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Nehemiah 1:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, [in] the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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 fortress,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The story of Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah,—and it came to pass, in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, when, I, was in Shusan the fortress,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Words of Nehemiah son of Hachaliah. And it cometh to pass, in the month of Chisleu, the twentieth year, and I have been in Shushan the palace,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The words of Nehemias the son of Helchias. And it came to pass in the month of Casleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in the castle of Susa,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— The words of Nehemiah the sonne of Hachaliah. And it came to passe in the moneth Chisleu, in the twentieth yeere, as I was in Shushan the palace;
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— The words of Nehemiah{gr.Neemias} the son of Chelcia. And it came to pass in the month Chaseleu, of the twentieth year, that I was in Susan the palace.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— The words of Nechemyah the son of Chakhalyah. And it came to pass in the month Kislew, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
The words 1697
{1697} Prime
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
of Nemy נְחֶמיָה 5166
{5166} Prime
נְחֶמְיָה
N@chemyah
{nekh-em-yaw'}
From H5162 and H3050; consolation of Jah; Nechemjah, the name of three Israelites.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of aly חֲכַליָה. 2446
{2446} Prime
חֲכַלְיָה
Chakalyah
{khak-al-yaw'}
From the base of H2447 and H3050; darkness of Jah; Chakaljah, an Israelite.
And it came to pass x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
in the month 2320
{2320} Prime
חֹדֶשׁ
chodesh
{kho'-desh}
From H2318; the new moon; by implication a month.
Cislw כִּסלֵו, 3691
{3691} Prime
כִּסְלֵו
Kiclev
{kis-lave'}
Probably of foreign origin; Kisleu, the ninth Hebrew month.
in the twentieth 6242
{6242} Prime
עֶשְׂרִים
`esriym
{es-reem'}
From H6235; twenty; also (ordinal) twentieth.
year, 8141
{8141} Prime
שָׁנֵה
shaneh
{shaw-neh'}
(The first form being in plural only, the second form being feminine); from H8138; a year (as a revolution of time).
as I x589
(0589) Complement
אֲנִי
'aniy
{an-ee'}
Contracted from H0595; I.
was x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
in an שׁוּשַׁן 7800
{7800} Prime
שׁוֹשָׁן
Shuwshan
{shoo-shan'}
The same as H7799; Shushan, a place in Persia.
the palace, 1002
{1002} Prime
בִּירָה
biyrah
{bee-raw'}
Of foreign origin; a castle or palace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Nehemiah 1:1

_ _ Nehemiah 1:1-3. Nehemiah, understanding by Hanani the afflicted state of Jerusalem, mourns, fasts and prays.

_ _ Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah — This eminently pious and patriotic Jew is to be carefully distinguished from two other persons of the same name — one of whom is mentioned as helping to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:16), and the other is noticed in the list of those who accompanied Zerubbabel in the first detachment of returning exiles (Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7). Though little is known of his genealogy, it is highly probable that he was a descendant of the tribe of Judah and the royal family of David.

_ _ in the month Chisleu — answering to the close of November and the larger part of December.

_ _ Shushan the palace — the capital of ancient Susiana, east of the Tigris, a province of Persia. From the time of Cyrus it was the favorite winter residence of the Persian kings.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 1:1-4

_ _ What tribe Nehemiah was of does nowhere appear; but, if it be true (which we are told by the author of the Maccabees, 2 Macc. 1:18) that he offered sacrifice, we must conclude him to have been a priest. Observe,

_ _ I. Nehemiah's station at the court of Persia. We are here told that he was in Shushan the palace, or royal city, of the king of Persia, where the court was ordinarily kept (Nehemiah 1:1), and (Nehemiah 1:11) that he was the king's cup-bearer. Kings and great men probably looked upon it as a piece of state to be attended by those of other nations. By this place at court he would be the better qualified for the service of his country in that post for which God had designed him, as Moses was the fitter to govern for being bred up in Pharaoh's court, and David in Saul's. He would also have the fairer opportunity of serving his country by his interest in the king and those about him. Observe, He is not forward to tell us what great preferment he had at court; it is not till the end of the chapter that he tells us he was the king's cup-bearer (a place of great trust, as well as of honour and profit), when he could not avoid the mentioning of it because of the following story; but at first he only said, I was in Shushan the palace. We may hence learn to be humble and modest, and slow to speak of our own advancements. But in the providences of God concerning him we may observe, to our comfort, 1. That when God has work to do he will never want instruments to do it with. 2. That those whom God designs to employ in his service he will find out proper ways both to fit for it and to call to it. 3. That God has his remnant in all places; we read of Obadiah in the house of Ahab, saints in Caesar's household, and a devout Nehemiah in Shushan the palace. 4. That God can make the courts of princes sometimes nurseries and sometimes sanctuaries to the friends and patrons of the church's cause.

_ _ II. Nehemiah's tender and compassionate enquiry concerning the state of the Jews in their own land, Nehemiah 1:2. It happened that a friend and relation of his came to the court, with some other company, by whom he had an opportunity of informing himself fully how it went with the children of the captivity and what posture Jerusalem, the beloved city, was in. Nehemiah lived at ease, in honour and fulness, himself, but could not forget that he was an Israelite, nor shake off the thoughts of his brethren in distress, but in spirit (like Moses, Acts 7:23) he visited them and looked upon their burdens. As distance of place did not alienate his affections from them (though they were out of sight, yet not out of mind), so neither did, 1. The dignity to which he was advanced. Though he was a great man, and probably rising higher, yet he did not think it below him to take cognizance of his brethren that were low and despised, nor was he ashamed to own his relation to them and concern for them. 2. The diversity of their sentiments from his, and the difference of their practice accordingly. Though he did not go to settle at Jerusalem himself (as we think he ought to have done now that liberty was proclaimed), but conformed to the court, and staid there, yet he did not therefore judge nor despise those that had returned, nor upbraid them as impolitic, but kindly concerned himself for them, was ready to do them all the good offices he could, and, that he might know which way to do them a kindness, asked concerning them. Note, It is lawful and good to enquire, “What news?” We should enquire especially concerning the state of the church and religion, and how it fares with the people of God; and the design of our enquiry must be, not that, like the Athenians, we may have something to talk of, but that we may know how to direct our prayers and our praises.

_ _ III. The melancholy account which is here given him of the present state of the Jews and Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:3. Hanani, the person he enquired of, has this character given of him (Nehemiah 7:2), that he feared God above many, and therefore would not only speak truly, but, when he spoke of the desolations of Jerusalem, would speak tenderly. It is probable that his errand to court at this time was to solicit some favour, some relief or other, that they stood in need of. Now the account he gives is, 1. That the holy seed was miserably trampled on and abused, in great affliction and reproach, insulted upon all occasions by their neighbours, and filled with the scorning of those that were at ease. 2. That the holy city was exposed and in ruins. The wall of Jerusalem was still broken down, and the gates were, as the Chaldeans left them, in ruins. This made the condition of the inhabitants both very despicable under the abiding marks of poverty and slavery, and very dangerous, for their enemies might when they pleased make an easy prey of them. The temple was built, the government settled, and a work of reformation brought to some head, but here was one good work yet undone; this was still wanting. Every Jerusalem, on this side the heavenly one, will have some defect or other in it, for the making up of which it will required the help and service of its friends.

_ _ IV. The great affliction this gave to Nehemiah and the deep concern it put him into, Nehemiah 1:4. 1. He wept and mourned. It was not only just when he heard the news that he fell into a passion of weeping, but his sorrow continued certain days. Note, The desolations and distresses of the church ought to be the matter of our grief, how much soever we live at ease. 2. He fasted and prayed; not in public (he had no opportunity of doing that), but before the God of heaven, who sees in secret, and will reward openly. By his fasting and praying, (1.) He consecrated his sorrows, and directed his tears aright, sorrowed after a godly sort, with an eye to God, because his name was reproached in the contempt cast on his people, whose cause therefore he thus commits to him. (2.) He eased his sorrows, and unburdened his spirit, by pouring out his complaint before God and leaving it with him. (3.) He took the right method of fetching in relief for his people and direction for himself in what way to serve them. Let those who are forming any good designs for the service of the public take God along with them for the first conception of them, and utter all their projects before him; this is the way to prosper in them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Nehemiah 1:1

The words — Or rather, the acts, as the word often signifies. Chisleu — Which is the ninth month, containing part of November, and part of December. Year — Of Artaxerxes. Shushan — The royal city of Persia.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Nehemiah 1:1

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month (a) Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

The Argument — God, in all ages and at all times, sets up worthy persons for the convenience and profit of his Church, as now within the compass of seventy years he raised up various excellent men for the preservation of his people after their return from Babylon. Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, of which the first was their captain to bring them home, and provided that the temple was built: the second reformed their manners and planted religion: and the third built up the walls, delivered the people from oppression and provided that the law of God was carried out among them. He was a godly man, and in great authority with the king, so that the king favoured him greatly and gave him letters to accomplish all the things he desired. This book is also called the second of Ezra by the Latins because he was the author of it.

(a) Which contains part of November and part of December, and was their ninth month.

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