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Nehemiah 13:10 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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 his field.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given [them], so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to his own field.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given [them]: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, had fled every one to his field.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given, and that the Levites and the singers that did the work had fled every one to his field.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then came I to know, that, the portions of the Levites, had not been given [them],—so that the Levites and the singers, who had been doing the work, had fled every one to his field.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I know that the portions of the Levites have not been given, and they flee each to his field—the Levites and the singers, doing the work.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: and that the Levites, and the singing men, and they that ministered were fled away every man to his own country:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And I perceiued that the portions of the Leuites had not beene giuen [them]: for the Leuites and the singers that did the worke, were fled euery one to his field.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I understood that the portion of the Levites had not been given: and they had fled every one to his field, the Levites and the singers doing the work.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And I perceived that the portions of the Lewiyyim had not been given [them]: for the Lewiyyim and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And I perceived 3045
{3045} Prime
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
that x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
the portions 4521
{4521} Prime
From H4487; an allotment (by courtesy, law or providence).
of the Lĉwiyyim לְוִיִּם 3881
{3881} Prime
Patronymic from H3878; a Leviite or descendant of Levi.
had not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
been given 5414
{5414} Prime
A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.).
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
[them]: for the Lĉwiyyim לְוִיִּם 3881
{3881} Prime
Patronymic from H3878; a Leviite or descendant of Levi.
and the singers, 7891
{7891} Prime
The second form being the original form, used in (1 Samuel 18:6); a primitive root (rather identical with H7788 through the idea of strolling minstrelsy); to sing.
<8789> Grammar
Stem - Polel (See H8847)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 51
that did 6213
{6213} Prime
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
the work, 4399
{4399} Prime
From the same as H4397; properly deputyship, that is, ministry; generally employment (never servile) or work (abstractly or concretely); also property (as the result of labor).
were fled 1272
{1272} Prime
A primitive root; to bolt, that is, figuratively to flee suddenly.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
every one 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
to his field. 7704
{7704} Prime
From an unused root meaning to spread out; a field (as flat).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Nehemiah 13:10-13

_ _ Nehemiah 13:10-14. Nehemiah reforms the officers in the House of God.

_ _ And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them — The people, disgusted with the malversations of Eliashib, or the lax and irregular performance of the sacred rites, withheld the tithes, so that the ministers of religion were compelled for their livelihood to withdraw to their patrimonial possessions in the country. The temple services had ceased; all religious duties had fallen into neglect. The money put into the sacred treasury had been squandered in the entertainment of an Ammonite heathen, an open and contemptuous enemy of God and His people. The return of the governor put an end to these disgraceful and profane proceedings. He administered a sharp rebuke to those priests to whom the management of the temple and its services was committed, for the total neglect of their duties, and the violation of the solemn promises which they had made to him at his departure. He upbraided them with the serious charge of having not only withheld from men their dues, but of having robbed God, by neglecting the care of His house and service. And thus having roused them to a sense of duty and incited them to testify their godly sorrow for their criminal negligence by renewed devotedness to their sacred work, Nehemiah restored the temple services. He recalled the dispersed Levites to the regular discharge of their duties; while the people at large, perceiving that their contributions would be no longer perverted to improper uses, willingly brought in their tithes as formerly. Men of integrity and good report were appointed to act as trustees of the sacred treasures, and thus order, regularity, and active service were re-established in the temple.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 13:10-14

_ _ Here is another grievance redressed by Nehemiah.

_ _ I. The Levites had been wronged. This was the grievance: their portions had not been given them, Nehemiah 13:10. Perhaps Tobiah, when he took possession of the store-chambers, seized the stores too, and, by the connivance of Eliashib, converted them to his own use. The complaint is not that they were not collected from the people, but that they were not given to the Levites, and the Levites were so modest as not to sue for them; for the Levites and singers fled every one to his field. This comes in as a reason either, (1.) Why their payments were withheld. The Levites were non-residents: when they should have been doing their work about the temple, they were at their farms in the country; and therefore the people were little inclined to give them their maintenance. If ministers have not the encouragement they should have, let them consider whether they themselves be not accessory to the contempt they are under, by the neglect of their business. Or rather, (2.) It is the reason why Nehemiah soon perceived that their dues had been denied them, because he missed them from their posts. “Where are the singers” (said Nehemiah); “why do not they attend according to their office, to praise God?” “Why, truly, they have gone every one to his country seat, to get a livelihood for themselves and their families out of their grounds; for their profession would not maintain them.” A scandalous maintenance makes a scandalous ministry. The work is neglected because the workmen are. It was not long since the payment of the salaries appointed for the singers was put into a very good method (Nehemiah 12:47); and yet how soon did it fail for want of being looked after!

_ _ II. Nehemiah laid the fault upon the rulers, who should have taken care that the Levites minded their business and had all due encouragement therein. This is required from Christian magistrates, that they use their power to oblige ministers to do their duty, and people to do theirs. Nehemiah began with the rulers, and called them to an account: “Why is the house of God forsaken? Nehemiah 13:11. Why are the Levites starved out of it? Why did not you take notice of this and prevent it?” The people forsook the Levites, which was expressly forbidden (Deuteronomy 12:19; Deuteronomy 14:27); and then the Levites forsook their post in the house of God. Both ministers and people who forsake religion and the services of it, and magistrates too who do not what they can to keep them to it, will have a great deal to answer for.

_ _ III. He delayed not to bring the dispersed Levites to their places again, and set them in their stations (as the word is), Nehemiah 13:11. A Levite in his field (clericus in foroa minister keeping the market) is out of his station. God's house is his place, and there let him be found. Many that are careless would do much better than they do if they were but called upon. Say to Archippus, Take heed to thy ministry.

_ _ IV. He obliged the people to bring in their tithes, Nehemiah 13:12. His zeal provoked theirs; and, when they saw the Levites at their work, they could not for shame withhold their wages any longer, but honestly and cheerfully brought them in. The better church-work is done the better will church-dues be paid.

_ _ V. He provided that just and prompt payment should be made of the Levites' stipends. Commissioners were appointed to see to this (Nehemiah 13:13), and they were such as were accounted faithful, that is, had approved themselves so in other trusts committed to them, and so had purchased to themselves this good degree, 1 Timothy 3:13. Let men be tried first and then trusted, tried in the less and then trusted with more. Their office was to receive and pay, to distribute to their brethren in due season and due proportions.

_ _ VI. Having no recompence (it is a question whether he had thanks) from those for whom he did these good services, he looks up to God as his paymaster (Nehemiah 13:14): Remember me, O my God! concerning this. Nehemiah was a man much in pious ejaculations; on every occasion he looked up to God, and committed himself and his affairs to him. 1. He here reflects with comfort and much satisfaction upon what he had done for the house of God and the offices thereof; it pleased him to think that he had been any way instrumental to revive and support religion in his country and to reform what was amiss. What kindness any show to God's ministers, thus shall it be returned into their own bosoms, in the secret joy they shall have there, not only in having done well, but in having done good, good to many, good to souls. 2. He here refers it to God to consider him for it, not in pride, or as boasting of what he had done, much less depending upon it as his righteousness, or as if he thought he had made God a debtor to him, but in a humble appeal to him concerning his integrity and honest intention in what he had done, and a believing expectation that he would not be unrighteous to forget his work and labour of love, Hebrews 6:10. Observe how modest he is in his requests. He only prays, Remember me, not Reward meWipe not out my good deeds, not Publish them, Record them. Yet he was rewarded and his good deeds were recorded; for God does more than we are able to ask. Note, Deeds done for the house of God and the offices of it, for the support of religion and the encouragement of it, are good deeds. There is both righteousness and godliness in them, and God will certainly remember them, and not wipe them out; they shall in no wise lose their reward.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Nehemiah 13:10

Not given — Which might be either, from this corrupt high — priest Eliashib, who took their portions, as he did the sacred chambers, to his own use, or employed them for the entertainment of Tobiah, and his other great allies. Or, from the people, who either out of covetousness reserved them to themselves, contrary to their own solemn agreement, or were so offended at Eliashib's horrid abuse of sacred things, that they abhorred the offering and service of God, and therefore neglected to bring in their tithes, which they knew would be perverted to bad uses. Fled — To his possession in the country, being forced to do so for a livelihood.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the portions:

Nehemiah 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.
Nehemiah 12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, 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.
Malachi 1:6-14 A son honoureth [his] father, and a servant his master: if then I [be] a father, where [is] mine honour? and if I [be] a master, where [is] my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? ... But cursed [be] the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I [am] a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name [is] dreadful among the heathen.
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. ... For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward.

to his field:

Numbers 35:2 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give [also] unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.
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Nu 35:2. Ne 10:37; 12:47. Mal 1:6; 3:8. 1Ti 5:17.

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