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Return from Exile

(Category 11 of 16)

page 423

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aNeh. 2:10,
19
3 aNeh. 2:10,
19
4 aPs. 123:3, 4
bPs. 79:12;
Prov. 3:34
5 aPs. 69:27,
28; 109:14, 15;
Jer. 18:23
7 aNeh. 4:1
bNeh. 2:19
1Lit. breaks
8 aPs. 83:3–5
9 a[Ps. 50:15]

The Wall Defended Against Enemies

4

1 But it so happened, awhen Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.
2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish— stones that are burned?”
3 Now aTobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”
4 aHear, O our God, for we are despised; bturn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity!
5 aDo not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
6 So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
7 Now it happened, awhen Sanballat, Tobiah, bthe Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the 1gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry,
8 and all of them aconspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.
9 Nevertheless awe made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
10 Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”
11 And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.”
12 So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”
13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14 And I looked, and arose and said

page 424

NEHEMIAH 4:15

to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, a“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, bgreat and awesome, and cfight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and athat God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.
16 So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders 1were behind all the house of Judah.
17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.
18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
19 Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall.
20 “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. aOur God will fight for us.”
21 So we labored in the work, and half of 1the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared.
22 At the same time I also said to the people, “Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day.”
23 So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes, except that everyone took them off for washing.

Nehemiah Deals with Oppression

5

1 And there was a great aoutcry of the people and their wives against their bJewish brethren.
2 For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”
3 There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”
4 There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards.
5 “Yet now aour flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we bare forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem

14 a[Num.
14:9]; Deut.
1:29 b[Deut.
10:17] c2 Sam.
10:12
15 aJob 5:12
16 1Supported
20 aEx. 14:14,
25; Deut. 1:30;
3:22; 20:4;
Josh. 23:10;
2 Chr. 20:29
21 1Lit. them

CHAPTER 5 References

1 aLev.
25:35–37;
Neh. 5:7, 8
bDeut. 15:7
5 aIs. 58:7 dEx.
21:7; [Lev.
25:39] 7 a[Ex. 22:25;
Lev. 25:36;
Deut. 23:19,
20]; Ezek.
22:12 1charging
interest
2Lit. held
8 aLev. 25:48
9 aLev. 25:36
b2 Sam. 12:14;
Rom. 2:24;
[1 Pet. 2:12] 10 1interest
12 aEzra 10:5;
Jer. 34:8, 9
13 aMatt.
10:14; Acts
13:51; 18:6
b2 Kin. 23:3
1Lit. my lap
14 aNeh. 2:1;
13:6 b[1 Cor.
9:4–15] 15 a2 Cor. 11:9;
12:13 bNeh.
5:9
16 aNeh. 4:1;
6:1 1So with
MT; LXX,
Syr.,Vg. I
17 a2 Sam. 9:7;
1 Kin. 18:19
18 a1 Kin. 4:22

them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.”
6 And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words.
7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, a“Each of you is 1exacting usury from his brother.” So I 2called a great assembly against them.
8 And I said to them, “According to our ability we have aredeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?” Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.
9 Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk ain the fear of our God bbecause of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?
10 “I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this 1usury!
11 “Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.”
12 So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.” Then I called the priests, aand required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.
13 Then aI shook out 1the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. bThen the people did according to this promise.

The Generosity of Nehemiah

14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year auntil the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers bate the governor’s provisions.
15 But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver.Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but aI did not do so, because of the bfear of God.
16 Indeed, I also continued the awork on this wall, and 1we did not buy any land. All my servants were gathered there for the work.
17 And aat my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us.
18 Now that awhich was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowl were prepared for

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me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine.Yet in spite of this bI did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.
19 aRemember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

Conspiracy Against Nehemiah

6

1 Now it happened awhen Sanballat, Tobiah, 1Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it b(though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates),
2 that Sanballat and 1Geshem asent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together 2among the villages in the plain of bOno.” But they cthought to do me harm.
3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”
4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand.
6 In it was written:

It is reported among the nations, and 1Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, athat you may be their king.
7 And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, “There is a king in Judah!” Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together.

8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.”
9 For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.” Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was a secret informer; and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the 1temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.”
11 And I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple

18 bNeh. 5:14,
15
19 a2 Kin. 20:3;
Neh. 13:14,
22, 31

CHAPTER 6 References

1 aNeh. 2:10,
19; 4:1, 7;
13:28 bNeh.
3:1, 3 1Or
Gashmu
2 aProv. 26:24,
25 b1 Chr.
8:12; Neh.
11:35 cPs.
37:12, 32 1Or
Gashmu 2Or
in Kephirim,
exact location
unknown
6 aNeh. 2:19
1Heb. Gashmu
10 1Lit. house
12 aEzek.
13:22
14 aNeh. 13:29
bEzek. 13:17
16 aNeh. 2:10,
20; 4:1, 7; 6:1
bPs. 126:2
18 aNeh. 13:4,
28 bEzra
10:15; Neh.
3:4
19 1Or affairs

to save his life? I will not go in!”
12 Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that ahe pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 aMy God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the bprophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid. The Wall Completed
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.
16 And it happened, awhen all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for bthey perceived that this work was done by our God.
17 Also in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them.
18 For many in Judah were pledged to him, because he was the ason-inlaw of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of bMeshullam the son of Berechiah.
19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and reported my 1words to him. Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.

page 498

PSALM 49

The Confidence of the Foolish

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1 HEAR this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 Both low and high, Rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my 1dark saying on the harp.

5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
6 Those who atrust in their wealth And boast in the multitude of their riches,
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor agive to God a ransom for him—
8 For athe redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever—
9 That he should continue to live eternally, And anot 1see the Pit.
10 For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others.
11 1Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They acall their lands after their own names.

PSALM 49 References

4 1riddle
6 aJob 31:24;
Ps. 52:7;
[Prov. 11:28;
Mark 10:24] 7 aJob 36:18,
19
8 a[Matt.
16:26] 9 aPs. 89:48
1experience
corruption
11 aGen. 4:17;
Deut. 3:14
1LXX, Syr.,
Tg.,Vg. Their
graves shall
be their
houses forever
12 1So with
MT, Tg.; LXX,
Syr.,Vg. understand
(cf.
v. 20)
13 a[Luke
12:20] 14 aPs. 47:3;
[Dan. 7:18;
1 Cor. 6:2;
Rev. 2:26] bJob 4:21 1Or
Sheol
15 a[Hos. 13:4];
Mark 16:6, 7;
Acts 2:31, 32
bPs. 73:24 1Or
Sheol
18 aDeut.
29:19; Luke
12:19
19 aJob 33:30
1The light of
life
20 aEccl. 3:19

12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not 1remain; He is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the way of those who are afoolish, And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; aThe upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; bAnd their beauty shall be consumed in 1the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God awill redeem my soul from the power of 1the grave, For He shall breceive me. Selah

16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives ahe blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see alight.1
20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, aIs like the beasts that perish.

 
 

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