"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 6, 2024


INTRODUCTION: Throughout the Scriptures there are lists upon lists of genealogies and names, and we can wonder – what’s the purpose of these? Aside from reading like an ancient phone book, something to gloss over, many people don’t understand the purpose for these listings, but there most certainly is!

In the case of the numerous Old Testament Scriptures, the listing of the names of tribes in Israel denote which people group will inherit which territory in Canaan land. These inheritances were non-transferrable: they stayed with the families.

Another can lease the land from the inheritors of said property, but they can’t buy them. That was why Naboth said to Ahab (who offered to trade a property of his own for Naboth’s vineyard), “GOD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” (1 KINGS 21:3). Jezebel through bribery and slander stole the land from Naboth and gave it to Ahab, making the crime all the more heinous.

The land could also be lost due to a debt owed, but that was where a kinsman goel came in, a relative of the debtor who could redeem the land for their kin.

These lists of names also have archeological value. When such names as listed in Scripture are found in artifacts, this is one of many proofs that prove the Bible’s accuracy.

What I find particularly fascinating is when the various listings of the twelve tribes (actually, there are fourteen tribes from which to choose from in any list, because Jacob adopted Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph’s sons) as his own See GEN 48)), if one knows the meaning of those names, and observes the order in which any given list appears in the Bible, they make a declaration!
NEHEMIAH 10:1-27
1 ¶ Now those who placed their seal on the document were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah,
2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,
4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
8 Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah. These were the priests.
9 The Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, and Kadmiel. 10 Their brethren: Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,
12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
13 Hodijah, Bani, and Beninu.
14 The leaders of the people: Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,
15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,
19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,
25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
26 Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,
27 Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.

From Adam Clarke’s Commentary:
“The names of those who sealed the covenant, 1-27.
All solemnly promise not to have affinity with the people of the land, 28-30;
to observe the Sabbaths, 31;
to provide for the sanctuary according to the law, 32-36;
and to pay the regular tithes for the support of the priests, Levites, and other officers of the temple, 37-39.


“Verse 1. Now those that sealed] Four classes here seal. Nehemiah first, as their governor. And after him, secondly, the priests, NEH 10:2-8. Thirdly, The Levites, Ne 10:9-13. Fourthly, The chiefs of the people, NEH 10:14-27.

“It is strange that, among all these, we hear nothing of Ezra, nor of the high priest Eliashib. Nor are any of the prophets mentioned, though there must have been some of them at Jerusalem at this time [There are some who suppose that as Nehemiah became governor, Ezra who held this office temporarily stepped aside, which is a reasonable conjecture].

“The whole of this chapter, the two first verses excepted, is wanting in the Arabic; the word Pashur of the third verse is retained; and the rest of the chapter is summed up in these words, and the rest of their assembly.”
If you would like to explore this listing of names further and their pertinence, check out Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary here.

Anne Kisly wrote a concise TTUF article on “Those Boring Begats” based in part on another article by the late Dr. David Reagan.

A very fascinating find in the genealogy of Jesus Christ found in MATTHEW 1 that reveals incontrovertible evidence of biblical design found within the text itself, check out this video by Dr. Chuck Missler!

NEHEMIAH 10:28-29
28 Now the rest of the people-the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding- 29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes:

Along with the leadership of Nehemiah and Co. the rest of the leadership: the priests, especially the Levites and the singers were committed to corrective action. Also the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim: these were people foreign to the Jewish nation but became servants to the Levites and performed menial labors around the tabernacle and the camp of Israel and later in the city of David (the city of Jerusalem at its beginning).

These people were serious! They understood that they were entering into an oath to return to the covenant with the LORD GOD, and submitted to a curse should they disobey the commandments of the Mosaic Covenant.

Again, Nehemiah and those who worked with him began and completed the work at restoring the actual city of Jerusalem as recorded in several chapters. Now that they’ve finished restoring the city, they are intent by the grace of GOD to see the restoration of the people themselves.

One of the things they had to restore is the integrity of the Jewish nation due to mixed marriages with the people of the Persian Empire. But that was just one of the things that needed remedial action – there were other things that we will examine during this continued study.

What can we learn from this and apply to our lives?
We must be consecrated to the LORD, set apart for His special relationship and use in any ministry He calls us to: on the worship team (“the singers”), in ministry at the church in spiritual matters (“Levites”), and in practical matters (“the Nethinims”) in our discernment ministry (“The gate keepers”) and all of us who are called by the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ to live holy lives as Christians (in our home life as marital spouses, parents, siblings, the work place, etc. “all those who had separated themselves…”).

NEHEMIAH 10:30-31
30 We would not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 31 if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year's produce and the exacting of every debt.

In order to keep the tribes and family lines of the nation preserved, the LORD commanded that no mixed marriage be found in Israel. This was not a form of bigotry or a supposed perspective of superiority by the Jewish people over the Gentiles (though this was a prevailing view later on, particularly during the days of the LORD Jesus! A rabbinical Talmudic prayer was, “LORD G-D I thank You that I was not born a donkey, a woman, a slave or a Gentile”).

It was because they were “a little people”, not a nation great in numbers as were other kingdoms, that if they were to intermarry with other nations, the existence of Israel as a people could be bred out in a matter of only a few generations (that actually was the intent of Pharaoh when Moses was just a baby – kill off all the male babies, letting the female babies live and interbreed with the Egyptians, eliminating the Hebrew people).

The tribal identities needed to be preserved for many reasons, just one of which was in order for GOD to keep His covenant promises regarding the land associated with each of those tribes which will come into their full inheritance during the Millennial Reign of Christ.

Most especially the tribe of Judah needed to be preserved because in it was the Messianic line through which the LORD Jesus was born into via Mary (His royal blood line; LUKE 3:23-38) and Joseph His stepfather (His legal family line; MATT 1:1-17).

It’s quite intriguing that all the while these family lines needed to be preserved, in the genealogy of Christ, we find the names of Gentile women (women were never to be included in Jewish genealogies): Rahab, Bathsheba, Ruth. These weren’t included in just any tribe, but the royal line itself, so the ancestry of Y’shua included these!

Two other things that the people repented of: conducting business in merchandise on the Sabbath and farming the land on the seventh year (the land was supposed to rest every seventh year for its own sabbath). This was a major reason for them being expelled from the land in the first place! Why GOD sent Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian armies against His people: their understood that they could make a sizeable profit if they farmed the seventh year and forego its sabbath. Hence the sin of covetousness.

When GOD delivered them into Babylon, they remained there for 70 years – every year of their absence from the land totaled the complete number of land Sabbaths that Israel owed to GOD!

Let us not be so consumed with our work of the LORD (and be certain that our work is not just FOR the LORD, but OF the LORD) that we forget to rest and sit at His nail-pierced feet and learn from our humble and holy Savior.

Let us also always have a thankful, worshipful heart for all that the LORD has given to us, provides for us today and promises us tomorrow! This is a sure guard against covetousness, being discontent, murmuring and the like.

They were also to be conscientious about repaying their debts! The LORD sees every transaction of these people and saw their injustice of not paying their debts!

We had a debt we couldn’t pay back: the insurmountable, overwhelming burden of sin (crimes we’ve committed against the Holy Throne of GOD), but the LORD didn’t just forgive us the debt, but paid for it Himself (MATT 18:27)! Let us be certain that “we forgive those who are indebted to us as we also have been forgiven”!

NEHEMIAH 10:32-34
32 ¶ Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to exact from ourselves yearly one-third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering of the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the set feasts; for the holy things, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God. 34 We cast lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for bringing the wood offering into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at the appointed times year by year, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God as it is written in the Law.

According to the Law of Moses the people were to give half a shekel for the service of the house of GOD. But here we see that it’s a third of a shekel. Why the reduction? This testifies to the grace of GOD Who understood that the people were in a state of poverty, they were burdened with heavy taxation by their Persian masters and couldn’t afford the full amount. Yet even so, the LORD required an offering. Rich or poor, we can all give to GOD a portion of what He has granted to us!

No doubt that once they returned to their homeland, and the blessings of GOD were restored to them, that they would then be expected to pay the half shekel as prescribed in EXODUS 30:11-16.

Regarding the shewbread, the grain offering, the burnt offering of the Sabbaths and New Moons and all of the established feasts of the religious calendar year, these were reinstituted just as they were before their captivity.

See LEV 24:5; NUM 28:1-29:40; 2 CHRON 2:4.

Then we have this “wood offering” which was for the purpose of keeping the altar always burning, and ready for whatever sacrifices were called for:
12 'And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. 13 'A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.
As with the menorah, the brazen altar was always to remain lit with the fires that consumed the oil and the wood respectively.

Oil speaks of course for the Holy Spirit; the wood is not so obvious but it can represent humanity – think of the ark of the covenant as a type of Christ: acacia wood overlaid with gold, speaking of His Deity and His humanity. The same can be said of the altar of incense, but not so with the menorah – that was solid gold: from the halls of eternity, GOD the Son “always was” GOD (JOHN 1:1; “was” here is in the perfect present tense, or “always and ever is”) and always was and always shall be the Light.

The light within the Tabernacle bears the testimony of GOD that lights the way for us as we minister about the things of the spiritual temple – ourselves as well as the body of Christ. There is no other light source that reaches into the Temple nous (the interior structure inside of the outer court that comprises the holy place and the holy of holies).

As for the fires of the brazen altar, this speaks of the Spirit of GOD that consumes us, His “living sacrifices” (ROM 12:1). Have you ever considered the apparent (but not real) contradiction of those two words? A animal to be sacrificed never had hopes of returning back home: if they were led to the Temple, it was for the intent of being slain.

Yet we are to present ourselves as living sacrifices: that is to say, we sacrifice ourselves, putting to death the natural man (we “die daily” (1 COR 15:31), that our new man may be renewed day by day (2 COR 4:16). The goal is to have our sin nature (ROM 5:21) consumed incrementally so that the divine nature (2 PET 1:4) granted to us through the spiritual rebirth may have greater influence in our day to day lives.

May the Holy Fire of GOD’s Spirit continue to refine, purify, burn off our frail human weaknesses and strengthen our inner man!

NEHEMIAH 10:35-37
35 And we made ordinances to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the LORD; 36 to bring the firstborn of our sons and our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks, to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God; 37 to bring the firstfruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, the new wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities.

Firstfruits – the very first and best of what’s produced by our labors belongs to GOD. One can easily make the argument that everything belongs to GOD, and as Creator, that is absolutely true!

Here again we see the generosity of our GOD in allowing us to keep the majority of what we produce by our industry. He only asks a portion – and we can at least give Him His due – such was the concept of the tithe: a tenth, which is modeled by Abraham who gave a tenth to Melchizedek (a type of Christ; HEB 7:1-2).

Under the Old Testament, anything less than a tithe (ten percent) was unacceptable; but anything above a tithe was considered an offering: something GOD didn’t require but was nonetheless offered willingly by the offerer who only wanted to bless GOD’s heart.

Arguments can be made either way whether a tithe is something required of the New Testament saint. I tend to side with those who use the ten percent as a general standard, but the saint under the New Covenant isn’t restricted to just that: we may give twenty percent, or thirty percent if we so desire.

Something I was convicted of some years ago: someone asked me if I tithe from my gross income or my net. I told them, it was given based on my net. They said, “So you’re giving more to the government than you are to GOD – can that be considered your firstfruit? Your first and best offering to GOD?”

Ouch. I prayed about it, but it didn’t take long to come to a decision. From that point on, whatever gross income I made, GOD received at least ten percent of that. And I can say, I have never once gone without! The LORD has been faithful to keep this poor man clothed, fed, sheltered, protected, looked after in every way.

As far as material possessions go, I have minimal by American standards, and I am happy to have it so! The simple life is a better life in my opinion, and being free of such distractions, I can better focus on kingdom matters and how I may service the King!

But enough about money – our relationship with GOD far exceeds any dealings with finances. What sort of tithe are we giving to GOD regarding our time? Time in the Word, in prayer, in worship and godly fellowship, in ministry and evangelism?

What would the texture of this nation look like if every one who named the Name of Christ devoted a mere ten percent daily, weekly, yearly of their time to the LORD our Savior?

The first and best of all we have: regarding time in the Word and prayer (and worship) that happens first thing in the morning is always best. By doing so, we set our spiritual compass to navigate through the rest of the day.

Things tend to go so much smoother when I give GOD first what He is worthy of! And even when things don’t go so smoothly, by devoting to GOD my heart and time in the early morning hours, His peace sustains me and prevents me from becoming frustrated and agitated. He gives me the grace to smile and shrug those things off!

For more on this, check out BLEMISHED OFFERINGS.

NEHEMIAH 10:38-39
38 And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the grain, of the new wine and the oil, to the storerooms where the articles of the sanctuary are, where the priests who minister and the gatekeepers and the singers are; and we will not neglect the house of our God.

How are we neglecting the house of GOD – and I’m not referring to the church building! We are the house of GOD, the temple of the Holy Spirit!
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
We can look with shock and disdain at how Israel in the thick of her apostasy brought idols into the very Temple of GOD to be set up and worshiped alongside YHWH (as in the days prior to and after the reign of King Josiah – check out The JOSIAH Mandate), but there are some things we must consider:

One: They didn’t have the ever abiding Spirit of GOD dwelling in them.
Two: They didn’t have the full revelation of GOD’s Word provided to them.

This is not to say that they were operating in a handicap that disallowed them to please GOD, because if they truly required these things to please GOD in the way that He required, He would have provided them with these.

As it stood, they had enough revelation, and enough of the leading of the Spirit Who would come upon them at times, to please GOD.

The thing is, as the church of Jesus Christ, we have the indwelling of the Spirit, and we have GOD’s full revelation from GENESIS to REVELATION provided to us! And yet what affections (things that we idolize) do we harbor in our hearts – the Holy of Holies where the Spirit of GOD dwells – that we prioritize as equal to or even higher than YHWH? What pollutions do we allow into our minds that defile the Temple?

If we spend more of our free time with any other loves more than we do with the LORD, that constitutes an idol, and it must be struck down. We cannot have to masters!
MATTHEW 6:24  
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

No comments: