Nehemiah 10:38
And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
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(38) The son of Aaron.—Consult Numbers 18:22-26, which gives the reason for the distinction, here so marked, between the priest, the son of Aaron, and the Levites, the children of Levi. A priest was present when the tithes were gathered in the Levitical cities, to secure their own “tithe of the tithe,” which then the Levites carried to Jerusalem.

10:32-39 Having covenanted against the sins of which they had been guilty, they obliged themselves to observe the duties they had neglected. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well. Let not any people expect the blessing of God, unless they keep up public worship. It is likely to go well with our houses, when care is taken that the work of God's house goes on well. When every one helps, and every one gives, though but little, toward a good work, the whole will come to be a large sum. We must do what we can in works of piety and charity; and whatever state we are placed in, cheerfully perform our duty to God, which will be the surest way to ease and liberty. As the ordinances of God are the appointed means of support to our souls, the believer will not grudge the expense; yet most people leave their souls to starve.No special provision was made by the Law, by David, or by Solomon, for the supply of wood necessary to keep fire ever burning upon the altar. Nehemiah established a system by which the duty of supplying the wood was laid as a burden in turn on the various clans or families, which were regarded as constituting the nation. The lot was used to determine the order in which the several families should perform the duty. A special day (the 14th of the fifth month, according to Josephus) was appointed for the bringing in of the supply; and this day was after a time regarded as a high festival, and called "the feast of the wood-offering." 38. the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes—This was a prudential arrangement. The presence of a dignified priest would ensure the peaceful delivery of the tithes; at least his superintendence and influence would tend to prevent the commission of any wrong in the transaction, by the people deceiving the Levites, or the Levites defrauding the priests.

the tithe of the tithes—The Levites, having received a tenth of all land produce, were required to give a tenth of this to the priests. The Levites were charged with the additional obligation to carry the tithes when received, and deposit them in the temple stores, for the use of the priests.

The priest the son of Aaron, i.e. some priest or priests appointed to this work, that so neither the people might wrong the Levites, nor the Levites defraud the priests of their dues.

The Levites shall bring up at their own charges,

Into the treasure-house, to wit, of the temple; where it was laid up for the use of the priests.

And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes,.... There was always to be a priest with the Levites at such times, to take notice what quantity they received, that they might not be under any temptation, or lie under any suspicion of defrauding the priests of their due, who were to have a part in the tithes, as follows:

and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house: which were in the court of the priests for that purpose; for out of the tithes of the Levites there was another tithe or tenth part taken, and given to the priests, see Numbers 18:26.

And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
38. the priest the son of Aaron] This is not the high-priest; but in every ‘city of their tillage’ one of priestly descent was to superintend the paying in of the tithe which had been collected by the Levites, so that the interests of the priesthood should not suffer.

the tithe of the tithes] This was paid by the Levites to the priests, according to Numbers 18:25-28. The law of ‘tithe’ in Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Deuteronomy 26:12-15 differs very widely from that in Numbers, except in the point that it was to be derived from the produce of the soil. The characteristic features of the Deuteronomic law of tithe are (1) the annual social feast (Deuteronomy 14:22-26), (2) charity to the Levite (Deuteronomy 14:27), and (3) a special tithing every third year on behalf of the Levite Deuteronomy 14:28, Deuteronomy 26:12-15). But of these regulations we find no trace in the present passage.

to the chambers, into the treasure house] i.e. those chambers which were set apart as a treasure house for contributions paid in kind. Cf. Nehemiah 13:5. Other chambers were employed for other purposes. The LXX. for ‘into the treasure house’ has εἰς οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ by an accidental repetition.

Verse 38. - The priest shall be with the Levites when the Levites take tithe. Some representative (or representatives) of the priestly order was to be present whenever the Levites received their tithes, to take note of the quantity, and prevent the Levites from depriving the priests of their due share - the tithe of the tithe. This tenth, being thus ascertained, was to be conveyed to Jerusalem at the expense of the Levites, and deposited in its appropriate store-chamber. Nehemiah 10:38It was also arranged to contribute the first-fruits prescribed in the law. The infinitive להביא depends on העמדנוּ, and is co-ordinate with לתת, Nehemiah 10:33. The first-fruits of the ground, comp. Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 26:2; the first-fruits of all fruit trees, comp. Numbers 18:13; Leviticus 19:23; the first-born of our sons who were redeemed according to the estimation of the priest, Numbers 18:16, and of our cattle (i.e., in the case of the unclean, the required redemption, Exodus 13:12., Numbers 18:15), and the firstlings of the herds and of the flocks, the fat of which was consumed on the altar, the flesh becoming the share of the priests, Numbers 18:17. In Nehemiah 10:38 the construction is altered, the first person of the imperfect taking the place of the infinitive: and we will bring the first-fruits. ערסות, probably groats or ground flour; see rem. on Numbers 15:20, etc. תרוּמות, heave-offerings, the offering in this connection, is probably that of wheat and barley, Ezekiel 45:13, or of the fruits of the field, which are suitably followed by the "fruit of all manner of trees." On "the first of the wine and oil," comp. Numbers 18:12. These offerings of first-fruits were to be brought into the chambers of the house of God, where they were to be kept in store, and distributed to the priests for their support. "And the tithes of our ground (will we bring) to the Levites; and they, the Levites, receive the tithes in all our country towns. (Nehemiah 10:39) And a priest, a son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites take tithes; and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, into the chambers of the treasury." The parenthetical sentences in these verses, המעשׂרים הלויּם והם and הלויּם בּעשׂר, have been variously understood. עשׂר in the Piel and Hiphil meaning elsewhere to pay tithe, comp. Deuteronomy 14:22; Deuteronomy 26:12; Genesis 28:22, many expositors adhere to this meaning in these passages also, and translate Nehemiah 10:38 : for they, the Levites, must give again the tenth (to the priests); and Nehemiah 10:39 : when the Levites give the tenth; while the lxx, Vulgate, Syriac, Rashi, Aben Ezra, Clericus, Bertheau, and others, take עשּׂר and העשׂיר in these sentences as signifying to collect tithe. We prefer the latter view, as giving a more suitable sense. For the remark that the Levites must give back the tenth (Nehemiah 10:38) does not present so appropriate a motive for the demand that the tithes should be paid, as that the tithes are due to the Levites. Still less does the addition, in our agricultural towns, suit the sentence: the Levites must give back the tithe to the priests. Again, the fact that it is not said till Nehemiah 10:39 that the Levites have to give the tenth of the tenth to the priests, speaks still more against this view. A priest is to be present when the Levites take the tenth, so that the share of the priests may not be lessened. On "the tenth of the tenth," comp. Numbers 18:26. Hezekiah had provided store-chambers in the temple, in which to deposit the tithes, 2 Chronicles 31:11.
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