Nehemiah 13:7
And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Nehemiah 13:7. The evil Eliashib did in preparing him a chamber — “Tobiah had insinuated himself into the good opinion of many of the people, and especially those of note, by his making two alliances with families of this sort: for Johanan his son had married the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, (Nehemiah 6:18; Nehemiah 3:4,) who was one of the chief managers of the building of the wall of Jerusalem, and he himself had married the daughter of Shechaniah, another great man among the Jews. By these means he had formed an interest, and was looked upon as a worthy man, though, being an Ammonite, he could not but bear a national hatred to all that were of the race of Israel.” See Prideaux, An. 425.13:1-9 Israel was a peculiar people, and not to mingle with the nations. See the benefit of publicly reading the word of God; when it is duly attended to, it discovers to us sin and duty, good and evil, and shows wherein we have erred. We profit, when we are thus wrought upon to separate from evil. Those that would drive sin out of their hearts, the living temples, must throw out its household stuff, and all the provision made for it; and take away all the things that are the food and fuel of lust; this is really to mortify it. When sin is cast out of the heart by repentance, let the blood of Christ be applied to it by faith, then let it be furnished with the graces of God's Spirit, for every good work.Artaxerxes king of Babylon - See Nehemiah 1:1. Compare Ezra 6:22, where Darius Hystaspis is called "king of Assyria."

After certain days - Or, "at the end of a year," which is a meaning that the phrase often has Exodus 13:10; Leviticus 25:29-30; Numbers 9:22. Nehemiah probably went to the court at Babylon in 433 B.C., and returned to Jerusalem 432 B.C.

6-9. But in all this was not I at Jerusalem—Eliashib (concluding that, as Nehemiah had departed from Jerusalem, and, on the expiry of his allotted term of absence, had resigned his government, he had gone not to return) began to use great liberties, and, there being none left whose authority or frown he dreaded, allowed himself to do things most unworthy of his sacred office, and which, though in unison with his own irreligious character, he would not have dared to attempt during the residence of the pious governor. Nehemiah resided twelve years as governor of Jerusalem, and having succeeded in repairing and refortifying the city, he at the end of that period returned to his duties in Shushan. How long [Nehemiah] remained there is not expressly said, but "after certain days," which is a Scripture phraseology for a year or a number of years, he obtained leave to resume the government of Jerusalem; to his deep mortification and regret, he found matters in the neglected and disorderly state here described. Such gross irregularities as were practised, such extraordinary corruptions as had crept in, evidently imply the lapse of a considerable time. Besides, they exhibit the character of Eliashib, the high priest, in a most unfavorable light; for while he ought, by his office, to have preserved the inviolable sanctity of the temple and its furniture, his influence had been directly exercised for evil; especially he had given permission and countenance to a most indecent outrage—the appropriation of the best apartments in the sacred building to a heathen governor, one of the worst and most determined enemies of the people and the worship of God. The very first reform Nehemiah on his second visit resolved upon, was the stopping of this gross profanation [by Eliashib]. The chamber which had been polluted by the residence of the idolatrous Ammonite was, after undergoing the process of ritual purification (Nu 15:9), restored to its proper use—a storehouse for the sacred vessels. No text from Poole on this verse. And I came to Jerusalem,.... Through the king's leave, and with a commission from him:

and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah; was informed of the mal-administration of his office:

in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God; whereby it was profaned and polluted.

And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of {e} the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

(e) Thus we see to what inconveniences the people fall into when they are destitute of one who fears God, seeing that their chief governor was absent only for a little while and yet they fell into such great absurdities: as appears in, Ex 32:1.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. understood of the evil] i.e. ‘gave attention to,’ ‘perceived its significance.’ ‘The evil’ inflicted by the pernicious example of the high-priest lay in the disregard of all the measures recently taken to separate the people from ‘the heathen nations.’

did] R.V. had done, i.e. not so much by continual alliance, but by this notorious instance, combining sacrilege towards the Temple and complaisance towards the idolater.Verse 7. - A chamber in the courts of the house of God. It would seem by this expression that the chamber made over to Tobiah was not part of the main building of the temple, but a portion of some detached building belonging to the "courts." This, no doubt, made the desecration less flagrant, but was far from justifying it. Public reading of the law, and separation from strangers. - Nehemiah 13:1. At a public reading of the law, it was found written therein, that no Ammonite or Moabite should come into the congregation of God, because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam to curse them, though God turned the curse into a blessing. This command, found in Deuteronomy 23:4-6, is given in full as to matter, though slightly abbreviated as to form. The sing. ישׂכּר relates to Balak king of Moab, Numbers 22:2., and the suffix of עליו to Israel as a nation; see the explanation of Deuteronomy 23:4.
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