Nehemiah 2:9
Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9-11) His journey to Jerusalem, occupying some three months, and safe under good escort, is passed over in the narrative, as Ezra’s had been. It is mentioned, however, that Sanballat, one of the governors,” was roused to hostility. After the laborious travelling Nehemiah rested three days, to review the past and prepare for the future.

Nehemiah 2:9. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me — This the king had done over and above what Nehemiah had desired; and it procured him the greater respect from the governors, when they saw the care which the king took for the safety of his person.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 forest - Rather, park. The word used פרדס pardês; compare παράδεισος paradeisos, found only here, in Ecclesiastes 2:5, and in Sol 4:13), is of Persian, or at any rate of Aryan origin. The Persians signified by pariyadeza a walled enclosure, ornamented with trees, either planted or of natural growth, and containing numerous wild animals. The "paradise" here mentioned must have been in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, and may have corresponded to the earlier "gardens of Solomon."

The palace - Rather, "the fortress." The word in the original has the double meaning of "palace" and "fortress," the fact being that in ancient times palaces were always fortified. "The fortress which pertained to the house (temple)" is first spoken of here. Under the Romans it was called "Antonia."

8. according to the good hand of my God upon me—The piety of Nehemiah appears in every circumstance. The conception of his patriotic design, the favorable disposition of the king, and the success of the undertaking are all ascribed to God. No text from Poole on this verse. Then I came to the governors beyond the river,.... Who these governors were, whether the same who were in the second year of this king's reign eighteen years ago, Tatnai and Shetharboznai, is not certain:

now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me; both to do him honour, and for his safety; and coming thus attended, must serve to recommend him to the governor, who received him from them at the river Euphrates, and conducted him to Judah.

Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. the governors beyond the river] The governors of the provinces W. of the Euphrates. According to Josephus the chief governor of Syria, Phœnicia and Samaria was Adæus (Ant. XI. 5. 6). The statement that Nehemiah went to the various ‘governors beyond the river’ may indicate the line of his journey, of which we are told nothing. The Compiler for brevity’s sake has here condensed ‘the Memoirs of Nehemiah,’ omitting whatever was not directly connected with the purpose of his history. Nehemiah would journey to Babylon, and from Babylon probably to Hamath and Damascus, which as the most important cities in Syria would be the residences of ‘governors.’ From Damascus he either journeyed along the E. of the Jordan, crossing it at Jericho, or he crossed it by the usual fords south of the Lake of Galilee and visited Samaria on his way to Jerusalem. At Samaria there may very possibly have resided a Persian officer (cf. Nehemiah 4:2). If Nehemiah took Samaria on his way to Jerusalem, this would account for his mention of Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10) before the mention of his arrival at Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:11).

had sent … with me] R.V. had sent with me.… As the king’s commissioner Nehemiah was attended by an armed retinue. These royal soldiers placed at his disposal would greatly strengthen the independence of his position at Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s progress as governor with an armed escort is in striking contrast to the similar journey of Ezra, who was ashamed to ask for military protection for his large and unarmed company. (Ezra 8:22.)Verse 9. - I came to the governors beyond the river. Josephus gives the name of the satrap, of Syria at this time as Adieus ('Ant. Jud., 11:5, § 6, ad fin), but it is uncertain on what authority. The other "governors" he calls Hipparchs. He nevertheless openly expressed his desire, prefacing it by the accustomed form of wishing the king prosperity, saying: "Let the king live for ever;" comp. Daniel 2:4; Daniel 3:9. "Why should not my countenance be sad? for the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and its gates are burned with dire." The question, Why ... ? means: I have certainly sufficient reason for sadness. The reason is, that (אשׁר) the city where are the graves of my fathers lieth waste.
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