Friday, February 27, 2009

Nehemiah Introduction

Nehemiah 1:1 "The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the Palace,"...

So begins the book of Nehemiah, a prophet, a statesman, governor, restorer, cupbearer to the king and a devout Jew.

Nehemiah followed Ezra by fourteen years according to my Scofield reference Bible. He went up to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2 Neh 7:7) .

The book of Nehemiah is the 16th of the Old Testament. He helped Ezra reestablish the law and build the wall.

The effort to rebuild Jerusalem is marked by opposition from man of his countrymen.

Scofield gives a number of divisions of the book of Nehemiah: journey to Jerusalem, building of wall, census, revival, dedication, restoration and legal order restored.

King Artexerxes was in charge at the time and allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem.

Like a true man of God, Nehemiah's efforts start with a prayer meeting.

Nehemiah 1:5-6 "And said, I beseech thee O LORD God of heaven the great and terrible God that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned." ...

There is more to the prayer and the first chapter ends with "...For I was the king's cupbearer."

Being a cupbearer was a very high position with the king. It is not mentioned here but we have all heard the stories of how the king would have someone taste his wine before he drank it to see if the wine had been poisoned. Nehemiah does not mention tasting it but I suspect it was a possibility. There were always people who wanted throne and many in history have taken the throne from a family member by less that loving means.

Jeremiah 51:53 "Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD."

Nehemiah , the kings cupbearer, goes to Jerusalem.

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