Sivut kuvina

17 Of Abijah, Zichri ; of Miniamin, of 33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, Moadiah, Piltai;

34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, 18 Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, Jehonathan;

35 And certain of the priests' sons with 19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, trumpets: namely, Zechariah the son of Uzzi;

Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of 20 Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son

21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, of Zaccur, the son of Asaph: Nethaneel.

36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Aza22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, rael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were Judah, Hanani, with the musical instrurecorded chief of the fathers : also the ments of David the man of God, and Ezra priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian. the scribe before them.

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the 37 And at the fountain gate, which was fathers, were written in the book of the

over against them, they went up by the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan stairs of the city of David, at the going up the son of Eliashib.

of the wall, above the house of David, even 24 And the chief of the Levites: Hasha- unto the water gate eastward. biah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kad- 38 And the other company of them that miel, with their brethren over against them, gave thanks went over against them, and I to praise and to give thanks, according to after them, and the half of the people upon the commandment of David the man of God, the wall, from beyond the tower of the furward over against ward.

naces even unto the broad wall; 25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, 39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters and above the old gate, and above the fish keeping the ward at the "thresholds of the gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the gates.

tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the and they stood still in the prison gate. son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in 40 So stood the two companies of them the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of that gave thanks in the house of God, and Ezra the priest, the scribe.

I, and the half of the rulers with me: 27 And at the dedication of the wall of 41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, and Hananiah, with trumpets ; to keep the dedication with gladness, both 42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and with thanksgivings, and with singing, with Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the

28 And the sons of the singers gathered singers 18sang loud, with Jezrahiah their themselves together, both out of the plain overseer. country round about Jerusalem, and from 43 Also that day they offered great the villages of Netophathi;

sacrifices, and rejoiced : for God had 29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out made them rejoice with great joy : the of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for wives also and the children rejoiced: so the singers had builded them villages round that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even

afar off.

gut And the priests and the Levites puri afar And at that time were some ap

fied themselves, and purified the people, and pointed over the chambers for the treasures

, the gates, and the wall.

for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for 31 Then I brought up the princes of the tithes, to gather into them out of the Judah upon the wall

, and appointed two fields of the cities the portions "of the law great companies of them that gave thanks, for the priests and Levites : 'for Judah rewhereof one went on the right hand upon joiced for the priests and for the Levites the wall toward the dung gate:

jothat waited. 32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and 45 And both the singers and the porters half of the princes of Judah,

kept the ward of their God, and the ward of

11 i Chron. 9, 14, &c.

19 Or, treasuries, or, assemblies. 13 Hob, made their voice to be heard.

15 Heb. for that joy of Judah, 18 Heb what stood.

14 That is, appointed by the lase.


the purification, according to the com- 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubmandment of David, and of Solomon his babel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave son.

the portions of the singers and the porters, 46 For in the days of David and Asaph every day his portion: and they sanctified of old there were chief of the singers, and holy things unto the Levites ; «and the Lesongs of praise and thanksgiving unto vites sanctified them unto the children of God.


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Verse 11. " Jaddua.”—Some writers think that the verse concluding with this name could not have been written by Nehemiah, seeing that Jaddua did not succeed to the priesthood till upwards of a century after the date of Nehemiah's first commission; so that, allowing him to have been then a young man, as he probably was, he could not well have been less than 130 years of age when this was written. This is not impossible, certainly; but it seems less likely than that the names of the successive high priests, down to the subversion of the Persian empire, were inserted by a later hand. The precise periods at which the priests here named succeeded each other cannot be determined with much certainty. But as they became very important ruling authorities in the period between the conclusion of Nehemiah's reforms and the invasion of Asia by Alexander, we insert the order and state of their succession as given by Prideaux and Hales.

The high priest Seraiah, who was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, must have left more than one son who did not share his ruin. Ezra must have descended from one of his younger sons, for his eldest was Josedech, who was carried into captivity, and appears to have acted as high priest among the captives. He died before the decree for the restoration of the Jews was issued by Cyrus, and was succeeded by his son Jeshua, or Joshua, who returned to Jerusalem with the first caravan under Zerubbabel, and who is conspicuously mentioned in the prophecies of Zechariah. He was succeeded by his son Jehoiakim (B.C. 483 to 453, thirty years), in whose time the second caravan of returned captives, under Ezra, arrived at Jerusalem. After him came Eliashib (B.c. 453—413, forty years), who lived during all the history which the present book records, and whose improper conduct during Nehemiah's absence at the Persian court will presently come under our notice. He was followed by his son Joiada, or Judas (B.C. 413–373, forty years), who was succeeded by Jonathan, or John (B.C. 373-311, thirty-two years), in the eighth year of whose pontificate his brother Jeshua came to Jerusalem to supersede him in his office, in virtue of a grant of which he obtained from Bagoses, the Persian satrap of Syria and Phænicia. "But Jonathan would by no means yield; in consequence of which a great strife took place between them in the inner court of the Temple, Jeshua attempting by force to enter upon the execution of the office, and the other endeavouring by force to prevent him. The former was killed in the strife. The Persian governor, after having been at Jerusalern to inquire into the circumstances, punished this horrible crime by laying a heavy tribute upon the lambs offered in sacrifice, which proved a great burden to the people, and was not remitted till the accession of Ochus, king of Persia, B.c. 358. Jonathan, however, retained his dignity, and on his death was succeeded by Jaddua, or Jaudus (B.C. 341-321, twenty years), in whose time Alexander the Great made his appearance in Asia. After that conqueror had reduced Tyre, he proceeded to Jerusalem; but it is said by Josephus and others, that his hostile intentions were averted by his being met on his approach by the high priest in his official robes, followed by the priests in their proper habits, and the people in white raiment. Alexander was astonished; having, as he said, before seen in a vision a person attired like the high priest, who had encouraged his great enterprises, and promised him complete success. He therefore gave his right hand to Jaddua, and entering the city peaceably, proceeded to the Temple and offered sacrifice under the direction of the high priest. This personage also explained to him the prophecies in Daniel, that a Grecian king should overthrow the Persian empire. This was rightly understood by Alexander to refer to himself; and he was altogether so much gratified, that, so far from molesting the Jews, he encouraged them to ask what privileges they desired: these were, that they should be allowed the enjoyment of their own laws and customs, and be exempted from tribute every seventh year. This was readily granted ; and thus the yoke of Persia was exchanged for that of the Macedonians.

22. Darius the Persian.”—As the high priest Jaddua, mentioned in this verse and verse 11, lived in the time of Darius Codomanus, who was overthrown by Alexander, while the regular history of the book appears to terminate early in the reign of Darius Nothus, it may be doubted which of the two is intended by “Darius the Persian.” Dr. Hales thinks it is Darius Nothus.

27. The dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.”—It was a custom among the ancients to consecrate the walls of cities to their gods, and to consider them sacred in virtue of that consecration. We have no account of the dedication of the completed wall; but there is a particular account in Ovid's . Fasti' of the sort of dedication which took place in laying the foundations of the walls of Rome by Romulus. We quote the passage in Massey's translation: “On a proper day they went their rounds,

Then to the gods the king addressed this prayer And with a plough mark'd out the city's bounds ;

• My suppliant voice, O Jove and Vesta, hear! The day was Pales' feast: a ditch they made,

And father Mars, and all ye pow'rs divine,
And in the earth and at the bottom laid

O be propitious to my great design:
New corn and soil fetch'd from the neighbring ground, This city which I build with pious view,
Then fill'd the ditch with earth, and made a mound; Though named from me, consecrate to you:
And on the new-made mound an altar raised,

To the sun's rising and its setting ray,
On which, as soon as that the incense blazed,

May it extend its wide imperial sway, Another hole was dug, from whence the plough,

To distant ages may it thriving rise, Held firm, was drawn by a white ox and cow.

And o'er all cities reign beneath the skies.'”

Fast. lib. iv, v. 819, &c.


12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of

the corn and the new wine and the oil unto i Upon the reading of the law separation is made from the mixed multitude. 4 Nehemiah at his the 1°treasuries. return causeth the chambers to be cleansed. 10

13 And I made treasurers over the treaHe reformeth the offices in the house of God. 15 suries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the The violation of the sabbath, 23 and the mar- scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and riages with strange wives.

"next to them was Hanan the son of ZacOn that day 'they read in the book of Mo- cur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were ses in the audience of the people; and counted faithful, and their office was to therein was found written, 3that the Am- distribute unto their brethren. monite and the Moabite should not come 14 "Remember me, O my God, concerninto the congregation of God for ever; ing this, and wipe not out my "good deeds

2 Because they met not the children of that I have done for the house of my God, Israel with bread and with water, but hired and for the offices thereof. Balaam against them, that he should curse 15 q In those days saw I in Judah some them: howbeit our God turned the curse treading wine presses on the sabbath, and into a blessing.

bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as 3 Now it came to pass, when they had also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner heard the law, that they separated from of burdens, which they brought into JeruIsrael all the mixed multitude.

salem on the sabbath day: and I testified 4. And before this, Eliashib the priest, against them in the day wherein they sold Shaving the oversight of the chamber of the victuals. house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah: 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein,

5 And he had prepared for him a great which brought fish, and all manner of ware, chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat and sold on the sabbath unto the children offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, of Judah, and in Jerusalem. and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, 17 Then I contended with the nobles of and the oil, which was commanded to be Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing given to the Levites, and the singers, and is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath the porters; and the offerings of the day? priests.

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not 6 But in all this time was not I at Jeru- our God bring all this evil upon us, and salem: for in the two and thirtieth year of upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. the king, and after certain days obtained 19 And it came to pass, that when the I leave of the king:

gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before 7 And I came to Jerusalem, and under the sabbath, I commanded that the gates stood of the evil that Eliashib did for To- should be shut, and charged that they biah, in preparing him a chamber in the should not be opened till after the sabbath: courts of the house of God.

and some of my servants set I at the gates, 8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I that there should no burden be brought in cast forth all the houshold stuff of Tobiah on the sabbath day. out of the chamber.

20 So the merchants and sellers of all 9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once the chambers: and thither brought I again or twice. the vessels of the house of God, with the 21 Then I testified against them, and meat offering and the frankincense. said unto them, Why lodge ye about the

10 And I perceived that the portions wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on of the Levites had not been given them: for you. From that time forth came they no the Levites and the singers, that did the more on the sabbath. work, were fled every one to his field.

22 And I commanded the Levites that 11 Then contended I with the rulers, they should cleanse themselves, and that and said, Why is the house of God for- they should come and keep the gates, to saken? And I gathered them together, and sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, set them in their 'place.

O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy | all Israel : enevertheless even him did outmercy.

3 Heb, being set over. & Hob. the commandment of the Levites. 7 Heb. at the end of days. 8 Or, I earnestly requested.

9 Heb. standing: 11 Heb, at their hand,

15 Or, observations. To Heb. before the wall.

1 Heb. there was read.

! Ileb. ears.

3 Deut. 23. 3.

* Num. 22.5. Josh. 24, 9.

10 Or, storehouses.

1% Heb, it was upon them.

13 Verse 22,

14 Heb, kindnesses.

landish women cause to sin. 23° 9 In those days also saw I Jews that 27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, all this great evil, to transgress against our and of Moab:

God in marrying strange wives? 24 And their children spake half in the 28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law the Jews' language, but according to the to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased language of each people.

him from ine. 25 And I contended with them, and 29 Remember them, O my God, because s'cursed them, and smote certain of them, they have defiled the priesthood, and the and plucked off their hair, and made them covenant of the priesthood, and of the Leswear by God, saying, Ye shall not give vites. your daughters unto their sons, nor take 30 Thus cleansed I them from all their daughters unto your sons, or for your- strangers, and appointed the wards of the selves.

priests and the Levites, every one in his 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin business; by these things ? yet among many nations 31 And for the wood offering, at times was there no king like him, who was beloved appointed, and for the firstfruits. Rememof his God, and God made him king over ber me, O my God, for good. 17 Or, multitude.

19 Heb. they discerned not to speak. 20 Heb. of people and people. 21 Or, reviled them.

2 Heb. for the defilings.

18 Heb. had made to dwell with them.

22 1 Kings ll. 1, &c.

Verse 1. For ever."-See the notes on Deut. xxiii. 3.

4. “ Eliashib... was allied unto Tobiah.—It seems that the enemies of Israel, having failed in their open hostility to the Jews, had now taken a different ground, and made overtures of friendship and alliance, in order either to seek their overthrow by underband means, or to share in whatever advantages the Jews held in possession or prospect. In this they seem to have succeeded ; for the two most notorious adversaries of the Jews formed matrimonial connections with distinguished Jewish families. Tobiah himself married the daughter of Shecaniah, the son of Arah, of a family (apparently of note) that came from captivity with Zerubbabel ; and his son Johanan had obtained to wife the daughter of Meshullam, who was one of the chief managers, under Nehemiah, of the rebuilding of the city wall. (Ezra ii. 5 ; Neh. iii. 4, 30, and vi. 18.) It also appears from verse 28, that even the grandson of the high priest had become the son-in-law of Sanballat, that other noted enemy of the Hebrews. It is noticed in chap. vi. 17, 18, that in consequence of these alliances, Tobiah, in particular, had much written correspondence with the Jews, many of whom were his sworn supporters.

5. Had prepared for him a great chamber.”—Considering how strict the regulations were which excluded aliens from the sacred precincts, this profanation was so very gross that it is difficult to account for it otherwise than by supposing that, as the Temple services were discontinued, and the priests and Levites discontinued their attendance, the Temple had come to be looked upon as a common public building, part of which might be made into a dignified residence for so important a person as Tobiah when he came to Jerusalem.

6. All this time was not I at Jerusalem."-Chronologers differ very much as to the duration of his absence. Some think he had been away only a year, others five years, others eight. 'We incline to prefer the longer period, because it seems evident that a considerable time must have elapsed to allow for the growth of the grievous corruptions which this chapter records.

15. “ Treading urine presses.”—There are many interesting allusions in Scripture to the culture of the vine and to the processes by which its fruit was made into wine. The intimations, so far as can be ascertained, correspond very completely with the representations often repeated in the paintings of ancient Egypt, and with the existing usages of the East. From the former we have taken a few cuts, which certainly furnish the most instructive and authentic illustrations that can now be obtained. They are taken from a series in Rosellini (* 1 Monumenti dell' Egitto'), in which the whole process is exhibited, from the gathering of the grapes to the storing of the wine. Our cuts exhibit the processes by which the juice was expressed, and to which we shall at present confine our attention.

" Treadingis invariably mentioned in Scripture as the process by which the juice was pressed from the grapes; and the press is described not as a moveable utensil, but as being dug or built. So in the paintings of Egypt and in existing usage, the wine-press is either dug in the ground and lined with masonry, or built upon the ground; and the hollow being filled with grapes, the men get in and tread upon them, the expressed" juice being discharged by a spout into another receptacle prepared for the purpose. The first cut (next page,) exhibits a most complete and beautiful specimen of the constructed wine-press of this kind, and explains many Scriptural references. It is square--something like an altarthe upper part being made hollow to receive the grapes. The treaders stand in them more than ancle deer. The juice, as expressed, is seen to come out at two spouts and fall into as many vats. As these spouts are not on the same level, while the discharges from them are simultaneous, it is probable that the press has a false bottom pierced with holes, and a true one below, with a spout from each. The whole is enclosed within a beautiful frame-work, the use of which is to sustain the ropes by which the men hold on. In other representations of humbler treadings, where the grapes seem to be placed in a hollow dug in the ground, the men hold by a single rope stretched horizontally between the tops of two upright poles. It appears, Jer. xxv. 33 (“He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes") and xlviii

. 33 “ None shall tread with shouting”) that the Hebrew wine-pressers cheered their labour by joyful acclamations (the proper meaning) as they jumped upon the grapes. The processes here described are in principle so similar to those now in use in the East, that the latter do not require specific notice. The custom of treading grapes, at least in the first instance, still exists in different parts of Europe. Mr. Cyrus Redding (* History and Description of Mo

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