John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 8 (Ezra 5:8)

Be it known unto the king ,.... This seems to have been the usual form of beginning a letter to a king in those days, Ezra 4:12 that we went into the province of Judea; which from a kingdom was reduced to a province, and was become a part of the Babylonian, now Persian, monarchy, see Ezra 2:1 to the house of the great God; as the Jews called the Lord their God; and even the Heathens had a notion that there was one supreme God, though they worshipped inferior ones; and some had a notion that Jehovah the God of the Jews was he:

which is builded with great stones ; marble stones; as Jarchi F17 So David de Pomis, Tzemach David, fol. 15. 3. , stones of rolling, as it may be rendered; which, according to Aben Ezra, were so large and heavy, that they could not be carried, but were obliged to roll them:

and timber is laid in the walls , cedar wood, as Aben Ezra interprets it, for beams, for flooring and raftering; or rather, is put upon the walls, for the lining and wainscoting of them, which was done with cedar wood:

and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands ; and, unless timely prevented, will soon be finished.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary