Neh 2:17 Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach
Writer : Nehemiah, cupbearer to King Artaxerxes
Literature : Historical narrative.
Dates: Spanning a period of approximately 13 years 446-433BC, during the reign of King Artaxerxes
Main Purpose & Historical Background:
Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra and held a position of high regard, Cupbearer to the king. After the Babylonian exile, he leads the last return to Jerusalem. He successfully encourages his people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, which is done in 52 days, this incredible feat points to a great God and Nehemiah rightly gives Him the credit and the glory.
Nehemiah, a man of prayer, then dedicates his life to the task of pointing the people back to God and spiritual restoration, a task which takes considerably longer.
The return to Jerusalem is broken into three parts, the first being led by Zerubbabel and the rebuilding of the temple, at 536 BC, the second being led by Ezra and spiritual rebuilding at 457/8 BC and the third and final return led by Nehemiah at 444 BC and the rebuilding of the city walls.
Ch 1-2 Nehemiah’s concern for Jerusalem and his permission granted to go
Ch 3-7 The rebuilding of the wall and the opposition he faced
Ch 8-10 The renewal of the covenant
Ch 11-12 Dedication of the wall
Ch 13 Purity of God’s people
- God’s promises fulfilled
- Physical and spiritual restoration
- God’s grace