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Summary of the Book of Nehemiah
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Listen to Chuck Swindoll’s overview of Nehemiah in his audio message from the Classic series God’s Masterwork .
Who wrote the book?
Jewish tradition identifies Nehemiah himself as the primary author of this historical book. Much of the book is written from his first-person perspective. Nothing is known about his youth or background; we meet him as an adult serving in the Persian royal court as the personal cupbearer to King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 1:11–2:1). This prestigious position reveals something of Nehemiah’s upright character. Though he remained in Persia after the exiles had been allowed to go home, he was highly interested in the state of affairs in Judah (his brother Hanani [1:2] had returned there earlier).
The book of Nehemiah could be read as a sequel to the book of Ezra, and some scholars believe the two were originally one work. It is possible that Ezra compiled Nehemiah’s original accounts with other material to create the book of Nehemiah. However, most scholars believe the book was written by Nehemiah.
Where are we?
The book of Nehemiah opens in the Persian city of Susa in the year 444 BC. Later that year, Nehemiah traveled to Israel, leading the third of three returns by the Jewish people following their seventy years of exile in Babylon. (The previous chapter on Ezra describes the earlier two returns.) Most of the book centers on events in Jerusalem. The narrative concludes around the year 430 BC, and scholars believe the book was written shortly thereafter.
Nehemiah is the last historical book of the Old Testament. Although the book of Esther appears after Nehemiah in the canon, the events in Esther occurred in the time period between Ezra 6 and 7, between the first and second returns of the people to Israel. The prophet Malachi was a contemporary of Nehemiah.
Why is Nehemiah so important?
Nehemiah was a layman, not a priest like Ezra nor a prophet like Malachi. He served the Persian king in a secular position before leading a group of Jews to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the city walls. “Nehemiah’s expertise in the king’s court equipped him adequately for the political and physical reconstruction necessary for the remnant to survive." 1
Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jews withstood opposition and came together to accomplish their goal. Nehemiah led by example, giving up a respected position in a palace for hard labor in a politically insignificant district. He partnered with Ezra, who also appears in this book, to solidify the political and spiritual foundations of the people. Nehemiah’s humility before God (see his moving intercessory prayers in chapters 1 and 9) provided an example for the people. He did not claim glory for himself but always gave God the credit for his successes.
What's the big idea?
Nehemiah recorded the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem, Judah’s capital city. Together, he and Ezra, who led the spiritual revival of the people, directed the political and religious restoration of the Jews in their homeland after the Babylonian captivity.
Nehemiah’s life provides a fine study on leadership. He overcame opposition from outsiders as well as internal turmoil. He exercised his administrative skills in his strategy to use half the people for building while the other half kept watch for the Samaritans who, under Sanballat, threatened attack (Nehemiah 4–7). As governor, Nehemiah negotiated peace among the Jews who were unhappy with Persian taxes. He exhibited a steadfast determination to complete his goals. Accomplishing those goals resulted in a people encouraged, renewed, and excited about their future.
How do I apply this?
The book of Nehemiah shows us the kind of significant impact one individual can have on a nation. Nehemiah served in secular offices, using his position to bring back to the Jews order, stability, and proper focus on God.
God uses all manner of people in all manner of places doing all manner of work. Do you feel you must be “in ministry” in order to serve God? Be encouraged; He is not limited by your vocation. In fact, God has placed you where you are for a purpose. Have this attitude about your work: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).
- Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Peabody, Mass.: Prince Press, 2007), 165.
Copyright ©️ 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Bible Study Chart
Nehemiah overview chart.
View Chuck Swindoll's chart of Nehemiah , which divides the book into major sections and highlights themes and key verses.
View a list of Bible maps , excerpted from The Swindoll Study Bible.
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These are all of the chapters of the book of Nehemiah . Clicking on a chapter will show you the text of that chapter of Nehemiah in the Bible (New International Version).
- Nehemiah 10
- Nehemiah 11
- Nehemiah 12
- Nehemiah 13
Who Wrote the Book of Nehemiah?
Much of Nehemiah appears to have come directly from the personal writings of Nehemiah himself, and the book begins with the words, “The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah”, and then goes into first-person narrative of Nehemiah’s experiences. This clearly indicates that what we are reading was indeed written by Nehemiah himself.
However, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are so closely related that for many years they were considered in the Hebrew Bible to be one book, as an extension of 1 and 2 Chronicles. This is because it is a continuing story: while Ezra works to re-establish the temple and the moral fabric of the people, Nehemiah arrives later to rebuild the city wall around Jerusalem and serve as governor. It is possible that sections of the book may have been borrowed from Ezra, such as the list in Nehemiah 7:6 – 12:26 which nearly mirrors Ezra 2:1-70 . Even with the possibility of some borrowed material, the main narrative of the book is clearly that of Nehemiah, and he is accepted to be the author.
Context and Background of Nehemiah
As stated previously, the Book of Nehemiah is a continuation of the events in the Book of Ezra. Yet unlike Ezra, who was a priest and scribe, Nehemiah does not have a religious vocation – instead, he is a man with a high position before King Artaxerxes I in Persia, serving as cupbearer.
Prior to the beginning of Nehemiah, the Jewish people have been returning to Jerusalem from a seventy-year period of captivity in Persia and are reestablishing their culture and faith in the promised land. It is against this backdrop that the book begins, and Nehemiah is serving the king in the capital city of Susa. He soon leaves for Jerusalem when he hears that, “those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire” ( Neh. 1:3 ).
This causes Nehemiah to weep and pray, and he soon knows that he is the one being called to go to Jerusalem and lead in rebuilding it. Nehemiah had the right skills for this job, as Norman Geisler explains, “Nehemiah’s expertise in the king’s court equipped him adequately for the political and physical reconstruction necessary for the remnant to survive." Nehemiah returns to the land in 444 B.C., thirteen years after the return led by Era and 94 years after the return led by Zerubbabel. He arrives to find a job not yet completed and a people who are growing complacent.
It is important to note that the prophet Malachi is active during the time period covered in Nehemiah, and through his writings, we see that the people who are recently restored to their land, who have rebuilt the city wall and the temple, and have seen the covenant of God fulfilled, are already falling into a pattern of neglecting God.
Main Theme and Purpose of Nehemiah
Ezra dealt primarily with the spiritual restoration of God’s people, and Nehemiah begins by addressing their physical and political restoration. The main theme of Nehemiah is, therefore, one of restoration: the first half of the book deals with the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem (chapters 1-7), and the second half deals with their spiritual restoration and renewal (chapters 8-13).
Perhaps the most moving moment documented in Nehemiah is in chapter 8, where Ezra is reading the words of the Law to the people. Verse 9 gives us a glimpse of that emotional moment, “Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.” God has finally restored His people as He promised. This moment is the culmination of much hard work, of finally overcoming opposition, and must have been extraordinarily moving for those present. It still moves us today.
What Can We Learn from Nehemiah Today?
Perseverance A continued theme from the Book of Ezra, we follow God’s people as they transition from life in captivity back to life in their own land. The journey there was not at all easy and involved many setbacks, hurdles, and outright attacks. As we go about the work God has called us to do, we can expect the same kind of setbacks and opposition. It is for us to remain faithful in prayer, and trust in God that He will accomplish His purposes in His time.
God shows His faithfulness to His people in spite of their repeated failures. We can be encouraged that even when we fail, we are not done. The grace of God is greater than our sin, and it is for us to call to mind the faithfulness of God and trust in Him as we set about the tasks He has given us to accomplish.
God’s Work through Our Unity Nehemiah 4:6 states that “we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” This unity of purpose caused the rebuilding to happen quickly and successfully. It serves as a reminder that if we can set about a task with all our hearts, with a unity of purpose, the Church becomes an effective and powerful vehicle for God to work.
God’s Work through Individual Believers The Book of Nehemiah shows us the kind of significant impact one individual can have on a nation. Nehemiah served not as a priest, but in secular offices, using his position to bring back to the Jews order, stability, and proper focus on God, who uses all manner of people in all manner of places doing all manner of work.
Nehemiah is a perfect example of how a person who is devoted to God does not need to be in professional ministry in order to be effective for the kingdom. God created you the way He did for a reason, and He will use your specific strengths to His glory and for His purposes.
God’s Work through Leadership Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah are men chosen of God to lead His people politically, spiritually, and physically. This came through the rebuilding of their culture, their temple, their city wall, their perseverance and pursuit of righteousness. May we strive to be these kinds of leaders, holding tight to God’s word, and may we be supportive of those who lead us in our faith.
Our Favorite Verses from Nehemiah
Nehemiah 1:3 , “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
Nehemiah 4:14 , “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Nehemiah 4:17-18 , “who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.”
Nehemiah 6:15-16 , “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”
Nehemiah 8:9 , “Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.”
Nehemiah 8:10 , “Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”
- The New Open Bible. (1990). Nashville: T. Nelson, p.544.
- Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Peabody, Mass.: Prince Press, 2007), 165.
- ESV Bible. (2020). Introduction to Nehemiah | ESV.org.
- Insight.org . (2020). Book of Nehemiah Overview - Insight for Living Ministries.
Photo credit: © Sparrowstock
Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and member of the worship team at matthias lot church in St. Charles, MO. He spends his free time hanging out with his family, exploring new places, and writing about the experiences. Connect on Facebook or at JasonSoroski.net.
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NEHEMIAH — HARD WORK IN HARD TIMES
The Book of Nehemiah addresses 2 major problems:
1) God’s Work Needs Revival / Rebuilding (chaps. 1-7)
“ and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire .”
2) God’s People Need Revival / Rebuilding (chaps. 8-13)
“ The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach ”
Nehemiah teaches us lessons of spiritual leadership as God’s servant leads a revival of both God’s Work and God’s People.
GOD’S LEADERS MOBILIZE GOD’S TROOPS TO ACCOMPLISH GOD’S WORK ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD DESPITE GOD’S ENEMIES
Nehemiah 2:20 “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build”
I. (1:1 – 7:73) REVIVAL / REBUILDING OF GOD’S WORK
A. (1:1-11) REVIVAL (REBUILDING) STARTS WITH CONCERNED CONFESSIONAL PRAYER —
GRIEF OVER THE SHAMEFUL STATE OF GOD’S KINGDOM PROGRAM MOTIVATES SPIRITUAL LEADERS TO PETITION GOD FOR REVIVAL WITH CONFESSIONAL PRAYER
B. (2:1-10) TRUSTING GOD FOR PROVIDENTIAL FAVORS —
PUTTING THE PRIORITY ON THE SUCCESS OF GOD’S KINGDOM PROGRAM REQUIRES BOLD FAITH THAT COUNTS ON PROVIDENTIAL FAVORS
C. (2:11-20) VISION MUST TRANSLATE INTO COMMITMENT –
STRATEGIC VISION BASED ON REALISTIC ASSESSMENTS MUST TRANSLATE INTO COMMITMENT TO HARD WORK IN DEPENDENCE ON GOD’S GRACE DESPITE AGGRESSIVE OPPOSITION
D. (3:1-32) PARTNERSHIP IN MUTUAL MINISTRY – GOD’S HONOR ROLL OF DEDICATED WORKERS —
EVERYONE MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR SHARE OF GOD’S WORK – PARTNERSHIP IN MUTUAL MINISTRY GETS THE JOB DONE
E. (4:1-8) DEFENDING AGAINST DISCOURAGEMENT – BOASTING IN WEAKNESS –
THE GREAT AND AWESOME GOD CAN PROTECT AND PROSPER A FEEBLE FEW WHO DON’T QUIT PRAYING AND DON’T QUIT WORKING DESPITE ANGRY OPPOSITION
F. (4:9-23) KEEP YOUR GUARD UP – KEEP PRAYING . . . KEEP TRUSTING . . . KEEP GUARDING . . KEEP WORKING —
ANGRY OPPOSITION REQUIRES A CONSTANT STATE OF GUARDED READINESS WHILE MAINTAINING FOCUS ON THE WORK AT HAND
G. (5:1-19) FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION VS SACRIFICIAL MINISTRY — THE THREAT FROM WITHIN —
GOD’S LEADERS MUST PROHIBIT ANY TYPE OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION AND SET THE EXAMPLE FOR SACRIFICIAL MINISTRY
H. (6:1-19) GOD’S WORK PREVAILS DESPITE SATAN’S DEVIOUS TACTICS —
THE SCHEMING TACTICS OF GOD’S ENEMIES CAN NEVER THWART GOD’S PURPOSES
I. (7:1-73) THE IMPORTANCE OF GODLY WORSHIP –
REBUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE (THE OUTER SHELL) PREPARES THE WAY FOR REVIVING THE PEOPLE INWARDLY TO FULFILL THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF GODLY WORSHIP
II. (8:1 – 13:31) REVIVAL / REBUILDING OF GOD’S PEOPLE
A. (8:1-18) THE CELEBRATION OF TRUTH — PEOPLE OF THE BOOK —
REVIVAL STARTS WITH JOYFULLY SUBMITTING TO THE VOICE OF TRUTH
B. (9:1-38) HISTORICAL REVIEW OF GOD’S COVENANT LOYALTY —
C. (10:1-39) REDEDICATION TO COVENANT OBLIGATIONS –
REDEDICATION TO OBEYING GOD’S WORD SHOWS ITSELF IN SPECIFIC REFORMS
D. (11:1 – 12:26) MIGHTY MEN OF VALOR — RE-SETTLEMENT OF JERUSALEM —
GOD’S KINGDOM ADVANCES WHEN MIGHTY MEN OF VALOR FORSAKE PERSONAL COMFORT TO VOLUNTEER FOR FRONT LINE DUTY IN THE FAITHFUL FULFILLMENT OF THEIR GOD APPOINTED ROLES
E. (12:27-47) CELEBRATION OF SUCCESSFUL REVIVAL / REBUILDING —
THE DEDICATION OF THE REBUILT WALL INVOLVED AN ELABORATE CELEBRATION BEFITTING THE CULMINATION OF SUCH A SUCCESSFUL REVIVAL
F. (13:1-31) DEALING WITH SPIRITUAL SLIPPAGE REQUIRES CONSTANT VIGILANCE AND GODLY LEADERSHIP TO PURIFY AND RESTORE PRACTICES TO BIBLICAL NORMS
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
LESSONS REGARDING GOD’S LEADERS — INSIGHTS INTO SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP – FEEL THE BURDEN AND STAY ON TASK
Nehemiah was a strong leader – many admirable traits that we can follow;
Throughout he combined aggressive faith with practical responsibility
4:9 “We prayed . . . and set a guard against them day and night”
4:14 “Remember the Lord . . . and fight”
A man of vision, a man of prayer, a man of faith, a man of courage, a man of action, a man who could motivate and manage others
LESSONS REGARDING GOD’S TROOPS –IMPERATIVE OF ALL HANDS ON DECK – FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL MINISTRY
Lessons of Ephesians 4 and 1 Cor. 12-14 regarding the importance of the entire body of Christ; spiritual gifts must be exercised
LESSONS REGARDING GOD’S WORK – ISOLATE WHAT IS TOP PRIORITY FOR GOD’S KINGDOM PROGRAM – FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND
Many distractions; many other things could consume our time and ambition; easy to settle for something that is good rather than for God’s best
LESSONS REGARDING GOD’S WORD – IMPERATIVE OF REPENTANCE AND RENEWED OBEDIENCE –
FLEE SIN AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS – FAITH IN THE LORD IS THE KEY
We are living thousands of years later – and still the key to a successful life is the same – Trust and Obey, for there is no other way … that’s it
LESSONS REGARDING GOD’S ENEMIES (STRONG OPPOSITION) – INSIGHTS INTO SATAN’S TACTICS TO DISCOURAGE AND DISTRACT – FIGHT OFF ALL THE THREATS (BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL)
If you are attempting something significant for God … something that is high priority for His program for that point in time – you should expect strong opposition from the enemy.
Alan Redpath : Victorious Christian Service — There is no type of service any of us can undertake which is beset with so much potential as is the service of the Master. On the one hand, there is so much that is rewarding, and on the other hand, so much that is disappointing. Many are the obstacles to be overcome and many the pitfalls to be avoided. On how many occasions we have taken up a task in the name of the Lord only to withdraw, beaten, discouraged, and baffled, and yet, somehow, baffled to fight better. For every discouragement has been allowed to come to us in order that through it we may be cast in utter helplessness at the Saviour’s feet. Then we return to the battle again, no longer trusting in the false and insufficient human resources which so foolishly we had taken into the battle, but now trusting in the limitless resources of our risen Lord. J. Sidlow Baxter: Nehemiah is a gem of a book in the spiritual lessons which it teaches us. It tells how, under the new leadership of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by the returned Remnant, and how the people themselves were reinstructed in the Law which God had given to their nation, long before, through Moses. This rebuilding of the city wall is like a graphic object-lesson illustrating those truths which lie at the heart of all true service for God; and he who will give heed to the lessons here vividly pictured will be a wise and successful builder in spiritual things. David Malick : Background for Ezra and Nehemiah: The re-establishment of the exiles as God’s people in Jerusalem and Judea gradually developed as they returned in waves under the leadership of Sheshbazzar, Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, as God providentially made provision for them through the Persian rulers, as the Lord enabled them to rebuild Jerusalem, and as the people continually repented of their evil in order to follow God’s law Outline of Nehemiah: I. (1:1 – 7:4) THIRD RETURN UNDER NEHEMIAH AND REBUILDING THE WALL: The Nation is Physically Separated from the Gentiles: When Nehemiah learned about the distress of the Jews in Jerusalem he prayed to the Lord, sought permission from King Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and managed to spur on the people in Jerusalem to accomplish the task in spite of opposition from the people surrounding the city and the problems within the city because he was a man who trusted God and was wise in leadership II. (7:5 – 13:31) THE RELIGIOUS REFORMS OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH: The Nation is Spiritually Separated from the Gentiles: After the people became identified as a new society under the Law of God with the walls of their capital city established, Nehemiah restored them from their falls back into disobedience so that they might obey God’s Law Mervin Breneman : One of the chief objectives of Ezra-Nehemiah was to show the Jews that they constituted the continuation of the preexilic Jewish community, the Israelite community that God had chosen. Thus, in this community they were to see a continuation of God’s redemptive activity. This community is emphasized by allusions to the exodus in recounting postexilic parallels. The returnees experienced a new exodus. As soon as the new temple, which took the place of the preexilic temple, was completed, they celebrated the Passover (Ezra 6:19-22). Later, after reading the Law, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (Neh 8). These feasts celebrate God’s great saving acts in the exodus. . . The emphasis on continuity with the covenant people of God led to a strong emphasis on separation from any form of defilement or syncretism with the surrounding people. The postexilic community was a tiny island in a great sea of peoples and religious traditions. It was important that the covenant community remain pure in doctrine, customs, and ethical norms. . . Derek Kidner : What we see in Ezra-Nehemiah is an Israel cut down almost to the roots, but drawing new vitality from its neglected source of nourishment in the Mosaic law and already showing signs, by its new concern for purity, of growing into the Judaism which we meet, both for better and for worse, in the New Testament.
Introduction to Nehemiah
Author and Date
Nehemiah is the central figure in the book. It contains some of his own records, but he is not the author of the entire book. The same author probably wrote Nehemiah and portions of Ezra. Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem in 445 B.C. , 13 years after Ezra arrived. He returned for a further visit sometime between 433 and 423 B.C. He may have made several journeys between Persian capitals and Jerusalem in this period of 20 years (see chart ).
The theme of Nehemiah is the Lord’s protection of his people and their need to be faithful in worship and in keeping the Mosaic law.
Purpose and Background
The basic purpose and background of Nehemiah are the same as that for Ezra (see Introduction to Ezra ). Ezra, “a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses” ( Ezra 7:6 ), called the returning exiles back to covenant loyalty and obedience to the law. Nehemiah rebuilt the city walls so that the community could be protected from enemies who might take advantage of them.
- The Lord hears prayer ( 1:4–6 ).
- The Lord works providentially, especially through powerful rulers, to bring about his greater purposes (e.g., 2:8 ).
- The Lord protects his people. Because of this, they need not be afraid ( 4:14 ).
- The Lord is merciful and faithful to his promises despite his people’s ongoing sin ( 9:32–35 ).
- Worship is at the center of the life of God’s people. It includes the willing, joyful giving of resources ( 10:32–39 ).
- God’s people need to be on their guard against their own moral weakness (ch. 13 ).
- Nehemiah learns of Jerusalem’s dilapidation ( 1:1–11 )
- Nehemiah gains permission to return and inspects Jerusalem’s walls ( 2:1–16 )
- First signs of opposition ( 2:17–20 )
- The people work systematically on the walls ( 3:1–32 )
- Opposition intensifies, but the people continue watchfully ( 4:1–23 )
- Nehemiah deals with injustices in the community; Nehemiah’s personal contribution to the project ( 5:1–19 )
- A conspiracy against Nehemiah, but the wall is finished ( 6:1–7:4 )
- A Record of Those Who Returned from Exile ( 7:5–73 )
- The law is read ( 8:1–8 )
- The people are to be joyful ( 8:9–12 )
- The people keep the Feast of Booths ( 8:13–18 )
- A prayer of confession, penitence, and covenant commitment ( 9:1–38 )
- Signatories and specific commitments ( 10:1–39 )
- Those who lived in Jerusalem and the villages of Judah ( 11:1–36 )
- High priests and leading Levites since the time of Zerubbabel ( 12:1–26 )
- Dedication of the walls ( 12:27–43 )
- The administration of offerings for the temple ( 12:44–47 )
- Ejection of Tobiah the Ammonite from the temple ( 13:1–9 )
- Dealing with neglect of the offerings ( 13:10–14 )
- Dealing with Sabbath breaking ( 13:15–22 )
- The problem of intermarriage again ( 13:23–29 )
- Summary of Nehemiah’s temple reforms ( 13:30–31 )
The Persian Empire at the Time of Nehemiah
C. 450 b.c..
During the time of Nehemiah, the Persian Empire had reached its greatest extent, engulfing nearly the entire Near East. In 539 B.C. the Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and absorbed the lands of Israel and Judah (which they called “Beyond the River”) into their empire. The next year Cyrus allowed the people of Judah (now called Jews) to return home and rebuild the temple of the Lord. Several waves of returning Jews resettled in Judea. In about 445 B.C. , Nehemiah was granted permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s ruined walls.
“Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Nehemiah,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah
Why study this book.
The book of Nehemiah provides an account of Nehemiah, a leader of the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem. Under his direction, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. However, “Nehemiah was not satisfied with simply building physical structures; he wanted his people to be edified spiritually as well,” and he helped the Jews “take control of their lives, land, and destiny as the people of God” (Modesto M. Amistad Jr., “Wanted: Modern Nehemiahs,” Ensign, Dec. 2002, 45, 46). He also exemplified many righteous qualities. “He was humble, self-motivated, confident in the will of God, willing to take the lead, full of faith, fearless, an organizer, obedient, and just” (“Wanted: Modern Nehemiahs,” 46). By studying the book of Nehemiah, students can both see an example of righteous leadership and learn the value of building themselves spiritually.
Who wrote this book?
The author of the book of Nehemiah is unknown. However, the book has an autobiographical style. Nehemiah 1:1 mentions that these are “the words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah,” and the rest of the narrative is written primarily in the first person. This may suggest that at least portions of the book were written by Nehemiah himself.
When and where was it written?
The date and location of the writing of the book of Nehemiah are unknown. However, Nehemiah 1:1 mentions that the record was started at Shushan, in Persia, in “the twentieth year,” which refers to the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, who ruled from 465 B.C. to 424 B.C.
What are some distinctive features of this book?
The book of Nehemiah is the continuation of the account that begins in the book of Ezra. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah originally made up one book in the Hebrew scriptural canon. The book was divided into two books in the third century A.D.
The book of Nehemiah records an important time period in Jewish history, which included the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem as well as the rebuilding of the spiritual lives of the Jews who had returned from captivity. When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after their long captivity in Babylon, they found their city in ruins. The protective wall around the city of Jerusalem had been reduced to rubble, which left the Israelites vulnerable to attacks by their enemies. Under the direction of Nehemiah, the Israelites began to rebuild the wall.
During the reconstruction of the wall, the Israelites faced opposition. When Nehemiah’s enemies tried to lure him away from the site, he responded, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” ( Nehemiah 6:3 ). In so doing, Nehemiah demonstrated his commitment to fulfill the pledge he had made to the Lord to rebuild Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 1:11 ; 2:4–5 ). Nehemiah can serve as an example to us of the importance of remaining faithful to the Lord even in the midst of opposition.
Nehemiah 1–6 Nehemiah, a Jew serving as the cupbearer of the king of Persia, fasts and prays when he learns that the Jews in Jerusalem are suffering and that the walls surrounding Jerusalem have been broken down. King Artaxerxes grants Nehemiah’s request to return and rebuild the walls and gates of the city. Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem and directs the Jews in rebuilding the walls of the city despite opposition.
Nehemiah 7 To protect the Jews living in Jerusalem, Nehemiah orders that the gates of the city be opened only during the heat of the day and shut and barred at all other times. He also appoints guards to watch over the gates and the homes of the Jews. He reviews the genealogical record of the Jews living in Jerusalem; those who cannot prove through genealogical records that they are Levites are denied the priesthood.
Nehemiah 8–10 Ezra reads aloud and interprets the law of Moses to the Jews. The people weep when they hear the scriptures read aloud. They fast and confess their sins before the Lord. Some of the Jews recount the history of the Israelites and some of God’s blessings to them from Abraham to their own day. The people covenant to marry only within the house of Israel, honor the Sabbath, pay tithing, and keep the Lord’s commandments.
Nehemiah 11–12 The walls of Jerusalem are completed and dedicated. The people give thanks to God.
Nehemiah 13 Nehemiah leaves Jerusalem for several years, and during his absence, the Jews in Jerusalem begin to break their covenants and neglect the law of Moses. Nehemiah returns and helps the people keep their covenants by cleansing the temple, reinstituting Sabbath observance, and teaching the people about marriage within the covenant.
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David Guzik :: Study Guide for Nehemiah 1
A. nehemiah hears of jerusalem’s crisis condition..
1. Some 1,000 years after the time of Moses and some 400 years before the birth of Jesus, the nation of Israel and the Jewish people were in a desperate state.
a. Their nations were destroyed, First the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel and then the southern Jewish kingdom of Judah. The city of Jerusalem was completely conquered by the Babylonians and the once-glorious temple of Solomon was destroyed.
b. When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, they deported almost everyone from the city and the region — for some 70 years, Jerusalem was something of a ghost town, with the potential to end up like many ancient cities — completely forgotten except to history.
c. When the Jews were deported to Babylon, they began to make homes for themselves there. They settled down, and many still followed the God of their Fathers, but they did it from Babylon, with no desire to return to the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
i. Some of these faithful Jews were raised up to places of prominence in the governments they were deported to. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego became leaders in Babylon; Esther was made queen in the courts of a Persian king.
d. But after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, they were given the opportunity to return to their homeland, the Promised Land. Out of some two or three million Jews deported from the land, only 50,000 decided to return to the Promised Land. That’s only something like 2%! But they did return, and in the days of Ezra, they rebuilt the temple and laid a spiritual foundation for Israel once again.
e. The Book of Nehemiah begins 15 years after the Book of Ezra ends; almost 100 years after the first captives came back to the Promised Land; and some 150 years after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. After this long time, the walls of the city of Jerusalem were still in rubble.
i. Before this, citizens of Jerusalem had tried to rebuild the walls but had failed. In Ezra 4:6-23 , we see that some 75 years before they tried to rebuild the walls but were stopped by their enemies. No one thought this obstacle could be overcome, so the walls lay in ruin and the people stayed in trouble.
2. ( Nehemiah 1:1-3 ) Nehemiah hears of Jerusalem’s condition.
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
a. In Shushan the citadel : Nehemiah lived in Shushan , the capital city of the Persians, and he lived in the citadel — that is, the fortified palace of the Persians. Right away, we know Nehemiah is someone important, living in the palace of the king of Persia.
b. I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem : Nehemiah’s body was in Persia, but his heart and his interest were in Jerusalem — 800 miles away. He wanted to know from those returning how the people and the city were doing.
i. We might think that an important man like Nehemiah had more important things to think about than a distant city he had never been to, and a people he had mostly never met. Yet, because his heart was for the things of God, his heart was not on himself, but on others.
ii. Nehemiah had the heart of Psalm 137:5-6 : If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth; if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy . If Jerusalem was special to God, then it would also be special to Nehemiah.
c. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire : The news he received was not encouraging. The people were called survivors ; this was not a hopeful title. They were in great distress and reproach , and the walls of the city itself were broken down and the city gates are burned with fire .
i. The bad state of the people and the bad state of the city walls were intimately connected. In the ancient world, a city without walls was a city completely open and vulnerable to its enemies. They had no defense, no protection at all.
ii. An unwalled city was always a backwater town, with nothing valuable in it. If there were anything of value in an unwalled city, it could be stolen away easily because there was no defense to stop it.
iii. Those living in an unwalled city lived in constant stress and tension; they never knew when they might be attacked and brutalized. Every man lived in constant fear for his wife and children. The temple could be rebuilt, but never made beautiful, because anything valuable would be taken easily.
iv. No wonder the people lived in constant distress , in constant disgrace ( reproach ), living only as survivors . God has more for us than to be mere survivors. God not only wants us to be conquerors, but more than conquerors through Him who loved us ( Romans 8:37 ).
3. ( Nehemiah 1:4 ) Nehemiah’s reaction to the news about Jerusalem and its people.
So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
a. I sat down and wept : Nehemiah’s immediate reaction was extreme. He didn’t just feel bad for Jerusalem and its people; right away, there was no strength in his legs ( I sat down ), and he began to weep and to mourn.
b. Mourned for many days : God was going to use Nehemiah to do something about this situation. But first, God did something in Nehemiah. Any great work of God begins with God doing a great work in somebody.
i. God prepared this long ago, with Nehemiah’s important position in Persia, with a heart curious about the welfare of Jerusalem and its people. Now we see that he had a heart that broke over their needy state.
ii. God saw the need in heaven, but little would be done until the right man also felt the need. God would do something great to meet that need through Nehemiah.
iii. But there is no way Nehemiah could do this alone. He had to be a leader — one who influences other people — to get this job done. Nehemiah is a book all about leadership — something we obviously need today. Since leadership is influence , leadership applies to everyone. Everyone has an area of leadership. In some way, each one is a leader; the question is if they are a good leader or a bad leader.
iv. Leaders must prepare themselves for difficult work because it won’t be easy. “There is no winning without warfare; there is no opportunity without opposition; there is no victory without vigilance. For when ever the people of God say, ‘Let us arise and build,’ Satan says, ‘Let me arise and oppose.’” (Redpath)
v. Leaders must have a big vision, and Nehemiah had one. “Through me, God is going to correct a problem that’s been around a hundred and fifty years. Through me, God is going to do something that completely failed before.” We must have a vision, a goal, that is big enough.
c. I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven : Nehemiah’s reaction went beyond an immediate emotion. Many times, a concern will come over us in a flush, and then quickly pass. But if it is from the Lord it will abide and grow, and the burden will remain until the problem that prompted the burden is solved.
i. We should note as well what Nehemiah did not do: he did not complain, whine, or “see who could fix this problem.” He immediately did what he knew he could do — pray, and intensely seek God in this situation.
d. The God of heaven : Nehemiah also had a clear understanding of Whom he fasted and prayed to. There are many “gods” people trust in but only the God of heaven can really meet our needs.
B. Nehemiah’s prayer.
1. ( Nehemiah 1:5-7 ) Nehemiah prays to God in humility.
And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.”
a. I pray : Prayer is essential to leadership. If your vision is so big that only God can accomplish it, then you obviously must pray. If prayer isn’t absolutely necessary to accomplish your vision, your goal isn’t big enough.
i. It appears that Nehemiah prayed for four months before he did anything ( Nehemiah 2:1 ). Later, when the work of rebuilding the walls actually begins, it only takes 52 days to finish the job. But that 52-day project had a four-month foundation of prayer.
ii. Nehemiah took his pain and stress to God in prayer — and seemingly, was able to leave it there. Prayer will relieve your stress. You may be trying to relieve stress through entertainment, but all that does is divert your attention. Entertainment doesn’t give any solutions to stress. Prayer will give you strength; when you wait on the Lord in prayer, He will renew your strength ( Isaiah 40:31 ).
b. I pray, LORD God of heaven : Humility begins by simply understanding there is a God enthroned in the heavens, and I am not Him! Nehemiah recognizes exactly who God is: LORD God of heaven... great and awesome God... who keep Your covenant... and mercy... with those You love .
c. Please let Your ear be attentive : Humility also understands my complete dependence on God. When Nehemiah desperately asked God to hear the prayer of Your servant ( let Your ear be attentive... Your eyes open ), it reflected his complete dependence on the LORD. Only God could help, and if God would only hear , Nehemiah knew He would help.
i. God will allow you to be fruitless to expose your need for total dependence.
d. Confess the sins... which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned : Humility will also confess sin openly. Nehemiah plainly and simply confessed sin, without any attempt at excusing the sin.
i. We must always avoid excusing ourselves in the confession of our sin. May we never say, “Lord, if I sinned” or “Lord, I’m sorry, but You know how hard it was” or other such nonsense. We can find great freedom in open, honest confession, without any attempt at excuse or wondering “if” I sinned or not.
e. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You : Humility identifies with the needy. Obviously, Nehemiah was a godly man; but he openly and passionately put himself with his father’s house , and prayed by using “ we ” instead of “they.”
i. “You never lighten the load unless first you have felt the pressure in your own soul. You are never used of God to bring blessing until God has opened your eyes and made you see things as they are.” (Redpath).
2. ( Nehemiah 1:8-10 ) Nehemiah comes to God looking to God’s promises.
“Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”
a. Remember : This is a powerful way to come to God, asking Him to remember His promises. Nehemiah said, “LORD, You made a promise to Moses and this nation, I ask you now to make good on it.” Nehemiah quoted from both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 30 .
i. This, no doubt, is the secret to great power in prayer: to plead the promises of God . We may be a bit annoyed when one of our children comes to us saying “Daddy, you promised”; but our Father in heaven delights in it — and often demands it before prayer becomes effective.
ii. In Psalm 81:10 God says to His people, Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it . God will not open His storehouse until we open our mouths in asking Him to perform His promises.
b. If you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them : Nehemiah quoted a conditional promise. The condition was returning to God and keeping His commandments. He really couldn’t know if the nation was keeping the commandments, but he knew that he was keeping them, and because he had identified himself with the nation in their sin the nation could also identify itself with Nehemiah in his godly fulfillment of these conditions.
3. ( Nehemiah 1:11 ) Nehemiah prays with a heart ready to do something.
“O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer.
a. Grant him mercy in the sight of this man : Nehemiah concluded by asking God to bless him when he would soon speak to the king of Persia about the matter. Nehemiah was going to do something about the sorry state of Jerusalem’s walls and people, and he knows without God’s intervention, he can do nothing.
b. Let Your servant prosper this day : This is a prayer of a man of action , not a sideline critic. Nehemiah does not pray “God, make it all better” or “God, get someone else moving on this problem.” Instead, his prayer is “God, use me to make it better.”
i. “Recognition of need must be followed by earnest, persistent waiting upon God until the overwhelming sense of world need becomes a specific burden in my soul for one particular piece of work which God would have me do.” (Redpath)
ii. “Laying the matter to heart, he did not begin to speak with other people about what they would do, nor did he draw up a wonderful scheme about what might be done if so many thousand people joined in the enterprise; but it occurred to him that he would do something himself.” (Spurgeon)
©2018 David Guzik — No distribution beyond personal use without permission
- Redpath, Alan "Victorious Christian Service: Studies in the Book of Nehemiah" (Westwood, New Jersey: Revell, 1958)
- Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The New Park Street Pulpit" Volumes 1-6 and "The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" Volumes 7-63 (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1990)
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Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah
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The book of Nehemiah is the last of the Historical Books of the Bible, originally part of the book of Ezra , but split off into its own volume by the Church in 1448.
Nehemiah was one of the most underrated heroes in the Bible , cupbearer to the powerful Persian king Artaxerxes I Longimanus. Stationed in the winter palace at Susa, Nehemiah heard from his brother Hanani that the walls in Jerusalem were broken down and its gates had been destroyed by fire.
Heartbroken, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem's walls. Artaxerxes was one of several benevolent rulers God used to restore his exiled people back to Israel. With an armed escort, supplies, and letters from the king, Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem.
Immediately Nehemiah met opposition from Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, neighboring governors, who feared a fortified Jerusalem. In a rousing speech to the Jews, Nehemiah told them the hand of God was upon him and convinced them to rebuild the wall.
The people worked hard, with weapons ready in case of an attack. Nehemiah avoided several attempts on his life. In an astounding 52 days, the wall was finished.
Then Ezra, the priest and scribe, read from the Law to the people, from dawn to midday. They were attentive and worshiped God, confessing their sins .
Together, Nehemiah and Ezra reestablished civil and religious order in Jerusalem, casting out foreign influences and purifying the city for the Jews' return from exile.
Nehemiah was written for the Jews returning from exile, and all later readers of the Bible.
The story began in Artaxerxes' winter palace in Susa, east of Babylon , and continued in Jerusalem and the lands bordering Israel.
Themes in Nehemiah
God answers prayer . He takes interest in people's lives, supplying them with what they need to obey his commands. Besides providing building materials, God put his hand on Nehemiah, energizing him for the work as a mighty encourager.
God works his plans through the world's rulers. Throughout the Bible, the most powerful pharaohs and kings are mere instruments in God's hands to accomplish his purposes. As empires rise and fall, God is always in control.
God is patient and forgives sin. The great message of Scripture is people can be reconciled to God, through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ . In the Old Testament time of Nehemiah, God called his people to repent , again and again, bringing them back through his lovingkindness.
People must work together and share their resources for the Church to flourish. Selfishness has no place in the lives of God's followers. Nehemiah reminded rich people and nobles not to take advantage of the poor.
Despite overwhelming odds and the enemy's opposition, God's will prevails. God is omnipotent. He gives protection and freedom from fear. God never forgets his people when they wander away from him. He seeks to draw them back and to rebuild their broken down lives.
Key Characters in the Book of Nehemiah
Nehemiah, Ezra, King Artaxerxes, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, Geshem the Arab, and the people of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:20 I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it." ( NIV )
Nehemiah 6:15-16 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence , because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. (NIV)
Nehemiah 8:2-3 So on the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. (NIV)
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The Book of Nehemiah Summary by Chapter (1-13): Concise and Comprehensive
Welcome to this Book of Nehemiah summary by Chapter. It is a book sequel to the Book of Ezra, where the canvas of restoration continues to be painted!
Nehemiah, a man of strong faith and an exceptional leader, steps onto the scene as the cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes. With a heart burdened for his people and the city of Jerusalem, Nehemiah is thrust into an adventure of rebuilding not just walls, but also lives and community.
Through prayer, perseverance, and divine intervention, the Book of Nehemiah shows us how the Lord orchestrates the notable revival of His people.
Let’s dive into the summaries!
Read: The Book of Ezra Summary by Chapter (1-10)
Table of Contents
The book of nehemiah summary by chapter, nehemiah chapter 1 – nehemiah’s distress and prayer.
Nehemiah, while in Susa, learns about the distress of the Jews in Jerusalem and the state of the city’s walls. Deeply moved, he mourns, fasts, and prays to the Lord, confessing the sins of his people.
In his prayer, Nehemiah recalls God’s promises to Moses and pleads for success as he resolves to approach King Artaxerxes regarding Jerusalem.
ALSO READ :
- Detailed Nehemiah 1 Summary ,
- 10 Profound Lessons from Nehemiah 1,
- Quiz on Nehemiah 1 .
Nehemiah Chapter 2 – Nehemiah’s Request to the King and Arrival in Jerusalem
Nehemiah finds favor with King Artaxerxes and receives permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. The king provides him with letters of support and resources.
Upon arrival, Nehemiah inspects the broken walls and gates of Jerusalem. Despite initial opposition from Sanballat and Tobiah, he encourages the Jews to start rebuilding.
Nehemiah Chapter 3 – Rebuilding the Walls
This chapter provides a detailed account of the rebuilding efforts. Various groups work on different sections of the wall, showcasing unity and dedication.
Priests, Levites, craftsmen, and families all contribute to the rebuilding. Nehemiah efficiently coordinates the work as Jerusalem’s walls start to take shape.
Nehemiah Chapter 4 – Opposition to the Rebuilding
Sanballat and Tobiah mock and conspire against the Jews. Nehemiah prays and sets guards to protect the workers.
Despite the threats, the rebuilding continues. Nehemiah encourages the people to trust in the Lord and be prepared to defend themselves.
Nehemiah Chapter 5 – Economic Reforms
Nehemiah addresses social injustices among the Jews, such as usury and enslaving fellow Jews for debt.
He rebukes the nobles and officials, and institutes reforms to alleviate economic hardship and promote unity.
Nehemiah Chapter 6 – Attempts to Intimidate Nehemiah
Sanballat and Geshem try to lure Nehemiah into a trap, but he refuses. They spread false rumors to intimidate him.
Nehemiah prays for strength and successfully completes the wall, which astounds their enemies.
Nehemiah Chapter 7 – Census of Returned Exiles
With the walls complete, Nehemiah appoints gatekeepers, singers, and Levites. He provides a record similar to Ezra 2, listing the returned exiles.
The chapter emphasizes the importance of each person in the reestablished community.
Nehemiah Chapter 8 – Reading of the Law
Ezra reads the Law to the people, and the Levites help explain it. The people weep, but Nehemiah and Ezra encourage them to rejoice, for understanding God’s Word is a cause for celebration.
The Feast of Tabernacles is rediscovered and celebrated with great joy, as the people dwell in booths, recalling God’s faithfulness during the wilderness journey.
Nehemiah Chapter 9 – The People’s Confession and Covenant
Following the Feast, the Israelites assemble for a day of fasting and confession. The Levites lead the people in a prayer recounting God’s faithfulness and Israel’s repeated disobedience.
The chapter concludes with the people making a solemn covenant to follow the Lord and obey His commands.
Nehemiah Chapter 10 – Signers of the Covenant
This chapter lists the leaders, Levites, and priests who seal the covenant. The people vow to uphold the Law, support the Temple, and refrain from intermarriage with surrounding nations.
They also commit to observing the Sabbath and giving their resources for the service of the Temple.
Nehemiah Chapter 11 – Populating Jerusalem
The leaders live in Jerusalem, and lots are cast to bring one out of ten people from the surrounding areas to live in the city, to ensure its viability and security.
The chapter lists the families and groups who settle in Jerusalem and other towns in Judah.
Nehemiah Chapter 12 – Dedication of the Wall
This chapter lists the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel. It then describes the joyous dedication of Jerusalem’s wall, with two large choirs marching atop the wall, offering thanks.
The day is marked with great rejoicing as the people offer numerous sacrifices and celebrate the completion of the walls.
Nehemiah Chapter 13 – Nehemiah’s Final Reforms
Nehemiah finds that the people have drifted from the Law during his absence. He takes measures to enforce the Sabbath, purify the priesthood, and prevent intermarriage.
He also rectifies the neglect of the Levites’ portions and expels Tobiah from the Temple chambers. The book concludes with Nehemiah’s prayer asking God to remember him for his deeds.
Read also: The Book of Esther Summary by Chapter (1-10)
With hearts brimming with inspiration, we close the Book of Nehemiah. From the tears of a burdened man in a foreign land to the joyous songs on the walls of Jerusalem, we have journeyed through an epic narrative of restoration.
Through Nehemiah’s leadership and the people’s resolve, the walls were rebuilt, but more importantly, a community was revived and reformed under the guiding hand of the Almighty.
May you be stirred to immerse yourself in the Word!
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Nehemiah: rebuilding and remembering
by Jeffrey Kranz | Feb 20, 2017 | Bible Books
What is Nehemiah about?
After 70 years in exile, the Jews had returned home and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. They were able to worship God in their own land, but the city still lay in ruins. The once-great capital of the promised land was a depressing rubble heap exposed to her enemies.
When Nehemiah hears this, he sets out to restore the city walls. The book of Nehemiah is his story in his own words.
The book of Nehemiah is about reestablishing God’s people both physically and spiritually.
In the first part of the book, Nehemiah restores Jerusalem in a physical sense. When Nehemiah hears that “the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire,” ( Neh 1:3 ), he gets permission from Persian King Artaxerxes to rebuild the city. The governors of surrounding territories viciously oppose Nehemiah’s efforts, but the wall is finished in just 52 days ( Neh 7:15 ). Nehemiah also restores economic justice in the land, admonishing the wealthy for taking advantage of their less fortunate brothers (Neh 5).
In the second section, Nehemiah and Ezra bring spiritual revival to Jerusalem. Ezra reads the law of Moses aloud to the people, and the nation rededicates to obeying God. Later on, Nehemiah works diligently to point people back to the law of Moses (Neh 13).
Nehemiah writes in first person. His story is peppered with personal commentary—sometimes it reads like a historical account, and sometimes it reads like Nehemiah’s journal. We know when he is afraid ( Neh 2:2 ). We know when he is angry ( Neh 5:6 ). We even see him break his own narrative with prayers to God ( Neh 13:14 ). This book gives us a look into the mind of an Old Testament man of God, giving us examples of how to lead, pray, and deal with discouragement.
Theme verse of Nehemiah
“Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.” ( Neh 5:19 )
Theme verse art for all the other books
See Bible verse art for not only Nehemiah, but all the other 65 books of the Bible, too.
Nehemiah’s role in the Bible
Like the books of Ezra and Esther , Nehemiah tells us what happened after the Jewish exile to Babylon. Israel has been disciplined, and is now being restored to her land and her God. Nehemiah chronicles God’s covenant relationship with Israel, and even provides a sweeping overview of the relationship in Nehemiah chapter 9.
Ezra and Nehemiah were originally considered parts one and two of the same work, and for a good reason: together, they tell the story of God restoring His people—keeping His promise to them in Deuteronomy 30.
Here’s a simple icon that represents the book of Nehemiah. You can see all the other Bible icons here, and download a set for free.
Author of Nehemiah
Nehemiah wrote this book as himself, in first person. Learn more about the other authors of the Bible here.
Quick outline of Nehemiah
- Nehemiah gets permission to rebuild Jerusalem. (Neh 1–2)
- City wall construction begins (Neh 3)
- Enemies threaten construction (Neh 4)
- Nehemiah alleviates pressure on the poor (Neh 5)
- The wall is completed despite the enemies’ plots (Neh 6)
- Nehemiah numbers the people (Neh 7)
- Ezra reads the law to the people ( Neh 8:1–12 )
- Israel reinstates the Feast of Booths ( Neh 8:13–18 )
- Israel confesses sin and rededicates to God (Neh 9–10)
- Census of the Jews in the land (Neh 11–12:26)
- The people worship on the wall ( Neh 12:27–47 )
- Nehemiah keeps aligning the people to God’s law (Neh 13)
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A book in the OT that relates how Nehemiah, cupbearer to the Persian king, overcomes opposition to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. The book presents a culmination of the story of Israel’s history told in 1 and 2 Chronicles and Ezra.
Outline of Contents
I. Nehemiah’s commission and first governorship ( Neh 1:1-7:73 )
A. Nehemiah receives commission from Persian king to rebuild walls of Jerusalem ( Neh 1:1-2:8 )
B. Initial steps: opposition from non-Jews, secret survey of walls, organization of Jews for rebuilding ( Neh 2:9-3:32 )
C. Opposition from non-Jews and defensive tactics of Nehemiah ( Neh 4:1-23 )
D. Nehemiah’s economic reforms among Jews ( Neh 5:1-19 )
E. Walls completed despite plots against Nehemiah by non-Jews ( Neh 6:1-7:3 )
F. Concern for repopulating Jerusalem: census of returned exiles ( Neh 7:4-73 )
II. Religious observances in response to the law ( Neh 8:1-10:39 )
A. Ezra reads the book of the law to the people ( Neh 8:1-12 )
B. Resulting celebration of Festival of Tabernacles (Booths)
C. A psalm of distress: public confession of sin ( Neh 9:1-37 )
D. A new covenant to keep the law and support the Temple ( Neh 9:38-10:39 )
III. Further organization of the Jewish community ( Neh 11:1-13:31 )
A. Repopulation: lists of people and officials living in Jerusalem ( Neh 11:1-12:26 )
B. Dedication of city walls and arrangements for Temple revenues ( Neh 2:27-13:31 )
C. Nehemiah’s second governorship: reforms in keeping with the law ( Neh 13:4-31 )
Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.
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God's special people, the Jews, did not obey God. So he punished them. He allowed the king of Babylon and his army to defeat them. The king of Babylon ordered most Jews to live in Babylon. Babylon was a long way from their country, called Judah.
Many years later, the army from Persia defeated the army from Babylon. The king of Persia allowed the Jews to return to their own land. Only some of the Jews returned to Judah.
Many years later a man called Hanani left Judah to visited his brother, Nehemiah. Nehemiah was an important servant of the king of Persia. Nehemiah asked Hanani for news about Jerusalem, which was the chief city in Judah. Hanani told Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem were only heaps of stones. Fire had burned the gates of the city.
This news made Nehemiah very sad. So Nehemiah asked the king to send him to Jerusalem to build the walls of the city again. The book of Nehemiah in the Bible tells the story of how Nehemiah and the people built the walls of Jerusalem again. The people who lived near Jerusalem did not want the Jews to build the city again. They opposed the Jews and tried to stop the work. But God helped them and they finished the work in 52 days.
God wanted the Jews to become his special people again. So Nehemiah, with the help of Ezra, helped the people to obey God. But often the people did not obey God's word. They had forgotten that God had punished the people many years earlier. He did that because they did not obey him. God had allowed a foreign king to defeat the Jews. That was why the city of Jerusalem needed these repairs.
Summary of Nehemiah
- Outline of Nehemiah
- Background of Nehemiah
- Introductory Issues in Nehemiah
- Theological Themes in Nehemiah
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Nehemiah The governor of Jerusalem who rebuilt the city walls after the exile More continues a cycle of episodes begun in the book of Ezra Scribe who helped establish Jewish practices in Jerusalem after the exile. More : return and reconstruction of the temple The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged… More under Zerubbabel The governor of Judah who helped rebuild the Temple after the exile More (Ezra 1:5–6:22); return and reconstruction of the community under Ezra (7-10); and now, return and reconstruction of the walls under Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:1–7:73a). In each, return and reconstruction authorized by the Persian crown meet with opposition eventually overcome with God’s help. The book of Nehemiah is concerned with the last return; the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (2:11–6:19) and the repopulation of the city (11:1-36) form the two stages of reconstruction. Again, in accordance with the previous missions, this task is met with considerable opposition from the surrounding peoples (2:10–5:19); the opposition is overcome and the project ends with a joyful celebration (12:22-43). Following a brief interlude, Nehemiah returns for a second term as governor and carries out a number of reforms (13:4-31).
Ezra and Nehemiah are our only narrative source for the history of the restoration, 538 to 430 B.C.E. The postexilic period witnessed the reestablishment of the Jewish religious community in Jerusalem and the implementation of the Torah The Torah is the law of Moses, also known as the first five books of the Bible. To many the Torah is a combination of history, theology, and a legal or ritual guide. More . Though the situations we face are quite different from those encountered by the postexilic community, both Ezra and Nehemiah provide many examples of hard work coupled with prayer and an unshakable faith in God as a formula for successful problem solving that is as relevant today as it was then.
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
Nehemiah is the sixteenth book of the Old Testament, coming immediately after Ezra and before Esther Queen in Persia who prevented an anti-Jewish pogrom More .
WHO WROTE IT?
Jewish tradition identifies Ezra as the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Today, many scholars believe Ezra and Nehemiah come from a different hand than Chronicles and that various older traditions have been gathered together and edited by a postexilic editor, though these may include an autobiographical section written by Nehemiah, the so-called Nehemiah memoir (Nehemiah 1:1–7:73a; parts of 12:27-43; and 13:4-31).
WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN?
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah, separate works in English Bibles, appear as a single book in the earliest manuscripts, suggesting that they are best read and interpreted as a literary whole. The work was written in Judah Judah was the name of Jacob’s fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More , probably in Jerusalem, sometime during the Persian period (586-332 B.C.E.), after the return from Babylon. Uncertain dates for Ezra and differing understandings of the compositional history of this material make precise dating impossible, though recent scholarship seems to favor a date somewhere in the first quarter of the fourth century B.C.E.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Nehemiah is an account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and the repopulation of the city under the direction of Nehemiah, promulgation of the law by Ezra, and subsequent reforms by Nehemiah.
HOW DO I READ IT?
Ezra-Nehemiah looks like a history of the restoration. While important historical information is presented, Ezra-Nehemiah should be read as a theological , rather than a chronological , presentation of this formative period that saw the return of Israel from exile and the rebirth of God’s people in the promised land. This is seen in the theological ordering of the final form of the text: the rebuilding of the temple, followed by the purification of the people, and the rebuilding of the walls, climaxing in the reading of the law.
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Nehemiah Bible Story Summary
T hough no author is claimed in the book of Nehemiah it is believed that Ezra or Nehemiah wrote the book. The book is a first person account of the events from the perspective of Nehemiah. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were originally combined into a single book. This is part of the reason some scholars think that Ezra wrote both books.
Nehemiah’s Prayer – Chapter 1
Many Jews had returned from the Babylonian captivity. They were rebuilding Jerusalem. But Nehemiah was burdened by the fact that the city walls were still in shambles. Though still living away from Jerusalem, he communicated with those who were living there. He fasted, mourned and prayed for the rebuilding of the walls of his beloved city.
In Nehemiah’s prayer to God he confessed that he knew Israel’s sins were the cause of his nation being scattered among the heathen. Nehemiah knew God’s promises to Moses that they would be blessed if they followed God, but punished if they strayed from him. Nehemiah did not deny that God’s punishment was necessary. However, he called upon the mercy of God to help them rebuild the walls of Jerusalem as the people returned to the city of God.
The book of Nehemiah is a great story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. It also serves as an example to us that we need to be constantly reminded of God’s Word.
Nehemiah Returns – Chapter 2
Nehemiah worked as the cupbearer to the Persian king Artexerxes. After Nehemiah’s great grief could no longer be hidden, the king inquired as to what troubled his servant. Nehemiah responded that his beloved city was destroyed and in ruins. He asked permission to go and help build the city. Not only did the king give him permission, the king gave him the resources he would need to accomplish the task. The king granted military troops, horsemen, letters of passage and even building materials for Nehemiah to use.
Along the way the news of Nehemiah’s return became known to the enemies of Israel. Particularly important in the story were Sanbalat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian. They vowed to stop Nehemiah and the Jews from rebuilding the city.
Up to this point Nehemiah had not divulged his whole intent for going to Jerusalem. Apparently those around him thought he only wished to return for a visit. But one night while everyone was sleeping, Nehemiah stole away to survey the city and determine everything that was necessary to do the work of rebuilding the walls. He then shared his plan with the Jews around him.
The Workmen – Chapter 3
Nehemiah set various men and families in charge of different portions of the project. Instead of one large project where Nehemiah tried to control every worker, he broke the building efforts into groups. Men were put in charge of smaller portions of the wall. Each family built the portion of the wall that was closest to their own dwelling. The project seemed less overwhelming to them this way.
Working Under Pressure – Chapter 4
The project seemed to go well until it was about half complete. The enemy became more and more worried about the progress. They tried to descend on Jerusalem secretly to fight. Nehemiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem prayed to God for safety. They prepared for battle. When Sanbalat, Tobiah and all their allies saw that the Jews were prepared for war, they backed off their attack.
Nehemiah and the Israelites worked with trowel in one hand and sword in the other. Half were prepared for war while half continued the work of strengthening the walls that were necessary for the protection of Jerusalem. Through the completion of the project the Jews within the walls never even relaxed enough to prepare for bed. They wore their work and fighting clothes constantly except when they had to be laundered.
Governor Nehemiah – Chapter 5
Those who had become rulers in the dilapidated city of Jerusalem during the captivity had used their power to their own benefit. They required those who had returned to the city after the captivity to buy back the possessions that were previously owned by their families. They were paying undue taxes and interest on things that should have been theirs. Nehemiah put a bold stop to that practice. Seeing the wisdom and kindness he possessed, the people of Jerusalem appointed him Governor of the city for 12 years. He would not even accept the pay that was due a man in his position. His singular focus was on rebuilding the wall and protecting his city.
Negotiation Attempts – Chapter 6
The enemies of Israel requested an audience with Nehemiah. But he would not leave from the work because the job was too important. He knew that their intentions were to distract Nehemiah from his task. They continued to solicit Nehemiah to come and meet with them. They even accused him of wanting to build the wall for personal advancement.
Nehemiah heard the enemy expected the people to tire of working. He prayed that God would strengthen their hands to complete the task. And complete it they did. Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem only took 52 days.
Small Numbers, Large Numbers – Chapter 7
Though the walls were built, there were few inhabitants in the city. They still needed to build houses and bring in families to care for the city. Though there were walls, the city was still fairly defenseless. Therefore, Nehemiah said to not open the gates until the sun was well up in the sky and when they did that there should be guards posted at all times.
A genealogy was taken of the children of Israel in the land. They numbered 42,360. More than 7,500 servants and singers lived among them.
Ezra and the Law – Chapter 8
Ezra the scribe (also sometimes called Ezra the priest) took the Law of Moses and read it to the congregation before the water gate of Jerusalem. He read the Law from morning to midday. The people stood while Ezra read. The people wept upon hearing God’s commands. But Nehemiah stood and commanded the people that the day should be a holy day—a day to celebrate the reading of the Law—and not a day of mourning.
The second day of the reading of the Law they learned about the feast of tabernacles. It was a seven-day feast. While they celebrated Ezra continued to read from God’s Word each day.
History of Israel – Chapter 9
They continued to read from the Bible. They began to confess their sins. Half of each day was spent in reading God’s Word and confessing their sins. Their teachers would then stand and plead with the people to bless and praise the Lord.
The leaders in the city taught the history of Israel as told in the Law of Moses. They taught stories from Abraham to the Exodus; from the giving of the Law to conquest of Canaan. Even the unflattering stories of the Israelites hardening their hearts against God were taught to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They were admonished to surrender to Jehovah God and become His servants.
A Covenant – Chapter 10
This chapter starts with a very long list of people who sign a covenant to obey the Laws of God. Then it concludes with a list of specific laws that they enacted and promised to obey.
Inhabitants of Jerusalem – Chapter 11
Of the 42,000+ Israelites mentioned in chapter 7, not all of them lived in Jerusalem. Many of the rulers in Israel lived there as well as about 10% of the rest of the population. Those chosen to live in Jerusalem were chosen by casting lots. Or, we could say it was a lottery process. But living in Jerusalem at that time was not as prestigious as it had been previously or would be in the future. This was a city that had sat defenseless for years. Those who lived there risked being attacked by surrounding nations that had become accustomed to taking what they wanted.
Dedication – Chapter 12
People were chosen among the population as singers and musicians for the dedication of the wall. The priests and Levites prepared themselves and purified the people for the dedication ceremony. Those chosen for the dedication were divided into two groups. Half went with Ezra and the other half with Nehemiah as they walked around the city upon the walls giving thanks to God.
The people offered sacrifices and rejoiced within the city of Jerusalem.
Purification – Chapter 13
They again read the books of Moses. They were reminded of promises, covenants and laws that had long been forgotten. Part of the covenant they signed in chapter 10 concerned not marrying people from other nations. They were reminded of the Ammonites and Moabites that should never dwell among the people of God.
While they worked to purify themselves from other nations there was still corruption in the leadership of Israel and Jerusalem. Nehemiah returned to his post in Persia. When he took vacation from his duties he visited Jerusalem. Each time he returned to his people there was a time of purification. They needed to be constantly reminded of their promises before God. Resources were used improperly. God’s house was forsaken. They ignored the Sabbath. They even began marrying from other nations. All these things they had promised not to do. Nehemiah even resorted to physical persuasion to get them to remember their promises to God.
The book of Nehemiah is a great story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. It also serves as an example to us that we need to be constantly reminded of God’s Word. Getting away from the people of God and the Word of God causes us to drift back into old actions and habits. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us as believers today. Yet, we too can grow cold to the promises we’ve made to God if we do not cultivate our relationship to Him.
Another Bible Story to check out: Esther Bible Story
Tagged as: bible , Nehemiah , Story , Summaries
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Nehemiah 1:7-9 - The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
Nehemiah 13:1-3 - On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survey - Nehemiah Hebrew Name - Nechemiyah "Nehemiah" Greek Name - Neemias (Greek form of the Hebrew) Author - Nehemiah (Ezra and Nehemiah were treated as one book in Jewish Tradition) Date - From 455-420 BC Approximately Theme of Nehemiah - The rebuilding of Jerusalem Types and Shadows - In Nehemiah Jesus is the one who led the captives out
Summary of The Book of Nehemiah
Quick Overview of Nehemiah. 1-2 Nehemiah is commissioned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and departs Shushan. 3-7:4 The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in the midst of opposition 7:5-12 Nehemiah's ordinances bring about the first reformation 13 the second reformation of the people under Nehemiah
In Jewish tradition the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are regarded as one book, and it appears that they were originally two books because of the identical material in Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7. Nehemiah made his journey to Jerusalem in about 445 BC, and he was not a priest or a scribe like Ezra was but he was a governor with authority given to him by the Persian king Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls and the city of Jerusalem for the Jewish people. He was originally cupbearer for the king of Persia (Nehemiah 2:1). Nehemiah completed the task in 52 days despite all the opposition from the foreigners who it settled in the land of Judah during the captivity.
The book of Nehemiah shows how God fulfilled his words written by the prophets concerning the return of the people of Israel from 70 years of captivity, and returned again to the land of their inheritance. In order to accomplish his divine will he change the hearts of the great kings of the ancient world, Cyrus Darius and Artaxerxes of Persia. He also worked through leaders like Joshua Zerubbabel Haggai Zechariah Ezra and Nehemiah in order to rebuild the wall of the city of Jerusalem and reestablish the law of Moses. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah reveal to us the history of the Jews between 536 BC and 430 BC. The book of Nehemiah covers the period from 445 BC for the next 12 years.
The contents of the two books may be analyzed as follows :
Outline of the Book of Nehemiah
1 ) Nehemiah's journey to Jerusalem, made possible by Artaxerxes, for the purpose of re-building the wall (Nehemiah 1-2). 2 ) A list of the builders and the repairing of the gate (Nehemiah 3). 3 ) The rebuilding of the wall in spite of op-position led by Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem (Nehemiah 4:1-7:4). 4 ) The register of those who returned with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 7). 5 ) The public reading and exposition of the book of the Law (Nehemiah 8). 6 ) The national repentance and the covenant of obedience (Nehemiah 9:1-10 :39). 7 ) Lists of inhabitants (Nehemiah 11:1-12:26). 8 ) Dedication of the wall and organization of the temple services (Nehemiah 12:27-47). 9 ) Nehemiah's reforms of abuses connected with tithes, the sabbath and mixed marriages (Nehemiah 13).
In order to gain a complete picture of the history of this period, these two books should be examined also with the writings of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
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BIBLE SUMMARY: NEHEMIAH
Book of nehemiah synopsis: statistics and summary of main topics., book of nehemiah chapter by chapter summary..
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Table of Contents
NEHEMIAH TOTAL CHAPTERS: 13
Nehemiah total verses: 406, total words: 10,483, date written: 445 – 425 bc, author: nehemiah, nehemiah theme: , struggle, success and restoration. completion of jerusalem’s restoration, major characters:, ezra, nehemiah, zerubbabel, jeshua, haggai, zechariah, darius, and sanballat., book of nehemiah key verses:.
1:3: They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with Hell O people stars breathe like this, and these are the two breaths of hell or fire that is mentioned in some religious scriptures. This is what related to Details ">fire .
1:11: O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant Success Since centuries psychologists were investigating why some people become successful in life while others not. Excluding external factors what is that Details ">success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.
6:15-16: So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God Existence of God. Starting with the Contingency argument that all beings are contingent i.e subject to chance and dependent, meaning that it is possible Details ">God .
Book of Ezra and Nehemiah covers the events of the Jews returning from the Babylonian captivity. Near 520 BC after the takeover by Nebuchadnezzar, ultimately King Cyrus of Persia arose to power, and he decided to aid the Jews to return to Jerusalem. The Jews are counted and are permitted to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple. Nehemiah heard about Ezra and rebuilding of Temple. He got uneasy knowing there was no wall to protect the city. Nehemiah prayed God to use him to save the city. God accepted his prayer and softened the heart of Persian king Artaxerxes who not only permitted him to return but also gave him supplies for that and moreover made him Governor of that region. Nehemiah entered Jerusalem with a building project in mind mainly rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. This wall would distinguish God’s people from the surrounding groups, but was not intended to separate them from the world entirely. The wall was finished in 52 days despite opposition. Nehemiah left and returned back after 12 years and found that there has been backsliding in his absence. People left God’s way and he again took new measures and reforms regarding Tithe, Sabbath and intermarriages.
CHAPTER WISE SUMMARY:
Chapter# 1 – Nehemiah’s Prayer For The People after hearing news from Jerusalem.
Chapter# 2 – The king granted my request to go. Nehemiah sent to Jerusalem. Nehemiah Inspects The Walls And Decides To Restore Them
Chapter# 3 – Organization Of The Work. List of sections of the wall and names of those who built them
Chapter# 4 – Sanballat ridiculed and plotted to attack Jerusalem. Construction continues with workers armed. Nehemiah Overcomes Opposition From Sanballat.
Chapter# 5 – Nehemiah stops exploitation of some Jews who oppressed others by debts. Nehemiah Stopped The Rich From Taking Advantage Of The Poor Leaders canceled debts.
Chapter# 6 – Sanballat and Tobiah effort to trap and kill Nehemiah. Wall completed in 52 days. Enemies lost game.
Chapter# 7 – City gates and gatekeepers. Nehemiah ordered to guard Jerusalem. The Exiles Returned. Totals Of People And Gifts.
Chapter# 8 – Ezra: The Law is read and explained to the people.The people held the Feast of Booths.
Chapter# 9 – The Israelites confessed. Israel’s Vow Of Faithfulness. Review of Israel’s history from Creation Before starting this story let me give you a brief history of the world and post Islam events as per Bible. There are hot debates on this between creationists and Details ">creation , Adam This is really strange that your Lord created Adam and taught him the names of all things. Adam is the one who knew name of the things that Angels didn’t Details ">Adam , Abraham, wilderness till exile.
Chapter# 10 – The leaders signed a covenant. The people made an oath We will not marry foreigners and live according to God’s law. List of laws Israel promised to keep
Chapter# 11 – Jerusalem repopulated. The leaders and one in ten of the people lived in Jerusalem. Lists of people groups who stayed in Jerusalem; list of other towns throughout Israel
Chapter# 12 – The Leaders And Servants In Jerusalem. Inauguration of the wall . Assignment Of Duties In The Temple.
Chapter# 13 – After 12 years Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem. And foud that there has been backsliding in his absence. Took new measures and reforms regarding Tithe, Sabbath and intermarriages. Nehemiah Ensures That The Levites Receive Their Portion.
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The Book of Nehemiah
Outline of contents.
News from Jerusalem ( 1-3 )
Nehemiah’s prayer ( 4-11 )
Nehemiah sent to Jerusalem ( 1-10 )
Nehemiah inspects the city walls ( 11-20 )
Rebuilding the walls ( 1-32 )
Work progresses despite opposition ( 1-14 )
Construction continues with workers armed ( 15-23 )
Nehemiah stops exploitation ( 1-13 )
Nehemiah’s unselfishness ( 14-19 )
Opposition to the rebuilding continues ( 1-14 )
Wall completed in 52 days ( 15-19 )
City gates and gatekeepers ( 1-4 )
List of exiles who returned ( 5-69 )
Temple servants ( 46-56 )
Sons of the servants of Solomon ( 57-60 )
Contributions for the work ( 70-73 )
The Law is read and explained to the people ( 1-12 )
Festival of Booths observed ( 13-18 )
The people confess their sins ( 1-38 )
Jehovah, a forgiving God ( 17 )
The people agree to follow the Law ( 1-39 )
“We will not neglect the house of our God” ( 39 )
Jerusalem repopulated ( 1-36 )
The priests and the Levites ( 1-26 )
Inauguration of the wall ( 27-43 )
Support for the temple service ( 44-47 )
Further reforms by Nehemiah ( 1-31 )
Tenth parts to be given ( 10-13 )
Sabbath not to be profaned ( 15-22 )
Intermarriage condemned ( 23-28 )
NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (2013 REVISION)
Nehemiah—Outline of Contents
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Book of Nehemiah KJV
Chapters for nehemiah, summary of the book of nehemiah.
This summary of the book of Nehemiah provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Nehemiah.
- News of the plight of Jerusalem ( 1:1-4 )
- Nehemiah's prayer ( 1:5-11 )
- The king's permission ( 2:1-8 )
- The journey itself ( 2:9-10 )
- His nocturnal inspection of the walls ( 2:11-16 )
- His exhortation to rebuild ( 2:17-18 )
- His response to opposition ( 2:19-20 )
- The northern section ( 3:1-7 )
- The western section ( 3:8-13 )
- The southern section ( 3:14 )
- The eastern section ( 3:15-32 )
- The derision of Sanballat and Tobiah ( 4:1-5 )
- The threat of attack ( 4:6-15 )
- Rebuilding the wall ( 4:16-23 )
- The complaints of the poor ( 5:1-5 )
- The cancellation of debts ( 5:6-13 )
- Nehemiah's unselfish example ( 5:14-19 )
- Attempts to snare Nehemiah ( 6:1-9 )
- The hiring of false prophets ( 6:10-14 )
- The completion of the wall ( 6:15-19 )
- Provisions for the protection of Jerusalem ( 7:1-3 )
- Nehemiah's discovery of the list of returnees ( 7:4-5 )
- The returnees delineated ( 7:6-72 )
- Settlement of the exiles ( 7:73a )
- The public exposition of the Scriptures ( 7:73b ; 8:12 )
- The Feast of Tabernacles ( 8:13-18 )
- A day of fasting, confession and prayer ( 9:1-5a )
- A recital of God's dealings with Israel ( 9:5b-31 )
- Confession of sins ( 9:32-37 )
- A binding agreement ( 9:38 )
- A list of those who sealed it ( 10:1-29 )
- Provisions of the agreement ( 10:30-39 )
- Introductory remarks ( 11:1-4a )
- Residents from Judah ( 11:4b-6 )
- From Benjamin ( 11:7-9 )
- From the priests ( 11:10-14 )
- From the Levites ( 11:15-18 )
- From the temple staff ( 11:19-24 )
- Places settled by those from Judah ( 11:25-30 )
- Places settled by those from Benjamin ( 11:31-35 )
- Transfer of Levites from Judah to Benjamin ( 11:36 )
- Priests and Levites from the first return ( 12:1-9 )
- High priests and Levites since Joiakim ( 12:10-26 )
- Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem ( 12:27-43 )
- Regulation of the temple offerings and services ( 12:44-47 )
- Mixed marriages ( 13:1-3 )
- Tobiah's occupation of the temple quarters ( 13:4-5 )
- His arrival ( 13:6-7 )
- His expulsion of Tobiah ( 13:8-9 )
- Offerings for the temple staff ( 13:10-14 )
- Abuse of the Sabbath ( 13:15-22 )
- Mixed marriages ( 13:23-29 )
- Provisions of wood and firstfruits ( 13:30-31 )
From the NIV Study Bible, Introductions to the Books of the Bible, Nehemiah Copyright 2002 © Zondervan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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