Nehemiah 9:34
Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept your law, nor listened to your commandments and your testimonies, with which you did testify against them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Our kings.—Note that the prophets are omitted in this enumeration.

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.Thou gavest them saviours - See Judges 3:15 etc. 32. Now therefore, our God … who keepest covenant and mercy—God's fidelity to His covenant is prominently acknowledged, and well it might; for their whole national history bore testimony to it. But as this could afford them little ground of comfort or of hope while they were so painfully conscious of having violated it, they were driven to seek refuge in the riches of divine grace; and hence the peculiar style of invocation here adopted: "Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy." No text from Poole on this verse. Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law,.... All ranks of men, from the highest to the lowest, had shown no regard, nor yielded obedience to the holy law of God:

nor hearkened unto thy commandments, and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them; moral and ceremonial, which were a testification of the will of God to them, and a testimony against them if they observed them not.

Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst {l} testify against them.

(l) That you would destroy them, unless they would return to you, as in Ne 9:26.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. neither have our kings] The construction is the same as in Nehemiah 9:19; Nehemiah 9:32, ‘As for our kings, … they have not.’

kept thy law] Literally ‘done thy law,’ i.e. carried into practice the Divine teaching. Cf. Nehemiah 9:14; Nehemiah 9:29.

nor hearkened] Cf. Zechariah 1:4, ‘But they (your fathers) did not hear nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.’

didst testify against them] Probably with special reference to Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30.Verse 34. - Thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. i.e. the testimony borne by the prophets (see ver. 30). Nehemiah 9:27 and Nehemiah 9:28 refer to the times of the judges; comp. Judges 2:11-23. מושׁיעים are the judges whom God raised up to deliver Israel out of the power of their oppressors; comp. Judges 3:9. with Nehemiah 2:16. עתּים רבּות, multitudes of times, is a co-ordinate accusative: at many times, frequently; רבּות like Leviticus 25:51.
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