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Priests, the fons of Aaron were busy in offe ring the burnt-offerings, and the fat, until night Therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the Priests, the Sons of Aarond

And the firgers, the fons of Afaph, were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Afaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's feer. 2. And the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren, the Levites, prepared for them. *** So, all the service of the LORD was prepar'd the same day, to keep the paljover, and to offer burnt-offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Jofiah.

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Among those that were employed in the Service of the Temple, next to the Porters, we read of the Nethinims : In that Order, Ezra mentions them after the Ezra ii. Retuch from Babylon. The most savish 43. and dirty Work, of all kinds, fell to their

el ey wer

affisting to the Levites, in all the less desirable and heavy Parts of Duty; as che Levites were to the Priests.

The whole People of the Land, were divided into four Ranks; First, the is raelites, or whole Body+of thé Laity; Secondly, the Priests; Thirdly, the Levites; and Fourthly, the Nethinims : Singers and Doorkeepers being included in the Word Levites. And thus we find them num

ber'd, both before, and after, the Capti1 Chron. vity. Before ;

Before ; it is said ; Now, the first inhabitants that dwelt in their poleffions in

their cities, were the Ifraelites, the Priests, Ezra ii. 7. the Levites, and the Nethinims. And, af

ter; we are told, that, The Priests and the Levites, and some of the people, and the Singers, and the porters, and the Nechinims dwelt in their cities.

These were not of the 'Tribe of Levi; but originally Gibeonites, of the Land of Canaan; who, coming to understand, that

the LORD had commanded Moses to give Josh. ix. the children of Israel all that land, and to

destroy all the inhabitants of it, from before
them (doubtless
, because their gross Ím-

moralities

ix. 2.

24

moralities requir’d an immediate and ex-, emplary Punishment) being fore afraid of their lives, work'd wilily; and sent Men to the Ifraelites, who pretended that they were Ambassadors from a far Country; and having heard of the Name of the LORD, and all that he did in Egypt, and what he had done to the Nations beyond

Fordan, were desirous to make a League with the People, who were so highly favour'd by him. This Stratagem succeeded; Joshua made peace with them, and Josh. ix. made a league with them, to let them live; 15. and the princes of the congregation fware unto them.

But, when the Cheat came to be discover'd, and all the congregation murmur'd against the princes; and there was no undoing what had been done, because the Princes had sworn; Fosbua, (desirous, in some Measure, to appease the People, and provok'd by this unfair Dealing of the Gibeonites) called for them, and spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you, when

among us? Now, therefore, ye are cursed; and there all none of you

be

23.

ye dwell

be freed from being hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the boufe of my God. Upon which they furrender'd themselves" at Discretion, and said; Now, bebold, we are in 'thine hand; as it seemeth right and good unto thee, to do unto us, do.' And so be did unto them, and delivered them our of the hand of the children of Israel, that they flew them not. And Joshua made them, that day, bewers

day, bewers, of wood, and 2 drawers of water, for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which be

Jould choose. 2 Sam. Yet, afterwards, we find Saul, in a

prexxi. 1, 2. tended Fit of Zeal to his own Country

men, had made an Attempt to destroy of
them all. Which inhuman Cruelty God
resented so far as to send a Famine upon
the Land for three Years; till David
took care to make Atonement for it; and
to give the Gibeonites, such Satisfaction as
they requir’d.

These, therefore, without Question,
were the People, whom we find appro-
priated, by David, among the rest of his
Regulations, to all the servile Employ-

ments

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20.

ments about the Temple, by the Name of Netbinims. Which Name, signifying those who are surrenderd or devoted to a peculiar Ule, they obtain'd, either from their furtrendering themselves up to Joshua at first, or from their being appropriated and give en up to the Service of the Levites, afterward, by David's * Establishment.

And thus we find them mention'd, and number'd at the Return from the Captivity; Of the Nethinims, whom David Ezra viii. and the princes, bad appointed for the Service of the Levites, Two hundred and twenty Nethinims : all of them were expressed, by_name... We likewise find they were, at that Time, as zealous as any other, Neh. x. for the Restoration of the Law; and enter'd into a Curse for the Observance of it. They likewise, as the Priests and Levites, had their Heads and Chiefs, who were to marshal and order them as Occasion requir’d. We are told; The Ne- ib. xi. 21. thinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.

28.

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* It is most likely they were so called from the first; though the Generality of Interpreters, derive it from the latter. ww.lu

SECT.

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