But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and listened not to your commandments,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Dealt proudly.—Like the Egyptians themselves (Nehemiah 9:10). It is remarkable that the same word is used as in the Hebrew of Exodus 18:11 and Deuteronomy 1:43.Nehemiah 9:16-17. But our fathers dealt proudly, &c. — Notwithstanding all thy singular and wonderful mercies, they sinned presumptuously, and with a high hand, scorning to submit their wills to thine. Having hitherto recounted God’s mercies toward them, with a view to aggravate their guilt, he now comes to confess their sins, in order that he might lead them to a sincere and ingenuous grief for them, not only on account of the sufferings which they had brought on themselves, but for the injury and indignity which they had offered to God; and refused to obey — Persisted in disobedience after many admonitions and invitations to repentance. And in their rebellion appointed a captain — That is, designed, purposed, and resolved to do so, (Numbers 14:4,) and therefore they are said to do it; as Abraham is said to have offered up Isaac, (Hebrews 11:17,) because he intended and attempted to do it.1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21.
Dealt proudly, i.e. sinned presumptuously, and with contempt of God, as scorning to submit their wills to God’s.
and hardened their necks; refused to take the yoke of his law, as refractory oxen, that withdraw their necks from the yoke:
and hearkened not to thy commandments; to do them, though they promised they would, Exodus 24:7.But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. But they and our fathers] The ‘and’ here seems not to be necessary. It is found, however, in all the MSS., and is represented in all the Versions, and must clearly be retained in the text. As the following Nehemiah 9:17-22 continue to refer to the Mosaic generation, no distinction of meaning can be drawn between ‘they’ and ‘our fathers.’ It seems best therefore to regard the ‘and’ as an instance of the explanatory or exegetical copula. ‘They and (= that is to say) our fathers.’ Cf. Nehemiah 9:22.
dealt proudly] Cf. Nehemiah 9:10. In this verse and in Nehemiah 9:29 the word is used with reference to the children of Israel, as in Deuteronomy 1:43, ‘ye rebelled … and were presumptuous.’ Deuteronomy 17:13, ‘all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.’
hardened their necks] R.V. neck. Cf. Nehemiah 9:17; Nehemiah 9:29. For the phrase ‘a stiff-necked people’ cf. Exodus 32:9; Exodus 33:3; Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6; Deuteronomy 9:13. ‘To stiffen’ or ‘harden the neck’ is found in Deuteronomy 10:16, ‘Be no more stiff-necked,’ 2 Kings 17:14, ‘they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like to the neck of their fathers.’ Cf. Job 9:4.Verse 16. - They and our fathers. Rather, "they, our fathers." The vau is used exegetically. Dealt proudly. i.e. "acted insolently." Compare Deuteronomy 1:43, where the same verb is translated "were presumptuous" (marg.). Hardened their necks. So in 2 Kings 17:14.
"And Thou sawest the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red Sea: Nehemiah 9:10 And showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and all his servants, and on all the people of his land, because Thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them, and madest Thyself a name, as this day. Nehemiah 9:11 And Thou dividedst the sea before them, and they went through the midst of the sea on dry land; and their persecutors Thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters." In Nehemiah 9:9 are comprised two subjects, which are carried out in Nehemiah 9:10, Nehemiah 9:11 : (1) the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt, which God saw (comp. Exodus 3:7), and out of which He delivered them by the signs and wonders He showed upon Pharaoh (Nehemiah 9:10); (2) the crying for help at the Red Sea, when the Israelites perceived Pharaoh with his horsemen and chariots in pursuit (Exodus 14:10), and the help which God gave them by dividing the sea, etc. (Nehemiah 9:11). The words in Nehemiah 9:10 are supported by Deuteronomy 6:22, on the ground of the historical narrative, Exodus 7-10. The expression עליהם הזידוּ כּי is formed according to עליהם זדוּ אשׁר, Exodus 18:11. על הזיד occurs Exodus 21:14 in a general sense. On וגו שׁם לך ותּעשׂ comp. Jeremiah 32:20; Isaiah 58:12, Isaiah 58:14; 1 Chronicles 17:22. A name as this day - in that the miracles which God then did are still praised, and He continues still to manifest His almighty power. The words of Nehemiah 9:11 are supported by Exodus 14:21-22, Exodus 14:28, and Exodus 15:19. אבן כּמו בּמצולות are from Exodus 15:5; עזּים בּמים from Exodus 15 and Isaiah 43:16.
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