Attention!
10 million Ukrainians without power because of Russia. Help us purchase electrical generators for churches.
Consider helping today!

Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Nehemiah 10

CHAP. X.

The names of those who sealed the covenant, in which they engaged not to marry strange wives; to observe the sabbath; to pay their annual tribute, their tythes, and first-fruits.

Before Christ 444.

Verse 1

Nehemiah 10:1. Those that sealed were, Nehemiah, &c.— It appears from this, that the government of the Jews was an aristocracy, or a government in which the nobles were the rulers. This mode of administration continued till the time of the Asmodean princes; and thence, by a natural transition, passed into an absolute monarchy, or rather a tyranny.

Verse 29

Nehemiah 10:29. And entered into a curse, and into an oath 1:e. An oath under a conditional execration. Houbigant renders it, ut jus jurandum juremus, that we may take an oath. He supposes this verse to be connected with the preceding one, and accordingly renders it thus: Their nobles promising for their brethren, we come to enter into an oath, that we will walk, &c.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, As in prayer they had engaged to join themselves anew to God, we have here the persons who subscribed, and the particulars of their engagement.

1. The persons who subscribed were, the chief of the fathers, with Nehemiah the governor, and the chief of the priests and Levites; the persons who by duty and office were most especially obliged to set the good example, and to use their influence to engage the people to the service of their covenant-God; and to this deed of their rulers, the people expressed their solemn consent; Jews and proselytes, women and children, all who were come to years of understanding, binding their souls under an awful imprecation to abide by the engagements they had entered into. Note; (1.) In every good work they who are highest in dignity should be the first to lead. (2.) They who teach others what is right, must commend by their practice the word that they preach, and shew themselves examples of all that is praise-worthy. (3.) When we give up ourselves to God, it becomes us to take heed to the simplicity and sincerity of our hearts before him, lest rash engagements involve our souls in guilt.

2. The covenant they entered into was, generally, a careful observance of all God's commands and institutions, which was before their bounden duty, and now declared to be their hearty choice; and particularly a separation of themselves from all forbidden intercourse with the heathen nations, a door at which most of their abominations had crept in; the strict observance of the sabbath-day, the great token of their peculiarity as a people set apart for God's service; the observance of the sabbatical year, when the ground was to rest; and the free discharge of their debtors at that time, according to Deuteronomy 15:2. Note; (1.) A faithful heart will have respect to all God's commandments. (2.) Peculiar guard had need be placed over those temptations which we have seen to be the occasion of the fall of others, and proved most dangerous to ourselves. (3.) A careful observance of God's sabbaths is a chief means to preserve us in a constant course of fidelity in his service.

2nd, As the diligent and exact observance of the temple-worship would most effectually engage them to continue faithful to God, according to their vows, we have,
1. A general contribution agreed upon, of the third part of a shekel, about ten-pence annually, to be employed in purchasing the necessary provision for God's table and altar. Note; Few or none are so poor, but, if they have a love of God's service, they will be able and willing to contribute their mite for the maintenance of a gospel-ministry.

2. They agreed, by lot, in turn to provide the wood for God's altar as it was needed, that there might be a regular and constant supply.
3. They engaged, according to the law, for the exact payment of their first-fruits, tithes, and redemption-money, and whatsoever was appointed for the maintenance of those who ministered at the altar. Note; They who have lying upon them the great care of men's souls, ought not to be exposed to any anxiety about a worldly provision.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Nehemiah 10". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/nehemiah-10.html. 1801-1803.