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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Nehemiah 2

 

 

Verses 1-8

Nehemiah 2:1. And it came to pass in the month Nisan,

Three or four months after he began to pray.

Nehemiah 2:1. In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king.

We have in some of the old slabs and carvings some singular pictures of the dainty way in which the kings of Persia and Media were served by their cupbearers. They always spilled a little wine upon their left hand and drank first, for fear the king should be poisoned. So the greatest men of the different provinces of the empire were called by turns to act this part before the king. It was a piece of state ceremonial.

Nehemiah 2:1. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

And there was a law—one of those stupid Median laws—that no man was to come before the king with a sad countenance. It was supposed that the king must be so serenely happy himself that none might come there unless they were happy, too. Nehemiah had been able to observe this rule, but on this occasion he did not, because he could not.

Nehemiah 2:2-6. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, 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? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favor in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my father’s sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,)

Who was, probably, queen Esther, and therefore abundantly agreeable that such a work should be done for her own nation. “The king said unto me.”

Nehemiah 2:6. For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me: and I set him a time.

He was a valued servant. They did not wish to part with him, and if he would go for a time to do this business, yet they take security that he should return. There are some servants that I know of, who, if they were to go away, their masters would not be particularly anxious that they should come back again. It is well when a man is so in favor with God that his piety acts upon his ordinary life, and he becomes in favor with men also. That is a poor, miserable religion that does not make its possessor a good servant. Yes, in whatever station of life we may be placed, we ought to be far more valuable to those round about us on account of our fearing God. May we always be of such a character that, if we were gone, we should be missed. “I set him a time.”

This exposition consisted of readings from Nehemiah 1:1 to Nehemiah 2:8.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Nehemiah 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/nehemiah-2.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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