Nehemiah 11 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of Nehemiah 11)
The following commentary covers Chapters 9, 10, and 11.

Heart-felt repentance: under the law

On the twenty-fourth day, the people came together to humble themselves in a manner that became their position, and they separated themselves from all strangers. Beginning with the blessing promised to Abraham, they relate all the tokens of God's grace bestowed upon Israel, the frequent unfaithfulness of which they had afterwards been guilty, and there is a true expression of heartfelt repentance; they acknowledge without any disguise their condition (chap. 9: 36, 37), and undertake to obey the law (chap. 10), to separate themselves entirely from the people of the land, and faithfully to perform all that the service of the house of God required.

A conditional and Mosaic restoration looked for under Gentile dominion

All this gives a very distinct character to their position. Acknowledging the promise made to Abraham, and the bringing in of the people to Canaan by virtue of this promise, and their subsequent failure, they place themselves again under the obligations of the law, while confessing the goodness of God who had spared them. They do not see beyond a conditional and Mosaic restoration. Neither the Messiah nor the new covenant has any place as the foundation of their joy or of their hope. They are, and they continue to be, in bondage to the Gentiles.

This was Israel's condition until, in the sovereign mercy of God, the Messiah was presented to them. The Messiah could have brought them out of their position and gathered them under His wings, but they would not.

It is this position that the Book of Nehemiah definitely brought out. It is the king's commandment that provides for the maintenance of the singers. A Jew was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people (chap. 11: 23, 24).