A list of priests and Levites who returned in the days of Cyrus (the first returnees from Babylon) is presented; Nehemiah, aided by Ezra, oversees the dedication of the walls and the rebuilt city. 25:10-13). the Assyrians deported the 10 northern tribes and scattered them all over the then known world (2 Kings chapter 17). 9:24-26). God’s promise to consummate the New Covenant of redemption awaited the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Messiah (compare Heb. Jerome himself rejected the duplication in his Vulgate translation of the Bible into Latin from the Hebrew; and consequently all early Vulgate manuscripts present Ezra-Nehemiah as a single book,[4] as too does the 8th century commentary of Bede, and the 9th century bibles of Alcuin and Theodulf of Orleans. When he was in the high position of cupbearer to the king, he learned that the community in Judah was “in great affliction and reproach” (1:3). The first edition of the combined Ezra–Nehemiah may date from the early 4th century BC;[7] further editing continued well into the following centuries. The Book of Nehemiah shows us the kind of significant impact one individual can have on a nation.

The fact that Nehemiah felt anguish for a city he had never seen, a city that had been destroyed by the Babylonians more than 140 years earlier (586 B.C. All rights reserved. 424 B.C. After that, when God moves our hearts about a situation, we should give ourselves over to intense, persistent prayer. As with the books of Ezra and Esther, named after his contemporaries, the book recounts selected events of his leadership and was titled after him. The Nehemiah Memorial, chapters 1–7 and 11–13, may have circulated as an independent work before being combined with the Ezra material to form Ezra–Nehemiah. 539 B.C.

So deep was their concern to abide by God’s revealed will that they took “a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law” (10:29). The book of Ezra begins with the decree of Cyrus, a Persian king, to return God’s people to Jerusalem to rebuild God’s house (ca. Chapters 1-4), and the time when they were recorded by Ezra. “Title”: Nehemiah (“Yahweh has comforted”), is a famous cupbearer, who never appears in Scripture outside of this book.

Nehemiah chronicles the third return to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem (ca. Confessing commitments out loud (Rom. We must first be aware – living life with eyes open to the needs of others rather than being self-absorbed.

God chastened His people with 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Jer. The Jews assemble in penance and prayer, recalling their past sins, God's help to them, and his promise of the land. In addition to the material cited in the Introduction to the Book of Ezra, in 444 B.C., 14 years after Ezra’s return to Jerusalem, Nehemiah also returned. Much like Joseph, Esther, and Daniel, he had attained a significant role in the palace which then ruled the ancient world, a position from which God could use him to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls in spite of its implications for Persian control of that city. Not surprisingly, Nehemiah acknowledge the true motive of his strategy to repopulate Jerusalem: “my God put it into my heart” (7:5). His combined work with Ezra united the nation and gave them a unique identity in such a way as to preserve the people of God, the oracles of God, and the promises of redemption in the light of that day when God would fulfill all of the old covenant hopes and desires in the person and work of Jesus Christ. 445 – 433 B.C.

Although the theme of rebuilding Jerusalem's wall is often connected with the Book of Nehemiah, we must understand that the wall symbolically represents the community of God's people. Yet rather than giving in to anxiety or depression, he took his concern to God, asking how he might be used. At his own request Nehemiah is sent to Jerusalem as governor of Yehud, the official Persian name for Judah. “Restoration”: In a world ravaged by sin, restoration and renovation are ongoing projects. Rebuilding the walls of conquered cities posed the most glaring threat to the Persian central administration. 1-12) Nehemiah's Response to the Situation in Jerusalem ; Neh. A second group, led by Ezra, had returned in (458 B.C. The book’s detailed insight into the personal thoughts, motives and disappointments of Nehemiah makes it easy for the reader to primarily identify with him, rather than “the sovereign hand of God” theme and the primary message of His control and intervention into the affairs of His people and their enemies. Mid 16th century Reformed Protestant bible translations produced in Geneva were the first to introduce the name 'Book of Nehemiah' for the text formerly called the 'Second Book of Ezra'. (ed), "The World of Ancient Israel" (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Blenkinsopp, Joseph, "Judaism, the first phase" (Eerdmans, 2009), Garbini, G., "Myth and history in the bible" (Sheffield Academic Press, 2003), Grabbe, L.L., "A history of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Volume 1" (T&T Clark, 2004), Graham, M.P, and McKenzie, Steven L., "The Hebrew Bible today: an introduction to critical issues" (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), Pakkala, Juha, "Ezra the scribe: the development of Ezra 7–10 and Nehemiah 8" (Walter de Gryter, 2004), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Book_of_Nehemiah&oldid=983635885, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Bible speaks of Nehemiah going to Jerusalem in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (1:1) and again in his thirty-second year (13:6). His task is to rebuild the walls and to re-populate the city. “Historical Setting”: Even before Nehemiah was born, the first group of Jews left Persia and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel (538 B.C.). He was a man of skill and daring. 25:11). 10:9), and putting them in writing are just two ways to establish spiritual accountability. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. 483 – 473 B.C. 11), Places settled by those from Judah From the NIV Study Bible, Introductions to the Books of the Bible, Nehemiah

Judah is one of several provinces within a larger satrapy (a large administrative unit) within the Achaemenid Empire. Nehemiah sees that the Jewish nobles are oppressing the poor, and forces the cancellation of all debt and mortgages; while previous governors have been corrupt and oppressive, he has been righteous and just. The physical and spiritual reconstruction that this book describes, reminds us that the work of the Lord requires intense, committed labor, because forces are always fighting to tear down what He has built. ; Neh. The king appoints him as governor of Judah and he travels to Jerusalem. At that time in Judah’s history, the Persian Empire dominated the entire Near Eastern world. Chapter 13). The deep piety of Nehemiah is evidenced by his prayers and strong conviction to personally accomplish the task for which God had called him. Used with permission. Book of Nehemiah.

theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Nehemiah. [7] Determining the composition of the Memorial depends on the dates of Nehemiah's mission: It is commonly accepted that "Artaxerxes" was Artaxerxes I (there were two later kings of the same name), and that Nehemiah's first period in Jerusalem was therefore 445–433 BC;[8] allowing for his return to Susa and second journey to Jerusalem, the end of the 5th century BC is therefore the earliest possible date for the Memorial.

The single Hebrew book Ezra–Nehemiah, with title "Ezra", was translated into Greek around the middle of the 2nd century BC.