will not have been made in vain. The bringing back the Jews from captivity, represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.Chargers - The word in the original thus translated occurs only in this passage. Its meaning is doubtful. Some derive it from a Hebrew root, "to hollow out," and translate "cup" or "vessel."

Knives - This is another doubtful word, only used here. The etymology points to some employment of basket-work.

8. Shesh-bazzar, the prince of Judah—that is, Zerubbabel, son of Salathiel (compare Ezr 3:8; 5:16). He was born in Babylon, and called by his family Zerubbabel, that is, stranger or exile in Babylon. Shesh-bazzar, signifying "fire-worshipper," was the name given him at court, as other names were given to Daniel and his friends. He was recognized among the exiles as hereditary prince of Judah. Large knives used in the killing of the sacrifices, which are here mentioned, because the hafts of them were made of or covered with gold or silver.

And this is the number of them,.... Of the vessels delivered, as follows:

thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver; these, according to Ben Melech, were vessels in which water was put to wash hands in; but rather they were, as Aben Ezra observes from the Jerusalem Talmud (r), vessels in which they gathered the blood of lambs and bullocks slain for sacrifices:

nine and twenty knives; which, because the handles of them were of gold or silver, were valuable, and might be very large knives, and what the priests used in slaying and cutting up the sacrifices.

(r) T. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 41. 1.

And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty {i} knives,

(i) Which served to kill the beasts that were offered in sacrifice.

9. chargers] The word in the original does not occur elsewhere in the Bible. Its meaning is very uncertain: (1) the old Jewish interpretation quoted by Aben Ezra derived it from two words meaning ‘to collect’ and ‘a lamb’, and understood it to be applied to ‘vessels intended to receive the blood of victims’; (2) the LXX. translates by ‘wine-coolers’ (ψυκτῆρες); (3) Esdras by ‘libation-vessels’ (σπονδεῖα); (4) another rendering, based upon a similar root in Arabic, Syriac and Ethiopic, is ‘baskets’.

knives] The word in the original occurs here only in the Bible. Vulg. ‘cultri’. This rendering is very uncertain. Other interpretations are (1) ‘censers’, (θυΐσκαι) in 1 Esdras. (2) (?) ‘changes of raiment’—so apparently the LXX. παρηλλαγμένα—possibly cf. Jdg 14:19. (3) ‘vessels adorned with network’—so Ewald comparing a similar word in Jdg 16:13; Jdg 16:19.

Verse 9. - Chargers. Agarteley, a rare word, perhaps Persian. The LXX. translate ψυκτῆρες, "wine-coolers;" the Vulgate has phialae, "vases;" the apocryphal Esdras, σπονδεῖα, "vessels for drink-offerings." Probably basons or bowls are intended. Knives. Machaldaphim, another rare word of doubtful sense. The LXX. render παρηλλαγμένα, "changes," regarding the word as derived from חלã, "to exchange." The apocryphal Esdras has θυίσκαι "censers." But the most usual translation is that of the A. V., "knives." Ezra 1:9The enumeration of the vessels: 1. אגרטלים of gold 30, and of silver 1000. The word occurs only here, and is translated in the Septuagint ψυκτῆρες; in 1 Esdr. 2:11, σπονδεῖα. The Talmudic explanation of Aben Ezra, "vessels for collecting the blood of the sacrificed lambs," is derived from אגר, to collect, and טלה, a lamb, but is certainly untenable. עגרטל is probably connected with Arab. qarṭallah, the rabbinical קרטיל, the Syriac karṭālā', the Greek κάρταλλος or κάρταλος, a basket (according to Suidas), κάρταλος having no etymology in Greek; but can hardly be derived, as by Meier, hebr. Wurzelwrterbuch, p. 683, from the Syriac ‛rṭl, nudavit, to make bare, the Arabic ‛arṭala, to make empty, to hollow, with the sense of hollow basins. 2. מחלפים 29. This word also occurs only here. The Sept. has παρηλλαγμένα (interpreting etymologically after חלף), 1 Esdr. θυΐ́σκαι, the Vulg. cultri, sacrificial knives, according to the rabbinical interpretation, which is based upon חלף, in the sense of to pierce, to cut through (Judges 5:26; Job 20:24). This meaning is, however, certainly incorrect, being based linguistically upon a mere conjecture, and not even offering an appropriate sense, since we do not expect to find knives between vessels and dishes. Ewald (Gesch. iv. p. 88), from the analogy of מחלפות (Judges 16:13, Judges 16:19), plaits, supposes vessels ornamented with plaited or net work; and Bertheau, vessels bored after the manner of a grating for censing, closed fire-pans with holes and slits. All is, however, uncertain. 3. כּפורים, goblets (goblets with covers; comp. 1 Chronicles 15:18) of gold, 30; and of silver, 410. The word משׁנים is obscure; connected with כּסף כּפורי כּס it can only mean goblets of a second order (comp. 1 Chronicles 15:18). Such an addition appears, however, superfluous; the notion of a second order or class being already involved in their being of silver, when compared with the golden goblets. Hence Bertheau supposes משׁנים to be a numeral corrupted by a false reading; and the more so, because the sum-total given in Ezra 1:11 seems to require a larger number than 410. These reasons, however, are not insuperable. The notion of a second order of vessels need not lie in their being composed of a less valuable metal, but may also be used to define the sort of implement; and the difference between the separate numbers and the sum-total is not perfectly reconciled by altering משׁנים into אלפים, 2000. 4. 1000 other vessels or implements.
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