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Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the chil- 1 of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was dren of Tabbaoth,
called after their name. 47 The children of Keros, the children of 64 These sought their register among Sia, the children of Padon,
those that were reckoned by genealogy, but 48 The children of Lebana, the children it was not found: therefore were they, as of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai, polluted, put from the priesthood.
49 The children of Hanan, the children 65 And 15the Tirshatha said unto them, of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
that they should not eat of the most holy 50 The children of Reaiah, the children things, till there stood up a priest with of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
Urim and Thummim. 51 The children of Gazzam, the children 66 ( The whole congregation together of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
was forty and two thousand three hundred 52 The children of Besai, the children of and threescore, Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
67 Beside their manservants and their 53 The children of Bakbuk, the children maidservants, of whom there were seven of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, thousand three hundred thirty and seven:
54 The children of Bazlith, the children and they had two hundred forty and five of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
singing men and singing women. 55 The children of Barkos, the children 68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
and six: their mules, two hundred forty and 56 The children of Neziah, the children, five : of Hatipha.
69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and 57 | The children of Solomon's servants: five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty the children of Sotai, the children of Sophe-asses. reth, the children of Perida,
70 | And some of the chief of the fa59 The children of Jaala, the children of thers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha Darkon, the children of Giddel,
gave to the treasure a thousand drams of 59 The children of Shephatiah, the chil-gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty dren of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of priests' garments. Zebaim, the children of "Amon.
71 And some of the chief of the fathers 60 All the Nethinims, and the children gave to the treasure of the work twenty of Solomon's servants, were three hundred thousand drams of gold, and two thousand ninety and two.
and two hundred pound of silver. 61°3And these were they which went up 72 And that which the rest of the people also from Tel-melah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, Addon, and Immer: but they could not and two thousand pound of silver, and threeshew their father's house, nor their "seed, score and seven priests' garments. whether they were of Israel.
73 So the priests, and the Levites, and 62 The children of Delaiah, the children the porters, and the singers, and some of the of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hun- people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dred forty and two.
dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh 63 | And of the priests: the children of month came, the children of Israel were in Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children their cities. of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters 19 Or, Ami.
14 Or, pedigree.
15 Or, the governor. Verse 3. “ Lel not the gates...be opened until the sun be hot ; and while they stand by.”—The gates were to be opened in the presence of the responsible officers named, and not until somewhat after sunrise, probably that any enemies might be clearly seen, and the inhabitants risen and in a condition to defend themselves. Most Oriental towns of any consequence are walled, and great strictness is usually observed in shutting and opening the gates. They are usually closed about sunset, and opened about sunrise. When once closed, they are seldom opened to let any one pass in or out, unless to persons of great authority or consequence. The rule is generally very strict, though not equally so in all places. For this reason travellers are obliged to calculate their journeys so as to arrive at towns before the gates close, as they may otherwise have to wait outside all the night; or, when travelling by night, they endeavour to manage so as not to arrive long before the gates are opened. Parties seldom travel by day except in winter; and in that season the uncomfortable prospect of spending a cold night outside the walls of a town occasions great anxiety when any unforeseen delay on the road renders it doubtful that the town may be reached before the gates are closed. In those parts of Western Asia where the winter cold is severe, disastrous consequences sometimes arise from miscalculation or delay.
4. “ The city was large and great, but the people were few therein.”—The walls were doubtless built on the old foundations, which accounts for this. The circumference of the walls is now only about two miles and a half; but it
13 Ezra 2.59.
16 Heb. part.
must anciently have been far more extensive. Josephus says, the circumference of the city was thirty-three furlongs: but as this was after the third wall had been built by Agrippa, the city in Nehemiah's time must have been less extensive. On such a point Josephus is a better authority than Hecatæus, who makes the circumference of Jerusalem to have been fifty furlongs—that is, more than six miles. The observation in the text, though only applicable to the then existing state of Jerusalem, would be, according to our ideas, applicable to most Oriental towns. They cover a great extent of ground in comparison with their population. For although the streets are narrow, the houses usually stand so much apart, and every respectable house is built with such large open courts, and then there are often so many gardens and plantations, that Asiatic towns do not contain generally anything near the population of English towns of similar extent.
5. “ Them which came up at the first.”—Between this list and that which has been given in Ezra, there are considerable differences of number and name, although the final result is the same. Perhaps the list in Ezra was taken from one made at Babylon of those who, upon the edict of Cyrus, gave in their names as intending to proceed to Jerusalem ; while this may be supposed to have been made at Jerusalem after the party had arrived. The differences of name and number are then easily accounted for, from changes of intention to go or not to go, and from deaths and other accidents by the way. That there was some difference in the documents from which the respective lists were copied seems probable from Nehemiah's saying, “ I found a register," &c.; an expression which was not likely to have been used had he employed the register which had already been copied into the book of Ezra. It is probable that Ezra could not And that register which Nehemiah found afterwards, and which we have now before us.
Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, MaaThe religious manner of reading and hearing the seiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, law. 9 They comfort the people. 13 The for- Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people wardness of them to hear and be instructed. 16 to understand the law: and the people stood They keep the feast of tabernacles.
in their place. And all 'the people gathered themselves 8 So they read in the book in the law of together as one man into the street that God distinctly, and gave the sense, and was before the water gate; and they spake caused them to understand the reading. unto Ezra the 'scribe to bring the book of 9 And Nehemiah, which is "the Tirthe law of Moses, which the Lord had com- shatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and manded to Israel.
the Levites that taught the people, said 2 And Ezra the priest brought the law unto all the people, This day is holy unto before the congregation both of men and the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. women, and all that could hear with under- For all the people wept, when they heard standing, upon the first day of the seventh the words of the law. month.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your 3 And he read therein before the street way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and that was before the water gate from the send portions unto them for whom nothing morning until midday, before the men and is prepared: for this day is holy unto our the women, and those that could under- Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of stand; and the ears of all the people were the LORD is your strength. attentive unto the book of the law.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, 4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a saying, Hold your peace, for the day is spulpit of wood, which they had made for holy; neither be ye grieved. the purpose; and beside him stood Matti- 12 And all the people went their way to thiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right to make great mirth, because they had unhand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and derstood the words that were declared unto Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and them. Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 13 9 And on the second day were ga
5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight thered together the chief of the fathers of of all the people; (for he was above all the all the people, the priests, and the Levites, people ;) and when he opened it, all the unto Ezra the scribe, even ®to understand people stood up:
the words of the law. 6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great 14 And they found written in the law God. And all the people answered, Amen, which the Lord had commanded by Moses, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they that the children of Israel should dwell in bowed their heads, and worshipped the booths in the feast of the seventh month: LORD with their faces to the ground.
15 And that they should publish and pro7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, claim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem,
• Heb. from the light. 7 Or, the governor. 8 Or, that they might instruct in the words of the law. 9 Heb. by the hand of
1 Ezra 3.1.
* Ezra 7.6.
3 Heb. that understood in hearing.
8 Heb. eyes.
5 Heb, tower of wood.
10 Levit, 23, 34. Deut. 16. 13,
saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch 17 And all the congregation of them that olive branches, and pine branches, and were come again out of the captivity made myrtle branches, and palm branches, and booths, and sat under the booths : for since branches of thick trees, to make booths, as the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that it is written.
day had not the children of Israel done so. 16 | So the people went forth, and brought And there was very great gladness. them, and made themselves booths, every 18 Also day by day, from the first day one upon the roof of his house, and in their unto the last day, he read in the book of courts, and in the courts of the house of God, the law of God.
the law of God. And they kept the feast and in the street of the water gate, and in seven days; and on the eighth day was l'a the street of the gate of Ephraim.
solemn assembly, according unto the manner.
11 Heb. a restraint.
Verse 1. “To bring the book of the law.”—This being the first day of the seventh ecclesiastical year, was the new year's day of the civil year, and therefore a great day. The first day of every month was a festival ; and the commencement of this month was also particularly distinguished as the feast of Trumpets, which continued for two days. The people were probably apprized, on this great occasion, that Ezra had finished his edition of the books of the Law; and which they therefore desired to hear read to them. Ezra was no doubt rejoiced at the invitation.
4. " A pulpit of wood...made for the purpose.”—Something probably in the shape of a scaffold or raised platform, ascended by steps, and railed or otherwise fenced. It must have been large, as it contained thirteen persons
7.. “Caused the people to understand the law.”—It is probable that, as Ezra read the law in pure Hebrew, the Levites explained or translated it, period by period, into the Chaldee dialect, which, from their long residence in Babylonia, had now become the vernacular tongue of the Jews. It is indeed important to note, that from the time of the Babylonish captivity the Hebrew ceased to be the language of the Jews, although perhaps it was not completely displaced by the Chaldee till the time of the Maccabees. The Hebrew and Chaldee were cognate dialects, both of which have long ceased to be living tongues; and the knowledge of the latter as a dead language has only been preserved through its having been once used by the Jews. Through that use we have certain portions of the Scripture (Ezra ir. 8, to vi. 18; vi. 12-26 ; Jer. x. 11; Dan. ii. 4, to the end of chap. vii.) in Chaldee ; and also the Targums or paraphrases
, which were written in that language, to make the sacred books intelligible to the people. For the law has always, eren to this day, been read to the people in Hebrew; after which, while the Chaldee remained the vernacular tongue, an er. planation was given in it, after the precedent supposed to be here established by Ezra. These explanations were at first oral, but were afterwards written down, and form the Targums or paraphrases, which are still preserved. The Chaldee, as in use among the Jews, doubtless acquired many words peculiarly Hebrew. It is quite certain that the Chaldee did become the vernacular tongue of the Jews from the time of the Captivity ; but it is contended by some, that the Hebrew was at this time intelligible the people; and therefore that the explanation given by the Levites did not consist in interpreta. tion, but in an exposition of the meaning of difficult passages. We think, however, that if the language of the people was in such a condition on the return from the Captivity, that Chaldee ultimately became the vernacular tongue, that language must necessarily have been so much more familiar to them than the pure old Biblical Hebrew, as to have rendered some verbal explanation of the latter indispensable. Those who have attended to languages in a state of transition, will apprehend that a very considerable proportion of what was read was intelligible to the people, but that there were many words and phrases which they could not understand; and we conceive that the Levites, in repeating, from different sides of the pulpit, what Ezra had read, employed, in such instances at least, Chaldee words and phrases of equivalent meaning. Whether they also gave an expository explanation is not necessarily a separate or opposing question, since they may have done both, and probably did so, considering how imperfectly the mass of the people were then acquainted with the Law.
14. “ That the children of Israel should dwell in booths.”—This was the feast of Tabernacles, to be observed on the fifteenth of this month; and being therefore close at hand when the injunction concerning it was read to them, they began to prepare for it at once.
18. “ Day by day...he read in the book of the law.”—It is generally understood that, from the example of this reading of the law by Ezra, one very important consequence followed, which was, that from thenceforward provision was made that the law should be read every sabbath-day to the people in their own cities. This was probably at first done in the open air, after the example of Ezra; but the inconvenience of this practice in cold or wet weather, appears soon to have led to the erection of appropriate buildings for the purpose. This appears to have been the origin of synagogues, of which there does not seem to have been any before the Babylonish captivity. To this salutary regulatica may perhaps be attributed the fact that the Jews were never after, as a nation, chargeable with idolatry, to which they had been previously so prone, and which was the prime source of all the judgments and calamities that befel them.
with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth 1 A solemn fast, and repentance of the people. 4 The Levites make a religious confession of God's good selves from all 'strangers, and stood and
2 And the seed of Israel separated themness, and their wickedness.
confessed their sins, and the iniquities of Now in the twenty and fourth day of this their fathers. month the children of Israel were assembled 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord and gavest them right judgments, and "Strue their God one fourth part of the day; and laws, good statutes and commandments: another fourth part they confessed, and wor- 14 And madest known unto them thy shipped the Lord their God.
1 Chap. 8. 9. Hob. strange children.
holy sabbath, and commandedst them pre4' Then stood up upon the 'stairs, of cepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Moses thy servant: Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and 15 And 'gavest them bread from heaven Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto for their hunger, and broughtest forth wathe Lord their God.
ter for them out of the rock for their thirst, 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kad- and promisedst them that they should 'go miel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodi. in to possess the land 'which thou hadst jah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand sworn to give them. up and bless the LORD your God for ever 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, and hardened their necks, and hearkened which is exalted above all blessing and not to thy commandments, praise.
17 And refused to obey, neither were 6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou mindful of thy wonders that thou didst hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, among them; but hardened their necks, and with all their host, the earth, and all things in their rebellion appointed a captain to that are therein, the seas, and all that is return to their bondage: but thou art ?'a therein, and thou preservest them all; and God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, the host of heaven worshippeth thee. slow to anger, and of great kindness, and
7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst forsookest them not. choose 'Abram, and broughtest him forth 18 Yea, "when they had made them a out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him molten calf, and said, This is thy God that the name of 'Abraham ;
brought thee up out of Egypt, and had 8 And foundest his heart "faithful before wrought great provocations ; thee, and madest a covenant with him to 19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forgive the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, sookest them not in the wilderness: the the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the 23 pillar of the cloud departed not from them Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, by day, to lead them in the way; neither the I say, to his sced, and hast performed thy pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, words; for thou art righteous:
and the way wherein they should go. 9 'And didst see the affliction of our fa- 20 Thou gavest also thy "good spirit to thers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by instruct them, and withheldest not thy
"Smanna from their mouth, and gavest them 10 And shewedst signs and wonders water for their thirst. upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain on all the people of his land: for thou knew them in the wilderness, so that they lacked est that they dealt proudly against them. nothing ; their sclothes waxed not old, and So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this their feet swelled not. day.
22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms 11 "And thou didst divide the sea before and nations, and didst divide them into them, so that they went through the midst corners: so they possessed the land of *Siof the sea on the dry land; and their perse-hon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, cutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a and the land of Og king of Bashan. stone into the "mighty waters.
23 Their children also multipliedst thou 12 Moreover thou 13leddest them in the as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by into the land, concerning which thou hadst a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way promised to their fathers, that they should wherein they should go. .
it. 13 "Thou camest down also
mount 24 So the children went in and possessed Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, the land, and thou subduedst before them *01, scaffolih.
the Red sea;
15 Heb. laws of truth. * Exod. 13. 92. Num. 14. 14. 1 Cor. 10. 1.
4 Gen. 1.1. 3 Gen. 11.31, and 12. 1. o Gen. 17.5. 7 Gen. 15. 6. 8 Gen. 12. 7, and 15. 18, and 17.7, 8. Exod. 3. 7, and 14. 10. 10 Exod. 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14 chapters.
11 Exod. 14. 21, 22. 12 Exod. 15. 10. 13 Exod. 13. 21. 14 Exod. 19. 20, and 20.1.
16 Exod. 16. 14, 15
17 Exod. 17.6. Num. 20. 9, &c. 18 Deut. 1. 8. 19 Heb. which thou hadst lift up thine hand to give them. 20 Num. 14. 4. 91 Heb. a God of parduns.
Exod. 39. 4.
28 Num. 21. 21, &c,
the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, them, and testifiedst against them by thy and gavest them into their hands, with their spirit Sin thy prophets: yet would they not kings, and the people of the land, that they give ear: therefore gavest thou them into might do with them as they would. the hand of the people of the lands.
25 And they took strong cities, and a fat Sl Nevertheless for thy great mercies' land, and possessed houses full of all goods, sake thou didst not utterly consume them, sowells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and fruit trees in abundance: so they did and merciful God. eat, and were filled, and became fat, and 32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the delighted themselves in thy great good #mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest
covenant and mercy, let not all the søtrouble 26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, seem little before thee, t'that hath come and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and behind their backs, and slew thy s prophets on our priests, and on our prophets, and on which testified against them to turn them our fathers, and on all thy people, since the to thee, and they wrought great provoca- time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. tions.
33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is 27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into brought upon us; for thou hast done right, the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: but we have done wickedly : and in the time of their trouble, when they 34 Neither have our kings, our princes, cried unto thee, thou heardest them from our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, heaven ; and according to thy manifold mer- nor hearkened unto thy commandments and cies thou gavest them saviours, who saved thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify them out of the hand of their enemies.
against them. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil 35 For they have not served thee in their again before thee: therefore leftest thou kingdom, and in thy great goodness that them in the hand of their enemies, so that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat they had the dominion over them: yet when land which thou gavest before them, neither they returned, and cried unto thee, thou turned they from their wicked works. heardest them from heaven; and many times 36 Behold, we are servants this day, and didst thou deliver them according to thy for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers mercies;
to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou behold, we are servants in it: mightest bring them again unto thy law: 37 And it yieldeth much increase unto yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not the kings whom thou hast set over us beunto thy commandments, but sinned against cause of our sins : also they have dominion thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their live in them ;) and "withdrew the shoul- pleasure, and we are in great distress. der, and hardened their neck, and would 38 And because of all this we make a sure not hear.
covenant, and write it; and our princes, Le30 Yet many years didst thou 3forbear vites, and priests, seal unto it. 29 Heb, according to their will.
81 Heb. tree of food. 32 1 Kings. 19 10. 33 Heb. they returned to do evil. 34 Heb. they gave a withdrawing shoulder. 35 Heb. protract over them. 36 2 Kings 17. 13. 2 Chron. 36. 15. 37 Heb. in the hand of thy prophets.
40 Heb.,that hath found us. 41 Heb. are at the sealing, or, sealed. Verse 9. " The affliction of our fathers in Egypt."-As part of the affliction and hard bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt consisted in their being employed to make bricks, we take this opportunity of introducing a most interestieg representation of a scene of ancient Egyptian brick-making, as copied by Rosellini from a painting on the walls of å sepulchre at Thebes. It is altogether so striking an illustration, that Rosellini himself is quite persuaded that the painting does really represent the oppressed Hebrews at their work. Most certainly they are not Egyptians: their whole appearance is different. The Egyptians have their colour represented by brick-red invariably, whereas these are shown of a light tan colour, being that which, in Egyptian paintings, is usually assigned to western Asiatics; they have also beards, which the Egyptians have not, and their cast of countenance and general appearance is altogether different. That they are foreigners, either slaves or treated as slaves, is unquestionable. Four Egyptians appear in the scene, with whom the reader can compare them. Two of these are taskmasters or overseers, with sticks in their hands ; one of them sits on a brick in a lazy posture, overlooking the labourers; and the other is holding up his stiek in a threatening or commanding manner towards the two other Egyptians, who are engaged in the same labour as the foreigners, having, perhaps, as Rosellini guesses, been condemned to this for some offence. The resemblance of the labourers in physiognomy and colour of skin to the group of Jews which has been iven under 2 Chron. xxxv. is in favour of Rosellini's conclusion as to their identity: but a doubt on this point does not detract from the value of the illustration as an analogy, since it certainly does represent the labours in the brick-field of an oppressed or captive people under Egyptian task-masters. It does therefore show us the nature of the situation of the Hebrew fathers in Egyp:—their hard and bitter bondage, their affliction, and their labour.
80 Or, cisterns.
38 Exod. 34. 6, 7.
89 Heb, weariness.