So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
All Commentaries on Nehemiah 6:15 Go To Nehemiah 6
According to the Hebrews, the month of Elul is the sixth month of the year, which is called September by the Romans. And it is right that the wall of the holy city is completed in the sixth month of the year, so that by this number the perfected action of the faithful, whether penitents or the innocent, might also be designated. For the perfection of a good work is usually designated by the number six, either because the Lord completed the creation of the world on the sixth day and rested on the seventh or because he wished us to sweat with good actions within the six ages of this world but to hope for a sabbath rest for our souls in the seventh, which comes in the next life. It is rightly completed on the twentyfifth day of that same month, namely, on account of the five bodily senses, by the aid of which we ought to do good works outwardly: for just as the simple number five is often a figure of these senses, so when this is multiplied by itself to make twentyfive it designates these same senses with greater perfection. Therefore, we complete the wall of Jerusalem on the twentyfifth day of the sixth month when, diligently surrendering all of our bodily senses to divine servitude, we bring the pursuits of the virtues that we have begun to a sure end and, with the Lord’s help, effectively complete whatever things have begun to do faithfully in defense of catholic peace. It is also fitting that the wall is said to have been completed in fiftytwo days. For the fiftieth psalm—in which the prophet also prays specifically for the construction of this city, saying, “Deal favorably, O Lord, in your good will with Zion, that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up”—is one of repentance and forgiveness. On the fiftieth day of the Lord’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit, through whom not only the desire to repent is poured into us but also the gift of pardon is conferred on those who repent, came to the primitive church. Now there are two precepts concerning charity, namely, love of God and of neighbors, in which, once pardon for sins has been granted to us by the Holy Spirit, we are commanded to endeavor to attain eternal life. It is therefore most appropriate that when rebuilding the wall of the holy city that had been destroyed by the enemies, its citizens restore it in fiftytwo days, because this, undoubtedly, is the perfection of the righteous in this life, namely, that they should not only, by repenting through the grace of divine inspiration, set right whatever sins they have committed but afterwards adorn themselves with good works in love of God and neighbors.