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Nehemiah -- Rebuilding the Walls Chapter 5. Nehemiah -- Rebuilding the Walls Chapter 5. ( Neh 5:1-5 NKJV) And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren.

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the problem of debt slavery

(Neh 5:1-5 NKJV) And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren.

  • {2} For there were those who said, "We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”
The Problem of Debt & Slavery
the problem of debt slavery1

(Neh 5:1-5 NKJV)

  • {3} There were also some who said, "We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine."
  • {4} There were also those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our lands and vineyards.
The Problem of Debt & Slavery
the problem of debt slavery2
The Problem of Debt & Slavery
  • (Neh 5:1-5 NKJV) {5} "Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards."
what do you do
What do you do?
  • (Neh 5:6-7 NKJV) And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. {7} After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, "Each of you is exacting usury from his brother." So I called a great assembly against them.
nehemiah challenges the rich jews
Nehemiah challenges the rich Jews

(Neh 5:8 NKJV) And I said to them, "According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?" Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.

nehemiah s contrast
Nehemiah’s contrast

Neh 5:8

Nehemiah contrasts his own example with that of the rich Jews. He had spent money in redeeming some countrymen in servitude among the pagan; they were causing others to be sold into slavery among the Jews.

Albert Barnes

think about your actions
Think about your actions

(Neh 5:9 NKJV) Then I said, "What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?"

be an example to those around you
Be an example to those around you

Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God - If ye wish to accredit that religion ye profess which comes from the God of justice and mercy; should you not, in the sight of the heathen, abstain from injustice and cruelty? Can they credit your profession, when they see such practices? The inconsistent conduct of some professors of religion does much harm in the Church of God. -- Adam Clarke

follow my example stop charging usury
Follow my example: Stop charging usury!
  • (Neh 5:10 NKJV) "I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury!
make things right
Make things right!
  • (Neh 5:11 NKJV) "Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them."
priests called as witnesses
Priests called as witnesses
  • (Neh 5:12 NKJV) So they said, "We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say." Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.
this is serious
This is Serious!
  • (Neh 5:13 NKJV) Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, "So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said, "Amen!" and praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise.
i wasn t like the rest
I wasn’t like the rest

(Neh 5:15 NKJV) But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God.

we came to work
We Came to work!

(Neh 5:16 NKJV) Indeed, I also continued the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land. All my servants were gathered there for the work.

nehemiah s group
Nehemiah’s Group

(Neh 5:17 NKJV) And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us.

nehemiah s allowance was abundant
Nehemiah’s Allowance was abundant

(Neh 5:18 NKJV) Now that which was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowl were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor's provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

nehemiah asks god to remember him
Nehemiah asks God to remember him.

(Neh 5:19 NKJV) Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

sanballat and tobiah are back
Sanballat and Tobiah are back
  • (Neh 6:1 NKJV) Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates),
the enemy s plotting
The Enemy’s Plotting
  • (Neh 6:2 NKJV) that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono." But they thought to do me harm.
a good question for them
A good question for them!
  • (Neh 6:3 NKJV) So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?"
the enemy is not easy to discourage
The Enemy is not easy to discourage
  • (Neh 6:4-5 NKJV) But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner. {5} Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand.
we will report a lie as truth
We will report a lie as truth
  • (Neh6:6 NKJV) In it was written: It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king.
we will report a lie as truth1
We will report a lie as truth
  • (Neh 6:7 NKJV) And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, 'There is a king in Judah!' Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together.
nehemiah is not easily shaken
Nehemiah is not easily shaken
  • (Neh 6:8 NKJV) Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart."
o god help us
O God, help us!
  • (Neh 6:9 NKJV) For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, "Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done." Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
a different trap
A Different Trap
  • (Neh 6:10 NKJV) Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was a secret informer; and he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you."
  • [This is your life!]
things more important than life
Things more important than life!
  • (Neh 6:11 NKJV) And I said, "Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!"
he was hired false prophet
He was hired false prophet!
  • (Neh 6:12 NKJV) Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
trying to get him to sin
Trying to get him to sin
  • (Neh 6:13 NKJV) For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
i place you in god s hands
I place you in God’s hands!
  • (Neh 6:14 NKJV) My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid.
the wall was finished
The Wall was Finished!

(Neh 6:15 NKJV) So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.

matthew henry s commentary
Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
  • Nehemiah is here finishing the wall of Jerusalem, and yet still has trouble created him by his enemies.
  • I. Tobiah, and the other adversaries of the Jews, had the mortification to see the wall built up, notwithstanding all their attempts to hinder it. The wall was begun and finished in fifty-two days, and yet we have reason to believe they rested on the sabbaths, Neh_6:15.
matthew henry s commentary1
Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
  • Many were employed, and there was room for them; what they did they did cheerfully, and minded their business because they loved it. The threats of their enemies, which were intended to weaken them, it is likely, quickened them to go on with theirwork the more vigorously, that they might get it done before the enemy came.
the enemies were disheartened
The Enemies were disheartened
  • (Neh 6:16 NKJV) And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.
matthew henry s commentary2
Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
  • . . . See what a great deal of work may be done in a little time if we would set about it in earnest and keep close to it. When the enemies heard that the wall was finished before they thought it was well begun, and, when they doubted not but to put a stop to it, they were much cast down in their own eyes, Neh_6:16.
matthew henry s commentary3
Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
  • 1. They were ashamed of their own confidence that they should cause the work to cease; they were crest-fallen upon the disappointment. 2. They envied the prosperity and success of the Jews, grieved to see the walls of Jerusalem built, while, it may be, the kings of Persia had not permitted them thus to fortify the cities of Samaria.
matthew henry s commentary4
Matthew Henry’s Commentary:
  • When Cain envied his brother his countenance fell, Gen_4:5. 3. They despaired of ever doing them the mischief they designed them, of bringing them down and making a prey of them; and well they might, for they perceived, by the wonderful success, that the work was wrought of God.
traitors among the jews
Traitors among the Jews
  • (Neh 6:17-18 NKJV) Also in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them. {18} For many in Judah were pledged to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
nehemiah s problems
Nehemiah’s Problems
  • The circumstances marked in this and the following verses show still more clearly the difficulties which Nehemiah had to encounter; he had enemies without and false friends within. A treacherous correspondence was carried on between the nobles of Judah and the Ammonites; and had almost any other man been at the head of the Jewish affairs, Jerusalem had never been re-established.
tobiah was no friend of nehemiah
Tobiah was no friend of Nehemiah
  • (Neh 6:19 NKJV) Also they reported his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.
what can we say1
What Can We Say?
  • Just because you are working to do what is good and right doesn’t mean it’s easy.
what can we say2
What Can We Say?
  • Just because you are working to do what is good and right doesn’t mean it’s easy.
  • Sometimes those who should be your friends will betray you to your enemies.
what can we say3
What Can We Say?
  • Just because you are working to do what is good and right doesn’t mean it’s easy.
  • Sometimes those who should be your friends will betray you to your enemies.
  • You can always count on God, but serving Him is not always easy.
what can we say4
What Can We Say?
  • Just because you are working to do what is good and right doesn’t mean it’s easy.
  • Sometimes those who should be your friends will betray you to your enemies.
  • You can always count on God, but serving Him is not always easy.
  • The Final victory is what truly matters.