7/21/2019 0 Comments
Welcome, welcome, welcome my friends.
Let us start to study another book of the Holy Bible with another courageous man, Nehemiah, who God used in a powerful manner, just as He did with 'Joshua'. [See the series in this room, from February 24, 2019 - June 19, 2019, audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
For today, Sunday, July 21, 2019, for your 'first read', an Overview Outline for Studying the Book of Nehemiah.
Then we will come back on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 and begin to study 'Nehemiah' in more detail.
The book of Nehemiah is Narrative History. Nehemiah authored it at about 430-400 B.C.
Key personalities include Nehemiah, Ezra, Sanballat, and Tobiah. Nehemiah wrote it in his diary to record the events of returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding the walls in 445 B.C.
Jerusalem had a temple, [See also Ezra and Esther audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html], but there was no protection for the city from further attack. Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem and uses his leadership skill to rally a citywide construction crew. Within a few weeks, [52 days], the walls around Jerusalem were built and standing tall and their enemies lost their confidence.
• In chapters 1-7, Nehemiah recounts the events of his temporary return to Jerusalem from Persia as governor. Nehemiah leads and directs the project; each family built the section of the wall directly in front of their houses, and with hard work, the wall was astonishingly completed within 52 days. This method allowed the remnant to feel an identity and uniqueness in their part of repairing the walls of Jerusalem. “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God” (6:15-16).
In ancient times, most cities had city walls. The wall was an important defense that surrounded the city.
The wall would be strong and high. Many such walls were several meters thick. And they would make the city like a large castle.
The top of the wall would be flat. The city's guards would walk on top of the wall. From there, they could watch for any criminals who were inside the city. Also, the guards would be able to see if an enemy army approached the city.
There would be some towers along the wall. These were tall, strong buildings that the guards could use. And they would be very useful if there was a war.
The wall would have large gates. During the day, these gates were open. Traders and travellers could enter the city. And they could go to the market. But by night, the guards closed the gates. Then, nobody could enter. And the city would be safe.
Because the wall was so strong, people would use it for other purposes too. For example, people might build their houses against it. In some cities, these houses actually became part of the city wall. So, the wall became a row of houses.
• From Chapters, 8-13 is a time of Israel finding and reestablishing themselves again as a nation, after the long period of the exile in Babylon. Ezra leads all the Jews in a renewal ceremony. This incorporated a public teaching of the Law, in which it was read and explained. For example, the recognition of the Sabbath Day was reinstated. “And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel” (8:1). They understood that if they were to survive they must remember and obey God’s Laws. They remembered the history of the consequences of sin and the 'exile' resulting from disobedience. Nehemiah establishes polices and address the issue of mixed marriages then condemns it. One of the main concerns was that the mixed marriage families were not teaching their children the Hebrew language, “the language of Judah” (13:24). [Summaries Courtesy of the Ultimate Bible Summary Collection, Online.]
Now, my friends, as is our practice, let me allow you to do your first read of the Book of Nehemiah, with Our Mutual Teacher, the Holy Spirit. [John 14:26 audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
Then, on our next Post 2, Wednesday, July 24, 2019 we will get into more details. There will be a total of 12 posts, with the last two posts on Sunday and Wednesday September 8, 11, 2019.
Take you time and glance through the Books of Ezra as well as Esther. You will get a better understanding as we discuss the 'final touches' through 'Nehemiah'. [audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html] Amen. Amen.
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