Nehemiah Chapter 10
Introduction: In chapter 9, we studied about the leadership of Judah publicly worshipping God. They openly and publicly praised God, confessed the collective sin of the nation, and entered into a renewed covenant to serve the Lord.
Overview of Nehemiah 10: Chapter 10 records those who signed the renewed covenant with God. The subdivisions of the chapter are: (1) those who signed the covenant with God (along with a few details thereof) in verses 1-29; and, (2) the restoration of scriptural practices in verses 30-39.
I. Names of Those Who Signed Covenant with God
Neh 10:1 Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,
Neh 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
Neh 10:3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah,
Neh 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
Neh 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
Neh 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
Neh 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
Neh 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.
Neh 10:9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;
Neh 10:10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
Neh 10:11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,
Neh 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
Neh 10:13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.
Neh 10:14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,
Neh 10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
Neh 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
Neh 10:17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,
Neh 10:18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,
Neh 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
Neh 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
Neh 10:21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,
Neh 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
Neh 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,
Neh 10:24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek,
Neh 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
Neh 10:26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,
Neh 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
These people were important. They agreed to sign the covenant to again serve the Lord, and God wrote their name down in the book that will ever live. What an honor. The list of the leadership of restoration Israel who signed the covenant to once again serve the Lord is recorded. The note of “Nehemiah the Tirshatha” refers to how he was the governor under the Persians.
Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Psa 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
Psa 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
Neh 10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
Neh 10:29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;
The rest of the restoration remnant likewise “clave to their brethren, their nobles . . . to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and to do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord.” The mention of a curse and oath likely is how that they vowed a curse by an oath upon them selves if they should violate this renewed covenant. The essence of the covenant they entered into is summarized as follows.
John Gill in his commentary over the Old Testament said this about verse 29.
Ver. 29. They clave to their brethren, their nobles, etc.] Who had signed
and sealed the covenant, they declared their approbation of it, attended to
it, and ratified what they had done in their name: and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God; they bound themselves with an oath that they would keep the law of God, and added a curse or
imprecation on themselves to it should they break it; or, according to Piscator, they went into the space between the two pieces of the calf, which they cut asunder for the confirmation of the covenant, and so they cursed themselves if they should break it, (see Jeremiah 34:18) and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God, and his judgments and his statutes; all the laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial; this they engaged to do in general; some particulars follow.
II. The Restoration of Scriptural Practices
Neh 10:30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:
Neh 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
In verse 30, these dedicated Jews vowed to not allow their children intermarry with gentiles.
In the next verse, they vowed to not do business on the Sabbath Day. They further would once again observe the sabbatical year in allowing the land to lie fallow on that year. They furthermore would release all debts on that year as prescribed in the law of Moses. See Leviticus 25:4-7 and Deuteronomy 15:2.
Lev 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
Lev 25:5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;
Neh 10:33 For the showbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
Neh 10:34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law:
They vowed to once again pay even more than the annual Temple offering as prescribed by the Law. This was the third of a shekel above the prescribed half-shekel required. They realized these funds were needed for the on going daily maintenance of the Temple and its sacrifices.
In verse 34, these Israelites vowed to again share the burden of supplying the Temple altar with wood for the fire there.
Neh 10:35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:
Neh 10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:
Those that made the covenant with God vowed to bring again the first fruit offering to the Temple as prescribed in Exodus 23:19.
Exo 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
In verse 36, they vowed to once again present their first-born at the Temple to God. In Exodus 13, God laid claim to all the first-born after He had so dealt with Egypt. He allowed His people to redeem their first- born by the sacrifice of a lamb.
Exo 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exo 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
Exo 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
Exo 13:4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.
Exo 13:5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
Lev 27:26 Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the LORD'S firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the LORD'S.
Lev 27:27 And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.
Neh 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
These Jews further vowed to honor the Lord with not only the first fruits of their produce, but also the tithe of their crops.
Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
They finally vowed to be faithful in bringing all of their offerings to the sanctuary storehouse.
In conclusion, they vowed to “not forsake the house of our God.” The preceding context seems to lend credence to how they would faithfully support the house of God in a financial way as well as in personal attendance. The gravity of their renewed covenant with God to honor and obey Him is evident. It is particularly so as they specifically noted the various offerings, necessary support of the Temple, and their tithes.
Today as Christians, we gather together on the first day of the week and bring our tithes and offerings unto the Lord. And remembering to gather is more important each year as we near the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
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