Nehemiah 5:1-7:73a Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

While Building the Walls
Comments for Study 3

Nehemiah 5:1-7:73a
Memory Verse: 4

SORRY, THE COMMENTARY FOR THIS BOOK HAS NOT BEEN STARTED.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF BOOKS THAT ARE COMPLETED.

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

I. The Problem of the Poor (5:1-19)

>1. What problem arose during a famine? (1-5)

* Nehemiah 5:1-5 "Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers. Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain." Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine." Still others were saying, "We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards. Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others."

*

*

*

*

*

>How did Nehemiah respond? (6)

* Nehemiah 5:6 "When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry."

*

*

*

*

>What did Jesus teach to his flock? (Luke 12:32-34)

* Luke 12:32-34 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

*

*

*

*

>2. What is usury and why is it wrong to change usury to brothers? (7-11; Deut. 23:19-20)

* Nehemiah 5:7-11 "I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, "You are exacting usury from your own countrymen!" So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: "As far as possible, we have bought back our Jewish brothers who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your brothers, only for them to be sold back to us!" They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say. So I continued, "What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let the exacting of usury stop! Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the usury you are charging them--the hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine and oil.""

* Deuteronomy 23:19-20 "Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess."

* Usury is a sum of money charged for a loan. The Old Testament laws prohibited a Jew from charging another Jew usury but permitted it when money was loaned to a Gentile. Although the word has negative connotations today, it was not so in biblical days when usury simply was the interest charged for a loan. Excessive usury was condemned.

*

*

*

>How did they respond? (12-13)

* Nehemiah 5:12-13 "We will give it back," they said. "And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say." Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, "In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise. So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!" At this the whole assembly said, "Amen," and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised."

*

*

*

*

>What practice did Nehemiah not proceed in when he was governor? (14-16)

* Nehemiah 5:14-16 "Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year--twelve years--neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors--those preceding me--placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land."

*

*

*

*

>How else did Nehemiah show love toward others? (17-19)

* Nehemiah 5:17-19 "Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people."

*

*

*

*

>How should wealthy Christians and leaders follow this example? (Matt. 20:25-28)

* Matthew 20:25-28 "Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

* Philippians 3:17-19 "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."

*

*

*

II. Temptation and Lies (6:1-14)

>3. What personal attack was attempted toward Nehemiah? (1-2)

* Nehemiah 6:1-2 "When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it--though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates-- Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono." But they were scheming to harm me;"

*

*

*

*

>How did Nehemiah respond? (3-4)

* Nehemiah 6:3-4 "so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer."

*

*

*

*

>How did Jesus react when he experienced similar situations? (John 8:59, 10:31-39)

* John 8:59 "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds."

* John 10:31-39 "Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken-- what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp."

*

*

*

>4. Why was their ruse a serious threat? (5-7)

* Nehemiah 6:5-7 "Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written: "It is reported among the nations--and Geshem says it is true--that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: 'There is a king in Judah!' Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us confer together."

*

*

*

*

>How did Nehemiah reply? (8)

* Nehemiah 6:8 "I sent him this reply: "Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head."

*

*

*

*

>What did he know to be true?

* Nehemiah 6:9 "They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed." [But I prayed,] "Now strengthen my hands."

*

*

*

*

>5. Who was Shemaiah and what did he try to do? (10, 14)

* Nehemiah 6:14 "Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me."

* Nehemiah 6:10 "One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, "Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you--by night they are coming to kill you."

*

*

*

*

>How did Nehemiah respond? (11-12)

* Nehemiah 6:11-12 "But I said, "Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!" I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him."

*

*

*

*

>What did he know? (13)

* Nehemiah 6:13 "He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me."

*

*

*

*

>6. What can be learn from Nehemiah actions and words?

*

*

*

*

*

III. The Wall Rebuilt (6:15-19)

>7. What did the enemies of God's people know when the work was finished? (15-16)

* Nehemiah 6:15-16 "So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God."

*

*

*

>8. Where the enemies just outside Judah? (17-19)

* Nehemiah 6:17-19 "Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me."

*

*

*

*

>Is it the same now? (Acts 20:29-31)

* Acts 20:29-31 "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."

*

*

*

*

IV. The List of Exiles (7:1-73a)

>9. What criteria did Nehemiah have for appointing leaders?

* Nehemiah 7:1-3 "After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed. I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do. I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses."

*

*

*

*

>Why did Nehemiah created a registration? (4-5)

* Nehemiah 7:4-5 "Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:"

*

*

*

*

>Why were some excluded until a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim was established? (64-65)

* Nehemiah 7:64-65 "These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim."

* "the Urim and Thummim"

*

*

*

>10. Who gave from their wealth to fund the project? (70-72)

* Nehemiah 7:70-72 "Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 drachmas of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests. Some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 drachmas of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 drachmas of gold, 2,000 minas of silver and 67 garments for priests."

*

*

*

*

>Why is important to make a note of this?

*

*

*

*

*

CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE