Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Nehemiah 5:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Also I shook my lap - This was a significant action frequent among the Hebrews; and something of the same nature was practiced among other nations. "When the Roman ambassadors entered the senate of Carthage, they had their toga gathered up in their bosom. They said, We carry here peace and war; you may have which you will. The senate answered, You may give which you please. They then shook their toga, and said, We bring you war. To which all the senate answered, We cheerfully accept it." See Livy. lib. xxi., cap. 18; and see Calmet.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I shook my lap - Compare the marginal references. By “lap” is meant a fold in the bosom of the dress, capable of serving as a pocket. Compare Isaiah 49:22 margin.

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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