Nehemiah 5:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews.

King James Bible
And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

Darby Bible Translation
And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

World English Bible
Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.

Young's Literal Translation
And there is a great cry of the people and their wives, concerning their brethren the Jews,

Nehemiah 5:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

None of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing - The Hebrew for all this is only אין אנחנו פשטים בגדינו איש שלחו המים ein anachnu poshetim begadeynu ish shilcho hammayim; which Montanus translates, Non nos exuentes vestes nostras, vir missile suum aquas; "We, not putting off our garments, a man his dart to the waters." Of this latter clause what sense can be made? Let us hear what the ancient versions say.

The Vulgate, Unusquisque tantum nudabatur ad baptismum, "Every one stripped himself for the bath."

The Septuagint omit the latter part of this clause, And there was none of us who put off his garments.

The Syriac, "None of us put off his clothes for a month each in his turn.

The Arabic, "Nor did we put off our clothes, but with our arms, at the end of a month."

There is a remarkable reading in one of De Rossi's MSS. אין אנחנו פשטים בגדינו משלחהעל המים, We did not lay aside our garments, but in order to send them to the washing. This is most likely the sense of the place.

It is curious to see how our old versions translate the place.

Coverdale: We put never of our clothes, so much as to wash ourselves. - 1535.

Becke: We put never of our clothes, so muche as to washe ourselves. - 1549.

Cardmarden: We put never of oure clothes no more than the other dyd theyr harnesse, save onely bycause of the water. - 1566.

This shows how all interpreters have been puzzled with this vexatious clause.

The reading from De Rossi's MS., given above, is the most likely to be the true one, because it gives a good sense, which cannot be found in the Hebrew text as it now stands. The general meaning is sufficiently evident; they worked nearly day and night, only had their hours by turns for repose; this did not permit them time sufficient to undress themselves in order to take regular sleep, therefore they only put off their clothes when they were obliged to get them washed.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a great cry

Exodus 3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt...

Exodus 22:25-27 If you lend money to any of my people that is poor by you, you shall not be to him as an usurer, neither shall you lay on him usury...

Job 31:38,39 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain...

Job 34:28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come to him, and he hears the cry of the afflicted.

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment...

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them?

James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries...

their brethren

Leviticus 25:35-37 And if your brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with you; then you shall relieve him: yes, though he be a stranger...

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 If there be among you a poor man of one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the LORD your God gives you...

Acts 7:26 And the next day he showed himself to them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, you are brothers...

1 Corinthians 6:6-8 But brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers...

An Ancient Nonconformist
'... So did not I, because of the fear of God.'--Neh. v. 15. I do not suppose that the ordinary Bible-reader knows very much about Nehemiah. He is one of the neglected great men of Scripture. He was no prophet, he had no glowing words, he had no lofty visions, he had no special commission, he did not live in the heroic age. There was a certain harshness and dryness; a tendency towards what, when it was more fully developed, became Pharisaism, in the man, which somewhat covers the essential nobleness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
[Sidenote: Influences in the exile that produced written ceremonial laws] The Babylonian exile gave a great opportunity and incentive to the further development of written law. While the temple stood, the ceremonial rites and customs received constant illustration, and were transmitted directly from father to son in the priestly families. Hence, there was little need of writing them down. But when most of the priests were carried captive to Babylonia, as in 597 B.C., and ten years later the temple
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Cross References
Leviticus 25:35
"'If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.

Deuteronomy 15:7
If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.

Nehemiah 4:23
Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

Jeremiah 34:8
The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves.

Ezekiel 45:9
"'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You have gone far enough, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign LORD.

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