Ezra 1:6
Verse 6. - All they that were about them. i.e. all their neighbours. Strengthened their hands. This is the literal rendering. The margin gives the right meaning - "helped them." With precious things. Migdanoth, a rare word, only used here, in Genesis 24:53, and in 2 Chronicles 21:3; always connected with silver and gold: derived from meged, which means "precious. Besides all that was willingly offered (comp. ver. 4). The gold, silver, precious things, etc. previously mentioned were free gifts to individual Jews, and were additional to certain offerings which were intrusted to them for conveyance to Jerusalem. On the value attached by the Persians to offerings made in Jerusalem to Jehovah, see below, Ezra 6:10, and Ezra 7:17.

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.And all they that were about them,.... Their neighbours, the Chaldeans:

strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things; which they either did of themselves at their own motion, or by the direction and example of Cyrus, Ezra 1:4 and perhaps many of them to ingratiate themselves into the favour of their new monarch:

besides all that was willingly offered: by the rich Jews, who thought fit, at least for the present, to remain in Babylon.

Ezra 1:5
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