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they are gone, and how employed, and what becomes of their bodies, and how quickly we shall go to them. The grave is the inheritance of all their children. We should not be ashamed of such pious apd generous sentiments in the presence of the greatest men or princes; they are highly becoming and useful.
4. Let us hence learn the benefit of ejaculatory prayer, that is, the sudden darting of the soul or wishes toward God, as the word signifies. It is an excellent way to keep up communion with him, it hinders no business, it interrupts no innocent pleasures; it keeps a sense of religion uppermost, fits us for more solemn exercises of devotion, and secures the divine assistance, presence, and help, in every difficult and perplexing case. Thus saith the Lord, acknoialedge me in all thy ways, and I will direct thy paths. /Vox), iii. 6.
5. We should acknowledge the good hand of God in the favourable turn he gives to the hearts of those we depend on, or expect benefits by. We should acknowledge also that it is he who puts good purposes into our own hearts, and enables us to behave so as to gain favour. This is a lesson which often arises from this book, and is most important and worthy our regard.
6. When we are undertaking any business of consequence, wisdom and prudence are necessary to direct. Nehemiah considered first, the state of things, and afterward privately consulted some before he opened the scheme to.others. We should take time to think of, weigh and digest, any plan for the public good, or our own interest. It is prudent to conceal our schemes till they are formed |o some degree of maturity ; and should guard against pursuing rasji and hasty measures, which may disappoint our schemes, and expose the authors of them to neglect and contempt.
7. See how much one active man may do to promote reformation. The Jews neglected the wall ; but as soon as Nehemiah came and quickened them, they were all ready and vigorous ; they only wanted one to set them on. This answers the common objection which js made for beginning a good work, I am but one, what cap I do? More than you think of; at least try what you can, and strengthen one another's hands in the work of G.pd, f°r ~". 18. it is a good work; and God will prosper the work, and reward the labourers.
8. Let us cheerfully depend op God, and not be-discouraged from prosecuting good undertakings by (he scorns and insults of bad men. No good work will go on without enemies. They will laugh us tq scorn ; but let not this move us. Remember that we are God's servants, engaged in his cause ; that he will prosper us; and we sha¡i have a portion and memorial in the new Jerusalem, the city of the liv~ ing God, which abidethfor ever.
CHAP. III. and CHAP. IV.
The third chapter is wholly taken up with an account of the building the. wall. In the fourth we have an account of the opposition they metwith, and the methods which were taken to prevent its success.
'I r I *HEN Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren JL the priests, and they builded the sheep gate ; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel; dedicated it to God's service by prayer, and such other rites as were appointed, as thejirst
2 fruits of all the rest of the building. And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. The names in this and the following verses arc so par-, ticularly set down, because it was a work of great virtue, as it was an honour and security to the country ; and also of great piety, as it wan an holy city, and a defence to the worshippers of Jehovah :it was an honour to be employed in it, and a noble example to their pos
3 terity. But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who [also] laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the
A locks thereof, and the bars thereof. And next unto them repair-, ed Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baa-.
5 na. And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their no-.
6 bles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. Moreover the old gate repaired Jehojada the son ofPaseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the
7 doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne
8 of the governor on this side the river. Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him, also repaired Hananiah the son of [one of] the apothecaries, and
9 they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall. And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part
10 of Jerusalem. And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him
11 repaired Hatlush the son of Hashabniah. Malcbijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other
12 piece, and the tower of the furnaces. And next unto him repair-, ed Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Je
13 rusalem, he and his daughters. The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah ; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand
14 cubits on the wall unto the dung gate. But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem: he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof,
! 5 and the bars thereof. But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallum the son ofColhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah j he built it, and covered itj and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.
16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, xinto [the place] over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of
17 the mighty. After him repaired the Lévites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, theruler of the half
18 part of Keilah, in his part. After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.
19 And next to him repaired Ez.er the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mrzpah, another piece over against the going up to the armory
20 at the turning [of the wall.] After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, Irom the turning [of the
21 wall] unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz an? other piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the
22 end of the house of Eliashib. And after him repaired the priests,
23 the men of the plain. After him repaired Benjamin and Hasht ub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the
24 son of Maaseiah the son of Hananiah by his house. After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning [of the wall,] even unto the corner.
25 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning [of the wall,] and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that [was] by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.
56 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto [the place] over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth
57 out. After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.
28 From above the horse gate, repaired the priests, every one over
29 against his house. After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah
30 the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam
31 the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son, unto the place of the Nethinims and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad,
82 and to the going up of the comer. And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.
1 Chap. IV. But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indjgna
2 tion, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, to the chief men, and especially the commander» and governor» in that part of the country, who had mustered all their forces to irruade the Jews and hinder their work, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? \fill they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? He made a jest of their dispatch, as if they intended to finish, andkeefiafeast of dedication, in one day : will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned ? as if he had raid, They must give the stones life and reason to join themselves, if they would make any
3 thing out of this rubbish. Now Tobiah the Ammonite [was] by him, and he said, Even that which they build is so feeble, that if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. But Nchemiah, instead of answering these fools according to their folly, directs his ftrayer to God, that he would hear and return their
4 scoffs m their own heads. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them
5 for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for
fi they have provoked [thee] to anger before the builders.* So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work; they went on cheerfully notwithstanding their jeers.
7 But it came to pass, [that] when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, [and] that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; when
t they found that bantering would not do, they took ufi arms; And conspired all of them together to come [and] to fight against
9 Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayei unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them, that they might not surprise us. But now two dif
10 ftculties arose, one from their friends: And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and, [there is] much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall: they began to murmur, and complained that there was so much rubbish they could never be able to clear it, which was enough to discourage them all. Another difficulty arose from their enemies, who had formed a secret design to surprise the city and murder the inhabitants, of which they had notice from the Jews who dwelt among
11 these people or on the frontiers. And our adversaries said, they shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among
12 them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, that is, they said so often and assuredly; an abrupt form of speech, intimating their great danger.^ From all places whence ye shall return, unto us [they will be upon you ]
13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, [and] on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with
14 their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, aad rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord
• Nebe miah urges this argument, to show that he did not pray against them out of a prTnripl- of prhrate revenge, but because they had provoked God, by ridicnling and Jiscauragi.ii ib.s wurk. which, was designed lor hit honour, and ike safety of his people.
[which is] great and terrible, whose assistance yon may depend upon s and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daugh
15 ters, your wives, and your houses. And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, that vie had got intelligence of their design, and God had brought their counsel tv nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his
16 work. And it came to pass from that, time forth, [that] the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held bcili the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons ; and the rulers [were] behind all the house of Ju
17 dah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, [every one] with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other [hand] held a weapon.*
18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and [so] builded. And he that sounded the trumpet [was] by
19 me, to give the alarm if needful.- And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work [is] great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from
30 another- In what place [therefore] ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us, that by being united, we may make a better stand against our enemies ) and our God shall fight
21 for us. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge withki Jerusalem, not in the suburbs and villages where they used to lodge, but in the cityy that in the night
23 they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off Oup clothes, [saving that] every one put them off for washing; either to make them clean, •r on occasion of some ceremonial pollution.
1. "\^7"^ are tauS^lt ^om both these chapters, that where the V V service of God or our country require it, we should all join hearts and hands in so good a work, as these people did. The priests began and set a good example; the tradesmen, goldsmiths, merchants, and apothecaries, all joined, and some ladies contributed to this good work, v. 12. This is a good example of zeai, generosity, and public spirit, which it will be our honour as christians to imitate; and we should go on cheerfully in it, notwithstanding all discouragements, v. 6.
2. Let us not wonder if we meet with indignation and contempt in our endeavours to serve the interests of religion. Nehemiah experienced much of this; and such is the wickedness of the world, it will always follow resolution and zeal; but let none of these thinga move us. He that scorneth the scorner, will approve our faithful
* This was not literally the ewe, or they could not have worked; but they relieved to* another, and their arm* Uy ready tnfore them, » idle at a iSiomcat't alarm.