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1. The doors - Not all of them.

2. Meet - To consult about the common service of our master the king of Persia, or to make a friendly accommodation.

4. Four times, &c. - We must never be overcome by the greatest importunity, to do anything ill or imprudent: but when we are attacked with the same temptation, still resist it with the same reason and resolution.

5. Open letter - As speaking of a thing commonly known.

7. A king - We have now a king of our nation. Counsel - That we may impartially examine the matter, that thy innocency may be cleared.

9. Strengthen my hands - A good prayer, when we are entering on any particular services or conflicts in our Christian warfare.

10. Shut up - In his chamber adjoining to the temple, upon pretense of singular devotion, and communion with God, and withal upon pretense of certain knowledge, by the Spirit of God concerning their approaching danger, from which thy could be safe nowhere but in the temple. For if Nehemiah had done this, the people would have left their work, and every one have shifted for his own safety.

11. As I - I the chief governor, upon whose presence, the very life of the whole city and nation in a great measure depends: I who have professed such resolution, and courage, and confidence in God. I, who have had such eminent experience of God's assistance, of his calling me to this employment, and carrying me through it when our danger was greater than now it is. Shall I now dishonour God and religion, and betray the people and city of God by my cowardice? Go in - Tho' his life depended upon it.

13. And sin - By going into a place forbidden to me, and that in such a manner, which would have been both sinful and shameful. Reproach - As a coward, and conscious of my own guilt, that they might make me contemptible and odious both to my own people, and to the king of Persia.

14. My God, &c. - This prayer we are not to imitate.

15. Elul - Answering part to our August, and part to September.

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