In this chapter it is brought to Nehemiah's attention that the rich had been preying upon the poor. And these were not foreigners. These were other Jews. It made him very angry.
Nehemiah was appointed governor of the province at this time. Nehemiah set a good example by not making the people pay taxes for his own upkeep. And yet Nehemiah was able to set food before 150 people each day because God provided for him.
Does God issue any commands?
- No, but God had given specific directions concerning the care of the poor within the nation. The rulers, noblemen, and priests were grievously ignoring these directions.
Does God make any promises?
- Nehemiah told those who were extorting the lands, crops, and money from their brethren that God would shake them out of His house if they did not keep their promise to restore to each man his possessions.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Although Jesus did not come to earth to be the champion of the poor, it was mainly the poor that flocked to Him because He taught about all being equal before God. Everyone needs a Savior because no one has enough material goods to buy their way to Heaven. As God, Jesus is the Author of the commands given to Moses concerning the welfare (or workfare system) that was to be instituted within the nation for the care of the poor, the elderly, the widows, orphans, and travelers. All aid was to be given without interest.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- The riches of God's storehouse seemed to be at Nehemiah's disposal and he was able to feed at least 150 people each day without depending upon the people to pay taxes for his upkeep. We have access to the provisions of God now, too, but especially will this be so in the Millennial and eternal kingdoms.