Nehemiah 5:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.

King James Bible
Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

Darby Bible Translation
And that which was prepared daily was one ox [and] six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days all sorts of wine in abundance. Yet for all this I demanded not the bread of the governor; for the service was heavy upon this people.

World English Bible
Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I didn't demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

Young's Literal Translation
and that which hath been prepared for one day is one ox, six fat sheep, also fowls have been prepared for me, and once in ten days of all wines abundantly, and with this, the bread of the governor I have not sought, for heavy is the service on this people.

Nehemiah 5:18 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

One ox, and six choice sheep - This was food sufficient for more than two hundred men.

Once in ten days store of all sorts of wine - It is supposed that every tenth day they drank wine; at all other times they drank water; unless we suppose the meaning of the phrase to be, that his servants laid in a stock of wine every ten days. Though the Asiatics drank sparingly of wine, yet it is not very likely that, in a case such as that above, wine was tasted only thrice in each month.

Bishop Pococke mentions the manner in which the bey of Tunis lived. He had daily twelve sheep, with fish, fowls, soups, oranges, eggs, onions, boiled rice, etc., etc., His nobles dined with him; after they had done, the servants sat down; and, when they had finished, the poor took what was left. Here is no mention of a fat ox; but there were six sheep at the bey's table more than were at the table of Nehemiah: so the twelve sheep were equal to six sheep and one ox. Probably the mode of living between these two was nearly alike.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now that

1 Kings 4:22,23 And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and three score measures of meal...

one ox (This was food sufficient for more than two hundred men. Bp. Pococke says that the bey of Tunis had daily twelve sheep, with fish and fowls, soups, oranges, eggs, onions, boiled rice, etc., etc. His nobles dined with him; after they had done, the servants sat down; and when they had finished, the poor took what was left. Here the bey's twelve sheep are equal to Nehemiah's one ox and six choice sheep; and probably the mode of living between the two was nearly alike. It is still the practice in the East to calculate the expenses of the table, not by the money paid, but by the provisions consumed by the guests.)

required

Nehemiah 5:14,15 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah...

because the bondage

Psalm 37:21,26 The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives...

Library
An Ancient Nonconformist
'... So did not I, because of the fear of God.'--Neh. v. 15. I do not suppose that the ordinary Bible-reader knows very much about Nehemiah. He is one of the neglected great men of Scripture. He was no prophet, he had no glowing words, he had no lofty visions, he had no special commission, he did not live in the heroic age. There was a certain harshness and dryness; a tendency towards what, when it was more fully developed, became Pharisaism, in the man, which somewhat covers the essential nobleness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
[Sidenote: Influences in the exile that produced written ceremonial laws] The Babylonian exile gave a great opportunity and incentive to the further development of written law. While the temple stood, the ceremonial rites and customs received constant illustration, and were transmitted directly from father to son in the priestly families. Hence, there was little need of writing them down. But when most of the priests were carried captive to Babylonia, as in 597 B.C., and ten years later the temple
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Cross References
2 Thessalonians 3:8
nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

1 Kings 4:22
Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of the finest flour and sixty cors of meal,

1 Kings 4:23
ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl.

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