Which came with Zerubbabel - There are many difficulties in this table of names; but as we have no less than three copies of it, that contained here from Ezra 2:1-67, a second in Nehemiah 7:6-69, and a third in 1 Esdras 5:7-43, on a careful examination they will be found to correct each other. The versions also, and the Variae Lectiones of Kennicott and De Rossi, do much toward harmonizing the names.
Though the sum total at the end of each of these enumerations is equal, namely 42,360, yet the particulars reckoned up make in Ezra only 29,818, and in Nehemiah 31,089. We find that Nehemiah mentions 1765 persons which are not in Ezra, and Ezra has 494 not mentioned by Nehemiah. Mr. Alting thinks that this circumstance, which appears to render all hope of reconciling them impossible, is precisely the very point by which they can be reconciled; for if we add Ezra's surplus to the sum in Nehemiah, and the surplus of Nehemiah to the number in Ezra, the numbers will be equal.
The number in Ezra 29,818 Surplus in Nehemiah. 1,765 Sum total 31,583
The number in Nehemiah 31,089 The surplus in Ezra 494 Sum total 31,583
If we subtract this sum 31,583 from 42,360, we shall have a deficiency of 10,777 from the numbers as summed up in the text; and these are not named here, either because their registers were not found, or they were not of Judah and Benjamin, the tribes particularly concerned, but of the other Israelitish tribes; see Ezra 2:36.
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
We were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing:
Then said they among the heathen,
The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us;
Whereof we are glad.” PK 559.1
Psalm 126:1-3. PK 559
“The chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised”—these were the goodly remnant, about fifty thousand strong, from among the Jews in the lands of exile, who determined to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity offered them “to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.” Their friends did not permit them to go empty-handed. “All they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things.” And to these and many other voluntary offerings were added “the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem; ... even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, ... five thousand and four hundred” in number, for use in the temple that was to be rebuilt. Ezra 1:5-11. PK 559.2Read in context »