Nehemiah (Ch 11-13)

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 11

1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people also cast lots to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. — the rest of the people; the rulers being already in the capital, Nehemiah ordered that one man in ten should be chosen by lot to transfer his family;

— Jerusalem the holy city; the “separation that had taken place (Nehemiah 9), and the recent covenant (Nehemiah 10), we see the solemnity of this epithet, now first used, and repeated in Nehemiah 11:18. “Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and no strangers shall pass through her any more (Joel 3:17).

And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem. — the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves; besides those who were chosen by lot, it seems there were some that voluntarily chose to go and live there, whom the people highly commended, beseeching God to bless and prosper them.

Now these are the chief of the province who dwelt in Jerusalem; but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit: Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon’s servants. — Israel rather than Judah, partly because there were some of the other tribes now joined and incorporated with them; and partly because none of the tribes of Israel, except Judah and Benjamin, dwelt in Jerusalem, as appears from the sequel.

And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah,the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez; — the heads in Jerusalem: as compared with 1 Chronicles 9, by no means complete. Judah and Benjamin are represented, with priests and Levites and porters.

and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.

All the sons of Perez who dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.

And these are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah.

And after him Gabbai and Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.

And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.

11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God. — Seraiah; the high-priestly family name. Eliashib was the present occupant, who allowed Tobiah, an Ammonite and an ally of Sanballet, a Samaritan, to pollute the Sanctuary;

— Seraiah, or ‘Azariah the son of Meshullam.’ 1 Chronicles 9:11 – the same person may be intended? – the priesthood names corrupted or polluted? Nehemiah 7:64

— “And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah,” Nehemiah 13:4. Q. Could such groundwork and corrupt alliance give rise to the Sadducees a few hundred years later?

12 And their brethren who did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah,

13 and his brethren, chief of the fathers, were two hundred forty and two; and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,

14 and their brethren, mighty men of valor, were a hundred twenty and eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.

15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;

16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outside business of the house of God.

17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.

19 Moreover the gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren who kept the gates, were a hundred seventy and two.

20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.

21 But the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel; and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.

22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God.

23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.

25 And for the villages with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel and in the villages thereof,

26 and at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet,

27 and at Hazarshual and at Beersheba and in the villages thereof,

28 and at Ziklag and at Meconah and in the villages thereof;

29 and at Enrimmon and at Zorah and at Jarmuth,

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages; at Lachish and the fields thereof, at Azekah and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.

31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija and Bethel and in their villages,

32 and at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,

33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,

34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,

35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.

36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.

Nehemiah 12

1 Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, — Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel;

— Seraiah; the high-priestly family name again? see Nehemiah 11:11.

Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah,

Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

Shemaiah and Joiarib, Jedaiah,

Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.

Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the psalms of thanksgiving, he and his brethren.

Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were opposite them in the watches.

10 And Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim also begot Eliashib, and Eliashib begot Joiada, — Eliashib??

11 and Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.

12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; — Seraiah??

13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;

14 of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;

15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;

16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;

18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

19 and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;

21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.

22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers; also the priests, until the reign of Darius the Persian. — Eliashib??

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the Chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. — Eliashib??

24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren opposite them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch opposite watch.

25 Mattaniah and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the watch at the thresholds of the gates.

26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. — they sought the Levites; the dedication was to be processional and musical, as well as sacrificial: after the pattern of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple.

28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites,

29 also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built themselves villages round about Jerusalem.

30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people and the gates and the wall. 31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of those who gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the Dung Gate;

32 and after them went Hoshaiah and half of the princes of Judah,

33 and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, — ‘Azariah the son of Meshullam’ or Seraiah??

34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

35 and certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets, namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph;

36 and his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

37 And at the Fountain Gate, which was opposite them, they went up by the stairs of the City of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the Water Gate eastward.

38 And the other company of those who gave thanks went opposite them, and I after them with half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the Tower of the Furnaces even unto the Broad Wall,

39 and from above the Gate of Ephraim and above the Old Gate, and above the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananeel and the Tower of Meah, even unto the Sheep Gate; and they stood still at the Prison Gate.

40 So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and half of the rulers with me;

41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;

42 and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the wives also and the children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

44 And at that time some were appointed over the chambers of the treasuries for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions appointed by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited.

45 And both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the watch of their God and the watch of the purification, according to the commandment of David and of Solomon his son.

46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, every day his portion; and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites, and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.

Nehemiah 13

On that day they read in the Book of Moses in the audience of the people, and therein was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God, ever, — the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; that is, not be incorporated into the Israelitish kingdom, nor united in marriage relations with that people, Deuteronomy 23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even to the tenth generation.”

— but the Temple was corrupted as “And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah,” Nehemiah 13:4. Tobiah was a Ammonite; influenced by Sanballat, a Samaritan;

— not only the Temple was corrupted, but their teachings, too (for more, see the Samaritans at the end).

because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them. However that be, our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah. — and before this; that is, before this separation was made; Eliashib the priest; “Eliashib the high priest” (Nehemiah 3:1,)

— having the oversight of the chamber; of the chambers, (Nehemiah 13:9,) the high priest having the chief power over the house of God, and all the chambers belonging to it; was allied unto Tobiah, the Ammonite, and a violent enemy to God’s people;

— Tobiah had suffered his grandson to marry Sanballat’s daughter who was the fast friend of Tobiah and the great enemy of the Jews. This is mentioned as a great blot on Eliashib’s character and the cause of his other miscarriages, noticed Nehemiah 13:5. We read also in Ezra 10:18 that several of the priests had married strange wives; and among the rest some of the sons of the high priest; 

— moreover, the fact that Eliashib’s leanings were towards the enemies of Nehemiah accounts for his disappearance from the history from Nehemiah 3:1 to Nehemiah 13:4. For such a hedious crime to take place right in the Temple, the name ‘Eliashib’ was probably wiped out from Jewish history?

— not only the Temple’s chambers were polutted but their heretic teachings, too (for more, see the Samaritan’s teachings at the end).

And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where previously they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense and the vessels and the tithes of the corn, the new wine and the oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and the singers and the gatekeepers, and the offerings of the priests. — “A great chamber,” perhaps made so by throwing several chambers into one, as older expositors have inferred from Nehemiah 13:9,

— according to which Nehemiah, after casting out the goods and belongs of Tobiah, had the chambers (plural) cleansed. The statement also in Nehemiah 13:5, that there (in this great chamber) were aforetime laid up not only the meat-offerings (i.e., oil and flour, the materials for them), the incense and the sacred vessels, but also the tithe of the corn, the new wine, and the oil and the heave-offerings of the priests, seems to confirm this view;

— this tenth or tithes is designated as הלויּם מצות, the command of the Levites, that is, what was apportioned to the Levites according to the law, the legal dues for which משׁפּט is elsewhere usual; comp. Deuteronomy 18:31 Samuel 2:13. The heave-offering of the priest is the tenth of their tenth which the Levites had to contribute, Nehemiah 10:39.

— the frankincense; for frankincense was a necessary ingredient in the incense which was offered twice a day on the “altar of incense” in the holy place (Exodus 30:34). As a rare foreign product, it had necessarily to be kept in store;

— the vessels; sacred vessels, basins and the like, not needed except on occasion of great festival gatherings; the offerings of the priests. The portion of the offerings which belonged to the priests – “the tithe of the tithes.”

But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I came unto the king, and after certain days I obtained leave from the king. — but in all this time when Nehemiah was not at Jerusalem, this gave Eliashib and Tobiah the opportunity of scheming such abominations; for unless Nehemiah had been absent, Eliashib and Tobiah would not have dared to do them.

— and after certain days Nehemiah obtained leave of the king to return to Jerusalem. 

And I came to Jerusalem and learned of the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. — the evil Eliashib did in preparing him a chamber; “Tobiah had insinuated himself into the good opinion of many of the people, and especially those of note, by his making two alliances with families of this sort:

— for (a) Johanan his son had married the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, (Nehemiah 6:18Nehemiah 3:4,) who was one of the chief managers of the building of the wall of Jerusalem, and (b) Tobiah himself had married the daughter of Shechaniah, another great man among the Jews. By these means he had formed an alliance and was looked upon as a worthy man, though, being an Ammonite, he could not but bear a national hatred to all that were of the race of Israel; 

— thus says Nehemiah 7:64 “These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were as polluted, put from the priesthood.” — thus their register were polluted, put from the priesthood R.V. were they deemed polluted.

And it grieved me sore; therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. — it grieved me sore; the second time we read of Nehemiah’s deep emotion:

— first, because of the utter dissoluteness of which this was a token; and secondly, because it was a priestly desecration, having a stranger, an idolatrous Ammonite, and one of the worst of that people and that all this should be done by the permission and order of the high priest.

Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers; and thither I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. — then Nehemiah commanded; and they cleansed the chambers which had been thus profaned and restored them to their former sanctity by the water of purification and such other means and rites as were then usual in such cases;

— and thither Nehemiah brought again the vessels of the house of God which had been cast out to make room for Tobiah; and commanded the chamber to be purified and the vessels of the house of God, the meat-offering and the frankincense and probably the tenths and heave-offerings also.

10 And I perceived that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for the Levites and the singers who did the work had fled every one to his field. — Nehemiah perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites … were fled; what he saw was that the Levites were absent and “the house of God forsaken” (verse 11). On inquiry, he found that the reason of their absence was the non-payment of the tithes. 

11 Then I contended with the rulers and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. — then Nehemiah contended with the rulers; he sharply reproved those priests to whom the management of those things was committed, for the neglect of their duty and breach of their late solemn promise;

— why is the house of God forsaken? – so that there are few or no Levites or priests to attend there. They have not only injured men, in withholding their dues but you have occasioned the neglect of God’s house and service, insomuch that little or no public worship is maintained;

— and Nehemiah gathered them together; to Jerusalem from their several country possessions. And set them in their place; restored them to the exercise of their office. “A Levite in his field is out of his station: God’s house is his place, and there let him be found. 

12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the storehouses. — the Levites had their portions not been given; they were gone to get livelihoods for themselves and their families for their profession would not maintain them; the temple services had ceased; all religious duties had fallen into neglect;

— the people, disgusted with the malversations of Eliashib, or the lax and irregular performance of the sacred rites, withheld the tithes, so that they were compelled for their livelihood to withdraw to their patrimonial possessions in the country. The money put into the sacred treasury had been squandered in the entertainment of an Ammonite heathen, an open and contemptuous enemy of God and His people. The return of Nehemiah as governor put an end to these disgraceful and profane proceedings. 

13 And I made treasurers over the storehouses: Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. — and Nehemiah made treasurers over the treasuries; new ones, since the others appointed were either dead or unfaithful to their trust, Nehemiah 12:44,

— Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, who also was a priest, perhap the ‘judicial’ priest as contrast to Temple priest, as Ezra was both scribe and priest; one that besides his office as a priest was expert in the law, and capable of instructing others: this implies that Ezra was dead and that Zadok had succeeded to his office;

— and that of Eliashib the chief priest and Tobiah the Ammonite were tossed out; never to be heard again; nar, they were still around and eventually gave rise to a sect known as the Sadducees;

— so in the NT times, these Sadducees emerged with their heretic teachings who claimed they were carrying the mantle of the Zadok the priest and that their name “Sadducees” was derived from Zadok the priest (although there was another Zadok the priest during the reign of King David who moved the ark to Jerusalem), and were allied with the Herodians and the Boethusaians.

14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for the offices thereof. — Remember me, O my God, Or “Think upon me, my God,” as the same words are translated in Nehemiah 5:19. Wipe not out my good deeds.

15 In those days I saw in Judah some treading of wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves and loading them on asses, as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I testified against them as to the day wherein they sold victuals. — the desecration of the Sabbath is first brought into prominence among the sins of the Jewish people by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 17:21-27;

— it could have been hard to practise Sabbath keeping during the captivity when foreign masters were unlikely to have allowed the cessation of labor for one day in seven. On the return from the captivity, the sabbatical rest appears to have been one of the institutions most difficult to reestablish.

16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought fish and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah and in Jerusalem. — merchants of Tyre; they brought timber for the building of the Temple and received food in payment Ezra 3:7;

— now they seem to have established themselves as a colony, and supplied fish; these would be the salted and dried fish from the Mediterranean. But their offence was trading this “on the sabbath unto the children of Judah and in Jerusalem.”

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah and said unto them, “What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? — then Nehemiah contended with the nobles, in the desecration of the sabbath and in the non-payment of tithes;  remarking in addition, “and ye are bringing more wrath upon Israel, profaning the Sabbath,”

— the nobles were the chief offenders, being at once luxurious and latitudinarian. They desired the freshest food for their feasts, and encouraged both foreigners and natives to break the law for the gratification of their carnal appetites.

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” — did not your fathers thus; profane the sabbath in like manner?

— and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon our city? suffered them to be carried captive into a strange land, and their city destroyed for their sins, and for this of sabbath breaking among the rest, see Jeremiah 17:21,

— yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath; additional judgements to those that had been already upon them for the same evil with others.

19 And it came to pass, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded that the gates should be shut,and charged that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath; and some of my servants I set at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day. — Nehemiah commanded that the gates should be shut. The gates would as a matter of course have been shut at sunset;

— Nehemiah required that the closing should take place some half-hour earlier, when the shadows were lengthening, and the day was drawing towards a close. He regarded it as a sort of desecration of the sabbath to carry on secular work to the last allowable moment. 

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. — the merchants lodged outside; the merchants could not leave their wares unguarded; and the wares not being admitted into the town, they were obliged to camp out.

21 Then I testified against them and said unto them, “Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time forth they came no more on the Sabbath. — Why lodge ye about the wall? Nehemiah, in his capacity of governor, was able to put his foot down upon this evasion of his law. He threatened the traders that, if they hung about on the outskirts of the walls on the Sabbath, he would treat them as public enemies.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Thy mercy. — and Nehemiah commanded the Levites; that they should come and keep the gates;

— assigning the duty to his servants was probably a temporary arrangement. The permanent charge was committed to the Levites, who had been intrusted with the duty when the gates were first set up (Nehemiah 7:1). They were to “cleanse,” or purify, themselves, because the charge was considered a sacred one.

23 In those days also I saw Jews who had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; — of Ashdodite, Ammon and of Moab; they had married strangers, though not long before they had most solemnly promised not to do so, Nehemiah 10:30. So hard a thing it is perfectly to root out tares, which will be continually springing up again.

24 and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. — the speech of Ashdod is that of the Philistines which according to some experts belonged to the Indo-Germanic group. The languages, however, of the Moabites and Ammonites were undoubtedly Shemitic, but so dialectically different from the Hebrew that they might be regarded as foreign tongues.

25 And I contended with them and cursed them, and smote certain of them and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons or for yourselves. — and cursed them; assuring them to be excommunicated and cast out of the society and privileges of God’s people;

— this and the following punishments were justly inflicted upon them, because this transgression was contrary both to a very plain and express law of God and also to their own late solemn covenants and promises would come upon them, unless they repent;

— smote certain of them; caused to be beaten with stripes, according to the law, Deuteroomy 25:2, those whose faults were most aggravated by their quality or other circumstances; to whom he added this punishment over and besides the former.

— plucked off their hair, or shaved them. The hair was an ornament and ensign of liberty among the eastern nations; and baldness was a disgrace and token of slavery and sorrow. See Isaiah 3:24 Isaiah 15:2 Jeremiah 48:37 Ezekiel 29:18.

26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did women from other lands cause to sin. — Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? – by marrying strange wives, by whom he was drawn into idolatry, 1 Kings 11:3,

— yet among many nations was there no king like him; as not for grandeur and riches, so not for wisdom and yet was ensnared by his idolatrous wives.

27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying foreign wives?” — Shall we then hearken unto you? Shall we give way to you and adopt the practice which you recommend, thus transgressing against God and provoking him to destroy us? Surely not. Solomon’s example is enough to deter us.

High Priest on Duty

28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I chased him from me. — and one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest; a grandson of the highpriest; for the high priest was Eliashib;

— son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; married a daughter of his, who was the avowed enemy of the Jewish nation; and earlier for whom, Sanballat obtained leave to build a temple on Mount Gerizim; but Eliashib seemed to have been tossed of as high priest, and now even his son Joiada, and much less Jaddua, a grandson of Joiada, still hang around trying other troubles:

— therefore Nehemiah chased him from him; drove him from his court, suffered him not to come near at the altar nor the Temple; banished him from the city and even from the land of Judea. But nar, Tobiah and his family and their agents, through marriage and other alliances, were always around and penetrated the upper echelon of the Jewish judicial chambers, and years later, even the very high priesthood, namely Annas and his son-in-law, Caiaphas, clinging there like a leech!

29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. — they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites;

— we look in vain for any distinct “covenant” which the priestly order broke by allying itself with the heathen, or indeed for any special law forbidding the priests to take foreign wives; and Nehemiah feels that this sin is worse in a priest than in one who is not a priest; that a priest who contracts a pollution “pollutes the priesthood;” and that there is a tacit covenant by which priests and Levites bind themselves to holiness of life more absolutely and definitely than others.

30 So I purified them from everything foreign and assigned specific duties to each of the priests and Levites. — thus Nehemiah cleansed them. Rather, “And I cleansed them.” The process of cleansing probably resembled the process adopted by Ezra (Ezra 10:5-17). And appointed the wards. that is “assigned their offices to the various priests and Levites” (see Nehemiah 11:11-24Nehemiah 12:44Nehemiah 13:13).

31 and for the wood offering at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. — and for the wood offering, at times appointed; of which see Nehemiah 10:34. Levites were appointed to receive the wood that was brought at the times and by the persons fixed, and lay it up in its proper place, and carry it to the altar when wanted.


The Samaritans, whose heretic teachings were later adopted by the Sadducees and the Boethusians in the NT time. And today, such teaching are clinging to the Church of God like shit stuck to a shovel.

The Samaritans are adversaries to the returning Jews because of (a) difference in defining what time at ben ha’arbayim when the Pascha lamb should be killed: the Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is “after noon and until nightfall,” whereas the Samaritans is sunset or dusk; (b) when is omer, which translated to English is rendered “wave sheaf” offering to be made: the Jews definition has it on the annual Sabbath after Pascha, whereas the Samaritans has it the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread;

— (c) after counting seven weeks after the omer, on what day Shavuot is to be kept: the Jews have it on Sivan 6th, whereas the Samaritans always have it on a weekly Sabbath; (d) the three annual feasts are to be kept in Jerusalem, whereas the Samaritans have their feasts on Mount Gerizim, which they consider a sacred mountain; and (e) once in roughly three years, the Samaritan calendar starts one month later than the Jewish calendar.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Samaritans: “There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool,” such as high incidence of austisics and cripples within their community but of course they manage to deflect from mentioning the truth of God’s curses upon those who show hostilities to the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem.

~ by Joel Huan on June 4, 2022.

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