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The Book of Nehemiah is a companion book to Ezra, and indeed formed originally one book with it. The chief document upon which it is based must have been from the hand of Nehemiah himself, consisting, as it does, mainly if not wholly of the personal memoirs of Nehemiah, another historical source of first rank which the chronicler seems to have incorporated complete in his book.
In contents, the book takes up the story of Judea perhaps a dozen years after Ezra's reformation. It tells of the partial restoration of the political power of the Jews, the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, which made the city once more a mighty fortress.
This important project was undertaken under the leadership of Nehemiah, a Hebrew who, being high in the confidence of the Persian monarch, Artaxerxes, received permission to restore Jerusalem. To this purpose Nehemiah devoted all his great wealth, his energy, his wisdom and his courage. The work being accomplished, Ezra the priest and Nehemiah the governor united in an effort to establish fully and forever the religious faith of the nation on the basis of the priestly law. The ancient covenant of the Israelites with God was renewed with solemn ceremony. Then Nehemiah tells of the backsliding of the people, and of his struggles to restrain them. The book closes with his personal prayer to God.
Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer
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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 Chapter 1
Nehemiah's distress for the misery of Jerusalem, His prayer.
Nehemiah Chapter 2
Nehemiah's request to the king 1-8. Nehemiah comes to Jerusalem 9-18. The opposition of the adversaries 19-20.
Nehemiah Chapter 3
The rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah Chapter 4
Opposition of Sanballat and others 1-6. The designs of the adversaries 7-15. Nehemiah's precautions 16-23.
Nehemiah Chapter 5
The Jews complain of grievances 1-5. Nehemiah redresses the grievances 6-13.
Nehemiah's forbearance 14-19.
Nehemiah Chapter 6
Sanballat's plot to hinder Nehemiah 1-9. False prophets try to frighten Nehemiah 10-14.
The wall finished, treachery of some among the Jews 15-19.
Nehemiah Chapter 7
The city committed to Hananiah 1-4. Register of those that first returned 5-73.
Nehemiah Chapter 8
The reading and expounding the law 1-8. The people called upon to be joyful 9-12. The feast of tabernacles, the joy of the people 13-18.
Nehemiah Chapter 9
A solemn fast 1-3. Prayer and confession of sin 4-38.
Nehemiah Chapter 10
The covenant, those who signed it 1-31. Their engagement to sacred rites 32-39.
Nehemiah Chapter 11
The distribution of the people.
Nehemiah Chapter 12
The priests and Levites that returned 1-26. The dedication of the wall 27-43. The officers of the temple settled 44-47.
Nehemiah Chapter 13
Nehemiah turns out the mixed multitude 1-9. Nehemiah's reform in the house of God 10-14. Sabbath-breaking restrained 15-22. The dismissal of strange wives 23-31.
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