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17 men of understanding. And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the 11 Chr. 12 2.

chief at the place Casiphia,' and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and

to his brethrend the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring ch. 2 A 18 unto us ministers for the house of our God. And by the good hand of our God 'ch 7. upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son

is Ne 8. 7:24,6 of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, 19 eighteen; and Hashabiah, and with him Jéshaiah of the sons of Merari, his 20 brethren and their sons, twenty ; s also of the Nethinims, whom David and the

princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty

Nethinims : all of them were expressed by name. 21 Then I a proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might i afflict * 7.6.3 Clas, 13 3:

ourselves before our God, to seek of him a "right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For 'I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way:2 because we had spoken unto the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all them for ch. 7. 6, 9, X

"good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that 23 P forsake him. So we fasted 3 and 9 besought our God for this : and he was a M. intreated of us.

Jer. n. 12, 13; 54 24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and 25 ten of their brethren with them, and weighed unto them the silver, and the car. 520, Car

gold, and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our God, which the king, 26 and his counsellors, and his lords, and all Israel there present, had offered: I

even weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver 27 vessels an hundred talents, and of gold an hundred talents; also twenty basins of 28 gold, of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold. And I said unto them, Ye are ' holy unto the LORD; the vessels are "holy also; and

2010 the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the Lord God of your fathers, hi! 7-1, 29 Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and is, 20

the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of 30 the house of the LORD. So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the

silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house

of our God. 31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first

month, to go unto Jerusalem : and the hand of our God was upon us, and he

delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. 32 And we v came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. Now on the fourth Ne: 11. 33 day was the silver and the gold and the vessels : weigbed in the house of our , 20:10

God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was

Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and 34 Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites; by number and by weight of every one: aud

all the weight was written at that time. 35 Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of

the captivity, a offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for I ch & 17.

all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seyen lambs, twelve he-goats for a 36 sin offering : all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD. And they delivered

the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on thisch 7. 21,
side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.
Intermarriages of the Jeros with heathens ; Esra's distress and prayer; repentance and

reformation of the people.
9 NOW when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people

of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, & doing according to their abominations, t even of the Del 13. . Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the

Dra? 2 Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their ! E 19 : A

daughters for themselves, and for their sons : 80 that the holy seeds have Mal 2 11

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1 It is uncertain where Casiphia was situated, or who 3 With humble confessions of their own unworthiness 'Iddo the chief' was; but it was probably at no great solemnly putting the whole company under the gracias distance from Ahava. Some render the passage thus: 'I protection of God. told them what they should say to Iddo and Achio, who * 4 This expression commonly signifies in Scripture the were appointed in the place Casiphia,' and suppose this worship of idols; but here it signifies intermarriage with to have been a seminary for the education of priests and foreigners, which had always led to idolatry. This is Levites.

given as the reason for the prohibition in almost every 2 The journey from Babylon to Judea has always been place where it is repeated. See Deut. vii. 3, 4, etc. extremely dangerous to travellers, the country being in 5 So the Israelites were called, because of God's corefested by roving Arab tribes, who live by plunder; and nant with them, by which they were separated from all they were probably not ignorant of the immense amount other nations, specially set apart to himself, and coof treasure which the Jews were now carrying.

| trusted with peculiar religious privileges.

& Ne. 1. 4; P

143. 4;

I ch. 10. 3; Is. 66 2

21.

* Ex. 9. 29, 33.

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* mingled themselves with the people of those lands : yea, the hand of the princes Ge. 6. 2; 2 Cor.6. 14 3 and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, "I see refs. Num. 11. & rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of

Z 4 my beard, and sat down & astonied. Then were assembled unto me every one is

that 'trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of Eze, 3 15.

those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the mevening sacrifice. - Ex. 29. 39 Dan. 9. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness for, affliction); and

having rent my garment and iny mantle, I fell upon my knees, and " spread out 6 my hands unto the LORD my God, and said,

O my God, I am ashamed? and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: Jer. 3. 25; Dan. 9. for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass (or, guiltiness) is P Ps. 38. 4; Js. 39. 12. 7 agrown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have 'we been in a

Nam, P. 14; 3 Chi. great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities 'have we, our kings, and our

29. 6; Ps. 106. 6; priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, 8 to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. And

now for a little space " grace hath been showed from the LORD our God, to leave |

us ' a remnants to escape, and to give us va nail+ in his holy place, that our God 68; 14. 7. 9 may lighten our eyes, and give us a little breviving in our bondage. For we constant and sure were bondmen; d yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath Rev.12.

4 P4, 13 3; 34, 3 extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, P: 85 6; 138. 7; Is.

Sto set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give c.9. 3 10 us sa walls in Judah and in Jerusalem. And now, ( our God, what shall we :: 1.31_3; 2 11 say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, which thou hast 1.2.611

commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, “The land, unto which ye go * 1582 to possess it, is an unclean land with the 'filthiness of the people of the lands, ch. 6 21. with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their

* Ex. 33. 3234. 16; 12 uncleanness: now therefore * give not your daughters unto their sons, neither

take their daughters unto your sons, 'nor seek their peace or their wealth for

ever: that ye may be strong, " and eat the good of the land, and " leave it for an Pro. 13. 22; 90. 7. 13 inheritance to your children for ever. And after all that is come upon us for our

evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished 3.0

us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; 14 should we Pagain break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people sob. 2. 3. Ro. & 1;

of these abominations, wouldest not thou be 'angry with us till thou hadst con15 sumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? O LORD God of Israel,

• Ne 9.33; Dan. 9. 'thou art righteous :6 for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are

before thee * in our trespasses : for we cannot stand before thee because of this. 10 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting

himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel y Dan. 9. 20.

& very great congregation of men and women and children : for the people 2 wept very bore. And Shechaniah? the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam,

answered and said unto Ezra, We have « tres passed against our God, and have I . 34. 12; Ne 13.

taken strange wives of the people of the land : yet now there is hope 8 in Israel Jer. 3. 12, 13 3 concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to 2. Chr. 31. 29–33;

put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that 'tremble at the commandment of our God; and

• Deu. 7. 2, 3 4 let it be done according to the law. Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee : 8 be of good courage, and do it.

Jos. 1. 16-18

* 1 Chr. 28. 10. 5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, 4 to Ne. S 12; 10. 23. 6 swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware. Then

Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, 10 he did eat no bread, nor drink Deu. 9. 18. water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried 1 These were the customary tokens of deep grief and of a sheep-fold; and here figuratively represents their displeasure.

establishment again in their own land. Ezra was not personally guilty in this matter; but he 6 The next words may be rendered, though we respoke and acted as the representative of the whole people. main;' but probably Ezra means to acknowledge that

3 The returned exiles were but a remnant of the whole God had fulfilled his part of the covernant, and that the nation, the bulk of the people still remaining in their dis people's guilt was hereby shown to be the more heinous. persions, and those who returned were in an impoverished 7 Shechaniah appears not to have been implicated himand abject state, compared with their ancestors.

self; but his father and others of his near relations were. 4 This may refer either to the nails or pins by which See ver. 26. the Oriental tents were fastened to the ground, or to the 8 Encouragement may be fitly given to the greatest nails fixed in the walls of houses at the time of their sinners when their sin is seen and lamented, and decisive erection, which were used for the purpose of suspending steps are taken towards a reformation. vessels or clothes, and which were as permanent as the 9 This is nowhere commanded by the law, but seems house itself. See Isa. xxii. 23, 24.

to have been enforced by Ezra as a proof of sincerity. 5 The term here translated' wall,' signifies the fence 10 Or, until he came thither.'

9 ver. 2; Ne. 13. 23, 27.

Deu. 9. &

7. 14
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* Eze 3. 10; 1 Cor.

15 17.
Ps. 130. 3: 143. 2

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7 away. And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all

the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto 8 Jerusalem; and that whosoever would not come within three days, according to *ch. 7. %: Judg. 215

the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited,

and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away. 9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto

Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, and the twentieth day

of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling Ise 1 Sam. I. 18 10 because of this matter, and for the great rain. And Ezra the priest stood up, and

said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, ** to increase ch. 9.6 11 the trespass of Israel. Now therefore * make confession unto the LORD God of Jos. 7. 19; Pra 83

your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of ver. 3; et.al the land, P and from the strange wives.

| Deu. 7. 4 12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast 13 said, so must we do. But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, 9 vers 19-41.

and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two:

for we are many that have transgressed in this thing for, we have greatly offended 14 in this thing). Let now *our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all

Deu 17.& them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and

with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce 15 wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us. Only Jonathan the son of

Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter : and 16 Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. And the children of the captivity did so.

And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the 17 first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. And they made an end

with all the men that had taken strange wires by the first day of the first 18 month. And among the sons of the priestsS there were found that had taken

strange wives : namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his 19 brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah. And they 'gave' : Ki. 10 15

their hands 4 that they would put away their wives; and being "guilty, they - Le 4 16; 6 45 20 offered a ram of the flock for their trespass. And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, 21 and Zebadiah. And of the sons of Harim; Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, 22 and Jehiel, and Uzziah. And of the sons of Pashur; Elioenai, Maaseiah, 23 Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah. Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and 24 Shimei, and Kelaiah, (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. Of

the singers also; Eliashib : and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri. 25 Moreover of Israel :5 of the sons of Parosh ; Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, 26 and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah. And of the sons of Elam; 27 Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah. And of

the sons of Zattu ; Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and 28 Aziza. Of the sons also of Bebai; Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. And 29 of the sons of Bani; Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and 30 Ramoth. And of the song of Pahath-moab; Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, 31 Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh. And of the sons of Harim; 32 Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, and Shema33 riah. Of the sons of Hashum; Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, 34 Manasseh, and Shimei. Of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and Uel, Benaiah, 37 Bedeiah, Chelluh, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau, 39 and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei, and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah, Mach- era 42 nadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, 43 and Joseph. Of the sons of Nebo ; Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and 44 Joel, Benaiah. All these had taken strange wives : and some of them had wires

by whom they had children. 1 That is, some time in December, which in Palestine tended, owing probably in part to the small proportion of is the coldest and most rainy season of the year.

women who had returned from Babylon. The decree of 2 That is, let them act as a court of inquiry; sum separation, although apparently a severe measure, espe moning before them the parties concerned, together with cially as affecting the children, was evidently necessary the judges and elders of their cities. The investigation to prevent the influx of idolatry. These cases differ greatly seems to have occupied a quarter of a year.

from those for which a milder rule was laid down by the 3 Although the law had particularly provided for the apostle Paul (1 Cor. vii. 12, 13); for the Jew who mar. preservation of their honour in their marriages (see Lev. ried a heathen wife did so in direct violation of his on xxi. 7); and they were bound, above all others, as teachers law; whereas the parties referred to in the New Testaof the law, to set a good example.

ment had married as heathens, but one of them had su 4 A most expressive mode of solemn agreement. sequently been converted to Christianity. Although the 5 That is, those who were neither priests nor Levites. evil among the Jews seemed now to be thoroughly eore 6 The transgression must have been very widely ex- | rected, we find it again in Neh. xiii. 22; Mal. ii. 11.

pies

NOTE ON EZRA. EZRA continued his labours at Jerusalem for some years; ( names of places which had become obsolete ; made exand appears in the next book zealously co-operating with planatory and other additions which the lapse of time Nehemiah in promoting the reformation of the people. had rendered necessary; and transcribed the whole into He is said to have lived one hundred and twenty years, the Chaldee, or square character: and that, having thus attaining the same age as Moses; and stands next to settled the canon of Scripture, he sent it forth in a perthe great lawgiver in the estimation of Jewish writers fectly accurate form, from which the copies now extant for the services which he rendered to the religious | were afterwards made with great care. The prophecy of interests of the nation. They state that, with the Malachi, and a few passages in other books, must have assistance of others also versed in the sacred writings, been inserted subsequently to his time, probably by a sucand under the guidance of the Spirit of God, Ezra col- cession of pious and learned men, till about the time of lected all the existing books of Scripture; disposed them Simon the Just, who was made high priest about the in proper order; corrected errors which had crept in year 300 B.C.; after which nothing was added to the through the inadvertence of copyists; changed some sacred books of the Old Testament.

THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH.

This book, which in the ancient canon was joined with drances from his own people, arising out of the general the preceding, and is sometimes called the Second Book distress, which was aggravated by the crucl exactions and of Ezra, takes up the history of the Jews about twelve oppressions of the great men. These grievances were years after the close of the former; and records the im- | redressed on the earnest remonstrance of Nehemiah, who provements in Jerusalem, and reformations among the had himself set a noble example of disinterestedness. It people, which were carried on by Nehemiah. By him appears also that some of the chief men in Jerusalem were the greater part of this book was evidently written; and in conspiracy with foreigners against him (ch. ii. 9-20; the rest, in which he is spoken of in the third person ii.-vi.) Thus the wall was built in troublous times' (ch. viii.-X.) is, with great probability, ascribed to Ezra. (Dan. ix. 23); and its completion was afterwards joy

As the numerous states subject to the great Oriental ously celebrated by a solemn dedication (ch. xii. 27-43). despots might often be at war among themselves-- little Nehemiah then turned his attention to other measures notice being taken of their affairs at court, unless the for the public good. He appointed some necessary revenue or authority or personal partialities of the officers (ch. vii. 13; xii. 44–47); and excited among the monarch were interfered with-the Jews felt themselves people more interest and zeal in religion, by the public insecure, so long as the walls of the city remained in reading and exposition of the law, by an unexampled ruins. It was, in part, to effect their restoration that celebration of the feast of tabernacles and the observance Nehemiah was raised up by God. Though a Jew and a of a national fast, and by inducing the people to enter into captive, he held one of the most honourable and con a solemn covenant to walk in God's law,' especially fidential offices at the court of Persia, being the king's by avoiding intermarriages with the heathen, duly obcup-bearer. But his own prosperity and wealth did not serving the sabbath, and contributing to the support of cause him to be unmindful of the afflicted condition of | the temple (ch. viii.--x.) his countrymen. Hearing of their state, he made it the The inhabitants of the city being as vet too few for its subject of earnest prayer; and, after four months, his defence and prosperity, Nehemiah brought one family out sorrow of heart being seen in the sadness of his counte of every ten in the country to take up their abode in the nance, an opportunity was afforded him of presenting his ancient capital, which then presented so few inducements suit to the king, who appointed him governor of Jerusalem, to the settler, that the people blessed all the men that with a commission to rebuild the walls, and provide for willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem' (ch. the welfare of his people (ch, i., ii, 1–8).

vii. 4; xi. 1-19). In all these important proceedings The rebuilding of the city wall was accomplished in he appears to have enjoyed the assistance of Ezra. about two months; notwithstanding many discourage After about twelve years, Nehemiah returned to Babylon. ments and difficulties, caused chiefly by the leading men He subsequently went back to Jerusalem, and exerted in the rival and unfriendly colony of Samaria, who, by himself to promote the further reformation of his counscoffs and threats and various stratagems, did their utmost trymen, particularly by the correction of abuses which to stop the work. In addition to these dangers from had crept in during his absence (ch. xiii.). His whole without, Nehemiah also encountered troubles and hin- | administration probably lasted about thirty-six years.

Nehemiah receives information concerning his countrymen ; his distress, and prayer. 1 THE words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.

. ch. 10.1 And it came to pass in the month Chisleu," in the twentieth 3 year, as I was in 2 Shusban 4 the palace, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men

of Judah ;5 and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were 3 left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The

remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction Lam...? Pa 94, and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof is. 4. Lum. & i. are burned with fire.

9 KI. 25. 10.

i Or, 'the actions' of Nehemiah; that is, the history | Tigris, the winter residence of the Persian kings. Ruins of his labours for his country. See 1 Kings xi. 41. found at a place called Shus are supposed to mark its site.

2 The third month of the civil year, answering to parts 5 They probably came to solicit help from the king. of our November and December."

6 As we have no account in the book of Ezra of the 3 That is, in the twentieth year of the reign of Arta | wall being rebuilt, there is reason to suppose that it was Xerxes Longimanus (see note on Ezra vii. l); the tenth still in ruins. The former commissions of Zerubbabel year after Ezra's journey to Jerusalem.

and Ezra (Ezra i.; vii. 11-28) did not extend to the 4 Or Susa, on the Chouspes, in the hot plains of the fortification of the city.

6. 40; Dao 12 11, P1; Lk.2 .

Jer. & 14; Ese *

Deu. 9. 9; L. 6L;

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4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and 1 Eur 9. 2
5 mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and said,
I beseech thee, 50 LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth Dan

" A EL 20 6; Des. 1.4 6 covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments : let

thine ear now be attentive, and i thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the *! KL. 2.2: 2Cht. prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, * day and night, for the 18 children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, i Dao . 2***

which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. 7 * We have dealt very "corruptly against thee, and have not kept the command

Ps 106 6; Das ! ments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant la clar. 4.

* Chr. 5, 1; la 8 Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy Denis 23. IS

servant Moses, saying, . If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the le 2 33; Dee 9 nations : " but if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; "Le $30: Des. 'though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, 'yet des ai

1 Jer. 31. 10; # will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I 10 have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy - Dea. 125

people, whom 'thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. I Dan. Sta 11 0 LORD, I beseech thee, olet now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy 1.2 servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name : anders

ek. % %; Heb. 11 prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of .ch

. ch. 2 1Ge this man. For I was the king's cupbearer. 2

11, 21. Nehemiah, having obtained a commission from the king, goes to Jerusalem ; and

encourages the people to rebuild the walls, 2 AND it came to pass in the month Nisan,s in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Esra 7. b

the king, that wine was before him; and I took up the wine, and gave it unto ch. . IL 2 the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the

king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is 3 nothing else but "sorrow of heart.4 Then I was very sore afraid, and said unto

A Pre 15 13 the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, 1. 152Daz when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates

1* eh. I. 3; PE 6 thereof are consumed with fire? 4 Then the king said unto me,' For what dost thou make request? So I prayed st. S 36; XL 11 5 to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy

servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah,

unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. 6 And the king said unto me, (the queen) also sitting by him,) For how long

shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send 7 me; and I set him " a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the ch & 14; 126

king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may 8 convey me over till I come into Judah; and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of

the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the
palace which appertained * to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the *eb. 27.
house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, "according to the good

hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's

letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10 When Sanballato the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of

it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of

the children of Israel. 11, 12 So I P came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. And I arose in the night, Esra &

I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in 1 We have here (vers. 5—11) the substance of Nehe- | king in private. See ver. 6, and note. miah's constant supplications.

4°Or, wickedness of heart:' the king might have in2 The office of cup-bearer was one of great honour and puted his melancholy to discontent or disaffection; hende, confidence, as well as of considerable profit and influence. probably, Nehemiah's great alarm. The person who held it being in constant attendance on 5 The presence of the queen intimates the privacy of the king, had opportunities of preferring petitions and ob the occasion; for the Persians and other Orientals have taining favours. Nehemiah appears to have been enabled never allowed their wives to be present at their public from his own resources to sustain his government at feasts. Some suppose the queen to have been Esther; Jerusalem with great dignity and hospitality, without but on this, see preface to the book of Esther. laying any burden on the people : see ch. v. 14, etc. 6 Sanballat is supposed to have been a Moabite of Many of the Jews were advanced to places of trust and Horonaim, a city of Moab; Tobiah the Ammonite had

nder the Babylonian and Persian monarchs ; been a slave. The Moabites and Ammonites had been and so were able to assist and protect their brethren. subdued and carried captire by the kings of Babylon;

3 The seventh month, answering to our March or April; and it is probable that Sanballat and Tobiah, and Geshen so that four months had elapsed since he had learned the the Arabian (ver. 19), held appointments under the king condition of his countrymen at Jerusalem. This may of Persia, as governors over the remnant of these nations have been his first attendance since that time on the l and the Samaritans, who were all very hostile to the Jews

51.

• Ter, 18; see na

Ezras

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