New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:5 Then the Levites. The long and magnificent prayer of praise, confession, and dedication in this chapter could hardly have been recited spontaneously by all eight Levites mentioned in this verse. It must have been composed ahead of time, possibly by either Nehemiah or Ezra, and then read by the various Levites, possibly standing in different locations so that all the great congregation could hear and appropriate it to their own hearts. Whether or not it was composed by him, it was certainly authorized by Nehemiah, as governor (or “Tirshatha”—Nehemiah 8:9). He apparently was the first to sign and seal it (Nehemiah 10:1), as the people accepted it as their covenant with God (Nehemiah 9:38).
9:6 thou hast made heaven. This is one of the great affirmations of faith in Scripture, recognizing publicly that the God of Israel was, first of all, the Creator of the entire cosmos and everything in it, a concept utterly foreign to the pagan religions of other nations.
9:6 thou preservest them. Not only is God the Creator of all things, but also their Sustainer (compare Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3). This principle of universal conservation of the created universe is recognized scientifically in the most basic of all scientific laws, the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy.
9:6 host of heaven. The host of heaven consists of the angelic creation. Some of these had rebelled against their Creator, but most still worship Him.
9:7 didst choose Abram. It is worth noting that, in reciting the history of Israel all the way from the call of Abraham to the return of the exiles from captivity, representing a period of at least sixteen centuries, Nehemiah was confirming the historicity of these events, despite the denials and distortions of modern critics. In particular, he affirmed the truth of the mighty miracles performed by God in bringing His people out of Egypt (Nehemiah 9:9-21). His greatest emphasis, however, was on leading his people in a national confession of sin and repentance.