Nehemiah 13:28
And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
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(28) I chased him from me.—Eliashib himself was allied by marriage to Tobiah, and one of his grandsons was now brought into prominence as married to Sanballat. Him Nehemiah drove into exile.

13:23-31 If either parent be ungodly, corrupt nature will incline the children to take after that one; which is a strong reason why Christians should not be unequally yoked. In the education of children, great care should be taken about the government of their tongues; that they learn not the language of Ashdod, no impious or impure talk, no corrupt communication. Nehemiah showed the evil of these marriages. Some, more obstinate than the rest, he smote, that is, ordered them to be beaten by the officers according to the law, De 25:2,3. Here are Nehemiah's prayers on this occasion He prays, Remember them, O my God. Lord, convince and convert them; put them in mind of what they should be and do. The best services to the public have been forgotten by those for whom they were done, therefore Nehemiah refers himself to God, to recompense him. This may well be the summary of our petitions; we need no more to make us happy than this; Remember me, O my God, for good. We may humbly hope that the Lord will remember us and our services, although, after lives of unwearied activity and usefulness, we shall still see cause to abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes, and to cry out with Nehemiah, Spare me, O my God, according to the greatness of they mercy.The speech of Ashdod - The Philistine language, which was akin to that of Egypt.

According to the language of each people - The children spoke a mixed dialect - half-Philistine, half-Hebrew.

25. cursed them—that is, pronounced on them an anathema which entailed excommunication.

smote … and plucked off their hair—To cut off the hair of offenders seems to be a punishment rather disgraceful than severe; yet it is supposed that pain was added to disgrace, and that they tore off the hair with violence as if they were plucking a bird alive.

Joiada; said by Josephus to be that Manasses who by Sanballat’s interest procured liberty to build the Samaritan temple in Mount Gerizim; to which those priests who had married strange wives, or been otherwise criminal, betook themselves, and with or after them others of the people in the same or like circumstances.

I chased him from me, i.e. from my presence and court, and from the city and temple, and all the privileges of the priesthood, and from the whole congregation and church of Israel, whereof I am a member. And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest,.... A grandson of the high priest; for the high priest here is Eliashib, according to our version, and not Joiada his son, according to Dr. Prideaux (i); the person designed, Josephus (k) makes to be Manasseh, the brother of Jaddua the high priest: was

son in law to Sanballat the Horonite; married a daughter of his, who was the avowed enemy of the Jewish nation; and for whom, according to the same writer, Sanballat obtained leave of Alexander to build a temple on Mount Gerizim; but this is to protract the age of Nehemiah and Sanballat to too great a length; besides, Eliashib seems to have been now high priest, and not even his son Joiada, and much less Jaddua, a grandson of Joiada:

therefore I chased him from me; drove him from his court, suffered him not to minister at the altar; banished him from the city, as Jarchi, and even from the land of Judea.

(i) Connect. par. 1. p. 412. (k) Antiqu. l. 11. c. 8. sect. 2, 4.

And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
28. one of the sons of Joiada] We should gather that Eliashib the grandfather was still alive, since the emphasis lies on the relationship of the offender to the high-priest. ‘Joiada.’ Cf. Nehemiah 12:10. On Eliashib see note on Nehemiah 13:4.

Song of Solomon in law to Sanballat the Horonite] For Sanballat, cf. Nehemiah 2:10, Neh 3:33, Nehemiah 4:1, Nehemiah 6:1. The marriage of the high-priest’s grandson with Sanballat’s daughter was an offence in every way. (1) It showed treasonable alliance with Israel’s bitterest foe, (2) it violated the rule laid down in Ezra’s time against mixed marriages, (3) it compromised the purity of the high-priestly house (Leviticus 21:6 ff.).

therefore I chased him from me] LXX. ἐξέβρασα. Obviously because he was contumacious, and refused to put away his wife. Rashi’s explanation that Nehemiah chased him away for fear of his playing the spy and reporting the means of entering and leaving the city, is strangely inadequate. Josephus relates a story so similar to this that it should probably be referred to the same events, although he must have obtained it from some other source. According to Josephus (Ant. xi. 7, 8) a certain Manasse, the brother of Jaddua and son of John or Johanan (and therefore grandson not son of Joiada) took to wife Nikaso, the daughter of the Cuthaean Sanballat. Refusing to put her away, he was expelled from Jerusalem by the Jewish nobles, and took refuge with the Samaritans, among whom, as a member of the high-priestly family, he set up upon Mt Gerizim a rival temple and priesthood. It will be seen that Josephus assigns this to the period of Alexander the Great. But there it is probable that Josephus is at fault; for he completely fails to realize the interval of time between the Return from the Exile and the Age of Alexander; and it is to this chronological confusion rather than to a mistake of ‘Jaddua’ for ‘Joiada’ that we should ascribe the cause of his principal variation from the Memoirs of Nehemiah. For (1) in Alexander’s time the organization of the Samaritan worship had long been fully established, (2) it is very improbable that a repetition of such a striking incident should occur just a century after Nehemiah’s time.Verse 28. - One of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib. See Nehemiah 12:10. Eliashib seems to have been still living, though one of his grandsons was of age to contract a marriage. Was son-in-law to Sanballat, the Horonite. Had therefore married one of his daughters, while Eliashib himself was connected by marriage with Tobiah. The defection of the high priestly family from those principles which Ezra and Nehemiah regarded as vital is only too apparent. I chased him from me. i.e. I forced him to quit the country and become an exile. We may suppose that he refused to repudiate his foreign wife, and preferred to take refuge with Sanballat in Samaria. A further measure taken by Nehemiah for the sanctification of the Sabbath according to the law, is so briefly narrated, that it does not plainly appear in what it consisted. "I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and they should come keep the gates to sanctify the Sabbath-day." The meaning of the words השּׁערים שׁמרים בּאים is doubtful. The Masoretes have separated בּאים from שׁמרים by Sakeph; while de Wette, Bertheau, and others combine these words: and that they should come to the keepers of the doors. This translation cannot be justified by the usage of the language; for בּוא with an accusative of the person occurs only, as may be proved, in prophetical and poetical diction (Job 20:22; Proverbs 10:24; Isaiah 41:25; Ezekiel 32:11), and then in the sense of to come upon some one, to surprise him, and never in the meaning of to come or go to some one. Nor does this unjustifiable translation give even an appropriate sense. Why should the Levites go to the doorkeepers to sanctify the Sabbath? Bertheau thinks it was for the purpose of solemnly announcing to the doorkeepers that the holy day had begun, or to advertise them by some form of consecration of its commencement. This, however, would have been either a useless or unmeaning ceremony. Hence we must relinquish this connection of the words, and either combine השּׁערים שׁמרים as an asyndeton with בּאים: coming and watching the gates, or: coming as watchers of the gates; and then the measure taken would consist in the appointment of certain Levites to keep the gates on the Sabbath, as well as the ordinary keepers, thus consecrating the Sabbath as a holy day above ordinary days. Nehemiah concludes the account of the abolition of this irregularity, as well as the preceding, by invoking a blessing upon himself; comp. rem. on Nehemiah 13:14. על חוּסה like Joel 2:17.
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