Article Index

Names of the Book


English:  Nehemiah
Hebrew:  נחמיה
Transliterated:  Nechamyah
Other names:   



Wrote the book:  Nehemiah
Are the key people:  Nehemiah, Ezra, Sanballat, Tobiah
Is it written to:  The people of Israel



Rebuilding the wall and encountering opposition (Nehemiah 1:1-7:73)
Reforming the people and renewing the covenant (Nehemiah 8:1-13:31)



Was it written:  c 445-432 BCE
Did the events occur:  c 538-445 BCE
Was it canonized:  c 499-100 BCE
(see the Timeline of the Tanakh)



Was it written:  Israel
Did the events occur:  Jerusalem



Nehemiah was written to inform us that: 
G-d gives us vision.
G-d desires prayer.
G-d provides leadership.
G-d equips us to solve problems.
G-d desires for us to return to Him.



Nehemiah is another historical narrative in Scripture. It recounts the events that occurred when the Persian King Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah the Jew, his trusted official, to assist in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah took with him a third wave of returning Jewish exiles and they faced intense opposition from the other peoples in the land and the disunity that existed within Jerusalem. Despite these challenges, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of the city. He overcame various threats by taking wise defensive measures, by personal example, and by his obvious courage. Nehemiah did what G-d had put into his heart and discovered that the joy of the Lord was his strength (Nehemiah 8:10). When the Israelites once again began to fall into sin, Nehemiah called upon Ezra to read G-d's Law to them.




Chapter Description
1 Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the king, hears of the Jews' struggle to rebuild Jerusalem.
He prays to G-d, confesses the sins of his people, and asks G-d for mercy, for help, and the king's favor.
2 Nehemiah is sad in the presence of King Artaxerxes who notices his sad appearance.
Nehemiah gets permission from the king to return to rebuild Jerusalem.
He travels to Jerusalem and inspects the city walls and gates.
Nehemiah instructs the Jews to rebuild the walls.
3 The walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt by Levites, priests, and other Jews.
The sections and gates are listed along with those who rebuilt them.
4 Sanballat mocks the Jews for their rebuilding efforts and conspires to attack Jerusalem.
Half of the Jews continue the reconstruction and half stand prepared for defense.
5 Some Jews financially oppress other Jews by commiting usury.
Nehemiah calls an assembly, points out the sin, and requests the oppressors to return the lands that were taken.
The oppressors cancel the debts against the debtors.
Nehemiah is appointed governor and helps thepeople rebuild.
6 Sanballat and other enemies of Nehemiah try to kill him.
Nehemiah is not distracted and the wall is completed in fifty-two days.
The enemies of the Jews lose their confidence recognizing that G-d had helped them.
7 Nehemiah gives orders to guard Jerusalem.
Nehemiah finds and recounts the genealogy of those who came up to the Land of Israel.
8 Ezra reads the book of the Law of Moses in Jerusalem to all the people on Rosh Hashanah.
The people worship, cry, and rejoice before the LORD.
They discover G-d's command to keep Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles] and do so.
9 The people assemble with fasting, confession, and reading of the Law.
The Levites pray about G-d's mercy and Israel's journey through history.
The people make an agreement in writing to live according to G-d's Law.
10 The people who signed the agreement are listed.
The agreement itself is documented.
11 The people cast lots to see who will move to Jerusalem.
The people who are chosen are listed.
A list of other towns throughout the land Israel are listed.
12 The priests, Levites, and their respective duties in the Temple are listed.
The wall around Jerusalem is dedicated with hymns and songs.
Great sacrifices and offerings are given.
13 Nehemiah restores G-d's Law in the Land.
He goes to Babylon to the king then returns to Israel.
Nehemiah discovers people living in the Temple, throws them out, and institutes proper order in the Temple.
He re-establishes order on the Sabbath.
Nehemiah re-establishes order in marriage.
He asks G-d to remember him for good.


Torah Portion




or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Rishon, 21 Tishrei, 5780 - Hoshana Rabbah

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Learn more about this date in history.