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in the night will they come to slay thee. He thought Nchemiah would become contemptible by shutting himself up in the temple, or perhaps he intended to seize him there, and deliver him to hit ene
J1 mies. And I said, Should such a man as I flee? /, who am a governor, who have hitherto showed courage, and ought to set an example of it ; who have professed confidence in God, and have been assisted and defended hitherto? and who [is there,] that, [being] as I [am,] would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in ; / will still rely on God and on the fidelity and cou
12 rcge of the people.* And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him ; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. It was probably told him by some true prophet that he was a tool of Sanballat, and pretended
J3 to prophesy, not in order to secure, but to betray him. Therefore [was] he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and [that] they might have [matter] for an evil report, that they might reproach me. His design was to make him sin against God, and dishonour himself, either by cowardice, or not daring to stand the accusations, that they might reproach him, as being
14 guilty of what they hadcharged himwith. My God,think thouupon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on th$ prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would; have put me in fear. He did not think it fit as a judge to punish than, or complain of the neighbouring governors to the Icing of Persia; but he would have all know that he depended on the power of God alone to finish the work. \
)5 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth [day} of [the month] Elul, in fifty and two days, This was very soon, but there is nothing incredible in it, considering their number, their zeal in the work, and that the wall was not entirely razed by the
16 Chaldeans, but only broken down in places. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard [thereof,] and all the heathen that [were] about us saw [these things,] they were much cast down in their own eyes, were discouraged and ashamed of their opposition: for they perceived that this work was wrought of
17 our God. Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and [the letters] of Tobiah came unto them. There was a number of false brethren among the Jews,
18 who kept correspondence with the enemy. For [there were] many in Judah sworn unto him, because he [was] the son in law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Mcshullam the son of Berechjah. The reason was, that he and his son had married daughters of Israelites: so dan.
19 gerous were these marriages with foreigners. Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. [And] Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. They had the impudence lo take all occasions of praising him to Nehemiah's face, who kneiv
• Thif wat a noble reply : had he retired, the people would probably have dropped tke» jtork, or laid aside their arms, and then the enemy wouid have come ajid.4e»uoycu the^ v»u;k and them.
his wickedness; and they informed Mm of Nehemiah'» schemes
fmd intentions; and Tobiah wanted very much to make him dt $omcfiling to disgrace himself.
l. TT7'E are here taught, that great pretensions of friend* V V ship, such as were made to Nehemiah, are not always to be depended upon. Their design seems to have been either to destroy or to disgrace him; their words were softer than oil, bui treachery and war were in their heart. Let us not wonder if we meet with treacherous and designing men; and to prevent the ill consequence* of deceit, let us join the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove.
2. The courage and steadfastness of Nehemiah is worthy the imitation of all christians. The answer he gave his enemies is very proper for us to give, when attacked by the temptations of Satan, or wicked men; be was employed in a great work. The business of religipn is the most important work; let it not cease that we may go into bad company, or for the sake of compliment, or ceremony. S/iall such fiersons as tee are, fiee, who profess the religion pf Jesus, and are his by solemn engagements? we who have families that will be influenced by our example? Let us be resolute that we will neither do that which is evil, or decline that which is good, on account of any solicitation or importunity whatever.
3. When any attempts are made to weaken our hands, let us earnestly pray that God would strengthen them. This is a proper petition when we are entering upon duty, when surrounded by enemies, when temptations present themselves, especially at a time svhen iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. We have need of strength to stand resolute; it is a great comfort to reflect that God is able and willing to strengthen us ; and that those who come to the throne of grape, thall fiqd grace to hclji him in time of need.
4. How melancholy is it when the sacred character is abused to countenance deceit and mischief! some who pretended to be prophets of God, endeavoured to hinder his work, and to destroy his faithful servants. Too many, under the name of christian ministers, have told mischievous lies in the name of the Lord ; have persecuted, and endeavoured to destroy, the best of men. Others, by pretending to extraordinary devotion and revelations from heaven, have deceived persons, who, like Nehemiah, have been remarkable
. for wisdom and goodness. Let us be cautious that we are not imposed upon; ami try the s/iirits whether they are of God; for even Satan can put on the form of an angel of light.
5. Steadfastness and resolution in a good work will overcome all difikuities, and at last be crowned with success. Had Nehemiah been discouraged and iDtimidated by these various artifices, perhaps all the glory of Jerusalem had been injured ; but his steadfast-.
"ness brought the work to perfection. Let those who are desirous to tefVe God themselves, and promote the interests of religion', be' re»* Olute in the good cause. Let no allurements draw'them aside, leJ no threatenings or banters dishearten them ; and let us all learn, from this example, to be steadfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour is not m vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. xv. 58.
Which is firincifiafly taken ttfi with the register of the fieofilei
1 '^T^W caroe t0 pass, when the wall was built, and f 1S\ had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and'
2 the Levites were appointed, That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem:'
3 for he [was] a faithful man, and feared God above many. And I said unto them. Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the suri be hot; and while they stand by, let ihem shut the doors, and bar [them :] and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one [to be] over'
4 against his house. Now the city [was] large aftd great : but the ^people [were] few therein, and the houses [were] npf builded.
5 And my God put info mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
i These [are] the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchad* nezzar the king of Babylon had Carried away, and came again ttf
7 Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city; Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Naha' raani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Misperetbt Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, [I say,] of the men of the people of Israel [was
8 this ;] The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred
9 seventy and two. The children of Shephatiah, three hundred fo seventy and two. The children of A rah, six hundred fifty and
11 two. The children of Pahathmoah, of the children of Jeshua
12 and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred [and] eighteen. The
13 children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The
14 children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. The children
15 Zaccai, seven hundred and three score. The children of Binnui,
16 six hundred forty and eight- The children of Bebar, six huff\7 dred twenty and eight. The children of Azgad, two thousand
18 three hundred twenty and two. The children of Adonikam, six
19 hundred three score and seven. The children of Bigvai, two1 SO thousand three score and seven. The children of Adin, six hun-, jUF jffig fifty and five. The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety PrMffe^ht. The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty an4 23 eight. The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and fout.
24 25 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve. The chL'26 dren of Gibeon, ninety and five. The men of Bethlehem and 37 Netophah, an hundred four score and eight. ThemenofAna
28 thoth, an hundred twenty and eight. The men of Bethazma
29 veth, forty and two. The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah,
30 and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. The men of Ra
31 mall and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one. The men of Mich*
32 mas, an hundred and twenty and two. The men of Bethel and
33 Ai, an hundred twenty and three. The men of the other Nebo,
34 fifty and two. The children of the other Elam, a thousand twa
35 hundred fifty and four. The children of Harim, three hundred
36 and twenty. The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and
37 five. The children of Ixid, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred
38 twenty and one. The children of Senaah, three thousand nine S9 hundred and thirty. The priests : the children of Jedaiah, of
40 the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. The
41 children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. The children of
42 Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, [and] of
44 the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. The singers: the
45 children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight. The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Taltnon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
46 The Nethinims : the children of Ziha, the children of Ha
47 shupha, the children of Tabbaoth, The children of Keros, the
48 children of Sia, the children of Padon, The children of Lebana,
49 the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai, The children
50 of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, The children of Rcaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nc
51 koda, The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the chil
52 dren of Phaseah, The children of Besai, the children of Meunim,
53 the children of Nephishesim, The children of Bakbuk, thechil
54 dren of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, The children of 65 Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, The
children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Ta
56 mah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
57 The children of Solomon's servants : the children of Sotai,
58 the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, The children
59 of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of
(10 Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon. All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, [were] three ,41 hundred ninety and two. And these [were] they which went up [also] frorrt Telmelah, Telhareslia, Cherub, Addon, and Immcr: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they [were] of Israel. The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took [one] of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their
64 name. These sought their register [among] those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore wsre
65 they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood [up] a priest with Urim and Thummim.
66 The whole congregation together [was] forty and two thou
67 sand three hundred and three score, Beside theirman servants and their maid servants, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and
68 five singing men and singing women. Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and
69 five: [Their] camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold,
71 fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests'garments. And [some] of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two
72 hundred pounds of silver. And [that] which the rest of the people gave [was] twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pounds of silver, and three score and seven priests' garments.
73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and [some] of the people, and theNethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel [were] in their cities.
The solemn manner in which the law was read and attended to ; the orders given the fieofile to express an holy joy on this occasion; wnd their solemn observation of the feast of tabernacles. The last clause of chapter vii. should have been the beginning of this.
1 \ N D when the seventh month came, the cliildren of Israel MX. were in their cities, and all the people gathered themselves together as one man into* the s/peious street that [was] before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe ; firetented him with their fiious entreaty, desiring him to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel, and which was required to be read every seventh year at the
2 feast of tabernacles, Deut. xxxi. 9, 10. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month, before the feast 6f tabernacles began; they set about this good work on the new moon, or feast of
3 trumpets. And he read therein before the street that [was] beVol. IV. H