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A. Nehemiah the Jew, who was a Cup-bearer to Artaxerxes the King of Perfia, Nehem. i. 11. 20 Q. How was Nehemiah engaged herein ? A. When he heard of the Continuance of the Defolations made by the Enemies, he fasted and prayed to God, and then he obtained Leave of Artaxerxes the King to go up to Jerufalem, and rebuild the City of the Sepulchres of his Fathers, Nehem. ii. 1-7.
21 Q. What further Encouragement did Nehemiah receive from the King?
A. He received Order for the Governors of the Provinces to affift him, and to give Timber out of the King's Foreft, ver. 7, 8.
22 Q. How did Nehemiah begin his Work?
A. He rode round the City by Night, and took a private Survey of the Ruins thereof, and appointed a particular Part of the Walls and Gates to be repaired by particular Perfons and their Compa nies, Nehem. chap. ii. and iii.
23 Q. What Oppofition did the Jews meet with in this Part of their Work?
A.Sanballat the Samaritan, and Tobiah the Ammonite, and their Accomplices, at first laughed the Jews to Scorn, and then confpired to fight against them while they were at work, Nehem. iv. 1-7.
24 Q. How did Nehemiah prevent the Mischief they defigned?
A. He encouraged the Jews to trust in their God, and appointed every Man that laboured in the Work to have a Weapon ready to defend himfelf, ver. 13-23.
25 Q. What Reformation did Nehemiah work among them?
A. He reproved those that took Ufury, and op preffed their Brethren; and he fet himself for an Example, who though he was Governor twelve
Years, took no Salary, but maintained himself and one hundred and fifty Jews at his own Charge, Nehem. v. 7-19.
26 Q. In what Manner did they worship God when the City was built?
A. On the first Day of the feventh Month all the People were gathered together in one Street, and Ezra the Prieft and Scribe read in the Book of the Law, and gave the Sense of the Words, that they might fee their past Sins and Errors, and might be inftructed to yield a more regular and exact Obedience for Time to come; and this being done, he bleffed the great God, and all the People an fwered, Amen, Amen, Nehem. viii. 1-8. Note, It is a Remark of Dr Prideaux, that though Ezra's Authority and Government expired before this Time, yet he went on, as a fkilful Scribe of the Law of God, to preach Righteousness, to perfect the Reformation, to gather the feveral Parts of Scripture together, to fet forth correct Copies of them, and to bring all Things in Church and State to the Rules thereof:-And this he did by the Affiftance of the next Governor, Nehemiah, doing the fame Things by his Authority, which before he did by his own,
27 Q. How did they keep the Feast of Tabernacles?
A. By dwelling in Booths made of Branches of Trees feven Days together, as God had commanded by Mofes, and they read in the Book of the, Law every Day of the feven, and explan ed it, ver. 13-18.
28 Q. How did they keep a Faft on the twentyfourth Day of the feventh Month?
A. One fourth Part of the Day they confeffed their Sins, and another fourth Part they read in the Book of the Law, and then they entered into a Covenant with an Oath to be the Lord's People, and
the Princes and the Priests and the Levites fealed it, Nehem. chap. ix, and x. I, 2.
29 Q. How were the People difpofed of in their Habitations?
A. The Rulers dwelt at Jerufalem, the reft of the Priefts and People caft Lots to bring one in ten to dwell at Jerufalem, and nine Parts in the other Cities, that the Land might be peopled, Neh. xi.
30 Q. How was the Wall of Jerufalem the holy City dedicated?
A. The Levites came from all Places to Jerufa lem, and joined with the Priefts and the Rulers in two large Companies, and gave Thanks, and offered Sacrifices, and fung the Praifes of God, fo that the Joy of Jerufalem was heard afar off, Nehem. xiii. 27-43.
31Q What further Reformation did Nehemiah. bring in among the People?
4. He turned Tobiah the Ammonite out of his Lodging in the Temple, which Eliashib the High Prieft had prepared for him; he established the Portion of the Fruits of the Earth which belonged to the Levites; he forbid the Profanation of the Sabbath, by buying and felling, and bearing Burdens; and punished the Jews who married Arange Wives, Nehem. xiii. 4—29.
32 Q. What remarkable Inftance did Nehemiah give of his Zeal in punishing those who married Strangers?
A. He drove away one of the Sons of Joiada, the Son of Eliafhib the High Prieft, for marrying the Daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, who had hindered the Jews fo much in their building fe veral Years before, ver. 28.
Note, This young Man's Name was Manasseh, as Jofephus informs us.
33 Q. Had Nehemiah no Prophet to affift him in this difficult Work?
A. It is fuppofed that Malachi, the last of the Prophets, prophefied about this Time, for he doth not reprove them for Neglect of Building, as Haggai did, Hag i. 4, 9. nor does he speak of the Finishing of the Temple, as Zechariah did, chap. iv. 7, 9. But fuppofing that already done, he reproved them about their Marriage of Strangers, and of feveral Wives, or of taking Concubines, Mal. ii. 11, 14, 16. and their robbing God of their Tithes, chap. iii, &c. and their polluting the Altar, and Neglect of offering God the Beft, ch. i. which were the very Things which Nehemiah corrected in his laft Reformation.
Thus far the HOLY SCRIPTURE has delivered down to us the Hiftory of the Tranfactions of God with Men, and particularly with his own People, the Nation of Ifrael, in a long and continued Succeffion of Events, from the Greation of the World to the Return of the Jews from the Captivity of Babylon, and the fettling of the Church and State under Nehemiah, whom the King of Perfia made Governor over the Land.
There are feveral other historical Matters related in
Scripture which belong to particular Perfons; the most confiderable of them are the Hiftories of Job and Jonah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Esther.
The HISTORY of JOB.
7HQ was Job?
4. A moft religious Man in the Land
of Uz, who had ten Children, and very great Riches, Job i. 1—3.
2 Q. In what Age of the World is Job supposed to have lived?
A. In, or before the Days of Mofes, because there is not the leaft Intimation of any Tranfactions of God with Ifrael in the whole Book of Job.
3Q. What particular Act of Piety is related concerning him in his profperous State?
A. When his Children had been feafting each other in their Turns, Job offered Sacrifices for them, left they should have finned, and provoked God in the Seasons of their Mirth, ver. 4, 5.
4Q. What were the Afflictions that fell upon Job? A. God permitted theDevil, by kindling of Lightning, and by ftirring up Robbers and Plunderers among his Heathen Neighbours, to bereave him of all his Cattle and his Wealth in one Day, and to deftroy all his Children, even feven Sons, and three Daughters, by a Tempest which blew down the House in which they were feasting, ver. 6—19.
5Q. Was the Devil suffered to vent his Malice upon the Perfon of Job?
A. Yes; God permitted him to fmite Job with fore Boils from the Sole of his Foot to the Crown of his Head, Job ii. 6, 7.
6 Q. What was the Defign of God in these Providences towards Job?
A. To try the Strength of his Piety, and to set him up as an Example of Patience, both in the Exercise of it, and in the Rewards of it, Job xxiii. 10. James v. II.
7Q. What was the Behaviour of Job under this Trial?
A. He bleffed the Name of the Lord, and did not murmur at his Providence, Job i. 20-22. and chap. ii. 10.