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Nehemiah 9:38--10:39

Context
The People Pledge to be Faithful

9:38 (10:1) 1  “Because of all of this we are entering into a binding covenant 2  in written form; 3  our leaders, our Levites, and our priests have affixed their names 4  on the sealed document.”

10:1 On the sealed documents were the following names: 5 

Nehemiah the governor, son of Hacaliah, along with Zedekiah,

10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

10:3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,

10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah. These were the priests.

10:9 The Levites were as follows:

Jeshua 6  son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel.

10:10 Their colleagues 7  were as follows:

Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

10:11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

10:13 Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.

10:14 The leaders 8  of the people were as follows:

Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

10:17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

10:18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

10:21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

10:24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

10:26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,

10:27 Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.

10:28 “Now the rest of the people – the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple attendants, and all those who have separated themselves from the neighboring peoples 9  because of the law of God, along with their wives, their sons, and their daughters, all of whom are able to understand – 10:29 hereby participate with their colleagues the town leaders 10  and enter into a curse and an oath 11  to adhere to 12  the law of God which was given through Moses the servant of God, and to obey 13  carefully all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, 14  along with his ordinances and his statutes.

10:30 “We will not give our daughters in marriage to the neighboring peoples, and we will not take their daughters in marriage for our sons. 10:31 We will not buy 15  on the Sabbath or on a holy day from the neighboring peoples who bring their wares and all kinds of grain to sell on the Sabbath day. We will let the fields lie fallow every seventh year, and we will cancel every loan. 16  10:32 We accept responsibility for fulfilling 17  the commands to give 18  one third of a shekel each year for the work of the temple 19  of our God, 10:33 for the loaves of presentation and for the regular grain offerings and regular burnt offerings, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the appointed meetings, for the holy offerings, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the temple of our God.

10:34 “We – the priests, the Levites, and the people – have cast lots concerning the wood offerings, to bring them to the temple of our God according to our families 20  at the designated times year by year to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as is written in the law. 10:35 We also accept responsibility for 21  bringing the first fruits of our land and the first fruits of every fruit tree year by year to the temple of the LORD. 10:36 We also accept responsibility, as is written in the law, for bringing the firstborn of our sons and our cattle and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks to the temple of our God, to the priests who are ministering in the temple of our God. 10:37 We will also bring the first of our coarse meal, of our contributions, of the fruit of every tree, of new wine, and of olive oil to the priests at the storerooms of the temple of our God, along with a tenth of the produce 22  of our land to the Levites, for the Levites are the ones who collect the tithes in all the cities where we work. 23  10:38 A priest of Aaron’s line 24  will be with the Levites when the Levites collect the tithes, and the Levites will bring up a tenth of the tithes to the temple of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 10:39 The Israelites and the Levites will bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil to the storerooms where the utensils of the sanctuary are kept, and where the priests who minister stay, along with the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the temple of our God.”

1 sn Beginning with 9:38, the verse numbers through 10:39 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 9:38 ET = 10:1 HT, 10:1 ET = 10:2 HT, 10:2 ET = 10:3 HT, etc., through 10:39 ET = 10:40 HT. Beginning with 11:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

2 tn Heb “we are cutting.”

3 tn Heb “and writing.”

4 tn Heb “our leaders, our Levites, and our priests on the sealed document.” The Hebrew text is elliptical here; the words “have affixed their names” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons. Cf. v. 2.

5 tn The words “were the following names” are not in the Hebrew text but have been supplied in the translation for clarity. Cf. vv. 9, 10, 14.

6 tc With many medieval Hebrew manuscripts and the ancient versions the translation reads יְשׁוּעַ (yÿshua’, “Jeshua”) rather than the reading וְיֵשׁוּעַ (vÿyeshua’, “and Jeshua”) of BHS.

7 tn Heb “brothers” (also in v. 30).

8 tn Heb “heads”; ASV “chiefs.”

9 tn Heb “from the peoples of the lands.” Cf. vv. 30, 31.

10 tn Heb “the nobles.”

11 tn The expression “a curse and an oath” may be a hendiadys, meaning “an oath with penalties.”

12 tn Heb “to walk in.”

13 tn Heb “keep.” See the note on the word “obey” in Neh 1:5.

14 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

15 tn Heb “take.”

16 tn Heb “debt of every hand,” an idiom referring to the hand that holds legally binding contractual agreements.

17 tn Heb “cause to stand on us.”

18 tc The MT reads “to give upon us.” However, the term עָלֵינוּ (’alenu, “upon us”) should probably be deleted, following a few medieval Hebrew MSS, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Vulgate.

19 tn Heb “house” (also in vv. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39).

20 tn Heb “the house of our fathers.”

21 tn The words “we accept responsibility” are not included in the Hebrew text, but are inferred from v. 33 (so also in v. 37).

22 tn Heb “a tithe of our land.”

23 tn Heb “of our work.”

24 tn Heb “And the priest the son of Aaron.”



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