Introduction to Chapter 3
In Nehemiah Chapter 2 Nehemiah prays and fasts for 4 months before coming before King Artaxerxes of Persia. Finally on Nisan 444 B.C., (March/April), he comes before the king and queen allowing them to see his depressed and mourning demeanor. The king seeing his sadness asks him to explain. Nehemiah then describes the reason for his sadness, the condition of Jerusalem, a city without walls and without gates. The king then asks Nehemiah, what he wants.
Introduction to Nehemiah Chapter Two
Chapter two of Nehemiah takes place about 4 months after the events of chapter one. In chapter one, Nehemiah gets word from his brother on the status of Jerusalem and conditions of the Jews living there. Nehemiah is struck to his core by the events in Judah and Jerusalem. Nehemiah takes authority and leadership in the spiritual realms by mourning, fasting and praying for 4 months.
The time finally arrives in chapter 2, where Nehemiah has an audience with the Artaxerxes I and his queen to serve them wine. His job was cupbearer to the king, he was not allowed to show any sort of mourning or sorrow in the king’s presence. As “cupbearer” Nehemiah could only to be happy and cheerful, and not let his personal life interfere with his function. However, Nehemiah chose to intentionally show sorrow, he did not view his job or position as the end-game of his life.
Introduction to Chapter One
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah, along with 1st and 2nd Chronicles were authored by Ezra, the priest and scribe. In the Jewish Bible, Ezra and Nehemiah are one book, while in the Catholic Bible they are known as First and Second Ezra (Esdras).
Ezra returned to Jerusalem in 458 B.C., with the authority of Artaxerxes king of Persia. He had with him almost 1500 men, including woman and children the number who returned with Ezra could have numbered close to 8000 from
Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah
The book of Nehemiah is chronologically one of the last books of the Old Testament. The book of Nehemiah connects the closing of the Old Testament period with the New Testament period of Messiah, Jesus Christ. Nehemiah was a man who had vision for God’s will, and he moved on the vision. Through Nehemiah’s vision, Israel was reestablished in the land of promise, following the Babylonian captivity.
Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) (465-424 B.C.). When word came from his brother about the deplorable state of Jews who had earlier returned to Jerusalem from Persia, he was moved to action. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and returning Jews under a constant threat. The very survival of Jerusalem, Jewish population and God’s promises was at stake. Nehemiah decided something had to be done with this information.
Nehemiah took the news and formulated an action strategy to change the events. Nehemiah formulated a vision of the situation and planned what needed to be done to change it. He was not just a man of dreams; he was a man of action and planning. He took God’s promises serious.