Daily Bible Reading: Nehemiah 1-3
Author: “The words of Nehemiah’ (1:1), though Jewish tradition says those words were put on paper by Ezra.
Date: Approximately 445 BC
In ten words or less: returning Jewish exiles rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem.
“From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission”
Nehemiah 2:17-18 (NKJV) 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.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work
2:17–18. After Nehemiah had completed his secret survey and was satisfied that he had developed a workable plan, the time had come to reveal to the Jews why he was in Jerusalem. Them refers to the people mentioned in verse 16: “Jews [i.e., common people], priests … nobles … officials.” First, he challenged them to notice their deplorable circumstances, which had brought them trouble and disgrace (cf. 1:3). Then he challenged them to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and followed his challenge with a personal testimony as to how God’s gracious hand (cf. 2:8) had granted him favor before King Artaxerxes.
When Nehemiah gave his challenge, the people’s negative feelings became positive. Despair turned to hope. They responded and began the rebuilding process.
Gene A. Getz, “Nehemiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 677.
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