Nehemiah 1:1 - "the month Chisleu" - the Aramaic name for the ninth month, corresponding to November/December.
"the twentieth year" - see Nehemiah 2:1
Nehemiah 1:1 - "Shushan, the palace" - also called Susa, had been the capital of Elam, and then the winter capital of the kings of Persia (in what is now south-western Iraq)
Nehemiah 1:2 - "the Jews which had escaped" - those who had left Persia and returned to Jerusalem. At this point, Nehemiah was in Persia, not Judah.
Nehemiah 1:3 - Jerusalem had been burned by Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC. Those who had already returned from the Exile rebuilt the Temple, but had not made much progress with restoring the city walls.
Nehemiah 1:8-9 - for God's promises, see Leviticus 26:14-45, particularly v.40-42; Deuteronomy 4:23-31, particularly v.29-31; and Deuteronomy 30:1-3
Nehemiah 2:2 - "I had not been beforetime sad in his presence" it was a capital offense to look sad in the presence of the king of Persia - everyone around him had to look pleased and smiling.
Nehemiah 4:23 - i.e. they slept in their clothes, so as to be ready to fight should they be attacked by night.
Nehemiah 5:1-12 - there had been a time of bad harvests, and some of the poorer people had had to borrow money from the rich. When they couldn't repay, they had to sell their children as slaves. When Nehemiah found out, he made the oppressors restore the children and the fields that they had taken, and also give part of the money and crops back.
Nehemiah 6:2 - Sanballat and Geshem were trying to lure Nehemiah into an ambush so that they could kill him.
Nehemiah 7:5-64 - the genealogy was important, in that it showed who had really returned as one of the Jews. By this time there may have been spies from their enemies, who were trying to pass themselves off as Jews.
Nehemiah 7:65 - "the Tirshatha" the Persian term for a governor. "Urim and Thummin" the instruments used by the Priest to give a "Yes" or "No" answer to questions he asked of God.
Nehemiah 8:14 - for the institution of the feast of Tabernacles (Booths) see Leviticus 23:33-43, & Deuteronomy 16:13-15
Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved
Department of Religion
Portales, NM 88130
Last Updated: April 9, 2008