And found his heart faithful before you, and made 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 have performed your words; for you are righteous:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:21. 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. 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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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).
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