Nehemiah Chapter 5, Complaints and Problems of Judah

beemanlee's picture

This chapter is full of many different problems which happened during the time of construction if the Walls around Jerusalem. This time frame took 52 days to complete.

Three different problems arose. ONE:Many landless People were without food. TWO:Landlords were forced to mortgage their land because of the famine. THREE: Borrowing was necessary to pay property tax imposed by the Persistent.

Verses 1-5, debts, interests and bondage.
Verses 6-13, payments of interest abolished.
Verses 14-19, examples of Unselfishness.

beemanlee's picture

Nehemiah 5:17-18, There were 150 Who Ate At Nehemiah's Table

This first verse is referring to those who were daily eating with Nehemiah at his table. This was a group of 150 people from many different nations and from all over the known world not just The Persian Empire. The ones working on The Wall are referred to as proselytes who came to The Jews. (quote from Rashi and Metzudos)

The expenses of eating at Nehemiah's table was enormous. The converts were fed by Nehemiah because they were working on The Wall. This was a support out of Nehemiah's own pocket and not any perks that were stipend(receiver by taxes) from being Satrap(Governor) of Judah and appointed by Artaxerxes(Artahshast), King of Persia. (quot from Ralbag)

Lets read the next two verses of Nehemiah 5,

V17 And at my table [were] one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us.
V18 Now [that] which was prepared daily [was] one ox [and] six choice sheep. Also fowl were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor's provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

From the reading of this last two verses we can safely say that Nehemiah was a wealthy man of means. He was not taking a wage from the taxes received for his work as Persian Satrap of Judah and he was assisting those new converts to Judaism by feeding them daily at his table, along with The Jews and The Nobles.

The list of food is for one day only to feed those at Nehemiah's table.