Book of Nehemiah



Nehemiah, a Jewish exile who lived in the Persian City of Susa and was cupbearer to the Persian King, Artaxerxes, is the acknowledged writer of this book that bears his name. The book was written around 430 BCE. Nehemiah was concerned that after all the years since the Jews had returned to their land, the walls of Jerusalem were still not rebuilt and the city was sparsely settled. He made a request to the king that he give him some time away from his responsibilities to return to the city and rebuild the walls and the city and the king was agreeable.


Chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Nehemiah record his learning of the situation in Jerusalem and his request to the king to return to Jerusalem. Chapters 3 through 6 relate his arrival in Jerusalem, the opposition he faced from the surrounding nations, the problems that he faced among the Jews themselves and the completion of the building of the wall. Chapters 7 through 13 concerns the securing of the city, populating the city, the account of Ezra reading and explaining the Law to the people, their repenting of their sins, the dedication of the wall and Nehemiah's reforms on his return to Jerusalem at a later date.