2:1 And it came to pass in the month a Nisan, in the twentieth
year of b Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before
him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king.
Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence.
(a) Which was the first month of the year, and contains part
of March and part of April.
(b) Who is also called Darius, (Ezr 7:1) and was the son
2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request?
So I prayed e to the God of heaven.
(e) I desired God in my heart to prosper my enterprise.
2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest,
that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of
the palace which [appertained] to the house, and for the
wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into.
And the king granted me, according to d the good hand of
my God upon me.
(d) As God moved me to ask, and as he gave me success in it.
2:10 When e Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant,
the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly
that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the
children of Israel.
(e) These were great enemies to the Jews, and laboured
always both by force and subtilty to overcome them and
Tobiah, because his wife was a Jewess, knew of their
affairs and so brought them great trouble.
2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we [are]
in, how Jerusalem [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are
burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of
Jerusalem, that we be no more f a reproach.
(f) That is, contemned by other nations as though God had
2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon
me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me.
And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they g
strengthened their hands for [this] good [work].
(g) They were encouraged and gave themselves to do well,
and to travel in this worthy enterprise.
2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant,
the Ammonite, and h Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they
laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is]
this thing that ye do? will ye i rebel against the king?
(h) These were three chief governors under the king of
Persia beyond the Euphrates.
(i) Thus the wicked when they will burden the children of
God, always lay treason to their charge both because it
makes them most odious to the world, and also stirs the
hatred of princes against them.
2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of
heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will
arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor k
memorial, in Jerusalem.
(k) Neither are you of the number of the children of God
(to whom he has appointed this city only) neither did
any of your predecessors ever fear God.