A fast was called for the second day after the Feast of the Eighth Day and there was a great repentance, fasting and mourning over sin, because of the words of the law [Deuteronomy] that were read to the people during the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of the Eighth Day.
Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
Today we are desperate for this kind of Ekklesia wide repentance and zealous turning to live by every Word of God.
9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
On this special day of fasting and repentance the scriptures were read and expounded to the people. If this fourth part of a day refers to daylight only, then they read for about three hours and expounded for another three hours for a total of six hours and then the leaders led the people in sincere repentance and praising God.
9:4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said,
The prayer of sincere repentance, that we need to sincerely repeat today.
First the glory and power of God is proclaimed and extolled.
9:6 Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Then a history of Israel’s relationship with God is presented.
9:7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
9:8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
the God who later gave up his God-hood to become flesh as Jesus Christ delivered Israel out from physical Egypt; and he will deliver the sincerely repentant Spiritual Ekklesia out of spiritual Egypt of bondage to Satan, sin and death; if only we will follow him to live by every Word of God!
9:9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
9:10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh [a type of Satan], and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
If we will only follow and live by Every Word of God; we will be raised up out of the Red Sea, the Red Sea being symbolic of Blood, Death and the Grave,
9:11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
9:12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
If we zealously passionately learn and keep our covenant of espousal to Jesus Christ to live by every Word of God the Father in heaven, then we shall enter into a full marriage to become one spirit in full unity with Jesus Christ at the wedding of the Lamb.
9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is full of pride like the ancients, and we have turned from our zeal for keeping the Word of God and following Jesus Christ; towards exalting idols of men and corporate organizations, and exalting our own ways and false traditions above the Word of God.
9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
9:18Yea, when they had made them a molten calf [an idol], and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;9:19Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
9:22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
9:23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
IF we are fully faithful and endure and overcome, conquering all sin through the power of our High Tower of Strength; we shall enter the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life.
9:24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
9:25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
If we are disobedient, and today WE ARE disobedient to God; we will surely find that our God has turned away from us and corrected us for all our wickedness against any zeal to love God and to keep his Word.
9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
9:27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
Jesus Christ has been very patient with today’s New Covenant called out spiritual Ekklesia, and now the time for our correction is at hand.
9:30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
9:31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
The people sincerely repented and sought the mercy of the Eternal. We must do likewise, to see the salvation of the Eternal.
9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
9:33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
9:35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
IF we sincerely repent the Great God of Many Tender Mercies, will forgive and accept us; indeed he is standing at the door knocking for admittance into our lives! (Rev 3:15-22).
9:36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
9:38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
My friends, if we step back just a little and take an overview look, it immediately becomes clear that this physical history of the return from Babylon and the building of the City of Jerusalem in preparation for the coming of Messiah in the flesh, is an allegory of the preparation of the bride for the now very close coming of Christ and the resurrection to spirit of God’s chosen.
The Bride the true Spiritual Ekklesia is being prepared to meet her Husband in a resurrection to spirit and their collective marriage to the Lamb!
These events are symbolic of the need for us to come out of the ways of this world of spiritual Egypt and spiritual Babylon!
We are NOT to try to marry the false teachings of the Babylon Mystery Religion to the Word of God as so many do today; principally by exalting men and organizations as our ultimate moral authority, instead of judging the teachings of men by the Word of God!
The folks in the days of Nehemiah, repented and came out of physical Babylon; and they had lessons to learn in their revival; and WE must also repent and come out of spiritual Babylon and we must learn about true religion in the process.
The list of those who agreed [approved and sealed] the renewing of the Covenant.
Please note very carefully that these were the leaders IN Judea who had come out of physical Babylon; and in sincere repentance were being reconciled and restored into a proper relationship with God.
A similar spiritual revival and restoration is DESPERATELY NEEDED in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
The seal of the New Covenant is the Holy Spirit of God, which is only given to those who sincerely obey and live by every Word of God, no matter what ANY man says (Acts 5:32).
2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
A list of those sealed with the Mosaic Covenant in the Ezra – Nehemiah revival.
Nehemiah 10:1 Now those that sealed [agreed] were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 10:3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.
10:9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10:10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 10:11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 10:13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.
10:14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 10:17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, 10:18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 10:21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,10:24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,10:26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the [paganisms and false teachings of the] people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
All the wise among the people joined with the nobles in pledging to revive and restore the true worship of God.
To deliberately marry a spiritually unclean [unconverted] person is to make ourselves spiritually unclean by deliberately becoming one flesh with the spiritually unclean.
The same is true of trying to mix false teachings with the truth of God. Any attempt to do so amounts to trying to mix teachings unclean by reason of their falsehood, with the clean pure truth of the Word of God. This mixing of the unclean with clean does NOT make the unclean, clean; it makes the clean unclean! See the article on Clean and Unclean.
10:29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes; 10:30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land [mix with the heathen and the false god’s that they worshiped], not take their daughters for our sons:
Part of the agreement was to keep the Sabbath HOLY and to refuse to BUY ANYTHING [including victuals (food and drink) or any kind of goods] on the Sabbath!
This is what WE committed to at baptism! And it is one of the chief sins of the Ekklesia today, along with idolizing the men who lead us into this wickedness!
Brethren, WE NEED a revival like that in the days of Ezra / Nehemiah!
WE NEED TO REPENT OF THE VERY SAME SINS! WE NEED TO REPENT of the sins of mixing with false religions, following idols instead of standing on God’s Word; and of polluting the Sabbath and Holy Days.
Here is God’s answer on the matter of buying food and drink on Sabbath: OR ON HOLY DAYS!
Holy days ARE Sabbaths and the same law applies to BOTH the weekly Sabbath and the Holy Days.
Cooking and the buying of food or drink on weekly Sabbaths, or on High Days: IS SIN! See our Sabbath articles
What about Christ allowing Israel to make and cook food as they left Egypt on the first Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread? That was a unique emergency allowance, as they were being thrust out of Egypt! That situation and allowance for cooking [and the long march] was for that one occasion only. Jesus’ disciples understood that as they rushed to bury his body on Passover, in preparation for the same first Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 10:33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
10:34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law:
10:35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:
10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
The people were to tithe to the priests; then the priests were to tithe out of what they received, to the high priest; which is the meaning of the tithe of the tithe. The high priest was to use his portion for the Daily Sacrifice and the various commanded offerings on behalf of the whole nation.
10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn [grain], of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Notice how the duties of men were determined by trusting God in the casting of lots among willing godly persons?
The Eternal determined the result of the lots, this is an allegory that the Eternal chooses his own servants and gives them their responsibilities .
The Father has called us OUT of the modern Babylon of worldliness; but he will ultimately only choose those who have truly come out of spiritual Babylon and are zealous for Him, his Son and his Word alone!
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
A move was then made to populate Jerusalem and complete the city.
Nehemiah 11:1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. 11:2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
11:3 Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims [Gibeonites], and the children of Solomon’s servants.
A list of those dwelling at Jerusalem.
11:4 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez; 11:5 And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.
11:6 All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.
11:7 And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah.
11:8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.
11:9 And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.
11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God.
11:12 And their brethren that did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah.
11:13 And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 11:14 And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.
11:15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; 11:16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.
11:17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.
11:19 Moreover the porters [guards of the gates], Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.
11:20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.
11:21 But the Nethinims [Gibeonites] dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God. 11:23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.
11:24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.
11:25 And for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof, 11:26 And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet, 11:27 And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and in the villages thereof, 11:28 And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,11:29 And at Enrimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth, 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.
11:31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages.
11:32 And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 11:35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
11:36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
A list of the Priests and Levites who came out of Babylon.
Nehemiah 12:1 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up [from Babylon to build the temple according to the decree of Cyrus in 536 B.C. ] with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,12:2Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 12:3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 12:4Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah, 12:5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 12:6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.
12:8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.
12:9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches.
12:10 And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada, 12:11 And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua.
12:12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 12:13 Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 12:14 Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 12:15 Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 12:16 Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 12:17 Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai: 12:18 Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 12:19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 12:20 Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 12:21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.
12:22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.
12:23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.
12:24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.
12:25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.
12:26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
The dedication of the city wall
12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 12:28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi; 12:29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.
12:30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.
The princes of Judah and the Levitical singers were divided into two companies; one on one wall and the other on the opposite wall.
12:31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:
The first company
12:32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah, 12:33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, 12:34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 12:35 And certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph: 12:36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them. 12:37 And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.
The second company
12:38 And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall; 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.
Nehemiah stood with the rulers of the people, with one company of rejoicing singers on his left, and another on his right.
12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me: 12:41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 12:42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.
Then nation rejoiced over the completion of the walls of the city
12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
12:44 And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions [to teach the Word of God] of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.
The Levitical singers and the guardians of the gates received their portion of support.
12:45 And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.
12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel [from the time of Zerubbabel through the days of Nehemiah the temple officials and workers received their wages] , and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.
Then the people were divided; and the unconverted faithless who were mixed with the faithful were separated OUT from those faithful and zealous for our God.
The people heard the Word of God read and expounded, and they rushed to obey the Eternal!
This awesome revival lasted for many years until the leaders drifted into the pride of the Mosaic Pharisees; and in our time the many groups of today’s brethren have drifted into the self-righteous lack of zeal to live by every Word of God called Laodicea (Rev 3:15-22).
Contrary to popular misconception the Mosaic Pharisees were NOT zealous to keep the Word of God! Instead they slowly apostatized and made the Word of God of no effect by their man devised traditions. Just like today’s Spiritual Ekklesia, they were zealous for their own false traditions and NOT for the Word of God!
Matthew 15:6 . . . Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Today’s unrepentant Spiritual Ekklesia is in danger of damnation and can only be saved through the application of stern correction. It is time to quickly repent and rejoice in our LORD as these people did, and as the disciples did when Christ came in the flesh and was rejected by the [Laodicean] Pharisees.
Nehemiah had left Jerusalem after twelve years as governor to visit king Darius at Babylon and during his absence Eliashib the priest and many people had apostatized. When he returned Nehemiah took steps to correct the apostates.
Nehemiah 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; 13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
It is time to understand the statement that God is not the author of division. Evil men have twisted this scripture around to mean that anyone who speaks the truth about laxity in the assemblies is an enemy and a sower of ungodly division.
YES, God does divide the righteous from the wicked!
YES, God is the author of division, separating the faithful from all uncleanness and sin!
NO, God is not divided against himself and yes his true faithful servants are united with God in words, deeds and spirit; and are therefore divided from sin and the sinful!
Therefore if the truth is told and sin is rebuked; and someone condemns that truth; it is not the truth teller who is sowing division from God; it is those condemning the truth being spoken who are the true sowers of division between the brethren and God!
Today nearly all the leaders and elders in the Ekklesia are sowers of division between the brethren and God; because they condemn zeal for God and God’s Word, and they teach a zeal for themselves and the false traditions of men.
That IS sowing division between the brethren and Almighty God!
13:3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
The time is soon coming when the faithful to God must separate themselves from the unrepentant.
An ally of the enemy is discovered in the priesthood in Jerusalem, after Nehemiah returns from visiting the king Artaxerxes [Ahasuerus Longimanus].
13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah: 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
The situation had fallen into the decay of lukewarmness during Nehemiah’s absence. Just as we have fallen into the same spiritual decay and lukewarmness for the practical application of God’s Word in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
13:6 But in all this time was not I [Nehemiah] at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king: 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Tobiah gets evicted
13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff [belonging] to Tobiah out of the chamber. 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
The Levites were the workers, much like the deacons and unpaid elders of today; who if they are faithful to God, are worthy of support for their services; and those faithful to God are certainly worthy of much honor, support and sincere respect.
13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to [having left off the work of God because of the need to grow food to eat and live] his field.
Today the faithful workers of God are forsaken by many, because most of the elders seek after their own ways and exalt themselves between God and the brethren; leading them into idolatry.
It is proper to give God’s money to those who are zealous and faithfully rebuking sin, warning the people and teaching zeal for the whole Word of God.
It is a sin to give God’s money to leaders and elders who lead people into idolatry; such men are false teachers; which turn men away from a true zeal to live by every Word of God!
13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
After Nehemiah’s rebuke the people began to support the Levites and Priests in their work again.
13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. 13:13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
Nehemiah then asked God to remember his zeal for godliness. Hopefully we too can honestly ask God to remember our zeal to cleanse ourselves from sin and internalize the whole Word of God; to live by every Word of God in zeal to become a fit holy house for God’s Holy Spirit!
13:14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.
After returning from visiting the king, Nehemiah sees a great evil being done in again working and buying on the Sabbath, this same wickedness is openly practiced in the major assemblies calling themselves God’s people today.
It was for this sin [among other sins] that Israel and Judah went into captivity, and it is for the sin of calling the Sabbath holy and then openly polluting it for our own pleasure, that today’s Spiritual Ekklesia will go into the captivity and correction of the Great Tribulation in the very near future.
13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals [food and drink on the Sabbath].
13:16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 13:18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
Even so, I have also contended with those who do such wickedness, for they are bringing a great correction down upon themselves.
There is even one man who teaches that it is lawful to cook and buy food on the Sabbath because the Sabbath is listed as one of the Feasts of the Eternal in Lev 23! Apparently he is ignorant of the fact that we are not to cook or buy food on any Sabbath, either weekly or annual. We are not to cook, sell or buy food and drink [or anything else] on High Holy Days.
I wonder what he says about the Feast of Atonement which is also on that list; would he have us cook and buy meals in restaurants during the Fast? Leviticus 23 does not over-rule the rest of scripture; it must be taken and put together with all scripture!
Nehemiah enforces the Sabbath
13:19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
13:20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
Then Nehemiah threatened the sellers
We should not threaten physical violence today, but we certainly can warn the brethren to avoid the sin of buying food and drink [or anything else] on the Sabbath and reject such sinners from our assemblies, reminding them that Almighty God will reject them into great correction if they will not sincerely repent.
13:21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
Nehemiah as a leader used force to keep the sellers out of the city on the Sabbath; Jesus Christ will use force to correct the wickedness of Sabbath pollution in the very near future.
13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day.
Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
Once again the issue of mixing paganism with true religion, through knowingly marrying unconverted wives rears its ugly head. This is a great evil for it is uniting good and evil, as one flesh.
In the spiritual sense this is marrying false teachings and false traditions with the Word of God; which perverts and pollutes the very Word of God.
This great sin of allowing wickedness to the assemblies is commonly indulged in the Ekklesia today, most especially the apostate idolatry of claiming an authority for men to bind and loose God’s Word, thus exalting men above God as idols for the brethren.
Brethren, Almighty God is FURIOUS at those who do such appallingly evil things, departing and leading others away from any zeal to live by every Word of God; and exalting men as idols above God’s Word and above God the Father, the King of the universe!
The Almighty in Righteous FURY will cast those who do such wickedness and claim to be the deciders for the brethren, usurping the Word of the Eternal-All Wise – Almighty God, out of his sight and into the furnace of affliction.
13:23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 13:24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.
Some think that I come on strongly; if I do, it is because I am trying to save your lives.
Consider how Christ drove the wicked out from the temple; which was an example for us that he will likewise drive self-justifying sinners out of God’s Spiritual Ekklesia if we do not repent (Revelation 3:15-22).
Do not forget how all those of Israel who sinned in the wilderness were destroyed, and how the Canaanites were destroyed as an example for us; to teach us that if we sin, we shall all likewise perish.
Remember that the whole earth was drowned in water for the wickedness of humanity, and now we dare to think that we can usurp the authority of the Almighty to decide right and wrong for ourselves like Eve and Adam did in the Garden, and we think that we will not be expelled from God’s presence like they were.
Brethren, we are being deceived into thinking of Jesus Christ as a pansy who will not enforce his and God the Father’s Word. Many of our groups just tolerate sin and teach that it is alright to break God’s Word a little; saying that, “Jesus will understand for he loves us.” What absolute nonsense! What spiritual FILTH, polluting God’s spiritual Temple today!
Those who pollute the Temple of God with willful sin will be DESTROYED!
God will not hold the guilty: GUILTLESS. In the resurrection the unrepentant wicked who sin willfully will be excluded from among the mighty men and women of God who have sacrificed and suffered so much throughout history.
1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God [by sinning willfully,or justifying our sins], him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Did not Jesus Christ destroy those who wanted to turn back into Egypt?
This was a repeated issue throughout the period of building the temple and the city as unconverted wives led people into apostasy and a lack of zeal to do the work and then they were removed in a revival; and it was only after they had put away their idolatry that the building of the temple or city progressed.
Consider Nehemiah’s righteous fury at their apostasy
Nehemiah 13:25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things [Solomon married unconverted wives and tolerated even building temples for their idols and finally fell into idolatry himself]? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
13:27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange [unconverted] wives? 13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
God will remember both the righteousness and the wickedness of every person. It is SIN to knowingly marry and become one flesh with an unconverted person; and it is SIN to attempt to mix our own ways with the sound doctrine of Holy Scripture.
13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
Today the Ekklesia, which is called out to become a Royal Priesthood; needs to be cleansed of the false teachings and false traditions of their doctrines of men! We need to thoroughly repent and be cleansed from our sins; the chief of which is the idolatry of exalting men above the Word of God!
13:30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; 13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
It was during the 49 year period from 457 B.C. when the original decree was given to build the city, that the city was built under extremely trying circumstances, being completed as the angel had foretold to Daniel in 49 years in 408 B.C. After which another 62 weeks (434 years) would pass before the revealing of the Christ when he began his ministry in autumn 27 A.D.
Daniel 9:25 says, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [the CITY, not the temple] unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [to build the city], and threescore and two weeks [after the city was built Christ would appear]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
The focus of Nehemiah is on building the walls and city of Jerusalem and restoring true religion; correcting the major sins of Judah.
Consider what the walls and city of Jerusalem represent.
They represent the wall of God’s Word as protection from sin and the death that sin brings.
Just as Nehemiah built the walls of the holy city; we must enthusiastically zealously be about building the walls of God’s Word in ourselves, and defending the holiness of our personal House of God from all spiritual uncleanness and sin!
We must put all sin out of ourselves and fully internalize the whole Word of God!
The greatest sins in the assemblies today: are exalting and idolizing men above the Word of God, mixing truth with error, polluting God’s Sabbath and Holy Days and refusing to repent; in our great pride believing that everything we do is right.