1. In the earliest Hebrew manuscripts Ezra and Nehemiah were one book.
2. Nehemiah follows the outline set out below: Chapters 1-7:3 Nehemiah rebuilds the walls around Jerusalem, Chapters 7:4 – 10:39 Changes under Ezra, and Chapters 11:1 to 13:31 Nehemiah’s plans
3. Nehemiah is written in first person and appears to be a memoir.
4. Many scholars believe Nehemiah is written by the same author as Ezra.
5. The key word in the text is “walls”
6. The key text is found at Nehemiah 6:15…The wall was completed in 52 days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul.
7. Nehemiah had served as an attendant for Artaxerxes. The king granted him a leave of absence to go to Jerusalem and was given an official military escort.
8. Nehemiah is remembered as one of the greatest organizers of the Bible. He kept records regarding how the work was divided section by section.
9. Why was the wall so important? In the ancient world a wall made the city significant. This particular wall was extremely important as Nehemiah 6:16 mentions when the Israelites’ enemies heard the wall was complete….all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.
10. Nehemiah’s enemies were the Persian appointed governor of Samaria (Sanballat) and Tobiah. They accused Nehemiah of wanting to create a rebel city.
11. Nehemiah 6:15 tells us the project was completed in 52 days. There is archaeological evidence that Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day wasn’t as big as it is today, so it is possible the wall could be completed within that time frame.
12. The wall was celebrated with music as two large choirs walked around the town.
13. From the time the Hebrews were into captivity until the wall was finished 140 years passed.
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