And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.…
Now Nehemiah, as we have seen, was a business man — a man of great energy and prudence; and it would not have been strange if he had postponed the consideration of the complaints thus brought before him. He might naturally enough have been afraid lest, by now finding fault with the nobles and rulers, he should alienate them from himself, and thus hinder the completion of his great enterprise. And so he might have said to these poor people, "You see that my hands are full of work; I cannot attend to this matter now — one thing at a time. No doubt you have a grievance, but let us get the wails finished first, and then I will see what can be done." It is thus that many men of business act in daily life. Their very energy leads them to brush aside everything that threatens to interfere with their present work. They cannot bear interruptions, and are so eagerly bent on reaching their end that they cannot pause to do good on their way. But Nehemiah was more than a mere man of business; he was a man with a tender heart.
(T. C. Finlayson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.