Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Nehemiah 5:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Also the hundredth part of the money - Houbigant contends,

  1. That the word מאת meath, which we and the Vulgate translate one hundredth part, never means so anywhere; and
  • That it would have answered no end to have remitted to people so distressed merely the one hundredth part of the money which had been taken from them by usury.
  • He understands מאת meath as signifying the same as את מן min eth, contracted into מאת meeth, a preposition and demonstrative particle joined together, also a part From The money. Neither the Syriac, Septuagint, nor Arabic acknowledges this hundredth part. Some think that the hundredth part is that which they obliged the poor debtors to pay each month, which would amount to what we would call twelve per cent. interest for the money lent, or the debt contracted. See the introduction.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    The hundredth part of the money … - i. e. the interest. It is conjectured that the 100th part was payable monthly, or, in other words, that interest was taken at the rate of twelve per cent. The Law altogether disallowed the taking of interest from Israelites (see Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36, etc.).

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Nehemiah knew that, if he built Jerusalem's walls ever so high, so thick, or so strong, the city could not be safe while there were abuses. The right way to reform men's lives, is to convince their consciences. If you walk in the fear of God, you will not be either covetous of worldly gain, or cruel toward your brethren. Nothing exposes religion more to reproach, than the worldliness and hard-heartedness of the professors of it. Those that rigorously insist upon their right, with a very ill grace try to persuade others to give up theirs. In reasoning with selfish people, it is good to contrast their conduct with that of others who are liberal; but it is best to point to His example, who though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be rich, 2Co 8:9. They did according to promise. Good promises are good things, but good performances are better.
    Ellen G. White
    Prophets and Kings, 646-50

    This chapter is based on Nehemiah 5.

    The wall of Jerusalem had not yet been completed when Nehemiah's attention was called to the unhappy condition of the poorer classes of the people. In the unsettled state of the country, tillage had been to some extent neglected. Furthermore, because of the selfish course pursued by some who had returned to Judea, the Lord's blessing was not resting upon their land, and there was a scarcity of grain. PK 646.1

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    Judah in the 5th century BCE