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1 Now in the twentie and fourth day of this moneth, the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, & with sackclothes, and earth vpon them.

2 And the seede of Israel separated themselues from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sinnes, and the iniquities of their fathers.

3 And they stood vp in their place, and read in the booke of the Law of the Lord their God, one fourth part of the day, and another fourth part they confessed and worshipped the Lord their God.

4 Then stoode vp, vpon the staires of the Leuites, Ieshua and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cryed with a loude voice vnto the Lord their God.

5 Then the Leuites, Ieshua and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodiiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, sayde, Stand vp, and blesse the Lord your God for euer and euer, and blessed bee thy glorious Name, which is exalted aboue all blessing and praise.

6 Thou, euen thou art Lord alone, thou hast made heauen, the heauen of heauens, with all their hoste, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therin, and thou preseruest them all, and the hoste of heauen worshippeth thee.

7 Thou art the Lord the God, who diddest choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Caldees, and gauest him the name of Abraham:

8 And foundest his heart faithfull before thee, & madest a couenant with him, to giue the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Iebusites, and the Girgashites, to giue it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words, for thou art righteous,

9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the red Sea,

10 And shewedst signes and wonders vpon Pharaoh, and on all his seruants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudlie against them: so didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.

11 And thou didst diuide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the drie land, and their persecutours thou threwest into the deepes, as a stone into the mightie waters.

12 Moreouer thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar, and in the night, by a pillar of fire, to giue them light in the way wherin they should go.

13 Thou camest downe also vpon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heauen, and gauest them right iudgements, and true lawes, good statutes and commandements:

14 And madest knowen vnto them thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and lawes, by the hand of Moses thy seruant:

15 And gauest them bread from heauen for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rocke, for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should goe in to possesse the land, which thou hadst sworne to giue them.

16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkned not to thy commandements:

17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of the wonders that thou didst among them: but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captaine to returne to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and mercifull, slow to anger, and of great kindnes, & forsookest them not.

18 Yea when they had made them a molten calfe, and said, This is thy God, that brought thee vp out of Egypt, and had wrought great prouocations:

19 Yet thou, in thy manifold mercies, forsookest them not in the wildernesse: the pillar of the cloude departed not from them by day, to leade them in the way, neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherin they should goe.

20 Thou gauest also thy good spirit, to instruct them, and withheldest not thy Manna from their mouth, and gauest them water for their thirst.

21 Yea fourtie yeeres diddest thou sustaine them in the wildernesse, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes wared not old, and their feet swelled not.

22 Moreouer, thou gauest them kingdomes and nations, and didst diuide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.

23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the starres of heauen, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should goe in to possesse it.

24 So the children went in, and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the lande, the Canaanites, and gauest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might doe with them, as they would.

25 And they tooke strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses ful of all goods, welles digged, vineyards, and Olive yards, and fruit trees in abundance: So they did eat and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselues in thy great goodnesse.

26 Neuerthelesse, they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backes, and slewe thy prophets, which testified against them to turne them to thee, and they wrought great prouocations.

27 Therefore thou deliueredst them into the hande of their enemies, who vexed them, & in the time of their trouble, when they cried vnto thee, thou heardest them from heauen: and according to thy manifold mercies, thou gauest them sauiours, who saued them out of the hand of their enemies.

28 But after they had rest, they did euill againe before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion ouer them: yet when they returned and cried vnto thee, thou heardest them from heauen, and many times didst thou deliuer them, according to thy mercies:

29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them againe vnto thy lawe: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not vnto thy commaundements, but sinned against thy iudgements, (which if a man doe, he shal liue in them) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their necke, and would not heare.

30 Yet many yeres diddest thou forbeare them, and testifiedst against them by the Spirit in thy Prophets: yet would they not giue eare: therefore gauest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

31 Neuerthelesse, for thy great mercies sake, thou diddest not vtterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and mercifull God.

32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mightie, and the terrible God, who keepest couenant and mercie: let not all the trouble seeme little before thee, that hath come vpon vs, on our Kings, on our Princes, & on our Priests, and on our Prophets, & on our fathers, & on al thy people, since the time of the Kings of Assyria, vnto this day.

33 Howbeit, thou art iust in all that is brought vpon vs, for thou hast done right, but we haue done wickedly:

34 Neither haue our kings, our Princes, our Priests, nor our fathers kept thy Law, nor hearkened vnto thy Commandements, and thy Testimonies, wherewith thou didst testifie against them.

35 For they haue not serued thee in their kingdome, and in thy great goodnesse that thou gauest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gauest before them, neither turned they from their wicked workes.

36 Behold, we are seruants this day; and for the land that thou gauest vnto our fathers, to eat the fruit thereof, and the good thereof, behold, wee are seruants in it.

37 And it yeeldeth much increase vnto the kings, whom thou hast set ouer vs, because of our sinnes: also they haue dominion ouer our bodies, and ouer our cattell, at their pleasure; and wee are in great distresse.

38 And because of all this, wee make a sure couenant, and write it, and our Princes, Leuites, and Priestes, seale vnto it.

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Commentary for Nehemiah 9

A solemn fast. (1-3) Prayer and confession of sin. (4-38)1-3 The word will direct and quicken prayer, for by it the Spirit helps our infirmities in prayer. The careful study of God's word will more and more discover to us our own sinfulness, and the plenteousness of his salvation; thus it calls us to mourn for sin, and to rejoice in him. Every discovery of the truth of God, should render us more unwearied in attendance on his sacred word, and on his worship.

4-38 The summary of their prayers we have here upon record. Much more, no doubt, was said. Whatever ability we have to do any thing in the way of duty, we are to serve and glorify God according to the utmost of it. When confessing our sins, it is good to notice the mercies of God, that we may be the more humbled and ashamed. The dealings of the Lord showed his goodness and long-suffering, and the hardness of their hearts. The testimony of the prophets was the testimony of the Spirit in the prophets, and it was the Spirit of Christ in them. They spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what they said is to be received accordingly. The result was, wonder at the Lord's mercies, and the feeling that sin had brought them to their present state, from which nothing but unmerited love could rescue them. And is not their conduct a specimen of human nature? Let us study the history of our land, and our own history. Let us recollect our advantages from childhood, and ask what were our first returns? Let us frequently do so, that we may be kept humble, thankful, and watchful. Let all remember that pride and obstinacy are sins which ruin the soul. But it is often as hard to persuade the broken-hearted to hope, as formerly it was to bring them to fear. Is this thy case? Behold this sweet promise, A God ready to pardon! Instead of keeping away from God under a sense of unworthiness, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. He is a God ready to pardon.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Nehemiah 9

  • Steve morrow
    NEHEMIAH 9:3 and they stood up in their place and read in the book of the law of LORD THEIR GOD one fourth part of the day and another fourth part they confessed and worshipped THE LORD THEIR GOD
    ISAIAH 29:15 woe to them that seek deep to hide their counsel from THE LORD and their works are done in the dark and they say WHO SEETH US AND WHO KNOWETH US
  • BSP
    Verse 33~The Israelites acknowledged that the reason they were suffering was because they had done wrong and not because of any fault on the part of Jehovah God.
  • Brianna vs. 17-20
    Our God is such a merciful God. With the Israelites, despite their numerous sins against Jehovah God and his representatives this highlights how God still cared for them and kept his promise to Abraham. Our situation today is similar. We live in a wicked world, yet God hasn't abandoned us. He is giving us time to repent before he has to execute justice.
  • BSP
    Verse 8~Jehovah honored his promise to Abraham and this is why he is described as righteous in his choosing the nation of Israel and giving them the Promised Land. Jehovah expects us to honor our promises.
  • Steve morrow
    NEHEMIAH 9:3 and they stood up in their place and read in --THE BOOK--of the law of THE LORD their GOD one fourth part of the day and another fourth part they confessed and worshipped THE LORD their GOD EXODUS 24:7 and he took the book of the covenant --AND READ--in the audience of the people and they said all that THE LORD hath said will we do --- and be obedient ---
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    Nehemiah did a complete history of the Israelites in this chapter. He was quite balanced in his narration to the congregation of the Jews after the wall was completed and now time for rejoicing. He underlined the kindness of God. "for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God." Our God is gracious and mighty.

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