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Nehemiah 1:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— and said, I beseech thee, O Jehovah, the God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— and said, I beseech thee, Jehovah, God of the heavens, the great and terrible *God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and keep his commandments.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— and said, I beseech thee, O Yahweh God of the heavens, the great and fearful GOD,—keeping the covenant and lovingkindness for them who love him and keep his commandments:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I say, 'I beseech thee, O Jehovah, God of the heavens, God, the great and the fearful, keeping the covenant and kindness for those loving Him, and for those keeping His commands,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I said: I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, strong, great, and terrible, who keepest covenant and mercy with those that love thee, and keep thy commandments:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heauen, the great and terrible God, that keepeth couenant and mercie for them that loue him, and obserue his commandements:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I said, Nay, I pray thee, O Lord God of heaven, the mighty, the great and terrible, keeping thy covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to those that keep his commandments:
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And said, I beseech thee, O Yahweh Elohim of heaven, the great and terrible El, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
I beseech 577
{0577} Prime
אָנָּא
'anna'
{awn-naw'}
Apparently contracted from H0160 and H4994: oh now!.
thee, O Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
of heaven, 8064
{8064} Prime
שָׁמַיִם
shamayim
{shaw-mah'-yim}
The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).
the great 1419
{1419} Prime
גָּדוֹל
gadowl
{gaw-dole'}
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
and terrible 3372
{3372} Prime
יָרֵא
yare'
{yaw-ray'}
A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten.
z8737
<8737> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 793
l אֵל, 410
{0410} Prime
אֵל
'el
{ale}
Shortened from H0352; strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity).
that keepeth 8104
{8104} Prime
שָׁמַר
shamar
{shaw-mar'}
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
covenant 1285
{1285} Prime
בְּרִית
b@riyth
{ber-eeth'}
From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh).
and mercy 2617
{2617} Prime
חֶסֶד
checed
{kheh'-sed}
From H2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof, or (subjectively) beauty.
for them that love 157
{0157} Prime
אָהַב
'ahab
{aw-hab'}
A primitive root; to have affection for (sexually or otherwise).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
him and observe 8104
{8104} Prime
שָׁמַר
shamar
{shaw-mar'}
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
his commandments: 4687
{4687} Prime
מִצְוָה
mitsvah
{mits-vaw'}
From H6680; a command, whether human or divine (collectively the Law).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 1:5-11

_ _ We have here Nehemiah's prayer, a prayer that has reference to all the prayers which he had for some time before been putting up to God day and night, while he continued his sorrows for the desolations of Jerusalem, and withal to the petition he was now intending to present to the king his master for his favour to Jerusalem. We may observe in this prayer,

_ _ I. His humble and reverent address to God, in which he prostrates himself before him, and gives unto him the glory due unto his name, Nehemiah 1:5. It is much the same with that of Daniel, Daniel 9:4. It teaches us to draw near to God, 1. With a holy awe of his majesty and glory, remembering that he is the God of heaven, infinitely above us, and sovereign Lord over us, and that he is the great and terrible God, infinitely excelling all the principalities and powers both of the upper and of the lower world, angels and kings; and he is a God to be worshipped with fear by all his people, and whose powerful wrath all his enemies have reason to be afraid of. Even the terrors of the Lord are improvable for the comfort and encouragement of those that trust in him. 2. With a holy confidence in his grace and truth, for he keepeth covenant and mercy for those that love him, not only the mercy that is promised, but even more than he promised: nothing shall be thought too much to be done for those that love him and keep his commandments.

_ _ II. His general request for the audience and acceptance of all the prayers and confessions he now made to God (Nehemiah 1:6): “Let thy ear be attentive to the prayer, not which I say (barely saying prayer will not serve), but which I pray before thee (then we are likely to speed in praying when we pray in praying), and let they eyes be open upon the heart from which the prayer comes, and the case which is in prayer laid before thee.” God formed the eye and planted the ear; and therefore shall he not see clearly? shall not he hear attentively?

_ _ III. His penitent confession of sin; not only Israel has sinned (it was no great mortification to him to own that), but I and my father's house have sinned, Nehemiah 1:6. Thus does he humble himself, and take shame to himself, in this confession. We have (I and my family among the rest) dealt very corruptly against thee, Nehemiah 1:7. In the confession of sin, let these two things be owned as the malignity of it — that it is a corruption of ourselves and an affront to God; it is dealing corruptly against God, setting up the corruptions of our own hearts in opposition to the commands of God.

_ _ IV. The pleas he urges for mercy for his people Israel.

_ _ 1. He pleads what God had of old said to them, the rule he had settled of his proceedings towards them, which might be the rule of their expectations from him, Nehemiah 1:8, Nehemiah 1:9. He had said indeed that, if they broke covenant with him, he would scatter them among the nations, and that threatening was fulfilled in their captivity: never was people so widely dispersed as Israel was at this time, though at first so closely incorporated; but he had said withal that if they turned to him (as now they began to do, having renounced idolatry and kept to the temple service) he would gather them again. This he quotes from Deuteronomy 30:1-5, and begs leave to put God in mind of it (though the Eternal Mind needs no remembrancer) as that which he guided his desires by, and grounded his faith and hope upon, in praying this prayer: Remember, I beseech thee, that word; for thou hast said, Put me in remembrance. He had owned (Nehemiah 1:7), We have not kept the judgments which thou commandedst thy servant Moses; yet he begs (Nehemiah 1:8), Lord, remember the word which thou commandedst thy servant Moses; for the covenant is often said to be commanded. If God were not more mindful of his promises than we are of his precepts we should be undone. Our best pleas therefore in prayer are those that are taken from the promise of God, the word on which he has caused us to hope, Psalms 119:49.

_ _ 2. He pleads the relation wherein of old they stood to God: “These are thy servants and thy people (Nehemiah 1:10), whom thou hast set apart for thyself, and taken into covenant with thee. Wilt thou suffer thy sworn enemies to trample upon and oppress thy sworn servants? If thou wilt not appear for thy people, whom wilt thou appear for?” See Isaiah 63:19. As an evidence of their being God's servants he gives them this character (Nehemiah 1:11): “They desire to fear thy name; they are not only called by thy name, but really have a reverence for thy name; they now worship thee, and thee only, according to thy will, and have an awe of all the discoveries thou art pleased to make of thyself; this they have a desire to do,” which denotes, (1.) Their good will to it. “It is their constant care and endeavour to be found in the way of their duty, and they aim at it, though in many instances they come short.” (2.) Their complacency in it. “They take pleasure to fear thy name (so it may be read), not only do their duty, but do it with delight.” Those shall graciously be accepted of God that truly desire to fear his name; for such a desire is his own work.

_ _ 3. He pleads the great things God had formerly done for them (Nehemiah 1:10): “Whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, in the days of old. Thy power is still the same; wilt thou not therefore still redeem them and perfect their redemption? Let not those be overpowered by the enemy that have a God of infinite power on their side.”

_ _ Lastly, He concludes with a particular petition, that God would prosper him in his undertaking, and give him favour with the king: this man he calls him, for the greatest of men are but men before God; they must know themselves to be so (Psalms 9:20), and others must know them to be so. Who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a man? Mercy in the sight of this man is what he prays for, meaning not the king's mercy, but mercy from God in his address to the king. Favour with men is then comfortable when we can see it springing from the mercy of God.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the great:

Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, [which is] great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Deuteronomy 7:21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God [is] among you, a mighty God and terrible.
1 Chronicles 17:21 And what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem [to be] his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
Psalms 47:2 For the LORD most high [is] terrible; [he is] a great King over all the earth.
Daniel 9:4-19 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; ... O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

keepeth:

Exodus 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
1 Kings 8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:
Hebrews 6:13-18 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, ... That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
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Ex 20:6. Dt 7:9, 21. 1K 8:23. 1Ch 17:21. Ne 4:14. Ps 47:2. Dn 9:4. He 6:13.

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