Nehemiah, informed by Hanani concerning the afflicted state of Jerusalem, mourneth, fasteth, and prayeth. His prayer.
1THE 1words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month 2Chisleu, in the 3twentieth year, as I was in 4Shushan the palace,
1 Or, acts.
2 See Ezra 10 on verse 9. According to the holy or ecclesiastical year of the Jews, it was the 9th month, but after the account of the Chaldeans, who began the year in September, it was the 3rd month.
3 Of the king Artaxerxes, as Neh. 2:1. See there.
4 The capital city of Shushan, built (as some do write) by Darius Hystaspis.
2That Hanani, one of my 5brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews 6that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
5 That is, kinsmen, or countrymen, Jews.
6 Hebr. the escaping.
3And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the 7province are in great 8affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
7 The land of Canaan is so called, because it was now under the subjection of the Persian monarchy.
8 Hebr. in great evil, that is, misery and affliction.
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,
5And said, I beseech thee, Oa LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, thatb keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
a Dan. 9:4.
b Exod. 20:6; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:10; Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 145:8.
6Let thine 9ear now be attentive, and thine 10eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee 11now, 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.
9 That is, hear, I pray; spoken of God after the manner of men.
10 See 1 Kings 8 on verse 29.
11 That is, at this time.
7We have dealt 12very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the 13commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
12 Hebr. We have with corruption or corrupting corrupted; that is, we have dealt very corruptly against Thee, and have made ourselves every way guilty by our sins.
13 See of these three words Deut. 5 on verse 31.
8Remember, I beseech thee, the wordc that thou 14commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
c Deut. 4:25, 26, 27; 30:2, 3, 4.
14 See the annotations at Deut. 30 on verse 2; 30 on verse 3; 30 on verse 4.
9But 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.
10Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
11O 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 15grant him mercy in the sight of this 16man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
15 Hebr. give him unto mercies or compassions, that is, work now in the heart of the king that he may pity and commiserate me and my people, and graciously yield to my request. See Jer. 42 on verse 12.
16 Namely, king Artaxerxes, as the following words and the beginning of the next chapter do show.