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Nehemiah 9:1-38 The Priests and Levites Offer Prayer and Fasting Unto the Lord Nehemiah 9:1-38 records the prayer and fasting that the priests and Levites offered unto the Lord. The Jews had been rehearsing the Law for a month. It was becoming instilled into their hearts. Therefore, the lengthy prayer of this chapter reflects the enormous amount of Scriptures that were in their hearts. In this prayer, these Jews summarize the history of Israel.
They had been reading from the book of the Law. What Old Testament books were included in the phrase, “Book of the Law”? Since the entire Old Testament history of Israel is reflected in this prayer, it is proper to assume that most of the Old Testament books were being read to the Jews under the description “Book of the Law.” No single Old Testament book would give them this much history of Israel.
This prayer is a summary of what the Jews had been learning during the past month of assemblies.
In John 10:34, Jesus quotes from the book of Psalms by calling it the “Law.”
John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”
At other times, Jesus groups the Old Testament into the Law, the writings, and the prophets:
Luke 24:44, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms , concerning me.”
It appears that the Jews in the Old Testament referred to the entirety of their sacred writings as “the Law.” By New Testament times, these books were grouped into three categories, the Law, the Writings and the Prophets. Yet, the term “the Law” is still used in the New Testament to refer to all the Scriptures, being carried over from the Old Testament. The Law is an abbreviated form of the three categories that are sometimes used.
Note other descriptions of the Old Testament books:
John 1:45, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets , did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Acts 13:15, “And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
Acts 24:14, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets :”
Acts 28:23, “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets , from morning till evening.”
Nehemiah 9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
Nehemiah 9:3 “and another fourth part they confessed” Comments - Again they confessed their sins, after confessing them in Nehemiah 9:2. They saw their iniquity after reading the law of God.
Nehemiah 9:3 “and worshipped the LORD their God” - Comments - Their thankfulness for God’s mercy brought praise to God.
Nehemiah 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
Nehemiah 9:13 “and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments” Scripture References - Note
Romans 7:12, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
Nehemiah 9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
Nehemiah 9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
Nehemiah 9:21 “their clothes waxed not old” - Comments - Their clothes stayed in good shape for years.
Nehemiah 9:21 “and their feet swelled not” Comments - Feet can swell from lack of good shoes.
Nehemiah 9:22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Nehemiah 9". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/
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