Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Cry. Ven. Bede (iii. 21.) complains of some pastors who neglect the flock, but exacted revenues. May not the same complaint still be made? (Worthington)
Very. Syriac, "and our brethren are too numerous" to find meat. --- For, &c. Hebrew, Septuagint, &c., "by force." (Abenezra, &c.) --- Yet most people explain it in the sense of the Vulgate. It was permitted to sell children in extreme distress, Exodus xxi. 7. (Grotius) (Calmet)
Let us. Protestants, "We have mortgaged." --- Famine, or "hunger." (Haydock)
Let us. Septuagint Mont.[Montanus?], "We have borrowed" on usury, contrary to Exodus xxii. 25. The Jews were still obliged to pay tribute.
Brethren, who are still in captivity, or we are of the same nature as the rich, (Calmet) who so cruelly oppress us. (Menochius)
Against them, as a private rebuke would not suffice. (Tirinus)
Redeemed, by paying the ransom to the Babylonians, or by using all our endeavours to procure the releasement of our brethren. (Calmet) --- For us. Protestants, "or shall they be sold unto us?" (Haydock) --- A true pastor practises what he preaches to others. (Worthington)
For them, to the Persian governors, ver. 14. (Haydock) --- Nehemias remits this pension, which was before paid by the people, and exacted by the rich. (Wolphius) --- Du Moulin asserts that there is no question of usury, which the Jews always abhorred, much less of that which the Romans called the 100th, (Calmet) consisting in the payment of 12 per cent, (Tirinus) or one every month. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "Give back to them, " (Haydock) that they may enjoy those things.
Oath of them. Priests, in private, (Menochius) who were not innocent; (Tirinus) or these were witnesses of the oath taken by the rich. (Piscator)
Lap, or skirt of my robes. (Tirinus) --- Such figurative actions were very common. Thus a Roman ambassador at Carthage, folding up his garment, said he brought peace or war. (Livy xxi. 18.) (Calmet) --- Said. Behold how easily was that effected at Jerusalem, which the Romans could never perfectly bring about, after the most violent riots! (Tirinus)
Not eat, out of pity for the poor. (Menochius) --- He was supported by the king, (Calmet) or by his own patrimony. (Haydock) (Ver. 11.)
Wall, pleading no exemption, but making my servants work. (Calmet) --- Though no particular portion was assigned to him, he helped all. (Tirinus) --- No land, as I might have done, on advantageous terms. (Haydock) --- Rare example of disinterestedness! He praises himself without vanity, only to induce others to follow the same course. So Moses, David, St. Paul, and others acted, Numbers xii. 3., &c.
Men, my brethren, not (Calmet) Persians. (Grotius) --- Them; ambassadors. (Menochius) --- If Nehemias behaved with such generosity for twelve years, he must have been very rich; or he received a great pension from the king, or voluntary and abundant contributions from the rich.
Wines. This was only produced, in abundance, on extraordinary occasions; for the people of the East do not drink wine at every feast, Ecclesiasticus xxxi. 17. (Calmet) --- Yearly. Septuagint, "Moreover, loaves of extortion I did not seek, because a hard servitude lay upon this people." (Haydock)
Good. A good conscience confidently hopeth for a reward. (Worthington)