You came down also on mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21. 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. 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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 9:6 this praising of God begins with the acknowledgment that Jahve, the Creator of heaven and earth, chose Abram and made a covenant with him to give the land of Canaan to his seed, and had performed this word (Nehemiah 9:6-8). These verses form the theme of that blessing the name of His glory, to which the Levites exhorted. This theme is then elucidated by facts from Israel's history, in four strophes. a. When God saw the affliction of His people in Egypt, He delivered them by great signs and wonders from the power of Pharaoh, gave them laws and judgments on Sinai, miraculously provided them with food and water in the wilderness, and commanded them to take possession of the promised land (Nehemiah 9:9-15). b. Although their fathers rebelled against Him, even in the wilderness, God did not withdraw His mercy from them, but sustained them forty years, so that they lacked nothing; and subdued kings before them, so that they were able to conquer and possess the land (Nehemiah 9:16-25). c. After they were settled in the land they rebelled again, and God delivered them into the hand of their oppressors; but as often as they cried unto Him, He helped them again, till at length, because of their continued opposition, He gave them into the power of the people of the lands, yet of His great mercy did not wholly cast them off (Nehemiah 9:26-31). d. May He now too look upon the affliction of His people, as the God that keepeth covenant and mercy, although they have deserved by their sins the troubles they are suffering (Nehemiah 9:32-37).
"Thou art Jahve alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that is thereon, the sea and all therein; and Thou givest life to them all, and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee. Nehemiah 9:7 Thou art Jahve, the God who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham: Nehemiah 9:8 And foundest his heart faithful before Thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give to his seed, and hast performed Thy word; for Thou art righteous." Jahve alone is God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all creatures in heaven and on earth. In order duly to exalt the almightiness of God, the notion of heaven is enhanced by the addition "heaven of heavens," as in Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; and that of earth by the addition "the sea and all therein;" comp. Psalm 146:6. כּל־צבאם, Genesis 2:1, here refers only to heaven. מחיּה, to cause to live equals to give and preserve life. כּלּם relates to all creatures in heaven and earth. The host of heaven who worshipped God are the angels, as in Psalm 148:2; Psalm 103:21. This only God chose Abram; comp. Genesis 12:1 with Genesis 11:31 and Genesis 15:7; Genesis 17:5, where God bestowed upon the patriarch Abram the name of Abraham. The words, "Thou foundest his heart faithful," refer to בּיהוה האמין there mentioned. The making of a covenant alludes to Genesis 17:5.; the enumeration of six Canaanitish nations to Deuteronomy 7:1; Exodus 3:8; comp. with Genesis 15:20. This His word God performed (fulfilled), for He is righteous. God is called צדּיק, inasmuch as with Him word and deed correspond with each other; comp. Deuteronomy 32:4.
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