7:6 went up from Babylonia. Not all the pious exiles had returned with Sheshbazzar in 538 b.c. Ezra’s family had not. Ezra had probably not been born at the time of the first return. He grew up in Babylon, where most of the exiles lived.
a scribe skilled. In the Old Testament, scribes were often government officials who composed official documents (4:8 note; 2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Kin. 4:3), administered temple treasuries (2 Kin. 12:10, 11; 22:3, 4, 9; Neh. 13:13), served as court emissaries (2 Kin. 18:18–37), and provided literary functions like taking dictation (Jer. 36:32). Ezra had governmental authority (v. 25), but his most important qualification was as a teacher of God’s law (vv. 10, 11, 14; Neh. 8:1–9).
that the Lord . . . had given. The “Law of Moses” is divine in origin (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16). The reference here may be to the first five books of the Bible.
the king granted him all that he asked. The actions of responsible human beings are traced back to the sovereign action of God: Ezra asked and Artaxerxes complied because God favored Ezra.