Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Ezra
Book: Ezra
Chapter: 8

The companions of Ezra. (1-20) Ezra implores God's blessing.
(21-23) Treasures committed to the priests. (24-30) Ezra arrives
at Jerusalem. (31-36)

1-20 Ezra assembles the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed
of Judah. God raised up the spirits of a small remnant to
accompany him. What a pity that good men should omit a good
work, for want of being spoken to!

21-23 Ezra procured Levites to go with him; but what will that
avail, unless he have God with him? Those who seek God, are safe
under the Shadow of his wings, even in their greatest dangers;
but those who forsake him, are always exposed. When entering
upon any new state 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 peril, let us be at peace with God, and then nothing
can do us any real hurt. All our concerns about ourselves, our
families, and our estates, it is our Wisdom and duty, By Prayer
to commit to God, and to leave the care of them with him. And,
On some occasions, we should decline advantages which are within
our reach, lest we should cause others to stumble, and So our
God be dishonoured. Let us ask Wisdom of God, that we may know
how to use or to refuse lawful things. We shall be No losers By
venturing, suffering, or giving up for the Lord's sake. Their
prayers were answered, and the event declared it. Never have any
that sought God in Earnest, found that they sought him in vain.
In times of difficulty and danger, to set a season apart for
secret or for social Prayer, is the best method for relief we
can take.

24-30 Do we expect that God should, By his Providence, keep
that which belongs to us, let us, By his Grace, keep that which
belongs to him. Let God's honour and interest be our care; and
then we may expect that our lives and comforts will be his.

31-36 Enemies laid wait for the Jews, but God protected them.
Even the common perils of journeys, Call us to go out with
Prayer, and to return with praise and thanksgiving. But what
shall we render when the Lord has led us safely through the
pilgrimage of Life, through the gloomy vale of Death, out of the
reach of all our enemies, into Everlasting happiness! Among
their sacrifices they had a Sin-Offering. The Atonement sweetens
and secures every Mercy to us, which will not be truly
comfortable, unless Sin be taken away, and our peace made with
God. Then had the Church Rest. The expressions here used, direct
us to the deliverance of sinners from spiritual Bondage, and
their pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem, under the care and
protection of their God and Saviour.