The Proclamation of Cyrus

11 Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord given by the mouth of Jeremiah might come true, the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, was moved by the Lord, so that he made a public statement through all his kingdom, and put it in writing, saying, 2 These are the words of Cyrus, king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has made me responsible for building a house for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever there is among you of his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and take in hand the building of the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever there may be of the rest of Israel, living in any place, let the men of that place give him help with offerings of silver and gold and goods and beasts, in addition to the offering freely given for the house of God in Jerusalem.

The Return of the Exiles to Jerusalem

5 Then the heads of families of Judah and Benjamin, with the priests and the Levites, got ready, even all those whose spirits were moved by God to go up and take in hand the building of the Lord's house in Jerusalem. 6 And all their neighbours gave them help with offerings of vessels of silver and gold and goods and beasts and things of great value, in addition to what was freely offered. 7 And Cyrus the king got out the vessels of the house of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods; 8 Even these Cyrus made Mithredath, the keeper of his wealth, get out, and he gave them, after numbering them, to Sheshbazzar, the ruler of Judah. 9 And this is the number of them: there were thirty gold plates, a thousand silver plates, twenty-nine knives, 10 Thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins, and a thousand other vessels. 11 There were five thousand, four hundred gold and silver vessels. All these were taken back by Sheshbazzar, when those who had been taken prisoner went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The List of Returning Exiles

21 Now these are the people of the divisions of the kingdom, among those who had been made prisoners by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and taken away to Babylon, who went back to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his town; 2 Who went with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah, The number of the men of the people of Israel: 3 The children of Parosh, two thousand, one hundred and seventy-two. 4 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two. 5 The children of Arah, seven hundred and seventy-five. 6 The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand, eight hundred and twelve. 7 The children of Elam, a thousand, two hundred and fifty-four. 8 The children of Zattu, nine hundred and forty-five. 9 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and sixty. 10 The children of Bani, six hundred and forty-two. 11 The children of Bebai, six hundred and twenty-three. 12 The children of Azgad, a thousand, two hundred and twenty-two. 13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-six. 14 The children of Bigvai, two thousand and fifty-six. 15 The children of Adin, four hundred and fifty-four. 16 The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight. 17 The children of Bezai, three hundred and twenty-three. 18 The children of Jorah, a hundred and twelve. 19 The children of Hashum, two hundred and twenty-three. 20 The children of Gibbar, ninety-five. 21 The children of Beth-lehem, a hundred and twenty-three. 22 The men of Netophah, fifty-six. 23 The men of Anathoth, a hundred and twenty-eight. 24 The children of Azmaveth, forty-two. 25 The children of Kiriath-arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty-three. 26 The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred and twenty-one. 27 The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty-two. 28 The men of Beth-el and Ai, two hundred and twenty-three. 29 The children of Nebo, fifty-two. 30 The children of Magbish, a hundred and fifty-six. 31 The children of the other Elam, a thousand, two hundred and fifty-four. 32 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 33 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred and twenty-five. 34 The children of Jericho, three hundred and forty-five. 35 The children of Senaah, three thousand, six hundred and thirty.

36 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred and seventy-three. 37 The children of Immer, a thousand and fifty-two. 38 The children of Pashhur, a thousand, two hundred and forty-seven. 39 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. 40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy-four. 41 The music-makers: the children of Asaph, a hundred and twenty-eight 42 The children of the door-keepers: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, a hundred and thirty-nine. 43 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 44 The children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon, 45 The children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub, 46 The children of Hagab, the children of Shamlai, the children of Hanan, 47 The children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah, 48 The children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam, 49 The children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai, 50 The children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephisim, 51 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 52 The children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 53 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, 54 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. 55 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Hassophereth, the children of Peruda, 56 The children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, 57 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the children of Ami. 58 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred and ninety-two. 59 And these were the people who went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer. But having no knowledge of their fathers' families or offspring, it was not certain that they were Israelites; 60 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two. 61 And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who was married to one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and took their name. 62 They made search for their record among the lists of families, but their names were nowhere to be seen; so they were looked on as unclean and no longer priests. 63 And the Tirshatha said that they were not to have the most holy things for their food, till a priest came to give decision by Urim and Thummim.

64 The number of all the people together was forty-two thousand, three hundred and sixty, 65 As well as their men-servants and their women-servants, of whom there were seven thousand, three hundred and thirty-seven: and they had two hundred men and women to make music. 66 They had seven hundred and thirty-six horses, two hundred and forty-five transport beasts, 67 Four hundred and thirty-five camels, six thousand, seven hundred and twenty asses. 68 And some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, gave freely of their wealth for the building up of the house of God in its place: 69 Every one, as he was able, gave for the work sixty-one thousand darics of gold, five thousand pounds of silver and a hundred priests' robes. 70 So the priests and the Levites and the people and the music-makers and the door-keepers and the Nethinim, took up their places in their towns; even all Israel in their towns.

23 And when Jesus was nailed to the cross, the men of the army took his clothing, and made a division of it into four parts, to every man a part, and they took his coat: now the coat was without a join, made out of one bit of cloth. 24 So they said among themselves, Let this not be cut up, but let us put it to the decision of chance and see who gets it. (They did this so that the Writings might come true, which say, They made a distribution of my clothing among them, and my coat they put to the decision of chance.) This was what the men of the army did. 25 Now by the side of the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple who was dear to him, he said to his mother, Mother, there is your son! 27 Then he said to the disciple, There is your mother! And from that hour the disciple took her to his house. 28 After this, being conscious that all things had now been done so that the Writings might come true, Jesus said, Give me water. 29 Now there was a vessel ready, full of bitter wine, and they put a sponge full of it on a stick and put it to his mouth. 30 So when Jesus had taken the wine he said, All is done. And with his head bent he gave up his spirit.

Jesus' Side Pierced

31 Now it was the day of getting ready for the Passover, and so that the bodies might not be on the cross on the Sabbath (because the day of that Sabbath was a great day), the Jews made a request to Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the men of the army came, and the legs of the first were broken and then of the other who was put to death on the cross with Jesus: 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was dead by this time, and so his legs were not broken; 34 But one of the men made a wound in his side with a spear, and straight away there came out blood and water. 35 And he who saw it has given witness (and his witness is true; he is certain that what he says is true) so that you may have belief. 36 These things came about so that the Writings might be true, No bone of his body will be broken. 37 And again another verse says, They will see him who was wounded by their spears.

The Burial of Jesus

38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, made a request to Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate said he might do so. So he went and took away his body. 39 And Nicodemus came (he who had first come to Jesus by night) with a roll of myrrh and aloes mixed, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, folding linen about it with the spices, as is the way of the Jews when they put the dead to rest. 41 Now there was a garden near the cross, and in the garden a new place for the dead in which no man had ever been put. 42 So they put Jesus there, because it was the Jews' day of getting ready for the Passover, and the place was near.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on John 19:23-42

Commentary on John 19:19-30

(Read John 19:19-30)

Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus' death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord's character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ's example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.

Commentary on John 19:31-37

(Read John 19:31-37)

A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus' pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate's not allowing his legs to be broken, Exodus 12:46. May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.

Commentary on John 19:38-42

(Read John 19:38-42)

Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Christ in secret. Disciples should openly own themselves; yet some, who in lesser trials have been fearful, in greater have been courageous. When God has work to do, he can find out such as are proper to do it. The embalming was done by Nicodemus, a secret friend to Christ, though not his constant follower. That grace which at first is like a bruised reed, may afterward resemble a strong cedar. Hereby these two rich men showed the value they had for Christ's person and doctrine, and that it was not lessened by the reproach of the cross. We must do our duty as the present day and opportunity are, and leave it to God to fulfil his promises in his own way and his own time. The grave of Jesus was appointed with the wicked, as was the case of those who suffered as criminals; but he was with the rich in his death, as prophesied, Isaiah 53:9; these two circumstances it was very unlikely should ever be united in the same person. He was buried in a new sepulchre; therefore it could not be said that it was not he, but some other that rose. We also are here taught not to be particular as to the place of our burial. He was buried in the sepulchre next at hand. Here is the Sun of Righteousness set for a while, to rise again in greater glory, and then to set no more.