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The people keep

CHAPTER IX.

a solemn fast.

A. M. 3559.
B. C. 445.

B. C. 445.

15 And that they should publish and 17 And all the congregation of 4. M. 3559.

proclaim in alltheir cities, and in Jeru- them that were come again out of salem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and * fetch the captivity made booths, and sat under the olive-branches, and pine-branches, and myrtle- booths; for since the days of Jeshua the son branches, and palm-branches, and branches of of Nun unto that day had not the children thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. of Israel done so.

And there was very great 16 4 So the people went forth, and brought gladness. them, and made themselves booths, every one 18 Also day by day, from the first day unto upon the 5 roof of his house, and in their courts, | the last day, he read in the book of the law of and in the courts of the house of God, and in God. And they kept the feast seven days; and the street of the 2 water-gate, a and in the street on the eighth day was 8a solemn assembly, of the gate of Ephraim.

d according unto the manner.

Lev. xxiii. 4. u Deut. xvi. 16. Lev. xxiii. 40. —y Deut.
XX. 8. Chap. xii. 37. - 2 Kings xiv, 13; Chap. xii. 39.

52 Chron. xxx.21.- Deut. xxxi. 10, &c. Heb. a restraint.

d Lev. xxiii. 36; Num. xxix. 35.

of the holy joy of the gospel church. They that not be that this festival had never been observed diligently search the Scriptures, will find those things since Joshua's time, because we are informed, (Ezra written there which they had forgotten, or not duly | iii. 4,) that it was kept at their return from Babylon; considered before. And that they should publish— but the joy, since that time, had never been so great That is, they also found that written ; Saying, Go as it was now, “for which the Jews themselves," forth unto the mount, and fetch olive-branches— says Dr. Dodd, “ assign this reason ; that in the days Namely, the mount of Olives, which was next Jeru of Joshua they rejoiced, because they had gotten salem, and stored with olive-trees, and probably with possession of the land of Canaan; and now they the other trees here mentioned: for these trees seem equally rejoiced, because they were restored and to have been planted there, and in the neighbouring | quietly settled in it, after they had been long cast parts, principally for the use of the city in this very out of it.” Or, we should rather say, they not only feast, which, though long neglected, ought to have had the same causes for rejoicing which they forbeen celebrated every year. And this place seems | merly had, but special causes to increase their joy. here to be referred to as being the most eminent, | To this Poole adds, They never, since Joshua's time, but to be put for any place near to the cities of Ju- kept this seast so solemnly and religiously: for dah where these branches could be procured. whereas, at other times, only the first and last day of

Verse 16. Every one upon the roof of his house- || that feast were celebrated with a holy convocation, Which, according to the law, was made flat, Deut. now there was a holy convocation, and the people xxii. 8. And in their courts-Those belonging to assembled, and attended upon the reading of the law their houses : for the booths might be made any- | every day of this feast. where in the open air. And in the street of the gate Verse 18. Day by day he read in the book of the of Ephraim—The gate of the city which led to law of God-The law was commanded to be read at the tribe of Ephraim.

this feast, Deut. xxxi. 10-12. But the reading of it was Verse 17. Since the days of Jeshua, had not the || not enjoined to be continued every day, as was now children of Israel done so—The meaning here can- Il done through their singular and very laudable zeal.

CHAPTER IX. The people keep a solemn fast, 1-3. The Levites bless God for his goodness to them and their fathers, 4–8. In Egypt,

and their journey out of it, 9–12. On mount Sinai, 13, 14. In their journey toward Canaan, 15–18. In the wilderness, 19-21. In driving out the Canaanites, 22–26. In hearing their prayer when in trouble, 27-31. They confess their sin, 32-37. And seal a covenant with God, 38. 8. M. 35. NOW in thetwenty and fourth day of || were assembled with fasting, and with 4. M: 3559

* this month the children of Israel sackcloths, and earth upon them.

Chap. viii. 2.

Josh. vii. 6; 1 Sam. iv. 12 ; 2 Sam. i. 2; Job ii. 12.

NOTES ON CHAPTER IX.

the feast, which was to be kept with joy. But now, Verse 1. Now in the twenty and fourth day-The on the twenty-fourth, the next day but one after the feast of tabernacles began on the fourteenth day, and feast, their consciences having been fully awakened, ended on the twenty-second, all which time mourn- and their hearts filled with grief for their sins, which ing had been forbidden, as contrary to the nature of | they were not allowed to express in that time of

The Levites bless God

NEHEMIAH.

for his great goodness.

A. M. 3559.
B. C. 445.

B. C. 445.

2 And · the seed of Israel separated | Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodi- A. M. 3559.

themselves from all 1strangers, and jah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities | Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever of their fathers.

and ever: and blessed be e thy glorious name, 3 And they stood up in their place, and d read which is exalted above all blessing and praise. in the book of the law of the LORD their God 6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou one fourth part of the day; and another fourth | hast made heaven, h the heaven of heavens, with part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD all their host, the earth, and all things that their God.

are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, 4 4 Then stood up upon the 2 stairs of the and thou k preservest them all; and the host of Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Sheba-heaven worshippeth thee. niah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, 7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD choose ? Abram, and broughtest him forth out their God.

of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, of m Abraham;

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public joy, they resume their former thoughts, and, The work of a fast-day is good work; and we should recalling their sins to mind, set apart a day for so- endeavour to make a day's work, a good day's work, lemn fasting and humiliation.

of it. Verse 2. The seed of Israel separated themselves Verse 4. They stood upon the stairs—Upon such -From all unnecessary society with the heathen, || stairs or pulpits as the Levites usually stood upon and particularly from those strange women whom when they taught the people. But they stood upon some of them had married. For although Ezra had several pulpits, each of them teaching that part of effected this separation formerly, as far as he had the congregation which was allotted him, or praying knowledge of the faulty persons, and power to re- or blessing God with them. And rried with a loud form them; yet it seems there were some criminals | voice—Thereby testifying their deep sense of their who either had escaped his knowledge, or were be- sins and miseries, and their fervent and importunate yond the reach of his power; or there were some desire of God mercy. new delinquents that since that time had fallen into Verse 5. Then the Levites, Jeshua, fc., said, the same error, and now showed the truth of their Stand up, and bless the Lord for ever and everrepentance by forsaking their beloved sins and dear- | Praise him and give him thanks, as long as you have est relations. And the iniquilies of their fathers, any being; and blessed be thy glorious name, which Which they confess, partly as one cause of their | is exalted above all blessing and praise–The superpresent sufferings; and partly because they, by their excellent perfections of which, the noblest creatures practices, had justified their father's sins, and made cannot worthily magnify. The Levites, it is likely, them their own.

praised him in these or such like words, in which all Verse 3. They stood up and read in the book of the the people joined, either with their lips, or in their law—That is, the Levites stood up in a place built hearts. for them, and read the law as they did before, inter- Verse 6. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone-Jehopreting the sense of what they read. One fourth | vah, the self-existent and independent being; there part of the day-To wit, for three hours; for there is no God beside thee; thou hast made hearen, &c. were reckoned twelve hours in their day. Probably

y | They acknowledged the God they worshipped to they began to read after the morning sacrifice, at be the supreme Sovereign, the Lord over all, who which time divers religious people used to be pre- had created all things whatsoever, who preserved sent, and continued reading till the sixth hour, that is, them by his providence, and therefore had a sovetill midday; and another fourth part-Namely, from reign dominion over all. And the host of heaven wormidday to the time of the evening sacrifice; they shippeth thee—The angels, archangels, cherubim, confessed—Both God's mercies, as appears from and seraphim, and all the inhabitants of heaven, of the following prayer, and their own sins, as is ex- whatever order, acknowledge thee as the universal pressed verse 2, this day being chiefly set apart for King. the work of confession and humiliation; and wor- Verse 7. Thou art the Lord who didst choose shipped the Lord their God-Partly by their ac- Abraham-Here follows a compendious history of knowledgment and adoration of his wonderful mer- the affairs of the Hebrew nation, which, it is likely, cy, in forgiving their sins, and saving them from the was composed by Ezra or Nehemiah in the form of judgments which they had deserved, and for giving a prayer, and delivered to the Levites, that they them his law, and the knowledge thereof; and part- | might pronounce it distinctly before the whole conly, by imploring his further grace and mercy to them. Il gregation, from their several scaffolds, which were

The Levites recount the

CHAPTER IX.

gracious dealings of God.

A. M. 3559.
B. C. 415.

B. C. 445.

8 And foundest his heart "faithful || Sinai, and spakest with them from A. M. 3559.

before thee, and madest a covenant heaven, and gavest them right judgwith him to give the land of the Canaanites, the ments, and true laws, good statutes, and comHittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and mandments : the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I 14 And madest known unto them thy holy say, to his seed, and P hast performed thy words; || sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, for thou art righteous :

statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy 9 . And didst see the affliction of our fathers servant : in Egypt, and 'heardest their cry by the Red sea; 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for

10 And showedst signs and wonders upon their hunger, and broughtest forth water for Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all them out of the rock for their thirst, and prothe people of his land: for thou knewest that misedst them that they should 'go in to posthey dealt proudly against them. So didst sess the land * which thou hadst sworn to give thou get thee a name, as it is this day. them.

11 And thou didst divide the sea before 16 & But they and our fathers dealt proudly, them, so that they went through the midst of and h hardened their necks, and hearkened not the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors to thy commandments, thou threwest into the deeps, y as a stone into 17 And refused to obey, i neither were mindthe mighty waters.

ful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; 12 Moreover, thou z leddest them in the day but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar appointed ka captain to return to their bondage: of fire, to give them light in the way wherein but thou art 5 a God ready to pardon, 'gracious they should go.

and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kind13 a Thou camest down also upon mountness, and forsookest them not.

Gen. xv. 6. — Gen. xii, 7; xv. 18; xvii. 7. -P Joshua c Gen. ii. 3; Exod. xx. 8, 11.- d Exod. xvi. 14; John vi. 31. I10. 11. -4 Exod. ii. 25 ; ii. 7. Exod. xiv. 10. - Exod. • Exod. xvii. 6; Num. xx. 9, &c. _ Deut. i. 8. -4 Heb. which Chaps. vii. ; viii.; X. ; xii.; xiv.- Exod. xviii. 11. u Exod. thou hadst lift up thine hand to give them, Num. xiv. 30.- -5 Verse in 16; Isa. Isii. 12, 14; Jer. xxxii. 20; Dan. ix. 15. - Exod. 29; Psa. cvi. 6. h Deut. xxxi. 27; 2 Kings xvii. 14; 2 Chron. xiv. 21, 29; Psa. lxxviii. 13. - Exod. xv. 5, 10. _2 Exod. xxx. 8; Jer. xix. 15.- -i Psa. Ixxviii. 11, 42. Num. xiv. 4. X111. 2

- Exod. xix. 20: xx. 1. b Psa. xix. 8; Rom. vii. 12. 5 Heb. God of pardons. 1 Exod. xxxiv. 6; Num. xiv. 18; Psa. • Heb. laws of truth.

lxxxvi. 5, 15; Joel ii. 13.

conveniently placed, in several parts of the assem- enemies. For thou knewest that they dealt proudly bly, for that purpose.

against themIntending to make them their slaves Verse 8. And foundest his heart faithful before for ever, as, for the present, they treated them with thee-In many instances, especially in that great the utmost contempt and cruelty. trial of his faith and obedience, when thou requiredst Verse 13. And gavest them good statutes—The him to offer up his only son as a sacrifice. And moral and judicial precepts were all founded on nahast performed thy words ; for thou art righteous— tural equity. And even the ceremonial were tokens True to thy word, faithfully fulfilling all thy pro- of God's goodness, being types of gospel grace. mises.

Verse 14. And madest known unto them thy holy Verses 9, 10. And didst see the affliction of our sabbathThat holy sabbath day which thou didst fathers in Egypt-God's providences over Isaac bless and sanctify to Adam, commanding him, and and Jacob are passed by, to come to his interposi- in him all his posterity, to observe it, which yet altions in their behalf, since they became a nation; most all nations have quite forgotten; that day thou that is, since he had made good his covenant with didst graciously reveal unto thy people, reviving that Abraham, in multiplying his seed as the stars of ancient law by another particular law respecting it, heaven; at the time of entering into which covenant given to us in the wilderness. The Holy Scriptures he had foretold that his seed should suffer grievous speak of the sabbath as a singular gift of God to the altiction in Egypt; from which having rescued them, Jewish nation, Exod. xvi. 29; it being a sign between he completed their deliverance at the Red sea, | God and them, who sanctified, that is, separated when they cried to him, as is here mentioned. It them from all other nations to his peculiar people, was reasonable to remember this, now they were in- | or to be the worshippers of him who created the terceding for the perfecting of their deliverance out | world in six days and rested in the seventh, while the of Babylon. And showedst signs and wonders upon heathen nations worshipped the sun, moon, and stars, Pharaoh--Many and mighty, such as were unpre- || and other creatures. cedented and unparalleled, thereby getting honour Verses 16, 17. But our fathers dealt proudly, &c. upon him, and upon his servants and people, the de- 1 —Notwithstanding all thy singular and wonderful liverance of thy people being the destruction of their il mercies, they sinned presumptuously, and with a high

The Levites recount the

NEHEMIAH.

gracious dealings of God.

A M. 3559.
B. C. 445.

B. C. 445.

18 Yea, m when they had made 23 - Their children also multipliedst 4. M. 3559.

them a molten calf, and said, This is thou as the stars of heaven, and thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and broughtest them into the land concerning which had wrought great provocations ;

thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they 19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies for should go in to possess it. sookest them not in the wilderness : the pillar 24 So the children went in and possessed the of the cloud departed not from them by day, to land, and thou subduedst before them the inlead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire habitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest by night, to show them light, and the way them into their hands, with their kings, and the wherein they should go.

people of the land, that they might do with 20 Thou gavest also thy pgood Spirit to them as they would. instruct them, and withheldest not thy 9 manna 25 And they took strong cities, and a a fat from their mouth, and gavest them 'water for land, and possessed bhouses full of all goods, their thirst.

wells digged, vineyards and oliveyards, and 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them 8 fruit-trees in abundance: so they did eat, and in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; were filled, and became fat, and delighted their clothes waxed not old, and their feet themselves in thy great goodness. swelled not.

26 Nevertheless, they were disobedient, and 22 Moreover, thou gavest them kingdoms and rebelled against thee, and † cast thy law behind nations, and didst divide them into corners : so their backs, and slew thy & prophets which testhey possessed the land of Sihon, and the land tified against them to turn them to thee, and of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og they wrought great provocations. king of Bashan.

27 h Therefore thou deliveredst them into the

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m Exod. xxxii. 4.- Verse 27; Psa. cvi. 45.- Exod. xiii. 21; Num. xiv. 14; 1 Cor. x. 1.-p Num. xi. 17; Isa. Ixii. 11. 9 Exod. xvi. 15; Josh. v. 12.- Exod. xvii. 6.- Deut. ii. 7. ! Deut. viii. 4; xxix. 5.- - Num. xxi. 21, &c.Gen. xxii. 17. 5 Josh. i. 2, &c.- -- Psa. xliv. 2. - Heb, according to their will.

a Ver. 35; Num. xiii. 27; Deut. viii. 7; Ezek. xx. 6. Deut. vi. ll.- -> Or, cisterns. -Heb. tree of food.- - Deut. xxxii. 15.-- Hos. iii. 5. Judg. ii. 11 ; Ezek. xx. 21.-— Kings xiv. 9; Psa. I. 17.-51 Kings xviii. 4 ; xix. 10; 2 Chron. xxiv. 20 ; Matt. xxiii. 37 ; Acts vii. 52.- _b Judg. ii. 14; 11. 8, &c.; Psa. cvi. 41.

hand, scorning to submit their wills to thine. Having struct them-Which thou didst graciously and plenhitherto recounted God's mercies toward them, with tifully impart, first unto Moses, and then unto the a view to aggravate their guilt, he now comes to seventy elders, (Num. xi. 17-26,) to the end that they confess their sins, in order that he might lead them might be able to direct and govern thy people wiseto a sincere and ingenuous grief for them, not only ly, and in thy fear. on account of the sufferings which they had brought Verse 22. And didst diride them into corners on themselves, but for the injury and indignity which That is, the heathen nations, whom God in a great they had offered to God; and refused to obey-Per- | measure destroyed, and the remainders of them he sisted in disobedience after many admonitions and dispersed into corners; that whereas, before the Isinvitations to repentance. And in their rebellion raelites came, they had large habitations, now they appointed a captain-That is, designed, purposed, were cooped up, some in one town, and some in anand resolved to do so, (Num. xiv. 4,) and therefore other, in the several corners of their land, while the they are said to do it; as Abraham is said to have Israelites dwelt in a large place, and had the possesoffered up Isaac, (Heb. xi. 17,) because he intended | sion of their whole land, some few and small parcels and attempted to do it.

excepted. Verses 18, 19. Yea, they made them a molten Verses 25, 26. And delighted them in thy great calf—This was a very high provocation, considering goodness—In all those comforts and blessings which, how little a time before God had expressly com- by thy great goodness, they obtained and enjoyed. manded them not to make any graven image, and Nevertheless they cast thy law behind their backs-how many cautions he had afterward given them They neglected and despised thy laws, would not against doing any such thing. Yet thou forsookest regard nor observe them; whereas they ought to them not in the wilderness—Where, if thou hadst have had them continually before their eyes, to diiest them without thy conduct and support, they rect and govern them in all their ways. The good would have been utterly undone and lost. The pil- things they enjoyed in the land which God had lar of cloud departed not, &c.--Notwithstanding given them, made them wanton and forgetful of God their great provocations, thou didst still continue and his commandments. And slew thy prophets-Of thy gracious presence among them, of which the which see the margin. pillar of the cloud was a glorious token.

Verse 27. When they cried unto thee, &c.--The Verse 20. Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to in- || whole book of Judges verifies this, that God de

The Lerites recount the

CHAPTER IX.

gracious dealings of God.

B. C. 445.

A. M. 3559. hand of their enemies, who vexed || thy prophets : yet would they not give A. M. 3559.

B. C. 445. them: and in the time of their trouble, || ear: 'therefore gavest thou thern into when they cried unto thee, thou i heardest them the hand of the people of the lands from heaven; and according to thy manifold | 31 Nevertheless

, for thy great mercies' sake mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved sthou didst not utterly consume them, nor forthem out of the hand of their enemies. sake them; for thou art * a gracious and merci

29 But after they had rest, ' they did evilful God. again before thee: therefore leftest thou them | 32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the in the hand of their enemies, so that they had"mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest the dominion over them: yet when they return- covenant and mercy, let not all the 13 trouble ed and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from seem little before thee, 14 that hath come upon hearen; and “ many times didst thou deliver us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our them according to thy mercies;

priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou and on all thy people, * since the time of the mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet kings of Assyria unto this day. they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto 33 Howbeit, thou art just in all that is thy commandments, but sinned against thy brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but judgments, which if a man do, he shall ? we have done wickedly: live in them ;) and 10 withdrew the shoulder, 34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our and hardened their neck, and would not || priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hear.

hearkened unto thy commandments and thy 30 Yet many years didst thou " forbear them, | testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against and testifiedst Pagainst them by thy Spirit 12 in them.

i Psa, cvi. 44. - Judg. ii. 18; 11. 9. Heb. they returned 12 Heb. in the hand of thy prophets.Acts vij. 51; 1 Pet. to do eril Judg. ii. 11, 30; iv. l; v. 31; vi. ).- um Psa. i. 11; 2 Pet. i. 21. — - Isa. v. 5; xlii. 24.- s Jer. iv. 27; v. cri. 13.- Verse 16.-Lev. xviii. 5; Ezek. xx. 11 ; Rom. x. 10, 18.-- Verse 17.-Exodus xxxiv. 6; Chapter i. 5. 5; Gal. i. 12. -1° Heb. they gave a withdrawing shoulder, Zech. 13 Heb. weariness. _14 Heb. that hath found us. -* 2 Kings vil 11.-1? Hebrew, protract over them.- - 2 Kings xvii. 13; | xvii. 3. - Dan. ix. 14 ; Psa. cxix. 137. -z Psa. cvi. 6; Dan. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15; Jer. vii. 25; xxv. 4.

ix. 5, 8.

livered them for their sins unto the Moabites, the testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets Canaanites, and divers other enemies, who griev

--Who spake to them by thy divine inspiration, ously domineered over them; but when they cried whom therefore they ought to have obeyed. Yet 10 God for help, he was so gracious as to send such would they not give ear–That is, would not obey men as Barak, Gideon, and others, to be their sa-them, or even vouchsafe so much as to hear them. viours, that is, deliverers, from tyranny.

Therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the Verses 28, 29. Therefore leftest thou them in the people of the lands-At last God delivered them hand of their enemies—God so abandoned them into the hands of the Chaldeans, who are called the once, that he permitted the Philistines to rule over people of the lands, because they got possession of them forty years, (Judges xii. 1,) unto which, per- all the neighbouring countries, which God put under haps, this passage refers. Many times didst thou their power, as he had other countries beyond the deliver them according to thy mercies--Nothing Euphrates. else could have moved God to do it, but his own Verse 31. Nevertheless, thou didst not utterly essential goodness and mercy, they being, in all consume them-But didst leave a remnant of the ages, inconstant in their obedience, and prone to poorer people in the land, and show favour to the backslide from him; and testifiedst against them— captives in Babylon. For thou art a gracious and By many remarkable punishments he testified how merciful God-To which alone they owed their highly he was displeased with them, that he might preservation from utter destruction. reform them. Yet they dealt proudly-Against Verses 32, 33. Who keepest covenant and mercy what one would have expected should have humbled --He adds mercy, because the covenant in itself was them, God's judgments; and, from time to time, not a sufficient ground of hope, because they having they became more bold and obstinate in their sins. so basely broken it, God was discharged from keepAnd withdrew the shoulder-A metaphor taken from ing it, and therefore they flee to his free and rich refractory oxen, that draw back, and will not submit mercy for relief. Howbeit, thou art just in all to the yoke.

that is brought upon us,

– We cannot complain of Verse 30. Many years didst thou forbear them- || any of thy dispensations toward us, for the whole Thou didst delay to bring upon them those judg- series of our history shows that thou art just in all ments which thou hadst threatened, and they had thy ways toward the children of men. It becomes deserved, and didst wait for their repentance. And I us, when we are under the rebukes of Providence, VOL. II. ( 29 )

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