W I T H P R A C T I C A L O B S E R V A T I O N
OF THE BOOK OF
E Z R A
The Jewish church puts on quite another face in this book
from what it had appeared with; its state much better, and more pleasant, than
it was of late in
Babylon, and yet far inferior to what it had been formerly. The
dry bones here live again, but in the form of a servant; the yoke of
their captivity is taken off, but the marks of it in their galled necks
remain. Kings we hear no more of; the crown has fallen from their heads.
Prophets they are blessed with, to direct them in their re-establishment, but,
after a while, prophecy ceases among them, till the great prophet appears, and
his fore-runner. The history of this book is the accomplishment of Jeremiah's
prophecy concerning the return of the Jews out of
at the end of seventy years, and a type of the
accomplishment of the prophecies of the Apocalypse concerning the deliverance
of the gospel church out of the New-Testament Babylon. Ezra preserved the
records of that great revolution and transmitted them to the church in this
book. His name signifies a helper; and so he was to that people. A particular
account concerning him we shall meet with, ch. vii., where he himself
enters upon the stage of action. The book gives us an account, I. Of the Jews'
return out of their captivity, ch. i., ii. II. Of the building of the
temple, the opposition it met with, and yet the perfecting of it at last, ch.
iii.-vi. III. Of Ezra's coming to Jerusalem, ch. vii., viii. IV. Of the good service he did
there, in obliging those that had married strange wives to put them away, ch.
ix., x. This beginning again of the Jewish nation was small, yet its latter
end greatly increased.