We have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which you commanded your servant Moses.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Chronicles 36:23; Ezra 1:2 note; Ezra 6:10; Ezra 7:12, Ezra 7:21), is a favorite one with Nehemiah, who had been born and brought up in Persia.
4. when I heard these words, that I sat down … and mourned … and fasted, and prayed—The recital deeply affected the patriotic feelings of this good man, and no comfort could he find but in earnest and protracted prayer, that God would favor the purpose, which he seems to have secretly formed, of asking the royal permission to go to Jerusalem.We have dealt very corruptly, or we have wholly corrupted, to wit, ourselves, and our ways, and thy worship. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. We have dealt very corruptly] The words in the original occasion some difficulty. There is however no connexion, as commentators have supposed, between the Hebrew words used here and a similar root meaning ‘a pledge.’ The Vulgate, adopting a different derivation, has ‘vanitate seducti sumus.’ The LXX. rendering διαλύσει διελύσαμεν πρὸς σὲ and that of a few MSS. ματαιώσει ἐματαιώθημεν ἐν σοί (Field’s Orig. Hex.) show the uncertainty as to the meaning. Elsewhere in the O.T. the word occurs in Job 17:1; Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 32:7; Isaiah 54:16; Proverbs 13:13; Micah 2:10; Song of Solomon 2:15. The substantive derived from the root here used is rendered ‘hurt’ Daniel 6:23. It is found with the same meaning as in this verse Job 34:31 ‘I will not offend any more.’
commandments … statutes … judgments] The three words occur together in Deuteronomy 5:31; Deuteronomy 6:1; Deuteronomy 7:11; Deuteronomy 8:11; Deuteronomy 11:1.
which thou commandedst] e.g. Deuteronomy 6:1.
thy servant Moses] and Nehemiah 1:8, Nehemiah 9:18.
‘The servant of the Lord’ was a favourite title applied to Moses. In Joshua it occurs with great frequency (e.g. Joshua 1:1-2; Joshua 1:7; Joshua 1:13, &c.). Elsewhere it is found in 1 Kings 8:53; 1 Kings 8:56; 2 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 21:8; 2 Chronicles 1:3; Psalm 105:26; Malachi 4:4. He is called ‘the servant of God’ in Nehemiah 10:29; 1 Chronicles 6:49; Daniel 9:11; ‘the man of God’ Ezra 3:2; 1 Chronicles 23:14; Psalms 90. (title). Cf. in the New Testament the description of Moses as the ‘faithful servant’ in Hebrews 3:2-5, and Revelation 15:3. The LXX. τῷ Μωυσῇ παιδί σου (Vulg. famulo tuo) will illustrate Acts 4:27 ‘thy holy Servant Jesus’ (τὸν ἅγιον παῖδά σου Ἰησοῦν).Verse 7. - We have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments. The ordinances of the Law are frequently summed up under these three heads (Deuteronomy 5:31; Deuteronomy 6:1; Deuteronomy 11:1, etc.); but it would be a mistake to regard them as constituting a logical division of the various precepts contained in the Pentateuch, or to suppose that every precept is to be referred absolutely to one or other of the three. Nehemiah 1:1 contains the title of the whole book: the History of Nehemiah. By the addition "son of Hachaliah," Nehemiah is distinguished from others of the same name (e.g., from Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, Nehemiah 3:16). Another Nehemiah, too, returned from captivity with Zerubbabel, Ezra 2:2. Of Hachaliah we know nothing further, his name occurring but once more, Nehemiah 10:2, in conjunction, as here, with that of Nehemiah. Eusebius and Jerome assert that Nehemiah was of the tribe of Judah, - a statement which may be correct, but is unsupported by any evidence from the Old Testament. According to Nehemiah 1:11, he was cup-bearer to the Persian king, and was, at his own request, appointed for some time Pecha, i.e., governor, of Judah. Comp. Nehemiah 5:14; Nehemiah 12:26, and Nehemiah 8:9; Nehemiah 10:2. "In the month Chisleu of the twentieth year I was in the citadel of Susa" - such is the manner in which Nehemiah commences the narrative of his labours for Jerusalem. Chisleu is the ninth month of the year, answering to our December. Comp. Zechariah 7:1, 1 Macc. 4:52. The twentieth year is, according to Nehemiah 2:1, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus. On the citadel of Susa, see further details in the remarks on Daniel 8:2. Susa was the capital of the province Susiana, and its citadel, called by the Greeks Memnoneion, was strongly fortified. The kings of Persia were accustomed to reside here during some months of the year.
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