The Book of Nehemiah
Nehemiah (meaning comforted of the Lord), was the cup-bearer to the king of Persia around 445-444 B.C. At the time of Nehemiah, the Lord was comforting Judah. Nehemiah was not a Levite priest, but was considered a prince of Judah, giving him some royal blood. The incidents recorded in (Nehemiah 1:1-7), had taken place before the first return under Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 7:4, Haggai 1:1-4). Note: Zechariahs vision of Jerusalem being inhabited as towns without walls. (Zechariah 2:1-5).
Neh 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,Chisleu, (the ninth month of the Hebrew year). It was the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes reign. Forty-two years from the beginning of the Babylonian Servitude (bondage), thirty-five years from Jehoiachin's captivity, and twenty-three years from the destruction of Jerusalem, and the beginning of the Desolations. Shushan (Lily), was the winter residence of the Persian kings. Daniel was taken there in a vision (Daniel 8:2), and the home of Esther. (Esther 1:2).
Neh 1:2 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.Haniani (shortened from Hananiah), brother of Nehemiah was appointed to governor of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 7:2).
Neh 1:3 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.Judah and Judea are a province of Persia at this time. They were in trouble and the wall of Jerusalem had been torn down. (II Kings 25:10, Jeremiah 52:14). Walls in ancient times were very important because they provided protection from the enemies.
Neh 1:4 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,Nehemiah was a man of prayer. (Serious prayer and fasting here).
Neh 1:5 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:Prayed to the great and terrible God: This would be better translated "Awesome and Revered God."
Neh 1:6 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.Nehemiah confessing to God for his family and all the twelve tribes of Israel.
Neh 1:7 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.Referring to (Leviticus 27:34, Deuteronomy 4:1). For us now the law is still there, however the ordinances (Animal sacrifices and circumcision), were done away with Christ.
Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:What was told to Moses? That if you were unfaithful, God would scatter you among the nations. The ten tribes of Israel went into captivity with the Assyrian because of this. They were unfaithful and didn’t listen to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 4:25-27).
Neh 1:9 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.i.e. If they return with all their hearts, I will bring them back to the place I have chosen to be their homeland. (Deuteronomy 30:2-5).
Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.Rescued by God before. (Exodus 6:6-7).
Neh 1:11O 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. Praying to God to be favorable to the King. Nehemiah being the cup bearer was an important and trusted position. The office of cup-bearer was one of great trust, honor, and emolument, in the Persian court. To be in such a place of trust he must have been in the king's confidence; for no eastern potentate would have a cup-bearer to whom he could not trust his life, poison being often administered in that way. It was an office much desired, because it gave access to the king in those seasons of hilarity when men are most disposed to grant favors. (God was in control).
Neh 2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.Nehemiah serving the king his wine in the ninth month (Nisan), was a little down in spirit (Proverbs 15:13), and the king recognized that he was a little sad here.
Neh 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,The king asked Nehemiah why he was looking so sad. (Part of the cup bearers job was to entertain the king). Probably the king spoke as if he had some suspicion that Nehemiah harbored some bad design, and that his face indicated some conceived treachery, or remorse; and, indeed, the words rendered sad, and sorrow of heart, might be rendered evil, and wickedness of heart.
Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?Nehemiah tells the king, how can I not be sad? The city is in ruins where my ancestors are buried.
Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.What can I do to help you the King says to Nehemiah? Nehemiah says a quick prayer to God for a little help. (Proverbs 3:6, Philippians 4:6).
Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.If it pleases the king and you want to please me, send me to the city to rebuild the city.
Neh 2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.The king wanted to know how long Nehemiah would be gone if he let him go. The queen: Heb. the wife, It was probably Esther who was present at this time, and who seconded Nehemiah's request. I set him a time: It is probable that this time was no more than six months, or a year; after which he either returned, or had his leave of absence lengthened, as we find he was twelve years governor of the Jews. (Nehemiah 5:14).
Neh 2:7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;If it pleases the king, write letters addressed to the governor (pechah or pashas), to grant permission to cross the Euphrates and travel through the territories.
Neh 2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.Nehemiah knew they needed timber to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress and asked the king for a letter addressed to Asaph (manager of the kings forest), to give him what was needed. The king granted his request because Nehemiah's prayers were answered by God. (Always trust in God and He will supply you with what you need).
Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.We see here that Ezra was embarrassed to ask for an escort (Ezra 8:22), but Nehemiah doesn't mind asking. So, the king sent some army officers with him so he would have a safe journey.
Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.However, when Sanballat and Tobiah heard of Nehemiah's arrival, they were upset. They were enemies of Judah at the time. This was not going to be an easy task. (This should show us that when the Lord gives you a special commission, it may not be easy, but do it with all your heart and the Lord will be with you).
Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.Arrived in Jerusalem and stayed there three days. (Ezra 8:32). After about a three months hard journey.
Neh 2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.Slipped out during the night to survey the damaged walls of the Temple. (Sometimes you need to keep your plans a secret so Satan does not get wind of it). Remember, Satan can't read your mind and does not know your thoughts like God does. However, if you speak your plans, Satan knows what you are doing. (Especially when it it is something that furthers the Word of God).
Neh 2:13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.Went out in the night past the Jackal's well and over to the dung gate. (This was the gate on the eastern side of the city, through which the filth was carried to the brook Kidron and valley of Hinnom). "There were twelve gates as in the millennium temple." (Revelation 21:21).
Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.Then to the fountain gate where they had to dismount because of the rubble. The gate leading either to the fountain of Siloam, on the east of the city, or to that of Gihon, on the west. The king's pool: Probably the aqueduct made by Hezekiah to bring the waters of Gihon to the city of David.
Neh 2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.Inspected the wall before returning. Entered by the gate: The gate leading to the valley of Jehoshaphat, east of the city, through which the brook Kidron flows. It was by this gate he went out; so that he went round the whole of the city, and entered by the same gate. (Nehemiah 2:13).
Neh 2:16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.This was all done in secret and Nehemiah told no one yet about his plans.
Neh 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.They wanted God to end this disgrace by rebuilding this Temple. (Jeremiah 24:9), They were once so great, but God took it away.
Neh 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.This work was good because it was prepared by God. (Ephesians 2:10, 6:10, Philippians 2:13), It is God that gives you the will, the desire, and the power to do His work that pleases Him.
Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?Are you building this wall so you can rebel against the King of Persia? They had the kings permission, and God said to do it. (There was bad blood between them and Israel). All three nationalities associated as the enemies of Israel. (Psalms 83:5-6).
Neh 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.God helps us succeed. We are His servants and we will start rebuilding the wall. "However, you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem."
Neh 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.The high priest along with the other priests started to rebuild the sheep gate. This gate is supposed to have immediately communicated with the temple, and to have been called the sheep gate, because the sheep intended for sacrifice passed through it. But, after all which learned men have written on this subject, which is but of little interest, we scarcely know anything about these gates. What they were, why called by these names, or in what part of the wall they were situated, beyond what may be learned from the parallel passages. (Nehemiah 12:39, John 5:2). Note: There were ten gates here. (Nehemiah 3:1-31). In the "New Jerusalem," there will be twelve gates. (Revelation 21:12, 21:21).
Neh 3:2 And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.The gate opposite to their city. (Ezra 2:34).
Neh 3:3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.The gate on the northern side of the wall to the west of the sheep gate where the fish were brought in.
Neh 3:4 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.They repaired the next section of wall.
Neh 3:5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.These people thought they were to good for manual labor, even though many of the priests and other rulers helped. (Perhaps they were just lazy people).
Neh 3:6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.They also had to repair the walls and reset beams before they could hang the gates.
Neh 3:7 And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.Talking of the governor who was selected for all the surrounding land. That is, probably, the palace of the Persian governor, west of the Euphrates; the term throne being used to signify any royal abode. (Nehemiah 2:8).
Neh 3:8 Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.The broad wall was an extra thick wall for protection.
Neh 3:9 And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.He was the leader of half the district of Jerusalem.
Neh 3:10 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.The wall he worked on was close to his own home. (It is said that a man is never welcome in his own town when it comes to spreading the Word, but sometimes God gives you work to do right in your own neighborhood).
Neh 3:11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.The ovens that were used to bake bread. (Located on the north-west corner of the city).
Neh 3:12 And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.The daughters even worked here, when others (the nobles), thought they were to good to work on the temple. (Showing how women can contribute to the work of reformation). Brings to mind the four virgin daughters of Philip which did prophesy. (Acts 21:9).
Neh 3:13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.They set the doors and installed the bolts and bars. (These gates were massive and heavy). They also repaired 1,500 feet of the wall to the dung gate.
Neh 3:14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.The dung gate was used to take the waste out. Beth-haccerem was a town of Judah, situated on a mountain, between Jerusalem and Tekoa. The Mountain of the Franks, called also the Mount of Bethulia, from a village of that name near it, west-north-west of Tekoa, is the ancient Beth-haccerem; the position of which seems to agree with the citadel of Herodium, built by Herod, on a moderate-sized hill, sixty furlongs from Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 6:1).
Neh 3:15 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.Siloah was situated under the eastern wall of Jerusalem, between that city and the brook Kedron, lying at the foot of Mount Zion.
Neh 3:16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Bethzur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.Built the wall across from the tombs of David's family as far as the water reservoir. (II Kings 20:20), brought the water into the city. House of the mighty: Mighty men (Hebrew plural for gibbor).
Neh 3:17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.Keilah, now "Kila" is about fifteen miles southeast of Jerusalem, in the Hedron mountains. Note: (I Samuel 23:1-3).
Neh 3:18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.These were the countrymen led by Binnui son of Henadad. He was the leader of the other half of Keilah.
Neh 3:19 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.Section of the wall across from the ascent to the armory.
Neh 3:20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.Zealously repaired an additional section from the angle door.
Neh 3:21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.Note that Eliashib did not build near his own house like some of the others. He built near the sheep gate (Nehemiah 3:1).
Neh 3:22 And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.Reference to the valley of Jordan.
Neh 3:23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.The wall they were working on was near their houses.
Neh 3:24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.That which had been left by Azariah, after he had repaired the wall by his own house. It is probable that some of the principal people were either obliged, or voluntarily offered, to repair those parts of the wall which were opposite, or adjacent, to their own houses. The names of those who repaired the walls are commemorated, because it was an undertaking of piety, virtue, and courage, to restore the holy city. (Nehemiah 3:11, 3:19, 3:27).
Neh 3:25 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king's high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.Court of the prison is where Jeremiah spent a lot a time in prison. They did not like Jeremiah to much because he told the people they would go into captivity. (Jeremiah 32:2, 33:1, 37:21, 39:15).
Neh 3:26 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.Here come the Nethinims (temple servants). The water gate is supposed to have been that by which the Nethinim brought in water for the use of the temple.
Neh 3:27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.The noble Tekoites did not help in the work, but the common people did. (Nehemiah 3:5).
Neh 3:28 From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.The priest doing the work here across from their own house.
Neh 3:29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.East gate: Some think that this is the gate that Jesus will return through.
Neh 3:30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.Meshullam rebuilt the wall across from where he lived.
Neh 3:31 After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.Place of the Nethinims: If the sheep gate is next to the Temple, then the Nethinim lived near the Temple. (Nehemiah 3:1).
Neh 3:32 And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.It is believed that Jesus came through this gate or the eastern gate on His triumphal entry. (We are at the midway point of Ezra and Nehemiah showing that the two books were as one).
Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.Sanballat flew into a rage and mocked the Jews when he heard they were going to rebuild the wall. (The walls were important to the people of Jerusalem for protection, the enemy did not want them built). Today we have a Spiritual wall for protection if we keep it in check. (Proverbs 25:28).
Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?Sanballat said before his friends and the Samarian officers; what do they think they are doing? Will they sacrifice? (Showing that no alter was built yet or no sacrificial worship being carried on). Do they think they can build a wall in one day from a rubbish heap?
Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.Tobiah makes the remark that it was a weak wall. What he didn't realize is that God was their wall of protection.
Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:Nehemiah prays to God and puts it into His hands. An echo of (Psalms 123:3-4).
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.Asking God not to forget their guilt. (When your in trouble, God will take care of it).
Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.They were working hard from dusk till dawn and the wall was built to half its height around the city.
Neh 4:7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,Now the enemy was really mad, hearing that the wall was being repaired. (Jerusalem had enemies on all sides watching them).
Neh 4:8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.Now the enemy was making plans to fight against Jerusalem and throw them into confusion.
Neh 4:9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.The people of Jerusalem prayed to God and guarded the city day and night.
Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.The people were a little discouraged and some of them started to cop out. (Never give up on a project from God, he will always provide the means to complete the task).
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.A little covert action on the enemies part. (The people were afraid of a surprise attack from all directions at once).
Neh 4:12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.The Jews who lived near the enemy camp warned them again and again about an attack from all directions.
Neh 4:13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.Nehemiah stationed guards at the parts of the wall that were least built up to get ready for an attack.
Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.Nehemiah looks over the situation and tells the people not to be afraid of the enemy. "Remember, God is with us."
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.When the enemy heard that they were ready for them, they backed down a little bit, and the work continued on the wall.
Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.Half of Nehemiah's guards stood watch while the others worked on the wall. (This is no unusual thing in Palestine, even at the present day; people sowing their seed are often attended by armed men, to prevent the Arabs from robbing them of it).
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.The laborers carried their work in one hand and were ready with a weapon in the other. That is, he had his arms at hand; and was as fully prepared to fight as to work. The builders could not possibly have made any progress, if they had literally held a weapon in one of their hands; but the expression is evidently figurative, implying that every man was as much a soldier as a builder. In today's world, you must always be ready with the Gospel armor to fight against Satan when doing God's work.
Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.They were ready to fight at the sound of the trumpet.
Neh 4:19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.A long way from one end of the wall to the other. So, if the trumpet sounded, they would gather to the breached area.
Neh 4:20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.Nehemiah having the faith in God to protect and warn them.
Neh 4:21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared."Remember this." Half the men were always on guard. This applies to us today in life; "Never let your guard down."
Neh 4:22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.Nehemiah told everyone outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem and to be on guard with their servants night and day.
Neh 4:23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.Who were these men on guard? The king of Persia sent armed guards to stand against the enemy. Put them off means their weapons were taken off only when they were washing.
Neh 5:1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.The common people were in poverty and protested against the nobles and wealthy people of Judah.
Neh 5:2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.Many of them had large families to feed and wanted more food to eat.
Neh 5:3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.We mortgaged our homes and have nothing else to give.
Neh 5:4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.They were not earning a living and had to borrow money to pay their taxes.
Neh 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.The people were saying that they belong to the same families as those who are wealthy, but we must sell our children into slavery and sell our daughters and we are helpless to do anything about it.
Neh 5:6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.Nehemiah was angry when he heard this. This was usury and against God's law. (Exodus 22:25). This brings to mind when Jesus cleared the Temple because of the money changers taking advantage of the people by selling them mite infested doves and sacrificial animals at high prices. (John 2:13-17).
Neh 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.Nehemiah spoke against the nobles and officials and told them they were hurting their own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money. This was against God's law to charge interest on your own brother. (Deuteronomy 23:19-20). The interest they were charging was around 12% at the time. Look at the interest they charge today on some of your credit cards. It can be as high as 25% to 30% for an unsecured card. (Lone sharks charged less at around 20%).
Neh 5:8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.Nehemiah had apparently purchased some of the people back that were sold into slavery to the non-Jewish people.
Neh 5:9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?What you are doing is not right Nehemiah tells them.
Neh 5:10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.I myself and my brothers have been lending the people money, but lets stop this business of charging interest. (It was the governors right to take money and grain from the people but he didn't).
Neh 5:11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.Nehemiah wants them to restore their fields, vineyards, and homes, as well as to return the interest they were charged. This was probably the rate of interest which they obliged their poor debtors to pay each month, which would amount to about 12 percent. Another author states that this is the lowest rate of interest in Syria. The usual rate is 20%; and it is sometimes as high as 30%. (Many are in bondage today because of high interest rates). You are working for them, instead of yourself. Get out of financial and spiritual bondage as soon as possible. Do not be deceived!
Neh 5:12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.They were going to stop the usury. (They will even return the property they took). Nehemiah made them take an oath.
Neh 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.Nehemiah tells them if you don’t keep your promise, God will come down on you.
Neh 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.Nehemiah is saying that as governor, he didn’t take any money even though he had the right to do so.
Neh 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.The former governors laid heavy burdens on the people and took advantage of them. However, Nehemiah feared God and didn't act that way. (i.e. he wasn't a rip off).
Neh 5:16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.Nehemiah and his servants worked right along side with the people.
Neh 5:17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.He asked for nothing and even fed many of the Jews at his table.
Neh 5:18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.Nehemiah wouldn’t take from the people when they had nothing for themselves.
Neh 5:19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.Nehemiah asks God to be remembered for all the good he had done. "God was pleased with the way that Nehemiah handled things." (Psalm 18:23-25).
Neh 6:1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)The enemies of Jerusalem and Judah knew that they had finished the wall, but the doors in the gates were not yet set up. (The threat of violence still exist).
Neh 6:2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.They wished to get Nehemiah out of Jerusalem, from his friends, that they might either carry him off or murder him. (Psalm 37:12).
Neh 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?God's work is always more important. If God leads you to do His work, don't get distracted by others, especially Satan. Besides, I believe Nehemiah knew what they were planning. (Matthew 10:16).
Neh 6:4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.Four times the enemy tried to lure Nehemiah into their plot. (He was not going to fall for it).
Neh 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;This was a gross insult to a person of Nehemiah's quality; as the letters sent to chiefs and governors in the East are always carefully folded up, put in silk bags, and then sealed. (This servant read the letter).
Neh 6:6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.The letter said that there was a rumor going around the surrounding nations that you and the Jews are planning to rebel. That's why you are building the wall.
Neh 6:7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.Part of the rumor was that Nehemiah was going to set himself up to be king. (Sanballat still trying to get him to come and talk it over).
Neh 6:8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.No truth in these accusations. Nehemiah tells them they are making up the whole thing.
Neh 6:9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.The enemy wanted to discourage us. (They were not going to stop anything). However, the enemy still wanted to remove Nehemiah. (Nehemiah had no fear).
Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.Shemaiah a professed friend (but a false prophet), was trying to scare Nehemiah by saying that the enemy was going to come and kill him.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.Nehemiah wasn't falling for it. (Beware of those who come to you with a message from God).
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.Nehemiah had realized that this was no message from God. The messenger was hired to frighten him. (I John 4:1), Again, beware of false prophets!
Neh 6:13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.They were hoping to make Nehemiah sin and to discredit him. Others have tried to ruin Nehemiah’s reputation. (Proverbs 22:1, Ecclesiastes 7:1).
Neh 6:14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.More prayer to God from Nehemiah. (There were others involved in this false prophesying who tried to intimidate Nehemiah).
Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.It only took 52 days to complete the wall. This was possible because the wall only needed repairs.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.The enemies and the surrounding nations were frightened when they realized this work was completed with the help of God. (If God says it will happen, anything is possible).
Neh 6:17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.The enemy (the nobles), were constantly corresponding with Tobiah during those 52 days.
Neh 6:18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.Tobiah had connections with important Jews because they let him marry into the family and made a chamber for him in the Temple near the treasury. (He was stealing the money). “This is how the enemy (Satan), works.
Neh 6:19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.They kept telling Nehemiah how good Tobiah was. (Proverbs 28:4). However, Tobiah kept sending Nehemiah threatening letters to intimidate him.
Neh 7:1 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,The wall was now finished and the gates and doors set up. Now the gatekeepers, singers and Levites were appointed.
Neh 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.Hanani was possibly the brother of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:2-3), and he could trust him.
Neh 7:3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.This is, the gates were not to be opened till sun-rise, and to be shut at sun-set; which is still the custom in many cities of the East. If a traveler arrives after sun-set, he finds the gates shut, and on no consideration will they open them till morning.
Neh 7:4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.Not enough people to watch the walls at night, but they will deal with this problem in Nehemiah 11, by casting lots to see who gets to live in Jerusalem.
Neh 7:5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,Genealogy is important here. Nehemiah wants to eventually populate the city with pure Jews.
Neh 7:6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;Here is the list of the Jewish exiles coming out of Babylon and confusion.
Neh 7:7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;
Neh 7:8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
Neh 7:9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
Neh 7:10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.
Neh 7:11 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.
Neh 7:12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Neh 7:13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.
Neh 7:14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
Neh 7:15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.
Neh 7:16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.
Neh 7:18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
Neh 7:19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.
Neh 7:20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.
Neh 7:21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
Neh 7:22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.
Neh 7:24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.
Neh 7:25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.
Neh 7:26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.
Neh 7:27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 7:28 The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two.
Neh 7:29 The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.
Neh 7:30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.
Neh 7:31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
Neh 7:32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
Neh 7:33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
Neh 7:34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
Neh 7:35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
Neh 7:36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
Neh 7:37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.
Neh 7:38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
Neh 7:39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
Neh 7:40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
Neh 7:41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
Neh 7:42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
Neh 7:43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.
Neh 7:44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.
Neh 7:45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
Neh 7:46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,The Nethinims (temple servants), were descendants of the Gibeonites and other foreigners. (Ezra 2:43, 2:58, 8:20).
Neh 7:47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
Neh 7:48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
Neh 7:49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
Neh 7:50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
Neh 7:51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
Neh 7:52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
Neh 7:53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Neh 7:54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Neh 7:55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
Neh 7:56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Neh 7:57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
Neh 7:58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Neh 7:59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
Neh 7:60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
Neh 7:61 And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.
Neh 7:62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
Neh 7:63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
Neh 7:64 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
Neh 7:65 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
Neh 7:66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Neh 7:67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.
Neh 7:68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
Neh 7:69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
Neh 7:70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
Neh 7:71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
Neh 7:72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments.
Neh 7:73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.
Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.The people asked Ezra for the Book of the Law of Moses. "It was his job to read the law." (Deuteronomy 31:11-13).
Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.He brought the law to the men, women and children to be taught the Word of God. "Duty of the priest to teach the Word." (Deuteronomy 17:18, 31:9-10. Malachi 2:7).
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.He read the law to everyone who could understand. The people listened closely as they should. They listened to Gods Word, not mans. (Chapter by chapter from the scrolls).
Neh 8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.These were 14 priests including Ezra, 14 meaning (Deliverance and salvation). Which they were delivered out of captivity. (Out from Babylon, which is confusion).
Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:Ezra stood on a platform above the people so they could see and hear him.
Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.Ezra would praise the Lord and the people would say Amen. They bowed down to worship the Lord and were very humble. The way it should be done. (I Timothy 2:8).
Neh 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.The priests and the Levites took turns teaching the Word here.
Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.They clearly explained the Word so everyone could understand what was read. (Righty dividing the Word).
Neh 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.They wept because of the correction in their lives when the Word was read. (They should have been weeping for Joy). "Remember, the truth will set you free."
Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.It was a joyful day and the people shared gifts of food with those who had nothing prepared.
Neh 8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.This is a sacred and joyful day, so don't weep.
Neh 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.They listened to Ezra and Nehemiah said and celebrated with joy.
Neh 8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.The people wanted to know more and have greater understanding. (Hungry for the Word as it is in the end times). The famine in the end time for hearing the Word of God. (Amos 8:11).
Neh 8:14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:Feast of the seventh month: That is, the feast of tabernacles, which was held in the month Tisri, the seventh of the ecclesiastical year, in commemoration of the sojourning of the Israelites in the wilderness after they had been delivered from Egyptian bondage. (Leviticus 23:34).
Neh 8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.Instructions first given to Moses. (Leviticus 23:42).
Neh 8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.Cut branches to put on flat roofs at this time, inside the Ephraim gate. (Ephraim was the larger of the ten tribes who went north). Believed by many scholars to represent Europe in the later days.
Neh 8:17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.Everyone who returned from captivity lived in the shelters during the festival. (Since the days of Joshua the whole congregation never participated in this).
Neh 8:18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.Ezra read from the book of the law of God on all seven days of the festival. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly required by law. (Leviticus 23:26, Numbers 29:35).
Neh 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.On the first of this month was the feast of trumpets; on the tenth, the day of atonement; on the fourteenth began the feast of tabernacles, which lasted seven days, ending on the twenty- second; on the twenty-third, they separated themselves from their illegitimate wives; and on the twenty-fourth, they held a solemn day of fasting and confession of sin, and reading the law; the whole of which they closed by renewing their covenants. (They did not want to go back into captivity).
Neh 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.Separated themselves from the "sons of foreigners." (Psalm 144:11).
Neh 9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.They stood for three hours while the Word was taught. Then three more hours to confess their sins. Today the average attention span is only about 30 minutes when it comes to teaching. (These people were dedicated to learning the Word).
Neh 9:4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God.Cried out "za'aq" to the Lord. (Some real serious repentance here).
Neh 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.Not all their worship was done bowing down on their face. Here they stood up to praise. (They wanted to bring blessings from God upon Judah for doing good).
Neh 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.You are the creator and preserver of all things they prayed to God. (God creates, man destroys, God preserves, man pollutes).
Neh 9:7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;God changed Abrams (exalted father), name to Abraham (father of the multitude), in (Genesis 17:5). He would be the father of many nations.
Neh 9:8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:God always keeps His promises. (Abraham trusted God and He was true to His Word). "God is always faithful."
Neh 9:9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;God saw the misery of their ancestors in Egypt. (Exodus 2:23-25, 14:10-12).
Neh 9:10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.God knew that the Egyptians were mistreating His people. (Exodus 1:7-14, Psalm 105:27-37).
Neh 9:11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.Moses raised the stick and the sea split so the people of Israel could pass. God provided Israel a way out. (Exodus 14:21-22, 15:5). He will always show you a way out of confusion or trouble.
Neh 9:12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.Shaded during the day and fire at night. (Exodus 13:21-22).
Neh 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:God gave His people the law through Moses. (Exodus 19:20, 20:1). The law of grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:7). The old law (like the ten commandments) still stands, only the ordinances were done away with through Christ. We all fall short at times and sin, that is why we have repentance. (When we truly repent from the heart to the Heavenly Father, He forgives us).
Neh 9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:God's Sabbath was in (Genesis 2:1-3). Made known to Israel in (Exodus 20:9-11). Established as a sign in (Exodus 31:13-17). Sabbath made for man in (Mark 2:27). Christ is Lord of the Sabbath in (Mark 2:28).
Neh 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.Gave them bread: This would be Manna "Angels food." (Deuteronomy 8:16, Psalm 78:24-25, John 6:31, 57-58). Our bread would be the "Bread of life," which is Christ. (John 6:32-35). Water out of the rock: (Exodus 17:6, Numbers 20:7-11, Deuteronomy 8:15). Paul tells us about the rock that provided the water was Christ. (I Corinthians 10:4). Our water is the "rivers of living water," which is the Holy Spirit. (John 7:37-39).
Neh 9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,Proud and stubborn and paid no attention. (Satan's downfall was pride). There were two things to which the Israelites did not duly give heed, else they had not done as they did. The word of God they heard, but they gave no heed to God's commandments, and the works of God they saw, but were not mindful of his wonders. Had they really considered them as miracles, they would have obeyed from a principle of faith and holy fear: had they duly considered them as mercies, they would have obeyed from a principle of gratitude and holy love.
Neh 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.They would not obey God or remember what He had done for them. They became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt. (Numbers 14:3-4). This was after the spies came back from investigating the promise land and reported giants in the land. (Numbers 13:28, 33). Not trusting God, never satisfied and always wanting more. Sound familiar? However, God is long suffering. (II Peter 3:9), good thing for us.
Neh 9:18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;A golden calf. (Exodus 32:4).
Neh 9:19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.God never abandoned His people. (Psalm 106:7-8, 45).
Neh 9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.God gave them the spirit of instruction and food and drink. (Numbers 11:25-29, Exodus 16:15, 17:6). When our Heavenly Father gives you "spirit of instruction," listen to Him.
Neh 9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.They lacked nothing because God takes care of His own. Forty years in the wilderness, and their clothes didn't even wear out. (Deuteronomy 8:4, 29:5, Psalm 34:10).
Neh 9:22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.Led them into the promise land and divided them their lot. (Joshua 11:23).
Neh 9:23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.Made their descendants as numerous as the stars. (Genesis 15:5, 22:17).
Neh 9:24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.God kept his promise and they took position of the promise land. (Joshua 21:43, 21:45).
Neh 9:25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.Our ancestors captured fortified cities and took over houses full of goods. They had an abundance of food and drink. So, they ate till they became fat: "They became effeminate, fell under the power of luxury, got totally corrupted in their manners, sinned against all the mercies of God, and then were destroyed by His judgments." (Deuteronomy 32:15, Jeremiah 5:27-28, Hosea 13:6). It happens today when many people are doing so well. They drink, party, and eat till they become obese, forgetting about God when all is well. "Party on... We have plenty of time to learn about God."
Neh 9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.Disobedient and rebelled against God. Turned their backs on the laws of God and killed the prophets who warned them when they were doing wrong. (Acts 7:52). "Look around today and you will see it." Many people play church, but how many really know or study the Word?
Neh 9:27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.Delivered them to the hand of the enemy who made them suffer. But, when the people cried out, God gave them saviors, (liberators or Judges), who rescued them from their enemies. (Judges 2:18). Today, Christ is our Savior (judge), and He rescues us from sin and the devil.
Neh 9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;But, as soon as they were at peace, the people committed evil again, and once more You let their enemies conquer them. But our God is a forgiving God, and He rescued them many times. (Psalm 106:43-45).
Neh 9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.Warned them to return to the law, but they became proud and would not listen. Which if a man do, he shall live in them: This is a quote from (Leviticus 18:5). The idea being that if you obey the law you will have eternal life. "The problem is that eternal life cannot come from the law, because we are unable to keep it." However, eternal life comes from believing and trusting in Christ. (Romans 10:4-11), Christ came to fulfill the law and has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. "All who believe in Him are made right with God." However, let me ask you this question? In order to believe in someone, don't you need to get to know them first? Of course you do. You need to know the truth of God's Word before you can get to truly know Him. Quit listening to man and listen to God. If you plan on being made right with God by keeping the law, it requires that you are obedient to all it's commands. "As long as you are in this flesh body, it won't happen." No man, woman, or child can do it. If you think you can, you are just fooling yourself. We all mess up at times, that is why we have repentance. When you repent to the Heavenly Father and mean it from the heart, you have a clean slate again. That's why Christ died for us all. So that we would have a chance at salvation through believing in Him. Christ paid an awesome price for our sins. (Hebrews 2:14-18).
Neh 9:30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.Forsake God and He will turn away from you. (The people are saying here that they deserved to go into captivity). Now they want to do things right.
Neh 9:31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.God always has a plan and preserved a remnant to pass the truth on.
Neh 9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.God corrects His children when they need it. (Hebrews 12:6), God corrects who He loves.
Neh 9:33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:Every time God punished them, they deserved it. "You always get what you deserve."
Neh 9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.They did not listen then and people do not listen now. (People mess up today because they are not familiar with Gods law or the bible).
Neh 9:35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.Speaking of Israel and the rich land. (Isaiah 5:1-7), God compares Israel to a vineyard.
Neh 9:36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:Slaves to the King of Persia at the time. (Ezra 9:9). Just like many today that are slaves to usury.
Neh 9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.The king of Persia and his people were enjoying the fruits of the land.
Neh 9:38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.They are making a sealed document with God, not to sin any more against Him. (Ezra 10:3).
Neh 10:1 Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, Nehemiah is the first to sign the contract with God. Forming the "Great Synagogue." It consisted at first of 120 members, but was afterword reduced to seventy. It represented the five divisions of the nations: The chiefs of the priests; the chief Levites; the chiefs of the people; the representatives of the cities; and the doctors of the law. Its work was by solemn oath not to: Intermarry with the heathen; to keep the Sabbath; to keep the Sabbatical year; to annually pay to the temple; to supply wood for the altar; to pay the priestly dues; to collect and preserve the canonical scriptures. The "Great Synagogue" lasted 110 years: from Nehemiah to Simon the just. When having completed its work, it became known as the "Sanhedrim" of the NT. (Many of the Sanhedrim were bad and slipped in just as the kenites did). this formed supreme council of the Jewish nation; which rejected the kingdom, and crucified the King (Messiah). We will skip down to verse 28.
Neh 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
Neh 10:3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah,
Neh 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
Neh 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
Neh 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
Neh 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
Neh 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.
Neh 10:9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;
Neh 10:10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
Neh 10:11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,
Neh 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
Neh 10:13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.
Neh 10:14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,
Neh 10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
Neh 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
Neh 10:17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,
Neh 10:18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,
Neh 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
Neh 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
Neh 10:21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,
Neh 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
Neh 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,
Neh 10:24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek,
Neh 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
Neh 10:26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,
Neh 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
Neh 10:28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;The people who were mature enough to understand what they were doing, make a promise to God. (To obey the law of God).
Neh 10:29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into 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 judgments and his statutes;They joined their leaders and bound them with an oath. (They swore a curse on themselves if they failed to obey the law of God as issued by His servant Moses).
Neh 10:30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:Ezra was grieved about this when he first arrived in Jerusalem. (Ezra 9:1-3), Ezra calling the nation together and asking those who married foreign wives to divorce them.
Neh 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.No buying or selling on the Sabbath or other holy days. (Part of the Sabbath laws).
Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;According to the law, every one above twenty years of age was to give half a shekel to the sanctuary for a ransom for their souls. But, on account of the general poverty of the people, occasioned by their wars, and captivity, and by heavy tributes, etc., in the land of their captivity, this sum was reduced to the third part of a shekel. (II Corinthians 8:12). (About an eighth of an ounce of silver).
Neh 10:33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.This was for the Bread of the Presence; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths. (II Chronicles 2:4, Hebrews 10:11).
Neh 10:34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law:It was the business of the Nethinim to procure the wood for the fires of the temple, but it is probable few of them returned to their former masters after the captivity; and therefore they found it necessary to cast lots among the priests, Levites, and people, who should furnish the wood at appointed times. This bringing of the wood to the temple at last became a great day; and was constituted into a feast, called by Josephus, (ξυλοφορια), "the carrying of the wood."
Neh 10:35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:Required to give their first-fruits of all their produce to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 26:2, Proverbs 3:9-10).
Neh 10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:All the firstborn belonged to the Lord. The animals were sacrificed. For the children, this meant buying them back (redeeming them), from the Lord with an animal sacrifice. (Exodus 13:2, Numbers 18:15-16).
Neh 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.Stored the produce in the storerooms of the Temple. The best of their grains, fruits, wine and olive oil. (Their tithes, a tenth of their income from the ground was given).
Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.A priest (a descendant of Aaron), will be there when the Levites receive this tithes. The tithes of all the produce of the fields were brought to the Levites; and out of these a tenth part was given to the priests, which is here called the tithe of the tithes.
Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.They would not forsake the Temple by not bringing their offerings.
Neh 11:1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.The princes or heads of the families living there. (Nehemiah 7:4-5). Jerusalem certainly had many inhabitants at this time, but not sufficient to preserve the city, which was now encompassed with a wall, the building of which was going on fast. Nehemiah, therefore, obliged one-tenth of the country people to come and dwell in it, that the population might be sufficient for the defense of the city. Some volunteered their services, which was at that time considered a sacrifice to patriotism; as Jerusalem then afforded very few advantages, and was a place of considerable danger. Hence "the people blessed them that willingly offered themselves."
Neh 11:2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.Everyone who volunteered to resettle in Jerusalem. (Some wanted to live in Jerusalem and some did not).
Neh 11:3 Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants.There is a good deal of difference between this enumeration and that in Chronicles; as this comprehends not only those who came first with Zerubbabel, but also those who came with Ezra and Nehemiah. (I Chronicles 9:18). Israel: The common name of the nation, not just the ten tribes. (I Kings 12:17). The Nethinims: (Ezra 2:43). The children or sons: (Ezra 2:55-58). We will skip over 11:4-36, and pick it up on chapter 12.
Neh 11:4 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;
Neh 11:5 And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.
Neh 11:6 All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.
Neh 11:7 And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah.
Neh 11:8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.
Neh 11:9 And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
Neh 11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.
Neh 11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God.
Neh 11:12 And their brethren that did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,
Neh 11:13 And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
Neh 11:14 And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.
Neh 11:15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
Neh 11:16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.
Neh 11:17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
Neh 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.
Neh 11:19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.
Neh 11:20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.
Neh 11:21 But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.
Neh 11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God.
Neh 11:23 For it was the king's commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.
Neh 11:24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.
Neh 11:25 And for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjatharba, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof,
Neh 11:26 And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Bethphelet,
Neh 11:27 And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and in the villages thereof,
Neh 11:28 And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,
Neh 11:29 And at Enrimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth,
Neh 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.
Neh 11:31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages,
Neh 11:32 And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
Neh 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,
Neh 11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,
Neh 11:35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
Neh 11:36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.
Neh 12:1 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,Continuing down to verse 27.
Neh 12:2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Neh 12:3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
Neh 12:4 Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah,
Neh 12:5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,
Neh 12:6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Neh 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.
Neh 12:8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.
Neh 12:9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches.
Neh 12:10 And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada,
Neh 12:11 And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua.
Neh 12:12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;
Neh 12:13 Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
Neh 12:14 Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;
Neh 12:15 Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;
Neh 12:16 Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
Neh 12:17 Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;
Neh 12:18 Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
Neh 12:19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;
Neh 12:20 Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
Neh 12:21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.
Neh 12:22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.
Neh 12:23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.
Neh 12:24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.
Neh 12:25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.
Neh 12:26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
Neh 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.Jerusalem was the holy city, and the wall was built under the immediate superintendence and blessing of Jehovah. It was therefore proper that it should be dedicated to that God who was there worshipped by solemn praises, prayers, and sacrifices. The dedication seems to have consisted in processions of the most eminent persons around the walls, with thanksgivings to God, who had enabled them to bring the work to so happy a conclusion; and, no doubt, to all this were added a particular consecration of the city to God, and the most earnest invocation that He would take it under His guardianship, and defend it and its inhabitants against their enemies. (Deuteronomy 20:5, Psalm 30:1), Also (Psalm 122, Psalm 147), would have been a suitable for the occasion.
Neh 12:28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;The singers brought together for the dedication.
Neh 12:29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.The house: or, Beth-Gilgal, a village erected where the Israelites encamped after they had crossed the Jordan. (Deuteronomy 11:30, Joshua 5:9, 10:43).
Neh 12:30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.Purified themselves as well as the gates and the walls. Washed their clothes to purify themselves (Exodus 19:10), but how did they purify the walls and gates? Probably by sprinkling sacrificial blood on them.
Neh 12:31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:The procession: Verses 31 through 37 appears that Ezra was in the first group of the procession starting on the southwest corner of the wall down by the dung gate, and would proceed east and then north toward the Temple.
Neh 12:32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,
Neh 12:33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
Neh 12:34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,
Neh 12:35 And certain of the priests' sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:
Neh 12:36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.
Neh 12:37 And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.The stairs: Jerusalem was built on very uneven ground, some hills being enclosed within the walls, there was a necessity, therefore, for steps, by which to ascend and descend; probably similar to what is seen in the city of Bristol. (Nehemiah 3:15).
Neh 12:38 And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;Verses 38 & 39 include the group with Nehemiah, and starts at the same place, but heads north along the "broad wall" toward the Temple.
Neh 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.
Neh 12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:Both groups all ready in their places.
Neh 12:41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;Played the trumpets.
Neh 12:42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.They sang loud under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director.
Neh 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.Many sacrifices were offered and all the people participated in the celebration because they felt safe now.
Neh 12:44 And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.The first fruits and portions required by law. Keep the treasury full for the priests and Levites.
Neh 12:45 And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son.Performed the service of their God and the service of purification as commanded by David and his son Solomon.
Neh 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.This custom of praising God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph. (I Chronicles 25:1-31, II Chronicles 29:30).
Neh 12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.That is, the people separated, or set apart, the tenth of the produce of their lands for the use of the Levites; and the Levites separated the tenth of their tithes for the priests. (Numbers 18:21-29).
Neh 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;A passage found in the book of (Deuteronomy 23:3-6), The prohibition against Ammonites or Moabites goes back to the time of Balaam.
Neh 13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. They hired Balaam to curse the children of Israel, but God turned the curse into a blessing. (Numbers 22:3-6, Joshua 24:9-10).
Neh 13:3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.Always a snare to Israel. (Mixing with other people).
Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:The high priest was Eliashib (who helped the building of the wall). He was allied to (Tobiah), the enemy of God, the one who tried to stop the building of the Temple. (Nehemiah 13:7).
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.The enemy (Tobiah the Ammonite), lived right in the chambers of the priests. He opposed the re-building of the walls of Jerusalem. He accused Nehemiah of rebelling against the Persians. (Nehemiah 2:19), He ridiculed the work of the wall (Nehemiah 4:3), and he conspired to attack the city, and was in on the conspiracy to get Nehemiah out of the city so they could kill him. (Nehemiah 4:7-8, 6:1-2). Tobiah also hired false prophets to prophecy against Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 6:12). He was connected to the Jewish leaders through marriage. (Nehemiah 6:17-19), now he connects with the high priest and moves right in the Temple. (See how Satan works his way right in).
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:Nehemiah speaking here. Requesting to return to Jerusalem. Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, and remained there till the thirty-second, being twelve years; then returned to Babylon; and probably, after about a year, got leave to revisit his brethren, and found matters as here stated.
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.Tobiah didn’t belong there. They should have confronted and stood up to Eliashib about providing Tobia with a room in the courtyards of the Temple.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.Nehemiah cleaned house and threw all Tobias stuff out. Just as Christ cleaned house in the Temple of the moneychangers. (Mark 11:15-17, John 2:13-17). We have power over Satan. (Luke10:17-19), "use it." When things get a little tough and you know Satan is on your back; rebuke him! "Get behind me Satan, in Jesus precious name!" (Don't ever let the enemy (Satan), come in and set up house).
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.Nehemiah demanded that the room be purified. Just as Christ did. (Matthew 21:12).
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.The Levites and the singers had to leave and go back to the fields and work because they were being ripped off by the false priests. Don't let yourself get ripped off by false teachers and churches always begging for money. (The word needs to be freely given, to have any value). "God is not for sale."
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Nehemiah confronted the leaders about why the Temple of God was being neglected.
Neh 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.Now the storehouses being replenished.
Neh 13:13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. Nehemiah assigned supervisors for the storerooms (ones that could be trusted and had good reputations), to make honest distributions to their fellow Levites.
Neh 13:14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof. Remember me, O my God, all that I have done for the Temple. "Your good works always go with you." (Hebrews 6:10, Revelation 3:5).
Neh 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.It was against the law at that time to work on the Sabbath, so Nehemiah rebuked them. (Nehemiah 10:31, Numbers 15:32-36, Jeremiah 17:21-22). Christ became our Sabbath. (Hebrews 4:1-11, Colossians 2:14-16).
Neh 13:16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.They had taken an oath to honor the Sabbath, but again they had fallen back from their promise.
Neh 13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?Nehemiah confronted the nobles of Judah and asked them why they were doing this?
Neh 13:18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.Didn't learn a thing from their ancestors. The Sabbath was something special for Israel. (Exodus 31:13-17).
Neh 13:19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.The gates were now closed and guarded until the Sabbath ended so that no merchandise could be brought in.
Neh 13:20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.Now these guys were camping outside the gates, either to sell or waiting to get inside.
Neh 13:21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.Nehemiah gave them a warning, and that was the last time this happened. (Nehemiah gets a little tough and sets them straight). Sometimes you need to get a little tough with people. (Its called tough love).
Neh 13:22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.The Levites were commanded to help secure the gates.
Neh 13:23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:The same problem over and over again! (Ezra 10:12-14, Nehemiah 10:30).
Neh 13:24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.They spoke half Philistine and half Hebrew. (Kind of confusing language).
Neh 13:25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.Nehemiah confronts them and actually gets physical with them, and makes them swear not to let their children intermarry with the pagan people. Jesus tells us to get a little tough at times to prevent sin also. (Matthew 5:27-30).
Neh 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.Foreign wives caused Solomon to sin. He started to worship their Gods. (I Kings 11:1-8, II Samuel 12:24-25).
Neh 13:27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?i.e. Don't do this, or we will be in trouble again.
Neh 13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.Tobiah married into the leadership of the Jews, now we see that Sanballat had done the same thing, marrying into the family of the high priest. (Ran him out because they were inventing their own religion and getting their own priests).
Neh 13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.Defiling the priesthood. (Malachi 2:1-8, Ezra 2:62).
Neh 13:30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;Reinstituting the courses.
Neh 13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.Made sure everything was in order. All for the good of God. Just like Nehemiah, God will remember us for all that we do to further His ministry of truth. "Well done my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21).
Keep The Faith,