Nehemiah 10:31
When the people of the land bring merchandise or any kind of grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we will not buy from them on a Sabbath or holy day. Every seventh year we will let the fields lie fallow, and will cancel every debt.
The Profit of Sabbath-KeepingJ. Reid Howatt.Nehemiah 10:31
The Sabbath BeneficialNehemiah 10:31
Entering into CovenantW. Clarkson Nehemiah 10:1-37
A National CovenantThe ThinkerNehemiah 10:1-39
Covenant ComfortThe ThinkerNehemiah 10:1-39
Covenanting with GodW. Ritchie.Nehemiah 10:1-39
Solemn Engagement to Maintain the House of GodR.A. Redford Nehemiah 10:1-39

I. ALL SHOULD PLEDGE THEMSELVES "not to forsake the house of our God." Those who are first in position, influence, capability should be leaders in caring, for God's house. Distinction of rank is lost in the unity of dedication. The service of God will call to itself all the variety of human faculty. Where there is the heart "to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God," there will be found an office or a post for each one, from the nobles to the children.


1. We should be ready to give our name and take upon us the vow of a public profession. The Jew placed himself under the oath and curse. We are in a dispensation of liberty, but our liberty is not license. The bond of love is the strongest of all bonds. We are made free by the Son of God; but our freedom is the surrender of our all to him, that we may take his yoke upon us, and bear his burden.

2. We shall separate ourselves from the world that we may be faithful to God. We cannot serve God and mammon. We must be free from entanglements, that we may be good soldiers of Jesus Christ, enduring hardness.

3. Our consecration to God will include the consecration of our substance. With ungrudging liberality we shall fill the "treasure house of our God," that there may be no lack in his service, that every department of Divine worship may be praise to his name. While the proportion of contributions was a matter of written prescription under the law, for the guidance of the people in their lower stage of enlightenment, let us take care that with our higher privilege, and our larger knowledge, and our more spiritual principles, we do not fall below their standard. Our hearts should not require any formal rule; but it is well to systematise our giving for our own sake, for human nature requires every possible assistance, and habit holds up principle and fortifies feeling. The effect of a universal recognition of duty in giving to God's house would be immeasurable. Any true revival of religion will certainly be known by this test. The larger hearts will secure a larger blessing in the future. - R.

And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to all
John Brand was an old Cornish fisherman. The fishing had not been good for some days, the water had been wild and stormy; but at length, on the Sunday, the weather became fine, and the other fishermen said, "We would keep Sunday — but — we have had so few fish lately; and we are sorry to go out to-day — but — the weather is so good. It is a pity; we would not go if we were not so poor." "What!" said honest John, "are you going to break God's laws with your ifs and buts? Better be poor than be wicked. My religion is not the kind that shifts with the wind. 'Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy' — that is enough for me." So he persuaded them, and they took his advice, and spent the day in worshipping God. And it was well they did so; for that night, just when the boats would have been coming back, a terrible storm suddenly burst over the deep, and lasted two days. Any boat out in that weather would certainly have been wrecked. But two days after the beautiful weather returned, and more fish were taken then than had been caught for weeks before. No; no one ever yet lost by obeying God. Be you like John Brand; be thorough, honest, and God-fearing in and out; do not have a religion like a weathercock that shifts with the wind, or one that can be broken with An "if" or a "but."

(J. Reid Howatt.)

In a prize essay on the Sabbath written by a journeyman printer in Scotland, there appears the following striking passage: "Yoke-fellows, think how the abstraction of the Sabbath would hopelessly enslave the working-classes with whom we are identified. Think of the labour thus going on in one monotonous, and continuous, and eternal cycle — limbs for ever on the rack, the fingers for ever plying, the eyeballs for ever straining, the brow for ever sweating, the feet for ever plodding, the brain for ever throbbing, the shoulders for ever drooping, the loins for ever aching, and the restless mind for ever scheming! Think of the beauty it would efface, of the merry-heartedness it would extinguish, of the giant strength it would tame, of the resources of nature it would exhaust, of the aspirations it would crush, of the sickness it would breed, of the projects it would wreck, of the groans it would extort, of the lives it would immolate, of the cheerless graves it would prematurely dig! See them toiling and moiling, sweating and fretting, grinding and hewing, weaving and spinning, sowing and gathering, mowing and reaping, raising mad building, digging mad planting, unloading and storing, striving and struggling — in the garden and in the field, in the granary and in the barn, in the factory and in the mill, in the warehouse and in the shop, on the mountain and in the ditch, on the roadside and in the wood, in the city and in the country, on the sea and on the shore, on the earth in days of brightness and of gloom. What a sad picture would the world present if we had no Sabbath!"

Aaron, Abijah, Adin, Adonijah, Ahiah, Ahijah, Amariah, Anaiah, Anan, Anathoth, Ater, Azaniah, Azariah, Azgad, Azzur, Baanah, Bani, Baruch, Bebai, Beninu, Bezai, Bigvai, Bilgai, Binnui, Bunni, Daniel, Elam, Ginnethon, Hachaliah, Hallohesh, Hanan, Hananiah, Harim, Hariph, Hashabiah, Hashabnah, Hashub, Hashum, Hasshub, Hattush, Henadad, Hezekiah, Hezir, Hizkijah, Hodiah, Hodijah, Hoshea, Jaddua, Jeremiah, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Kelita, Levi, Levites, Maaseiah, Maaziah, Magpiash, Malchijah, Malluch, Meremoth, Meshezabeel, Meshullam, Micha, Mijamin, Nebai, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Pahathmoab, Parosh, Pashur, Pelaiah, Pelatiah, Pileha, Rehob, Rehum, Seraiah, Shebaniah, Shemaiah, Sherebiah, Shobek, Zaccur, Zadok, Zatthu, Zattu, Zedekiah, Zidkijah
Gate of Ephraim
Bring, Buy, Cancel, Debts, Forego, Forgo, Grain, Holy, Merchandise, Peoples, Sabbath, Sell, Seventh, Wares, Working
1. The names of those who sealed the covenant.
29. The points of the covenant.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Nehemiah 10:31

     1653   numbers, 6-10
     4978   year
     5242   buying and selling
     5274   credit
     5289   debt
     5587   trade
     7429   Sabbath, in OT
     7431   sabbatical year
     8242   ethics, personal
     8452   neighbours, duty to
     8472   respect, for environment

Nehemiah 10:31-32

     8243   ethics, social

The "Fraternity" of Pharisees
To realise the state of religious society at the time of our Lord, the fact that the Pharisees were a regular "order," and that there were many such "fraternities," in great measure the outcome of the original Pharisees, must always be kept in view. For the New Testament simply transports us among contemporary scenes and actors, taking the then existent state of things, so to speak, for granted. But the fact referred to explains many seemingly strange circumstances, and casts fresh light upon all.
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Formation of the Old Testament Canon
[Sidenote: Israel's literature at the beginning of the fourth century before Christ] Could we have studied the scriptures of the Israelitish race about 400 B.C., we should have classified them under four great divisions: (1) The prophetic writings, represented by the combined early Judean, Ephraimite, and late prophetic or Deuteronomic narratives, and their continuation in Samuel and Kings, together with the earlier and exilic prophecies; (2) the legal, represented by the majority of the Old Testament
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
[Sidenote: Influences in the exile that produced written ceremonial laws] The Babylonian exile gave a great opportunity and incentive to the further development of written law. While the temple stood, the ceremonial rites and customs received constant illustration, and were transmitted directly from father to son in the priestly families. Hence, there was little need of writing them down. But when most of the priests were carried captive to Babylonia, as in 597 B.C., and ten years later the temple
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Second Commandment
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am o jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of then that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.' Exod 20: 4-6. I. Thou shalt not
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Some of the most complicated problems in Hebrew history as well as in the literary criticism of the Old Testament gather about the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Apart from these books, all that we know of the origin and early history of Judaism is inferential. They are our only historical sources for that period; and if in them we have, as we seem to have, authentic memoirs, fragmentary though they be, written by the two men who, more than any other, gave permanent shape and direction to Judaism, then
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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