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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Nehemiah 9

Verses 1-38


The Renewal of the Covenant

4. Stairs] lit. ’ascent’: probably the pulpit of wood mentioned in Nehemiah 8:4. Bani.. Bani] One of the two names is probably an error for ’Binnui’: cp. Nehemiah 12:8.

6. Thou, etc.] Before this LXX inserts ’And Ezra said.’ The prayer that follows first recalls God’s early mercies to the nation, the unworthy return made for such, the divine forbearance, the people’s renewed offences, and their consequent punishment; it next acknowledges the justice of the chastisement undergone; and it concludes with a solemn promise of future amendment. But though it is a confession of national sins and ends with a national covenant, the sequence of thought it presents might well be followed in private devotions. All their host] i.e. the stars: cp. Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 40:26. The host of heaven] i.e. the angels: cp. 1 Kings 22:19.

7. Didst choose] The religious privileges enjoyed by Israel could only be ascribed to the free grace of God, and such privileges carried with them corresponding responsibilities. The same is true of the advantages, material or intellectual, possessed by other peoples.

8. Righteous] i.e. faithful to Thy promises: cp, Psalms 40:10.

16. They and our fathers] better, ’they, even our fathers.’

22. Didst divide.. corners] RV ’which thou didst allot after their portions’: i.e. according to their several boundaries.

26. Slew thy prophets] see, for instance, 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Kings 19:10; 2 Chronicles 24:20-22; Jeremiah 26:20-23.

29. Withdrew the shoulder] like a restive ox that refuses the yoke.

32. The kings of Assyria] The kings of Assyria that distressed Israel were Shalmaneser II (to whom Jehu paid tribute), Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29), Shalmeneser III and Sargon (2 Kings 17:5-6), Sennacherib (2 Kings 18, 19), and perhaps Asshurbanipal (2 Chronicles 33:11). Unto this day] The rule over Israel exercised by Assyria had been succeeded by that of Babylon and Persia.

33. Done right] RV ’dealt truly’: i.e. faithfully: cp. Nehemiah 9:8.

38. And because of all this] RV ’and yet for all this.’ We make a sure covenant] The original covenant between Israel and the Lord made at Sinai (Exodus 24) had been renewed by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 15:12) and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:30-33): cp. also Ezra 10:3. Seal unto it] lit. (and the names of) ’our princes, etc., are on the sealed writing.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Nehemiah 9". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/nehemiah-9.html. 1909.