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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Nehemiah 8

Verse 1

And = Then.

street = broad or open space. See verses: Nehemiah 8:3 , Nehemiah 8:16 , Neh 8:26 ; Nehemiah 12:30 , Nehemiah 12:37 , Nehemiah 12:40 .

the water gate. See notes on Nehemiah 3:26 with Nehemiah 5:9 .

the book = scroll. The well-known book (Deuteronomy 31:10 , Deuteronomy 31:11 ). See App-47 .

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. (with 'eth). App-4 .

Verse 2

Ezra the priest. It was the priest's duty at this and at all times to teach the people the Word of God. See note on Deuteronomy 17:11 ; Deuteronomy 33:10 ; and compare Malachi 2:7 .

congregation = assembly or muster.

upon the first day, &c. This was according to the requirement of Deuteronomy 31:9-12 , every seventh year. Compare Leviticus 23:23 - Nehemiah 2:5 ).

Verse 3

morning = daylight.

men. Hebrew, plural 'enosh . App-14 .

Verse 4

pulpit = high platform. Eng. "pulpit" from Latin. pulpitum, a stage of a theatre.

beside him. Thirteen priests with him: fourteen in all.

and. Some codices, with five early printed editions, omit this "and".

Verse 5

opened the book = unrolled the scroll.

in the sight = before the eyes.

stood up. In token of reverence (Judges 3:20 . Job 29:8 , Job 37:14 ).

Verse 6

God. Hebrew. Elohim. (with Art.) = the [true]God. App-4 .

Amen, Amen. Figure of speech Epizeuxis , emphasizing the great solemnity.

lifting up. Hebrew. mo'al. Occurs only here. Compare 1 Timothy 2:8 .

Verse 8

read in the book: i.e. the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch. See App-47 .

distinctly = a distinct [reading], i.e. (according to the Talmud) translating and interpreting it in the Chaldee paraphrase.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ), to emphasize each clause.

gave the sense: i.e. divided the sentences, &c, according to sense.

caused them to understand the reading: i.e. gave the traditional pronunciation of the words (which were then without the vowel points).

Verse 9

Nehemiah. He now uses the third person. This is not necessarily a sign of change of authorship.

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5 .

Verse 10

is = it [is].

joy. Chaldee. hedvah. Occurs only here, 1 Chronicles 16:27 , and Ezra 6:16 . is = that [is].

strength = defence, or refuge.

Verse 13

chief = heads.

Verse 14

found: i.e. they came to the place where direction was given.

written. See note on Exodus 17:14 , and App-47 .

children = sons.

booths. Compare Lev 28:39-43 .Deuteronomy 16:13-15 .

Verse 15

mount = hill country.

as it is written. See Leviticus 23:42 .

Verse 16

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ), to mark the minuteness of the obedience.

one = man. Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .

Verse 17

Jeshua. Another spelling of Joshua.

not . . . done so. 2 Chronicles 8:13 speaks only of the offerings required by the Law, which Solomon offered. Nothing is said th e r e of what the People did; so that there is no "discrepancy", as is alleged.

Israel. See note on 1 Kings 12:17 .

Verse 18

he. Some codices, with Syriac, read "they".

assembly = restraint: i.e. restraint from work.

manner = regulation, or ordinance. Nehemiah 9:1 Nehemiah 10:39 is parallel with Ezra 9:1 Ezra 10:44 .Ezra 4:1; Ezra 4:1 Ezra 8:36 comes between Nehemiah 8:18 with Nehemiah 9:1 . See the Table and Structure on p. 617, notes on p. 618, and App-58 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Nehemiah 8". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.