Nehemiah 5:14 MEANING

Nehemiah 5:14
(14-19) Nehemiah's vindication of his own conduct.

(14) I was appointed.--That he appointed me, viz., Artaxerxes.

Twelve years.--The whole narrative, thus far, was written after his return from Jerusalem, and on a review of his governorship; hence, "their governor in the land of Judah." Of his second appointment the same thing might have been said: but that, at the time of writing, was in the future.

I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.--At the close of the twelve years' term, Nehemiah could say that he and his official attendants had not drawn the customary allowances from the people.

Verse 14. - From the day that I was appointed. Literally, "from the day that he (i.e. Artaxerxes) appointed me." From the twentieth year. See above, Nehemiah 2:1. The appointment, having taken place in Nisan, was in B.C. 444. Unto the two and thirtieth year. We see here that this chapter, and therefore, probably, the entire first section (chs. 1-7.) of this Book, was not written until B.C. 432, the year in which Nehemiah returned to the Persian court from Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:6). I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. i.e. "have not lived at the expense of our subjects, as Persian governors do ordinarily." Nehemiah's brethren here are probably not his brothers only, but his entire court.

5:14-19 Those who truly fear God, will not dare to do any thing cruel or unjust. Let all who are in public places remember that they are so placed to do good, not to enrich themselves. Nehemiah mentions it to God in prayer, not as if he had merited any favour from God, but to show that he depended upon God only, to make up to him what he had lost and laid out for his honour. Nehemiah evidently spake and acted as one that knew himself to be a sinner. He did not mean to claim a reward as of debt, but in the manner that the Lord rewards a cup of cold water given to a disciple for his sake. The fear and love of God in the heart, and true love of the brethren, will lead to every good work. These are proper evidences of justifying faith; and our reconciled God will look upon persons of this character for good, according to all they have done for his people.Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah,.... That is, by the king of Persia, which was not done when he was first sent into Judea; but very probably when he had finished the wall in fifty two days, he returned to Persia, and gave the king an account of his success, and how things stood in those parts, when he judged it necessary to send him again in the character of a governor, and which was still within the same year, as follows: from the twentieth year, even unto the thirty second year of Artaxerxes, that is, twelve years; see Nehemiah 13:6.

I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor; which was fit and proper for him, and used to be given him; neither he, nor those that assisted him in the government, the principal men he brought along with him, and put into posts and places under him.

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