Does Nehemiah 9, Show Inconsistencies in the Lord God’s Compassion and Mercy?

 Does Nehemiah 9, Show Inconsistencies in the Lord God’s Compassion and Mercy?

I felt led to do this research, because there are some who try to dissuade Christians from believing in Christ, saying there are major inconsistencies in the Bible about God showing compassion and mercy, but is that really true? Having read the Bible from cover to cover several times, I wanted to research to see if this is accurate, and if there are any inconsistencies, are they even significant?

To do this research, I will use the King James Version of the Bible, also known as KJV,,, and internet resources, as needed. Since the Bible sometimes uses the word “him” and the word “he” within the same verse, I will include who is speaking and who is being spoken to within [brackets], as well as, background information, newer terms, transition words, if I determine it’s potentially beneficial for clarity or meaning.

Additionally, I will put my analysis, comments, observations, and conclusions within brackets, as well. For those who would like to read this research or previous Biblical Research Projects in their entirety, you can go to either of these two blogs I felt led to create: Biblical Proof! found at or Do Biblical Inconsistencies Really Matter? at  

[For those who go online, I have highlighted in yellow the passages that show God’s compassion and mercy. The blue highlighting identifies the wicked things they chose to do like worshiping idols, living wickedly, and leading others astray. The orange highlighting identifies when God warned them of their poor choices, often through prophets. Whether or not they had prophets warn them, they also knew from the 10 Commandments God gave to Moses, they weren’t supposed to worship any false gods or idols, so God doesn’t give an additional warning every time.] 

[The thing is, God gives us choices. We can choose to follow Him and His statutes, but when we don’t there are consequences. God most often explains what He expects/wants, and has prophets who very often do this for Him. But there is always the alternative for those who choose to worship idols, live wickedly, and lead others astray, in order to motivate them to turn from their evil ways and return to worshiping the Lord God.]


Nehemiah 9:1-38

On the 24th day of this month, the children [people] of Israel were assembled with fasting, with sackcloth and earth upon them, [signs of mourning]. The [descendants] of Israel separated themselves from all the strangers [of neighboring lands who worship false gods] and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their [forefathers]. They stood up in their place for a quarter of the day and read [from] the book of the Law of the Lord their God. Another quarter [of the day], they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. Then, the Levites: Jeshua [a.k.a. Joshua], Bani and Chenani stood on the stairs and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. Then the Levites: Jehusa [a.k.a. Joshua] , Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah [a.k.a. Hashabneiah], Sherebiah, Hodiajah [a.k.a. Hodiah], Shebaniah, and Petahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God forever and ever. Blessed be [His] glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord [God]. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host [of stars], the earth, the seas and all [that’s in them]. You preserve them all and the host [of the stars] of heaven worship You. You are the Lord God who [chose] Abram and brought him [here] out of Ur of the Chaldees and gave him the name of Abraham. [You] made a covenant [contract] with him to give the land of the Canaanites, Hittities, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and the Girgashites to [Abraham’s descendants]. [Y1][You] have performed Your words; for You are righteous. [You saw] the affliction of our [forefathers] in Egypt and heard their cry by the Red Sea. [You showed] signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, on his servants and all the people of his land. For [You] knew they dealt proudly against [the Israelites]. You [Lord] got [Your famous] name, as it is this day. You divided the [Red Sea] before [the Israelites] and they walked through the [middle] of the sea on dry land. You threw their persecutors into the deep [sea like a stone cast into mighty waters]. [Also] You [led] them by a cloudy pillar in the day and a pillar of fire in the night, to light the way they should go. You [came] down upon Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. [You] gave them right judgments, true laws and good statutes and commandments. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath and [commanded] them [rules], statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses, Your servant. [You] gave them bread from heaven [manna] for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst. [You] promised them that they should go in to possess the land [that] You had sworn to give them.[B1] But they and our [forefathers] dealt proudly and [stubbornly] stiffened their necks and [didn’t listen] to Your commandments. [They] refused to obey and [weren’t] mindful of Your wonders [miracles] You did among them. [O1 But [they] hardened their [stubborn] necks and in their rebellion appointed a [leader and returned] to their bondage. [Y2] But [You] are a God ready to pardon, gracious, merciful and slow to anger and of great kindness and You [didn’t abandon] them.[B2] When they made [themselves] a [molded golden] calf, and said, This is [your] god [who] brought you up out of Egypt and [they did very wicked things].[Y3] Yet in Your [abundant] mercies, [You didn’t abandon] them in the wilderness. The [cloudy] pillar [didn’t] depart from them by day, to lead them in their way. Neither [did] the pillar of fire by night [depart from giving] them light and [showing] them the way [to] go. You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them and [didn’t withhold] manna from their mouth and [still] gave them water for their thirst. 40 years You [provided for] them in the wilderness, so they lacked nothing. Their clothes [didn’t wear out] and their feet [didn’t] swell. [Also], You gave them kingdoms and nations and [divided] them into [12 tribes according to their families]. So, they possessed the land of: Sihon, the land of [Heshbon’s] king and the land of Og [Bashan’s] king. Their children also multiplied as the stars of heaven and You brought them into the land, which You had promised to their [forefathers], that they should go in and possess it. So the children [people] went in and possessed the land and You [defeated] before the [Israelites], the inhabitants of the land [of] the Canaanites. You gave [the Canaanites] with their kings and the people of the land [into the Israelite’s hands] to do with them [as they thought best]. The [Israelites] took strong cities and [rich] land and possessed houses full of all [types] of goods, wells [that have already been dug], vineyards, olive [groves] and fruit trees in abundance. So [the Israelites ate] and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in Your great goodness.  [B3] [Still] they were disobedient and rebelled against You. [They turned their backs on] Your law and [killed] Your prophets [who] testified against [their wicked deeds of worshiping false gods], to [return] them to You. [O2]Therefore, You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, [who oppressed] them. [Y4] In their times of trouble, when they cried to You, [Lord God], You heard them from heaven. According to Your [abundant] mercies , You gave them [deliverers] who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.[B4] But after they had rest, they did evil again, [worshiping false gods] before You. [O3] Therefore, You left them in the hand of their enemies [who had power] over them. [Y5] Yet, when they returned [to You] and cried to You, You heard them from heaven. You did deliver them many times according to Your [abundant] mercies. [O4] [You] testified against them, [so] You might bring them to Your law again. [B5] Yet they [still] dealt proudly and [didn’t] listen to Your commandments, but sinned against Your judgments [that men are supposed to do and] live [by] them) and [they turned their backs on You] and hardened their [stubborn necks] and [wouldn’t] hear.  [O5] Yet, many years You [did wait] for them, and [warned] them by the Spirit [through] Your prophets. [B6][Still] they [wouldn’t listen]. Therefore, You gave them into the hands of the people of the lands. [Y6] [Furthermore], for Your [abundant] mercies’ sake, You [didn’t] utterly [destroy] them or [abandon] them: for You are a gracious and merciful God. Now, therefore, our God, the great, mighty and [awesome] God, who [keeps] covenant [contract] and [shows] mercy, [O6] [don’t] let all [our] trouble that has come upon our kings, princes, priests, prophets, our fathers [leaders], and all Your people since the time of [Assyria’s] kings to this day, seem like a [small thing] to You. [However], You are just in all that has been brought upon us, for You have done right, but we have done wickedly [by continuing to worship false gods]. Neither have our kings, princes, priests, our fathers [leaders], kept Your law or [listened] to Your commandments and Your testimonies, which You did testify against them.[B7] For they [haven’t] served You in their [kingdoms] and in Your goodness that You gave them in the large, [rich] land [that] You gave them. Neither did they turn [away] from their wicked [ways of worshiping false gods].[O7] [See],We are servants this day in the land You gave to our [forefathers] to eat [its] fruit and the good [of it]. [See] we are servants in it. [This land] yields much [produce] to the kings’ whom You have [put] over us, [B8] because of our sins [in worshiping false gods]. Also, they have [power] over our bodies and over our cattle and [do as they please] and we are in great distress.[Y7] Because of all this, we make a [secure] covenant [contract with You] and write it and our princes, the Levites and the priests [give their] seal [of approval] to it.


[I have to be honest with you. I have done research on similar topics in larger books of the Old Testament. In Nehemia, chapter 9, Nehemiah pulls it all together, as he reads from the book of the Law of the Lord, the history of what’s happened with the Israelites, since God intervened on their behalf during their oppression by the Pharaoh of Egypt.]


Truthfully, there’s not much for me to research, since all the information is within this one chapter of Nehemiah 9. I think to make it less confusing as I analyze this, I will use the following notations, to make things easier to understand. I will put within brackets notations for yellow [Y 1, 2, 3…], for orange, [O 1, 2, 3…], and for blue [B 1, 2, 3…]. These notations will help to identify the portion I am analyzing. 


[After the portion in white, where it tells the Lord God made the world, heavens, and the sea and all that’s within them, and brought Abram, later named Abraham, to the land the Lord God promised to him, [Y1] tells about how the Lord God intervened on behalf of the Israelites in Egypt.]

[Y1] States that the Lord God:

  • Saw the affliction of their forefathers [Israelites] while in Egypt

  • Performed signs and wonders [10 plagues] on Pharaoh, his servants, and his people for their oppression of the [Israelites]

  • Heard the cry of the [Israelites] by the Red Sea [as Pharaoh & his people chased after them]

  • Divided the Red Sea, so the [Israelites] could cross over on dry land

  • Had the waters of the Red Sea go back over Pharaoh and those chasing after the [Israelites]

  • Provided a cloudy pillar during the day and a pillar of fire at night to provide light and guide them [on their journey to the Promised Land]

  • Came down from heaven and spoke to the [Israelites] from the top of Mount Sinai

  • Gave them right judgments, true laws, and good statutes, and commandments by Moses, His prophet, [to provide direction for their lives and their worship of the Lord]

  • Made known His holy Sabbath [the day of rest and worship of the Lord]

  • Provided for their hunger and thirst in the wilderness: bread from heaven [manna] and water from a big rock [even after they had made a gold calf to worship when Moses was on Mount Sinai 40 days with the Lord God]

  • Promised the [Israelites] would go in to possess the Promised Land that He had sworn to give them

[B1] The Israelites and their [forefathers]:

  • Acted proudly and stubbornly didn’t listen to God’s commandments

  • Refused to obey God’s commands

  • Chose not to remember all the miracles the Lord God did for them in Egypt

[O1] In spite of all the Lord God did for the [Israelites] and tried to refocus them: 

  • Turned their stubborn necks [away from the Lord God] 

  • Chose to follow a leader who worshiped false gods] and they ended back in bondage

[Y2] But the Lord God:

  • Ready to pardon, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness

  • Didn’t abandon them

[B2] When the Israelites:

  • Made themselves a golden calf when Moses was on Mount Sinai 40 days

  • [Chose to forget all the Lord God had done for them]

  • Said the golden calf was their god who brought them out of Egypt

  • Did very wicked things [worshiping false gods]

[Y3] The Lord God:

  • Didn’t withdraw His mercy, after they chose to make a false god

  • Didn’t abandon them in the wilderness, because of His abundant mercies

  • Didn’t  take away His cloudy pillar by day and His pillar of fire by night to provide light and to show them the way  

  • Gave His good [Holy Spirit] to instruct them, [in spite of their choices]

  • Didn’t withhold food [manna] or water from them

  • Didn’t allow they to lack anything during their 40 years in the wilderness

  • Didn’t let their clothes wear out or their feet to swell  

  • Gave them kingdoms and nations in the Promised Land

  • Divided them into [12 tribes according to their families]

  • Allowed them to capture the land of Sihon [Hesbon’s] king

  • Allowed them to capture Og [Bashan’s] king

  • Multiplied their [descendants] like the stars of heaven

  • Brought them into the Promised Land, that He promised to them

  • Defeated the inhabitants of the land before the [Israelites]

  • Gave the kings of the Canaanites and their people into the [Israelites] hands

  • Gave the [Israelites] strong cities and rich lands 

  • Let the [Israelites] possess houses [they didn’t build] with all types of goods [in them]

  • Gave the Israelites wells, they didn’t have to dig

  • Gave the [Israelites] vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance [they didn’t have to plant]

  • Gave the [Israelites plenty to eat] and [they] were filled and delighted with the Lord’s great goodness

[B3] The Israelites:

  • Were disobedient and rebelled against the Lord God

  • Turned their backs on the Lord God’s laws

  • Killed the prophets the Lord God sent to warn them to change their wicked ways [and to stop worshiping false gods]

  • Chose not to return to worshiping the Lord their God

[O2] Therefore, the Israelites:

  • Because of their choices, they were turned into the hands of their enemies

  • Were oppressed by their enemies [to give them an opportunity to rethink their wicked choices in worshiping false gods]

[Y4] The Lord God:

  • Heard them when they cried out to Him in their time of trouble

  • Gave them deliverers to save them out of the hands of their enemies, according to His abundant mercies

 [B4] The Israelites:

  • Were given rest from their enemies by the Lord God

  • Chose to return to doing evil in worshiping false gods, instead of the Lord God

[O3] The Lord God:

  • Left them in the hand of their enemies, [because of their wicked choices]

[Y5] The Israelites:

  • Cried to the Lord their God and He heard their cry

  • They cried to the Lord many times [which means that when they were safe from their enemies, they reverted back to their wicked ways in worshiping false gods many times]

  • According to the Lord God’s abundant mercy, [He forgive them for their wicked choices many times]

[O4] The Lord God:

  • Testified against them, [through His prophets to warn them of their wicked choices]

  • Provided an opportunity for the [Israelites] to rethink and choose to turn to the Lord God, although they chose to worship false gods, instead

[B5] The Israelites:

  • Chose to behave proudly and didn’t listen to the Lord’s commands

  • Chose to sin against the Lord’s judgments [to live by and worship by]

  • Chose to turn their backs on the Lord God and abandon Him

  • Chose to harden their [stubborn] necks and wouldn’t listen to the Lord God or the [prophets He sent to warn them]

[O5] The Lord God:

  • Waited for them over many years

  • Sent many prophets led by His Holy Spirit [to help warn them of their wicked choices]

[B6] The Israelites:

  • Wouldn’t listen to the warnings [about their wicked choices in worshiping false gods]

  • Were turned into the hands of the people of the neighboring lands, [because of their continued wicked choices]

[Y6] The Lord God:

  • Didn’t utterly destroy the [Israelites for their wicked choices], due to the Lord’s abundant mercies

  • Didn’t abandon the Israelites, because He is merciful and gracious

  • Keeps covenants [contracts] and is merciful and [awesome]

[O6] The Israelites:

  • Are currently crying out to the Lord God, because they have realized their [wicked choices in worshiping false gods]

  • Have come to this realization, because Nehemiah has been reading all the events to them since their [forefathers] left Egypt

  • Are fearful of having the consequences of their previous kings, princes, priests, prophets, and their father’s [leaders] who [chose to continue to worship false gods, since the time of Assyria’s kings]

  • Agree that their wicked behavior isn’t a small thing and is deserving of the consequences that the Lord God has instituted

  • Agree that their choice to worship false gods instead of the Lord God is a wicked decision

  • Acknowledge that the kings, princes, priests, prophets, and their father’s [leaders] have chosen to keep the Lord’s law, or listen to His commandments, and testimonies which He testifies to them today [through Nehemiah’s reading this history to them. This means that Nehemiah is just one more means of the Lord God’s gracious mercy, for trying to give them choices to be able to return to worshiping the Lord God again]

[B7] The Isaelites [prior to now]:

  • Haven’t served the Lord God in their kingdoms, even though He gave them the large, rich land

  • Hadn’t stopped worshiping false gods

[O7] The Israelites [now are]:

  • Servants in the land that the Lord God gave to their [forefathers] to eat the fruit and the good of the land

  • Are servants in the land that the Lord God had given to them, which now produces much fruit for the kings [who] are over them

[B8] The Israelits:

  • Know this consequence is because their sinful choice in worshiping false gods

  • Are in great distress, the kings have power over their bodies and over their cattle, and do as they please

[Y7] The Lord God:

  • Had Nehemiah read this Biblical history to the Israelties, from the time of captivity in Egypt

  • Had consequences significant enough to warrant the Israelites change of heart

  • Motivated the Israelites to make a secure covenant [contract] with the Lord God [which they weren’t motivated to do, prior to the consequences for their choices for worshiping false gods and Nehemiah’s reading the Biblical history to them]


[In analyzing Nehemiah, Chapter 9, of the Old Testament, it is determined to be extremely consistent in showing the Lord God’s compassion and mercy! Over and over again, God has those warned who have chosen to go astray and worship false gods, but reminds them that if they sincerely choose to turn back to worshiping only Him, He will welcome them with open arms. Which is evidenced many times within this chapter of the Bible.]


[To carry this research one step further, it’s on my heart to share some of the many examples of the compassion and mercy of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.]

John 8:1-12 Jesus went into the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him [Jesus], and He sat down and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman taken in adultery.  And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him [Jesus], Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what [do] You say?  This they said, tempting Him [Jesus], [so] that they might have [something to use] to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground,, as though He [didn’t] hear them. So when they continued asking Him, He [Jesus] lifted Himself up, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her. And again, He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And [those who] heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted Himself up, and saw none but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are [your] accusers? [Has] no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more. Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the light of the world. He [who] follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

Luke 7:36-50 And one of the Pharisees desired Him, that He [Jesus] would eat with him. And He [Jesus] went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to [dinner]. And, behold, a woman in the city, [who] was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat [down for dinner] in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment. [She] stood at His [Jesus’] feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His [Jesus’] feet with tears, and [wiped] them with the hairs of her head. [She] kissed His [Jesus’] feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now, when the Pharisee, [who] had bidden Him [Jesus] saw it, he [thought to himself], saying, This man, if He [Jesus] were a  prophet, [He] would have known what [type] of woman this is [who] touches Him. For she is a sinner. And Jesus, answering said to him, Simon, I have [something to say to you]. And he [Simon] said, [ Master, say on [continue what You are saying]. There was a certain creditor, [who] had two [who owed him debts]. The one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they [both] had nothing to pay, he [freely] forgave them both. Therefore, tell me, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose he, to whom he [the creditor] forgave [the] most. And He [Jesus] said to him [Simon], You have rightly judged. And He [Jesus] turned to the women, and said to Simon, [Do you see] this woman? I entered into [your] house, [and you didn’t give] Me [any] water for My feet: but she has washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. [You gave] Me no kiss, but this woman since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. [You didn’t] anoint my head with oil: but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment.  Wherefore I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. And He [Jesus] said to her, Your sins are forgiven. And [those who] sat at [dinner] with Him [Jesus] began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sins also? And He [Jesus] said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.

Matthew 5:1-12 And seeing the multitudes, He [Jesus] went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came to Him. And He [Jesus] opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which [are hungry] and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are [those who] are persecuted for the righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile [harass] you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be [exceedingly] glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets which were before you. 

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of Man shall be gathered to all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd [divides] his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was [hungry] and you gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me [a] drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me in. [I was] naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when [did we see You hungry] and fed You? Thirsty and gave you [a] drink? When [did we see] You [as] a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? Or when [did we see] You sick, or in prison, and came to You? And the King shall answer and say to them, Verily I say to you, In as much as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me. Then shall He also say to them on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was [hungry], and you gave Me no meat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink. I was a stranger, and you [didn’t] take Me in. Naked, and you [didn’t] clothe Me. Sick, and in prison, and you [didn’t] visit Me. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when [did we see] you [hungry], or [thirsty], or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and [didn’t] minister to You? Then shall He answer them, saying, verily I say to you, In as much as you [didn’t] do it to one of the least of these, you [didn’t] do it to Me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal. 

[This shows that the Lord God wants us to be compassionate and merciful to others, whether we think they are deserving of it or not!]

John 15:12-15 This is My commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do [whatever] I command you. Henceforth, I call you not servants; for the servant [doesn’t know] what his lord [does]: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard [from] My Father I have made known to you.

[This is only a small portion of all the compassion and mercy demonstrated by Jesus Christ in the New Testament, not even counting all the hundreds of people Jesus selflessly healed.  Additionally, the Bible tells us of Jesus Christ’s compassion and mercy for each of us, because He willingly gave His life for us, through being betrayed, being questioned, tormented, crucified. Jesus was buried and arose again on the third day, so that those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can go to heaven when Jesus calls them to join Him.]

Remember John 3:16-21 when Jesus says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only betten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 

[This is my advice: Follow Jesus the Light of the World!]