This post is the first in a series of studies about “Nehemiah”.
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Nehemiah – Day 1
Little is known of Nehemiah except what we learn from this book bearing his name in the Old Testament. The book is believed to have been dictated by Nehemiah but actually written by Ezra whose book precedes that of Nehemiah. Ezra named Nehemiah as one of the exiles (Ezra 2:2).
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
Little is known of Nehemiah except what we learn from this book bearing his name in the Old Testament. The book is believed to have been dictated by Nehemiah but actually written by Ezra whose book precedes that of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Ezra named Nehemiah as one of the exiles (Ezra 2:2).
Nehemiah held the privileged position of being cupbearer to King Artaxerxes who reigned in Persia from 465 to 424 BC. Nehemiah’s story began in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1). He is portrayed as a man of faith, prayer, action and devotion to duty.
As an exile, maybe wondering if he would ever see his home country again, Nehemiah must have been excited to see one of his brothers, as well as others from “home”. Whether it was a physical brother from his immediate family, or just someone of his own race is not sure. But what is sure is that this “brother” knew a bit more than Nehemiah did about what was happening back home. This group from Jerusalem had travelled 1643kms (1020 miles) to bring bad news!
The city was in a very bad state and needed lots of building work to be done to restore it to its former glory.
Imagine today if you needed help from a family member in a world with no internet and no phones. What would you do? How far would you travel?
Today, when you hear bad news, ask yourself how far you, yourself are willing to go to help and encourage.
Pray as you begin this study of Nehemiah. Pray that you will hear God’s voice teaching you what He wants you to learn through this true story of persistence, strategy, hard work and eventual success.