Nehemiah 2:18
Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me; as also the king's words that he had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Then I told them.—Nehemiah relates his providential call, with the king’s commission, and the people were thoroughly enlisted in the good cause.

2:9-18 When Nehemiah had considered the matter, he told the Jews that God had put it into his heart to build the wall of Jerusalem. He does not undertake to do it without them. By stirring up ourselves and one another to that which is good, we strengthen ourselves and one another for it. We are weak in our duty, when we are cold and careless.The king's words - These have not been given; but the royal permission to restore the walls is implied in Nehemiah 2:5-6. 16-18. the rulers knew not—The following day, having assembled the elders, Nehemiah produced his commission and exhorted them to assist in the work. The sight of his credentials, and the animating strain of his address and example, so revived their drooping spirits that they resolved immediately to commence the building, which they did, despite the bitter taunts and scoffing ridicule of some influential men. No text from Poole on this verse. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me..... Of the kind providence of God in exalting him in the court of the king of Persia, in giving him an opportunity of laying the sad case of Jerusalem before him, and in inclining his heart to show favour to him, and grant his request:

as also the king's words that he had spoken to me; what passed between them on this subject, the commission he gave him, and the letters he sent by him to his governors on this side the river:

and they said, let us rise up and build; encouraged by this account of things, they proposed to set about the work immediately:

so they strengthened their hands for this good work; animated and encouraged one another to proceed to it at once with cheerfulness, and to go on in it with spirit and resolution.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they {g} strengthened their hands for this good work.

(g) They were encouraged and gave themselves to do well, and to travel in this worthy enterprise.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. the hand of my God] Cf. Nehemiah 2:8. The blessing which had so far attended his plan.

as also the king’s words] R.V. as also of, &c. He reported the substance of the king’s words, which the compiler has not given us.

Let us rise up and build] The people responded with enthusiasm.

So they strengthened their hands] The presence of enemies on every side made the undertaking hazardous. At the same time the need of courage will be more obvious if we accept the theory of a recent hostile attack (cf. note on Nehemiah 1:2). The versions render the verb in the passive, LXX. ἐκραταιώθησαν αἱ χεῖρες αὐτῶν, Vulg. confortatae sunt manus eorum, which is followed by Luther, ‘ihre Hände wurden gestärkt.

for this good work] R.V. for the good work. Literally, ‘for the good,’ the same expression as ‘the well-fare’ in Nehemiah 2:10. LXX. εἰς τὸ ἀγαθόν, Vulg. in bono.Verse 18. - Then I told them of the hand of my God. Nehemiah sketched the history of his past life, and showed how God's providence had always shielded him and supported him. This, however, would scarcely have had any great effect had he not been able to appeal further to the king's words that he had spoken. These words clearly contained permission to rebuild the wall, and took away the danger of their so doing being regarded as an act of rebellion by the Persians. What others might think was not of very much account. And they said, Let us rise up and build. Nehemiah's address had all the effect he hoped for from it. He was anxious to carry the nation with him, and induce them, one and. all, to engage heartily in the work, which must be accomplished, if it was to be accomplished at all, by something like a burst of enthusiasm. Such a burst he evokes, and its result is seen in the next chapter. Almost the whole people came forward, and set to work with zeal So they strengthened their hands for this good work. The original is briefer, and more emphatic - "And they strengthened their hands for good." They embraced the good cause, took the good part, set themselves to work heartily on the right side. Nehemiah's arrival at Jerusalem. He surveys the wall, and resolves to restore it. - Nehemiah 2:11 Having arrived at Jerusalem and rested three days (as Ezra had also done, Ezra 8:32), he arose in the night, and some few men with him, to ride round the wall of the city, and get a notion of its condition. His reason for taking but few men with him is given in the following sentence: "I had told no man what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem." Although he had come to Jerusalem with the resolution of fortifying the city by restoring its circumvallation, he spoke of this to no one until he had ascertained, by an inspection of the wall, the magnitude and extent of the work to be accomplished. For, being aware of the hostility of Sanballat and Tobiah, he desired to keep his intention secret until he felt certain of the possibility of carrying it into execution. Hence he made his survey of the wall by night, and took but few men with him, and those on foot, for the sake of not exciting attention. The beast on which he rode was either a horse or a mule.
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