Dave Burnette's Commentary

Nehemiah Chapter 10

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Nehemiah
Date Penned: (445-432 BC)
Overview:  The Return of the 3rd Group of Jewish Exiles (c 1-13)
Theme: Reforming the People (c 8-13)
Message: The People Agree to Obey (1-39)

Nehemiah 10 Commentary 

(10:1-39) A Completion - The wall was completed, and the covenant (agreement) God had made with his people in the days of Moses was restored (Deuteronomy 8). Israel's covenant with God has principles that are important for each of us today. Your relationship with God must go far beyond church attendance and regular devotions. It should affect your other relationships (Nehemiah 10:30), how you use your time (10:31), and what you do with your material resources (10:32-39). When you choose to follow God, you are promising to serve him in these ways. The Israelites had fallen away from their original commitment. We must keep our promise to God at all times--times of adversity and times of prosperity.

(10:30) A Witness for the Lord - If God's chosen people were going to witness for him in a pagan world, they needed united, God-fearing families. They also needed to avoid any enticements to worship the idols of the people who lived around them. This was why God prohibited marriage between Israelites and the pagan inhabitants of the land (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). But Israelites and pagans often intermarried anyway, and the results were disastrous for the families and for the nation. Time after time, marrying foreigners led God's people into idolatry (a Kings 1131-11). Whenever the nation turned its back on God, it also lost its prosperity and influence for good.

(10:31) Honoring God - The promise to forgo trade inside the city on the Sabbath was an application of the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The people recognized that the lure of money would conflict with the need for a day of rest, keeping the Sabbath holy. By deciding to honor God first, the Israelites would be refusing to make money their god. Our culture often makes us choose between convenience and profit on the one hand and putting God first on the other. Look at your work and worship habits: Is God really first in your life?

(10:31) Keeping the Covenant - Canceling all debts every seventh year was a part of the law (see Exodus 23:10-11 and Deuteronomy 15:1-2). The people were promising to obey God's law and keep the covenant.

(10:32) Supporting God's Work - The temple had been rebuilt under Ezra's leadership about 70 years earlier (Ezra 6:14-15), so the temple tax, offerings, and feasts had been restored.

(10:35) Giving God Our Firsts - This practice was instituted at the time of the exodus from Egypt (see the note on Exodus 13:12-14). The people needed to relearn the importance of dedicating the firstfruits of their yield to God. Nehemiah was simply reinstating this practice from the early days of the nation (Exodus 13:1-2; Numbers 3:40-51). Although this principle was not carried over explicitly to New Testament times, the concept of giving God the first portion of our time, treasure, and talent still remains. Do you give God your first and best, or merely what is left over?

(10:37-39) A Tithe - According to God's law, the people were to give a tenth of their produce to the temple for the support of the Levites (those who cared for the temple and the religious observances). A tenth of what the Levites received or produced went to the priests for their support. The principle at work was to ensure the support of the house of God and his workers. We must not overlook our responsibility to God's workers today.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Tithe

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Nehemiah with Chapter 10 and we see the people agree to obey as they reestablish the tithe, bringing it to the House of God, so that there might be meat in the house to Minister to those in need. In making application we see the tithe as an act of worship for the believer. The tithe belongs to the Lord and the tithe is to be used to minister or serve others for restoration. Today some have lost the Biblical application of the tithe, both in giving and in the Church application of using the funds to Minister. The proper view is the tithe belongs to the Lord and is to be used to serve others, providing staff to serve, a building to worship, and to restore those who are in need. Not so much a hand out but a helping hand to get others to provide for their need. Meeting both spiritual needs as well as the financial needs of the congregation while reaching out to the world with the Gospel. How about you? Do you tithe to your local Church? If so, does your Church follow Biblical Guidelines in the use of these funds? Let us learn from our text today and the direction of Ezra in tithing in the House of God and using the funds for Biblical application in Ministry


Nehemiah 10

Nehemiah 10

 1Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,

 2Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

 3Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah,

 4Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

 5Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

 6Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

 7Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

 8Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.

 9And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;

 10And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

 11Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,

 12Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

 13Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.

 14The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,

 15Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

 16Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

 17Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,

 18Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,

 19Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

 20Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

 21Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,

 22Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

 23Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,

 24Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek,

 25Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

 26And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,

 27Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

 28And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

 29They 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;

 30And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, not take their daughters for our sons:

 31And 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.

 32Also 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;

 33For 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.

 34And 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:

 35And 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:

 36Also 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:

 37And 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.

 38And 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.

 39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, 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.