Overview of the book of Nehemiah
The book of Nehemiah starts in the Persian city of Susa in the year 444 BC. Later Nehemiah traveled to Israel and led the Jewish people following their seventy years of exile in Babylon. It is a book of the rebuilding of the Jerusalem walls and the repopulation of the city under the direction of Nehemiah.
After 70 years in exile, the Jews returned home and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. The Jews were able to worship God in their own place but the city still lay in ruins. When Nehemiah hears about these events, he wants to restore the city walls. God told Nehemiah to build a wall in Jerusalem. The whole book is all about re-establishing God’s people both physically and spiritually.
The first part of the book tells about Nehemiah who restores Jerusalem. When Nehemiah hears that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are fired. Then he gets permission from Persian king Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem. The governors of surrounding territories opposed the efforts of Nehemiah, but the wall was finished in just 52 days.
In the second part of the book, Nehemiah and Ezra bring spiritual revival to Jerusalem. Ezra reads the law of Moses aloud to the people and the nation obeys God’s laws.
Ezra and Nehemiah are the only narrative sources for the history of the restoration. The postexilic period witnessed the re-establishment of the Jewish religious community in the city of Jerusalem. Both Ezra and Nehemiah provide many examples of hard work coupled with prayer and faith in God. This is a formula for successful problem-solving.
The book of Nehemiah completes the history of restoration that has begun under the leadership of Ezra. It also marks the beginning of Daniel’s seventy weeks and provides the historical background for the book of Malachi and Nehemiah’s wall.
Our yesayya.com will help your understanding to aid in your Nehemiah bible study of God’s word. We hope this overview, outline, and Nehemiah summaries by chapter are helpful to you.
Who was Nehemiah in the Bible
Nehemiah is a cupbearer to the king of Persia when he gets disturbing news. His prestigious position reveals his upright character. Nehemiah rebuilds the wall in just 52 days. He was a man of prayer and prayed passionately for his people.
What does Nehemiah mean: Nehemiah originated from the Hebrew language and the meaning is “comforted by God”.
Was Nehemiah a prophet: yes, Nehemiah is a prophet and built the city walls of Jerusalem.
Who wrote Nehemiah
Jewish traditions identify Nehemiah as the author of the book. Most of the book is written from his first-person perspective. Nothing was written about his youth or background. The book starts him as an adult serving in the Persian royal court as the personal cupboard to king Artaxerxes.
The story of Nehemiah could be read as a consequence of the book of Ezra. Many scholars believe that the two were originally one work. However, scholars believed that the book was written by Nehemiah. It is the last historical book of the old testament. It is the sixteenth book of the old testament.
Purpose of writing: The book of Nehemiah is one of the history books of the Bible. It continues the story of the Israel people return back from their captivity of Babylon and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The book of Nehemiah was explained in his own words.
Outline of Nehemiah
I. Rebuilding the Walls (Under Nehemiah), 1:1-7:73
A. The Return to Jerusalem, 1:1-2:20
1. The condition of Jerusalem, 1:1-7
2. The petition of Nehemiah, 1:8-11
3. The commission of Artaxerxes, 2:1-10
4. The inspection of the walls, 2:11-20
B. The Rebuilding of the Walls, 3:1-7:4
1. The work assigned, 3:1-32
2. The work attacked, 4:1-6:14
a. By mockery, 4:1-6
b. By conspiracy, 4:7-23
c. By extortion, 5:1-19
d. By compromise, 6:1-4
e. By slander, 6:5-9
f. By treachery, 6:10-14
3. The work accomplished, 6:15-7:3
C. The Register of People, 7:4-73
II. Renewing the Covenant (Under Ezra), 8:1-10:39
A. The Reading of the Law, 8:1-8
B. The Response of the People, 8:9-18
C. The Repentance of the People, 9:1-38
D. The Ratification of the Covenant, 10:1-27
E. The Responsibilities of the Covenant, 10:28-39
III. Reforming the Nation, 11:1-13:31
A. Repopulating the Cities, 11:1-12:26
1. Jerusalem, 11:1-24
2. Other cities, 11:25-36
3. Priests and Levites, 12:1-26
B. Rededicating the Wall, 12:27-47
C. Reviving the People, 13:1-31
1. Reforms in relation to non-Jews, 13:1-3
2. Reforms in relation to the priesthood, 13:4-14
3. Reforms in relation to the Sabbath, 13:15-22
4. Reforms in relation to marriage, 13:23-31
Why the book of Nehemiah is important
Nehemiah in the bible was a layman. He was not a priest like Ezra nor a prophet like Malachi. He served as a Persian king in a secular position. He leads a group of Jews to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the city walls. Under the leadership of Nehemiah, the jews withstood opposition and came together to accomplish their goal.
Nehemiah led an example to us, giving up a respected position in a palace for hard labor. He was patterned with Ezra to solidify the political and spiritual foundations of the people. Nehemiah’s humility before God provided an example for the people. He did not claim glory for himself but always gave thanks to God for the credit of his successes.
Nehemiah’s role in the Bible
Same as the books of Ezra and Esther, Nehemiah tells us what happened after the exile of Jews to Babylon. Israel has been disciplined and restores their land and their God. Nehemiah tells God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Ezra and Nehemiah were considered as part one and two of the same work for a good reason. They together tell the story of God restoring His people by keeping His promise to them.
What lesson can be learned from the book of Nehemiah
Nehemiah, because of having love towards God and his desire to see God honored and glorified and led the Israelites towards the faith and obedience That God has desired for them. In the same way, Christians should revere the truths of scriptures, memorize them day and night and turn them for the fulfillment of every spiritual need. If we expect to experience the spiritual revival of the Israelites, we need to begin with the word of God.
The story of Nehemiah shows that the kind of significant impact one individual can have on the nation. Nehemiah served in secular offices and used his position to bring back to the Jews order, stability, and proper focus on God. God uses His people in all places in doing his work.
The life of Nehemiah in the bible provides a fine study on leadership. He exhibited a steady fast determination to complete all his goals. Accomplishing those goals resulted in people renewed, encouraged, and excited about their future.
Book of Nehemiah summary
The book of Nehemiah’s summary explains that Nehemiah was a Hebrew in Persia. When word reached him that the temple in Jerusalem will be reconstructed. He grew anxious that there was no wall to protect the city. Nehemiah was invited by God to save the city. God answered the prayers of Nehemiah and softened the heart of the Persian king, Artaxerxes. He gave his blessing and also supplies to be used in the project.
Nehemiah was given permission by the king to return to Jerusalem and then he was made Governor. There were many opposition and accusations but the wall was built and the enemies were silenced. The peoples who were inspired by the words of Nehemiah gave tithes of much money, supplies, and manpower in rebuilding the wall and completed it in 52 days, despite much opposition.
When Nehemiah leaves for a while, Jerusalem falls back into apostasy. When he returned back to Jerusalem, Nehemiah found the walls strong but the people weak. Then he set the task of teaching the people morality. He reestablishes true worship through prayer and encourages the people to revival by reading and adhering to the word of God.
What does the bible say about rebuilding the temple
The book of Nehemiah is a great story of the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem only in 52 days. It also serves as an example to us that we need to remind the word of God. Getting away from God’s people and the word of God will cause us to drift back to our old actions and Habits. We need to be thankful to the Holy Spirit indwelling us.