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AND the subscribers were Nehemias, Athersatha the son of Hachelai, and Sedecias,

Ver. 1.  Athersatha.  Heb. hatirshatha.  Prot. "the tirshatha," cup-bearer, or governor, highly (H.) "privileged" and honoured by Artaxerxes.  W.


--- Heb. "And over those who were sealed, (C.  Sept. or who sealed the deed.  H.) Nehemias, the cup-bearer."  Esdras, Eliasib, &c. were also princes.  C.


--- It is not easy to account for the omission of their names.  M.


--- They may be designated by different titles.  An aristocracy, mixed with oligarchy, was the present form of government.  The advice of the ancients, and of the people, was taken.  C.


--- Hachelai, is less properly styled Helchias; (C. i. 1.) where the Sept. read Chelchias, or Achalia, (Heb. chacala) as well as here.

2 Saraias, Azarias, Jeremias, 3 Pheshur, Amarias, Melchias, 4 Hattus, Sebenia, Melluch, 5 Harem, Merimuth, Obdias, 6 Daniel, Genthon, Baruch, 7 Mosollam, Abia, Miamin, 8 Maazia, Belgia, Semeia: these were priests.

Ver. 8.  Priests.  All, at least after Nehemias.  H.

9 And the Levites, Josue the son of Azanias, Bennui of the sons of Henadad. Cedmihel, 10 And their brethren, Sebenia, Oduia, Celita, Phalaia, Hanan, 11 Micha, Rohob, Hasebia,

12 Zachur, Serebia, Sabania,
13 Odaia, Bani, Baninu. 14 The heads of the people, Pharos, Phahath Moab, Elam, Zethu, Bani,

Ver. 14.  Pharos.  Many of these are mentioned as returning from Babylon.  C. vii. 8. 11. &c.

15 Bonni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonia, Begoai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezecia, Azur, 18 Odaia, Hasum, Besai, 19 Hareph, Anathoth, Nebai,


Anathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M. --- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.

20 Megphias, Mosollam, Hazir, 21 Mesizabel, Sadoc, Jeddua, 22 Pheltia, Hanan, Anaia, 23 Osee, Hanania, Hasub, 24 Alohes, Phalea, Sobec,
25 Rehum, Hasebna, Maasia, 26 Echaia, Hanan, Anan, 27 Melluch, Haran, Baana:

28 And the rest of the people, priests, Levites, porters, and singing men, Nathinites, and all that had separated themselves from the people of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters.

Ver. 28.  Lands.  Idolaters, (H.) namely, the proselytes.  M.


--- Daughters.  These did not all subscribe in person, but by the hands of the intelligent, and chief men, (v. 29.) or, (C.) as the Sept. seem to understand, these went through the different ranks of the people, and received their oaths.  E.  M.

29 All that could understand promising for their brethren, with their chief men, and they came to promise, and swear that they would walk in the law of God, which he gave in the hand of Moses the servant of God, that they would do and keep all the commandments of the Lord our God, and his judgments and his ceremonies.

Ver. 29.  Understand.  Heb. mebin, "the teachers," or Levites.  1 Esd. viii. 16.  M.


--- Promising.  Heb. "clave to their brethren;" and they promised with a curse to transgressors, and with an oath to walk, &c.  H.

30 And that we would not give our daughters to the people of the land, not take their daughters for our sons.

Ver. 30.  And.  In all covenants, the articles which have been chiefly broken, are specified.  W.

31 And if the people of the land bring in things to sell, or any things for use, to sell them on the sabbath day, that we would not buy them of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day. And that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every hand.

Ver. 31.  Holy day.  The contrary practice is therefore sinful.  H.


--- Year.  Not cultivating the land.  Lev. xxv. 4.


--- Hand.  No debts were to be demanded.  Deut. xv. 1.  M.

32 And we made ordinances for ourselves, to give the third part of a side every year for the work of the house of our God,

Ver. 32.  Third part.  About 9d. (H.)  on account of the poverty of the people.  C.


--- They afterwards paid half a sicle, or 1s. 2d. conformably to the law.  Ex. xxx. 13.  Mat. xvii. 23.  H.


--- Before the captivity, the kings of Juda provided sacrifices, (2 Par. xxxi. 3.) and after, the Persian monarchs supplied what was requisite,  in favour of Zorababel and Esdras.  C. vi. 8. and vii. 21.  But these grants had been recalled, or were not well executed.

33 For the leaves of proposition, and for the continual sacrifice, and for a continual holocaust on the sabbaths, on the new moons, on the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offering: that atonement might be made for Israel, and for every use of the house of our God. 34 And we cast lots among the priests, and the Levites, and the people for the offering of wood, that it might be brought into the house of our God by the houses of our fathers at set times, from year to year: to burn upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law of Moses:

Ver. 34.  Wood.  The Nathinites had performed this office till the captivity.  But not their numbers were too small.  C.


--- The people therefore brought the wood.  The Levites, with the Nathinites, carried it into the temple, and the priests laid it upon the altars; all being regulated by lots.  Lyran.


--- Hence the feast called Xylophoria, was instituted about the month of August, as we may gather from Josephus.  The Rabbins say that the priests cut the wood, from March till the 15th of July.

35 And that we would bring the first fruits of our land, and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, from year to year, in the house of our Lord.

Ver. 35.  Every tree, of seven species; the pear, apple, fig, apricot, olive, palm, and vine trees; besides wheat, legumes, &c.  C.


--- For three years the fruit was deemed unclean.  Lev. xix. 23.  M.

36 And the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our oxen, and of our sheep, to be offered in the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God. 37 And that we would bring the firstfruits of our meats, and of our libations, and the fruit of every tree, of the vintage also and of oil to the priests, to the storehouse of our God, and the tithes of our ground to the Levites. The Levites also shall receive the tithes of our works out of all the cities.

Ver. 37.  Meats.  Heb. "paste."  Num. xv. 20.  C.  and xxiii. 17.


--- Ground, or the produce.  M.

38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites in the tithes of the Levites, and the Levites shall offer the tithe of their tithes in the house of our God, to the storeroom into the treasure house.

Ver. 38.  With.  To observe that all is done according to the law.  Num. xviii. 26.  C.


39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall carry to the treasury the firstfruits of corn, of wine, and of oil: and the sanctified vessels shall be there, and the priests, and the singing men, and the porters, and ministers, and we will not forsake the house of our God.
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