Main Themes of the Book of Nehemiah

Who wrote the Book of Nehemiah and who did they write it for?

It is widely believed that Nehemiah himself authored the book of Nehemiah, although some believe only parts were written by Nehemiah and the rest of the book was written by Ezra using Nehemiah’s memoirs. It is part of the historical account of the restoration of Jerusalem.


When did the events of the Book of Nehemiah happen?

The events in the book of Nehemiah occurred between around 446-433 BC, but the book was likely written closer to 430-420 BC.


What was the setting of the Book of Nehemiah?

The book of Nehemiah happens in a time when the Jewish people had been rebuilding the city, but were spiritually indifferent toward God and needed encouragement to return to devotion and obedience to the Lord. After Zerubbabel and Ezra had both returned to rebuild Jerusalem, Nehemiah returned not only to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem for the Jewish people’s physical wellbeing but also to rebuild their spiritual wellbeing.


What is the purpose of the Book of Nehemiah?

  1. Nehemiah’s prayer for Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1)
  2. Nehemiah’s plans for Jerusalem (Nehamiah 2)
  3. Nehemiah’s work rebuilding the walls (Nehemiah 3)
  4. Opposition to rebuilding the walls (Nehemiah 4-6)
  5. Registry of the people in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 7)
  6. Revival of Jerusalem under Ezra (Nehemiah 8-10)
  7. Repopulation of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11-12)
  8. Restoration of the Jewish people in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13)

How does the Book of Nehemiah apply to my life?

  • Records the physical and spiritual restoration of Jerusalem under the godly leadership of Nehemiah.
  • Provides an example of godly leadership during times of trials, criticism, and opposition.
  • Continues the historical account of the Jewish people being restored again to God.
  • Emphasizes the importance of a spiritual health, prayer, and obedience to God and His Law.
  • Gives hope that God will continually restore His people to Himself.
  • Teaches that God’s will always prevails even when His people disobey.
  • Provides an example of godly sacrifice, priorities, and relationship.

Summary

The book of Nehemiah may have been written completely by Nehemiah himself, or may have been at least partially penned by Ezra under Nehamiah’s name, likely using Nehemiah’s memoirs as a reference. Nehemiah and Ezra were one book in the Hebrew Bible, and have many similarities in writing style, verses, and tone. It is uncertain, though, who wrote it for sure.

Nehemiah was someone who had high favor in Persia and was cupbearer to the King of Persia. He gave up his luxurious palace life and position of trust to return to Jerusalem with the Persian Ping’s permission to rebuild the walls. He went back to Jerusalem and found himself not only restoring the walls, but also restoring the Jewish people spiritually. They were spiritually indifferent and needed bold encouragement to obey God’s Law once again.

Nehemiah was a man of deep, personal prayer and sets an incredible example of godly leadership. He faced much criticism and opposition, but had a heart to restore the people of God to God. He knew that the rebuilding of the walls would mean nothing without the rebuilding of the people’s spiritual health and dependance on God. As Nehemiah works hard alongside the people, we get to see another incredible part of God’s redemptive story playout reminding us that God is faithful, He continually restores His people, and His plans will be accomplished regardless of His people’s disobedience.


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Nehemiah Overview
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