The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 126 of 261
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N e h e m i a h.
pp. 143 - 146
These notes and comments on Nehemiah were written at a time when the witness
connected with the Berean Expositor was in a state of transition. Like Nehemiah, we,
too, have had "open letters"; we, too, have experienced the wearisome effect of "much
rubbish"; we, too, have received invitations to occupy a "broader" platform, to come
down into the wide open "plain" and not cramp ourselves within the prescribed limits of
a "prison ministry". We were particularly attracted to the thought that the goal of
Nehemiah's efforts namely, "The Pulpit of the Opened Book" (Neh. 8: 4, 5), was
similar to our own. Because of this, we expected to find much in the experiences of
Nehemiah that would prove a word in season to ourselves. On many critical occasions,
when the policy of the work hung in the balance, we have taken heed to the counsel of
Nehemiah and have never yet been disappointed, and we shall have to return to this book
again and again.
The chronology of Ezra-Nehemiah has been discussed in the closing chapters of the
series entitled "Time and Place"* (* - A series which commenced in Volume XXXIII),
and the reader is advised to acquaint himself with the arguments there put forward to
establish the interrelationship of these two books. The books opens with a statement
concerning the writer, "Nehemiah", a date, "the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year", a
reference to the state of the "Jews", the "captivity" and "Jerusalem", which is followed
by a prayer of some length and fullness, and concludes with the information that
Nehemiah was "the King's cup-bearer". The subject of chapter 2: follows a similar
pattern, the prayer this time, however, being the briefest on record. Before considering
these passages in detail let us set out this arrangement.
Nehemiah 1: 1 - 2: 4.
A | 1: 1. Date. Month Chisleu.
B | 1: 2-11-. Weeping, mourning, fasting, and prayer
because of condition of Jerusalem.
C | 1: -11. The King's cup-bearer. Office stated.
A | 2: 1-. Date. Month Nisan (four months later).
C | 2: -1. I took wine to the King. Office used.
B | 2: 2-4. Sadness, sorrow of heart, and prayer
because of condition of Jerusalem.
We shall find that structurally the remainder of chapter 2: belongs to the next great
division of the subject matter, and it will be considered in its place and relation to the