Nehemiah 13

1 Upon the reading of the law, separation is made from the mixed multitude.

4 Nehemiah, at his return, causes the chambers to be cleansed.

10 He reforms the offices in the house of God;

15 the violation of the sabbath;

23 and the marriages with the strange wives.

that day.Some suppose that the events recorded in these verses took place several years after those related in the preceding chapter, while Nehemiah was absent at the Persian court; but the introductory language, on that day, seems rather to imply that they occurred immediately, or at least about that time.

they read. Heb. there was read.

8:3-8; 9:3; De 31:11,12; 2Ki 23:2; Isa 34:16; Lu 4:16-19; 10:26

Ac 13:15; 15:21

audience. Heb. ears. the Ammonite.

23; De 23:3-5; Isa 15:1-16:14; Jer 48:1-47; Eze 25:1-11; Am 2:1-3


2:10,19; 4:3; Ps 83:7-9; Jer 49:1-6; Am 1:13-15


Mt 25:40

hired Balaam.

Nu 22:3-6; Jos 24:9,10

our God.

Nu 23:8-11,18; 24:5-10; De 23:5; Ps 109:28; Mic 6:5

when they.

Ps 19:7-11; 119:9,11; Pr 6:23; Ro 3:20

that they.

9:2; 10:28; Ezr 10:11; Jas 1:27

the mixed.

Ex 12:38; Nu 11:4




having the oversight of. Heb. being set over.



28; 6:17,18

a great.

10:38; 12:44; 2Ch 34:11

which was commanded to be given to the. Heb. the commandmentof the.

Nu 18:21-24


Ex 32:1; 2Ch 24:17,18; Mt 13:25

was.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.

the two.

2:1; 5:14

after certain days. Heb. at the end of days.


obtained I. or, I earnestly requested.


Ezr 9:1; 1Co 1:11

in preparing.

1,5; La 1:10; Mt 21:12,13; Ac 21:28,29

it grieved.

Ezr 9:3,4; 10:1; Ps 69:9

I cast.

Mr 11:15-17; Joh 2:13-17

they cleansed.

12:45; 2Ch 29:5,15-19

the portions.

10:37; 12:47; Mal 1:6-14; 3:8; 1Ti 5:17,18

to his field.

Nu 35:2


17,25; 5:6-13; Job 31:34; Pr 28:4

Why is the house.

10:39; 1Sa 2:17; Mal 3:8-11

place. Heb. standing.


10:37-39; 12:44; Le 27:30; Nu 18:20-26; De 14:22

treasuries. or, storehouses.

Mal 3:10

I made.

12:44; 2Ch 31:12-15





next to them. Heb. at their hand. Zaccur.



11:22; 12:35


7:2; 2Ki 12:15; 22:7; Lu 12:42; 16:10-12; Ac 6:3; 1Co 4:2; 1Ti 1:12

1Ti 3:10

their office. Heb. it was upon them. to distribute.

Ac 4:35; 6:1

Remember me.

22,31; 5:19; Ps 122:6-9; Heb 6:10; Re 3:5

wipe not.If thou wert strict to mark what is done amiss, even my good deeds must be wiped out: but, Lord, remember me in thy mercy, and let my upright conduct be acceptable to Thee! By some, Nehemiah has been thought to deal too much with God on the principle of merit. That he wished God to remember him for good is sufficiently evident, and who does not wish the same? But that he expected heaven for his good deeds does not appear; for it is perfectly clear that he expected nothing from God but through the greatness of his mercy.


good deeds. Heb. kindnesses. house.

1Ch 29:3; 2Ch 24:16; 31:20,21; Ezr 7:20,24,27; Ps 122:6-9

offices. or, observations.

treading wine.

Ex 20:8-11; 34:21; 35:2; Isa 58:13; Eze 20:13


10:31; Nu 15:32-36; Jer 17:21,22,24,27

I testified.

21; 9:29; De 8:19; 2Ch 24:19; Ps 50:7; Jer 42:19; Mic 6:3; Ac 2:40

Ac 20:21; Ga 5:3; Eph 4:17; 1Th 4:6; Re 22:18,19

men of Tyre.

Ex 23:12; De 5:14

I contended.

11,25; 5:7; Ps 82:1,2; Pr 28:4; Isa 1:10; Jer 5:5; 13:18; 22:2-23

Mic 3:1,9

Did not your.

Ezr 9:13-15; Jer 17:21-23,27; 44:9,22; Eze 23:8,26; Zec 1:4-6

ye bring more.

Le 26:18,28; Nu 32:14; Jos 22:17,18

began to be.

Le 23:22

I commanded.

7:3; Ex 31:14-17; Jer 17:19-22


I testified.


about the wall. Heb. before the wall. I will lay.

Ezr 7:26; Ro 13:3,4; 1Pe 2:14

I commanded.

7:64,65; 12:30; 2Ki 23:4; 1Ch 15:12-14; 2Ch 29:4,5,24,27,30

Isa 49:23




De 5:12


14,31; 5:19; Ps 132:1-5; Isa 38:3; 2Co 1:12; 2Ti 4:7,8

spare me.

Ps 25:6,7; 51:1; 130:3,4,7; 143:1,2

greatness. or, multitude.

Ps 5:7; Isa 55:7

married. Heb. made to dwell with them.

10:30; Ezr 9:2,11,12; 10:10,44; 2Co 6:14


1Sa 5:1



could not speak. Heb. they discerned not to speak. eachpeople. Heb. people and people.

Zep 3:9

I contended.

11,17; Pr 28:4

cursed. or, reviled.

5:13; De 27:14-26; Ps 15:4; Lu 11:45,46


De 25:2,3; Ezr 7:26


Isa 50:6

made them.

10:29,30; De 6:13; 2Ch 15:12-15; Ezr 10:5

Ye shall not.

Ex 34:16; De 7:3

Did not Solomon.

1Ki 11:1-8; Ec 7:26

yet among.

2Sa 12:24,25; 1Ki 3:13; 2Ch 1:12; 9:22

who was beloved.

2Sa 12:24

Shall we then.

1Sa 30:24

to transgress.

Ezr 10:2

And one.Josephus relates, that this young man was named Manasseh; and that at his request, Sanballat and the Samaritans built their temple upon mount Gerizim, in opposition to that at Jerusalem, at which he officiated, in some measure, according to the Mosaic ritual.





son in law.

4,5; 6:17-19



I chased.

25; Ps 101:8; Pr 20:8,26; Ro 13:3,4


6:14; Ps 59:5-13; 2Ti 4:14

because they have defiled. Heb. for the defilings of.

Le 21:1-7

the covenant.

Nu 16:9,10; 25:12,13; 1Sa 2:30; Mal 2:4-8,10-12




12:1-26; 1Ch 23:1-26:32

the wood.



14,22; Ps 25:7; 26:8,9; 106:4; Lu 23:42 CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH. Of Nehemiah, the author and principal actor in the events recorded in this book, the Jews speak as one of the greatest men of their nation. His concern for his country entitles him to the character of the first patriot that ever lived. Descended, according to some, of the family of Aaron, or according to others, of the tribe of Judah and allied to the royal family of David, in the course of Divine Providence, he was a captive in Babylon: but there his excellences were so apparent, that he was chosen by the Persian king to fill an office the most respectable and the most confidential in the whole court. Here he lived in ease and affluence: he lacked no good thing; and here he might have continued to live, in the same affluence, and in the same confidence; but he could enjoy neither, so long as he knew his people distressed, the sepulchres of his fathers trodden under foot, the altars of his God overturned, and his worship either totally neglected or corrupted. He sought the peace of Jerusalem; prayed for it; and was willing to sacrifice wealth, ease, safety, and even life itself, if he might be the instrument of restoring the desolations of Israel. And God, who saw the desire of his heart, and knew the excellences with which he had endowed him, granted his request, and gave him the high honour of restoring the desolated city of his ancestors, and the pure worship of their God. The opposition of Sanballat and the Samaritans, and the firmness and zeal with which he repelled their insults and ineffectual efforts cannot be read without the liveliest emotions; and will afford to the latest times, a noble and animating example of distinguished patriotism, united with the sincerest devotion to the interests of religion. The virtue and piety of this great and good man, appear with equal lustre in the numerous and important reformations he effected. He relieved the people from their hardships and oppressions, by abolishing the harsh and usurious practices of the nobles and rulers; gave up his own revenue, as governor of the province, for the benefit of the people; and, as a further means of conciliating their affections, exhibited an example of the most princely hospitality. As the best security for good morals, and the better observance of the laws of God, he re-established the offices of public worship, and prevented the profanation of the sabbath, which had arrived at a shameful excess; he furnished the returned captives with authentic registers, and enabled them, in the best manner possible, after so long and calamitous an interval, to trace the genealogies, and claim the inheritance of their respective families; and further, he accomplished the separation of the Jewish people from the mixed multitude, with which they had been incorporated, and annulled the numerous marriages which they had made with heathens and idolaters of every description. For disinterestedness, philanthropy, patriotism, prudence, courage, zeal, humanity, and every virtue that constitutes a great mind, and proves a soul in deep communion with God, Nehemiah will ever stand conspicuous among the greatest men of the Jewish nation; and an exemplar worthy of being copied by the first patriots in every nation under heaven.
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