The following commentary covers Chapters 12 and 13.
dedication of the walls; unfaithfulness and recovery;
order and cleansing re-established
We have already seen that
gladness was the portion of the people; a joy which
acknowledged God, for God had preserved the people and
had blessed them. But the princes of the people had
immediately relapsed into unfaithfulness; and during
Nehemiah's absence the chambers of the temple, in which
the offerings had been formerly kept, were given up to
Tobiah, that subtle and persevering enemy of God's
people. But at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem
the joy of the people and the faithfulness of Nehemiah
brought them back to the written word, and Israel
separated themselves again from the mixed multitude.
Tobiah's stuff is cast out of the chamber prepared for
him in the temple. The observance of the Sabbath is again
enforced. Those who had married strange wives, and whose
children spake partly the language of strangers and
partly that of the Jews, are put under the curse and
sharply rebuked and chastised. The order and the
cleansing, according to the law, are re-established, and
this leading thought of the book, as to the people's
condition, closes the narrative.
That which we have said
will give an idea of the great principle of this book.
I will add a few more
remarks in this place.