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Priefts, 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 fons of Aarony

And the fingers, the fons of Afaph, were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's feer.

And the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their fervice; for their brethren, the Levites, prepared for them.

So, all the fervice of the LORD was prepar'd the fame day, to keep the pallover, 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. Return from Babylon. The most flavish 43. and dirty Work, of all Kinds, fell to their

Lot; and they were to be fubfervient and affifting to the Levites, in all the lefs defirable and heavy Parts of Duty; as the Levites were to the Priests.

The whole People of the Land, were divided into four Ranks; First, the Ifraelites, or whole Body of the 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 number'd, both before, and after, the Capti! Chron. vity. Before; it is faid; Now, the first inhabitants that dwelt in their poffeffions in their cities, were the Ifraelites, the Priests, Ezra ii. 7. the Levites, and the Nethinims. And, after; we are told, that, The Priests and the Levites, and fome of the people, and the fingers, and the porters, and the Nethinims' dwelt in their cities.

ix. 2.

Thefe were not of the Tribe of Levi; but originally Gibeonites, of the Land of Canaan, who, coming to understand, that the LORD had commanded Mofes to give Jofh. ix. the children of Ifrael all that land, and to deftroy all the inhabitants of it, from before them (doubtless, because their gross Im



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moralities requir'd an immediate and exemplary Punishment) being fore afraid of their lives, work'd wilily; and fent 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 defirous to make a League with the People, who were fo highly favour'd by him. This Stratagem fucceeded; 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 dif cover'd, and all the congregation murmur'd against the princes; and there was no undoing what had been done, because the Princes had worn; Joshua, (defirous, in some Measure, to appease the People, and provok'd by this unfair Dealing of the Gibeonites) called for them, and spake unto them, faying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, faying, We are very far from you, ye dwell among us? Now, therefore, ye are curfed; and there shall none of you




2 Sam.


be freed from being hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the boufe of my God. Upon which they furrender'd themselves" at Difcretion, and faid; Now, behold, we are in thine hand; as it feemeth right and good unto thee, to do unto us, do. And So.. he did unto them, and delivered them out of the band of the children of Ifrael, that they flew them not. And Joshua made them, that day, hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he Should choose.

Yet, afterwards, we find Saul, in a pre xxi. 1, 2. tended Fit of Zeal to his own Country-3 £ men, had made an Attempt to destroy them all. Which inhuman Cruelty God refented fo far as to fend a Famine upon the Land for three Years; till David took care to make Atonement for it; and to give the Gibeonites, fuch Satisfaction as they requir❜d.

Thefe, therefore, without Question, were the People, whom we find appropriated, by David, among the reft of his Regulations, to all the fervile Employ


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ments about the Temple, by the Name of
Nethinims. Which
Which Name, fignifying thofe
who are furrender'd or devoted to a peculiar
Ufe, they obtain'd, either from their fur-
rendering themselves up to Joshua at first,
or from their being appropriated and give
en up to the Service of the Levites, af-
terward, 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, had appointed for the Service of the Levites, Two hundred and twenty Nethinims all of them were expressed, by name. We likewife find they were,


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at that Time, as zealous as any other, Neh. x. for the Reftoration of the Law; and enter'd into a Curfe for the Obfervance of it. They likewife, as the Priests and Levites, had their Heads and Chiefs, who were to marshal and order them as Occafion requir'd. We are told; The Ne- ib. xi. 21. thinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gifpa were over the Nethinims.

* It is most likely they were fo called from the firft; though the Generality of Interpreters, derive it from the latter, A


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