Nehemiah 2:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

King James Bible
And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

American Standard Version
And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers'sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said to the king: O king, live for ever: why should not my countenance be sorrowful, seeing the city of the place of the sepulchres of my fathers is desolate, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire?

English Revised Version
And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Webster's Bible Translation
And said to the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchers, lieth waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah 2:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

With his confession of grievous transgression, Nehemiah combines the petition that the Lord would be mindful of His word declared by Moses, that if His people, whom He had scattered among the heathen for their sins, should turn to Him and keep His commandments, He would gather them from all places where He had scattered them, and bring them back to the place which He had chosen to place His name there. This word (הדּבר) he designates, as that which God had commanded to His servant Moses, inasmuch as it formed a part of that covenant law which was prescribed to the Israelites as their rule of life. The matter of this word is introduced by לאמר: ye transgress, I will scatter; i.e., if ye transgress by revolting from me, I will scatter you among the nations, - and ye turn to me and keep my commandments (i.e., if ye turn to me and ... ), if there were of you cast out to the end of heaven (i.e., to the most distant regions where the end of heaven touches the earth), thence will I gather you, etc. נדּח, pat. Niphal, with a collective meaning, cast-out ones, like Deuteronomy 30:4. These words are no verbal quotation, but a free summary, in which Nehemiah had Deuteronomy 30:1-5 chiefly in view, of what God had proclaimed in the law of Moses concerning the dispersion of His people among the heathen if they sinned against Him, and of their return to the land of their fathers if they repented and turned to Him. The clause: if the cast-out ones were at the end of heaven, etc., stands verbally in Nehemiah 1:4. The last words, Nehemiah 1:9, "(I will bring them) to the place which I have chosen, that my name may dwell there," are a special application of the general promise of the law to the present case. Jerusalem is meant, where the Lord caused His name to dwell in the temple; comp. Deuteronomy 12:11. The entreaty to remember this word and to fulfil it, seems ill adapted to existing circumstances, for a portion of the people were already brought back to Jerusalem; and Nehemiah's immediate purpose was to pray, not for the return of those still sojourning among the heathen, but for the removal of the affliction and reproach resting on those who were now at Jerusalem. Still less appropriate seems the citation of the words: If ye transgress, I will scatter you among the nations. It must, however, be remembered that Nehemiah is not so much invoking the divine compassion as the righteousness and faithfulness of a covenant God, the great and terrible God that keepeth covenant and mercy (Nehemiah 1:5). Now this, God had shown Himself to be, by fulfilling the threats of His law that He would scatter His faithless and transgressing people among the nations. Thus His fulfilment of this one side of the covenant strengthened the hope that God would also keep His other covenant word to His people who turned to Him, viz., that He would bring them again to the land of their fathers, to the place of His gracious presence. Hence the reference to the dispersion of the nation among the heathen, forms the actual substructure for the request that so much of the promise as yet remained unfulfilled might come to pass. Nehemiah, moreover, views this promise in the full depth of its import, as securing to Israel not merely an external return to their native land, but their restoration as a community, in the midst of whom the Lord had His dwelling, and manifested Himself as the defence and refuge of His people. To the re-establishment of this covenant relation very much was still wanting. Those who had returned from captivity had indeed settled in the land of their fathers; and the temple in which they might worship God with sacrifices, according to the law, was rebuilt at Jerusalem. But notwithstanding all this, Jerusalem, with its ruined walls and burned gates, was still like a city lying waste, and exposed to attacks of all kinds; while the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah were loaded with shame and contempt by their heathen neighbours. In this sense, Jerusalem was not yet restored, and the community dwelling therein not yet brought to the place where the name of the Lord dwelt. In this respect, the promise that Jahve would again manifest Himself to His repentant people as the God of the covenant was still unfulfilled, and the petition that He would gather His people to the place which He had chosen to put His name there, i.e., to manifest Himself according to His nature, as testified in His covenant (Exodus 34:6-7), quite justifiable. In Nehemiah 1:10 Nehemiah supports his petition by the words: And these (now dwelling in Judah and Jerusalem) are Thy servants and Thy people whom Thou hast redeemed, etc. His servants who worship Him in His temple, His people whom He has redeemed from Egypt by His great power and by His strong arm, God cannot leave in affliction and reproach. The words: "redeemed with great power" ... are reminiscences from Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 9:26, Deuteronomy 9:29, and other passages in the Pentateuch, and refer to the deliverance from Egypt.

Nehemiah 2:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let the king (Far from wishing ill to my master, I wish him to live for ever.)

1 Kings 1:31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

Daniel 2:4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell your servants the dream...

Daniel 3:9 They spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

Daniel 5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spoke and said, O king...

Daniel 6:6,21 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus to him, King Darius, live for ever...

the city

Nehemiah 1:3 And they said to me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach...

Psalm 102:14 For your servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof.

Psalm 137:6 If I do not remember you, let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

Lamentations 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles...

the place

2 Chronicles 21:20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired...

2 Chronicles 28:27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem...

2 Chronicles 32:33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the most chief of the sepulchers of the sons of David...

Cross References
Leviticus 26:31
And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.

2 Kings 25:8
In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month--that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon--Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 36:19
And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels.

Nehemiah 1:3
And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire."

Nehemiah 2:13
I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire.

Psalm 137:6
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!

Jeremiah 52:12
In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month--that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon--Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem.

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