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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Si13ntk40s
    His lesson for the Jews was that whatever he told them, they would argue about it and debate. They never listen, still to this day they question the concept of God in their churches. And so if they don't agree on one thing, he's going to scatter them around the world like seeds without a hand to guide.
  • BSP
    Verse 4~The will of Jehovah God taking place meant so much to Nehemiah that when he heard that the work was not progressing he wept.
  • David Eyang
    Nehemiah 1:9
    If we confess our sin's GOD is ready to forgive, no matter our deeds.
  • Dennis
    Janet, Nehemiah isn't the last book of the Old Testament chronologically, that would of course be Malachi. It is the last book to record the actual history of the nation of Israel. The following is a quote from Gill's introduction of the book: "it is the last of the historical books
    that was written, as is thought, and contains an history of the space of about twelve years"
  • Art
    God teaches to us to never stop praying teaches us structure,walls fall but teaches to rebuild teaches to search for what is right and fallow it,and always be THANKFUL from ur food to what ever God puts in front of you and give from ur heart and expect nothing back it discipline us to LOVE also fast teaches us to go against flesh,and teaches us to follow the spirt.. IN JESUS NAME AMEN
  • Janet
    I don't understand how Nehemiah is the last book of the Old Testament.
  • Elias amorim
    He´s the last but not the least one, i love hiws way of worriness for the other still living in jerusalem.
  • Tim
    I'm looking for the book and verse were pray. O lord the great and awesome God who keep his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands. So I turn to lord god and pleaded with him in prayer and petition on behalf of another or other who desperately need god intervention.
  • 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.

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Bible Trivia

Nehemiah was concerned by the news he received from the land of Judah for what reason?
  • Jerusalem's walls and gates were in disrepair
  • Drought had destroyed all the crops
  • Romans had invaded the land
  • The temple was in shambles