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. 1:2 That Hanani, one of my b brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
(a) Which contains part of November and part of December, and was their ninth month.
(b) A Jew as I was. 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the c province [are] in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
(c) Meaning in Judea. 1:11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to d fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of e this man. For I was the kings cupbearer.
(d) That is, to worship you.
(e) That is, the king Artaxerxes.