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Ezra 6:11 meaning...

This verse captures a decree issued by King Darius concerning the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Darius, having investigated the matter, not only reaffirms the initial decree of Cyrus allowing the reconstruction but also adds a severe warning against any attempts to alter or hinder the process.

  • Drastic Consequences for Alteration:

The language used by King Darius is stern and punitive. The decree pronounces a curse upon anyone who dares to alter the royal edict. The imagery of pulling out a beam from the offender's house and using it to hang them is a vivid depiction of the severity of the punishment. Furthermore, the defiled house is to be transformed into a "dunghill," a place associated with impurity and degradation.

  • Divine Recognition:

It's noteworthy that King Darius not only reinforces the human consequences but also acknowledges the divine aspect of the decree. The decree he issues aligns with the divine will for the reconstruction of the temple. In verses preceding this, Darius acknowledges the God of Israel and expresses his desire for prayers on behalf of himself and his sons.

Implications for Believers:

Divine Alignment: King Darius unwittingly aligns himself with the divine purpose of rebuilding the temple. Believers are reminded that God can use even secular rulers to accomplish His plans and purposes.

Reverence for God's Decrees: The severe consequences outlined in the decree highlight the importance of reverence for God's decrees. In the context of the temple, it signifies the sacredness of God's dwelling place and the need for careful adherence to His commands.

God's Protection and Justice: The punitive nature of the consequences serves as a reminder of God's commitment to protecting His people and ensuring justice. Believers can find assurance that, even in the face of opposition, God's purposes will prevail.

The Power of Divine Recognition: King Darius, though a foreign ruler, recognizes the God of Israel. This recognition paves the way for a measure of favor and protection for the Jewish people. Believers today can draw encouragement from the idea that God's recognition can influence even those in positions of authority.


Ezra 6:10: "that they may offer sacrifices of pleasant aroma to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons." This verse precedes the one in question and reveals Darius' acknowledgment of the God of heaven and his recognition of the importance of prayers for the king and his descendants.

Daniel 6:26-27: "I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, and steadfast forever. His kingdom that which will not be destroyed. His dominion will be even to the end." Another instance where a Persian king acknowledges the greatness of the God of Israel, in this case, King Darius after Daniel's deliverance from the lion's den.

While the specifics of the decree in Ezra 6:11 are rooted in the historical context of the temple's reconstruction, the underlying principles resonate in the lives of believers today. The call to honor and adhere to divine decrees, coupled with the assurance of God's protection and justice, remains relevant. Believers are encouraged to recognize and respond to the divine purposes that may unfold even through unexpected sources.

Ezra 6:11. Also I have made a decree, that whoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened on it; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.


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