The Main Events in the Book of Nehemiah
The Main Events in the Book of Nehemiah
Nehemiah, a Jewish exile in Persia, is cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in the citadel of Susa. Nehemiah's brother brings a distressing report about the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah mourns and fasts for several days. Nehemiah prays to God for mercy on Jerusalem and for favor in the site of his employer the king.
King Artaxerxes notices that Nehemiah is distressed about something. Nehemiah confesses his sadness for his people the Israelites in Jerusalem. Before continuing, Nehemiah prays to God. Nehemiah asks the kings permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. The king grants Nehemiah his permission to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and gives Nehemiah letters for safe passage and timber from the king's forests. Two non-Jewish officials in Judah, Sanballat and Tobiah, are disturbed to hear about Nehemiah's arrival. Nehemiah inspects the wall around Jerusalem and shares plan with other ewish officials. Jewish officials agree to help rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Sanballat and Tobiah accuse Nehemiah of rebelling against the king of Persia. Nehemiah assures them that God will give them success.
Nehemiah and the Jews begin repairing the wall of Jerusalem.
Sanballat a non-Jewish official in Jerusalem becomes angry over the rebuilding of the wall. Tobiah, another non-Jewish official joins Sanballat in his opposition. Nehemiah prays to God against Sanballat and Tobiah. Nehemiah and the other Jews continue in the work of rebuilding the wall. Sanballat and Tobiah plot together to disrupt the work. The Jews pray and post a guard day and night. The Jews begin to waver, thinking the task too large and the opposition too great. Nehemiah reassures the Jews by setting up a guard detail with half the men rebuilding and the other half standing guard.
Nehemiah helps the less fortunate Jewss. Some of the poorer Jews complain about being exploited by other Jews. Nehemiah condemns the well off Jews for exploiting their other fellow Jews and for exacting usury on their fellow countrymen. Those who exploited the other Jews agree to give back the money they took from their other fellow Jews. Nehemiah makes the Jewish officials and nobles take an oath not to exploit their fellow Jews. Nehemiah and his brothers took the kings portion of food allotted to them nor did they acquire any land for themselves. Nehemiah invited 150 Jews and officials to dine with him every day.
After they hear that Nehemiah and the Jews had finished rebuilding the wall, the enemies of the project send five invitations for Nehemiah to meet with them. Nehemiah realized they were plotting against his life and refused to go. The fifth time Sanballat attempted to blackmail Nehemiah by threatening to file a complaint to the king of Persia. Again, Nehemiah rebuffed Sanballat's threat and prayed for strength from the Lord. After that a Jew named Shemaiah conspired against Nehemiah and petitioned Nehemiah to hide in the temple, but Nehemiah saw through Shemaiah and realized he was plotting with the enemies Sanballat and Tobiah. Nehemiah prays to the Lord against those who were plotting against him and the work to rebuild the wall. The wall was completed after 52 days. Some of the Jews tried to get Nehemiah to like Tobiah; Tobiah continued to send letters to intimidate Nehemiah.
After the wall was completed and the doors set in place, Nehemiah appointed gatekeepers and singers and puts his brother Hanani and one other in charge of them. Nehemiah assembles all Jews living in Jerusalem for registration by families.
All the Israelites assembled in Jerusalem near the Water Gate. Ezra the priest reads the Book of the Law of Moses to all the people. While Ezra read the Book of the Law, some of the Levites walked among the people to instruct them about the meaning of the Law. The people wept as Ezra read the Law and the Levites explained it. Nehemiah encourages the Israelites not to weep that day but to rejoice in celebration saying, "for the joy of the Lord is your strength." The Israelites made booths to live in during the seven day celebration.
The Israelites gather a second time two weeks later to listen to the Book of the Law and to confess their sins. They listened to the Book of the Law for a quarter of the day and confessed their sins for a quarter of the day. Then a group of Levites (Jewish priests) led the people in a prayer that recounted God's mighty works and confess the rebellion of their forefathers against God. The leaders of the Israelites put the prayer of confession in writing and signed their names to it.
A list of those who signed the confession. The rest of the people dedicate themselves to follow the Book of the Law; not to give their daughters in marriage to foreigners; not to buy and sell on the Sabbath; to give towards the work of the temple including the first fruits, the dedication of the first born sons, and the tithe.
Leaders settle in Jerusalem and the rest of the people cast lots to determine who else will live in Jerusalem. A list of the provincial leaders who settled in Jerusalem.
A list of priests and Levites who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. The Israelites dedicate the Wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah appoints the Levites to lead the dedication ceremony. Nehemiah assembled to large choirs to align the top of the wall to give thanks. Afterward, they offered great sacrifices to God. Sounds of the Israelites rejoicing could be heard far away. The people brought their contributions, firstfruits and tithes to the temple.
During the celebration, the Israelites excluded all who were of foreign descent from joining in the celebration. After Nehemiah had returned to serve the king of Persia, Eliashib the priest gave the enemy Tobiah a large room in the temple. Nehemiah asked for and was granted permission of the king to return to Jerusalem a second time. Nehemiah throws Tobiah out of the temple. Nehemiah learns that the portions assigned to the Levites (Jewish priests) had not been given to them and rebuked the Jewish officials for neglecting God's house. Nehemiah also learns that the people were working on the Sabbath (the commanded day of rest) and were inter-marrying with the foreign people groups around them. Nehemiah rebukes the Israelites for breaking their promises to obey God's commands and prays that the Lord would remember him for his faithful service.
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