that Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah, he and certain men. And I asked them about the Jews who had escaped and survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. Bible see other translations

“And I asked them.” Accurate information has always been hard to get, and as a Persian official, it would have been hard for Nehemiah to get the truth about Jerusalem and Judah because people would have a tendency to make the situation seem better than it was. But Nehemiah knew he could get the truth about the situation from these men from Judah.

“escaped.” In this context, it refers to escaping death and then “escaping” the desire not to uproot oneself from Babylon and return to uncertain circumstances in Judah.

Commentary for: Nehemiah 1:2