The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleNehemiah 1:1
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah…
transactions and deeds; for (yrbd) "dibre" signifies things done, as
well as words spoken; who Hachaliah his father was is not known; the
Arabic version adds, the high priest, without any foundation; though
some have thought that Nehemiah was a priest, from a passage in
``Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the
purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day
of the month Chisleu, we thought it necessary to certify
you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of
the tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when
Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the
temple and the altar.'' (2 Maccabees 1:18)
and from signing and sealing the covenant at the head of priests,
(Nehemiah 10:1) , but he rather seems to be of the tribe of Judah, see
(Nehemiah 2:3,5) , and Nehemiah may be the same that went up with
Zerubbabel, and returned again, and then became the king's cupbearer;
though some are of another opinion, (See Gill on 2:2),
and it came to pass in the month Chisleu;
the ninth month, as the
Arabic version; of which see (Ezra 10:9) ,
in the twentieth year;
not of Nehemiah's age, for, if he went up with
Zerubbabel, he must be many years older; but in the twentieth year of
the reign of Artaxerxes, (Nehemiah 1:1) ,
as I was in Shushan the palace;
a city in Persia, the royal seat of the
kings of it; as Ecbatana was in the summer time, this in the spring, as
Cyrus made it, according to Xenophon F2; but others say F3 it was
their seat in winter, and this was the season now when Nehemiah was
with the king there; for Chisleu was a winter month, answering to part
of November and of December; of Shushan, (See Gill on 8:2), to
which may be added what a traveller of the last century says F4 of it,
``we rested at Valdac, once the great city Susa, but now very
ruinous; it was first built by Tythonus, and his son Memnon,
but enlarged by Darius the son of Hystaspes; in the building
whereof Memnon was so exceeding prodigal, that, as
Cassiodorus writeth, he joined the stones together with
gold--such was the beauty and delectableness of it for
situation, that they called it "Susa", which in the Persian
tongue signified a "lily", but now it is called Valdac,
because of the poverty of the place;''
and it is generally supposed to have its name from the abundance of
lilies about it; but Dr. Hyde F5 gives another signification of its
name, he says the Persians called it , "Sus", which signifies
"liquorice", but for what reasons he says not. There is a city now
called Shustera, and is thought by some travellers to be built at least
very near where Shushan formerly stood F6.
F2 Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 44.
F3 Athenaeus, l. 12. c. 1.
F4 Cartwright's Preacher's Travels, p. 87, 88.
F5 Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. c. 35. p. 414.
F6 Tavernier, tom. 1. l. 4. c. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Nehemiah 1:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ne&chapter=001&verse=001>. 1999.