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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 6

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-19

Nehemiah 6:7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

Nehemiah 6:7 “And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem” - Comments We know that God raised up several postexilic prophets, such as Haggai and Zechariah, who prophesied around 520 to 515 B.C. when the Temple was dedicated (Ezra 6:14-15, Haggai 1:1, Zechariah 1:1, 1Es 6:1 ; Esther 7:3; Esther 7:3, Josephus in Antiquities 11.4.5, 7), [44] as well as Malachi, who appears to have prophesied during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Thus, Sanballat may have been referring to these prophets in his letter to Nehemiah.

[44] Josephus writes, “When Zorobabel and the high priest had made this answer, Sisinnes and those that were with him, did not resolve to hinder the building, until they had informed king Darius of all this. So they immediately wrote to him about these affairs; (96) but as the Jews were now under terror, and afraid lest the king should change his resolutions as to the building of Jerusalem and of the temple, there were two prophets at that time amongst them, Haggai and Zechariah, who encouraged them, and bade them be of good cheer, and to suspect no discouragement from the Persians, for that God foretold this to them. So in dependence on those prophets, they applied themselves earnestly to building, and did not intermit one day.” ( Antiquities 11.4.5)

Ezra 6:14-15, “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.”

Haggai 1:1, “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,”

Zechariah 1:1, “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,”

Esther 6:1; Esther 6:1, “Now in the second year of the reign of Darius, Aggeus, and Zacharias the son of Addo, the prophets, prophesied unto the Jews in Jewry and Jerusalem in the name of the Lord God of Israel, which was upon them. Then stood up Zorobabel the son of Salatiel, and Jesus the son of Josedec, and began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, the prophets of the Lord being with them, and helping them.”

Esther 7:3; Esther 7:3, “And so the holy works prospered, when Aggeus and Zacharias the prophets prophesied.”

Nehemiah 6:13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.

Nehemiah 6:13 “and do so, and sin” Only priests could enter temple to perform their duty.

Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

Nehemiah 6:15 Comments - Fifty-two days is amazing quick to build such a wall, so much so that the enemies of the Jews began to fear and acknowledge this as a work of God (Nehemiah 6:16). Scholars are divided as to the accuracy of this statement in Nehemiah 6:15. More liberal scholars lean to a comment made by Josephus that Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem in 440 B.C. and finished the wall around Jerusalem two years and four months later ( Antiquities 11.5.7-8). [45] Conservative scholars hold to the period of fifty-two days, as stated in the biblical text. The archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon confirmed from her excavations of the wall built by Nehemiah had been reduced in size from the previous periods in Jerusalem’s history. She says the wall was about 2.75 meters thick, with a rough finish. [46]

[45] Josephus writes, “Now when he was come to Babylon, and had taken with him many of his countrymen, who voluntarily followed him, he came to Jerusalem in the twenty and fifth year of the reign of Xerxes…And this trouble, he underwent for two years and four months; for in so long a time was the wall built, in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Xerxes, in the ninth month.” ( Antiquities 11.5.7-8)

[46] Kathleen Mary Kenyon, Digging up Jerusalem (London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1974), 183-84; Edwin Yamauchi, Ezra, Nehemiah, in vol. 4 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v. 2.8 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp., 1989-2001), comments on Esther 6:15.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Nehemiah 6". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/nehemiah-6.html. 2013.
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