Nehemiah 2:19
(19) Geshem the Arabian.--This name completes the triumvirate of the leaders of the opposition to the mission of Nehemiah. They were not independent chieftains: Tobiah was Sanballat's servant and counsellor, while Geshem was probably the leader of an Arabian company mostly in his service. The account of their contemptuous opposition is given in a few touches, as is the contempt with which it was met They charged Nehemiah with rebellion, as afterwards, in chapter 6:6.

Verse 19. - Geshem the Arabian, elsewhere called Gashmu (Nehemiah 6:6), may have been an independent sheikh possessing authority in Idumea, or in the desert country adjoining upon Ammon; but it seems quite as likely that he was merely the head of a body of Arab troops maintained by Sanballat at Samaria (Nehemiah 4:7). Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem are united so closely, and act so much together (Nehemiah 4:1-7; Nehemiah 6:1, 2, 6, 12, 14), that it is difficult to suppose them to be three chieftains residing on three sides of Judaea, the north, the east, and the south, merely holding diplomatic intercourse with each other, which is the ordinary idea. Note that Tobiah is present with Sanballat in Samaria on one occasion (Nehemiah 4:3), and that Geshem and Sanballat propose a joint interview with Nehemiah on another (Nehemiah 6:2). They laughed us to scorn, and said. Either by messengers, like Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:17-35), or by a formal written communication, as Ewald supposes ('History of Israel,' vol. 5. p. 154, E. Tr.). Will ye rebel? Compare Nehemiah 6:6; and see also Ezra 4:12-16. Had Artaxerxes not granted permission, Nehemiah's proceedings might naturally have borne this interpretation.

2:19,20 The enmity of the serpent's seed against the cause of Christ is confined to no age or nation. The application to ourselves is plain. The church of God asks for our help. Is it not desolate, and exposed to assaults? Does the consideration of its low estate cause you any grief? Let not business, pleasure, or the support of a party so engage attention, as that Zion and her welfare shall be nothing to you.But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian,.... This third man might be both an Arabian by birth, and governor of some part of Arabia near Judea:

heard it; of their beginning to build:

they laughed us to scorn, and despised us; as very silly people, that undertook what they could never perform:

and said; adding threatenings to their scoffs:

what is this thing that ye do? do ye know what ye are about? have ye any authority to do it? it is unlawful, you will certainly suffer for it:

will ye rebel against the king? the king of Persia; it will be deemed rebellion and treason, and you will be taken up and treated as rebels and traitors; take care what you do, be it at your peril if you proceed.

Nehemiah 2:18
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