Nehemiah 9:13
Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
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(13) Right judgements.—Five of the names given to the law of God in Psalms 119 are singled out and applied to the Sinaitic legislation first, and then to the subsequent ordinances of Moses generally. But the emphasis here is on the adjectives “right,” “true,” “good,” as belonging rather to the eternal principles of the Decalogue.

Nehemiah 9:13. And gavest them good statutes — The moral and judicial precepts were all founded on natural equity. And even the ceremonial were tokens of God’s goodness, being types of gospel grace.

9:4-38 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.The host of heaven worshippeth thee - i. e the angels. See 1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21. 6-38. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone, &c.—In this solemn and impressive prayer, in which they make public confession of their sins, and deprecate the judgments due to the transgressions of their fathers, they begin with a profound adoration of God, whose supreme majesty and omnipotence is acknowledged in the creation, preservation, and government of all. Then they proceed to enumerate His mercies and distinguished favors to them as a nation, from the period of the call of their great ancestor and the gracious promise intimated to him in the divinely bestowed name of Abraham, a promise which implied that he was to be the Father of the faithful, the ancestor of the Messiah, and the honored individual in whose seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. Tracing in full and minute detail the signal instances of divine interposition for their deliverance and their interest—in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage—their miraculous passage through the Red Sea—the promulgation of His law—the forbearance and long-suffering shown them amid their frequent rebellions—the signal triumphs given them over their enemies—their happy settlement in the promised land—and all the extraordinary blessings, both in the form of temporal prosperity and of religious privilege, with which His paternal goodness had favored them above all other people, they charge themselves with making a miserable requital. They confess their numerous and determined acts of disobedience. They read, in the loss of their national independence and their long captivity, the severe punishment of their sins. They acknowledge that, in all heavy and continued judgments upon their nation, God had done right, but they had done wickedly. And in throwing themselves on His mercy, they express their purpose of entering into a national covenant, by which they pledge themselves to dutiful obedience in future. True laws; not such laws as some of the heathen laws were, which taught them falsehood, superstition, idolatry, and other errors; but such as discover the truth, and the true mind and will of God, and the true and only way to life.

Good statutes; both in themselves, and to us also, being useful to teach, and comfort, and save us.

Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai,.... By some visible tokens of his presence, as a cloud, fire, smoke, &c. which must be understood consistent with his omniscience, see Exodus 19:18,

and spakest with them from heaven; the decalogue or ten commandments, Exodus 20:1,

and gavest them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments; both judicial and ceremonial, which were of excellent use to them in their civil and ecclesiastical polity; these were not spoken to Israel, but given to Moses on the mount, to be delivered to them.

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
13. The Sinaitic Legislation

13. mount Sinai] It will be observed that Sinai, not Horeb, is referred to. The reference is taken from Exodus 19:18, ‘And mount Sinai … the Lord descended upon it.… 19. Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.’ Deuteronomy 4:36, ‘Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice.’ For other references to Sinai cf. Deuteronomy 33:2; Jdg 5:5.

judgments] R.V. judgements. For ‘judgements,’ ‘laws,’ ‘statutes,’commandments,’ cf. Deuteronomy 4:44-45; Deuteronomy 11:1; Deuteronomy 12:1, and Psalms 119. passim. ‘Right judgements’ or ‘equitable decisions’ (κρίματα εὐθέα, ‘judicia recta’) opposed to the perversions of justice by partiality or bribery; ‘true laws’ or ‘teachings of truth’ (Plur. not as Vulg. ‘legem veritatis’), to erroneous teachings. ‘Good statutes and commandments’ relate, the one to positive enactments upon religious matters, the other to legislation generally.

Verse 13. - Right judgments, true laws, good statutes, etc., are expressions which imply an immutable morality, a standard of right and wrong antecedent to command or precept, which standard is doubtless the eternal goodness of God himself. The repetition of the epithets here shows the composer of the form to be penetrated with the spirit of admiration for God's commandments which breathes so remarkably through the whole of Psalm 119. Nehemiah 9:13"And Thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. Nehemiah 9:13 And Thou camest down upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments: Nehemiah 9:14 And madest known unto them Thy holy Sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses Thy servant. Nehemiah 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst; and Thou commandedst them to go in and possess the land, which Thou hadst lifted up Thine hand to give them." Three particulars in the miraculous leading of Israel through the wilderness are brought forward: a. Their being guided in the way by miraculous tokens of the divine presence, in the pillar of fire and cloud, Nehemiah 9:12; comp. Exodus 13:21; Numbers 14:14. b. The revelation of God on Sinai, and the giving of the law, Nehemiah 9:13, Nehemiah 9:14. The descent of God on Sinai and the voice from heaven agree with Exodus 19:18, Exodus 19:20, and Exodus 20:1., compared with Deuteronomy 4:36. On the various designations of the law, comp. Psalm 19:9; Psalm 119:43, Psalm 119:39, Psalm 119:142. Of the commandments, that concerning the Sabbath is specially mentioned, and spoken of as a benefit bestowed by God upon the Israelites, as a proclamation of His holy Sabbath, inasmuch as the Israelites were on the Sabbath to share in the rest of God; see rem. on Exodus 20:9-11. c. The provision of manna, and of water from the rock, for their support during their journey through the wilderness on the way to Canaan; Exodus 16:4, Exodus 16:10., Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8; comp. Psalm 78:24, Psalm 78:15; Psalm 105:40. לרשׁת לבוא like Deuteronomy 9:1, Deuteronomy 9:5; Deuteronomy 11:31, and elsewhere. את־ידך נשׂאת is to be understood according to Numbers 14:30.
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