Nehemiah. 15 years. 4 syllables. 1 God.
Ezra/Nehemiah (they were originally one book) are two minor prophet books “Covering the period from the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE to the second half of the 5th century BCE, it tells of the successive missions to Jerusalem of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and their efforts to restore the worship of the God of Israel and to create a purified Jewish community.“
The majority of my learning around this book stems from James Hamilton Jr‘s Exalting Jesus in Ezra-Nehemiah, my friend George Waterman’s detailed personal study, and conversations with the teaching team at Heights Community Church.
Oh, and, of course, reading Nehemiah. 🙂
When I first starting researching Nehemiah I kept finding ‘Rebuilding of the Wall’ as the major theme, with several sermon series themed around that topic – The Rebuilding Of [insert item] each week. While I certainly like the poetry of that and agree with it’s relevance, the more I learn, the more I feel the central theme is this:
God fulfills His promises (pretty much stole that from the aforementioned book...here is the link again...have you bought it, yet?)
Jeremiah predicted Israel would serve Babylon in captivity, but more specifically, Daniel predicted :
Learning this was a big deal for me.
It’s a pretty specific prediction and the book of Ezra/Nehemiah (a historical recording) captures specific events that bring that to fulfillment.
Ezra/Nehemiah is the organic fulfillment of what appears to be a secondary point, a passing comment, in the primary prophecy. That is, Daniel’s quote appears to be primarily about the coming of Christ (which also happened) and in that prediction he makes a more specific (casual) secondary prediction – that at such-and-such time “from the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem” such-and-such will happen.
Then almost a century later, that exact command is given…which is why Ezra opens with :
Ezra/Nehemiah were originally one book and are similar in structure and story-line. While Nehemiah focuses on the 3rd act, the rebuilding of the wall, as we dive into it, my hope, my prayer, is I am continually reminded about one simple Truth:
God fulfills His promises.
Other Nehemiah background information :