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A Renewed Commitment to God
The Jews made a covenant with God that they would do better in their relationship with Him. We read, "And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it." ( Neh_9:38 ) The people had confessed their sins and prayed to God. They determined to do better and willingly put their names to the agreement. They felt a strong conviction for their sins. (Nehemiah 8) This led to a humble confession of sins. (Nehemiah 9) The result of the conviction they felt and the confession that they made was a covenant they made and signed before God. (Nehemiah 10)
The first 27 verses of Nehemiah 10 contain the names of many people who committed themselves to keep God's covenant. Nehemiah was the first to sign the agreement. The heads of 22 priestly families signed the agreement as well as 17 Levites. The covenant also contained the names of the heads of 44 other leading families. They committed themselves to keeping the Law of God. The rest of the people are not specifically named yet they also agreed to obey God's Law. They realized that a curse would come upon them if they failed to do the will of God. They specifically promised that they would not intermarry with pagans, and that they would keep the Sabbath day and the Sabbatical year. They also promised to give gifts to support the Temple. They promised, "We will not forsake the house of our God."
Those who signed the covenant -- Neh_10:1-27 : The names of several leaders were signed, sealed and subscribed to the covenant that they made with God. These names were listed in the first verses of Nehemiah 10. This is the covenant that was referred to in Neh_9:38 . "And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it." The covenant was signed by Nehemiah, then the priest, the Levities and then by family leaders. Their actions were like that of signing a contract today. They signed their names to a written covenant and later they were expected to keep it. This chapter allows us to see some of the details of that covenant. One of the things that they committed themselves to was that they wanted to "keep God's commandments." According to Exodus 24 Israel came into covenant with God. Then they made a sacrifice and sprinkle the blood of the animals on the book and on the people. Here, they were entering in on the same covenant of obedience to God by simply sealing and subscribing its written articles. The names are listed of those who were the representatives of the people as being the ones who both subscribed to and sealed this covenant. This was a good example of leadership both in signing and in keeping the covenant. The covenant was signed by Nehemiah, by 22 priests, 17 Levites and 44 chiefs of the people. They signed the covenant saying they would keep God's law.
Others who joined in this covenant -- Neh_10:28-29 :
The covenant promises that they made -- Neh_10:30-31 :: In their covenant with God they promised that would not intermarry with the hearten nations. Many of the Jews had done that but they promised that it would not happen again. As we remember some of them had even divorced their good, faithful Jewish wives to marry foreign women! The Jews also promised to observe the Sabbath and to keep the Sabbatical year. Let us remember that the Jewish Sabbath Day was actually on Saturday. They promised to cease the practice of buying and selling on the Sabbath Day. They also covenanted not to be as harsh in the exacting of their debts as they had been in the past. (Nehemiah 5) People would be released from their debts on the Sabbatical year as God had commanded. Only the most stubborn of people will not correct the fault they have been told to correct.
What did the people promise to give -- Neh_10:32-39 : The people make promises and ordinances that they would provide funds needed to do the work in the Temple. They determined to give a certain amount per person each year to accomplish this goal. This was a voluntary decision of the people to support the Temple work. They would be sure that the wood was provided to burn the sacrifices. These Jews also agreed to obey the laws of God regarding giving Him the firstfruits of the harvest and the firstborn of the people and animals. The gifts would be brought to the Temple and stored until they were needed. This store of good was to insure that the service to God in the Temple would not be neglected. Let us learn to uses whatever we have to the glory of God and to help build up his kingdom. If we give back to God anything less than what He deserves it is to rob Him. ( Mal_3:10 ) These Jews made a great resolve as they said, "We will not forsake the house of our God." Today the New Testament Church is the house of God. Those who do not forsake the house of God continue in the faith, grow in grace and labor in God's vineyard. These faithful souls will bring forth fruit as they conscientiously obey the commandments of God. Let us also remember to make our offerings so that the work of God can be successfully carried on.
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Nehemiah 10". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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