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A. Nehemiah the Jew, who was a Cup-bearer to Artaxerxes the King of Persia, Nehem. i. 11,
20 Q. How was Nehemiah engaged herein ?
A. When he heard of the Continuance of the Desolations made by the Enemies, he fasted and prayed to God, and then he obtained Leave of Artaxerxes the King to go up to Jerusalem, and rebuild the City of the Sepulchres of his Fathers, Nebem. 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 affist him, and to give Timber out of the King's Forest, 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 Persons and their Compas nies, Nehem. chap. ii. and iii.
23 Q. What Opposition 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 conspired to fight against them while they were at work, Nehem. iv. 1-7.
24 Q. How did Nehemiah prevent the Mischief they designed?
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 himself, ver. 13-23.
25 Q. What Reformation did Nehemiah work among them?
A. He reproved those that took Usury, and op pressed 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, Nebem. v. 7-19.
26 Q. In what Manner did they worship God when the City was built ?
A. On the first Day of the seventh Month all the People were gathered together in one Street, and Ezra the Priest and Scribe read in the Book; of the Law, and gave the Sense of the Words, that they might see their past Sins and Errors, and might: be instructed to yield a more regular and exact Obedience for Time to come ; and this being done, he blessed the great God, and all the People anfwered, 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 skilful Scribe of the Law of God, to preach Righteousness, to perfect the Reformation, to gather the several Parts of Scripture together, to set forth correct Copies of them, and to bring all Things in Church and State to the Rules thereof:-And this he did by the Assistance of the next Governor, Nehemiah, doing the same Things by his Authority, which before he did by his own,
27. Q. How did they keep the Feast of Tabernacles ?
1. By dwelling in Booths made of Branches of Trees seven Days together, as God had commanded by Moses, and they read in the Book of the Law every Day of the seven, and explan ed it, ver, 1318.
28 . How did they keep a Faft on the twentyfourth Day of the seventh Month?
1. 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 Covegant 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. 1, 2.
29 Q. How were the People difpofed of in their Habitations?
A. The Rulers dwelt at Jerufalem, the rest of the Priests 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 Jerusalem the holy City dedicated?
A. The Levites came from all Places to Jerusalem, and joined with the Priests and the Rulers in two large Companies, and gave Thanks, and offered Sacrifices, and sung the Praises of God, fo that the Joy of Jerufalem was heardi afar off, Nehem. xiii. 27-43;
3r Q: What further Reformation did Nehemiah, bring in among the People ?
A. He turned Tobiah the Ammonite, out of his Lodging in the Temple, which Eliashib the High Priest had prepared for him ; he established the Partion of the Fruits of the Earth wbich belonged ta the Levites ; he forbid the Profanation of the Sabbath, by buying and selling, and bearing Burdens; and punished the Jews who macried frange Wives, Nehem. xiii. 4—29.
32 Q. What remarkable Instance 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 Eliashib the High Priest, for marrying the Daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, who had hindered the Jews fo much in their building, feveral Years before, ver. 28. Note, This
Man's Name was Manasseh, as Josephus informs us.
33 Q. Had Nehemiah no Prophet to affift him in this difficult Work?
A. It is fupposed that Malachi, the last of the Prophets, prophesied 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. 79.9. But supposing that already done, he reproved them about their Marriage of Strangers, and of feveral Wives, or of taking Concubines, Mal. ii. II, 14, 16. and their robbing God of their Tithes, chap. iii, &c. and their polluting the Altar, and Neglect of offering God the Best, ch. i, which were the very Things which Nehemiah corrected in his last Reformation. Thus far the HOLY SCRIPTURE has delivered down
to us the History of the Transactions of God with Min, and particularly with his own People, the Nation of Israel, in a long and continued Succellion of Events, from the Creation of the World to the Return of the Jews from the Capt vity of Babylon, and the feitling of the Church and State under Nehemiah, whom the King of Persia made Gover.
nór over the Land. There are several other historical Matters related in
Scripture which belong to particular Persons ; the mos confiderable of them are the Histories of Job and Jonah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Esther.
CH A P. XIV.
Tbe History of JOB. QWHO was Job?
A. A most 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 Moses, because there is not the least Intimation ofany Transactions of God with Israel in the whole Book of Job.
3Q. What particular Act of Piety is related concerning him in his prosperous State ?
A. When his Children had been feasting 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 Amictions that fell upon Job?
A. God permitted the Devil, by kindling of Lightning, and by stirring up Robbers and Plunderers among his Heathen Neighbours, to bereave him of all his Cattle and his Wealth in one Day, and to destroy all his Children, even seven Sons, and three Daughters, by a Tempest which blew down the House in which they were feasting, ver. 6-19.
5. Q. Was the Devil suffered to vent his Malice upon the Person of Job?
A. Yes; God permitted him to smite 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 Design of God in these Providences towards Job?
A. To try the Strength of his Piety, and to set bim up as an Example of Patience, both in the Exercise of it, and in the Rewards of it, Job xxiii. 10. James v. II.
7. What was the Behaviour of Job under this Trial ?
A. He blessed the Name of the Lord, and did not murmur at his Providence, Job i. 20—22. and chap. ii. 10.