Reformation of Judah Nehemiah 11-13, cont’d.
Nehemiah 12:27-47 The Wall is Dedicated
Nehemiah 12:1-9-This is a list of the Priests and Levites who returned to Judah with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2,36-40). The prophet Zechariah is included in this list (:16).
Nehemiah 12:10-11-This is a list of the of Priests from Jeshua to Jaddua…during the days that Joiakim served as High Priest.
Nehemiah 12:12-26-This is a list of the Priests and Levites that were serving in the days of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 12:27-47-There was a celebration to dedicate the wall. Nehemiah organized the celebration. The Priests and Levites purified themselves so that they might give leadership. The celebration was so great that the sound of singing and musical instruments could be heard from far away (:43).
12:31-37 Nehemiah organized two groups to encircle the city. The first, led by Ezra, proceeded from the SW. corner of the city wall E., then N., led by singers (v. 31), followed by princes (vv. 32-33), then priests with trumpets (vv. 35,41) and Levites with stringed instruments (v. 36).
12:38-43 The other group proceeded N., then E. to the Temple area, meeting the first group in the Temple courts (v. 40), where they offered sacrifices and praised God (vv. 41-43)…
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnotes on Nehemiah 12:31-37 and 12:38-43, pp. 730,731
Nehemiah 13:1-31 The People are Consecrated
Nehemiah 13:1-3-As part of the celebration they read from the book of Moses...and found that it said that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, so they started that practice.
Nehemiah 13:4-9-During Nehemiah's absence (when he briefly returned to Babylon, :6), Eliashib had given Tobiah (an Ammonite official that he was related to, 2:19; 13:4) a room in the court of the Temple for his private use. When Nehemiah returned and found out about it…he threw all of Tobiah's belongings out and had the room ceremonially cleansed.
Nehemiah 13:10-14-Nehemiah also found that the Levites were not receiving the tithes for their own support as commanded and had to work in the fields (bi-vocational)...so he appointed men to oversee the tithes so that they could work full-time.
Nehemiah 13:15-22-Nehemiah then observed that there were not keeping the Sabbath by carrying on trade on that day...so he stopped it. He reminded them that it was this very kind of behavior (breaking God’s law) that had gotten them into the bad condition they had been in previously (:18).
Nehemiah 13:23-31-Nehemiah found that once again there were Jews who had married non-Jews...going against God's command (cf. Ezra 9:1-4; 10:44). So, he reprimanded them and made them swear that they would not allow their sons or daughters to do the same. There may have been some who tried to convince him that they could be married to foreign women and yet they would not affect their dedication to the God of Israel. Nehemiah reminded them that despite Solomon’s great knowledge and devotion to God…because he married foreign women even he was caused to sin (:26). The very act of marrying foreign women was an act of unfaithfulness to God (:27). One of the youngest sons of Joiada, the High Priest, had married a daughter of Sanballat (a Horonite, a foreigner, cf. 2:10). Nehemiah expelled him from the Priesthood because he would have contaminated the priestly lineage with his children (cf. Leviticus 21:6-8,14-15).
Prayer: Father, help us to celebrate what You are doing among us. Too many times we forget. Let our joy in You be so apparent that everyone in our community will be aware of it. Help us to bring the world to You!