Who Was Nehemiah In The Bible?
Nehemiah was a relied on Jewish court authorities who helped the Persian Realm. The name Nehemiah suggests “Jehovah Ensures.” He was just one of the three leaders sent from Persia on a special objective to rebuild Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar damaged that city. He restored the wall surfaces (Nehemiah 1 and 2), Zerubbabel reconstructed the temple (Ezra 3:8), and Ezra recovered God’s worship.
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The Story Of Nehemiah In The Bible?
Who was Nehemiah in the bible? Let us look at the events that happened a few years back. An Israelite named Nehemiah was a slave of King Artaxerxes and lived or stayed in the Persian city of Shushan. One day his brother came from Judah and gave him the bad news, ‘Those who have returned to Jerusalem are not safe. The walls and gates of the city that the Babylonians broke down are not yet built.’ Nehemiah was sad when he heard this. He wanted to go to Jerusalem and help them. So he prayed that God would do something that the king would allow him to go.
Later the king saw that Nehemiah was very sad. The king said to her, ‘I have actually never ever seen you so depressing. What’s the issue?’ Nehemiah said, ‘My city of Jerusalem is still broken, so I am sad.’ The king asked him, ‘Can I help you with something?’ Nehemiah prayed immediately, and then the king ‘Let me go to Jerusalem so that I can rebuild its walls.’ King Artaxerxes told Nehemiah that he could go. The king made all arrangements for her so that she would not face any danger on that long journey. He additionally made Nehemiah governor of Judah and also gave him timber to build the city gateways.
When Nehemiah reached Jerusalem, he checked the walls. Then he gathered the priests and officials and said to them, ‘The situation is very bad. We have to get to work immediately.’ People also agreed and started building walls.
But some of the enemies of the Israelites made fun of them, saying, ‘The walls you are building are so weak that even a fox climbs on them, they will collapse.’ Keep working. Gradually the walls became higher and stronger.
The enemies decided they would come from different directions and suddenly attack Jerusalem. When the Jews came to know about this, they hesitated. But Nehemiah told them, ‘Do not be afraid. Jehovah is with us.’ He raised guards to protect the workers, so the enemies could not attack.
Within just 52 days, the walls and gates were ready. For their inauguration, Nehemiah brought all the Levites to Jerusalem. He split them into 2 teams of singers. They climbed the stairs near the fountain gate and went to the wall. From there, one team went to one side, and the other team went to the other side. Ezra was with one team and also Nehemiah with the other. They walked through the walls, blowing trumpets, playing cymbals and drums, and singing praises to Jehovah. Then both the parties met in the temple. Hereafter, all the men, ladies, and kids offered sacrifices to Jehovah and celebrated. They rejoiced so much that their voices could be heard far and wide.
The Story Of The Wall Of Jerusalem
Just look how vigorously the work is going on here. These people are Israelites and are building a wall around Jerusalem. It was destroyed 152 years ago by King Nebuchadnezzar. At the same time, he also burnt down the city’s gates. The Israelites returned to Jerusalem 70 years after the city wall was torn down. But he did not start building the wall as soon as he came.
Imagine what it must have been like for the Israelites to live there without a city wall for so many years? They must have always been afraid. Their enemies could easily enter the city and attack them. But then a man named Nehemiah came to help the Israelites build the city wall. Do you know who Nehemiah was?
Nehemiah was an Israelite who lived in the city of Shushan. In the same city where Mordecai and Esther lived. Nehemiah worked in the royal court there. So he must have been a good friend of Mordecai and Queen Esther. But the Bible does not say that Nehemiah worked for Esther’s husband, King Ahasuerus. He worked for his next king, Artaxerxes.
You remember King Artaxerxes, don’t you? The same good king gave Ezra a lot of money to build Jehovah’s temple. But Ezra did not build a broken wall around the city. Nehemiah did this work. But he used to work with the king, then how did he get involved in this work?
It had been 13 years since King Artaxerxes paid Ezra the money to repair the temple. At that time, Nehemiah was serving as a drinker to the king. It was a job of great responsibility. Because before giving liquor to the king, he had to taste it to see if anyone had mixed poison in it.
One day Nehemiah’s brother Hanani and some other people from Israel came to meet him. They told Nehemiah how much trouble the Israelites were having there and that the wall of Jerusalem was still torn down. Hearing this, Nehemiah became sad and started praying to Jehovah about this.
Then one day, the king saw Nehemiah’s face turned down. The king asked him: ‘What’s the matter? Why are you so sad?’ Nehemiah said that the city of Jerusalem was in very bad condition, and the wall there was also torn down. At this, the king asked him: ‘Then what do you want?’
Nehemiah said: ‘O king, allow me to go to Jerusalem so that I can build a wall there.’ King Artaxerxes was very kind. He allowed Nehemiah to leave. He also gave Nehemiah wood to build the wall. In no time, Nehemiah reached Jerusalem. Then he told the people how to do the work. Everyone liked his words, saying: ‘Let’s start the work.’
When the enemies of the Israelites saw that they were building a city wall, they said, ‘ Let us kill them. This will stop their work.’ Nehemiah somehow got the news. So he gave swords and spears to the workers. And they said, ‘Do not be afraid of the enemies at all. Compete with them for your brothers, wives and children, and homes.
The Israelites were very brave. They were ready night and day with their weapons. At the same time, they were building walls. Therefore, within just 52 days, the wall around the city was ready. Now the city dwellers had nothing to fear. After this, Nehemiah and Ezra taught God’s laws to the people, and the people were also very happy.
The Israelites were freed from slavery in Babylon, yet the situation was not the same as before they went into slavery. Now they were ruled by the king of Persia, and they had to serve him. But Jehovah promised to appoint a new king who would bring peace to all the people. After all, who is this king? How will he bring peace to the whole earth? All these things came to know after about 450 years when a child was born. That kid was different. But this is another story we will learn about in the next section.
Summary Of Book Of Nehemiah
- News from Jerusalem (1-3)
- Nehemiah’s prayer (4-11)
- Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem (1-10)
- He inspects the wall (11-20)
- Wall remodel (1-32)
- Work progresses despite opposition (1-14)
- Artisans with arms continue to work (15-23)
- Nehemiah prevents injustice (1-13)
- His selfless spirit (14-19)
- Construction work continues (1-14)
- Wall built in 52 days (15-19)
- City gates and guards (1-4)
- List of returnees (5-69)
- Temple servants (46-56)
- Sons of Solomon’s servants (57-60)
- Charity for work (70-73)
- Read and explain the law (1-12)
- Celebrating thatch festival (13-18)
- People confess their sins (1-38)
- Jehovah the Forgiving God (17)
- People agree to obey the law (1-39)
- ‘We will not neglect the care of the house of God (39)
- Settling people in Jerusalem (1-36)
- Priests and Levites (1-26)
- Wall opening (27-43)
- Help is given for service in the temple (44-47)
- Nehemiah made further improvements (1-31)
- A tenth to be given (10-13)
- Do not defile the Sabbath (15-22)
- Marrying foreign women was condemned (23-28)
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