Verse 18. "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, &c., &c., 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.
Verse 19. "Think upon me, my God, for good" - Nehemiah wishes for no reward from man; and he only asks mercy at the hand of his God for what his providence enabled him to do; and which, according to the good hand of his God upon him, he had done faithfully. He does not offer his good deeds to God in extenuation of his sins, or as a compensation for the heaven he expected. Nothing of the kind: he simply says, what any good man might say, My God, as I have done good to them, so do good to me; or as the poet has sung:- "Teach me to feel another's wo, To hide the fault I see: The mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me!" POPE.
This is according to the precept of Christ: "Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given unto you."