Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.
A decree — To search the rolls in Babylon, where search was first made; but not finding the edict there, they searched in Achmetha, or Ecbatana, and found it.
 And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:
Achmetha — The royal city of the Medes and Persians.
 In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits;
Cubits — Those proportions differ from those of Solomon's temple, which was but thirty cubits high, only the porch was a hundred and twenty cubits high, and but twenty cubits in breadth. Either therefore Solomon's cubits were sacred cubits, which were larger than the other, and these but common cubits. Or, the sixty cubits of height are meant only for the porch. And the word rendered breadth, may be rendered the extension or the length of it; it being improbable that the king should give orders about the breadth, and none about the length of it.
 And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
Destroy — Tho' this temple was at length most justly destroyed by the righteous hand of God, yet perhaps the Romans, who were the instruments of that destruction, felt the effects of this curse. For that empire sensibly declined ever after, 'till it was wholly destroyed.
 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
Through the prophesying — This is a seasonable intimation that this great and unexpected success was not to be ascribed to chance, or to the kindness or good humour of Darius, but unto God only, who by his prophets had required and encouraged them to proceed in the work, and by his mighty power disposed Darius's heart to such kind and noble purposes.
 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,
Children of Israel — Probably some out of each of the twelve tribes.
 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Joyful — He had given them both cause to rejoice, and hearts to rejoice. God is the fountain whence all the streams of true joy flow.
Of Assyria — Of the king of Persia, who was now king of Assyria also, here so called emphatically, to note the great power and goodness of God in turning the hearts of these great monarchs, whose predecessors had been the chief persecutors and oppressors of God's people.