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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Nehemiah 6

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-9

Nehemiah 6:1-9 . Nehemiah’ s Enemies Make a further Attempt to Frustrate his Work.— The narrative about the rebuilding of the walls, which was broken by ch. 5, is here taken up again. Sanballat and his confederates seek to allure Nehemiah to a conference in order thus to get him into their power. Nehemiah refuses to go to this meeting on the ground that he is too busy with the work which he has in hand. Sanballat, having tried four times in vain to persuade Nehemiah to come, at length tries to intimidate him by sending him a letter in which he accuses him of aspiring to the kingship, and threatens to report this to the king. Sanballat thinks that by this means he may induce Nehemiah to come and meet him. Nehemiah, however, merely denies Sanballat’ s allegations, telling him that he has made them up.

Nehemiah 6:2 . the plain of Ono: cf. Nehemiah 11:35; near Lydda (p. 28), twelve miles to the north of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 6:7 . thou hast also appointed prophets: cf. 1 Kings 22:1-28, Jeremiah 28:1-17, etc.; the prophets had taken a leading part in times past in the setting up of kings.

Nehemiah 6:9 . But now. . .: LXX “ But now will I strengthen my hands” ( cf. mg.) .

Verses 10-14

Nehemiah 6:10-14 . A further Attempt to Entrap Nehemiah.— This section is very compressed; important links in the narrative are wanting, so that it is impossible to grasp the details of what happened. The general sense, however, is that Sanballat induced one Shemaiah to try and convince Nehemiah that his life was in danger owing to a plan to kill him at night, for which reason Shemaiah was to urge Nehemiah to seek asylum in the inner sanctuary. But no layman (let alone a man who was ceremonially unclean like Shemaiah) was permitted by the Law to enter here; only priests might do so. If, therefore, Nehemiah could be induced to enter with Shemaiah he would be guilty of a grave breach of the Law and thereby become discredited in the eyes of the people. But Nehemiah sees through the plan and avoids the danger.

Nehemiah 6:10 . was shut up: i.e. he was ceremonially unclean ( cf. Jeremiah 36:5 *).

Nehemiah 6:11 . read mg. “ could go into the Temple and live” ; anyone, with the exception of a priest, who entered was, according to the Law, to be put to death (see Numbers 18:7).

Nehemiah 6:14 . and also the prophetess Noadiah . . .: these words show that only part of the episode has been put down here. They also show that Sanballat had considerable support among the Jews living in Jerusalem.

Verses 15-19

Nehemiah 6:15-19 . The Rebuilding of the Wall is Completed. Tobiah’ s Friends in Judah.

Nehemiah 6:15 . Elul: = August approximately. The rebuilding of the walls was completed in 444 B.C., having taken fifty-two days.

Nehemiah 6:16 . feared: the RVm. can be disregarded; the Heb. is defectively written.— were much cast down. . . : read “ and it was very marvellous in their eyes” ; this is gained by a slight emendation of the Heb. text, which gives no sense as it stands.

Nehemiah 6:17 f. These verses bear witness to the intrigues which were being carried on in the city itself.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Nehemiah 6". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/nehemiah-6.html. 1919.
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