2:1 And it came to pass in the month a Nisan, in the twentieth year of b Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence.
(a) Which was the first month of the year, and contains part of March and part of April. 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed e to the God of heaven.
(b) Who is also called Darius, ( Ezra 7:1 ) and was the son of Hystaspis.
(e) I desired God in my heart to prosper my enterprise. 2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the kings forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which [appertained] to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to d the good hand of my God upon me.
(d) As God moved me to ask, and as he gave me success in it. 2:10 When e Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
(e) These were great enemies to the Jews, and laboured always both by force and subtilty to overcome them and Tobiah, because his wife was a Jewess, knew of their affairs and so brought them great trouble. 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we [are] in, how Jerusalem [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more f a reproach.
(f) That is, contemned by other nations as though God had forsaken us. 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the kings words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they g strengthened their hands for [this] good [work].
(g) They were encouraged and gave themselves to do well, and to travel in this worthy enterprise. 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and h Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing that ye do? will ye i rebel against the king?
(h) These were three chief governors under the king of Persia beyond the Euphrates. 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor k memorial, in Jerusalem.
(i) Thus the wicked when they will burden the children of God, always lay treason to their charge both because it makes them most odious to the world, and also stirs the hatred of princes against them.
(k) Neither are you of the number of the children of God (to whom he has appointed this city only) neither did any of your predecessors ever fear God.