Nehemiah 6:19
Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Reported his good deeds.—Besides the correspondence thus carried on. these nobles strove to exalt the character of Tobiah to tne governor, while they made the enemy acquainted with all that went on. This intelligence enabled him to write the disquieting letters which Nehemiah says he was in the habit of receiving.

Nehemiah 6:19. Also, they reported his good deeds before me — To such a degree of impudence were they arrived, that they highly commended Tobiah as a very worthy man in the presence of Nehemiah, who knew so much of his wickedness. And uttered my words to him — Informed him of all I spake or did. We learn from the contents of this chapter, that pious people, especially those who labour for the glory of God, are exposed to many troubles and oppositions, not only from their declared enemies, who attack them with open force, or by craft and calumny, but also from those whom they look upon as their brethren. It appears also from the wise, steady, and pious conduct of Nehemiah, that those who labour for the public good ought never to be staggered by the threats and slanders of the wicked, because, with the blessing of God, who watches over them, they will happily overcome all opposition. 6:15-19 The wall was begun and finished in fifty-two days, though they rested on the sabbaths. A great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we set about it in earnest, and keep close to it. See the mischief of marrying with strangers. When men once became akin to Tobiah, they soon became sworn to him. A sinful love leads to a sinful league. The enemy of souls employs many instruments, and forms many projects, to bring reproach on the active servants of God, or to take them from their work. But we should follow the example of Him who laid down his life for the sheep. Those that simply cleave to the Lord and his work will be supported.Though Tobiah is called "the servant" or "slave" Nehemiah 2:10, Nehemiah 2:19, and was perhaps a bought slave of Sanballat's, yet he was in such a position that Jewish nobles readily contracted affinity with him. This is quite in harmony with the practice of the East, where slaves often fill high positions and make great marriages. 10-14. Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah, &c.—This man was the son of a priest, who was an intimate and confidential friend of Nehemiah. The young man claimed to be endowed with the gift of prophecy. Having been secretly bribed by Sanballat, he, in his pretended capacity of prophet, told Nehemiah that his enemies were that night to make an attempt upon his life. He advised him, at the same time, to consult his safety by concealing himself in the sanctuary, a crypt which, from its sanctity, was strong and secure. But the noble-minded governor determined at all hazards to remain at his post, and not bring discredit on the cause of God and religion by his unworthy cowardice in leaving the temple and city unprotected. This plot, together with a secret collusion between the enemy and the nobles of Judah who were favorably disposed towards the bad Samaritan in consequence of his Jewish connections (Ne 6:18), the undaunted courage and vigilance of Nehemiah were enabled, with the blessing of God, to defeat, and the erection of the walls thus built in troublous times (Da 9:25) was happily completed (Ne 6:15) in the brief space of fifty-two days. So rapid execution, even supposing some parts of the old wall standing, cannot be sufficiently accounted for, except by the consideration that the builders labored with the ardor of religious zeal, as men employed in the work of God. No text from Poole on this verse. Also they reported his good deeds before me,.... Recommended him as a very worthy man, deserving of respect and notice by Nehemiah, and to be taken into his friendship, and admitted to conversation with him, whose counsel and advice might be of service:

and uttered my words to him; reported both what he said and did; for the word used signifies both words and actions:

and Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear; perceiving, by the intelligence of his friends, that Nehemiah would have nothing to say to him, nor to do with him, he threatened him.

Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. reported … uttered] R.V. spoke of … reported. The Hebrew gives the idea of continuous action. They endeavoured to convince Nehemiah that Tobiah’s professions of goodwill were sincere. Perhaps too they spoke of the generous way in which he distributed money among the Jews. On the other hand they communicated to Tobiah all that Nehemiah said and did, with the view of supplying him with material for charges against Nehemiah to be made before the Persian king, or for slanders to the Jewish people. The word for ‘His good deeds,’ or ‘virtues,’ (tôbôthâv) is perhaps a play on the name ‘Tobiah.’

Tobiah … in fear] i.e. letters like that of Sanballat quoted above (Nehemiah 6:5-8).Verse 19. - Also they reported his good deeds, etc. Rather, "they even reported" - they went so far as to speak to me of his good actions, perhaps representing the bribes which he dispensed (ver. 12) as given from charitable motives. And they uttered my words, or "communicated my affairs, to him. They made him acquainted with all my proceedings.



"On this account was he hired that I might be afraid, and do so; and if I had sinned (by entering the holy place), it (my sin) would have been to them for an evil report, that they might defame me." The use of למאן before two sentences, the second of which expresses the purpose of the first, is peculiar: for this purpose, that I might fear, etc., was he hired. To enter and to shut himself within the holy place would have been a grave desecration of the house of God, which would have given occasion to his enemies to cast suspicion upon Nehemiah as a despiser of God's commands, and so to undermine his authority with the people. - In Nehemiah 6:14 Nehemiah concludes his account of the stratagems of his enemies, with the wish that God would think upon them according to their works. In expressing it, he names, besides Tobiah and Sanballat, the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who, like Shemaiah, would have put him in fear: whence we perceive, 1st, that the case related (Nehemiah 6:10-13) is given as only one of the chief events of the kind (מיראים, like Nehemiah 6:9, Nehemiah 6:19); and 2nd, that false prophets were again busy in the congregation, as in the period preceding the captivity, and seeking to seduce the people from hearkening to the voice of the true prophets of God, who preached repentance and conversation as the conditions of prosperity.
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