And made known to them your holy sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses your servant:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Madest known unto them thy holy sabbath.—Every word here, as well as the prominence given to this among the other “commandments,” must be noted as illustrating the importance of this ordinance in the covenant of chapter 10 and throughout the book.Nehemiah 9:14. And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath — That holy sabbath day which thou didst bless and sanctify to Adam, commanding him, and in him all his posterity, to observe it, which yet almost all nations have quite forgotten; that day thou didst graciously reveal unto thy people, reviving that ancient law by another particular law respecting it, given to us in the wilderness. The Holy Scriptures speak of the sabbath as a singular gift of God to the Jewish nation, Exodus 16:29; it being a sign between God and them, who sanctified, that is, separated them from all other nations to be his peculiar people, or to be the worshippers of him who created the world in six days and rested in the seventh, while the heathen nations worshipped the sun, moon, and stars, and other creatures. 1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21. Thy holy sabbath; that holy and blessed sabbath day which thou didst bless and sanctify to Adam in Paradise, Genesis 2:3, commanding him, and in him all his posterity, to observe it, which yet almost all people and nations have quite forgotten, yea, so far as to mock at them, Lamentations 1:7, thou didst graciously reveal unto thy people, reviving that ancient law by another particular law about it given to us in the wilderness.
and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant; moral, ceremonial, and judicial, such as other nations had not, Deuteronomy 4:8.And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. and madest known … sabbath] Cf. Ezekiel 20:12. Apparently referring to the fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11. Cf. Exodus 31:16). But it is to be noticed that the observance of the Sabbath is prescribed if not presupposed at the giving of the Manna (Exodus 16:23-30) before the arrival at Sinai. The stricter observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah (thy sabbath) was a special feature of religious purity, required by the teaching of Ezra and the Scribes, cf. Nehemiah 13:15 (Isaiah 56:2; Isaiah 58:13). An observance of the Sabbath was perhaps common among Semitic races. It was certainly kept in Assyria. The command to keep the Sabbath holy set the stamp of Divine approval upon the native custom.
precepts, statutes, and laws] R.V. commandments, and statutes, and a law. ‘A law,’ i.e. religious instruction as distinguished from positive rules.
Moses thy servant] Cf. Nehemiah 1:7.Verse 14. - Madest known unto them thy holy sabbath. The anterior existence of the sabbath to the law is here implied, which accords with Genesis 2:2, 3, and Exodus 20:11. Precepts, statutes, and laws. Rather a periphrasis for "the law" generally, than a logical division of the Law into distinct parts. 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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