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1 The words of Nehemiah the sonne of Hachaliah. And it came to passe in the moneth Chisleu, in the twentieth yeere, as I was in Shushan the palace;

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren came, he and certaine men of Iudah, and I asked them concerning the Iewes that had escaped, which were left of the captiuitie, and concerning Ierusalem.

3 And they said vnto me, The remnant that are left of the captiuitie there in the prouince, are in great affliction and reproch: the wall of Ierusalem also is broken downe, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire.

4 And it came to passe when I heard these words, that I sate downe and wept, and mourned certaine dayes, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heauen,

5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heauen, the great and terrible God, that keepeth couenant and mercie for them that loue him, and obserue his commandements:

6 Let thine eare now be attentiue, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest heare the prayer of thy seruant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy seruants, and confesse the sinnes of the children of Israel, which wee haue sinned against thee: both I, and my fathers house haue sinned.

7 We haue dealt very corruptly against thee, and haue not kept the commandements, nor the statutes, nor the iudgements, which thou commandedst thy seruant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy seruant Moses, saying, If yee transgresse, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turne vnto me, and keepe my commandements, and doe them: though there were of you cast out vnto the vttermost part of the heauen, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them vnto the place that I haue chosen, to set my Name there.

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

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine eare be attentiue to the prayer of thy seruant, and to the prayer of thy seruants, who desire to feare thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy seruant this day, and grant him mercie in the sight of this man. For I was the kings cup-bearer.

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Commentary for Nehemiah 1

The Old Testament history closes with the book of Nehemiah, wherein is recorded the workings of his heart, in the management of public affairs; with many devout reflections.Nehemiah's distress for the misery of Jerusalem, His prayer.

- Nehemiah was the Persian king's cup-bearer. When God has work to do, he will never want instruments to do it with. Nehemiah lived at ease, and in honour, but does not forget that he is an Israelite, and that his brethren are in distress. He was ready to do them all the good offices he could; and that he might know how best to do them a kindness, he makes inquiries about them. We should inquire especially concerning the state of the church and religion. Every Jerusalem on this side the heavenly one will have some defect, which will require the help and services of its friends. Nehemiah's first application was to God, that he might have the fuller confidence in his application to the king. Our best pleas in prayer are taken from the promise of God, the word on which he has caused us to hope. Other means must be used, but the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails most. Communion with God will best prepare us for our dealings with men. When we have intrusted our concerns to God, the mind is set at liberty; it feels satisfaction and composure, and difficulties vanish. We know that if the affair be hurtful, he can easily hinder it; and if it be good for us, he can as easily forward it.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Nehemiah 1

  • DAVID
    THE LORD IS TELLING US TO GET OUR HOUSES IN ORDER, SPIRITUALLY, GOD SAID IN ISAIAH 43:19, BEHOLD(LOOK, PAY ATTENTION), I WILL DO A NEW THING, NOW IT SHALL COME FORTH, SHALL YOU NOT KNOW IT? 1 CORITHIANS 5:17, IF ANY BE IN CHRIST HE IS A NEW CREATION: OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY, BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW. GOD ALMIGHTY HAS MOVED TO THE NAME OF JESUS, OUR SAVIOR, CHRISTJESUS, THE ANOINTED-
  • Irene123
    Did anyone know that Ezra and Nehemiah were the last 2 books of the O.T. written, Nehemiah being the very last, before the 400 yrs. silence between the Old and New testaments? There were writings during those 400 yrs., but even the writers didn't consider them inspired of God, is why they are not included in the canon of His word. Nehemiah was the last INSPIRED word of God for the O.T.
  • Irene123
    To Ms. Gaddis - that was very insightful. Yes, we can build our walls - without prayer at the same time for the lost. It's prayer and only prayer that will give us a burden for souls.
  • George Lay
    God is almighty. He constantly trying to convince us of that, but we fail to reconise and obey him. This is a constant battle between God and man. Man fail to realize who God is and respect and obeisance he deserve.
  • Derest Brown
    In v 5, Nehemiah uses 7 definitives for the One he addresses:
    1) LORD
    2) the God
    3) of heaven
    4) the great
    5) and terrible God
    6) that keepeth covenant
    7) and mercy

    Then he is explicit about the character of those God shows mercy:
    --for them that love him
    --and observe his commandments

    We must be faithful in obeying His commands, and He will ALWAYS hear and answer our prayers.
  • Min Herbert
    Their are many thing in our own life to be rebuilding as of now our mind our spirit become the person God want us to become in is name and find the favor of God by walking with faith knowing we are the head and not the tail that is what Nehemiah did with the wall that has falling down also the fence that is on fire. I love that word fire why it let us know something can be broken also redeemed

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