Nehemiah 1:1

I. PIETY and POSITION. "As I was in Shushan the palace." Piety tends to prosperity; it inculcates habits favourable to advancement; it imparts graces calculated to attract. Goodness is often rewarded; it will dwell in a better palace in the life to come.

II. PIETY and PURITY. Nehemiah was humble amidst the pride of the palace; he was pure amidst the luxury of the palace; he was faithful to his Jewish faith and to his God amidst the heathenism of the palace; he was sympathetic amidst the conventionality of the palace; he was prayerful amidst the levity of the palace; he was pious amidst the anxieties of the palace life.


1. Inquiring. Nehemiah asked concerning the welfare of his brethren; his own comfort did not render him indifferent to the suffering of others.

2. Sorrowful. He wept because the wall of Jerusalem was broken down; his patriotism was manifested in holy grief.

3. Prayerful. See here the prayer of the patriot.

IV. PIETY and PROVIDENCE. Nehemiah in the palace was able to render effective aid to Israel; God places his instruments where they can best serve his purpose. Christ in heaven pleads the cause and helps the service of the good. - E.

Which camp in the hedges in the cold day.
Paxton and others have remarked that there is much difficulty in this passage; but to anyone who has attentively watched the habits of the locusts it is not only plain, but very striking. In the evenings, as soon as the air became cool, at Aheih, they literally camped in the hedges and loose stone walls, covering them over like a swarm of bees settled on a bush. There they remained until the next day's sun waxed warm, when they again commenced to march. One of the days on which they were passing was quite cool, and the locusts scarcely moved at all from their camps, and multitudes remained actually stationary until the next morning. Those that did march crept along very heavily, as if cramped and stiff; but in a hot day they hurried forward in a very earnest, lively manner. It is an aggravation of the calamity if the weather continues cool; for then they prolong their stay, and do far more damage.

(Thomson's "Land and Book.")

Hachaliah, Hanani, Israelites, Nehemiah
Jerusalem, Susa
Capital, Capitol, Castle, Chisleu, Chislev, Citadel, Fortress, Hacaliah, Hacali'ah, Hachaliah, History, King's, Kislev, Month, Nehemiah, Nehemi'ah, Palace, Pass, Shushan, Susa, Town, Twentieth
1. Nehemiah, understanding by Hanani the misery of Jerusalem, mourns, fasts, and prays
5. His prayer

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Nehemiah 1:1

     4951   month

Nehemiah 1:1-2

     5254   citadel

Nehemiah 1:1-3

     7240   Jerusalem, history

Nehemiah 1:1-4

     5354   invasions

The Church and Social Evils
'It came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.'--NEH. i. 4. Ninety years had passed since the returning exiles had arrived at Jerusalem. They had encountered many difficulties which had marred their progress and cooled their enthusiasm. The Temple, indeed, was rebuilt, but Jerusalem lay in ruins, and its walls remained as they had been left, by Nebuchadnezzar's siege, some century and a half before.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Reformer's Schooling
'The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2. That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Nehemiah, the Praying Builder
We care not for your splendid abilities as a minister, or your natural endowment as an orator before men. We are sure that the truth of the matter is this: No one will or can command success and become a real praying soul unless intense application is the price. I am even now convinced that the difference between the saints like Wesley, Fletcher, Edwards, Brainerd, Bramwell, Bounds, and ourselves is energy, perseverance, invincible determination to succeed or die in the attempt. God help us.--Rev.
Edward M. Bounds—Prayer and Praying Men

Discouragements and Courage
'Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10. And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12. And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Last Days of the Old Eastern World
The Median wars--The last native dynasties of Egypt--The Eastern world on the eve of the Macedonian conquest. [Drawn by Boudier, from one of the sarcophagi of Sidon, now in the Museum of St. Irene. The vignette, which is by Faucher-Gudin, represents the sitting cyno-cephalus of Nectanebo I., now in the Egyptian Museum at the Vatican.] Darius appears to have formed this project of conquest immediately after his first victories, when his initial attempts to institute satrapies had taught him not
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

A Treatise of the Fear of God;
SHOWING WHAT IT IS, AND HOW DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT WHICH IS NOT SO. ALSO, WHENCE IT COMES; WHO HAS IT; WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS; AND WHAT THE PRIVILEGES OF THOSE THAT HAVE IT IN THEIR HEARTS. London: Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks market: 1679. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and "a fountain of life"--the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

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

Some of the most complicated problems in Hebrew history as well as in the literary criticism of the Old Testament gather about the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Apart from these books, all that we know of the origin and early history of Judaism is inferential. They are our only historical sources for that period; and if in them we have, as we seem to have, authentic memoirs, fragmentary though they be, written by the two men who, more than any other, gave permanent shape and direction to Judaism, then
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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