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2 And the seed of Israel separated them- sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, selves from all 'strangers, and stood and statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy confessed their sins, and the iniquities of servant: their fathers.

15 And gavest them bread from heaven 3 And they stood up in their place, and for their hunger, and broughtest forth water read in the book of the law of the LORD their for them out of the rock for their thirst, and God one fourth part of the day; and another promisedst them that they should go in to fourth part they confessed, and worshipped possess the land 'which thou hadst sworn to the LORD their God.

give them. 4 | Then stood up upon the stairs, of the 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, She- and hardened their necks, and hearkened not baniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, to thy commandments, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD 17 And refused to obey, neither were mindtheir God.

ful of thy wonders that thou didst among 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, them; but hardened their necks, and in their Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, She- rebellion appointed a captain to return to baniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and their bondage: but thou art 'a God ready to bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and blessed be thy glorious name, which is and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. exalted above all blessing and praise.

18 Yea, when they had made them a 6 Thou, eren thou, art LORD alone; thou

molten calf, and said, This is thy God that hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens,

brought thee up out of Egypt, and had with all their host, the earth, and all things wrought great provocations ; that are therein, the seas, and all that is

19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies fortherein, and thou preservest them all; and sookest them not in the wilderness: the the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

pillar of the cloud departed not from them 7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst by day, to lead them in the way; neither choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out the pillar of fire by night, to shew them of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the light, and the way wherein they should go. name of Abraham ;

20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to 8 And foundest his heart faithful before instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna thee, and madest a covenant with him to give from their mouth, and gavest them water for the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the their thirst. Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebu

21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain sites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to them in the wilderness, so that they lacked his seed, and hast performed thy words; for nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and thou art righteous :

their feet swelled not. 9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers

22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red and nations, and didst divide them into sea;

corners : so they possessed the land of Sihon, 10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon and the land of the king of Heshbon, and Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the land of Og king of Bashan. the people of his land for thou knewest 23 Their children also multipliedst thou that they dealt proudly against them. So

as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. into the land, concerning which thou hadst

11 And thou didst divide the sea before promised to their fathers, that they should them, so that they went through the midst go in to possess it. of the sea on the dry land.; and their perse

24 So the children went in and possessed cutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone the land, and thou subduedst before them the into the mighty waters.

inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and 12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day | gavest them into their hands, with their by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a kings, and the people of the land, that they pillar of fire, to give them light in the way might do with them as they would. wherein they should go.

25 And they took strong cities, and a fat 13 Thou camest down also upon mount land, and possessed houses full of all goods, Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and and gavest them right judgments, and 'true 8 fruit trees in abundance : so they did eat, laws, good statutes and commandments : and were filled, and became fat, and delighted

14 And inadest known unto them thy holy themselves in thy great goodness.

(2) Or, scaffold.

shoulder.

thine hand to give them.

(13) Heb. weariness.
(14) Heb, that hath found us.

sealed.

26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behold, we are servants in it: behind their backs, and slew thy pro- 37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the phets which testified against them to turn kings whom thou hast set over us because of them to thee, and they wrought great pro- our sins : also they have dominion over our vocations.

bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, 27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into and we are in great distress. the hand of their enemies, who vexed them : 38 And because of all this we make a sure and in the time of their trouble, when they covenant, and write it; and our princes, Lecried unto thee, thou heardest them from vites, and priests, " seal unto it. heaven; and according to thy manifold mer- (1) Heb. strange children.

(10) Heb. they gave a withdrawing cies thou gavest them saviours, who saved (3) Heb. laws of truth. them'out of the hand of their enemies.

* Heb. which thou hadst lift up (12) Heb. in the hand of thy pro

(11) Heb. protract over them.

phets.

(5) Heb. a God of pardons. 28 But after they had rest, 'they did evil

(6) Heb. according to their will. again before thee: therefore leftest thou them (7) Or, cisterns. in the hand of their enemies, so that they

(8) Heb. tree of food.

(15) Heb. are at the sealing, or,

(9) Heb. they returned to do evil. had the dominion over them : yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst

True scriptural instruction, under the blessthou deliver them according to thy mercies; ing of God, will produce the most pleasing 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou

and happy effects. When we say, by the mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they lealt proudly, and hearkened not unto

blessing of God, we mean, when the blessthy commandments, but sinned against thy ing or grace of God makes it effectual, by judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live sealing it upon the heart. And, by the in them ;) and withdrew the shoulder, and expression, the most pleasing and happy hardened their neck, and would not hear. effects, we mean, those results for which the

30 Yet many years didst thou "forbear instruction is given, as the case may be; and them, and testifiedst against them by thy

as the grace of God may be pleased to bring spirit "in thy prophets : yet would they not

them to pass. give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

In the case before us, the effect of Ezra's 31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake

teaching was striking and apparent. Ignothou didst not utterly consume them, nor

rance was removed. Truth was understood forsake them; for thou art a gracious and and received. Blessings were imparted. merciful God.

Neglected ordinances were observed. Reli32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the

gious feeling was diffused. Holy joy in the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest

Lord was realised. These are mentioned in covenant and mercy, let not all the 13 trouble seem little before thee, “that hath come upon

the last chapter. In the one now before us, us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our

we find much humiliation, deep repentance, priests, and on our prophets, and on

and fervent prayer.

These, again, led to fathers, and on all thy people, since the time further results; and all redounded to the of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

praise of God. Let us seek to improve these 33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is things. brought upon us; for thou hast done right,

God's word is the fountain and foundation but we have done wickedly:

It is that which en

of all saving truth. Neither have our kingsour princes our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, lightens the mind; and, in the hand of the nor hearkened unto thy commandments and Spirit, which turns the heart. “The entrance thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify of thy words giveth light. It giveth underagainst them.

standing to the simple.” (Ps. cxix. 130.) 35 For they have not served thee in their Where the word of truth is unknown, there kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou

the people remain in ignorance; and if progavest them, and in the large and fat land

fessed ministers make not that word their which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

study and guide, both teachers and people 36 Behold, we are servants this day, and

are all alike in the dark; and both will for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers perish together. (Matt. xv. 14.)

ir

If we

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God's word, when it waters the heart as taught and humbled ? Have we become applied by the Holy Spirit, invariably pro- thus penitent and prayerful? Have we been duces those effects which accompany the thus pardoned and blessed ? Have we atwork of grace. In this chapter, the people tained such high discoveries of the Lord's were greatly alarmed and deeply humbled. greatness and mercy, and such deep views They brake off their wicked connexions ; of our own unworthiness and sin ? stood and confessed their sins; and prayed have, let us bless God for his distinguishing unto the Lord, crying most earnestly for his goodness; and pray for further proofs of his mercy. All through this chapter you may love. And if we have not yet been thus trace the spirit of humiliation, repentance, blessed, let us be ashamed of ourselves,

and and prayer. Is not this always the case ? beseech the God of all grace to touch our When God touches a man's heart by his hearts by his Spirit, and to bring us to Christ word and grace, will not that man discover for the life and

peace

of

our soul. his danger? Will he not be deeply alarmed for his soul? Will he not be greatly humbled ? Will he not break off his evil

ways,

CHAPTER X. and cry aloud for mercy? Will not the

1 The names of them that sealed the covenant. 29 The points Saviour then become precious ? Will he not

of the covenant.

those that , salvation ? Every one that knows any thing

the Tirshatha

and Zidkijah, about these matters, must know that such is

2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, the case ; and when it takes place, we “thank

3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, God, and take courage.” (Acts xxviii. 15.) 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

Such are the general features which mark 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, the efficacy and power of the truth of God 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, upon the heart. But there are some other

7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, particular evidence, which ought by no means

8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were to be overlooked. Look again at the prayer

the priests.

9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son recorded in this chapter. Here are high con

of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, ceptions of the glorious character of God. Kadmiel; Here is a humble remembrance of his past 10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, mercy and goodness. Here is a lively con- Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, fession of former ingratitude and sin. Here

11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, is an ardent acknowledgment of the Lord's

12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, kindness and love. Here is, above all, a

13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.

14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Papenitential confession of the justice of God

hath-moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, in all that was brought upon them; that the 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, Lord had done right, and they wickedly ; 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, and that, many as their calamities had been, 17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, they had been punished less than their sins

18 Hodijah, Hashum,

Bezai, deserved (v. 33, with Ezra ix. 13). Now,

19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, these were some of the effects of the word

21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, and grace of God wrought in their hearts.

22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, And such will be the effects of that word

23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, and grace in all cases, more or less, as the 24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, occasion may be. Such preparation of the

25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, heart makes way for pardon and peace; for

26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, Christ and his salvation. Happy are they

27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah. who are thus led to see their danger; and

28 ( And the rest of the people, the priests,

the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethus find the Lord Jesus as the Saviour of

thinims, and all they that had separated their souls.

themselves from the people of the lands unto Let us ask ourselves, Have we been thus the law of God, their wives, their sons, and

governor

their daughters, every one having knowledge, porters, and the singers: and we will not forand having understanding;

sake the house of our God. 29 They clave to their brethren, their no- (1) Heb. at the sealings.

(3) Heb, by the hand of. bles, and entered into a curse, and into an

(2) Or, the

1

(4) Heb. cvery hand. 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 We have followed this good man through our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes; many of his trials. We have seen how the

30 And that we would not give our Lord sustained him under them. We have daughters unto the people of the land, nor also seen what success was given to his take their daughters for our sons :

exertions. And we have now to follow up 31 And if the people of the land bring

that success in some additional details. May ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the

the good Lord teach us to profit by this, and sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we

every other part of his Word, to the good of would leave the seventh year, and the exaction

our souls, and the glory of his name! of every debt.

In the last chapter we found the people 32 Also we made ordinances for us, to all assembled together in prayer. In the charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a

conclusion of that chapter we behold them shekel for the service of the house of our God;

all making a sure covenant, and binding 33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt

themselves over under a written obligation, offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons,

to worship and serve the Lord (v. 38). Here, for the

set feasts, and for the holy things, and in the opening of this chapter, we have the for the sin offerings to make an atonement names of those who took the lead in this for Israel, and for all the work of the house work of reformation and amendment. Now, of our God.

is not the work of grace designed to bring us 34 And we cast the lots among the priests,

over, in the faith of Christ, to the love and the Levites, and the people, for the wood

service of God? What is the meaning of offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times

such words as these,“ Ye are Christ's” (1 Cor. appointed year by year, to burn upon the

iii. 23); and,“ Ye are not your own; therealtar of the LORD our God, as it is written in fore glorify God in your body, and in your the law:

spirit, which are God's.” (1 Cor. vi. 20.) Is 35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, it not the reasonable service of every true and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year

believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to present by year, unto the house of the LORD: 36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of

his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptour cattle, as it is written in the law, and the

able unto God? Do not the mercies of God firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to

bind him so to do? And when we commebring to the house of our God, unto the priests morate the dying Saviour's love, are we not that minister in the house of our God : taught, there on the spot, where that com

37 And that we should bring the firstfruits memoration takes place, to offer and present of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit ourselves, our souls, and bodies, to be a reaof all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of sonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto God? our God; and the tithes of our ground unto

How, then, can we be Christians indeed, if the Levites, that the same Levites might have

such surrender have not been made? or if the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. we are living to ourselves, instead of living

38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall unto him, who died for us, and rose again ? be with the Levites, when the Levites take But let us examine some of the particulars tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the of this surrender unto God, and then offer tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God,

some brief explanatory remarks upon the to the chambers, into the treasure house.

nature of the transaction itself. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the

If you examine the chapter, you will find corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the

that they solemnly engaged themselves to chambers, where are the vessels of the sanc- separate “from the people of the land unto tuary, and the priests that minister, and the the law of God, their wives, their sons, and

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their daughters, every one having knowledge 2 And the people blessed all the men, that and having understanding." They entered willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jeruinto a curse, and into an oath, to “walk in

salem.

3 | Now these are the chief of the province God's law, and to observe and do all the

that dwelt in Jerusalem : but in the cities of commandments of the Lord our God.” They

Judah dwelt every one in his possession in bound themselves to have no communion,

their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the nor connexion, with the heathen by whom Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children they were surrounded. They engaged them- of Solomon's servants. selves to a strict observance of the Lord's day; 4 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the to allow of no business to be carried on, nor

children of Judah, and of the children of any work to be done on the sabbath. They the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the

Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah charged themselves with the due provision

son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the and observance of all the appointed feasts and

son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez; sacrifices; and promised that they would not 5 And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the forsake the house of their God. These things son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the were just suited to their state and condition at son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of that time; and they tested their sincerity in Zechariah, the son of Shiloni. all other respects in what they said and did.

6 All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jeru

salem were four hundred threescore and And will not every one's sincerity be put to

eight valiant men. the test in some way or other? Can he be

7 And these are the sons of Benjamin; right, who does not give himself up to the

Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, Lord? Does not the grace of God, which the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the bringeth salvation, lay the soul under the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of highest obligations to cleave to the truth, and Jesaiah. walk in the Lord's ways? Can he love the

8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hun

dred twenty and eight. Lord, who loves not the Lord's day? Can

9 And Joel the son of Zichri was their he possses the faith, who disregards the

overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was means of grace, and the privileges of the second over the city. gospel? Or can he have put his hand to the

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of plough, who looks back, or forsakes the Lord, Joiarib, Jachin. his house, his truth, or his salvation ?

11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of These questions are too obvious to need Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of any reply: they speak for themselves. And he Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler whose whole heart does not beat in unison

of the house of God.

12 And their brethren that did the work of with them, has great cause to doubt the reality the house were eight hundred twenty and two: of his professed faith, and to tremble for the

and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of state of his soul. If David prayed, “Let my Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah, not ashamed” (Ps. cxix. 80); who has not 13 And his brethren, chief of the fathers, cause to hearken to the apostle's advice, and two hundred forty and two: and Amashai “ Examine himself whether he be in the

the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the faith?” (2 Cor. xiii. 5.)

son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,

14 And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and

their overseer was Zabdiel, 'the son of one CHAPTER XI.

of the great men. 1 The rulers, voluntary men, and the tenth man chosen by

15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son lot, dwell at Jerusalem. 3 A catalogue of their names. of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of 20 The residue dwell in other cities.

Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; ND the rulers of the people dwelt at 16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the

Jerusalem : the rest of the people also chief of the Levites, 'had the oversight of cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Je- the outward business of the house of God. rusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell 17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the in other cities.

son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the

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