Read Nehemiah: Nehemiah
is the second part of the return of the people of Judah and Benjamin
from the Exile, following on historically from Ezra.
Chapters 1 & 2
reveal how Nehemiah's heart was moved when he heard of the state
of Jerusalem as a city still broken down, and of his obviously
good standing before the king and blessing by the Lord in being
allowed to take more of his people back to the Promised Land to
rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem.
Chapters 3 to 6
show us the way they went about rebuilding the walls and the opposition
that they received from others in the land to the rebuilding project.
He also has to contend with injustices among his own people.
chapters 7 & 11
show us the people involved while
becomes pivotal in the reading of the Law, provoking various reforms
to life of the re-established nation, beginning with an acknowledgment
of their failures before the Lord, followed in
by a fresh covenanting to put right the temple worship.
is given over to dedication the walls to the Lord, and
sees Nehemiah having to bring various corrections to the life
of the people: excluding foreigners from the people of Israel,
restoring right use of the temple buildings, ensuring the Levites
who served in the Temple are properly cared for, Sabbath trade
being stopped and mixed marriages being stopped. In all these
ways Nehemiah is taking serious steps to restore Israel to be
the holy nation they had been called to be.
is, therefore, a remarkable record of the re-establishing of the
city of Jerusalem and the life of the Temple that had been rebuilt
under Zerubbabel's direction. Ezra had arrived and brought the
first wave of reforms but life in the land had subsequently appeared
to drift somewhat and so Nehemiah brings those correctives. [Ezra
was involved in Nehemiah as leading the reading of the Law [ch.8]
and leads the procession in the dedicating of the walls [ch.12]
but the main input in the book is that of Nehemiah.]
with Ezra, it is important to try and grasp the times:
– The sack of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
– Cyrus sends the first group back to the Land to rebuild the
– The Temple completed. (roughly a 20 year delay)
– Ezra returns to Jerusalem. (roughly 60 years later)
– Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem
ONE: Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem
Nehemiah to Jerusalem
of the Walls
& the Rebuilding Finished
TWO: Reordering the life of the City & Temple Worship
Establishing order & who had returned
The Law is read
Confessions of Sins
Covenanting to Establish Temple Worship
The People settle in the City & the Land
The Priests &
Levites & Dedicating the Walls
Nehemiah's Final Reforms
TO CHAPTER 1