Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Ezra
Book: Ezra
Chapter: 9

Ezra mourns for the Jews' conduct. (1-4) Ezra's Confession of
sins. (5-15)

1-4 Many corruptions lurk out of the view of the most careful
rulers. Some of the people disobeyed the express command of God,
which forbade all marriages with the Heathen, De 7. Disbelief
of God's all-sufficiency, is at the bottom of the sorry shifts
we make to help ourselves. They exposed themselves and their
children to the peril of Idolatry, that had ruined their Church
and nation. Carnal professors may make Light of such connections,
and try to explain away the exhortations to be separate; but
those who are best acquainted with the Word of God, will treat
the subject in another manner. They must forebode the worst from
such unions. The evils excused, and even pleaded for, By many
professors, astonish and cause regret in the true believer. All
who profess to be God's people, ought to strengthen those that
appear and act against vice and profaneness.

5-15 The Sacrifice, especially the Evening Sacrifice, was a
Type of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the Evening of the
world, was to take away Sin By the Sacrifice of himself. Ezra's
address is a penitent Confession of Sin, the Sin of his people.
But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though their
sins reach to the heavens, God's Mercy is in the heavens. Ezra,
speaking of Sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is as
necessary in true Repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as much
amazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more we
think of Sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to me a
sinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer or
sadder presage of ruin, than turning to Sin, after great
judgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the Church of
God, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord's
patience, and brought Destruction upon himself. What then must
be the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent has
nothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleads
most powerfully for him.