Reading the Bible Together – Nehemiah

March

– The book we are reading this month is the Book of Nehemiah which is the 16th book of the Old Testament.

This will be the 52nd book of the Bible we will have read, since commencing this initiative over three years ago in October 2015. (We have actually read Matthew and Joshua twice!) . There are a total of 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

We will review this month’s book at  our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Thursday 4th April 2019.

Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah

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.

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

Overview of Nehemiah.

  • Chapters 1-2 – Nehemiah is commissioned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and departs Shushan.
  • Chapters 3-7:4 – The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in the midst of opposition.
  • Chapters 7:5-12 – Nehemiah’s ordinances bring about the first reformation.
  • Chapter 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 re-establish 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.

Outline of the Book of Nehemiah

The contents of the two books may be analyzed as follows:

  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.

More information can be found HERE

SHORT ILLUSTRATED SUMMARY OF NEHEMIAH

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