G Y1 9:1-3. The People. Separation and worship. Z1 q1 9:4-. The Levites. Cry to Yahaveh. r1 9:-4. Prayer. q2 9:5-. The Levites. Blessing Yahaveh. r< sup>2 9:-5-38. Praise. Y2 10:1-27. The People. Covenant made. Z2 q3 10:28-. The Levites. Themselves. r3 10:-28-. Separation from foreigners. q4 10:-28. The Levites. Their families. r4 10:29-. Cleaving to their brethren. Y3 10:-29-39. The People. Ordinances.
(Neh. 9:1-10:39 is parallel with Ezra 9:1-10:44. Ezra 4:1-8:36 comes between Neh. 8:18 and 9:1)
Sept. 404 B.C.
1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the sons of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sack-clothes, and earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all sons of the foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
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 worshiped the LORD their God.
4 Then stood up upon the platform of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God.
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said,
r1 A1 -5,6. Praise of Yehovah. B1 7-31. Confession. A2 32. Prayer to Yehovah. B2 33-37. Confession. A3 38. Covenant with Jehovah.
(Following is one of the most glorious of all Doxologies)
"Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and let them bless Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
6 You, even you, are LORD alone; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships You.
B1 s1 7-15. Yahaveh. Grace. t1 16,17-. Israel. Ingratitude. Pride. s2 -17. Yahaveh. Pardon. t2 18. Israel. Ingratitude. Provocation. s3 19-25. Yahaveh. Manifold mercies. t3 26. Israel. Rebellion. s4 27-. Yahaveh. Punishment. t4 -27-. Israel. Humiliation. Cry. s5 -27. Yahaveh. Manifold mercies. t5 28-. Israel. Evil-doing repeated. s6 -28-. Yahaveh. Punishment. t6 -28-. Israel. Humiliation. Cry. s7 -28,29-. Yahaveh. Mercies. t7 -29. Israel. Ingratitude. Pride. s8 30-. Yahaveh. Forbearance. t8 -30-. Israel. Obstinacy. s9 -30,31. Yahaveh. Judgment. Forbearance.
7 You are the LORD the God, who did choose Abram (cp. Gen. 11:31; 12:1. Josh. 24:1-3), and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham; (See Gen. 17:5. The letter "a" in Hebrew [Hē] = 5, the number of grace [also put in the middle of "Sarai"], as a symbol of grace that called him. The repetition of 5 and its multiples, are seen through his whole life)
8 And found his heart faithful (because He had made it so. Cp. Jas. 3:6) before You, and made a covenant (cp. Gen. 15:1,18; 17:7,8) with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and have performed Your words; for You are righteous:
9 And did see the humiliation of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red sea;
10 And showed signs and wonders upon Pharaoh (see Ex. 7:7,8-10; 12 and 14. Pss. 105:27; 135:9), and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for You knew that they dealt proudly against them. So did You get You a name, as it is this day.
11 And You did divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers You threw into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. (Cp. Ex. 15:5)
12 Moreover You led them gently in the day by a cloudy pillar (cp. Ex. 13:21); and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
13 You came down also upon mount Sinai (Ex. 19:20; 21:1), and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws (see John 1:17), good statutes (Gen. 26:5. Deut. 4:7) and commandments:
14 And made known to them Your holy sabbath (Yehovah's sabbath was in Gen. 2:1-3. Made known to Israel [Ex. 20:9-11]. Established as a sign [Ex. 31:13-17]. Sabbath = cessation [from work], rest. This rest was made for man [Mark 2:27]), and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant:
15 And gave them bread from heaven for their hunger (Ex. 16:14,15. Cp. John 6:57,58), and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst (Ex. 17:6. Num. 20:9-11), and promised them that they should go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. (Deut. 1:8)
16 But they and our fathers fostered pride, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to Your commandments,
17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of Your wonders that You did with them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain (Num. 14:4) to return to their bondage:
but You are the God of forgiveness gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness, and forsook them not.
18 Yes, when they had made them a molten calf (Ex. 32:4), and said, 'This is your God that brought you up out of Egypt,' and had wrought great provocations;
19 Yet You in Your manifold mercies (cp. v.27 and Ps. 106:45) forsook them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day (Ex. 13:21,22), to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
20 You gave also Your good spirit to instruct them (cp. Num. 11:16,17. Deut. 34:9. Ps. 143:10, and v.30 below), and withheld not Your manna from their mouth (Ex. 16:15. Josh. 5:12), and gave them water for their thirst.
21 Yes, forty years did You sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old (Deut. 8:4; 29:5), and their feet swelled not.
22 Moreover You gave them kingdoms and peoples, and did apportion them their lots (Lev. 19:9; 23:22. Cp. Jer. 9:26; 49:32. Josh. 15:5; 18:12,14,18,20): so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. (Num. 21:21, &c.)
23 Their sons also multiplied You as the stars of heaven, and brough them into the land, concerning which You had promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24 So the sons went in and possessed the land, and You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
25 And they took strong cities, and a rich soil, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells dug (cisterns hewed. See Gen. 21:19), vineyards, and olive-yards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and made their Eden in Your great goodness.
26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs, and slew Your prophets (see 1 Kings 19:10. Cp. Matt. 23:37. Acts 7:52) which solemnly admonished them to turn them to You, and they wrought great provocations.
27 Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who vexed them:
and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You,
You heard them from heaven; and according to Your manifold mercies You gave them saviors (see Judg. 3:9), who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before You:
therefore leftest You them in the land of their oppressors, so that they had the dominion over them:
yet when they returned, and cried to You, You heard them from heaven;
and many times did You deliver them according to Your mercies;
29 And testified against them, that You might bring them again to Your law:
yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not to Your commandments, but sinned against Your judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them; (see Lev. 18:2)) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
30 Yet many years did You forbear them, and testified against them by Your spirit by the hand of Your prophets: (Hand put for the ministry or agency of the prophets)
yet would they not give ear:
therefore gave You them into the hand of the people of the lands.
31 Nevertheless for Your great mercies' sake You did not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for You are a gracious and merciful God (El).
32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keeps covenant and loving-kindness (or grace), let not all the trouble seem little before You, that has come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
33 However You art just in all that is brought upon us; for You have done right, but we (note how Nehemiah, Ezra [9:6-11], and Daniel [9:5-19 associate themselves with the people in their confessions) have done wickedly:
34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept Your law, nor hearkened to Your commandments and Your testimonies, wherewith You did testify against them.
35 For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and fat land which you gave before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
36 Behold, we are servants this day, and as to the land that you gave to our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
37 And it yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests (Nehemiah and Hananiah, if not others, were members of the royal family of Judah. See 1:1), seal unto it.