Thursday, November 19, 2009

Old Testament survey (16): Nehemiah

“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. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” (Nehemiah 1:3-4)

“O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.” (Nehemiah 1:11)

“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

“So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16)


[1] Nehemiah, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), The Gospel in the Gates of Jerusalem (PDF)

Chronologically this is the last of the historical books. We have come to the end of the line as far as time is concerned. As far as the Jews are concerned, the Old Testament goes no further with their history. The Book of Ezra picks up the thread of the story about seventy years after 2 Chronicles. The seventy years of captivity are over and a remnant returns to the land of Israel. The return under Ezra took place about seventy–five years after the return of Zerubbabel. Nehemiah returned about fifteen years after Ezra. These figures are approximate and are given to show the stages in the history of Israel after the Captivity. This enables us to see how the “seventy weeks” of Daniel fit into the picture in a normal and reasonable way. The “seventy weeks” of Daniel begin with the Book of Nehemiah (not with Ezra) “… from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks …” The background of the events in Nehemiah is “… the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Dan. 9:25). (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Nehemiah, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Nehemiah was a Hebrew in Persia when the word reached him that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. He grew anxious knowing there was no wall to protect the city. Nehemiah invited God to use him to save the city. God answered his prayer by softening the heart of the Persian king, Artaxerxes, who gave not only his blessing, but also supplies to be used in the project. Nehemiah is given permission by the king to return to Jerusalem, where he is made governor.

In spite of opposition and accusations the wall was built and the enemies silenced. The people, inspired by Nehemiah, give tithes of much money, supplies and manpower to complete the wall in a remarkable 52 days, despite much opposition. This united effort is short-lived, however, because Jerusalem falls back into apostasy when Nehemiah leaves for a while. After 12 years he returned to find the walls strong but the people weak. He set about the task of teaching the people morality and he didn't mince words. "I argued with those people, put curses on them, hit some of them and pulled out their hair" (13:25). He reestablishes true worship through prayer and by encouraging the people to revival by reading and adhering to the Word of God. (Read the complete article)
[3] Nehemiah, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Fourteen years after the return of Ezra to Jerusalem, Nehemiah led up a company (B.C. 444) and restored the walls and the civil authority. Of those events this book is the record. It is in eight divisions:

1. The journey to Jerusalem, 1:1-2:20
2. The building of the wall, 3:1-6:19.
3. The census, 7:1-73.
4. The revival, 8:1-11:36.
5. The census of the priests and Levites, 12:1-26.
6. Dedication of the wall, 12:27-43.
7. Restoration of the temple worship, 12:44-47.
8. The legal order restored, 13:1-31.

The moral state of the time is disclosed by the prophet Malachi. This book affords many instances of individual faith acting on the written word (e.g. Nehemiah 1:8,9; 13:1). It is the principle of 2 Timothy 2.

The events recorded in Nehemiah cover a period of 11 years (Ussher).
[4] Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther (with chart 3 Books, 2 Lands, 1 People), from Uplook Ministries

Further study
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by David Malick
[2] Week Nine: Nehemiah - Walking in Prayer, by Susan Curry

[3] The Historical Books, by J. Hampton Keathley III

[4] Problem Solving, by Kenneth Boa

Sermons (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Nehemiah and Rebuilding the Wall Neh 1:1–11 , by Lindow L. Koop, Strickland Baptist Church

[2] A Heart Stirred to Compassion Neh 1:1–11, by Ralph Sorter

[3] The God Who Keeps Covenant Neh 1:1–11, by Douglas James Wilson

[4] Sermons by Thomas BlackEdit Posts

Confronting The Calamity of Your Time Nehemiah 1:1–4

Praying For a Nation Nehemiah 1:4–11

[5] Servant Leader-Nehemiah, Neh 1:1–11, 2:1–3, 17–18, 6:15–16, by Stan Christopherson

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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