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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Nehemiah 5

Verse 1

a great cry. So there were troubles within as well as without. Compare 2 Corinthians 7:5 .

the people = the common people, in contrast with the nobles and rulers (Nehemiah 5:7 ), who had returned with Nehemiah.

Verse 3

have mortgaged = are mortgaging.

the dearth. One of the thirteen famines ( App-10 ) recorded in Scripture. See note on Genesis 12:10 .

Verse 6

children = sons.

lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 7

Then = And.

rulers. See note on Nehemiah 2:16 .

exact usury. It was twelve per cent. See Nehemiah 5:11 .

one = man.

set = appointed.

assembly = body [of witnesses. ] Hebrew. kehallah (feminine.) Occurs only here and Deuteronomy 33:4 .

against = over.

Verse 8

redeemed = re-purchased. Hebrew. kanah , to acquire by purchase; not ga'al , to redeem by purchase; or padah , to deliver by power. See notes on Exodus 6:6 ; Exodus 13:13 .

heathen = nations.

Verse 9

do = are doing.

ought ye . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

Verse 10

servants = young men.

leave off. Hebrew. Homonym, 'azab. Here means to leave off. See note on Nehemiah 3:8 .

Verse 11

the hundredth part. Paid at one per cent, per month, as was the custom; it was twelve per cent, per annum.

the wine. Some codices, with two early printed editions and Syriac, read "and the new wine".

wine. Hebrew. tirosh. App-27 .

Verse 12

as = according as.

called: i.e. as witnesses.

Verse 13

congregation = assembly or muster.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah.

Verse 14

Moreover from the time that I was appointed, &c. Nehemiah 5:14-19 are put within brackets for the following reasons:

As Nehemiah's record must have been written many years later, after the dedication both of the Temple (405 B.C.) and the Wall (403 B.C.), the reference to his policy during the twelve years of his governorship, from the twentieth to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes (Darius Hystaspis, 419-407 B. C), is introduced here, in order to emphasize the contrast between the rapacity of "the nobles and rulers" (Nehemiah 5:7 ), and his own conduct. For he says that, not only at that time (454 B.C.) did he not exploit the people for his own advantage, but that during his governorship (which ended in 407 B. C, some four or five years at least before the time of his writing the final record, more than forty years later than 454), when, according to Eastern views, he would have been justified in getting as much as he could out of his office, he not only lived entirely at his own charges but supported others also. See note below on Nehemiah 13:4-9 .

time = day.

governor = Pasha.

from the twentieth year. See App-50 . (5).

Artaxerxes = the great king, viz. Astyages. See notes on p. 618, and App-57 .

the bread of the governor. The supplies due to him from the people.

Verse 15

See Nehemiah 5:14 for a longer note that applies to this verse.

beside. Heb, 'ahar = after: i.e. after the rate of, as in Jeremiah 3:17 ; Jeremiah 18:12 . Rendered "beside" only here, out of several hundred times.

Verse 16

See Nehemiah 5:14 for a longer note that applies to this verse.

we . Some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "I"

Verse 17

See Nehemiah 5:14 for a longer note that applies to this verse.

fifty of = fifty men of.

heathen = nations.

Verse 18

See Nehemiah 5:14 for a longer note that applies to this verse.

prepared. At Nehemiah's own cost.

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27 .

Verse 19

See Nehemiah 5:14 for a longer note that applies to this verse.

Think. Figure of speech Apostrophe ( App-6 ) and Figure of speech Anthropopatheia .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Nehemiah 5". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.