7/24/2019 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, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, since your 'first read', Sunday, July 21, 2019, let's begin to study 'Nehemiah' in more detail. First some background information.
We will continue to post on a 'weekly' basis with this material.
“Title”: Nehemiah (“Yahweh has comforted”), is a famous cupbearer, who never appears in Scripture outside of this book. As with the books of Ezra and Esther, named after his contemporaries, the book recounts selected events of his leadership and was titled after him. Both the Greek Septuagint (LXX), and the Latin Vulgate name this book “Second Ezra”. Even though the two books of Ezra and Nehemiah are separate in most English Bibles, they may have once been joined together in a single unit as currently in the Hebrew texts. New Testament writers do not quote Nehemiah. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
“Authorship”: Though much of this book was clearly drawn from Nehemiah’s personal diaries and written from his first person perspective (1:1 – 7:5; 12:27-43; 13:4-31), both Jewish and Christian traditions recognize Ezra as the author. This is based on external evidence that Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book as reflected in the LXX and Vulgate; it is also based on internal evidence such as the recurrent “hand of the Lord” theme which dominates both Ezra and Nehemiah and the author’s role as a priest-scribe. As a scribe, he had access to the royal archives of Persia, which accounts for the myriad of administrative documents found recorded in the two books, especially in the book of Ezra. Very few people would have been allowed access to the royal archives of the Persian Empire, but Ezra proved to be the exception (compare Ezra 1:2-4; 4:9-22; 5:7-17; 6:3-12). audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
The events in Nehemiah Chapter 1 commence late in the year (446 B.C.), the 20th year of the Persian king, Artaxerxes 464 – 423 B.C.). The book follows chronologically from Nehemiah’s first term as governor of Jerusalem (ca. 445 – 433 B.C.; Nehemiah. Chapters 1-12), to his second term, possibly beginning (ca. 424 B.C.; Nehemiah Chapter 13). Nehemiah was written by Ezra sometime during or after Nehemiah’s second term, but no later than 400 B.C. audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
Nothing is known about Nehemiah’s childhood, youth, or family background, except that his father’s name was Hachaliah (1:1), and that he had a brother named Hanani (1:2). Possibly his great-grandparents were taken into captivity when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. He was probably born in Persia sometime during or soon after Zerubbabel’s ministry in Jerusalem. The frank and vivid reporting indicates that much of the material in the book comes from what must have been Nehemiah’s personal diary. Much of the book is a first-person account of the circumstances surrounding Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem (chapters 1-7; 12:31 – 13:31). audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
“Historical Setting”: Even before Nehemiah was born, the first group of Jews left Persia and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel (538 B.C.). A second group, led by Ezra, had returned in (458 B.C.), 13 years before the opening scene in Nehemiah’s book. [See the Book of Ezra for more. [Read more in Ezra and Esther audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
The fact that Nehemiah felt anguish for a city he had never seen, a city that had been destroyed by the Babylonians more than 140 years earlier (586 B.C.), says something about his upbringing. His parents gave Nehemiah a name that reflected their own view of their lost heritage as Jews: “Yahweh has comforted”. Little did they know that, in the course of his life, Nehemiah would become an enormous source of comfort and encouragement to the people of the Lord.
We shall continue with more on the 'historical setting' on our Post 3, Sunday, July 28, 2019. Thank you for returning.
Take you time and glance through the Book of Ezra as well as Esther, as well. You will get a better understanding as we discuss the 'final touches' through 'Nehemiah'. Amen. Amen.
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