“Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. The former governors who were before me put a heavy burden on the people. They took food and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Even their servants oppressed the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God.”
Nehemiah defended himself for his 12 years of service, from the 20th to the 32nd year of King Artaxerxes. He never took full advantage of his position as governor to take the governor’s food. He did not demand 40 silver shekels like his predecessors who had ruled this area from Samaria. Even his servants were better than their servants. He did all this because he feared God.