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 it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
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(8) The Hivites are for some reason omitted.

Nehemiah 9:8. And foundest his heart faithful before thee — In many instances, especially in that great trial of his faith and obedience, when thou requiredst him to offer up his only son as a sacrifice. And hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous — True to thy word, faithfully fulfilling all thy promises.

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. Foundest his heart faithful before thee; when thou madest that admirable trial of his faith and obedience, in requiring him to offer up his only son Isaac, thou didst find out and discover his faithfulness, which was well known to thee before, and also was wrought in him by thy grace.

And foundest his heart faithful before thee,.... A true believer in his word and promises, Genesis 15:6 and closely attached to the fear of him, and observance of his commands, as abundantly appeared in the trial of him, in offering up his son, Genesis 22:1,

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 it, I say, to his seed; not to him personally, but to his posterity, at least including and chiefly designing them; of which covenant see Genesis 15:18,

and hast performed thy words, for thou art righteous; in all his ways and works, faithful to his promise, a covenant keeping God, and who kept and fulfilled this covenant, assisting Joshua to conquer the land of Canaan, and put Israel into the possession of it.

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 it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
8. his heart faithful] The word ‘faithful’ is of the same root as that rendered ‘believed’ in Genesis 15:6, ‘And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness;’ and the phrase here used is derived from that passage, since the same chapter in Genesis also contains a list of the peoples of the land (Nehemiah 9:19-21), that were to be dispossessed by the seed of Abraham according to the Covenant. For the use of this adjective applied to Abraham, cf. Galatians 3:9, ‘they which be of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.’

the land of the Canaanites] R.V. the land of the Canaanite, … Hittite, &c. The six nations here referred to, are all Palestinian. From the list in Genesis 15:18-21, there are here omitted ‘the Kenite, the Kenizzite, the Kadmonite, and the Rephaim.’ Perhaps only those nations are recorded of which the names were still in use.

to give it, I say, to his seed] R.V. even to give it unto his seed.

hast performed thy words] Cf. Joshua 23:14, ‘Not one thing hath failed of all the good things, which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, not one thing hath failed thereof.’

for thou art righteous] The same epithet in the Hebrew is used in Nehemiah 9:33, ‘thou art just,’ where the Divinely ordered discipline of the Exile is alluded to. The root idea of ‘righteousness’ is ‘straightness,’ that which will not swerve from truth and justice. Jehovah is called ‘righteous,’ because His rule of the world and of His people Israel is in agreement with the most perfect imaginable standard of justice and truth. Cf. Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 85:13; Psalm 145:17; Zephaniah 3:5.

Verse 8. - Canaanites, etc. The nations driven out were actually seven (Deuteronomy 7:1), but it is a common figure of speech to put the part for the whole. In the present enumeration the Hivites are omitted. Hast performed thy words. Though for a time remnants of the accursed nations were left in the land, "to prove Israel" (Judges 3:1), yet ultimately all were either driven out or reduced to the condition of slaves (see the comment on Ezra 2:55). Nehemiah 9:8In 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).

Nehemiah 9:6

"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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