Sivut kuvina

that we returned all of us to the wall, every work is great and large, and we are sepaone unto his work.


upon the wall, one far from another. 16 And it came to pass from that time 20 In what place therefore ye hear the forth, that the half of my servants wrought sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto in the work, and the other half of them held us: our God shall fight for us. both the spears, the shields, and the bows, 21 So we laboured in the work : and half and the habergeons; and the rulers were of them held the spears from the rising of behind all the house of Judah.

the morning till the stars appeared. 17 They which builded on the wall, and 22 Likewise at the same time said I unto they that bare burdens, with those that the people, Let every one with his servant laded, every one with one of his hands lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night wrought in the work, and with the other they may be a guard to us, and labour on hand held a weapon.

the day. 18 For the builders, every one had his 23 Šo neither I, nor my brethren, nor my sword girded by his side, and so builded. servants, nor the men of the guard which And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. followed me, none of us put off our clothes,

19 | And I said unto the nobles, and to saving that every one put them off for the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The washing.


7 Heb. on his luins.

8 Cr, crery one weut u th his w?acon for water

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S. BALAT ANG Tudall.- Anunca KUPYA.NN.


Verse 18. “ Every one had his sword yirded by his side, and so builded.—The writer of the present note, in diffezent parts of Asia, has often had to notice circumstances, of a similar description to those recorded in this and the preceding

In countries or districts liable to the visits of, or partly occupied by, Bedouins or Tartars; or where a settled population is divided into adverse clans or tribes ; or where the principle of blood revenge is in strong and extensive operation-under all these and other circumstances the cultivators dare not pursue the La bours of the field unarmed. We have seen men following the plough with guns slung to their backs and swords by their sides; or else these and other weapons were placed within reach, while they pursued such labours as kept them stationary. Sometimes also, but less frequently, we have observed men, armed with guns, swords, spears, clubs, and bucklers, keeping a watchiul guard while their fellows pursued their important labours. It is by such statements as these that we are most forcibly impressed with a sense of the misery and fear of a state of society in which even common safety is regarded as the greatest of temporal blessings.


servants, might exact of them money and

corn : I i The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and

pray you, let us leave off this bonduge. 6 Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and usury. causeth them to make a covenant of restitution. 11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this 14 He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth day, their lands, their vineyards, their olivehospitality.

yards, and their houses, also the hundredth And there was a great cry of the people part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and of their wives against their brethren the and the oil, that ye exact of them. Jews.

12 Then said they, We will restore them, 2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and will require nothing of them; so will we and our daughters, are many: therefore we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, take up corn for them, that we may cat, and and took an oath of them, that they should live.

do according

We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and shake out every man from his house, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of from his labour, that performeth not this the dearth.

promise, even thus be he shaken out, and 4 There were also that said, We have emptied. And all the congregation said, borrowed money for the king's tribute, and Amen, and praised the LORD. And the that upon our lands and vineyards.

people did according to this promise. 5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our 14 | Moreover from the time that I was brethren, our children as their children: and, appointed to be their governor in the land lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto daughters to be servants, and some of our the two and thirtieth


of Artaxerxes the daughters are brought unto bondage al- king, that is, twelve years, I and my breready: neither is it in our power to redeem thren have not eaten the bread of the gothem; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

15 But the former governors that had 6 | And I was very angry when I heard been before me were chargeable unto the their cry and these words.

people, and had taken of them bread and 7 Then 'I consulted with myself, and I wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said even their servants bare rule over the peounto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his ple: but so did not I, because of the fear of brother. And I set a great assembly against God: them.

16 Yea, also I continued in the work of 8 And I said unto them, We after our this wall, neither bought we any land : and ability have Sredeemed our brethren the all my servants were gathered thither unto Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; the work. and will

your brethren? or shall 17 Moreover there were at my table an they be sold unto us? Then held they their hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, peace, and found nothing to answer.

beside those that came unto us from among 9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: the heathen that are about us. ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God

od 18 Now that which was prepared for me because of the reproach of the heathen our daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also enemies?

fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten 10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my days store of all sorts of wine : yet for all



even sell

8 Heb. empty, or ooid.

1 Heb, my heart consulted in me.

Levit. 25. 49.

this required not I the bread of the gover- 19 "Think upon me, my God, for good, nor, because the bondage was heavy upon according to all that I have done for this this people.


• Chap 13. 22. Verse 13. " I shook my lap, and said...eren thus be he shaken out, and emptied.—The idea of this significant action is evidently derived from the custom of carrying some things in the lap or skirt of the outer robe, as women do sometimes in their aprons, and which being discharged at once, makes a complete clearance. In 2 Kings iv. 39, one of the sons of the prophets is described as going into the field to gather herbs, “and gathered there of wild gourds his lap full,” which denotes the existence of the custom from which the allusion is taken. The act of Nehemiah was equivalent to that of Paul, who shook his raiment and said, “ Your blood be on your own heads; I am clean” (Acts xviii. 6). Significant actions of this sort are still very common in the East. By shaking his garment, as if to clear it from dust, or empty his lap, a person is understood to express his reprobation of, or dissent from, or to clear himself from the responsibility of, what is done, said, or asserted. Even when inadvertently performed in the presence of others, such acts are considered of such bad import, that the person who shakes his robe is liable to very severe reproof for so doing. In quarrels between men or women, the curses which they bestow upon each other are generally accompanied with the shaking of their garments and such expressions as, “Thus may it be with thee.”

15. The former governors... had been chargeable unto the people.”—This does not appear to be mentioned as a matter of reproach to them ; but merely to intimate that they had received from the people that provision which was their due, and with which they were probably less able than Nehemiah to dispense. We suppose that the forty shekels of silver was the daily income of the governor-amounting to about 18001. a year; besides which he received the whole or principal part of the provisions required for his household—as “ bread” includes all kinds of provisions. This altogether formed the bread of the governor," which the pious and noble-minded governor, whose transactions we are now perusing, declined to accept, bearing the heavy charges of his government from his own purse for many years. The principle of contribution here indicated, is that which prevailed throughout the Persian empire, in which the dues of the government were paid partly in a stipulated annual amount of precious metal, and partly in provisions and other commodities, which the respective provinces could most easily supply, or were most famous for producing. Thus the government of Babylonia, besides an annual tax in metal of a thousand talents (218,7501.), was bound to keep the king's court supplied with victuals for four months in the year, and other provinces for the eight remaining months. These supplies were so ample that all the guards and officers of the court received no salaries, but provisions onlythat is, were paid in kind. The same principle operated among the interior governments of provinces and towns, ag we see that it did at Jerusalem when under the Persian yoke. But it was not new to the Jews, as we observe very similar regulations for the supply of the Hebrew court in the time of Solomon. The kings of Persia themselves secm to have desired at their own particular tables, some representative product of all their provinces; for we read that they ate no bread but that made from the wheat of Assos in Phrygia, no wine but that of Damascus, no salt but that of Egypt, and so on. On the same plan we may be tolerably certain that the government at Jerusalem had required from each district an adequate supply of its most esteemed products.


6 Wherein was written, It is reported I Sanballat practiseth by craft, by rumours, by hired among the heathen, and 'Gashmu saith it, prophecies, to terrify Nehemiah. 15 The work is

that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for finished to the terror of the enemies. 17 Secret which cause thou buildest the wall, that intelligence passeth between the enemies and the

thou mayest be their king, according to nobles of Juduh.

these words. Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and 7 And thou hast also appointed prophets Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded There is a king in Judah: and now shall it the wall, and that there was no breach left be reported to the king according to these therein; (though at that time I had not set words. Come now therefore, and let us up the doors upon the gates ;)

take counsel together. 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto 8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There me, saying, Come, let us meet together in are no such things done as thou sayest, some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. but thou feignest them out of thine own But they thought to do me mischief.

heart. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, say- 9 For they all made us afraid, saying, ing, I am doing a great work, so that I can- Their hands shall be weakened from the not come down : why should the work cease, work, that it be not done. Now therefore, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? O God, strengthen my hands.

4 Yet they sent unto me four times after 10 Afterward I came unto the house of this sort; and I answered them after the Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mesame manner.

hetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, 5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto Let us meet together in the house of God, me in like manner the fifth time with an within the temple, and let us shut the doors open letter in his hand;

of the temple: for they will come to slay "Or, Geshem, verse 2.

thee; yea, in the night will they come to | twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in slay thee.

fifty and two days. il And I said, Should such a man as I 16 And it came to pass, that when all our flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, cnemies heard thereof, and all the heathen would

go into the temple to save his life? I that were about us saw these things, they will not go in.

were much cast down in their own eyes : for 12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not they perceived that this work was wrought sent him; but that he pronounced this pro- of our God. phecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat 17 | Moreover in those days the nobles had hired him.

of Judah 'sent many letters unto Tobiah, 13 Therefore was he hired, that I should and the letters of Tobiah came unto be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they them. might have matter for an evil report, that 18 For there were many in Judah sworn they might reproach me.

unto him, because he was the son in law of 14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Sanballat according to these their works, Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshul. and on the prophetess Noadiah, anıl the lam the son of Berechiah. rest of the prophets, that would have put 19 Also they reported his good deeds beme in fear.

fore me, and uttered my 'words to him. And 15 | So the wall was finished in the | Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

3 Heb. mulliplied their letters passing to Tubiah. 3 Or, matters Verse 2. “ In some one of the villages in the pluin of Ono.”—Probably the word rendered “in the villages," should be left as a proper name—" in Cephirim”—which was most likely the same as Chephirah, one of the towns which belonged to the Gibeonites and afterwards to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. ix. 17 ; xviii. 26).

5. With an open letter in his hund.—That the letter was open, is very probably noticed as a circumstance denoting the disrespect with which Nehemiah was treated. Although the Orientals do not close their letters after our fashion, they never send them open but to an inferior person, or to one whom, if a superior or eqınl, they intend to treat with studied disrespect. The letters of the Western Asiatics, which are usually very brief, are commonly rolled up, and the roll flattened to about the breadth of an inch. These letters are not sealed with wax; but pasted at the eids, or else a bit of paper is fastened around with gum and sealed with the usual ink impression. Letters to inferiors are oftea sent as unsealed rolls; but to superiors and even equals they are neatly done up in bags of silk, satin, or taffety. D'Arvieux relates a reform which he introduced into the official correspondence of the chief emir of the Arabs settleil in Palestine. The illness of this chief's secretary, and the inconvenience it occasioned, induced him to undertake his duty in writing the emir's letters. They had before been coarsely written and rudely done up."I made a cypher," he says, “ of his (the emir’s) name and titles, in which every letter was artificially interwoven. This I put at the top or bottom of the letters, according to the quality of the person addressed, with strokes or flourishes on each side, to give him, according to the way of the Orientals, some marks of grandeur.... The prince, considering the manner in which I did his letters, upon large paper, in a character he was not used to, and with a magnificence that was till then ueknown to him, was quite overjoyed.” He afterwards adds, that before the letters were despatched, he fitted them up in little taffety bags, of several colours, a formality to which the emir had been an utter stranger. The latter was su delighted with all this that he cried up D’Arvieux for the best scribe in the world. “But,” he says, “I should not have passed for such among nicer and more instructed persons; but I was with the Arabs of the desert, who are very igaorant; and although what I did was very indifferent, it was good enough for the Bedouins-a people without ceremony and without poli eness.'

.” This being the case, Nehemiah would probably have overlooked the unceremonious state of the letter had it come from Geshem the Arabian; but Sanballat doubtless knew well what was due to a persou in Nehemiah's situation ; and therefore the open state of the letter could be nothing less than a studied insult. It will be observed that D'Arvieux notices the large size of the paper on which he wrote ; accordingly letters to kings and princes are written on very large paper, with great breadth of margin. These fold in a large size, and are elegantly done up in cases of silk, satin, or of silk interwoven with threads of silver or gold. In this case the ribbon, or gold or silver lace with which the bag is tied, is sometimes, after being knotted, passed through wax, which is impressed with a seal in the usual manner. The omission of all such little epistolary ceremonials, about which the Orientals are very particular, was a significant circumstance which Nehemiah could not fail to notice-particularly as he had beta brought up in one of the most ceremonious courts in the world.


built, and I had set up the doors, and the 1 Nehemiah committeth the charge of Jerusalem to porters and the singers and the Levites were

Hanani and Hananiah. 5 A register of the ge appointed, nealogy of them which came at the first out of Babylon, 9 of the people, 39 of the priests, 43 | Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge

2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and of the Levites, 46 of the Nethinims, 57 of Solomon's servants, 63 and of the priests which could

over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, not find their gedigree. 66 The whole number of and feared God above many.

them, with their substance. 70 Their oblations. 3 And I said unto them, Lct not the Now it came to pass, when the wall was gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun

be hot; and while they stand by, let them 22 The children of Hashum, three hunshut the doors, and bar them: and appoint dred twenty and eight. watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 23 The children of Bezai, three hundred every one in his watch, and every one to be twenty and four. over against his house.

24 The children of 'Hariph, an hundred 4 Now the city was 'large and great: but and twelve. the people were few therein, and the houses 25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and were not builded.

five. 5 And my God put into mine heart 26 The men of Beth-lehem and Netoto gather together the nobles, and the phah, an hundred fourscore and eight. rulers, and the people, that they might be 27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred reckoned by genealogy. And I found a twenty and eight. register of the genealogy of them which 28 The men of 'Beth-azmaveth, forty and came up at the first, and found written two. therein,

29 The men of ®Kirjath-jcarim, Chephi6 *These are the children of the province, rah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and that went up out of the captivity, of those three. that had been carried away, whom Nebu- 30 The men of Ramah and Gaba, six chadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried hundred twenty and one. away, and came again to Jerusalem and to 31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and Judah, every one unto his city;

twenty and two. 7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, 32 The men of Beth-el and Ai, an hunNehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, dred twenty and three. Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Ne- 33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and hum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the two. men of the people of Israel was this;

34 The children of the other 'Elam, å 8 The children of Parosh, two thousand thousand two hundred fifty and four. an hundred seventy and two.

35 The children of Harim, three hundred 9 The children of Shephatiah, three hun- and twenty. dred seventy and two.

36 The children of Jericho, three hun10 The children of Arah, six hundred dred forty and five. fifty and two.

37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, il The children of Pahath-moab, of the seven hundred twenty and one. children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand 38 The children of Senaah, three thouand eight hundred and eighteen.

sand nine hundred and thirty. 12 The children of Elam, a thousand two 39 The priests: the children of 'Jehundred fifty and four.

daiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred 13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred seventy and three. forty and five.

40 The children of Immer, a thousand 14 The children of Zaccai, seven hun-fifty and two. dred and threescore.

41 The children of Pashur, a thousand 15 The children of 'Binnui, six hundred two hundred forty and seven. forty and eight.

42 The children of Harim, a thousand 16 The children of Bebai, six hundred and seventeen. twenty and eight.

43 The Levites : the children of Jeshua, 17 The children of Azgad, two thousand of Kadmiel, and of the children of "Hodethree hundred twenty and two.

vah, seventy and four. 18 The children of Adonikam, six hun- 44 [The singers: the children of Asaph, dred threescore and seven.

an hundred forty and eight. 19 The ehildren of Bigvai, two thousand 45 9 The porters: the children of Shalthreescore and seven.

lum, the children of Ater, the children of 20 The children of Adin, six hundred | Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children fifty and five.

of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hun21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, dred thirty and eight. ninety and eight.

46 The Nethinims: the children of

I Heb. broad in spaces.

? Ezra 2. 1, &c. 8 Or, Kirjath-arim,

. See verse 12.

3 Or, Serninh. Or, Bani. 5 Or, Jora. 6 Or, Gibbar. 7 Or, Azmaveth. 10 i Chron, 21.7. 11 Or, Hodaviah, Ezra 2. 40; or Judah, Ezra 3. 9.

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