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NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 10
The names of those that sealed the covenant, Nehemiah 10:1-16.10.27.
The rest of the people cleave to them: the covenant, Nehemiah 10:28-16.10.39.
Those that sealed, both in their own names, and in the name of all the rest. It may seem strange that Ezra doth not appear among them. But that might be because he was prevented, either by death, or by some sickness, or other extraordinary impediment, for which we have this presumption, that whereas Ezra appears, and preacheth, and prayeth with Jeshua and Bani, &c., before the feast of tabernacles, Nehemiah 8:4, &c., we have no mention of him Nehemiah 9:0, but the whole work of that solemn fast day was managed by them alone, without any mention of Ezra, whose name would not have been omitted, if he had been then present. It is true, we meet with Ezra after this, at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 12:36, and therefore he was then freed from this impediment, whatsoever it was; but thence it appears that he was not dead. Nehemiah, the Tirshatha: this is added to distinguish him from others of that name, whereof we have one, Nehemiah 3:16.
The chief of the people, i.e. their elders, or representatives, acting in the stead and by the appointment of all the rest; for it had been troublesome and unnecessary for every one of the people to seal.
The rest of the people; those who did not write and seal with their own hands, but only by their deputies above-mentioned.
They clave to their brethren; they owned and ratified what the others had done in their names, declaring their assent to it by their words, or by the lifting up of their hands, as the manner was.
Into an oath, i.e. an oath bound with a curse or imprecation upon themselves, in case they violated it.
We would not give our daughters, to wit, in marriage. Having sworn obedience to God’s laws in the general, they now do so to some particulars, wherein they had lately transgressed, or were most prone to transgress.
That we would leave the seventh year, i.e. leave the land at rest from ploughing or tilling it in that year, according to God’s command, Exodus 23:10,Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 25:4.
The exaction of every debt, Heb. hand: debts are called hands, because they are commonly contracted or confirmed by a bill under the hand of the debtor.
To charge ourselves, i.e. every particular head or person among us; which they had warrant to do, both from the nature of the thing, because this was necessary to be done for the upholding of God’s worship, and from the warrant of former examples in the like case, 2 Chronicles 24:5.
the shew-bread, and the continual meat-offering, and
the continual burnt-offering, were provided out of the treasuries of the temple, 1 Chronicles 26:20; and when those failed, out of the king’s treasure, 2 Chronicles 31:3. But now, both these failing, provision is here made for them another way.
For the holy things, i.e. for the sacrifices, all which were holy.
The sin-offerings; which are particularly mentioned, as most necessary and suitable to their present state, which was exceeding sinful, and therefore miserable, and calling aloud for atoning sacrifices.
We cast the lots, to determine the time and order in which each of them should take the care of the business.
For the wood-offering; for the wood, which was to be spent in great quantity, being used in every sacrifice, and formerly had been supplied out of the temple’s treasures, or by the king; which could not now be done.
Into the house of our God, i.e. into the place appointed to receive it in the buildings adjoining or belonging to the temple.
After the houses of our fathers, i. e. according to our several families, which were to take the charge of it by course.
The first-fruits of our ground, i.e. of the fruits of our ground. All the particulars of the first-fruits are exactly and distinctly mentioned, that none might pretend ignorance when they withheld any part of the priests’ dues; which at that time especially the people were very prone to do, through poverty, or covetousness, or profaneness; and that the priests’ rights might be firmly assured to them.
i.e. The tithes of all the fruits of the ground belonging to our several cities.
The priest the son of Aaron, i.e. some priest or priests appointed to this work, that so neither the people might wrong the Levites, nor the Levites defraud the priests of their dues.
The Levites shall bring up at their own charges,
Into the treasure-house, to wit, of the temple; where it was laid up for the use of the priests.
Unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary; where other things belonging to the temple are laid up, and therefore these things also shall be put there.
And the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers, i.e. where also are the priests and others that minister in their courses, for whose use these provisions are made.
We will not forsake the house of our God, i.e. we do here solemnly declare and engage ourselves that we will take care, from time to time, that the house and service of God be not neglected or forsaken for want of necessary provisions to support it.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Nehemiah 10". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany