Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nehemiah 10:1-11:36


The Jews are making a written covenant. Chapter 10 begins with a list of signatories. They and "the rest of the people" promise, under the self-invoked threat of curse, to obey the Law of Moses.

Actually, they go beyond the Law of Moses. In addition to not intermarrying with the people of the land, they promise not to buy merchandise on the Sabbath (at least not from Gentiles). They will let the land lie fallow in the seventh year and they will forgive debts that same year.

They will pay temple taxes annually. They will provide wood for the altar. They will give offerings of first-fruits and firstborn.

In chapter 11 some of the residents of other towns are resettled in Jerusalem to increase the population. The lists that complete the chapter seem to be from a time later than Nehemiah's.

Next: Nehemiah 12-13

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