BibliaTodo Commentaries


Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible
Nehemiah 1

1. The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2. That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5. And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6. Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9. But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

Nehemiah 1

1:1-2:10 NEHEMIAH RETURNS TO JERUSALEM Thirteen years had now passed since Artaxerxes issued his decree giving Ezra authority to go to Jerusalem and reform Israel (Ezr 7:7; Neh 2:1). Ezra’s work had some early success, but when the Jews tried to strengthen Jerusalem’s defences by rebuilding the city wall, their enemies accused them of planning to rebel against Persia. They reported the matter to Artaxerxes, with the result that the king issued a decree commanding that the work stop immediately (Ezr 4:7-23). Meanwhile in Persia, Nehemiah, a Jewish official in the king’s palace, had risen to the trusted rank of cupbearer (GNB: wine steward; see 1:11). When the Jews heard that one of their own people was in a position to speak to the king, they came to Persia to see him. In particular they told him of the distress that the Jews’ opponents had created in Jerusalem through carrying out the king’s decree (1:1-3; cf. Ezr 4:23). That decree allowed the king to reverse his decision at a later date if he desired (Ezr 4:21), and the Jewish representatives from Jerusalem no doubt hoped that Nehemiah could persuade the king to become favourable to them again. But Nehemiah was not a mere opportunist. He was a man of God and a man of prayer. He knew that his people’s troubles were largely a result of their sins, and in a spirit of humble confession he brought the matter before God and asked his help (4-11). For four months Nehemiah prayed about the matter. He was therefore fully prepared when an opportunity arose for him to speak to the king about it. The result was that he received permission to return and carry out the reconstruction work he had planned. He was also given the necessary building materials (2:1-8). This was probably the time when he was appointed governor of Jerusalem (see 5:14). Circumstances surrounding Nehemiah’s return were different from those that had surrounded Ezra’s return, and Nehemiah felt it wise to accept the king’s offer of an armed escort (9; cf. Ezr 8:21-23). Officials who previously controlled the Jerusalem district were hostile when they found they had lost this area to Nehemiah. Besides being Jewish, he had authority from the Persian king that made him independent of them (10).

King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"