Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Nehemiah 5:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

We have borrowed money - This should be read, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute on our lands and vineyards. They had a tax to pay to the Persian king in token of their subjection to him, and though it is not likely it was heavy, yet they were not able to pay it.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The king‘s tribute - The tax payable to the Persian monarch (compare Ezra 4:13; Esther 10:1). In ancient times, heavy taxation was often productive of debt and distress.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Men prey upon their fellow-creatures: by despising the poor they reproach their Maker. Such conduct is a disgrace to any, but who can sufficiently abhor it when adopted by professing Christians? With compassion for the oppressed, we should lament the hardships which many in the world are groaning under; putting our souls into their souls' stead, and remembering in our prayers and succours those who are burdened. But let those who show no mercy, expect judgment without mercy.
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

Read in context »
Judah in the 5th century BCE