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Nehemiah 13:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God for ever,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— On that day they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and there was found written in it that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— On that day, a portion, was read in the book of Moses, in the ears of the people,—and it was found written therein, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not enter into the convocation of God, unto times age-abiding;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— On that day there was read in the book of Moses, in the ears of the people, and it hath been found written in it that an Ammonite and Moabite doth not come into the assembly of God—unto the age,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And on that day they read in the book of Moses in the hearing of the people: and therein was found written, that the Ammonites and the Moabites should not come in to the church of God for ever:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— On that day they read in the booke 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 euer,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— In that day they read in the book of Mosheh{gr.Moses} in the ears of the people; and it was found written in it, that the Ammonites and Moabites should not enter into the congregation of God for ever;
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— On that day they read in the book of Mosheh in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammoni and the Moavi should not come into the congregation of Elohim for ever;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
On that x1931
(1931) Complement
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
day 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
they read 7121
{7121} Prime
A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications).
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
in the book 5612
{5612} Prime
From H5608; properly writing (the art or a document); by implication a book.
of M מֹשֶׁה 4872
{4872} Prime
From H4871; drawing out (of the water), that is, rescued; Mosheh, the Israelitish lawgiver.
in the audience 241
{0241} Prime
From H0238; broadness, that is, (concretely) the ear (from its form in man).
of the people; 5971
{5971} Prime
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
and therein was found 4672
{4672} Prime
A primitive root; properly to come forth to, that is, appear or exist; transitively to attain, that is, find or acquire; figuratively to occur, meet or be present.
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
written, 3789
{3789} Prime
A primitive root; to grave; by implication to write (describe, inscribe, prescribe, subscribe).
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
that x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
the `Ammn עַמּוֹנִי 5984
{5984} Prime
Patronymic from H5983; an Ammonite or (adjectively) Ammonitish.
and the Mv מוֹאָבִי 4125
{4125} Prime
Patronymic from H4124; a Moabite or Moabitess, that is, a descendant from Moab.
should not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
come 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
into the congregation 6951
{6951} Prime
From H6950; assemblage (usually concretely).
of lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
for y5704
[5704] Standard
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
ever; 5769
{5769} Prime
From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always.
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Nehemiah 13:1

_ _ Nehemiah 13:1-9. Upon the reading of the Law separation is made from the mixed multitude.

_ _ On that day — This was not immediately consequent on the dedication of the city wall and gates, but after Nehemiah’s return from the Persian court to Jerusalem, his absence having extended over a considerable period. The transaction here described probably took place on one of the periodical occasions for the public readings of the law, when the people’s attention was particularly directed to some violations of it which called for immediate correction. There is another instance afforded, in addition to those which have already fallen under our notice, of the great advantages resulting from the public and periodical reading of the divine law. It was an established provision for the religious instruction of the people, for diffusing a knowledge and a reverence for the sacred volume, as well as for removing those errors and corruptions which might, in the course of time, have crept in.

_ _ the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever — that is, not be incorporated into the Israelitish kingdom, nor united in marriage relations with that people (Deuteronomy 23:3, Deuteronomy 23:4). This appeal to the authority of the divine law led to a dissolution of all heathen alliances (Nehemiah 9:2; Ezra 10:3).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 13:1-9

_ _ It was the honour of Israel, and the greatest preservation of their holiness, that they were a peculiar people, and were so to keep themselves, and not to mingle with the nations, nor suffer any of them to incorporate with them. Now here we have,

_ _ I. The law to this purport, which happened to be read on that day, in the audience of the people (Nehemiah 13:1), on the day of the dedication of the wall, as it should seem, for with their prayers and praises they joined the reading of the word; and though it was long after that the other grievances, here mentioned, were redressed by Nehemiah's power, yet this of the mixed multitude might be redressed then by the people's own act, for so it seems to be, Nehemiah 13:3. Or, perhaps, it was on the anniversary commemoration of that day, some years after, and therefore said to be on that day. They found a law, that the Ammonites and Moabites should not be naturalized, should not settle among them, nor unite with them, Nehemiah 13:1. The reason given is because they had been injurious and ill-natured to the Israel of God (Nehemiah 13:2), had not shown them common civility, but sought their ruin, though they not only did them no harm, but were expressly forbidden to do them any. This law we have, with this reason, Deuteronomy 23:3-5.

_ _ II. The people's ready compliance with this law, Nehemiah 13:3. See the benefit of the public reading of the word of God; when it is duly attended to it discovers to us sin and duty, good and evil, and shows us wherein we have erred. Then we profit by the discovery when by it we are wrought upon to separate ourselves from all that evil to which we had addicted ourselves. They separated from Israel all the mixed multitude, which had of old been a snare to them, for the mixed multitude fell a lusting, Numbers 11:4. These inmates they expelled, as usurpers and dangerous.

_ _ III. The particular case of Tobiah, who was an Ammonite, and to whom, it is likely, the historian had an eye in the recital of the law (Nehemiah 13:1), and the reason of it, Nehemiah 13:2. For he had the same enmity to Israel that his ancestors had, the spirit of an Ammonite, witness his indignation at Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:10) and the opposition he had given to his undertakings, Nehemiah 4:7, Nehemiah 4:8. Observe,

_ _ 1. How basely Eliashib the chief priest took this Tobiah in to be a lodger even in the courts of the temple. (1.) He was allied to Tobiah (Nehemiah 13:4), by marriage first and then by friendship. His grandson had married Sanballat's daughter, Nehemiah 13:28. Probably some other of his family had married Tobiah's, and (would you think it?) the high priest thought the alliance an honour to his family, and was very proud of it, though really it was his greatest disgrace, and what he had reason to be ashamed of. It was expressly provided by the law that the high priest should marry one of his own people, else he profanes his seed among his people, Leviticus 21:14, Leviticus 21:15. And for Eliashib to contract an alliance with an Ammonite, a servant (for so he is called) and to value himself upon it, probably because he has a wit and a beau, and cried up for a fine gentleman (Nehemiah 6:19), was such a contempt of the crown of his consecration as one would not wish should be told in Gath or published in the streets of Ashkelon. (2.) Being allied to him, he must be acquainted with him. Tobiah, being a man of business, has often occasion to be at Jerusalem, I doubt upon no good design. Eliashib is fond of his new kinsman, pleased with his company, and must have him as near him as he can. He has not a room for him stately enough in his own apartment, in the courts of the temple; therefore, out of several little chambers which had been used for store-chambers, by taking down the partitions, he contrived to make one great chamber, a state-room for Tobiah, Nehemiah 13:5. A wretched thing it was, [1.] That Tobiah the Ammonite should be entertained with respect in Israel, and have a magnificent reception. [2.] That the high priest, who should have taught the people the law and set them a good example, should, contrary to the law, give him entertainment, and make use of the power he had, as overseer of the chambers of the temple, for that purpose. [3.] That he should lodge him in the courts of God's house, as if to confront God himself; this was next to setting up an idol there, as the wicked kings of old had done. An Ammonite must not come into the congregation; and shall one of the worst and vilest of the Ammonites be courted into the temple itself, and caressed there? [4.] That he should throw out the stores of the temple, to make room for him, and so expose them to be lost, wasted, and embezzled, though they were the portions of the priests, merely to gratify Tobiah. Thus did he corrupt the covenant of Levi, as Malachi complained at this time, Malachi 2:8. Well might Nehemiah add (Nehemiah 13:6), But all this time was not I at Jerusalem. If he had been there, the high priest durst not have done such a thing. The envious one, who sows tares in God's field, knows how to take an opportunity to do it when the servants sleep or are absent, Matthew 13:25. The golden calf was made when Moses was in the mount.

_ _ 2. How bravely Nehemiah, the chief governor, threw him out, and all that belonged to him, and restored the chambers to their proper use. When he came to Jerusalem, and was informed by the good people who were troubled at it what an intimacy had grown between their chief priest and their chief enemy, it grieve him sorely (Nehemiah 13:7, Nehemiah 13:8) that God's house should be so profaned, his enemies so caressed and trusted, and his cause betrayed by him that should have been its protector and patron. Nothing grieves a good man, a good magistrate, more than to see the ministers of God's house do any wicked thing. Nehemiah has power and he will use it for God. (1.) Tobiah shall be expelled. He fears not disobliging him, fears not his resentments, or Eliashib's, nor excuses himself from interposing in an affair that lay within the jurisdiction of the high priest; but, like one zealously affected in a good thing, he expels the intruder, by casting forth all his household stuff. He did not seize it for his own use, but cast it out, that Tobiah, who it is probable was now absent, when he came again, might have no conveniences for his reception there. Our Saviour thus cleansed the temple, that the house of prayer might not be a den of thieves. And thus those that would expel sin out of their hearts, those living temples, must throw out its household stuff and all the provision made for it, strip it, starve it, and take away all those things that are the food and fuel of lust; this is, in effect, to mortify it. (2.) The temple stores shall be brought in again, and the vessels of the house of God put in their places; but the chambers must first be sprinkled with the water of purification, and so cleansed, because they had been profaned. Thus, when sin is cast out of the heart by repentance, let the blood of Christ be applied to it by faith, and then let it be furnished with the graces of God's Spirit for every good work.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Nehemiah 13:1

That day — Not presently after the dedication of the wall and city, but upon a certain day, when Nehemiah was returned from the Persian court to Jerusalem, from which he had been absent for some considerable time, in which some errors and abuses had crept in. Not come — Not be incorporated into the common — wealth of Israel, nor be joined with any Israelite in marriage.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
that day:
Some suppose that the events recorded in these verses took place several years after those related in the preceding chapter, while Nehemiah was absent at the Persian court; but the introductory language, on that day, seems rather to imply that they occurred immediately, or at least about that time.

they read:
Heb. there was read,
Nehemiah 8:3-8 And he read therein before the street that [was] before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people [were attentive] unto the book of the law. ... So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.
Nehemiah 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.
Deuteronomy 31:11-12 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. ... Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
2 Kings 23:2 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
Luke 4:16-19 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. ... To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Acts 13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, [Ye] men [and] brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Heb. ears

the Ammonite:

Nehemiah 13:23 In those days also saw I Jews [that] had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, [and] of Moab:
Deuteronomy 23:3-5 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: ... Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
Isaiah 15:1-16:14 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence; ... But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant [shall be] very small [and] feeble.
Jeremiah 48:1-47 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded [and] taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. ... Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far [is] the judgment of Moab.
Ezekiel 25:1-11 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, ... And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.
Amos 2:1-3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: ... And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.


Nehemiah 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
Nehemiah 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite [was] by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
Psalms 83:7-9 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; ... Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as [to] Sisera, as [to] Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
Jeremiah 49:1-6 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why [then] doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities? ... And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.
Amos 1:13-15 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border: ... And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
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Dt 23:3; 31:11. 2K 23:2. Ne 2:10, 19; 4:3; 8:3; 9:3; 13:23. Ps 83:7. Is 15:1; 34:16. Jr 48:1; 49:1. Ezk 25:1. Am 1:13; 2:1. Lk 4:16; 10:26. Ac 13:15; 15:21.

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